Politweet.Org

Observing Malaysian Social Media

Language trends in Malaysia’s political discourse (as of 25th March)

The language of political discourse on Twitter has always been a mix of English and Malay, however since August 2011 Malay has overtaken English as the dominant language. This graph shows the number of Twitter users who mention politicians each month based on the language used.

The data used for this graph came from 1.5 million tweets that Politweet analysed to determine the language. This includes retweets, so the results are not based on original content by each user.

Malay tweets were particularly hard to identify due to use of slang and intentional removal of vowels, so many tweets were mismatched against other languages especially Portuguese and Spanish.It was found that from the population of 109,268 users*:

a) 105,424 (96.48%) speak English or Malay
b) 68,350 (62.72%) speak English and 69,042 (63.19%) speak Malay.
c) 37,074 (33.93%) exclusively speak Malay;
d) 36,382 (33.30%) exclusively speak English;
e) 31,968 (29.26%) exclusively speak a mix of English and Malay.
f) 2,593 (2.37%) speak Chinese
g) 776 (0.71%) exclusively speak Chinese
h) 1,778 (1.63%) of the Chinese speaking users tweeted in English or Malay.

*numbers in parentheses represent percentages of the population

The remaining 3,389 users (3.10%) in the population tweeted in other languages or could not be identified. Chinese speakers were not included in the graph due to their low numbers and the fact that many also tweeted in English or Malay.

Please note that the graph is not based on exclusive English/Malay-speaking users, so users who speak in both languages count towards both totals.

Ahmed Kamal
27th March 2012

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Summary of the data, from 4th April 2010 – March 25th 2012

Format: Month/Year Users

Malay speakers
————–
4/10 893
5/10 940
6/10 1121
7/10 1231
8/10 1431
9/10 1416
10/10 2263
11/10 2170
12/10 3284
1/11 4161
2/11 3153
3/11 4466
4/11 5467
5/11 6828
6/11 5002
7/11 6006
8/11 7423
9/11 9259
10/11 11294
11/11 12930
12/11 12336
1/12 14938
2/12 13414
3/12 14930

English speakers
—————-
4/10 2110
5/10 2173
6/10 2583
7/10 2466
8/10 2469
9/10 2445
10/10 3482
11/10 3293
12/10 5259
1/11 5120
2/11 4367
3/11 6298
4/11 8180
5/11 8354
6/11 6144
7/11 7983
8/11 6862
9/11 9151
10/11 11037
11/11 10477
12/11 10398
1/12 14612
2/12 13180
3/12 11876

Chinese speakers
—————-
4/10 17
5/10 18
6/10 27
7/10 16
8/10 24
9/10 33
10/10 48
11/10 40
12/10 47
1/11 95
2/11 102
3/11 95
4/11 148
5/11 241
6/11 121
7/11 89
8/11 131
9/11 164
10/11 212
11/11 239
12/11 234
1/12 370
2/12 280
3/12 229

Total users (includes other languages)
————————————–
4/10 2427
5/10 2600
6/10 3057
7/10 3009
8/10 3256
9/10 3162
10/10 4602
11/10 4388
12/10 7033
1/11 7466
2/11 6247
3/11 8718
4/11 11209
5/11 12519
6/11 9208
7/11 11524
8/11 11822
9/11 15158
10/11 18465
11/11 19585
12/11 18821
1/12 24391
2/12 22080
3/12 22284

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Written by politweet

March 27, 2012 at 3:31 am

Posted in Analyses, Social Media

Tagged with , , ,

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