English is a West Germanic language that was first spoken in early medieval England and is now a global lingua franca.[4][5] It is an official language of almost 60 sovereign states, the most commonly spoken language in the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Australia, Ireland, and New Zealand, and a widely spoken language in countries in the Caribbean, Africa, and southeast Asia.[6] It is the third most common native language in the world, after Mandarin and Spanish.[7] It is widely learned as a second language and is an official language of the United Nations, of the European Union, and of many other world and regional international organisations.