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Old 12-02-2004, 09:44 PM
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fritchie fritchie is offline
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: New Orleans, LA
Posts: 3,456
Re: Truely International?; World language usage

This is sort of off-topic for a sculpture forum, but I wanted to follow our earlier discussion with some more definitive material about the use of languages worldwide, and here are some results. This material comes from a single linguistic site that seems to be professional and with no evident political bias.

The site is called “Languages of the World”, and a summary of usage among groups is here.

Because this is a professional linguistic site, it is careful about defining categories of speakers. In essence, users are grouped according to the combination of those for whom the language is primary (native) and those who speak and/or understand it as a second language.

Two languages or language groups have over a billion adherents worldwide according to this classification: English across the world; and "Mandarin" Chinese, technically Putonghua, principally in China.

Two other groups have over a half-billion users: Hindi + Urdu in southeast Asia; and Spanish + Portuguese principally in South and Central America.

Four languages or language groups have 100 million or more users: (1) Japanese; and (2) Malay + Indonesian in Asia and the Pacific; (3) German in Europe; and (4) French around the world.
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