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(Mental Floss)   Graph showing which countries read the most. America: TL;DR   (mentalfloss.com ) divider line
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9001 clicks; posted to Main » on 04 Mar 2014 at 1:35 PM (2 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-03-04 01:30:58 PM  
mle.mymiddleearth.com
 
2014-03-04 01:37:54 PM  
I'd read more but the cats won't leave me alone in the shiatter
 
2014-03-04 01:37:55 PM  
That's because I'm too busy working...
 
2014-03-04 01:38:40 PM  
Anyone else notice how the reading level corresponds with growing economic power?
 
2014-03-04 01:38:45 PM  
Reading books or like dicking around on the internet?
 
2014-03-04 01:39:34 PM  
FARK, it's not news, it's day old reddit.
 
2014-03-04 01:40:00 PM  

tlars699: Anyone else notice how the reading level corresponds with growing economic power?


It corresponds with a lot of things, most of them rather positive.

So of course society in the US isn't too keen on it.

/headslap
 
2014-03-04 01:40:17 PM  
WTF? Read? What for...I have a TV.
 
2014-03-04 01:40:37 PM  
Teenager: I read
Adult: What do you read?
Teenager: Twitter
 
2014-03-04 01:40:59 PM  
I am reading Jonathan Livingston Seagull. So good!

Laugh all you want, but I am going to be all that I can be.
 
2014-03-04 01:41:06 PM  
Jason English? Is that his real name?
 
2014-03-04 01:42:09 PM  
"You know I've noticed a certain anti-intellectualism going around this country ever since around 1980, coincidentally enough. I was in Nashville, Tennessee last weekend and after the show I went to a waffle house and I'm sitting there and I'm eating and reading a book. I don't know anybody, I'm alone, I'm eating and I'm reading a book. This waitress comes over to me (mocks chewing gum) 'what you readin' for?'...wow, I've never been asked that; not 'What am I reading', 'What am I reading  for?' Well, goddamnit, you stumped me...I guess I read for a lot of reasons - the main one is so I don't end up being a farkin' waffle waitress. Yeah, that would be pretty high on the list. Then this trucker in the booth next to me gets up, stands over me and says  [mocks Southern drawl] 'Well, looks like we got ourselves a readah'...aahh, what the fark's goin' on? It's like I walked into a Klan rally in a Boy George costume or something. Am I stepping out of some intellectual closet here? I read, there I said it. I feel better." ~ Bill Hicks
 
2014-03-04 01:42:37 PM  
We dohnt need no leerning boocs
 
2014-03-04 01:42:52 PM  
i288.photobucket.com
 
2014-03-04 01:43:16 PM  
I'm a bit surprised about the UK and Japan being at the bottom. Is that really accurate?
 
2014-03-04 01:43:21 PM  
Reading the same old book over and over again shouldn't count.
 
2014-03-04 01:43:22 PM  

Smeggy Smurf: I'd read more but the cats won't leave me alone in the shiatter


Um, stop peeing in their litterbox?
 
2014-03-04 01:46:47 PM  

Shaggy0717: Reading the same old book over and over again shouldn't count.


But I still can't find Waldo!
 
2014-03-04 01:47:49 PM  
yes, i believe that nations where most people don't attend school past 5th grade (india, rural china, etc) read more gooder than western nations.
 
2014-03-04 01:48:42 PM  

Weatherkiss: Jason English? Is that his real name?


whenyouputitthatway.com
 
2014-03-04 01:49:10 PM  
The greatest American novel, the greatest French novel, and the greatest Spanish novel are all about the destructive nature of reading.

Go figure.
 
2014-03-04 01:49:34 PM  
i.imgur.com

This is what happens when you have an entire generation raised on online games and phone txt messages.  Anything over two sentences is, literally, tl;dr.
 
2014-03-04 01:49:36 PM  

maniacbastard: Smeggy Smurf: I'd read more but the cats won't leave me alone in the shiatter

Um, stop peeing in their litterbox?


Nobody tells me not to piss in the neighbor's garden!  NOBODY!
 
2014-03-04 01:50:09 PM  
How do we know that the countries at the top of the list aren't full of slow readers?
 
2014-03-04 01:50:29 PM  

almandot: I'm a bit surprised about the UK and Japan being at the bottom. Is that really accurate?


I, four won, iz not reely beleeving theeses statstix.
 
2014-03-04 01:51:29 PM  

almandot: I'm a bit surprised about the UK and Japan being at the bottom. Is that really accurate?


Depends how they classify 'reading'


Does it exclude reading articles on the internet? on a tablet? then UK and Japan would be low, and china and india would be high (which is what is happening). The article, or the buried source link, doesn't define 'reading'.
 
2014-03-04 01:51:34 PM  
[Smacks gum, looks at the map.] "Hey, rest of the world, whatchoo readin' for?"
 
2014-03-04 01:53:11 PM  
Just because they spend more time reading, doesn't mean they read more. Slow readers, slow thinkers, slow drivers, all of you get out of my way.

//lude
 
2014-03-04 01:54:22 PM  
I am personally trying to bump the average up for Canada....reading Finnegan's Wake right now.... as well as some Tom Robbins.....usually have several books on the go....why yes, I am a geek with no TV!

/should be a weekly book thread here on the fark's .....maybe discuss something you like or recommend something you think we would enjoy....kind of like the old music tab threads where I did get introduced to music I would have otherwise never heard...
 
2014-03-04 01:54:35 PM  

Barry Lyndon's Annuity Cheque: Reading books or like dicking around on the internet?


must be books
 
2014-03-04 01:54:42 PM  
It's because TV sucks in those other countries.
 
2014-03-04 01:55:06 PM  
Doesn't really surprise me, I suppose.

I enjoy reading and have kept a log of every book I've read in the last 15 years, and I'm surprised how much less I read since I started taking my phone into the bedroom.

I now twitter and fark in bed, more then I read.  That's bad.
 
2014-03-04 01:55:33 PM  
Dat data!

/they used is bs
 
2014-03-04 01:56:46 PM  
Santadog
I had to go to Lexington, Ky (we have a house in Versailles) for a wedding. My young son at the time was getting crabby so I took him from the after party and went into a fast food place on our way to the hotel. The teenagers behind the counter were discussing how math/geometry (I am assuming nothing further) never did anything for them. As we left, the kid looked at me and asked "mom wants us to move here?" "Yes", "please fight her and let me get an education".
 
2014-03-04 01:58:08 PM  

Sybarite: [i288.photobucket.com image 320x320]


Came here solely for that.

And that's sad.
 
2014-03-04 02:02:40 PM  

LemSkroob: almandot: I'm a bit surprised about the UK and Japan being at the bottom. Is that really accurate?

Depends how they classify 'reading'


Does it exclude reading articles on the internet? on a tablet? then UK and Japan would be low, and china and india would be high (which is what is happening). The article, or the buried source link, doesn't define 'reading'.


Came to say this.  I am literally reading all day at work.  Mostly it's numbers and specifications (and, Fark).
 
2014-03-04 02:03:41 PM  
I really want to know what they count as reading.

I read research papers, articles, programming resources, but it's all online.

The last book I read was Moral Tribes, but I check books out all the time.

Mostly cookbooks, but I read a lot of recipes.

Failed to make a "Blueberry Muffin Cake"  last night.  Too much butter, if you can believe it.  I'm determined to perfect a recipe now though.

//Also forgot to thaw the blueberries first, adding a lot of cooking time to the thing.
 
2014-03-04 02:04:16 PM  

Smeggy Smurf: I'd read more but the cats won't leave me alone in the shiatter


img.fark.net
 
2014-03-04 02:04:35 PM  

Barry Lyndon's Annuity Cheque: Reading books or like dicking around on the internet?


If you go to the article linked from the page you'll find numbers for radio, TV and non-work Internet use
 
2014-03-04 02:05:07 PM  
i635.photobucket.com
 
2014-03-04 02:05:47 PM  
d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net

I ain't got time to read!
 
2014-03-04 02:06:21 PM  

meathome: tlars699: Anyone else notice how the reading level corresponds with growing economic power?

It corresponds with a lot of things, most of them rather positive.

So of course society in the US isn't too keen on it.

/headslap


I don't mind relinquishing some power, but that would mean we would need to stop being so disposable and greedy in our society:

CSB: In 6th grade Social Studies, we did an experiment. There were areas taped out onto the floor into sq ft, in proportion to livable space on each of the continents.
Then the class was split into different continents' population(hat draw with totals in proportion to total population, as close as could be managed with the fractions of the classroom there).
There were 8 people standing in 10-12 sq ft in Asia.
One in an 8sq ft space of North America
3 in a 5 sq ft space of Europe
2 in Australia (Forget how big)
4 in South America
and about 5 or 6 in Africa

Now, the resources were passed out. Resources were starburst candies. There were enough for everyone to have two pieces.
Asia got 4 pieces
Africa had 3 pieces
South America had 6 pieces
Europe had 6 pieces
Austrailia had 10 pieces
and North America got the rest. The dude was struggling to keep the candy in his hands.

Then, the teacher bent over and whispered to the dude in North America.

After this happened: "Okay, class! The objective is to negotiate and redistribute either the candies or yourselves so everyone ends up with two candies/enough space for everyone."

It didn't effin' happen.
The dude in North America just hoarded all of his candies, probably due to what the teacher told him. Kept asking what we could give him as an alternative, and both Asia and Africa were like, "People? You want some people?" Obviously, that was a no go. Logic and empathy was beyond this dude as a normal circumstance, and whatever the teacher told him just drove it home in his brain.

Last I heard, the guy became a middle manager at IBM.

End CSB
 
2014-03-04 02:06:46 PM  

yakmans_dad: The greatest American novel, the greatest French novel, and the greatest Spanish novel are all about the destructive nature of reading.

Go figure.


For some very odd values of "greatest". To which ones were you referring?
 
2014-03-04 02:07:07 PM  

GameSprocket: [d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net image 200x244]

I ain't got time to read!


YOU GET NOTHING!
 
2014-03-04 02:07:45 PM  

LemSkroob: Does it exclude reading articles on the internet? on a tablet? then UK and Japan would be low, and china and india would be high (which is what is happening). The article, or the buried source link, doesn't define 'reading'.


Only way I can make sense of it. That would favour high literacy/relatively low availability of technology countries like India and China over high literacy/very high availabilty of technology countries like Japan and S. Korea.

Reading competency at age 18 would be a much more telling depiction of educational achievement and literacy, but it falls down on the fact that nobody is testing a large proportion of the populous in many countries.
 
2014-03-04 02:10:18 PM  
That ranking is bullshiat and obviously doesn't include the time Americans spend reading the guide to find out what to watch next on television.
 
2014-03-04 02:11:05 PM  

anuran: yakmans_dad: The greatest American novel, the greatest French novel, and the greatest Spanish novel are all about the destructive nature of reading.

Go figure.

For some very odd values of "greatest". To which ones were you referring?


Huck Finn, Madame Bovary, and Don Quixote
 
2014-03-04 02:12:55 PM  
Hours reading per week per person

Isn't it possible these people are just really inefficient readers?  I mean, my wife probably reads 10 hours a week but it can take her a month to finish a book.
 
2014-03-04 02:13:44 PM  
Does porn count?

Say yes, say yes, say yes,......
 
2014-03-04 02:14:03 PM  
Wutchu reading for?

/Oh look, we got ourselves a reader here
 
2014-03-04 02:14:44 PM  
It would be just as interesting to see what they were reading. I would suspect that most of the top readers were mostly reading religious texts.
 
2014-03-04 02:14:50 PM  

almandot: I'm a bit surprised about the UK and Japan being at the bottom. Is that really accurate?


Have you ever tried reading Japanese?  It's almost impossible to believe that there are still many cultures who's written word is essentially a bunch of little drawings.

Interesting story:
My son had a friend over once.  His name is Truman.  But, clearly that is not his real name, as he is from Vietnam, and we simply couldn't pronounce his real name.  I happened to have a bottle of Vietnamese hot sauce out.  I asked him if he could read the writing on it.  His response was, "In Vietnam, they don't teach you to read.  So I have no more idea what it says than you do ."

Needless to say, I thought that kinda disturbing.

It was also very interesting watching him talk with his father.  His father speaks very little English.  The kid would speak to us, and his father, without missing a beat.  I don't even think he realized he was speaking a different language.
 
2014-03-04 02:26:33 PM  

durbnpoisn: The kid would speak to us, and his father, without missing a beat. I don't even think he realized he was speaking a different language.


There's a point where language becomes reflexive enough that you stop thinking about it very much. Most of the time, I can't really tell you what language I used with my family a few minutes before. With most people, I kind of automatically speak in the language of my listener. (I'm not really aware of doing it either. It tends to drive call center and drive-through folks a bit batty, considering their rules say they're supposed to speak in _my_ preferred language. :) )
 
2014-03-04 02:27:55 PM  

yakmans_dad: anuran: yakmans_dad: The greatest American novel, the greatest French novel, and the greatest Spanish novel are all about the destructive nature of reading.

Go figure.

For some very odd values of "greatest". To which ones were you referring?

Huck Finn, Madame Bovary, and Don Quixote


More like Gravity's Rainbow, The Stranger, and 100 Years of Solitude.
 
2014-03-04 02:32:21 PM  
Given that India is at the top of the list I think its fair to say that there is little-to-no correlation between hours spent reading and quality of life.
 
2014-03-04 02:40:27 PM  

yakmans_dad: anuran: yakmans_dad: The greatest American novel, the greatest French novel, and the greatest Spanish novel are all about the destructive nature of reading.

Go figure.

For some very odd values of "greatest". To which ones were you referring?

Huck Finn, Madame Bovary, and Don Quixote


Ah, then we disagree on at least two out of three on the list. And the only reason Don Quixote belongs on there is for historical reasons.
 
2014-03-04 02:41:38 PM  

DubtodaIll: Gravity's Rainbow, The Stranger, and 100 Years of Solitude.


img4.wikia.nocookie.net

Don't try to turn this thread about illiterates into your own literature hipster litterbox.
 
2014-03-04 02:44:34 PM  

macadamnut: DubtodaIll: Gravity's Rainbow, The Stranger, and 100 Years of Solitude.

[img4.wikia.nocookie.net image 576x384]

Don't try to turn this thread about illiterates into your own literature hipster litterbox.


If there's something I've never been it's a hipster.
 
2014-03-04 02:46:16 PM  
Read what? The amount of time is relative to the context of the material. Also are we talking reading physical books? technically surfing the web is also reading because you are reading the contents (porn doesn;t count unless it's a porn story).

As to the ranking especially those in Islamic countries that is also debatable because in a lot of religious schools (and 90% are) and madrasahs, the kids are basically spending hours everyday reading rehashing quaranic verses etc over and over again. It's not like they're reading Shakespearean literature and encyclopedia Brittanica.
 
2014-03-04 02:46:23 PM  
durbnpoisn:
Have you ever tried reading Japanese?  It's almost impossible to believe that there are still many cultures who's written word is essentially a bunch of little drawings.

Oh, like something over a billion people in China? Why is it so hard to believe other countries aren't like us?

Interesting story:
My son had a friend over once.  His name is Truman.  But, clearly that is not his real name, as he is from Vietnam, and we simply couldn't pronounce his real name.  I happened to have a bottle of Vietnamese hot sauce out.  I asked him if he could read the writing on it.  His response was, "In Vietnam, they don't teach you to read.  So I have no more idea what it says than you do .
"

Bullshiat. According to the CIA World Factbook:
Literacy:
total population: 93.4%
male: 95.4%
female: 91.4% (2011 est.)


Needless to say, I thought that kinda disturbing.

It was also very interesting watching him talk with his father.  His father speaks very little English.  The kid would speak to us, and his father, without missing a beat.  I don't even think he realized he was speaking a different language.


What do you call someone who speaks three languages? Trilingual
What do you call someone who speaks two languages? Bilingual
What do you call someone who speaks one language? American
 
2014-03-04 02:46:49 PM  

DubtodaIll: macadamnut: DubtodaIll: Gravity's Rainbow, The Stranger, and 100 Years of Solitude.

[img4.wikia.nocookie.net image 576x384]

Don't try to turn this thread about illiterates into your own literature hipster litterbox.

If there's something I've never been it's a hipster.


That's exactly what a hipster would say
 
2014-03-04 02:47:56 PM  

DubtodaIll: macadamnut: DubtodaIll: Gravity's Rainbow, The Stranger, and 100 Years of Solitude.

[img4.wikia.nocookie.net image 576x384]

Don't try to turn this thread about illiterates into your own literature hipster litterbox.

If there's something I've never been it's a hipster.


To the Derp Brigade anyone who has heard of something they haven't is a hipster. Makes it easy to sneer at pretty much the whole world.
 
2014-03-04 02:48:34 PM  

meat0918: DubtodaIll: macadamnut: DubtodaIll: Gravity's Rainbow, The Stranger, and 100 Years of Solitude.

[img4.wikia.nocookie.net image 576x384]

Don't try to turn this thread about illiterates into your own literature hipster litterbox.

If there's something I've never been it's a hipster.

That's exactly what a hipster would say


Yeesh, there's a Catch-22 for you.
 
2014-03-04 02:51:12 PM  
Anyone who says the Internet is bad for reading is full of crap.  Ever since I got my tablet last year my reading rate has skyrocketed.  Hell, I'm on Pirate Bay 3-4 times a week downloading new ebooks.  And not just international porn mags, but NY Times bestsellers and shiat.
 
2014-03-04 02:51:24 PM  
List looks suspect. I believe in many countries they're measuring "hours spent reading per literate person" not "hours spent reading per person." Or perhaps only literate people in each country responded to the invitation to participate in the study.

Adding the literacy % (from the CIA World Factbook) for the countries who top the Mental Floss list:

1. India - 10 hours, 42 minutes (62.8% literate)
2. Thailand - 9:24 (93.5%)
3. China - 8:00 (95.1%)
4. Philippines - 7:36 (95.4%)
5. Egypt - 7:30 (73.9%)
6. Czech Republic - 7:24 (99%)
7. Russia - 7:06 (99.7%)
8. Sweden - 6:54 (99%)
8. France - 6:54 (99%)
10. Hungary - 6:48 (99%)
10. Saudi Arabia - 6:48 (87.2%)
12. Hong Kong - 6:42 (93.5%)
...
20. Canada - 5:48 (99%)
22. Germany - 5:42 (99%)
22. USA - 5:42 (99%)

In order for India to read 10 hours 42 minutes on average, each literate person would have to average 17 hours (642 minutes/.628). Possible, yes, but considering how much of an outlier that would make India, I suspect a more reasonable explanation would be that there was a fair amount of non-reporting bias, especially in countries with high amounts if illiteracy.
 
2014-03-04 02:54:38 PM  

durbnpoisn: almandot: I'm a bit surprised about the UK and Japan being at the bottom. Is that really accurate?

Have you ever tried reading Japanese?  It's almost impossible to believe that there are still many cultures who's written word is essentially a bunch of little drawings.

Interesting story:
My son had a friend over once.  His name is Truman.  But, clearly that is not his real name, as he is from Vietnam, and we simply couldn't pronounce his real name.  I happened to have a bottle of Vietnamese hot sauce out.  I asked him if he could read the writing on it.  His response was, "In Vietnam, they don't teach you to read.  So I have no more idea what it says than you do ."

Needless to say, I thought that kinda disturbing.

It was also very interesting watching him talk with his father.  His father speaks very little English.  The kid would speak to us, and his father, without missing a beat.  I don't even think he realized he was speaking a different language.


You may or may not be racist but you're definitely a very prejudice person.

I know maybe a dozen foreigners from various different countries and I can say w/o a doubt that every single one of them knows how to speak and read in their own native language. I don't see how or why Vietnam would be any different.

Your son's friend must be a real dumbass if he doesn't know how to read Vietname unless if he was born here or came here relatively young in which case you're the dumbass then for assuming every Vietnamese knows how to read Vietnamese even if they were born and raised in the United States.
 
2014-03-04 02:54:55 PM  

anuran: To the Derp Brigade anyone who has heard of something they haven't is a hipster. Makes it easy to sneer at pretty much the whole world.


What's the Derp Brigade?
 
2014-03-04 02:55:39 PM  

draypresct: List looks suspect. I believe in many countries they're measuring "hours spent reading per literate person" not "hours spent reading per person." Or perhaps only literate people in each country responded to the invitation to participate in the study.

Adding the literacy % (from the CIA World Factbook) for the countries who top the Mental Floss list:

1. India - 10 hours, 42 minutes (62.8% literate)
2. Thailand - 9:24 (93.5%)
3. China - 8:00 (95.1%)
4. Philippines - 7:36 (95.4%)
5. Egypt - 7:30 (73.9%)
6. Czech Republic - 7:24 (99%)
7. Russia - 7:06 (99.7%)
8. Sweden - 6:54 (99%)
8. France - 6:54 (99%)
10. Hungary - 6:48 (99%)
10. Saudi Arabia - 6:48 (87.2%)
12. Hong Kong - 6:42 (93.5%)
...
20. Canada - 5:48 (99%)
22. Germany - 5:42 (99%)
22. USA - 5:42 (99%)

In order for India to read 10 hours 42 minutes on average, each literate person would have to average 17 hours (642 minutes/.628). Possible, yes, but considering how much of an outlier that would make India, I suspect a more reasonable explanation would be that there was a fair amount of non-reporting bias, especially in countries with high amounts if illiteracy.


Irony, thy name is thou.
 
2014-03-04 02:55:49 PM  

dentalhilljack: Anyone who says the Internet is bad for reading is full of crap.  Ever since I got my tablet last year my reading rate has skyrocketed.  Hell, I'm on Pirate Bay 3-4 times a week downloading new ebooks.  And not just international porn mags, but NY Times bestsellers and shiat.


I think the survey they based this on would count that time as "time on the internet/computer, not related to work".
 
2014-03-04 02:57:12 PM  

INeedAName: draypresct: especially in countries with high amounts if illiteracy.

Irony, thy name is thou.


D'oh! Typo.
 
2014-03-04 02:59:22 PM  

weltallica: [i.imgur.com image 320x180]

This is what happens when you have an entire generation raised on online games and phone txt messages.  Anything over two sentences is, literally, tl;dr.


That has the virtue of being the most honest non-apology I've ever seen, and I've seen quite a lot of them, even if you only count articles Fark linked to.
 
2014-03-04 03:01:38 PM  
CSB?:

I read often normally but I'm on a big kick lately and it doesn't hurt I'm learning a bunch of new shiat for work and certifications.  I decided to try speed reading and have been working through the book by Peter Kump (Breakthrough Rapid Reading).  If anyone is interested, I'm seeing pretty awesome results after just a few weeks.  After I finish this one (6 weeks of drills) I'm gonna try another one (Triple Your Reading Speed: 4th Edition).  My reason for this is every year I do a good amount of reading but I buy more books too and my "to read" pile gets bigger, not smaller so I figure if I learn to read faster maybe I can turn the tide.  So far it's only inspired me to buy even more books so not exactly working as planned yet.

/CSB?
 
2014-03-04 03:03:24 PM  

LemSkroob: almandot: I'm a bit surprised about the UK and Japan being at the bottom. Is that really accurate?

Depends how they classify 'reading'


Does it exclude reading articles on the internet? on a tablet? then UK and Japan would be low, and china and india would be high (which is what is happening). The article, or the buried source link, doesn't define 'reading'.


They don't, but "reading" is a separate activity from "internet/computer use".  Which would indicate that reading anything online or on a computer is exempt from the "reading" category.
 
2014-03-04 03:05:46 PM  

weltallica: [i.imgur.com image 320x180]

This is what hap...


Sorry, you lost me.
 
2014-03-04 03:07:00 PM  

durbnpoisn: Have you ever tried reading Japanese?  It's almost impossible to believe that there are still many cultures who's written word is essentially a bunch of little drawings.


All written characters are little drawings.  Much like you don't sound out each letter of each word when you read (or do you?  I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt on that one), when reading Japanese you don't parse them as drawings.... you just read them.

Reading Japanese is no more difficult than reading English.  There is, however, a higher barrier to entry in that you have to learn far more characters to read effectively.  We can debate the benefits and drawbacks of that if you want, but your original argument is silly.
 
2014-03-04 03:08:49 PM  

meat0918: Barry Lyndon's Annuity Cheque: Reading books or like dicking around on the internet?

must be books


I was going to ask if reading Fark counted.
 
2014-03-04 03:09:28 PM  

DubtodaIll: meat0918: DubtodaIll: macadamnut: DubtodaIll: Gravity's Rainbow, The Stranger, and 100 Years of Solitude.

[img4.wikia.nocookie.net image 576x384]

Don't try to turn this thread about illiterates into your own literature hipster litterbox.

If there's something I've never been it's a hipster.

That's exactly what a hipster would say

Yeesh, there's a Catch-22 for you.


Horrible book.

jk, I haven't actually read it, I'm more of a sci-fi guy.
 
2014-03-04 03:19:30 PM  
They all just trying to learn English
 
2014-03-04 03:23:46 PM  
How much of that time was reading the Bible/Koran/Assorted Other Diety-Based Literature?
 
2014-03-04 03:25:41 PM  
SuperNinjaToad:
You may or may not be racist but you're definitely a very prejudice person.

I know maybe a dozen foreigners from various different countries and I can say w/o a doubt that every single one of them knows how to speak and read in their own native language. I don't see how or why Vietnam would be any different.


Put down the keyboard Ho Chi, it was an anecdote. You'll find that  people have personal stories that they often use in discussions as a way of moving the conversation forward by introducing new information.
 
2014-03-04 03:48:48 PM  
I would like to see if/how much that list would look different if the reading was broken down into categories:  religious, news, fiction, self-help, other non-fiction, etc.
 
2014-03-04 03:48:58 PM  

durbnpoisn: almandot: I'm a bit surprised about the UK and Japan being at the bottom. Is that really accurate?

Have you ever tried reading Japanese?  It's almost impossible to believe that there are still many cultures who's written word is essentially a bunch of little drawings.


There are a few advantage to using a writing system that doesn't try to capture how a word is pronounced.  For one thing, you don't have to argue which dialect is the correct one (think of words in English that are pronounced differently from one place to another, such as schedule --- should it be spelled "skedule" or "shedule"?).  If you want a phonetic alphabet you would have to constantly change the spelling of words as time went by and pronunciation shifted, or watch you alphabet become less and less phonetic over time.

Also, mutually unintelligible dialects like Mandarin and Cantonese can share the same writing system.

Granted, you can get most of this with an alphabet, too, so long as you don't try to make it phonetic.  English seems to be headed in that direction.
 
2014-03-04 03:55:52 PM  
Of course other countries spend more time reading... their languages are all weird with funny squiggles instead of good honest American letters.
 
2014-03-04 04:07:24 PM  

blatz514: Weatherkiss: Jason English? Is that his real name?

[whenyouputitthatway.com image 850x478]


Woah, he's got an Obama picture in the back. More time machine hijinx.
 
2014-03-04 04:13:13 PM  

anuran: What do you call someone who speaks three languages? Trilingual
What do you call someone who speaks two languages? Bilingual
What do you call someone who speaks one language? American


For extra irony, the joke works much better when you tell it in a language other than English, as in:

"What's the English word for someone who can speak two languages?"
"What's the English word for someone who can speak three languages?"
"What's the English word for someone who can only speak one language?"
 
2014-03-04 04:33:46 PM  
I'm skeptical.    How do they define "reading"?  Does reading online content count?  How about news articles or message boards (which can often be more informative than actual articles)?    How are they drawing their samples?  Are they representative of the population as a whole?  Most Indians are dirt poor and I doubt they have the money/resources to be reading more than everyone else in the world...
 
2014-03-04 04:57:25 PM  

macadamnut: anuran: To the Derp Brigade anyone who has heard of something they haven't is a hipster. Makes it easy to sneer at pretty much the whole world.

What's the Derp Brigade?


People who make fun of hipsters. You've probably never heard of them.
 
2014-03-04 05:02:40 PM  
I'm glad it was a color coded picture.
 
2014-03-04 05:32:55 PM  

DubtodaIll: meat0918: DubtodaIll: macadamnut: DubtodaIll: Gravity's Rainbow, The Stranger, and 100 Years of Solitude.

[img4.wikia.nocookie.net image 576x384]

Don't try to turn this thread about illiterates into your own literature hipster litterbox.

If there's something I've never been it's a hipster.

That's exactly what a hipster would say

Yeesh, there's a Catch-22 for you.


I was a hipster before it was cool.
 
2014-03-04 05:48:38 PM  
Do the articles in Hustler count?
 
2014-03-04 05:49:14 PM  

drumhellar: That ranking is bullshiat and obviously doesn't include the time Americans spend reading the guide to find out what to watch next on television.


Yea, and the labels on all the junk food in pantry.
 
2014-03-04 05:58:08 PM  
anuran:
What do you call someone who speaks three languages? Trilingual
What do you call someone who speaks two languages? Bilingual
What do you call someone who speaks one language? American


Sprechen Sie scheisskopf?
 
2014-03-04 06:02:56 PM  

Andric: durbnpoisn: Have you ever tried reading Japanese?  It's almost impossible to believe that there are still many cultures who's written word is essentially a bunch of little drawings.

All written characters are little drawings.  Much like you don't sound out each letter of each word when you read (or do you?  I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt on that one), when reading Japanese you don't parse them as drawings.... you just read them.

Reading Japanese is no more difficult than reading English.  There is, however, a higher barrier to entry in that you have to learn far more characters to read effectively.  We can debate the benefits and drawbacks of that if you want, but your original argument is silly.


Sure.  What are the benefits to a system like Japanese over, say, a non-phonetic alphabet?

I'm not a linguist and I don't know all the terms, but to my mind there's a useful distinction to be made between writing systems in which each word has its own unique character (such as Chinese) and those in which each word is built up from a fairly small number of building blocks (such as a  an abugida,alphabet, or abjad) -- basically a segmental script, except that, in theory at least, what I am talking about could be TOTALLY non-phonetic.  Like when digitizing a song into binary 1s and 0s, the correlation between the digits and the sounds are completely arbitrary.

As I wrote in an earlier post, there are disadvantages as well as advantages to making your writing system phonetic; but assuming we were talking only about writing systems that were not supposed to be phonetic at all, in what way is a non-segmental script superior to a segmental one?
 
2014-03-04 06:56:55 PM  

Pumpernickel bread: I'm skeptical.    How do they define "reading"?  Does reading online content count?  How about news articles or message boards (which can often be more informative than actual articles)?    How are they drawing their samples?  Are they representative of the population as a whole?  Most Indians are dirt poor and I doubt they have the money/resources to be reading more than everyone else in the world...


RTFA and follow the link. Radio, TV and non-work computer use were broken out separately.
 
2014-03-04 07:02:07 PM  

draypresct: In order for India to read 10 hours 42 minutes on average, each literate person would have to average 17 hours (642 minutes/.628). Possible, yes, but considering how much of an outlier that would make India, I suspect a more reasonable explanation would be that there was a fair amount of non-reporting bias, especially in countries with high amounts if illiteracy.


Nonsense, India would never embellish anything or misrepresent facts.
 
2014-03-04 07:24:14 PM  
Subby wrote  graph when I think he meant  map.But then maybe I read too much.
 
2014-03-04 07:25:53 PM  

jmsvrsn: Subby wrote  graph when I think he meant  map.


What does he know, he is not a cartomapper.
 
2014-03-04 07:52:51 PM  

jmsvrsn: Subby wrote  graph when I think he meant  map.But then maybe I read too much.


It is a graph...a cartograph.
 
2014-03-04 08:04:11 PM  

MooseUpNorth: durbnpoisn: The kid would speak to us, and his father, without missing a beat. I don't even think he realized he was speaking a different language.

There's a point where language becomes reflexive enough that you stop thinking about it very much. Most of the time, I can't really tell you what language I used with my family a few minutes before. With most people, I kind of automatically speak in the language of my listener. (I'm not really aware of doing it either. It tends to drive call center and drive-through folks a bit batty, considering their rules say they're supposed to speak in _my_ preferred language. :) )


Many years ago, my now fiancee and her mom came up here (from Mexico) to the states to look at grad schools.  She didn't want her mom know she was dating a gringo (especially a non-Catholic).  They were sharing a hotel room when the next day her Mom asked her why she was talking in English in her sleep (her mom doesn't speak English).  My gf had no idea she was speaking English (in her sleep).
 
2014-03-04 08:25:28 PM  
I suspect the figures on reading are based on books only. In addition to having a lof electronic gadgets, the British and Japanese are, IIRC, very big on reading daily newspapers. Disposable paper tablets that have news and infotainment in them. An ordinary newspaper can contain 10,000 words, and if you read just one a day, you are occupied for an hour or so.

I expect that Chinese, Japanese and many Indian languages are so much harder to read that fewer people read for pleasure or information. Also, a lot of people would be functionally illiterate or too poor to buy books in China and India, while those who can buy books in Japan are reading manga or on a tablet.

I notice that it is mainly Old World countries that read a lot of books, while new world countries read fewer.
 
2014-03-04 08:39:55 PM  
Being Canadian, I naturally compared the US and Canada. The two countries are surprisingly or unsurprisingly close on all media consumption except TV. Canadians watch 4.3 hours less television. Since almost everybody has cable now, this strikes me as odd. It was easier to understand when we had no access to American cable shows and only two stations, the CBC and Not the CBC. It is less easy to understand when we have some good domestic TV shows and lots of copies of American reality and game shows like Dancing with Margaret Atwood. I made that one up but I think it is hilarious, whereas Dancing with the Canadian Stars is just dull. Unless you can get William Shatner. Those fat guys sure can cut a rug.

Mind you, my parents are very active in their mid-seventies. They are always out doing something, even if it is just walking or mowing the lawn, and they watch very little television compared to most people their age, particularly older Americans and recent immigrants' parents and grandparents. I suspect Canadians may take more advantage of the sharply distinct seasons to play winter and summer sports or simply get out and do things for the community or with friends and family.

Even Canadians assume that US statistics apply to Canadians, but it isn't always so. There are seemingly random differences that add up to a consider cultural difference. For one thing, Canadians use the word "culture" in the anthropological sense of the word--Canadian culture includes Tim Horton's and hockey, but does not include high opera or the ballet, as American "culture" or German "kultur" does.

We're obviously up to something during those four hours a week. That's over 216 hours a year per person, enough time to infiltrate the US and take it over without the Yankees noticing until it's too late.
 
2014-03-04 09:51:03 PM  

Molavian: YOU GET NOTHING!


And like it?
 
2014-03-04 10:14:01 PM  
I'm pretty sure that India has a pretty high illiteracy rate - how much are these people reading to make up for all those who can't ready anything?
 
2014-03-04 10:30:17 PM  
I'm wondering where a good deal of India finds time to read outside of working insanely long hours.
 
2014-03-04 11:09:23 PM  
I used to read a ton but then came kids and there never seemed to be time or mental energy for reading, it was much easier to just veg in front of the computer.  Then I was hospitalized and daytime TV sucked so I had my wife bring me books and I started getting back into the reading habit.  Now I have a nice cell phone and I get e-books and I find I read a lot more because I can always whip out the phone and read for a few minutes when I am waiting for other things.  I do a lot of reading sitting in car pool lines at schools or waiting for the kids games to start or during practices.
 
2014-03-04 11:15:31 PM  
I've been to the 3 Asian countries on the top 5 list and I can say that they read so much because their local television programming really sucks.

You think their script writers can come up with a Breaking Bad or Homeland?  Hell no!

U.S.A., U.S.A., U.S.A.!!!!
 
2014-03-05 02:22:02 AM  
brantgoose:

We're obviously up to something during those four hours a week.

From watching the Olympics, I'm guessing that it's curling.

That's over 216 hours a year per person, enough time to infiltrate the US and take it over without the Yankees noticing until it's too late.

The accent and terminology would give it away, we outnumber you roughly 10 to 1 and we're armed to the teeth.
 
2014-03-05 06:59:22 AM  
I don't really trust these figures. I went to the original website and totalled the hours a person in Thailand (the country just caught my eye as it was in the top of all lists) spends:

TV         22.4
Radio    13.3
Reading  9.4
Internet  11.7

So, that adds up to 57.7 hours per week, that's a third of the whole week.  Really? How about working, housechores, sleeping, eating, commuting, interacting with other human beings?
How were the questions asked?  Does having a tv running in the background while you cook count as "watching TV"? How did they check the data (number of books/newspapers sold in said countries)?

//What do you answer if you are reading a book while the computer is downloading a file with a muted TV running in the background and listening to the sport results on the radio? Oh, yeah, that's called work, so doesn't count.
 
2014-03-05 11:47:20 AM  
img.fark.net
 
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