March 5, 2013 By

Hindi and Bengali among top 10 most common languages in the world

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The British Council released The Languages for the Future report   in London recognizing the top ten languages Britain needs to learn on priority. Two Indian languages Hindi and Bengali found their place in the report released on Wednesday with Hindi acquiring the position of the fourth and Bengali the seventh most common languages spoken around the world today. Hindi is used by around 260 million people as their mother tongue, after Mandarin Chinese, Spanish and English. Bengali is spoken by around 193 million people in the world. With Muhammad emerging as the most common first name given to baby boys born in London in 2012, Britain has now identified Arabic as the second most important language for UK’s future.

Spanish topped the list of “languages most vital to the UK over the next 20 years” followed by Arabic, French, Mandarin Chinese, German, Portuguese, Italian, Russian, Turkish and Japanese. They were chosen based on economic, geopolitical, cultural and educational factors including the needs of UK businesses, the UK’s overseas trade targets, diplomatic and security priorities, and prevalence on the internet. On Arabic, the report said “Six Arabic speaking countries appear among the UK’s top 50 export markets in goods with a combined value to the economy of over £12 billion.  Arabic has emerged as one of the priority languages for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

The council also called for increased understanding and learning of Indian languages. It says “Indian languages are important because of India’s position as the second most populous country in the world and a growing economic power. India is currently the UK’s 18th largest goods export market worth £4.6 billion in 2012. Indian languages are widely spoken in large minority communities in the UK.


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