IsYourJobGoingOffshore.com is pointing to a Forbes article asking : Must the Whole World Speak English?. the article was sparked by some French study ... which isn't important. the point is the population of India will pass China around 2050. as India becomes more fluent in English, the author suspects that China will have to adopt the English language as well.
2050 is some time off. but right now, a friend of mine from Dallas has told me what a telecommunications company is currently doing. they are laying off Managers and Engineers that do not know (or aren't learning) Mandarin Chinese ...
even more interesting is that there was study earlier this year showing that : English is in Decline as a First Language. assuming that is just because our population is not growing as rapidly as others?
to put some things in perspective, here are some numbers i found regarding native speakers. forget where i found these, nor do i know how accurate / recent they are?
1. Mandarin Chinese 836,000,000
2. Hindi 333,000,000
3. Spanish 332,000,000
4. English 322,000,000
5. Bengali 189,000,000
6. Arabic 186,000,000
7. Russian 170,000,000
8. Portuguese 170,000,000
9. Japanese 125,000,000
10. German 98,000,000