Vive le tweet! A ma of twitter’s languages
“What a joy these maps are to behold. It’s as if someone took one of those composite satellite maps - you know, impossibly showing the whole world at night, the darkness broken by hubs and strings of artificial light (1) - and gave it the power of speech.
For the riot of colours on these maps correspond to the diversity of languages spoken, or rather: typed, on Twitter.
The fun really begins in Europe, where some of countries just vanish off the map: Belgium tweets in Dutch and French, Switzerland in mainly in German, with a French bit west of the Röstigraben (3). And other countries emerge out of nowhere: Catalans twitter in their own language, not Spanish. German dominates Central Europe, but a surprisingly large chunk of Austria appears to be tweeting in Italian - as do a lot of dots inside France.
Those are the really fascinating bits of this map of Twitter’s languages: the ones that show a divergent reality to the one we find on most other maps - even ‘proper’ linguistic ones: is that blue dot south of Amman really a Danish oasis in the Jordanian desert? Does nobody tweet in Lithuanian? And is that Spanish being tweeted in Bermuda?”
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