New York has long been a city of immigrants, and as a result of waves of immigration, language experts describe it as the most linguistically dense city on earth. Mark Turin travels to the Big Apple to track the many languages of New York. He travels the 7 train, designated a US Heritage Trail, as it rattles its way from Flushing to the heart of Manhattan, passing through areas where Korean, Bengali and Spanish are the languages spoken on the street. He meets the linguists who are tracking New York's many languages and hears from those who believe that the US needs to promote the English language ahead of all others.
His journey ends with a story of linguistic rebirth as he discovers how the Yiddish language, once in decline, has attracted a new generation of speakers.
This post originally appeared here, Monday, December 17th, 2012.
Mark Turin has also written about New York's linguistic diversity for BBC news here.
Audio originally produced by Mark Rickards.