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Counting languages: how to do it and what to avoid. A German perspective

  • The annual microcensus provides Germany’s most important official statistics. Unlike a census it does not cover the whole population, but a representative 1%-sample of it. In 2017, the German microcensus asked a question on the language of the population, i.e. ‘Which language is mainly spoken in your household?’ Unfortunately, the question, its design and its position within the whole microcensus’ questionnaire feature several shortcomings. The main shortcoming is that multilingual repertoires cannot be captured by it. Recommendations for the improvement of the microcensus’ language question: first and foremost the question (i.e. its wording, design, and answer options) should make it possible to count multilingual repertoires.

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Author:Astrid AdlerORCiDGND
Parent Title (English):Languages, society and policy
Place of publication:Cambridge
Document Type:Article
Year of first Publication:2020
Date of Publication (online):2020/12/18
GND Keyword:Deutsch; Mehrsprachigkeit; Mikrozensus; Sprache; Statistik
Page Number:7
DDC classes:400 Sprache / 420 Englisch
Open Access?:ja
Leibniz-Classification:Sprache, Linguistik
Linguistics-Classification:Quantitative Linguistik
Licence (German):Es gilt das UrhG