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What’s the world’s most popular language?

My eldest son Adam is in Beijing, in his second year of Mandarin language immersion at Renmin University. We’re proud that midway through his second year, he scored sufficiently high on the HSK exam that he qualified to be admitted to the classes with native Chinese speakers. (We haven’t set an expectation that he even needs to pass those classes — this is really about education and not certification — so he’s taken the outrageous step of signing up for third year courses in the social sciences, because he dislikes the first-year Chinese style of learning by rote).

In some respects, this immersion is to make up for heritage language training that doesn’t work well for Canadian-born children, but I guess there was an intuitive reason for his immersion, as I discovered on an Wired article from April 2006:

Mandarin Chinese is already the most popular first language on the planet, beating out English by 500 million speakers. And it’s the second-most-common language on the Internet.

My eldest son Adam is in Beijing, in his second year of Mandarin language immersion at Renmin University. We’re proud that midway through his second year, he scored sufficiently high on the HSK exam that he qualified to be admitted to the classes with native Chinese speakers. (We haven’t set an expectation that he even needs to pass those classes — this is really about education and not certification — so he’s taken the outrageous step of signing up for third year courses in the social sciences, because he dislikes the first-year Chinese style of learning by rote).

In some respects, this immersion is to make up for heritage language training that doesn’t work well for Canadian-born children, but I guess there was an intuitive reason for his immersion, as I discovered on an Wired article from April 2006:

Mandarin Chinese is already the most popular first language on the planet, beating out English by 500 million speakers. And it’s the second-most-common language on the Internet.

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