Saudi Arabia is a fascinating country with a rich culture and history. But do people speak English in Saudi Arabia?
What will I learn?
The short answer is yes; English is widely spoken in Saudi Arabia. However, it is not the official language of the country.
Do People Speak English In Saudi Arabia?
English gets used extensively in businesses and schools throughout Saudi Arabia.
In addition, many Saudis learn English as a second language in school.
So even though Arabic is the official language, English is widely used and understood.
If you’re planning to travel to or do business in Saudi Arabia. Learning some basic Arabic will certainly help.
What Percentage Of Saudis Speak English?
English is a language of trade and business around the world. In Saudi Arabia, the majority of businesses are mainly conducted in English.
The government has also declared that English will be compulsory in all schools by 2020. So, the demand for English speakers in Saudi Arabia is high.
So, what percentage of Saudis speak English? A recent study found that around 85% of Saudis can converse in English.
That is a huge increase from ten years ago when only 50% of Saudis could speak English.
The study also found that almost half of all Saudis believe that. Learning English is important for their future success.
The rise in English proficiency among Saudis is due to many factors. More and more students are studying abroad and returning home with better speech in English.
Is English Widely Spoken In Saudi Arabia?
There are many languages spoken in Saudi Arabia. The official language is Arabic, but English is also widely spoken.
Especially in the fields of business and tourism. In addition, many Saudi Arabian people also speak Urdu, Hindi, Bengali, and Tagalog.
So, if you’re planning a trip to Saudi Arabia, don’t worry about not being able to communicate in English. You’ll be able to get by just fine!
So, you may not be able to get by solely speaking English in Saudi Arabia. But you’ll find plenty of people who can help you if you need it.
And you’ll also be able to find plenty of resources in English if you need.
Languages Spoken In Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia is linguistically diverse. There are even various dialects of Arabic.
The three main regional variants are Najdi Arabic, Hejazi Arabic, and Gulf Arabic.
English is also widely spoken. Especially among the business community and in major cities.
Some educated Saudis also speak French. Urdu is commonly understood due to the many Pakistani expatriates in Saudi Arabia.
Many also understand Turkish due to the historical Ottoman presence in the region.
The official language of Saudi Arabia is Arabic. The immigrants from various countries speak their native languages.
However, the government is standardizing the use of Arabic throughout the country.
10 Reasons Why English Is Spoken In Saudi Arabia
English is becoming a lingua franca. Its importance is increasing day by day in the modern world.
The same is the case in Saudi Arabia. There are various reasons why English gets spoken in Saudi Arabia.
From its importance in the business world to the use of the English language in media.
There are plenty of reasons to support the statement that English is spoken in Saudi Arabia. Let us discuss those reasons in detail.
1. English Is The Language Of Business And Commerce In Saudi Arabia:
In Saudi Arabia, English is the primary language of business and commerce.
Many multinational companies have their regional headquarters in the kingdom. Plus, most business deals done are in English.
Even though Arabic is the official language of Saudi Arabia. English is widely spoken and used in day-to-day life.
Consequently, English is widely used in both formal and informal Saudi Arabia.
2. English As The Medium Of Instruction In Some Schools And Universities:
English is also used extensively in education. That is because English is mainly taught compulsorily in all Saudi schools.
In addition, many Saudis travel abroad for higher education and work. That also helps them to learn and become more proficient in English.
The current Vision 2030 reform plan pushes for more English-language instruction in schools.
We can expect even more Saudis to be able to communicate in English in the future.
Many colleges offer various programs in English.
All university-level instruction in Saudi Arabia is mainly conducted in English. That is, except for Arabic and Islamic studies courses.
That has led to a growing demand for English courses at all levels of education.
3. English Is The Language Of Government:
English is also used in government. Most government documents get written in English, and many government officials are fluent.
That makes the use of the English language on an official level.
The Saudi government also encourages the use of English in schools and universities. That is a part of its Vision 2030 reforms.
So even if you don’t speak Arabic, you should be able to get by speaking English in Saudi Arabia.
4. English Media And Advertising:
English is also used extensively in media and advertising.
For example, many television shows and movies are originally produced in English. Additionally, most billboards and advertisements are in English.
You’ll find that English gets used frequently in media and advertising.
Many people get exposed to English through international channels and programs. That gives the public exposure to the English language.
While the use of English in media and advertising may be high. That reflects something other than the general population’s English proficiency level.
For example, most people in Saudi Arabia do not speak English fluently.
However, many people are learning English as a second language. That is due to the increasing importance of English in the global business world.
5. Plenty Of Opportunities To Practice English In Saudi Arabia:
If you’re looking to practice your English. There are plenty of opportunities in Saudi Arabia.
Several international schools in Saudi Arabia use English as the medium of instruction.
In addition, many multinational companies in Saudi Arabia use English as their corporate language.
This gives foreigners plenty of opportunities to speak in English. Moreover, the natives get enough exposure to speak English fluently.
6. Many Saudis Study Abroad In English-Speaking Countries:
Many Saudis, especially the younger generation, are studying abroad.
In fact, according to a recent study. Saudi Arabia ranks 4th in the world for the number of students studying abroad.
That means that many Saudis get exposed to English from a young age. And because of this, many Saudis are quite good at speaking English.
That means that a lot of Saudis are quite fluent in English.
In fact, according to a recent study, around 70% of Saudis can speak and understand English quite well.
So if you’re planning on traveling to Saudi Arabia, don’t worry too much about the language barrier. You’ll probably get by just fine with English.
In addition, many Saudi students study abroad in English-speaking countries. So when they return home, they are quite comfortable communicating in English.
7. Immigrants Living And Working In Saudi Arabia:
Many ex-pats come to Saudi for job opportunities. They either speak their native language or English as a means to communicate.
However, the Saudi government requires that all business get conducted in Arabic. Still, English is most commonly used.
English is widely spoken in Saudi Arabia. Especially among the large expatriate community.
Many expats communities are living in Saudi Arabia. Many of these communities have social media groups where they communicate in English.
That is a great way to get to know other expats and learn about life in Saudi Arabia.
There are also many English-language publications available in Saudi Arabia. So you can stay up-to-date with what’s happening in the country.
Learning English will make your time in Saudi Arabia much easier and more enjoyable.
8. The Saudi Government Uses English For Official Communications:
The Saudi Government uses English to communicate with international businesses.
The government has issued English for its educational institutions. That step is especially important for non-native Arabic speakers.
The government has mandated that all road signs and product labels be in Arabic and English.
The private sector in Saudi Arabia is slowly starting to use more English.
In 2017, the King of Saudi Arabia issued a directive. That directive said that English be used as the main working language in government agencies.
That is a significant shift from the past policy, which was to use Arabic exclusively.
Many businesses still need to understand the value of using English. That is because it gives an advantage to international companies.
Most businesses see the benefits of using English to connect with a global market.
English is becoming more prevalent in Saudi Arabia. But there are other languages besides English.
Therefore, Arabic will likely remain the dominant language for many years.
Learning some basic Arabic phrases is beneficial if you plan to do business in Saudi Arabia.
9. English Is Being Promoted As The Second National Language:
English is being promoted in Saudi Arabia as a second language. That is in recognition of the importance of English in the global economy.
Plus, it will make Saudi Arabia a more attractive destination for international businesses.
Still, English is yet to be widespread. Even then, it is becoming more common, especially among young people.
People speak English in Saudi Arabia, but it has yet to be the predominant language.
However, this is changing, and English proficiency is increasing among Saudis. That is especially true for the younger generations.
10. Saudis Learn English For Personal And Professional Reasons:
An increasing number of Saudis are learning English for personal or professional reasons.
Many people learn English to attend university and compete in the global job market.
English is also a requirement for many government jobs. Government employees must have a good working knowledge of English to work effectively.
English is becoming more popular as a second language among Saudis.
As a result, more people are learning English to improve their employment prospects. And it helps connect with the wider world.
Finally, English is also taught in some schools in Saudi Arabia as part of the curriculum.
That means that more and more young Saudis are growing up with at least some knowledge of English.
What Cities In Saudi Arabia Have Most English Speakers?
Several cities in Saudi Arabia have a large number of English speakers.
The capital city, Riyadh, has the most English speakers of any city in the country.
Jeddah and Dammam are also major cities with large numbers of English speakers.
Qatar, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates also have sizable English-speaking populations.
Oman is also a popular destination for English speakers, as it has many expats living there.
The Saudi government is also investing heavily in English language education. They see it as a key to economic development.
As a result, the number of English speakers in Saudi Arabia will only continue to grow in the years to come.
So if you are considering moving to Saudi Arabia, don’t worry about not being able to get by without speaking Arabic.
Conclusively, to answer the question, do people speak English in Saudi Arabia? English is not an official language in Saudi Arabia.
Still, it is commonly used in business and education. Therefore, if you plan to visit or move to Saudi Arabia, learning some basic English will be very helpful.
However, it is also important to remember that most Saudis don’t speak English as their first language.
Therefore, learn a few words and phrases in Arabic if you want to make the most of your time in Saudi Arabia.
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