Twitter truly seems to be an all-knowing entity. If we would like to see how many people are talking about chipmunks in Italy, it could tell us in a second, with even more precise data for regions and cities. Twitter Tongues uses Twitter to show us the languages of tweets sent from London and New York in the summer of 2012, and provides a unique look into these multilingual cities.
Playing around with the website application gives a very interesting insight into the different districts that have more or less inhabitants of a certain tongue than others. For example, it is clear that there are some very large districts where the widely spoken language seems to be Arabic, and there are some very compact areas that have many French-speaking people.
Twitter Tongues gives some great insight into something not widely documented. Districts with different languages are somewhat known, but Twitter Tongues presents them very clear visual way. Twitter Tongues might just be one of the most accurate endeavours into mapping the niche-spatiality of spoken languages.
Compared to tweets from world capitals like London and New York, it would be interesting to see how smaller cities fare with this kind of data visualization. Perhaps there are some hidden ‘Chinatowns’ out there that Twitter Tongues could visualize for us!