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Old 11-17-2019, 04:55 PM
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lisarea lisarea is offline
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Default Re: Linguistic miscellany

I'm curious about this, but I can't find it by searching that translation site, and image match shows that it just popped up on imgur on October 10 with no notes or anything. Is it based on services requested from that company, real time translators, census or some other data, some random online poll results, or what?

I can't remember ever encountering someone here who spoke German but not English, so maybe it's just something where they're counting "took German in high school." It's relatively easy for English speakers to pick up, so I think it's a popular choice among slackers.

And the Chinese thing is confusing to me too. Did they lump a bunch of mutually unintelligible languages in together, or are they just counting one? Because if they're counting ALL Chineses together, I am boggled that it's not the #3 here.

EDIT: So as soon as I posted, I found the original, but I still can't find anything about how they reached these conclusions.
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Old 11-17-2019, 07:04 PM
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Default Re: Linguistic miscellany

I subscribe to the "took German in high school" theory, mostly because I subscribed to slacking and taking German in high school.
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Old 11-17-2019, 11:56 PM
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Default Re: Linguistic miscellany

Russian translators being more in demand tells you that there are more Russian speakers in Oregon with weak English skills, but not necessarily that there are more Russian speakers overall.

And as I mentioned, "Chinese" is not really a single language. Having a Mandarin Chinese translator won't help if the person you're translating for only knows Cantonese. Translators would need to be more specific than "Chinese". It's also possible that they requested translators for languages other than Mandarin and Cantonese and you didn't recognize the name as a variety of "Chinese" - if they say they want a Hakka or Hokkien translator without saying that it's Hakka/Hokkien Chinese I could see it not being obvious. Although I don't know how familiar you are with the names of Chinese varieties.

You could be right that Russian is more common than Chinese languages in Oregon though. There are apparently fewer Chinese people in Oregon than I expected.
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