Friday, October 14, 2005

Lingua franca

Deep down, I'm a language nerd. Yeah, okay, I'm not trilingual or even bilingual, but I do know key phrases (Will you sleep with me? I am fat! Where's the toilet?) in a number of different tongues.

Anyway, I found this pretty interesting. Mmm, statistics! About languages spoken in the US! Hoo boy, good times.

(Disclaimer: I think this US English Foundation is dedicated to enforcing English as THE national language. You know, by, like, calling Mexican immigrants "beaners" and telling them to go back to their own damned country. Note the Theodore Roosevelt quote tacked to the bottom of the page: "The one absolute certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, or preventing all possibility of it continuing to be a nation at all, would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities. We have but one flag. We must also learn one language and that language is English.")

Also, did you know Oregon (represent, Beaver state!) is the fifth most linguistically diverse state in the nation -- with 138 languages spoken by residents? Crazy! (It follows California, New York, Washington and Texas.)

It's strange, because I conceive of India as such a linguistically diverse country (there are, what, 19 recognized regional-national languages?). But in my own dear home, diversity is all around as well. Much love for my maligned nation!

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