Multilingualism 2.0

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    The social networking market research site Inside Facebook has some intriguing language stats. In July, the fastest-growing languages on Facebook were Portuguese, Arabic, Spanish and French. The Portuguese growth rate was a staggering 11.8%. Arabic grew by 9.2%, Spanish by 8.1% and French by 7.5%. With growth rates of 5.6%, 5.2% and 3.5% respectively, Chinese, German and Italian were also growing faster than English with 3.4%. Turkish (1.6%) and Indonesian (1.4%) also made it into the 10 fastest-growing languages on Facebook. These 10 fastest-growing languages are the same as the most frequently used languages on Facebook – although the ranking among the top 10 Facebook languages is quite different. In terms of the most frequently used languages on Facebook, English tops the list by a wide margin with 52% of all Facebook users setting their language to English. Spanish comes a distant second with 15%, followed by French (5.7%), Turkish (5.3%), Indonesian (5.0%), Italian (3.9%), German (2.7%), Chinese (2.3%), Portuguese (1.4%) and Arabic (0.8%). Even with their high growth rates, it will obviously be a while before Portuguese and Arabic make it into the top 5.
    Original languageEnglish
    Specialist publicationLanguage on the move
    PublisherLanguage on the move
    Publication statusPublished - 2 Aug 2010

    Bibliographical note

    Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


    • 200401 applied linguistics and educational linguistics
    • 200405 language in culture and society (sociolinguistics)


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