When people register with our site forum, they are asked what their first language is. Though not a complete list, many have submitted their first language and the range is interesting. We have no fewer than 66 first languages from Africa, America, Asia and Europe.
Asia comes first, with Europe slightly behind, then Africa and America:
The figure for America doesn't reflect the number of people coming from America, as most from the United States speak English, while many from Central and South America speak Spanish or Portuguese, which are classified as European languages. The breakdown of languages by continent is as follows:
In terms of numbers of speakers on the forum, those with European first languages are ahead:
This gives a mean average of just under 17 speakers for each, and a median of 4, though the numbers are dominated and distorted by a small group. Among the transnational languages and languages with different forms and dialects, few distinguished their variety. Of the English speakers, just four specified American English, of whom one said 'American', without mentioning English, which interestingly suggest that this person might see it as a separate language. In Spanish, two said Castilian and two Catalan. Among Chinese speakers, six specified Mandarin, four Cantonese and two Taiwanese. One Brazilian specified Brazilian Portuguese. Two people who claimed to speak 'Engrish' were categorised as Japanese speakers. The following list gives the numbers of speakers of each language:
The figures are open to much interpretation. For instance, we have more Polish speakers than Russian, though russia has a greater population. Whether this is chance, reflects the internet use, the desire to learn English, or whether our site meets certain needs is far from clear. However, it does look as if a healthy selection of the world's languages are to be found visiting our site, which is very pleasing.
Categories: Global English