Papua New Guinea has more languages than any other country, with over 820 indigenous languages, representing 12% of the world’s total, but most have fewer than 1,000 speakers. The most widely spoken indigenous language is Enga, with about 200,000 speakers, followed by Melpa and Huli.
Indigenous languages are classified into two large groups, Austronesian languages and non-Austronesian, or Papuan, languages. There are four official languages for Papua New Guinea: English, “sign language” (which in practice means Papua New Guinean Sign Language), Tok Pisin and Hiri Motu. English is the language of government and the education system, but it is not spoken widely.