May be referred to alternatively as Majority / Minority languages. If significant numbers of individuals within one people group speak language A as their main language, and other individuals speak language B as their main language, Joshua Project marks the language with the most speakers (sometimes an estimate) as the Primary language for the entire people group. Other languages spoken are marked as Secondary languages.
Note that a language marked as Secondary for the entire people group may in fact be the main language for certain individuals.
In South Asia each people group may speak dozens of languages, and understanding what we mean by primary and secondary languages is essential.
Note that marking languages as primary and secondary does not refer directly to the degree of bi-lingualism in a people group, although it implies bi-lingualism is occurring.Learn more: