Tuesday, January 6, 2015

What makes a language globally important?

Researchers having been trying to identify what makes a language important on a global scale. They began by identifying sources of media that had been translated into multiple languages. They included 2.2 million books that represented over 1,000 languages, tweets sent by 17 million users, spanning 73 languages, and articles on Wikipedia that had been edited by humans, not robots.

The map shows their findings about how the various languages were linked together.

Ultimately, English turned out to be the largest hub for information to be translated from one language into another in all three data sets. Other languages including Russian, German, and Spanish also serve as hubs to other languages, but to a lesser extent than English.

More than fifty percent of all communication on the internet is in English, and the internet is the way that most people are communicating now, which indicates the ability of English to connect people across all languages.

Many years ago the language that connected people was Latin. Books were handwritten by scholars, often monks, and they read and wrote Latin. The study has been completed and the results are in. These days it seems it’s English, which is good news for authors writing in that language.

To read the study go to: http://www.iflscience.com/brain/new-study-reveals-most-influential-languages

Helen Woodall

Helen is available to line edit and/ or content edit fiction and non-fiction. Rates on application.

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