Colorado on the Web: Popular language after English and Spanish?

By: Dalton Walker
May 15, 2014 Updated: May 15, 2014 at 10:18 am
photo - Dalton Walker Friday, October 4, 2013. Photo by Mark Reis, The Gazette
Dalton Walker Friday, October 4, 2013. Photo by Mark Reis, The Gazette 

What's the most commonly spoken language in Colorado after English and Spanish?

As in 15 other states in our part of the country, it's German. published a series of language-themed U.S. maps recently using data from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey. The maps, six in all, are interesting and worth checking out to see our state's diversity. You can scroll through the set of maps on my blog

Spanish has become so common in the U.S. that Slate grouped it with English on some of its maps. But Spanish is not second for all states.

In North Dakota, German is second only to English.

Spanish also isn't as dominant in five other states. French is second behind English for Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire and Louisiana. Alaskans speak Yupik and Hawaiians speak Tagalog. Cool stuff.

One day Spanish is expected to pass English as the most common language in some states.

According to Slate, the most commonly spoken Native American language in Colorado is Navajo and Swedish is the most commonly spoken Scandinavian language. Hindi is the most commonly spoken Indo-Aryan language and Amharic is tops in Colorado for the most spoken African language.

I love overhearing other languages. It's what makes our country beautiful. I spent a summer in New York City a few years ago and was blown away at the diversity of languages spoken there.

I grew up in northern Minnesota listening to my relatives speak our Native-tongue, Ojibwe. My grandpa was fluent and I cherish memories of hearing him speak.

It's no surprise, at least to me, that Ojibwe is the most commonly spoken Native American language in Minnesota.

I know some Ojibwe words, but unfortunately I'm not fluent. My wife is Lakota and speaks some of her family language, too. We both share words with our young daughter, such as numbers and animals. I love it when my daughter speaks a phrase in Lakota or Ojibwe.

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More Colorado on the Web nuggets:

Here's a reason to take it slow on Colorado Springs roads. The Springs is the sixth-most expensive city in the state to get a speeding ticket, according to a study by NerdWallet.

The true cost of a speeding ticket in Colorado Springs is $693.26, according to the study. Ouch.

NerdWallet looked at drivers caught going 20 mph over the speed limit and at insurance premiums. Rates vary by Colorado city.

"On average, Colorado drivers pay $135.61 more per year for insurance after getting a speeding ticket," according to NerdWallet's study. "For many insurers, the rate increases typically last for about three years, which means that Colorado drivers can end up paying an extra $406.83 for insurance after a single ticket."

Fort Morgan is ranked first for ticket costs at $767.70. Castle Rock, Evans, Sterling and Pueblo round out the top five cities. Visit my blog at to see which other cities made the list.

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Kudos to Colorado explorer

Barry Clifford, a graduate of Western State Colorado University, may have found the long-sought wreckage of the Santa Maria, one of Christopher Columbus' ships.

The ship was found off northern Haiti in 2003 but new evidence shows the wreck is the Santa Maria. Clifford told The Associated Press this week that evidence includes what appear to be a 15th-century cannon and ballast stones.


Have a Colorado on the Web idea? Send me an email at or tweet @GazetteDalton

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