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What languages are spoken by crowdsourced workers?

Language and cognition research that used to take thousands of dollars over several months can now be completed in a matter of hours for a few dollars. This is thanks to the crowdsourcing technologies like Amazon Mechanical Turk (AMT) and CrowdFlower which have opened up a new avenues of research by engaging a ready, online workforce through microtasking. But there haven't been much work in cross-language crowdsourced studies. There have been a few studies of the demographics of people using AMT,but no-one had thought to simply ask the workers what languages they spoke. So author Robert Munro did it.

The world’s languages are concentrated in or near the tropics but those spoken here were predominantly from European or non-tropical Asia in origin. Despite that, it is great to see a scattering of less widely-spoken languages like Kadazan (Austronesian) and Yupik (Eskimo-Aleut) showing that despite the biases in overall volume there is a very rich variety of languages spoken by AMT workers. Six of the ten most commonly spoken do not yet have online translation tools via Google or Bing so there is clearly great scope to support online translation for new languages, too.

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