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15 Most Populous Countries that Speak a Germanic Language

Can you name the most populous countries where a majority of the residents are native speakers of a Germanic language?
Population as of 6 July 2023
Quiz by Quizmaster
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Last updated: July 6, 2023
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First submittedNovember 27, 2017
Times taken62,060
Average score80.0%
Rating4.33
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Population
Country
344 m
United States
83.3 m
Germany
68.3 m
United Kingdom
38.8 m
Canada
26.4 m
Australia
17.8 m
Netherlands
11.7 m
Belgium
10.6 m
Sweden
Population
Country
8.96 m
Austria
8.80 m
Switzerland
6.02 m
Denmark
5.47 m
Norway
5.25 m
New Zealand
5.06 m
Ireland
2.83 m
Jamaica
96 Comments
+34
Level 77
Nov 27, 2017
Missed Belgium because "oh those who speak German are in a small minority". Forgot all about the Flemish.
+32
Level 86
Nov 30, 2017
Still, I think the quiz should show the number of germanic langage speakers, not the whole population. There are about 6.7 millions of Flemish of German speakers in Belgium.
+7
Level 85
Dec 27, 2017
And the dutch. Don't forget the Dutch.
+1
Level 78
Mar 18, 2019
@SirGeorgington. Yes. The Dutch.
+12
Level 62
Aug 27, 2020
@SirGeorginton Flemish is Dutch. But "the Flemish" aren't Dutch
+20
Level 70
Nov 27, 2017
What about South Africa?
+3
Level 71
Nov 27, 2017
Wikipedia says that Zulu is the most common native language
+36
Level 74
Dec 27, 2017
...but speakers of Afrikaans and English combine to give 23.1% of the population, ahead of Zulu's 22.7%.
+38
Level 69
Dec 27, 2017
It has to be a majority of the speakers, according to the instructions. Not just the largest group.
+15
Level 69
Oct 16, 2019
And Zulu is closely related to Xhosa and other non-Germanic languages of South Africa, so majority of South Africa speaks a Bantu language.
+8
Level 53
Aug 10, 2021
Yes, but a great many of those Zulu and Xhosa speakers are also native English speakers. Being from South Africa you understand that being a native speaker of one language doesn't preclude you from being native in another. English is the lingua franca of South Africa even more so than the rest of the world.
+2
Level 74
Dec 3, 2017
Excellent idea for a quiz, just the right amount of tricky :)
+1
Level 69
Aug 5, 2021
Agreed! Fine idea. Next challenging step is work out a quiz of Germanic speakers by country, like the comboxers suggest. Could do two of them, one for actual numbers and one for proportion.
+7
Level 74
Dec 27, 2017
What about South Africa? No single language is spoken by over 50% of the population, and the most common is Zulu, however English and Afrikaans are both Germanic and together exceed Zulu by a narrow margin.
+16
Level 56
Dec 27, 2017
Combine all the Bantu languages into one group and they'll easily beat the united English-Afrikaans with their 75%.
+3
Level 58
Dec 27, 2017
hi posers no way 12 of 15 is 35 percentile unless everyone is taking the quiz 30 times
+24
Level 77
Dec 27, 2017
How many quizzes are you going to comment this on before realizing that's not how it works?
+13
Level 71
May 15, 2018
even if most people were taking the quiz multiple times to get all the answers, it couldn't take more than 3, let alone 30
+6
Level 69
Aug 25, 2019
Evenso only the first attempt counts. On some quizzes the result are surprising, (rather high scores on stuff i ve never heard about) but this one is simple so a high score is to be expected.

and if on the 30th attempt you d still only get 12 right i think there might be some memory issue, no obscure answers here so the ones you missed the first time you could easily remember the 2nd try.

+6
Level 69
Jan 16, 2019
at the moment getting 12 right would mean you beat 49%

There is nothing weird about that. The quiz was quite easy, I was silly to forget canada, but other than that the only one I didnt guess was jamaica (maybe If I had more time, cause was allready thinking about, what is the biggest place where they speak english)

+4
Level 58
Dec 27, 2017
uhm i feel very satisfied that my immense talents were not challenged in the slightest manner since i am clearly superior to the Geo serfs who are embarrassing themselves here , needless to say i achieved 100 percent and feel quite special thank you
+15
Level 46
Dec 28, 2017
Ok.
+11
Level 79
May 10, 2021
You are clearly quite special.
+1
Level 62
Oct 18, 2022
good for you...
+1
Level 78
Dec 16, 2022
Not talented or 'special' enough to use correct grammar and punctuation, though.
+4
Level 58
Dec 27, 2017
got jamaica (24%) but missed austria (93%)
+2
Level 66
Aug 5, 2021
I got jamaica but forgot Ireland XD The only one I missed.
+3
Level 39
Dec 27, 2017
What about Iceland?

And Luxembourg? 2012 statistics has 52% native Luxembourgish and 2% native German, plus an unknown percentage of English.

+15
Level 90
Dec 27, 2017
When Luxembourgs population gets 5 times larger it will most certainly belong on this list.
+3
Level 39
Dec 27, 2017
I had missed the 'most populous' part!
+7
Level 74
Dec 27, 2017
Yah, there's more people in Anaheim, California than there are in Iceland.
+3
Level 65
Jan 2, 2018
Nice Anaheim reference.
+3
Level 43
Dec 27, 2017
Jamaica!!!! Whaaaaa??!!
+10
Level 37
Mar 10, 2018
Jamaicans speak English and English is a Germanic Language.
+10
Level 69
Nov 23, 2019
Jamaican here. It's the language of the nation. As with the UK and Australia, we too have variations of words we use in local dialect (slangs). Some parts of Jamaica have a more intense accent than others. We will purposefully speak in a more intense accent around eavesdropping foreigners just to keep them from understanding our conversations.
+1
Level 72
Feb 4, 2021
I love Oktoberfest in Kingston!
+6
Level ∞
Jul 6, 2023
Jamaica speaks an English-based creole which makes it a member of the Germanic language branch.
+4
Level 65
Dec 27, 2017
My country, 'tis of thee / Austria-Hungary / Obey your King
+3
Level 69
May 1, 2022
Land where Ferdinand died / Land where Germans confide / From every trench inside / Let bombshells ring!
+1
Level 65
Dec 27, 2017
suriname?
+3
Level 81
Dec 27, 2017
Population. I doubt Suriname has 1m.
+2
Level 58
Jan 8, 2018
About 600.000, actually
+1
Level 38
Jan 23, 2018
They speak German in Tirol in Italy, afaik.
+5
Level 63
Feb 21, 2020
Tyrol is in Austria. South Tyrol is in Italy with supposedly 315K German speakers.
+1
Level 70
Mar 13, 2018
Icelandic? Is that not germanic?
+5
Level 83
Mar 26, 2018
They only have ~300K population.
+2
Level 60
Jul 13, 2018
Just curious, why does India or Singapore not count in this quiz?
+7
Level 71
Aug 16, 2018
Most of their residents don't speak English natively.
+1
Level 56
Nov 15, 2018
Thought the same thing. The children grow up bilingual in most cases. So which constitutes their native language?
+5
Level 82
Aug 5, 2021
A large majority of Indians speak either no English at all, or know only a few specific words which get mixed in with whichever Indian language they speak.

The educated elite in India do usually speak good English, and they tend to be the ones who foreigners who haven't visited India encounter (because they are more likely to travel or appear on media with international readch). It's created the impression that India is a lot more anglophone than it actually is.

+4
Level ∞
Jul 6, 2023
Singapore is getting very close. Wikipedia say 48.3% speak English natively. They will probably be over 50% in a few years.

India, on the other hand, has almost no native English speakers. They comprise only 0.02% of the population.

+1
Level 60
Jul 25, 2023
I assume you're using this table, but that's people's primary language, not native. As there is between 3.9 and 4 million native speakers of Singaporean English, I would guess at least 75% of them are in Singapore. This would be 53.63%, over majority.
+1
Level 50
Nov 10, 2018
Didn't realize Germanic equaled Nordic................................. Damn.
+5
Level 69
Jan 16, 2019
It doesnt. Though in scandinavia germanic languages are spoken.
+1
Level 62
Jun 9, 2019
Yes, it does. Nordic languages are Germanic. The Norse were Germanic peoples.
+8
Level 69
Aug 25, 2019
No it doesnt, they are two different terms. Which are NOT interchangeable. One refers to language and the other to region. And germans, belgians, the dutch and the english etc are Not nordic people. And finland is a nordic country but they do not speak a germanic language there.
+3
Level ∞
Jul 6, 2023
Of the five Nordic countries, four speak a Germanic language. Finland, however, speaks a Uralic language.
+1
Level 37
Nov 30, 2018
Excellent quiz. Thank you.
+1
Level 50
Jan 3, 2019
No Poland? I thought Poland has large German speaking people
+1
Level 45
Jan 5, 2019
It does, but it's not the majority.
+4
Level 69
Jan 16, 2019
They arent all large...
+7
Level 69
Oct 16, 2019
Poland has fewer than 100 000 native German speakers. Most of the Germans either fled or were expelled from Poland during the last months of WW II and shortly afterwards.
+1
Level 32
Jan 13, 2019
Liechtenstein is German speaking!

Also, shouldn't Ghana be on the list too? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghanaian_English

+6
Level 69
Jan 16, 2019
but not populous, same goes for iceland, which at first I was surprised not to see on here either
+1
Level 60
Jul 25, 2023
Ghana maybe. It's population is high enough and it does say half of the population uses English, but it doesn't mention how many are native.
+1
Level 47
Mar 15, 2019
Jamaica?
+1
Level 47
Jul 17, 2019
I was surprised to see Jamaica here and not Iceland or Guyana
+2
Level 69
Nov 23, 2019
Guyana has a smaller population. There are more of us Jamaicans than there are Guyanese.
+6
Level 67
Mar 8, 2023
iceland has like 9 people
+2
Level 71
Mar 1, 2020
Actually guessed Jamaica somehow :)
+1
Level 19
Sep 11, 2020
15/15!!!! This was the first comment I was able to make on any quiz!
+2
Level 21
Feb 10, 2021
i missed germany
+1
Level 66
Feb 23, 2021
Singapore???
+1
Level ∞
Jul 19, 2021
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Languages_of_Singapore
+5
Level 44
Aug 5, 2021
Most Singaporeans speak English as their first language while Chinese, Tamil and Malay are mostly their second language. Considering that most people use English for casual conversations and it is the language used in schools and businesses, I think Singapore should be added to this Quiz
+2
Level 39
Mar 14, 2021
Belgium speaks french mainly
+1
Level ∞
Jul 19, 2021
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Languages_of_Belgium
+1
Level 86
Jul 25, 2023
Nope, 7M Dutch speakers, 4.5M French speakers, and... like 100k German speakers.
+2
Level 72
Aug 5, 2021
The population number for Belgium is misleading given French accounts for almost half about it. It took me some time to get it right. I recommend changing this.
+1
Level 69
Aug 5, 2021
It's misleading only if you have trouble with reading comprehension. The table clearly says "population", not "number of speakers of Germanic languages".
+1
Level 53
Aug 5, 2021
nigeria isn't one?
+1
Level 67
Aug 5, 2021
English being a Germanic language is still something I can't get over like it usually sounds a lot more like the Romance languages and has more similarities but I suppose old English was very different
+3
Level 66
Jul 25, 2023
I would have expected it could be both, but this article explains why it is considered Germanic, despite being a heavier mixture of French and Latin than of German.
+1
Level 67
Aug 5, 2021
Missed three. All of them English speaking countries.
+2
Level 68
Aug 6, 2021
If 184 million people in Nigeria speak English, and it is the only official language, I would say they should be in this list as well
+2
Level ∞
Jul 6, 2023
No. The majority of Nigerians are not native English speakers even if it is a very common second language.
+1
Level 52
Aug 7, 2021
Okay...I understood this quiz totally wrong :)
+2
Level 23
Nov 5, 2022
Shouldn't South Africa be here because we speak English and Afrikaans which is derived from Dutch and considered to be a Germanic language?
+1
Level 67
Mar 8, 2023
not a majority
+2
Level ∞
Jul 6, 2023
No. The majority of South Africans speak a Bantu language as their first language as discussed above.
+1
Level 67
Jul 25, 2023
I feel like English is doing a lot of the heavy lifting.
+1
Level 55
Jul 25, 2023
Ireland is a Celtic-speaking nation.
+3
Level 69
Jul 25, 2023
Majority speaks English tho, which is an official language as well.
+1
Level 62
Jul 25, 2023
Nigeria should definitely be on here. 178mil English speakers out of a total pop of 213mil according to Wikipedia.
+1
Level 67
Jul 28, 2023
When you forget UK
+1
Level 23
Apr 3, 2024
The title by itself is misleading, inducing many people into believing that it includes countries like India, Nigeria, South Africa, etc. merely on the grounds of considering the majority of the people that speak English to varying degrees of fluency and not as their mother tongue. It is only by taking the trouble to read the caveat that the quiz takers became more aware of which specific criteria apply. Hence the reason why so many quiz takers challenge the legitimacy of the list...