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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Tonal in the lead!

Know what the ten most commonly spoken languages in the world are? I would have guessed English, followed by Arabic. And I would have been wrong.

Here's the actual breakdown:

1. Mandarin
2. English
3. Hindustani
4. Spanish
5. Russian
6. Arabic
7. Bengali
8. Portuguese
9. Malay-Indonesian
10. French

Useful trivia provided by one of my favorite bloggers, Maggie Mason.

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Comments

kat

so, how about a list of those little known gift buying options that you were going to do on the show? with the holidays coming up and all, i was really looking forward to those!

billybob

I'm surprised to see Russian ahead of Arabic.

Sujeet

"Hindustani"? What does that mean? "Hindi"? Or all the languages spoken in India cottonballed into one affectionate moniker?

Andrew

Hmmm... not surprised about Mandarin being #1 but I really though spanish would be ranked #3

Chrissy

What's up, freak?

sarah

@Chrissy Me, a freak? Nooooo. :)

Kunal

hey sarah,
how u doing?

its Hindi and not Hindustani :)

Cheers,
Kunal

Theodat

I am thinking it is time for own podcast..you have too much time on your hands now..

Chrissy

Hope you didn't think I was actually calling you a freak, Sarah! I was attempting to say 'hello' in English.

"To say "hello" in English, say "What's up, freak?" (watz-UP-freek)."

:D

Adi

Hindustani=Hindi/Urdu before the Partition of India. Both languages are essentially the same except the Muslims use the arabic script to write and call it Urdu.

Russian being so high probably has to to with leftover inflated statistics of their Soviet past and the russophone policies in their near abroad.

Michael Kagan

And I speak four of them, sweet!

Neha Tiwari

It always makes me laugh when I hear the word "Hindustani." It reminds me of Peter Sellers in "The Party"--obscure but awesome! I am glad to say that I can speak 3, and understand 4 of those {Bengali--can't speak it!}

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  • Hi, I'm Sarah Lane, and I've been posting a mishmash of stories, images, videos, and links here since 2003. Read more about me >>

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