Last Updated on August 31, 2023 by Ezra Matiasi

Overview of English Speaking Countries in Asia

English is spoken by a significant portion of the world’s population, well beyond native speakers. In a rapidly globalising world, English is the language of business and commerce.

It has become the dominant language in many industries, including technology, media, and entertainment. It is also a language of communication across regions.

About 1.2 billion speakers worldwide can speak English. Few people in Asia are native English speakers, but many speak English as a second or third language.

It is the language of international communication. Spoken by over 450 million people, it is the most widely spoken language in the world.

English has also become a lingua franca and is used as a common language among different countries and cultures.

Keypoints: English Speaking Countries in Asia

  • Global Language: English’s reach goes beyond native speakers, dominating industries worldwide.
  • Asian Importance: English is vital for jobs, business, and education across Asia.
  • Top English Speaking Countries: India, Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia and China value English.
  • Challenges and Benefits: Proficiency varies in Taiwan, Pakistan, Thailand and Japan.
  • Growing Influence: Bilingual trends rise, impacting non-English-speaking nations.

The Importance of English in Asia

It is crucial that we completely apprehend the position that English performs and can play. For many jobs, English-speaking competency is more and more required. English has grown to be a “fundamental skill”.

English is the most effective language on Earth that everybody understands. For this reason, it is the language of preference for conversation among multinational companies. 

In addition, the majority of colleges in the location use English as the number one language of instruction, this means that they teach the language to the substantial majority of the population.

In addition to English, many Asian businessmen and travellers use it as their number one language. 

Due to this trend, English is now considered a signal of wealth in addition to sophistication.

Furthermore, English is the most used language in many online services in Asia, along with e-commerce, which is developing rapidly.

List of Top 10 English-Speaking Countries in Asia


The official language of India is Hindi, which belongs to the Indo-Aryan subfamily and is spoken mainly by Hindu people. 

However, many other countries use English as their official language—currently 20 member states have an official language other than English.

English proficiency is particularly important in today’s global economy. Over 40% of India’s population has at least knowledge of English and an even larger number is able to communicate in it. 

Skilled English-speaking Indian workers are vital parts of the workforce anywhere they choose to stay and work around the globe.

English has not only become a parallel language in India, but it has also become a status symbol in this country. 

The more one is fluent in English in this country, he/she claims respect and high social status.


The native language of the Philippines is Filipino but they have also adopted English as their official Language. This makes these 2 languages the official languages of this country.

The Philippines has a reputation for its service-oriented culture, cost-effective labour force, and proficiency in English—all of which make it an attractive outsourcing destination.

The Philippines is becoming a new destination for multinational investors, and they are meeting these needs by overcoming language barriers through the knowledge of the English language. 

The country’s proficiency with English gives it an edge—one that will prove valuable as workers continue to seek out global opportunities.

In the Philippines, English is used as a primary medium of instruction in schools and universities. Filipinos recognize that learning English will enable them to communicate with Westerners for business and tourism purposes; this attracts students from all over the world.


Singapore has 4 official languages which are Malay, English, Tamil and Mandarin Chinese.

English is widely used in Singapore, due to its status as a culturally diverse country.

The large number of Chinese-speaking inhabitants means that Mandarin is often heard on the streets; however, many Indians and Malaysians can also be encountered here.

Although English is the primary technical language of Singapore, it is also used at home by a third of the population.

One of the main reasons why English is so widely spoken in Singapore is that it has become a language of education: Students learn to speak and write in English from an early age.


English is a compulsory subject up to form 5 of secondary school (ages 15-16). It is widely used in both private and public sector business transactions as well as in many fields at the university level.

An increasing number of international schools, private colleges and universities offer English as their primary language of instruction.

Additionally, you can find English newspapers and online news portals as well as Malaysian print papers. 

Unlike some countries where television shows are dubbed into the local language, English TV programs in Malaysia are broadcast with subtitles for those who prefer to read along instead of listen.

Most Malaysians can speak English because it is taught in schools. Many Malaysian ethnic groups consider English to be their first language — the one they learned at home as children.

Malaysians who are fluent in English can easily switch from standard variant English to localised Malaysian colloquialisms.


The ability to communicate in English allows Chinese companies to expand their reach and compete globally—a fact evidenced by the growing number of multinational corporations that are based in China.

Many universities in China require applicants to demonstrate some level of English fluency, making proficiency with the language a crucial factor for aspiring scholars.

Chinese people who are fluent in English enjoy many economic and educational benefits.

But fluency also helps them better understand both the culture and society of countries that speak English as their native language.)


English is an important language in Indonesia, and many international companies have operations here. 

In addition, jobs in the tourism sector are often filled by people who speak English fluently. Hospitality and export industries also require fluency in English.

Studying abroad can greatly enhance career opportunities and personal growth, as many Indonesian universities offer programs taught in English (and require students to have a certain level of English speaking ability). 

English fluency is essential for those considering studying abroad.

Students in Indonesia can use technology to access quality English education. Online resources, such as English learning apps and websites that offer guidance and practice, help students improve their English speaking skills.

Learning English in Indonesia may be a challenging prospect, but mastering this language can help students succeed both academically and professionally.


In Taiwan, English is taught from elementary school to high school. Students are required to take English classes and take standardised tests to assess their proficiency.

Despite the emphasis on teaching English, a significant portion of the population struggles with it.

As reported by the Taiwan English Proficiency Test (TEPT) in 2019, only 18.9% of her test takers were considered proficient in English.

Essential to Taiwan’s economic success, English has become the language of choice for international business in areas such as technology, finance and international trade, making English communication skills essential for companies seeking global expansion. increase.

Taiwan is a great place to learn English. Many universities and language schools offer courses and programs as well as online resources and language exchange opportunities. 

Additionally, the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) provides resources and support to the English learning community.


Urdu and English are the official languages of Pakistan. Government documents, street signs, many shop signs—even business contracts use English far more than Urdu.

English is taught to all Pakistani students at the school level. Local languages are also taught, but many schools prefer to use English—especially on standardized tests.

Pakistani English, also known as Pakrish, is a unique dialect of English spoken in Pakistan.

It was formed by combining British pronunciations and grammatical rules with certain sounds from the languages Urdu and Punjabi.

Pakistani English has evolved from British English, which was spread across Pakistan during the colonial era.

Many Pakistanis speak and write English, but their form of the language is often influenced by their linguistic and cultural background.


As globalisation advances, the demand for English speakers continues to increase. This is especially true in Thailand, where English skills are viewed as crucial for personal and professional development.

With globalisation bringing different cultures together and making the world a smaller place, English has become an essential language for communication and business. 

This is especially true in Thailand, whereas this Asian country continues to develop—and integrate into the global economy, the ability to speak English is becoming more and more important for Thai students and professionals.

Learning English can help people become more aware of other cultures, and this in turn will make them better able to work together.


Japan is often not thought of as an English-speaking country in Asia, but that’s changing. While Japanese is still the primary language, more and more people are becoming proficient in English. 

The government has made improving English education a priority, starting with elementary schools and even offering university courses in English.

The recent Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics were also an opportunity to showcase Japan’s ability to communicate effectively in English to a global audience.

This focus on English proficiency has led to an increase in foreigners living and working in Japan, as companies seek English-speaking employees to serve international clients. 

Teaching English as a second language has also become a popular job for foreigners.

All in all, Japan is well on its way to becoming a bilingual nation as its people become more and more proficient in English.


What country in Asia speaks the best English?

The best English-speaking countries in Asia are India, the Philippines and Singapore. Singapore is known for its high proficiency in English and it is the language of instruction in schools. The Philippines also has a high level of English proficiency and it is widely spoken in business.

Which countries in Asia are considered English-speaking countries?

English-speaking countries in Asia refer to those nations where English is widely used as an official or second language. The list typically includes countries like India, Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines

Is English widely spoken in Asia?

Yes, English is spoken to varying degrees in several Asian countries. It’s often used as a second language for business, education, and international communication.

What is the primary language spoken in the top English-speaking Asian countries?

While English is commonly spoken in these countries, their primary languages can vary. For instance, in India, Hindi is widely spoken alongside English, while in the Philippines, Filipino and various regional languages are spoken.

Are English-speaking Asian countries popular destinations for international students?

Absolutely. Many English-speaking Asian countries, such as Singapore and Malaysia, are renowned for their quality education and attract a significant number of international students.

Do Asian countries use English for official government communication?

Yes, in most cases. English is often used for official government communication, especially in countries like India, Singapore, and the Philippines.

Are there any proficiency requirements for English in Asian countries?

Some countries might have English proficiency requirements, especially for certain job roles or academic programs. For instance, international students often need to demonstrate a certain level of English proficiency to study in these countries.

Wrapping Up

The number of countries in Asia where English is spoken is not limited to the ones mentioned.

English is widely used as the language of international communication in the region and is employed by numerous industries, including technology, media, and entertainment. This has led to English being a prevalent language in Asia.

Furthermore, due to the increasing demand for English proficiency in many jobs, and the fact that it is the primary language of instruction in most schools and universities across Asia, more countries have adopted English. 

This trend is expected to continue in the future, as proficiency in the language becomes an essential skill for individuals seeking employment in various sectors.

Consequently, the adoption of English as a second language in Asia is likely to grow, enhancing the region’s connectivity and global competitiveness.

About the Author

Ezra Matiasi

Head Content Writer

Hello! My name is Ezra Matiasi, and I'm the enthusiastic mind behind Travello, a captivating travel blog that takes you on remarkable journeys around the world. With a passion for exploration and a love for sharing captivating stories, I curate the best travel experiences, hidden gems, and breathtaking landscapes. Through vivid descriptions and captivating photographs, Travello aims to inspire wanderlust and help fellow travelers make the most of their adventures. Join me as we embark on exciting virtual voyages and discover the wonders our beautiful planet has to offer. Let's explore the world together, one adventure at a time!

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