The most populous state in the Union, California is naturally home to a wide array of languages. Yet the languages of California are more numerous and more diverse than almost every other US state combined!
With over 200 different languages spoken in the state, some are understandably more spoken than others, with some languages having billions of speakers worldwide, whilst others have fewer than ten speakers located solely in California.
Official Language of California
Though Spanish was once the official language of California shortly after becoming a state, and remains a widely spoken language (with all state documents also being produced in Spanish), the sole official language of the state is…
English – 20.5 Million
Spanish (Semi-Official) – 10.7 Million
Native American Languages of California
Sadly, as with most of the Native American Languages still spoken in the US, California’s Native American languages are facing extinction, including the ones the state is trying to revive through language revitalization programs!
Luiseño – 2,500
Yurok – 350 (Formerly Extinct)
Yuma – 290
Chukchansi – 8
Foreign Languages of California
Since even before it became a state, California had attracted immigrants from all over the world – something it continues to do today – who have often brought their languages and cultures with them…
Mandarin – 1.25 Million
Tagalog – 800,000
Vietnamese – 565,000
Korean – 370,000
Persian – 205,000
Armenian – 197,500
Japanese – 170,000
What do you think of the languages of California? Do you speak any of them (besides English of course)? Tell me in the comments!