The most spoken language in any country is often obvious; usually, it’s the official language of the country. However, you can learn a lot about a country by analysing its second most spoken language.

While many people would guess that English is the second most commonly spoken language in the majority of countries, that’s only true for some areas. For example, despite its proximity to North America, the only Central American countries to list English as their second most spoken language are Costa Rica and Panama.

In Europe, a continent known for its diverse languages where people are often multilingual, the second most spoken language varies greatly among countries. From Gaelic to Catalan, Finnish to Slovak, and Hungarian to Belarusian, Europe boasts several different second most spoken languages, showcasing its cosmopolitan residents and their wide-ranging backgrounds.

As the world continues to become more connected thanks to technology, it becomes even more crucial to be able to understand each other. No matter where you are, even if you don’t speak the official language, there’s a high chance that you’ll be able to communicate with others using the second most spoken languages.

Olivet Nazarene University has put together a really cool interactive map that shows the second most spoken language in each country around the world that there is data for. This map excludes official languages from being the second most spoken language in each country.

Are there any countries on this map that surprise you when you see what language is actually the second most spoken language?