New York Has Most Language Spoken

August 28, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. linguistic [ling-GWIS-tik] (adj.) – referring to language
Example: Foreigners can misunderstand each other due to linguistic differences.

2. diverse [dih-VURS, dahy-, DAHY-vurs] (adj.) – composed of different people or things
Example: The diverse class is composed of students from different college programs.

3. accumulate [uh-KYOO-myuh-leyt] (v.) – to collect or to gather as time goes by
Example: After a long time, the country has accumulated a large number of foreign tourists.

4. mother tongue [MUHTH-er TUHNG] (n. phrase) – the first language that a person learns
Example: The mother tongue of Americans is English.

5. cosmopolitan [koz-muh-POL-i-tn] (adj.) – consists of people from different places
Example: People from various countries often visit the cosmopolitan city.


Read the text below.
New York can be considered the most diverse city when it comes to spoken languages, linguistic experts say.

New York, nicknamed as “the Big Apple,” has accumulated a large number of different languages because it has long been welcoming immigrants from all over the world. Tourists can thus hear different languages wherever they go in the city.

Experts said that about 800 languages are used in New York alone. Throughout the world, only very few cities have people speaking varied languages. Because of its language diversity, New York is unofficially called the “Capital of the World.”

The 2010 US Census revealed that out of over eight million New Yorkers, 49% speaks foreign languages. On the other hand, 51% can speak only the English language. Spanish came as the second most common language in New York, which is spoken by 25% of the city’s population.

Other popular languages in New York are Chinese, Russian, French, Italian, Korean, Filipino, Japanese, and many other languages.

Despite cultural differences, people in New York can live in harmony with each other because of the diverse language used in the city. Some New Yorkers even stated that they can live in the city without losing their cultural traditions because they can freely use their mother tongue.

Being a cosmopolitan city, New York also has businesses, types of music and art from varied countries. Every race can therefore be represented and accepted in the said city.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you think it is appropriate to use one’s native language even when in a foreign country? Why do you say so?
·         In your opinion, why is it important to preserve one’s native language?

Discussion B

·         Why is communication important?
·         How do you think communication can help maintain peace and order?


August 28, 2013