Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Twelve Most Useful Second Languages for English Speakers

When the human race negotiation about science, culture, economic system or politics, it talks English. English Language talkers don't really necessitate a 2nd linguistic communication at all. So, what's the usage of a 2nd linguistic communication when the first 1 is enough? English Language talkers can look for the extravagance items: cultural and linguistic enrichment. In this article, I will measure the world's major linguistic communications for their utility to English Language speakers, according to three different criteria:

  • Demographics: Opportunity to utilize the linguistic communication actively: the figure of native and 2nd linguistic communication speakers, and the opportunities of communicating with them in this language: usage as a tongue franca. It's not simply a substance of numbers. Mandarin is by far the most spoken linguistic communication but it is concentrated in one country, China, and that cut downs the impact. In the lawsuit of Hindi, educated talkers will very likely also talk English, so the chance to talk to people in Hindi is greatly reduced.

  • Personal Impact: This subjective standard looks at the impact on the learner. How makes this linguistic communication survey addition the learner's ain edification regarding languages, whether English Language or another, 3rd language? How makes this linguistic communication do the scholar a more than culturally literate individual person?

  • Business factors: How will this linguistic communication unfastened new concern and commercial opportunities?
  • Standard I. Demographics:
    I get with demographics because this is the standard that first come ups to mind in such as a discussion. However, this factor only weighs 40 percentage in the ratings, and certain entries here, such as as Italian, Swahili and Turkish, will only go apprehensible when one sees the tabular arrays that follow.

  • Spanish: Approx. 350 million indigen speakers, with many 2nd linguistic communication talkers in the Americas, North Africa and elsewhere. It is the functionary linguistic communication of about 20 countries. (6 points). It is an of import tongue franca in the Western Hemisphere and the Mediterranean, (3 points). (Total: 9 points).

  • French: Despite a relatively little indigen linguistic communication alkali of 130 million, Gallic have a major presence internationally, with a big 2nd linguistic communication population all over the human race and functionary linguistic communication position in over 25 countries. It is the workings linguistic communication of many international organisations (4 points). It is also the most recognized tongue franca, after English. (4 points). (Total: 8 points).

  • Arabic: Arabic Language Language talkers are difficult to quantify. Modern Standard Arabic Language Language is a 2nd idiom for 250 million people worldwide, but it is quite difference from the spoken Arabic in each of the 20 states where it is official. It is an functionary linguistic communication of the United Nations and of many international organizations. It is also the linguistic communication of Islam. (4.5 points). Arabic Language is a major tongue franca. (2 points). (Total: 6.5 points).

  • Russian: Estimates are as high as 185 million for the indigen speech production population, and it is the 2nd linguistic communication in all the states of the former Soviet Union (3 points). Soviet Union spent much of the Twentieth Century securing the place of its linguistic communication as the tongue franca in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and it goes on to function in that capacity, in a greatly diminished way. (2 points). (Total: 5 points).

  • Mandarin: It's the indigen linguistic communication of 875 million people, however, they are concentrated in one country, China. It is a 2nd linguistic communication for the remainder of China, Taiwan, and for Chinese community world-wide. It have small currency beyond its ethnical bounds and functions as tongue franca only in this context. (Total: 3 points).

  • German: It have approx. 120 million indigen talkers and many 2nd linguistic communication talkers throughout Europe. (2 points). It have had moderate success re-establishing itself as the tongue franca of Central Europe, after the black history of the past century, however, this function have been taken up in the meantime by Russian and English Language (1 point). (Total: 3 points).

  • Hindustani: It includes Urdu at one end and Hindi at the other, with approx. 185 million indigen talkers in India, and 50 million in Pakistan. It is a 2nd linguistic communication for another 180 million people in these country. It have not had success as a tongue franca outside of this context, as that intent is served by English. It have also been burdened by the reluctance of the Dravidian speech production people of South Republic Of India to follow it. (Total: 2.5 points).

  • Swahili: It is spoken natively by 5 million people and by another 50 million as a 2nd linguistic communication along the East African coast. It's the functionary linguistic communication of Kenya, Republic Of Uganda and United Republic Of Tanzania (1 point). Swahili is the recognized tongue franca in that area, having achieved nearly neutral "tribal" position on a continent where linguistic communication is politics, but for traffic with the human race beyond, it is normally eclipsed by Arabic, English Language and Gallic (1.5 points). (Total: 2.5 points).

  • Portuguese: Spoken by approx. 190 million people, it is the functionary linguistic communication of Portugal, Brazil, Mozambique, Republic Of Angola and other states. It have not as yet been able to set up itself as a widely used tongue franca. (Total: 2 points).

  • Turkish: It is spoken by 70 million people in Turkey and Republic Of Cyprus (1 point). It supplies an option tongue franca throughout the Turko-Tatar speech production lands of Central Asia, replacing the more than foreigner Russian (1 point). (Total: 2 points).

  • Japanese: It is spoken by 125 million people in Japan, but have small currency as a 2nd linguistic communication or a tongue franca. (Total: 1 point).

  • Italian: It is spoken by 60 million people in Italy, it is also the functionary linguistic communication of the Vatican. It have small or no significance as a 2nd linguistic communication or a tongue franca. (1 point).
  • Standard II: Personal Impact:
    This is the major consideration for the English speaker. It weighs 40 percentage in my ratings. How will the acquisition of this linguistic communication aid one's apprehension of English? How will cognition of this linguistic communication unfastened up a portal to other related to languages? For the first question, Latin linguistic communications throw a distinct advantage, since the prestige, learned word forms of English Language are all constructed out of a Latin vocabulary. The 2nd inquiry prefers linguistic communications which are seen as leading linguistic communications in peculiar linguistic families, wherever they may be located in the world.

  • French: It throws a peculiar place among Latin languages, in that it have been the major conduit of Latin vocabulary into English Language for the past 1 thousand years. Fully 30 percentage of English Language words come up from French, (6 points). In cultural terms, the centrality of French Republic to European civilisation cannot be overestimated, adding 6 more than points. (Total: 12 points)

  • Spanish: This Latin linguistic communication have tremendous influence on the English of the Americas. It has, in turn, been influenced by Arabic Language and the indigenous linguistic communications of pre-Columbian America, giving penetration into those languages. (4 points). Spanish civilisation goes on to travel into the head of Horse Opera civilization, ironically, often because of the backing of its top rival, North American English Language (4 points). (Total: 8 points).

  • Italian: It is the direct descendent of Latin. Thus, a cognition of Italian gives the scholar an exceptionally clear thought of the classical language. By the same token, it is the cardinal love affair language, and the survey of a 2nd or 3rd love affair linguistic communication is greatly facilitated when the first 1 learned is Italian. (4 points). Italian also open ups up a shop of cultural cognition dating back two thousand years, and representing, with the Roman Empire, the Catholic tradition and the Italian Renaissance, some of the very peak accomplishments of European civilization. (4 points). (Total: 8 points).

  • German: The linguistic significance for English Language talkers is great. German supplies a clear presentation of the Germanic Language roots of English, and of the syntactic and grammatical logic of the basic English Language language. As the major Germanic Language Language linguistic communication it can also be considered a portal to other Germanic linguistic communications such as as Dutch and Yiddish. (4 points). German civilization is also greatly appreciated in Horse Opera culture, and its philosophers and people are cardinal figures. (2 points). (Total: 6 points).

  • Arabic: Although the contiguous linguistic impact of the survey of Arabic Language Language Language may be difficult to recognize for the English speaker, the benefits of Arabic in the survey of other linguistic communications is high. Arabic Language have greatly influenced other linguistic communications of the Center East and the Moslem human race in religion, politics, and societal life. Also, the survey of the Arabic Language alphabet open ups the manner to many other languages, such as as Persian, Urdu, Kurdish, etc. (3 points). Arabic Language civilisation have had major influence on western civilization but it stays largely unknown in the English speech production world. Cognition of the linguistic communication also takes to a greater apprehension of Islam. (2 points). (Total: 5 points).

  • Hindustani: In its Hindi form, it is a window on the beginnings of the bigger Indo-European language household with its Sanskritic Language vocabulary. As Urdu, it gives a important introduction to many Irani and Arabic Language terms. Urdu also utilizes the Irani word form of Arabic Language script, gap the manner to wider studies. It is a starting point for the survey of other linguistic communications of the subcontinent, an country rich in languages. (3 points). India's rich civilization have go more than familiar in the English Language speech production world, in big portion owed to India's ability to project its mental image through English. However, Hindoo linguistic communication and Hindi civilization are also distribute through the Bollywood movie industry. Islamic Republic Of Pakistan have yet to do its presence felt, but the possible is there. (2 point). (Total: 5 points).

  • Russian: It have not had major influence in the west, given its geographical isolation. It is, however, the major Slavic Language language, and as such, open ups the manner to many other Eastern European languages. The Cyrillic Alphabet alphabet, moreover, is a enormous plus for reading many of those languages. (2 points). Russian high civilisation thrived under both tsarism and communism, and it have a important topographic point in European civilization. (2 points). (Total: 4 points).

  • Portuguese: As a Latin language, Portuguese have a built-in significance for English Language Language speakers, even without a direct human relationship with English. (3 points). The cultural significance of Brazil, one of the biggest states of the Americas, is continually growing. (1 point). (Total: 4 points).

  • Mandarin: The functionary Chinese linguistic communication have had very small influence on English. It have influenced other national linguistic communications of the areas, such as as Korean and Japanese, and the other "dialects" of China. The Chinese written fictional fictional characters are the same for all of these dialects, and many of these characters are used in Nipponese as well. (2 points). Chinese culture, with over two thousand old age of history, is quite significant, if not directly applicable to English Language speech production civilization. (1.5 point). (Total: 3.5 points).

  • Swahili: As the lone sub-Saharan linguistic communication in the group, it functions to present the scholar to one of the richest linguistic countries of the Earth. It is from the Bantu household of languages, but it integrates many words from Arabic, Persian, English Language and French. (1.5 points). It is the linguistic communication of trade along the East African coast, and as such, is richly descriptive of the civilization there. The Occident African Diaspora into the Americas is one of the great mass migrations of the past 500 years, but because of its tragical societal dynamics, it have left many billions of people cut off from African culture. Swahili, although it is East African and not West African, can assist to fill up that gap. (1.5 points). (Total: 3 points).

  • Turkish: Though it have small direct human relationship to English, it is the major linguistic communication of a household of linguistic communications that widen eastward to the Chinese interior. It have been influenced by Persian, Kurdish and Arabic, and thus gives some introduction to those languages. (1.5 points). It also stands for the civilization of the Ottoman traditions, and of modern Turkey and Central Asiatic Turkistan. (1 point). (Total: 2.5 points).

  • Japanese: This linguistic communication have had small impact on English Language and it supplies small penetration into other languages. It does, however, include many words from Chinese, and usages numerous Chinese characters. (0.5 points). This island state have been one of the most successful exporters of civilization of the Far East during the past century. (1.5 points). (Total: 2 points).

  • Standard III. Economic Impact.
    Are this linguistic communication utile in the human race of commercialism and business? Certainly English is by far the most utile linguistic communication for business, but a cognition of other key linguistic communications can be a distinct advantage. Twenty percentage in the ratings:

  • French: have a long history as a linguistic communication of commercialism and trade. It is extremely of import in the development world, especially Africa. French Republic itself is the world's 6th biggest economy. (4 points).

  • Spanish: the linguistic communication of commercialism and trade in Latin America. Kingdom Of Spain is the world's 9th biggest economic system and United Mexican States is its fourteenth largest. (4 points).

  • German: often used for concern in Central Europe. Federal Republic Of Germany is the world's 3rd biggest economy. (3 points).

  • Japanese: can be extremely helpful in dealing with Nipponese business. Japanese Islands is the world's 2nd biggest economy. (3 points).

  • Mandarin: People'S Republic Of China have recently go the world's 4th biggest economy, and it goes on to grow. (3 points).

  • Russian: Used in a portion of the human race where English Language is not well-known. Soviet Union is the eleventh biggest economic system and is moving up in the rankings. (2 points).

  • Portuguese: Federative Republic Of Brazil is the one-tenth biggest economy, and goes on to grow. (2 points).

  • Arabic: the linguistic communication of commercialism and trade for the Center East and the Irani Gulf. (2 points).

  • Hindustani: is used in the world's twelfth biggest economy, however, English Language is often the linguistic communication of concern in this area. (2 points).

  • Italian: is the linguistic communication of commercialism in Italy, the world's 7th biggest economy. (1.5 points).

  • Swahili: is the linguistic communication of concern along the east seashore of Africa. (1 point).

  • Turkish: is used in the world's seventeenth biggest economy, and to some extent in Central Asia. (1 point).

  • By these criteria we can come up up with a commanding of the 12 most utile linguistic communications for an English talker to learn:

  • French: 24 points

  • Spanish: 21 points

  • Arabic: 13.5 points

  • German: 12 points

  • Russian: 11 points

  • Italian: 10.5 points

  • Hindustani: 9.5 points

  • Mandarin: 9.5 points

  • Portuguese: 8 points

  • Swahili: 6.5 points

  • Japanese: 5.5 points

  • Turkish: 5.5 points

  • Some readers may be familiar with Saint George Weber's well-known piece entitled, Top Languages, which first appeared in the diary Languages Today in 1997. His survey rated linguistic communications according to their influence in human race personal business and human race culture. It is interesting, at this point to compare them. Here are Weber's results:

  • English: 37 points

  • French: 23

  • Spanish: 20

  • Russian: 16

  • Arabic: 14

  • Chinese: 13

  • German: 12

  • Japanese: 10

  • Portuguese: 10

  • Hindi/Urdu: Nine pts.

  • The rankings are similar, with some major differences. My criteria are based on tangible and intangible benefits for the English talker which are not heavily weighed in Weber's paradigm. Thus, this subjective focusing skewers my consequences in favour of European linguistic communications owed to the cultural chemical attraction of English Language for the linguistic communications of Horse Opera civilization.

    Heritage Languages:
    The most dramatic illustration of a difference is my commanding of Italian as calculate 6, whereas it makes not figure in Weber's top ten. My justification for Italian is the phenomenon of the "heritage language", i.e., a linguistic communication that have utility in our apprehension and grasp of the past, rather than in the future. Italian is the vehicle for our apprehension of ancient history, the development of Latin languages, Renaissance Art and classical music. It is also the hereditary linguistic communication of over 60 million people strategically placed in both North and South America. For these reasons, it is the heritage linguistic communication par excellence. Other linguistic communications that benefit from this heritage factor in my lists are German and Swahili.

    Point values for English?
    French, with 24 points, is figure 1 in my listing. Where makes English Language base in relation? If evaluation it for utility for talkers of other languages, I would give it 10 points in each category, for a sum of 50 points. I believe that the extraordinary place of English Language in today's human race is indisputable, and considering it to be twice as utile as its closest competition, French, is not a great stretch of the imagination.

    The lone English point duty assignment that may necessitate account is 10 points for linguistic value. The value of English Language in this country for human race talkers is quite broad stretch and significant. English Language is the vehicle for the spreading of the classical Latin vocabulary for abstract concepts, for the Greco-Roman terms for government, science, philosophy, etc. It absorbs human race vocabulary without major spelling changes, effectively spreading new nomenclature from a assortment of sources. As the functionary linguistic communication of international organizations, it functions as a showplace for each state and organisation to show itself to the world. Like the other "empire" linguistic communications of Horse Opera Europe, Gallic and Spanish, English Language is propagated by native talkers worldwide with no ethnic, societal or political human relationship to its motherland. But English Language Language travels one measure further, English is capable of evolving and developing completely independently of its native speakers. Second linguistic communication users of English Language thrust the introduction of new words like "informatics" and "ufology" which addition currency first among these speakers. Foreign authorities maintain close command of their English linguistic communication nomenclature, and do alterations through the United Nations and non-government organizations. These alterations are therefore contiguous in English, with no audience with native talkers necessary. While some European linguistic communications are still calling the working capital of People'S Republic Of China "Peking", English Language made the electric switch to "Beijing" during the late 1980s (for proof, expression at modern-day studies regarding the Tian an Work Force Square events of June, 1989). Recently, the electric switch from Greater Bombay to Mumbai have got happened before most English Language talkers have even noticed.

    The place of English in human race personal business sets its native talkers in a alone position. We have got the chance of life in a provincial English-only environment in which the human race come ups to us, or we can take advantage of this favorite place to go acquainted with other civilizations right within our ain language. So, is any 2nd linguistic communication really utile for English Language speakers? No survey can ever really measurement the personal importance of 2nd linguistic communication learning. That is something we have got to detect for ourselves. The fact is that every linguistic communication is well deserving the attempt to learn, as every linguistic communication is a complete manner of describing the existence of human achievement, and thus it's significance is as broad and as deep as we personally do it.

    Note on Statistics:
    The statistics that I have got used (population, economical ranking, etc.) come up from diverse sources: human race almanacs, encyclopedias, United States authorities studies. I do no claims about their accuracy, as they are general estimates. Their importance is in human relationship to each other.

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