Last updated: 11:00 PM ET, Thu April 30 2015

How To Find The Second Most Spoken Language In Any Country

Features & Advice | Tom Bastek | April 30, 2015

How To Find The Second Most Spoken Language In Any Country

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

Olivet Nazarene University is located one hour south of Chicago in Bourbonnais, Illinois, and they have an awful large group of smarty pants students over there. They’re constantly coming up with new ways to take data and make it graphical so that the rest of us can interpret, appreciate and benefit from it. 

According to a recent post on their website, “More than 60 million Americans speak a language at home other than English, and the majority of these Americans reported to the U.S. Census Bureau that they spoke English ‘very well.’” Not too bad, America, we have a pretty solid bilingual society.

But how does that translate to people speaking English in other countries? After all, when people go overseas, one of their biggest worries is “do they speak my language?” Well worry no more! Those clever folks over at Olivet Nazarene have come up with an interactive map to show you every country in the world and what their second most common language is. Here is a gander:

There are definitely some surprises on the map if you look close enough. The Mexicans claim English as their second language as we do Spanish here in the states. That seems just about normal for our part of the world. 

But what about Canada’s second leading language being Chinese? Most would not have guessed that. And I certainly didn’t know that Germany’s back up language was Turkish. Brazil, whose primary language is Portuguese, has a second most spoken language of German. Using this map, you can go through most of the countries of the world and get info on what the primary and secondary languages that are being spoken there.

This map is great for people who might be traveling overseas and can’t find anyone that speaks their language.  But maybe you can speak their second most popular language and break down those barriers. Where do you find the biggest language barrier in your travels? Let me know in the comments below.


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