Hindi is the Largest Spoken Indian language in the United States
Based on census data, The Hindu newspaper reports Hindi is principal spoken Indian language in US. The American Community Survey (ACS) data on languages spoken at home previously only reported findings for 39 languages. This is only the second time the tabulation has extended beyond 39 since the tabulation's inception. New tables, based on data collected from 2009 to 2013, expand the languages and language groups to 350.
The data indicates 60,361,574 (with a margin of error of 107,227) people report speaking a language other than English at home and 25,148,900 (with a margin of error of 63,553) report speaking English less than "very well." The linguistic diversity of America should come as no surprise, but seeing the actual numbers is very exciting. Further, policymakers, planners and researchers benefit from awareness of the number of languages spoken and how many speak these languages in a specific region.##Top Languages
Top languages other than English spoken in the U.S. homes include:
- Spanish approximately 37.5 million speakers
- Chinese approximately 2.9 million speakers
- Tagalog approximately 1.6 million speakers
- Vietnamese approximately 1.4 million speakers
- French approximately 1.3 million speakers
- Korean approximately 1.2 million speakers
- German approximately 1.1 million speakers
- Arabic approximately 924 thousand speakers
- Russian approximately 879 thousand speakers
Among Indic languages, the ACS data presents the following figures:
- Hindi approximately 650 thousand speakers
- Urdu approximately 397 thousand speakers
- Gujarati approximately 373 thousand speakers
- Bengali approximately 258 thousand speakers
- Panjabi approximately 254 thousand speakers
- Nepali approximately 94 thousand speakers
- Marathi approximately 74 thousand speakers
- Sinhalese approximately 27 thousand speakers
- Sindhi approximately 9 thousand speakers
- Oriya approximately 5 thousand speakers
- Kashmiri approximately 1.7 thousand speakers
- Romany approximately 1.5 thousand speakers
- Assamese approximately 1.3 thousand speakers
- Rajasthani approximately 700 speakers
- Bihari approximately 600 speakers
It is worth noting that as of the 2001 census, there are 1365 rationalized mother tongues, 234 identifiable mother tongues and 122 major languages. Plus, of these, 29 languages have more than a million native speakers, 60 have more than 100,000 and 122 have more than 10,000 native speakers.
The concept of rationalized mother tongues relates back to the Census of India 1961, when "census enumerators were asked to write down the names given by the individuals without making any correction. These mother tongues were then sought to be 'rationalized' and identified with the languages or dialects through a careful analysis of the names."
Although there is a stark contrast between the number of languages spoken in India and their representation on the US census data, the fact that they are included at all points to progress in language data gathering. It also shows the importance of minority languages. At Ablio, you can find a variety of interpreters for Hindi and other India sub-continent languages.
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons