Want to influence the world? Map reveals the best languages to speak | Science/AAAS | News

English major conduit of information but German, French, and Russian are also hubs of transmission on another level.

http://news.sciencemag.org/social-sciences/2014/12/want-influence-world-map-reveals-best-languages-speak The authors note that the users they studied, whom they consider elite because—unlike most people in the world—they are literate and online, do not represent all the speakers of a language. However, “the elites of global languages have a disproportionate amount of power and responsibility, because they are tacitly shaping the way in which distant cultures see each other—even if this is not their goal,” Hidalgo says. When conflict in Ukraine flared this past summer, most people in the world learned about it through news stories originally written in English and then translated to other languages. In this case, “any implicit bias or angle taken by the English media will color the information about the conflict that is available to many non-English speakers,” Hidalgo says.

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