Okay, that’s very Trump-like, but bear with me. Which language is the most influential in the world? And why? Over half of the stuff written on the Internet is in English, in spite of the fact that English is only the third-most spoken language globally (after Chinese and Spanish). In a new study by the Global Language Network that analyzed how widely certain forms of media are translated from one language to another, English has been deemed the largest hub of information. The research “included analyzing data from books, Wikipedia, and Twitter,” reports iflscience. “The data set for the books included 2.2 million volumes that represented over 1,000 languages. Books that were translated from one language into another were connected in their data map. Articles on Wikipedia that had been edited by humans, not bots, were analyzed to see if editors were writing in multiple languages. The Twitter data consisted of tweets sent by 17 million users, spanning 73 languages.”
Russian, German and French are also large language hubs. Lead researcher Cesar Hidalgo points out that the study also highlights the connection between language connections and influence. “Basically, being born into highly connected language is a better predictor of whether that person is going to be important or not, than being born into language that is very populous, or that is spoken by people that are very wealthy.” In other words, if you want to be important or influential, it helps if you speak English, something Jules Winfield already knows. An interactive map showing the connections between the world’s languages is here.