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Top 10 Non-English Languages Spoken in New York City

Name the ten languages, other than English, which are most commonly spoken at home in the New York Metropolitan area.
Quiz by joez
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Last updated: March 17, 2021
First submittedApril 23, 2017
Times taken33,716
Average score72.7%
Rating4.86
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%
Language
19.4
Spanish
3.15
Chinese
1.35
Russian
1.22
Italian
1.01
French Creole
0.91
Korean
%
Language
0.77
French
0.77
Tagalog
0.73
Polish
0.71
Yiddish
0.68
Arabic
+8
Level 62
Apr 24, 2017
Surprised by the low scoring of #7 and lack of middle eastern languages. Very interesting quiz though! Bet it'll take you at least to 120 ;)
+3
Level 71
Apr 25, 2017
#120. Finally. Yay!!!!! :)
+3
Level 62
Apr 25, 2017
Congrats ; )
+5
Level 64
Jun 19, 2017
Now in the top 100! keep it going, joez!
+3
Level 71
Jun 19, 2017
Thanks Quizzer.
+3
Level 65
Mar 18, 2021
#30 now!
+4
Level 48
Jul 11, 2017
Very surprised that French Creole is on the list--and that it's in the top five!
+14
Level 71
Jul 11, 2017
Many immigrants from Haiti.
+2
Level 60
May 20, 2018
Bengali more than Hindi ! shocking
+6
Level 71
Feb 18, 2021
NYC has an enormous Bengali population. I'm somewhat surprised that no other Indian languages made it on here, but not surprised that Bengali is here.
+10
Level 77
Mar 17, 2021
No longer here...
+4
Level 60
Mar 18, 2021
Yeah

Even my Aunt left NYC and settled in Raleigh

+2
Level 71
Mar 26, 2021
That also doesn't completely surprise me. New York was kinda the nexus for Bangladeshi (as well as Indian Bengali) immigration for a long time, but as the Bengali population has grown in other cities as well, I think people feel more comfortable joining the sizeable communities elsewhere, like LA. Also, tons of blue collar workers find the rent in New York too high and have moved to cheaper cities, like Philly and Detroit.

Overall though, I'm still guessing that New York has the largest Bengali population in America. It may just be that other immigrants groups are grower faster than the Bengali population.

+2
Level 65
Apr 20, 2021
I work for a software company, and one of our customers in New York City uses our software to offer services to their clients in Bengali, but not Hindi.
+2
Level 65
Apr 20, 2021
And let's not for Ranjit from How I Met Your Mother! He was Bangladeshi.
+7
Level 83
Mar 17, 2021
How tf did I get Yiddish?
+27
Level 70
Mar 17, 2021
You typed it. And it was correct.
+6
Level 77
Mar 19, 2021
I'm surprised so few got. One of the first guesses for me. It's NYC, after all.
+10
Level 61
Mar 19, 2021
The only one I missed. I did try Hebrew. Should have kept going with that train of thought. Great quiz though!

Side note- I grew up in Jersey across the water from Manhattan. I worked at a restaurant in high school and if you wanted your food, it really helped if you knew how to speak the line cook's language. We had cooks from Egypt, Peru, China, and the Dominican Republic, so it was fun learning a little bit of each, and in return, helping them navigate the English language.

+7
Level 67
Mar 20, 2021
Gut arbet!
+2
Level 67
Apr 20, 2021
I got yiddish at the last second because I'm not entirely convinced it's a separate language - it seems more like a German dialect to me.

However, the difference between a language and a dialect is political, and I understand why, politically, yiddish speakers would want it to be considered a language.

Anyway, I did end up getting the answer!

+7
Level 28
Apr 20, 2021
By that same logic you could say Dutch and Danish and German are just dialects of each other, which they're obviously not! Yiddish is definitely a different language.
+2
Level 67
Apr 20, 2021
I don't think there's such a thing as "definitely" when you're talking about something as arbitrary as the difference between a dialect and a language, but good for being totally free of doubt!
+4
Level 33
Apr 20, 2021
Is it a dialect or a language? Its point of departure from (High) German is much, much later than Dutch, let alone than Danish really which is quite distant from the other three.

Still, Maltese is recognized as a language and split from Arabic about the same time as Yiddish from German. And Afrikaans is recognized as one despite a mere couple of hundred years.

It comes down to the old question: are you a lumper or a splitter? Do you look for similarities or differences?

+3
Level 84
Apr 20, 2021
Yiddish is 100% it's own language it sounds like German because it Yiddish it does have German words in it, but that is because Yiddish was created by combining Hebrew and German.

Yiddish is still it's own language and was by Ashkenazi Jewish people regards of if they lived in Germany or not.

It is the same with Ladino which is a combination of Spanish and Hebrew. It was spoken by Sephardi Jewish people whether they lived in Spain or not.

Yiddish and Ladino are not dialects. They are their own languages.

+1
Level 67
May 2, 2021
It's fine to have an opinion about Yiddish being its own language, but I hope you do realise that this opinion is more rooted in politics than linguistics. Shikari is entirely correct.

All I can say is that, as a German, I understand almost every word of written Yiddish. I don't necessarily understand all of it when it's spoken, but that's also true of Bavarian, which nobody argues is its own language.

On this topic, I would definitely stay away from the word "definitely".

+1
Level 67
May 2, 2021
What is certain, is that Yiddish is classified as a Germanic language or dialect, not as a Hebraic or Semitic one.
+1
Level 45
May 25, 2021
Yiddish got also like 20% Polish and other Slavic words in it. The effect of the most of Ashkenazi Jews living within the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth for about 500 years before the WW2. Even when the Russian Empire acquired most of the PLC at the end of the 18th century, Jews got specifically forbidden from moving from the former PLC lands into the Russia proper.
+2
Level 70
Oct 14, 2021
What is by linguists considered a dialect and what a language is not as much about politics as some people think.

Some may say Afrikaans could be considered a dialect of Dutch but it has a completely distinctc grammar, therefore it's merits being classified as a separate language. Dialects of the same language usually have minimal differences in grammar and differ mainly in vocabulary.

Serbo-Croatian is usually considered one language despite being spoken in multiple countries that claim their own variety to be distinct, yet the various regional languages of Italy are often considered languages rather than dialects because they're distinct enough despite being related languages spoken in one country.

There may some degree of arbitrariness in deciding all of that, or even has to be, like in at least 90% of other nouns used in human languages- because each element of reality has its unique properties but we have to simplify some things for the sake of communication being possible.

+9
Level 68
Mar 17, 2021
Oy vey
+6
Level 68
Mar 19, 2021
Taking a subway ride through of Queens is a multicultural blur.
+2
Level 39
Apr 20, 2021
im suprised theres no dutch
+1
Level 43
Jan 24, 2022
dutch speaking population were forced to leave NY due to poverty and the split of the dutch colony in the US., nowadays most Americans of dutch descent live in Michigan , Minnesota or Montana
+1
Level 32
Apr 20, 2021
quite easy ;)
+1
Level 44
Apr 20, 2021
how did i miss arabic
+1
Level 83
Apr 20, 2021
I have a similar quiz on Toronto. Its based on the 2016 census so it hasn't been update in awhile. https://www.jetpunk.com/user-quizzes/42254/first-language-of-toronto-residents
+1
Level 57
Apr 20, 2021
I was typing every language I could think of and got Yiddish at the last second :D
+4
Level 54
Apr 20, 2021
I wonder how this quiz would look if it were 1920
+1
Level 83
Apr 20, 2021
I assume the reason that Yiddish is on the list and that Hebrew isn't is the revival of Hebrew. It had died out as an everyday language in the Levant. It was revived in Europe and Israel starting at the end of the 19th century. By that time many of the Yiddish speakers would have already been in NYC.
+3
Level 33
Apr 20, 2021
Tagalog makes perfect sense! Why didn't I think of it? I'm surprised there're currently no Indian languages on the list and I would have thought Turkish would have been there.
+1
Level 36
Apr 21, 2021
I got Russian simply because I knew there were a lot of dance companies/studios and Russian dance teachers are very common in companies. Can confirm, my teacher is one of them.
+1
Level 18
Apr 23, 2021
Yiddish, damn! I knew there was a Jewish language but I couldn't remember what the name of it was. I tried everything.

I have no excuse for forgetting Korean and Polish, but I would never have remembered Tagalog.

+1
Level 46
Jan 1, 2022
manderin is not accepted
+1
Level 70
Apr 4, 2022
That's because Mandarin isn't the language most Chinese and Chinese-Americans speak in New York. Most people speak Cantonese, Min, or Hokkien. It's only recently that Mandarin speakers have started to move to New York. Also, it's spelled "Mandarin", not "Manderin".
+1
Level 51
Apr 20, 2022
It's a shame to see polish but not german, cosidering how many germans migrated into America.
+1
Level 58
Jul 12, 2022
There's 11 languages.
+1
Level 49
Oct 14, 2022
got them all on my first try :D