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9 exotic places where English is widely spoken

Sri Lanka elephants

Photo: Shutterstock

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Sri Lanka

This South Asian island nation is coming back into the tourism spotlight after a long-simmering civil war between government forces and Tamil separatists. This history-filled Buddhist-majority country, with idyllic tropical mountains, wildlife-filled forests, and some of the world's best beaches, has a colorful colonial past and some cultural and religious practices that have not changed for hundreds of years.

English remains the second language for much of the population. This is especially the case in the cities like Kandy and the capitol, Colombo. Though some rural-dwelling Sri Lankans are monolingual or bilingual in Sinhalese and/or Tamil, the two main local languages, most people have at least a functional command of English, and many educated people in Sri Lanka are quite fluent.