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Second most important language

 Language Learning Forum : General discussion Post Reply
Poll Question: What is the second most important language in the world after English?
Poll Choice Votes Poll Statistics
5 [4.13%]
35 [28.93%]
25 [20.66%]
9 [7.44%]
47 [38.84%]
You can not vote in this poll

68 messages over 9 pages: 1 2 3 46 7 ... 5 ... 8 9 Next >>
nway
Senior Member
United States
youtube.com/user/Vic
Joined 3812 days ago

574 posts - 1707 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Spanish, Mandarin, Japanese, Korean

 
 Message 33 of 68
13 October 2011 at 6:06pm | IP Logged 
For those who couldn't see the prior graphics, feel free to let me know whether you can see these:

2050 population:



Film industries by monetary value:



Projected GDP growth, per capita:



Global cities:



Life expectancy per GDP per capita (PPP):



^ This one measures the healthfulness of linguistic populations' lifestyles. I equalized the scale such that Hong Kong and Mainland China amount to the same, which intuitively makes sense, since they're the same culture, despite their differing levels of wealth.

Life expectancy per GDP per capita (PPP):



^ I simply illustrated the table above. You should be able to figure out the color scheme from the data...

Student achievement:



^ I believe the color scheme is relative to the US. Data from the OECD's 2009 PISA. Countries colored grey aren't measured.

Nominal GDP:



Popularity:



^ "Popularity" derived from Google queries such as, "I wish I could speak ____".

Self-explanatory:





Composites of various variables:







Composite of Steinke and T-Index:



Top universities from 2010 rankings:



Languages of leading cities by various variables:



Demographic vitality:



^ Life expectancy divided by median age.

Business and wealth:



Wikipedias (intellectual stock):



Various raw data, some projected:



Again, this was a very brisk presentation of months' worth of research, with much left unsaid.
So if anyone has any questions regarding the data, sources, or methodologies used, feel free to ask.

Edited by nway on 13 October 2011 at 6:13pm

2 persons have voted this message useful



MarcusOdim
Groupie
Brazil
Joined 3244 days ago

91 posts - 142 votes 

 
 Message 35 of 68
13 October 2011 at 9:26pm | IP Logged 
Mandarin is overrated and "overugly", FACT


hugs and kisses
2 persons have voted this message useful



montmorency
Diglot
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 3225 days ago

2371 posts - 3675 votes 
Speaks: English*, German
Studies: Danish, Welsh

 
 Message 36 of 68
13 October 2011 at 10:28pm | IP Logged 
Always read the question, and I admit that I didn't read it properly before answering:

"Poll Question: What is the second most important language in the world after
English?"


Present tense, indicative mood. Not future, no what ifs, maybes, or might-have-beens.


So what is the most important second language now? and I might give more weight
to Spanish. In addition to most of South America (and presumably, good Spanish will
get you a long way in Brazil as well), what might happen in the USA will be interesting
to see. English won't go away, but Spanish may become much more important.

However, unless the USA changes its ways fairly soon (and who knows, it is a remarkable
country and capable of a lot of things) it is likely to lose its dominance militarily
and economically sooner rather than later. And then IMO, all bets on English are off.

French is going nowhere, simply because France is no longer a global power, and neither
is any of its ex-colonies.   The Quebecois have dug themselves into a linguistic hole
for political and historical reasons. IMO, Canadian French will diverge further and
further from Parisien French, and end up a bit like Afrikaans is to Dutch. Important in
its own sphere (and studied by nerds such as us), but of no global importance.

Getting away from the question again, and going back to English, it is interesting to
speculate what might happen to it, if and when the USA ceases to be a significant
global power. English was in any case diverging strongly into multiple varieties, and
I'm sure that will increase and continue.

I speculate that "classical" English may one day become the new Latin. Used for
example, in documents of international importance, treaties, and in scientific papers,
and perhaps spoken at international learned conferences, but not actually used in every
life by many people (the English of England and the USA having changed from what we now
consider to be correct written English).


3 persons have voted this message useful



MarcusOdim
Groupie
Brazil
Joined 3244 days ago

91 posts - 142 votes 

 
 Message 37 of 68
14 October 2011 at 2:33am | IP Logged 
Great point of view
1 person has voted this message useful



nway
Senior Member
United States
youtube.com/user/Vic
Joined 3812 days ago

574 posts - 1707 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Spanish, Mandarin, Japanese, Korean

 
 Message 38 of 68
14 October 2011 at 4:22am | IP Logged 
MarcusOdim wrote:
Mandarin is overrated and "overugly", FACT

Hard to argue with "facts" like that...

Edited by nway on 14 October 2011 at 4:23am

7 persons have voted this message useful



Sennin
Senior Member
Bulgaria
Joined 4431 days ago

1457 posts - 1759 votes 
5 sounds

 
 Message 39 of 68
14 October 2011 at 6:41am | IP Logged 
nway wrote:
MarcusOdim wrote:
Mandarin is overrated and "overugly", FACT

Hard to argue with "facts" like that...


I think it's beautiful in its written form, and ugly in terms of the sonority. Everybody has different opinion on this one.

The fact is that Confucius institutes are popping up everywhere, and I'm seriously tempted.

( But I voted French :-) ).



Edited by Sennin on 14 October 2011 at 6:45am

1 person has voted this message useful



Mad Max
Tetraglot
Groupie
Spain
Joined 3448 days ago

79 posts - 146 votes 
Speaks: Spanish*, French, English, Russian
Studies: Arabic (classical)

 
 Message 40 of 68
14 October 2011 at 12:28pm | IP Logged 
Well, the statistics are good but sometimes to know wich language is the second most
important is to answer a simple question:

Where is not so useful English?

IMHO, there are only 4 big areas where English is not so useful. Latin America (from
Mexico to Argentina), China, former USSR and in a lesser degree, the Arabic World.
India-Pakistan could be another big area but English is official there and very spoken.

So, Chinese, Spanish, Russian and Arabic are the candidates.


We can see the economic power of 3 international organizations and China:

-Members of Latin American Summits GDP and population: 12.7 and 906 million people
-China: 6 and 1342 million
-Commonwealth of Independent States (former USSR): 1.6 and 276 million
-Arab League: 1.5 and 360 million


Source: Wikipedia
http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cumbre_Iberoamericana
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arab_League
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commonwealth_of_Independent_Sta tes       

So, Spanish and Chinese (by this order) are economically the most powerful.       


1 person has voted this message useful



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