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English is THE globally networked language

By Nicholas Allen
Do you have a good idea? Chances are, if you speak English, a lot more people will know about it.
That's the result from a research project by MITMediaLab, and beyond stating the obvious (we all know English is the language of international communication), they went in to how English and all languages are connected.

The interdisciplinary team looked specifically at translated texts in books, multiple language editions of Wikipedia, and Twitter. Connections were counted when a book is translated from one language to another, when a Wikipedia editor edits articles in multiple languages, and Twitter users who tweet in more than one language. The centrality of English as a hub for multi-lingual communication is incredibly strong.

An interactive network map is here.

The team then compared a language's networkedness with the number of famous people from countries with that language as a mother tongue or official language. The correlation was in most cases more significant than income/economic status. That is, the number of famous people from a specific language is an excellent indicator of how globally connected that language is.

So, by leveraging the popularity of famous people from language-speaking areas, your ideas and messages are more likely to have greater influence? Looks like it.

So get back to your English study!

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