The most commonly spoken language in your state

What’s the most commonly spoken language in your state? (We’ll exclude the two obvious ones, of course — English and Spanish.) This map shows the surprising answer, at least if we trust Business Insider:

Absolutely fascinating, but I’m not completely convinced. How reliable are the data here? Suppose the Gandalf Institute took a poll tomorrow; would they get the same results? Also, what’s with “Chinese”? Do they mean Mandarin? And how about the wishy-washy “Dakota/Lakota/Nakota/Sioux”???? C’mon, folks, take a stand!

And where’s Hawaii?

OK, so which states raise red flags for me? Here are the eight that I’m skeptical about (I’m not saying that they are wrong, just that I have trouble believing them):

  • Chinese in Arkansas
  • Korean in Georgia
  • Nepali in Nebraska
  • Gujarati in New Jersey
  • German in South Carolina
  • Arabic In Tennessee
  • Chinese in Utah
  • Arabic in West Virginia

What do you think? Any obvious explanations?

Categories: Linguistics