[thechat] Most spoken languages in the world

Paul Cowan evolt at funkwit.com
Wed Jul 3 20:23:00 CDT 2002

William wrote:
> There are 500 million people who speak English.
> There are 600 million people who speak Hindi.
> There are 1 billion people who speak Mandarin.
> There will eventually be more people in India than in China.
> There will be more Mandarin speaking people than English speaking people.
> English is widely spoken in India.
> English is not widely spoken in China.


> Ergo:
> While India's population will increase in size beyond that of China, the
> increased number of people in India will likely speak primarily in
> not in Hindi or Mandarin, thus propogating the number of English speakers
> from 500m upwards, not 600m upwards from Hindi.

Not necessarily... This might be true, but they didn't necessarily say that.

> The more people in India speaking English detracts from Hindi, the number
> two language.

There's the problem. The set of Indian people who speak Hindi and
the set of Indian people who speak English are not (necessarily)
disjoint sets -- or anything like it. So the above sentence is not
always an either/or proposition.

It might still be true, but that isn't what the language on the page
says (necessarily).

But I see your point anyway...

Paul (aka Australia's newest superhero, Semantics Man!)

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