Here are my 2050 predictions, originally shared on http://www.how-to-learn-any-language.com :
1. Chinese (all types)
2. English (all types)
3. Arabic (all dialects)
5. Spanish (all types)
9/10.Portuguese and Korean(if there is Korean unification, Korean takes the higher slot)
12. Turkish and mutually intellible forms of Turkic
13. Indic (all largely mutually intelligible types: Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi, etc)
14. Dutch with Afrikaans
15. Bahasa (Malay with Indonesian)
17. Mutually intelligible Scandywegian
18. ex Serbo-Croat group
20 Phaasa Thai (all dialects, and with Lao)
21. Czech with Slovak
26. Farsi (unless Iran ends up being on the receiving end of US “attention” in the way Iraq did, in which case I’d push it several spaces higher)
27. Romanian with Moldovan
30. Armenian, unless it’s Pushtu.
Probably thirty’s enough.
This is by economic value, and the business and employment options that you would get from knowing the language. Populations speaking these languages as first languages would give an entirely different listing.
- Fury as census forms are printed in 57 languages (…including Tagalog, Igbo and Shona) (dailymail.co.uk)
- Taxpayers fury as census forms printed in 57 languages including Tagalog, Igbo and Shona (dailymail.co.uk)
- Linguistics (socyberty.com)
- Monolingual (socyberty.com)
- Surge in US students of Arabic: study (alternet.org)