Sunday, 23 December 2012

India sings in Punjabi but comments in English

I just happen to notice something wonderful, the YouTube statistics for 2012 on the Google India blog. The numbers show us the most watched film trailers, songs and television programmes in India in 2012.

The most watched song on YouTube India in 2012 is Brown Rang (Brown colour). It's in Punjabi, which is spoken by less than 3 per cent Indians. As if that wasn't surprising enough, both the top comments for this video are in English. A quick glance at the first 30 comments shows English even rules here, with merely four-five in Portuguese and one comment in Punjabi.

The next one is Gangnam Style. I don't have anything to say here because the comments are appearing so fast that they would be gone before I finish writing this post.

The third is Mashallah. It's in Hindi/Urdu but most of the top 30 comments are in English. 

Now I won't go through each of them, here is a chart for reference: 

2012 YouTube India rank
Language (comments)
Percentage of people who speak the language
1 Brown Rang Full Song HD- International Villager Yo Yo Honey Singh Punjabi English < 3%
2 PSY - GANGNAM STYLE (강남스타일) M/V Korean NA ~0%
3 Mashallah - Song - Ek Tha Tiger - Salman Khan & Katrina Kaif Hindi/Urdu English > 47%*
5 Jism 2 Yeh Jism Song | Sunny Leone, Arunnoday Singh, Randeep Hooda | Exclusive Hindi/Urdu English > 47%*
6 Saans - Song - Jab Tak Hai Jaan Hindi/Urdu English > 47%*
7 Chinta Ta Ta Chita Chita - Rowdy Rathore Official Full Song Video Akshay Kumar, Sonakshi Sinha, Mika Hindi/Urdu English > 47%*
8 "Abhi Abhi Jism 2" Official Song | Sunny Leone, Arunnoday Singh, Randeep Hooda Hindi/Urdu English > 47%*
9 Ishq Wala Love - Student Of The Year - The Official Song | HQ Hindi/Urdu English > 47%*
10 Challa - Song - Jab Tak Hai Jaan Hindi/Urdu English > 47%*

*The figure is a big underestimate and could be as high as 70 or 80 per cent. I am relying on the Government of India Census which was carried out in 2001. (The figures from the 2011 census have yet to publish.) I have counted both Hindi and Urdu speakers as at this level it's impossible to tell them apart.


(1) No English, no Tamil, no Telugu, no Bengali in the top 10.
(2) Irrespective of the language of a song, most comments are in English.

I had a casual look at the most watched film trailers and television programmes. All of them are in Hindi/Urdu but once again it's English that rules in the Comments arena.