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Interesting Graph of Languages at the Defense Department

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Jan 26, 2020 - 9:15:41 PM
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56 posts since 10/4/2018
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Here's a neat animated graph they made of languages studied at the U.S. Defense Department from 1963 through 2018. When you click play, It shows how the language focus has changed throughout the years, kind of like a living moving graph. Some of these languages make a lot of sense considering the political climate of the times. But some of them may leave you asking why. I think it's interesting to see which languages were studied most and how it has changed through time. Check it out and click play.

Enrollment at Defense Language Institute 1963-2018

Edited by - Good Buddy on 01/26/2020 23:38:40

Jan 27, 2020 - 12:41:44 AM
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2377 posts since 4/29/2012

Those New Testament Greeks must have been seen as a real threat in the early 60's

Jan 27, 2020 - 1:07:06 AM
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janolov

Sweden

40144 posts since 3/7/2006

Interesting!

I could see that Arabic began to increase in the mid 90's and Russia began to decrease after 2000. 

I didn't see Swedish at all?

Jan 27, 2020 - 1:42:38 AM
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2377 posts since 4/29/2012

quote:
Originally posted by janolov

Interesting!

I could see that Arabic began to increase in the mid 90's and Russia began to decrease after 2000. 

I didn't see Swedish at all?


I'd be very thankful that you live in a country whose language the American military don't want to learn.

Jan 27, 2020 - 3:02:59 AM
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OM45GE

USA

93336 posts since 11/7/2007

Thanks for sharing Mike. That was interesting.

Jan 27, 2020 - 6:52:05 AM
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RB3

USA

586 posts since 4/12/2004

Based upon the "double speak" that comes out of that large, five-sided building in Washington, D.C., it does not surprise me that English is not one of the studied languages.

Jan 27, 2020 - 1:27:57 PM
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Paul R

Canada

12206 posts since 1/28/2010

Hmmm. Employment statistics at the Pentagon must be in a similar state of flux.

Jan 27, 2020 - 1:40:37 PM

Mooooo

USA

7431 posts since 8/20/2016

Vietnamese Saigon and Vietnamese Hanoi are interesting to watch. I didn't realize there was more than one Vietnamese language.

Jan 27, 2020 - 3:35:01 PM

2195 posts since 7/20/2004

Interesting. I see it focuses on Monterey, which is the main teaching center, though there are a couple of other places where languages are taught. Many CSS linguists, if they stay in for more than one hitch, wind up being multi-lingual. At my last duty station the lingies' office had a sign outside their office door that read "Translations R Us", with a list of about 15 different languages, even though our particular group was only dealing with two.

Jan 28, 2020 - 5:16:45 AM
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mander

USA

3990 posts since 10/7/2007

Yet another example as to why I love the BHO. You never know what you are going to learn.

Jan 28, 2020 - 5:47:36 AM

426 posts since 9/21/2018

quote:
Originally posted by janolov

Interesting!

I could see that Arabic began to increase in the mid 90's and Russia began to decrease after 2000. 

I didn't see Swedish at all?


What percentage of the Swedish population speak English? 

Jan 28, 2020 - 5:48:30 AM
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426 posts since 9/21/2018

quote:
Originally posted by Mooooo

Vietnamese Saigon and Vietnamese Hanoi are interesting to watch. I didn't realize there was more than one Vietnamese language.


I believe that one has a heavier French influence than the other. 

Jan 28, 2020 - 1:32:58 PM
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DRH

USA

198 posts since 5/29/2018

quote:
Originally posted by Mooooo

Vietnamese Saigon and Vietnamese Hanoi are interesting to watch. I didn't realize there was more than one Vietnamese language.


They are not really different languages, more like dialects as in Chinese.  Even if you don't understand the language you can tell what part of the country a person comes from with a little practice.

Jan 28, 2020 - 1:42:31 PM
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DRH

USA

198 posts since 5/29/2018

quote:
Originally posted by Moose_Roberts

What percentage of the Swedish population speak English? 


100% as far as I know.  I worked with a lot of them and all spoke fluent English unless vodka was available.

If you know two languages you are bilingual.  Three languages make you a world traveller.  If only one language then you are an American.

Jan 28, 2020 - 2:50:43 PM
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ChunoTheDog

Canada

62 posts since 8/9/2019

quote:
Originally posted by DRH
quote:
Originally posted by Moose_Roberts

What percentage of the Swedish population speak English? 


100% as far as I know.  I worked with a lot of them and all spoke fluent English unless vodka was available.

If you know two languages you are bilingual.  Three languages make you a world traveller.  If only one language then you are an American.


From my experience, mostly all of the Western European countries have populations that at the very least have passable English, generally speaking. Except France. They just refuse to learn it. Much to their detriment. 

Jan 28, 2020 - 4:21:44 PM

RonR

USA

1582 posts since 11/29/2012

My daughter in Mexico and said there are over 200 different languages spoken by indiginous people there.

Jan 29, 2020 - 4:55:53 AM

426 posts since 9/21/2018

quote:
Originally posted by DRH
quote:
Originally posted by Moose_Roberts

What percentage of the Swedish population speak English? 


100% as far as I know.  I worked with a lot of them and all spoke fluent English unless vodka was available.

If you know two languages you are bilingual.  Three languages make you a world traveller.  If only one language then you are an American.


Despite not having active disputes with Sweden, I think that English fluency likely contributes to the low percentage on this chart. Russia during that time span was ina fairly destitute state which has a negative impact on education, so expansion beyond the native language was low. Similar situation in the Middle East, the areas we are fighting in have seen some serious repression so they don't learn languages beyond their native tongue. The industrialized areas usually have a high percentage of English proficient folks though, especially the kids oddly enough. 

Jan 29, 2020 - 5:25:54 AM
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264 posts since 10/9/2017

quote:
Originally posted by janolov

Interesting!

I could see that Arabic began to increase in the mid 90's and Russia began to decrease after 2000. 

I didn't see Swedish at all?


Based on the TV shows you send us, it probably seemed likely to our big-brains in the Pentagon that you would all be murdered in highly elaborate ways by cunning psychopaths, so what would be the point?

Jan 29, 2020 - 2:00:05 PM

56 posts since 10/4/2018
Online Now

quote:
Originally posted by AndrewD

Those New Testament Greeks must have been seen as a real threat in the early 60's


This one seemed oddest to me. I really wonder why the Defense Department was studying New Testament Greek. I bet Area 51 or the Bermuda Triangle has something to do with it.

Jan 29, 2020 - 6:22:03 PM

DRH

USA

198 posts since 5/29/2018

quote:
Originally posted by Good Buddy
quote:
Originally posted by AndrewD

Those New Testament Greeks must have been seen as a real threat in the early 60's


This one seemed oddest to me. I really wonder why the Defense Department was studying New Testament Greek. I bet Area 51 or the Bermuda Triangle has something to do with it.


DOD probably chose NT Greek because it is the easiest form of Greek to learn.

Jan 31, 2020 - 7:14:31 PM

5 posts since 1/31/2020

When I took the DLAB in 1990, they were looking for Russian, Korean, and Mandarin speakers. That shifted immediately to Arabic speakers in 1990-1991.
My buddy got his long tab becuase he is S. Korean and speaks it natively. He's a Captain now at JBLM.

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