Official Languages of the United Nations

Official Languages of the United Nations

The United Nations works on the agenda of bringing the organizations and nation closer to a better future. It is a diplomatic center and has the universal representation of the states. The United Nations work on touching the people living all over the world in a different and positive way. They work on maintaining international peace and making nations more secure. They make sure that they implement sustainable goals that can be developed easily. The UN intends to protect human rights, encourage gender equality, and also work on eradicating poverty.

In order to communicate with multiple countries where there are different languages spoken, United Nations has six official languages that they use in the meeting and for writing and publishing their documents. Like most countries, English speaking countries in Africa are also part of the United Nations. Among these six languages, four are the official language of the permanent member of the security council and the remaining two languages are part of their language list due to the fact that these have the maximum number of speakers.

The languages in alphabetical order are

  1. Arabic

Arabic with its modern standard Arabic variant in use is an official and international language of many countries in the Middle East as well as North Africa. It is the official language of the Arab world and hence an important language of the United Nations. This language is a Semitic language and comes from the Afro-Asiatic language family. It is spoken by 372 million people approximately all over the world. Western countries often have to seek professional Arabic translation services to address the needs of Arabic speakers.

United Nations Arabic language day is celebrated on the 18th of December. It was the day when Arabic became part of the UN for the first time in 1973.

  1. Chinese

Mandarin Chinese as well as simple Chinese, both of these variants of the Chinese language are official in the People’s Republic of China. This is an important language of the United Nations. Chinese is one of the most spoken languages in the world with 1.35 billion native speakers. The Chinese language is from the Sinitic branch of the Sino Tibetan languages family.

United Nations used to celebrate Chinese Language day on the 12th of November and it has now been changed to the 20th of April. They changed the date to 20th April to pay tribute to Cang Jie who is a legendary Chinese figure and is reported to be the founder of the Chinese.

  1. English

English is the language of the majority of countries in the world. It is not only the official language of more than 67 states but also is spoken as a second and third language in different countries all over the world. English is the de facto official language of the United Kingdom, the United States, and Australia. It also happens to be the official language of Canada and New Zea Land with certain changes in dialects and variations. It is one of the most popular languages and the lingua franca of the majority of countries.

The English language is a West Germanic language from the Indo-European language family. It has more than 400 million speakers as native speakers. Around 750 million people speak it as a second language.

23rd April is the day when people in the United Nations celebrate English language day. This date has been selected to mark the birth of William Shakespeare a renowned English language playwright, poet, and writer.

  1. French

French is one of the most important languages of the United Nations. It is the official language of France. Furthermore, it also holds the status of the official language in Belgium, Switzerland, and Canada. French is also spoken in a lot of regions of Africa. Many companies and businesses seek professional French translation services to tap the French market and target the regions where they speak French. This language has another important variant that is spoken in Canada and is known as Canadian French. The francophone community is settled in Canada for decades.

French has around 270 million speakers worldwide. It is a Romance language that belongs to the Indo-European family. It is not only on the list of the United Nations but is also their working language.

United Nations French language day happens to be on the 20th of March. The francophone culture and language are celebrated by speakers all over the world on this date.

  1. Russian

It is the official language of the Russian Federation. Russian is also commonly spoken in several post soviet states. Russian is a different and difficult language. However, due to it belonging to an important economy of the world, this language is a significant part of the United Nations languages.

United Nations celebrate Russian language day on the 6th of June. This day also marks the birth of the great playwright and writer of the Romantic era of Russian literature Alexander Pushkin. They also consider him the founder of modern Russian literature.

  1. Spanish

Spanish is another Popular Language that is not only commonly spoken in Spanish but people all over the world particularly in the United States also speak this language fondly. It is one of the favorite languages of avid language learners. This language is an official and national language in 18 countries and it also happens to be the main language of one of the territories in the America. These regions include Latin America or Hispanic America. Other Spain-speaking regions include Spain and Equatorial Guinea.  Spanish translation services are also quite in demand due to the popularity of this language and an ever-growing number of speakers.

Spanish language day is celebrated on 12th October by the United Nations. 


The United Nations work for the betterment of its members that are from different countries and nations. There are six official languages of the United Nations. These are Arabic, Chinese, English, French, and Russian. United Nations also make sure to celebrate different languages day to promote multilingualism and to acknowledge the importance of other cultures.


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