HomeQ&AHow would you say "it is the fourth most widely spoken language"?

How would you say "it is the fourth most widely spoken language"?

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How would you say "it is the fourth most widely spoken language"?

4866 views
updated SEP 13, 2009
posted by KageJ

4 Answers

1
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Don't you want to have a go at it yourself first? If I tell you that "fourth" in it's feminine form is "cuarta", you can try to figure it out using this quote from the Spanish Wikipedia:

Lo hablan como primera y segunda lengua entre 450 y 500 millones de personas, pudiendo ser la tercera lengua más hablada considerando los que lo hablan como primera y segunda lengua.

updated SEP 13, 2009
posted by Vikingo
You're confusing "number of speakers (worldwide) with the most popular "fourth" language for those who speak for (or more) languages. - samdie, SEP 13, 2009
"speak four" (or more) ..." obviously but I can't edit comments. - samdie, SEP 13, 2009
a phrase like "fourth most widely spoken language" is open to several interpretations, and so is (equally) "la tercera/cuatra lengua más hablada", but I don't really see what I'm confusing here. So I'm probably doubly confused.. :P - Vikingo, SEP 13, 2009
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Hmmm , I see what you mean, Samdie, however I think this is only understood like this by you. I would not even have thought of that.

La cuarta lengua más hablado en el mundo.

vikingo, estoy contigo. raspberry

updated SEP 13, 2009
posted by 00494d19
Gracias :) - Vikingo, SEP 13, 2009
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Samdie said:

Not so. the "fourth most widely spoken language" can refer to only one of two things; the ranking of "native" languages (which is to say, the native language" spoken by people worldwide). or to the fourth ranked language language that is spoken by anyone (as their 1st. 2nd, 3rd, etc.) language.

I think the latter is what the Spanish Wikipedia is referring to, and what I'd consider "X-th most widely spoken language" also most often refers to. Do we agree now? confused

updated SEP 13, 2009
posted by Vikingo
0
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a phrase like "fourth most widely spoken language" is open to several interpretations, and so is (equally) "la tercera/cuatra lengua más hablada", but I don't really see what I'm confusing here. So I'm probably doubly confused.

Not so. the "fourth most widely spoken language" can refer to only one of two things; the ranking of "native" languages (which is to say, the native language" spoken by people worldwide). or to the fourth ranked language language that is spoken by anyone (as their 1st. 2nd, 3rd, etc.) language.

However, when you use a phrase like "Lo hablan como primera y segunda lengua", you change the focus from the ranking of "native" languages to that of 2nd/3rd languages (for those that speak more than one language). As a simple example, consider French. The number of native speakers is relatively small (when compared with world languages) but it is still quite popular as a 2nd language. At the other end of the spectrum, Mandarin has a very large number of "native" speakers" (especially due to the efforts of the Communist government) but relatively few people who speak it as a second language (outside of China).

updated SEP 13, 2009
posted by samdie
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