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View Poll Results: Which of these languages is the LEAST useful?
Chinese 3 2.31%
Arabic 6 4.62%
Hindi 8 6.15%
English 5 3.85%
Spanish 3 2.31%
Bengali 84 64.62%
Portuguese 7 5.38%
Russian 4 3.08%
Japanese 6 4.62%
German 4 3.08%
Voters: 130. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-06-2017, 10:15 AM
Location: São Paulo, Brazil
1,736 posts, read 2,536,335 times
Reputation: 1340


Originally Posted by Bettafish View Post
2000 characters are not sufficient. You can only read children's books that way.
To read newspapers and novels, one needs 4000at least. But all normal Chinese people can do that by 9th grade.
I'm struggling to learn Mandarin.
I still cannot build more than very simple sentences, and, at first time, reading and understanding them is a pain. I learned that not only the shape must be memorised, but also the order, way and direction of each stroke; for westerners it is a madness. However, later I could notice some patterns in the design of each character; it appears to be increasingly easier to learn with the time and practice. Indeed, I still don't think I will be ever proficient in Mandarin.
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Old 03-06-2017, 11:46 AM
Location: Slovakia
140 posts, read 152,453 times
Reputation: 204
Bengali - among those in the poll.

Punjabi with dialects has over 100million native speakers and Javanese is around 100 million too. Between Bengali, Javanese or Punjabi it would be tough choice, none of them is signifficant considering huge number of native speakers.

German is bellow 100 million for sure. In Germany, Austria and Switzerland there are more and more people/children with non-german native language, also number of native german speakers outside Europe is declining every year - obviously there are tens of million people with german ancestry in the Americas, but very few of them are native german speakers and this number is declining very quickly - while their grandparents, maybe even parents are/were native German speakers - last generation is mostly monolingual in English/Spanish/Portuguese.

Some people mentioned French - French is way bellow 100 million native speakers/French is more similar to languages such English, Urdu, Tagalog, Swahili - having more 2nd language speakers than 1st language speakers. Very few people in French speaking Africa have French as their native language.
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Old 03-06-2017, 05:54 PM
883 posts, read 930,228 times
Reputation: 493
All of them are useful according to each one's purpose. If you are interested in traveling/working/living in parts of southern Asia, Bengali will be useful for you, no matter if for many other people is not.
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