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Most Popular Languages on the Internet, Minority & Endangered Languages on Twitter


The Most Popular Languages on the Internet


The Internet has been adopted by millions of people all over the world but which is the most popular language on the Internet? At present it is the English language which is most commonly used on the world wide web, but this reign will end according to Discovery News.

Over the next 5 years it is predicted the Chinese language will overtake English as the most popular language on the Internet. This prediction is based on the following growth statistics.

Last year there were an additional 36 million Chinese internet users on the web, making a total Chinese internet population of 440 million. This is double that of the US internet population which currently stands at 220 million.

With so many English speakers around the world all using the Internet as a very convenient way to communicate English has become the most popular language on the web. Currently 537 million internet users have English as their primary language, whilst 445 million speak Chinese.

According to recent data Chinese speakers have a greater potential to expand on the web over and above English speakers due to internet penetration which is currently 42% for English speakers and 32% for Chinese. With so many Chinese people it is not surprising that the Chinese language will grow further online.

At present English speakers make up 27.3% of the total internet population where as Chinese speakers make up 22.6% of the total internet population.

Here are the top 10 most spoken languages on the Internet:

1. English - 537 million

2. Chinese - 445 million

3. Spanish - 153.3 million

4. Japanese - 99.1 million

5. Portugese - 82.5 million

6. German - 75.2 million

7. Arabic - 65.4 million

8. French - 59.8 million

9. Russia - 59.7 million

10. Korean - 39.4 million

So if you want to communicate with as many people as possible English is still currently the most popular language to use.


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Minority and Endangered Languages

on Social Networking Sites


Modern technology is often blamed for failing to adequately represent traditional local cultures and customs. Minority and endangered languages are especially vulnerable, but 1 website is working hard to track indigenous tweets. logs tweeters in 68 languages across the world using a custom-built database of words and phrases, it establishes which tweeters embrace their native language most often and then helps speakers get in touch with each other.

The site is the work of Kevin Scannell, a professor of Computer Science at St. Louis University in the United States. He told Click on the BBC World Service that he was surprised to find so many native speakers on the predominantly English service.

"I was shocked that there are almost 1000 people tweeting in Irish, there are just over 3000 people tweeting in Basque. The numbers keep growing. I'm amazed that we've turned up tweets in 68 languages so far, that's up from just 35 when we launched."

The site has logged 6,878 Twitter users using Kreyòl ayisyen to communicate; spoken by some 12 million people mostly in Haiti. At the other end of the scale, 1 user has been logged as using Gamilaaray on Twitter; a tiny language considered nearly extinct and spoken in a small part of New South Wales, Australia.

The site is specially designed to not only highlight language use on Twitter, but also to connect users who want to interact with other speakers who they may have not been aware of.

Mr Scannell said that the site is all about encouraging minority language speakers to discover each other online.

"People who want to reach that larger audience, they sometimes choose to tweet in English, or French, a more global language.”

"But then a lot of people want to be connecting with their friends and family, and that's a big reason a lot of people use Twitter. In that case, they'll choose to tweet in their mother tongue."

"The site's very simple; you find your language, you click on it, and it takes you to a table of all the people that are tweeting in your language.”

"It gives them statistics on the percentage of time they tweet in [for example] Welsh vs another language, tells you how many followers they have and shows you a little picture so you can decide who you want to follow from there."

"It also lists trending topics for users speaking in each language. I have a bunch of data for about 500 languages for about 8 years. I've been gathering data in these 500 languages from blogs and news articles and webpages."

With the help of the site's community, he is adding more languages all the time: -

"A lot of people look with some trepidation at technology and things like machine translation and social networking because they feel like it's going to promote global languages and American culture and English language culture. I view things like Twitter and social media as an opportunity for smaller languages. A site like Indigenous Tweets is a good example of a website that allows people to connect and communicate and use their language in a natural way online."

The most tweeted minority languages according to

1. Kreyòl Ayisyen (Haiti) - 6878 users

2. Euskara (Basque Country) - 3788 users

3. Cymraeg (Wales) - 2613 users

4. Frysk (Netherlands) - 1883 users

5. Setswana (South Africa) - 314 users


Please find the link to the websites: -

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