Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Sat Dec 16 21:50:49 EST 2017

Speaking of South Indian languages, they left out Malayalam, the language
of Kerala and a sibling of Tamil. K[aruvannur] P[uthanveettil] Mohanan, a
linguist from MIT, is a Malayali.

> If you currently live in the US and don’t speak these newly tracked
> languages, it’s likely you know either many people who do, or none at all.

That's too strong a claim. I know fewer than many speakers of Malayalam,
Punjabi, Gujarati, and Bengali, but more than none at all.

On Sat, Dec 16, 2017 at 8:32 PM, Mark Mandel <thnidu at gmail.com> wrote:

> From *Quartz*
> The US census is finally counting how many people speak Tamil, Punjabi,
> Telugu, and Bengali
> <https://qz.com/1151854/the-us-census-bureau-is-finally-
> tracking-tamil-punjabi-telugu-and-bengali-speakers/>Preeti
> Varathan & Dan Kopf December 10, 2017
> *As of last week, the US Census Bureau is taking stock of just how many
> people in the US speak Tamil—along with Punjabi, Telugu, and Bengali.*
> *Historically, the way the US census tracked South Asians was messy and
> often inaccurate—not tracking them at all or confusing them for white.* But
> their ranks in the US have been growing.
> Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the United Nations, was born to parents
> from Punjab, India. The CEOs of Adobe (Shantanu Narayen) and Microsoft
> (Satya Nadella) are both from Hyderabad, where Telugu is the primary
> language. Comedian/actor Aziz Ansari’s parents speak Tamil, as does Ansari,
> to a degree, per the travel log of his trip to India.
> The CEO of Google, Sundar Pichai, grew up in Chennai, where Tamil is the
> main language. Chennai is the capital of Tamil Nadu, which literally means
> “The Land of Tamils.” According to the 2001 Indian census, close to 90% of
> people living in Tamil Nadu speak it fluently. (It also is the language
> Ansari’s parents use in the touching and appropriately titled episode
> “Parents,” from his Netflix series Master of None.)
> Not including English, Bengali is the most-spoken language in India after
> Hindi, and is the main language of Bangladesh. Telugu and Tamil are among
> the most popular languages in south India. Globally, Tamil is spoken by
> over 70 million people, though in the US, only 250,000 or so people speak
> it. While Punjabi is most popular in Pakistan, globally, it’s almost as
> widely spoken as Italian (paywall).
> Gujarati and Bengali, to say nothing of other Asian languages like Chinese
> and Korean, are more popular than Tamil in the US—though no Indian
> language, aside from Hindi, makes it into the top 10 most popular spoken
> languages (even discounting Spanish and English).
> If you currently live in the US and don’t speak these newly tracked
> languages, it’s likely you know either many people who do, or none at all.
> Most Telugu and Tamil speakers in the US are concentrated in California,
> followed closely by Texas and New Jersey. Almost half (48%) of Bengali
> speakers in the US are in California, and more than a third of
> Punjabi-fluent Americans reside in New York.
> ------------------------------------------------------------
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