South Carolina

Legal Status of official English in South Carolina

South Carolina adopted English as its official language in 1987.

Official English Law in South Carolina
§1-1-696. Official State Language.
The English language is the official language of the State of South Carolina.

§1-1-697. Use of Language Other Than English Prohibited.
Neither this State nor any political subdivision thereof shall require, by law, ordinance, regulation, order, decree, program, or policy, the use of any language other than English; provided, however, that nothing in §§1-1-696 through 1-1-698 shall prohibit a state agency or a political subdivision of the State from requiring an applicant to have certain degrees of knowledge in a foreign language as a condition of employment where appropriate.

§1-1-698. Exceptions to Prohibitions Against Use of Language Other Than English.
Sections 1-1-696 through 1-1-698 do not prohibit any law, ordinance, regulation, order, decree, program, or policy requiring educational instruction in a language other than English for the purpose of making students who use a language other than English proficient in English or making students proficient in a language in addition to English.


3,552,240 English
196,429 All languages other than English combined
110,030 Spanish or Spanish Creole
19,110 French (incl. Patois, Cajun)
15,195 German
5,648 Chinese
4,496 Tagalog
3,772 Vietnamese
3,294 Korean
3,091 Italian
2,807 Japanese
2,566 Greek
2,440 Arabic
2,101 Gujarathi
1,618 Russian
1,341 African languages
1,325 Hindi
1,214 Portuguese or Portuguese Creole
1,135 Polish
1,031 Laotian
1,008 Miao, Hmong
771 Thai
759 Scandinavian languages
682 Hebrew
648 Urdu
541 Persian
411 Mon-Khmer, Cambodian
396 Hungarian
330 Serbo-Croatian
278 Other Native North American languages
249 French Creole
139 Yiddish
36 Armenian
28 Navajo