All infographics on this page come from SwiftKey
The vast majority of Indonesians grow up speaking both Bahasa Indonesia as well as a regional language such as Sundanese, Balinese or Javanese (which is actually the 10th most widely spoken language in the world). And of course many also learn English as a part of their regular school curriculum.
The result of Indonesia’s unique mix of cultures and languages has made our country into the most trilingual country in the world, according to a new report by technology company SwiftKey. Indonesia came in 1st place in the report with 17.4% of our people testing trilingual, with the most common combination being English-Indonesian-Javanese.
How did SwiftKey come up with that number? Well, as some of you gadget fans may already know, SwiftKey specializes in keyboard apps for smartphones. And one of their app’s best features is the ability to easily switch between different languages.
So SwiftKey simply measured what percentage of their users from different countries were typing in three or more languages. It’s not exactly the most scientific sampling, but it’s still an excellent indication of our people’s language skills.
Second place in SwiftKey’s report was Israel, with 11.4% of users showing tri-linguality (with the most popular combination being English-Hebrew-Russian).
In last place in terms of multi-linguality is Australia, with only 12.5% of SwiftKey users in the Land Down Under using anything but English.
[H/T to Reddit user KentjeVanSoerabaia on r/Indonesia for the great find!]