Top ten languages used on Twitter: English, Portuguese, Japanese, Spanish, Malay, German, Indonesian, Dutch, French, Swedish

Saturday, September 26, 2009

It turns out that after English with 61%, the second most used language is Portuguese with almost 10%, which is probably the reason why there were so many articles on this in the Portuguese media. Here's one example. The numbers were obtained by the Web Ecology Project which used Google to identify 1 million tweets.

One strange occurrence though is the lack of Persian on the list, and I suspect it lies in third place, listed as "unreliable", perhaps mixed in with Arabic if the software failed to identify which language was which. Given the huge usage of Twitter after the June 12th elections in Iran and the fact that there's no way that Persian is less common on Twitter than Galician (!), it seems safe to say that that's probably a problem with the software used to identify the languages. Even now when you do a search for Mousavi (موسوی) it turns up a full screen of results in slightly less than a day, and Tehran (تهران) a full page in 15 hours.

English - 61.925%
Portuguese - 9.509%
Unreliable - 7.623%
Japanese - 6.073%
Spanish - 2.886%
Malay - 1.575%
German - 1.484%
Indonesian - 1.232%
Dutch - 1.046%
French 0.833%
Swedish - 0.468%
Korean - 0.338%
Thai - 0.336%
Italian - 0.336%
Russian - 0.335%
Norwegian - 0.259%
Vietnamese - 0.235%
Danish - 0.216%
Finnish - 0.132%
Turkish - 0.129%
Polish - 0.123%
Galician - 0.104%
Other - 1.162%

Seven languages here could also be combined into two in terms of written mutual intelligibility: Portuguese and Galician, Malay and Indonesian, and Swedish/Norwegian/Danish. That would give the following:

English - 61.925%
Portuguese/Galician - 9.613%
Unreliable - 7.623%
Japanese - 6.073%
Spanish - 2.886%
Malaysian/Indonesian - 2.807%
German - 1.484%
Dutch - 1.046%
Swedish/Norwegian/Danish - 0.943%
French 0.833%
Korean - 0.338%
Thai - 0.336%
Italian - 0.336%
Russian - 0.335%
Vietnamese - 0.235%
Finnish - 0.132%
Turkish - 0.129%
Polish - 0.123%
Other - 1.162%

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hep ! You've forgotten to delete "Galician only" at the end of the second list !
Could the place of Portugueuse not be explained by Brazil ? Maybe most Brazilians can't afford a computer but have a handy (and they surely prefer to live outdoors too)

Olivier

Antonielly said...

Twitter has become a fashion in the Brazilian Internet community. People in blogs and in Orkut are all commenting about it. Everybody (but me) has been creating accounts there.

One of the most followed guys is a Brazilian comedian named Danilo Gentili. He is a TV celebrity, one of the reporters in a news+comedy program named CQC ("Custe o Que Custar" in Brazil, "Caiga Quien Caiga" in Argentina).
http://twitter.com/DaniloGentili

The TV celebrity Xuxa Meneghel is also heavily followed. He was a victim of a scandal involving (her misuse of) Twitter:
http://twitter.com/XuxaMeneghel

I wouldn't be surprised if it happened to Twitter the same thing that happened to Orkut: first it starts as a US-American thing, then slowly the Brazilian Internet community occupies it, to the point that US Americans begin to lose interest by that "stuff full of Portuguese language comments" and abandon it (mostly). Then it definitely becomes a space in the Internet saturated of Brazilians. :D

Orbis Pictus said...

I'm a Brazilian, and, yes, you all are right: it's a vice here. Not only Twitter, but all places on internet.
Create a site, and it will be taken over by Brazilians!

Antonielly said...

I've told you, Dave. :)

http://www1.folha.uol.com.br/folha/informatica/ult124u632570.shtml

http://www.estadao.com.br/noticias/esportes,yes-we-creu-o-hit-olimpico-brasileiro-no-twitter,445002,0.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cr%C3%A9u

foz said...

Greetings from Galicia [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galicia_%28Spain%29 ].

I just want to say that our language, galician (galego), is not the same as portuguese. Both have common origin, though the evolution of each one was totally different.

Antonielly said...

I disagree with that. :)

There is no soul in this world that can convince me that Galician and Portuguese are not dialects of the same language, since Brazilians and Galicians can communicate to each other very comfortably.

In fact, Galician and Brazilian Portuguese have more similarities in the phonetic part of the language than Galician and European Portuguese (from Portugal).

Cheers to our Galician brothers. Um grande abraço!

Anonymous said...

Don't forget Portuguese is the 7th most spoken language in the world. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_languages_by_number_of_native_speakers

Anonymous said...

^ I'm pretty sure everyone here is aware of that.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget Portuguese is the 7th most spoken language in the world. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_languages_by_number_of_native_speakers

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