Is this an urban legend or something?

Tom K.   Wed Mar 29, 2006 11:42 pm GMT
I've seen websites which, trying to show how English is the international language, claim that 50% of the world's mail is written in English. But how can anyone know that? Who is reading our mail to get this information?
Uriel   Thu Mar 30, 2006 4:13 pm GMT
Big Brother IS watching you, Tom! ;)

I would assume that they are going by such markers as address labels, mail volume by country, etc., but i have never heard that figure and I have no way of knowing if it's accurate or not.
Tom K.   Thu Mar 30, 2006 7:58 pm GMT
I actually misquoted the figure. The place where I saw it was the mostly brilliant site. This if from : "Over 70% of all post / mail is written and addressed in English."

I think I saw this repeated on a message board once.

I can see how they would get a figure for addresses, but how do they know what language the mail itself is in? My Hungarian relatives send my dad mail with the address in English (it's being sent to the USA) but the letters or cards within are in Hungarian.
C6305HO   Thu Mar 30, 2006 8:26 pm GMT
Nevertheless, I think it's probably reasonably safe to assume that the majority of the world email and Internet traffic takes place in English.
Tom K.   Thu Mar 30, 2006 8:48 pm GMT
I'm talking about actual mail that is delivered to a box, not email or internet traffic.
Jim C, York   Sat Apr 01, 2006 11:36 am GMT
I think its maybe because there are lots of business letters flying about internationaly, as English is spoken in America and its one of the main UN languages, so there fore that will bump up the numbers maybe? They say that Mandarin Chinese will become the new business language, here in Britain schools are starting to teach it over French and German. I cant imagine people writing in english instead of their own language in their own countries. If they do, thats just silly.
Tom K.   Sat Apr 01, 2006 7:14 pm GMT
That's what I was thinking, English is the language of business after all. Take all the business and official mail out of the mix and there would probably be no majority.

But still, how do they find this out in the first place if they don't have people reading our mail? I oughta ask