We are all here at EC San Diego to learn or teach English.
But in a world of global citizenship, which other languages could be considered as significant?
In December a panel of international researchers at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) published a study mapping the worlds languages as they are used by bilinguals. Consequently, they discovered a strong predictor of a language’s global influence.
What’s so innovative about this study? It uncovered the connectivity between the world’s languages in the digital age.
The team at MIT created the below “infographic” explaining this connectivity of language.
The following explains the basic images used in the network:
- The “nodes” (colored circles) represent different groups of language
- The node colors represent each language’s family (ex: Indo-European (blue) = Romance languages, English; Sino-Tibetan (orange) = Chinese, Burmese)
- Nodes’ sizes match their predominance in both native and second language speakers
- The “links” (black lines) represent the languages that are often spoken together by bilingual people
- The thicker each link the more people that speak those two languages together!
What’s a valuable conclusion from the above?
English is front and center in how our world interacts in the 21st century.
Learning English can help non-native speakers achieve their personal and profession goals on an international scale.
Where is your primary language and with whom is it likely to be co-spoken?
Check out the interactive Global Language Network and find out for yourself!
Citation: “Links that speak: The global language network and its association with global fame,” by Shahar Ronen, Bruno Gonçalves, Kevin Z. Hu, Allesandro Vespignani, Steven Pinker and César Hidalgo, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,December 2014