I was interviewed this week by the very nice people at PythonAnywhere: blog.pythonanywhere.com/79/ . They do a great job of hosting my hanzi analysis scripts, and allow you to create and maintain a site run by the Python language without any configuration, or uploading or downloading anything- you edit the code through a very advanced web editor. You can create a free account to try it out. The code runs on Amazon's EC2 servers, so the performance is quite amazing.

Thes hanzi tools I created do all sorts of things that are too numerous to list, give them a try here: hskhsk.pythonanywhere.com . I made a small improvement to the dictionary today, so that it copes with large amounts of input better. It shows a short phrase word by word, and annotates a longer phrase inline (recognise the poem?)

OK so maybe the title goes a bit far; it might be more accurate to say "Where people are studying for the HSK" or "Where visitors to my website are from". But there's probably a pretty strong correlation between places where my site is popular, and where people are learning Chinese.

This map combines together country-level and city-level data, and it's pretty clear that most of the learners are from China (18%), Thailand (8%), and Indonesia (7%)! In Western Europe there is a fairly even spread of learners everywhere (except for a gap in central France!), without too much clustering. I wonder if this matches with more formal studies of the popularity of Chinese as a second language?

Splitting the data by 'region', shows that about 60% of the visits to my site are from Asia, 20% are from Europe, and less than 10% are from North America. There are more visits from S.E. Asia than from E. Asia (which includes China)!

A quick summary of how Google split the regions:'

  • Western Asia' is what I would call the 'Middle East',
  • Central Asia is all the 'Stans,
  • Southern Asia is Iran to India,
  • South-East Asia is Burma and Thailand to the Philippines and Indonesia.
  • East Asia is China, Mongolia, Japan, Korea.
  • Northern Europe is the UK and Scandanavia.
  • Western Europe is Germany and France to Switzerland.