What languages do New Yorkers speak?
The well-known cliche that New York is a cultural mix is confirmed by linguistic indicators. According to the City Planning Department, New Yorkers speak more than 200 different languages. Which ones, according to TimeOut.
“Nearly half of all New Yorkers speak a language other than English at home, and about 25%, or 1.8 million people, do not speak English at all,” the department said in a statement.
A new study by Word Finder X analyzed data from the US Census Bureau to find the most spoken language in every New York City borough.
It’s no surprise that English and Spanish are the most common languages spoken in households across the city, but which languages come out on top if both of these languages are excluded from the comparison?
On the subject: Devices that will help you understand any language, even if you don’t know a word in it
Chinese was the most spoken language in 15 neighborhoods – more than any other, including Sunset Park (Brooklyn), Flushing (Queens) and Chinatown (Manhattan), which has the largest population of Chinese in the Western Hemisphere.
The Russian language took first place in eight boroughs of New York, including Brighton Beach in Brooklyn, which has long been a haven for immigrants from Eastern Europe who moved here in the late 1960s.
Italian was the primary language in three areas, including Howard Beach in Queens, “where half the population is either Italian or claims to have Italian ancestry,” the study noted. The Haitian language was predominant in areas such as Brooklyn’s Flatbush, which has the largest Haitian community in New York City. Bengalis, French, Koreans and Yiddish are also found in several areas of the city.
The study went beyond good old New York and identified the most spoken languages across the US. In addition to English and Spanish, the most widely spoken language was German, which is found in 13 states, although Chinese was the most widely spoken language across New York State. In the west of the country, Tagalog was most widely spoken in nine cities, including San Diego (California), Las Vegas (Nevada) and Anchorage (Alaska). In the Midwest, French (after English and Spanish) is most spoken in four major cities, including Kansas City, Missouri, while Arabic is most spoken in the Southeast, including major cities such as Nashville, Tennessee and Louisville (Kentucky).
The study can be viewed on the Word Finder X website.
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