Network map to tell you : In addition to English , learn what the most useful foreign language ?

Shahar Ronen and colleagues based on books translated to draw global language network map. From this, but the most influential English is the language of the hub , Chinese , Hindi and Arabic , although many users , but are isolated language network core . Papers published in PNAS, visual map accessible

English speech or writing , the world will understand ; Tamil or Portuguese , perhaps your voice is difficult to spread out. Shahar Ronen Microsoft project manager and his at MIT , Harvard, Northwestern University and Aix – Marseille University colleagues believe that the number is not only a measure of the power of language in use and how much to use the country’s economic strength , but that the rate of spread and influence. They draw a map of three global language networks , trying to use such a visual way of illustration , in the moment, what language can you thought was the most widely spread . In short , for a native English people, the choice of two , the Spanish much better than Chinese .

Build a global association network map language

Shahar Ronen at MIT master’s thesis is based on this issue , he admits the cause of this study is just one of the untranslated books. “Because of my own multi-lingual , I was able to establish a link between several cultures .” Ronen said he started thinking about how to create a global map , explain how people are multi-lingual impart information and ideas a .

Ronen and his colleagues draw a map of the three global common language of the network, respectively, based on bilingual Twitter posts , books, translation and multilingual editing Wikipedia . The researchers refer to the 17 million users with a total of 73 kinds of languages ​​released 550 million tweets , Twitter made ​​a map . In this map, if a user can either send Hindi also made in English , then these two languages ​​will be associated . The map is based on the translation of books covering more than 1000 kinds of language translation of 2.2 million kinds of books, for example , translated from Hebrew to English and German books , will be displayed as a node from that point in English and Hebrew German node . In a Wikipedia -based network maps , the researchers tracked more than five kinds of editing input languages ​​at the same time carefully removed the edit network robot.

In the network map , each node represents a circular one language , with different colors to distinguish between different languages ​​. Language may be used together on the connecting line . The size of the node , shows the use of a language by the number of number ; and the thickness of the border node , represents the number of the language to be translated into another language ; connection line thickness , between said two languages correlation magnitude .

In addition to English , as well as French, German, Russian and other times the core language

The research team published their results in the “American National Academy of Sciences ” on. In the three network map, because they are the largest English language translation has become the largest language translation , deservedly become the core , but these network maps also showed some ” intermediate hub” , such as French, German, Russian , etc. These sub-core , also played the same role in the spread of varying degrees.

In stark contrast, like the Chinese , Hindi and Arabic languages ​​of many such number of users in the map , but marginalized , suggesting that these languages ​​, and other verbal communication occurs rarely . 5.3 billion people use the Arabic world , its influence is far better than only 27 million people , said the Dutch, reason , partly because most of the Dutch multi-lingual , and the second is that they become more involved network life.

The network map reveals some facts that we already know : If you want to make your thoughts known, English is the best choice . But the map also told people who speak different languages ​​in the language by which to improve their core should be within their means . For example , on Twitter , with Filipino quickly released a statement as saying by the Malay Korean people know, but from Turkish to Malayalam ( 35 million Indians use language ) , the best in English.

This map can be to attempt to change the status of the government and its international organizations provide some guidance. “If I want to become the language of their country ‘s position significantly , you should try to translate more documents, to encourage more people to use their mother tongue tweeted .” Ronen said. ” On the other hand , if we hope that their ideas were spread, then you should learn a variety of languages ​​and a high degree of connection two outside . “

For those people who do not speak English , two or three outside outside the obvious necessity of learning English . For English-speaking people, analysts have noted Spanish much more useful than the Chinese .

Speaking in cultural transmission of data is difficult to collect

But the researchers also realized that network map object of study not everyone in the world, but they think of as ” those who have known ” that the literacy and the use of a network of people , so this study does not represent all language users . However , ” it is said in different languages ​​have known who bears a great responsibility and authority , because their behavior determines how far away from civilization treat each other – although this is not their intention ,” Massachusetts Institute of Technology consultant , one of the project researchers C sar Hidalgo said. For example , this summer, Ukraine clashes , most people are aware of the matter is reported to start in English , and then transfer into other languages. “In this case, any of its own prejudices and angle of the English media selection angle , will impact on the non- English speakers to understand this incident .” Hidalgo said.

To truly assess the current situation of the world association of language , is a very “delicate ” topic, because the data sample is often unconvincing . In the research team will focus more focused on the written language , spoken in no doubt overlooked the importance of cultural transmission. US State Language Commission and the executive director of the International Language Research on William Rivers example , in Marrakesh ( Morocco city ) open-air market, people speak Arabic , the language of Senegal , Morocco , French as well as other languages ​​, such data is difficult acquisition, but it is no doubt this is an important part of cultural transmission .

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