Multilingual States

Section: 5.9

Belgium and Switzerland

Both of these countries are examples of multilingual states within Europe. Belgium's language boundary sharply divides the country into two regions. Switzerland has four official languages-- German ( used by 64 percent of the population), French (20 percent), and Romansh (1 percent).


Africa's most populous country, Nigeria, displays problems that can arise from the presence of many speakers of many languages. Nigeria has 527 distinct languages, according to Ethnologue, only three of which have widespread use-Hausa, Yoruba, and Igbo- each spoke by one eighth of the population.
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