Thursday, July 4, 2013

Missionary Assignments by Language and Region

13 June Language

More missionaries are serving than at any time!  The post updates a previous post, “May Update on Mission Assignments by Language.”  I use data collected from YouTube videos if missionaries reading their calls to show where missionaries are serving and the languages they speak.  I collected 814 videos in which the missionary reads both the mission and the language, 471 calls are to men and 343 to women.  As an important note, a number of observations, 156, did not name the language to be spoken; given the country that these missionaries will be serving, most of those missionaries will be speaking English.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches missionaries approximately 50 languages; my data set includes 35 languages. 

The graph, “Languages by Area,” shows the top ten languages spoken by missionaries from my data set and the areas the missionaries are serving.  English is the most common language used by missionaries.  The ten major languages spoken by missionaries and the percentage of missionaries speaking that language are": English (38.0%), Spanish (30.6%, Portuguese (9.7%), Japanese (4.1%), Tagalog (2.3%), Russian (2.1%), Italian (1.5%), Japanese (4.1%), Tagalog (2.3%), Russian (2.1%), Italian (1.5%), French (1.4%), Korean (1.2%), and Mandarin (1.2%).  The other 25 languages spoken by missionaries constitute 8.0% of calls.

By area, 38% of all calls were to the United States and 11% to the other countries in North America.  Twenty-one percent were called to South America, 12% to Europe, 11% to Asia, 3% to Africa, and 4% to Oceania.

13 June Language Elders

Calls to men differed a little from calls to women.  Fewer men were called to serve in the United States (30.1%) and as a consequence, fewer will serve in the English language (34.8%).  Because fewer calls were to speak English, more calls must be in other languages but an inspection of the other languages suggests that the calls were rather evenly divided between the remaining languages. 

By area, 30% of all calls issued to Elders were to the United States and 13% to the other countries in North America.  Twenty-three percent were called to South America, 13% to Europe, 10% to Asia, 5% to Africa, and 5% to Oceania.

13 June Language Sisters

By region, the calls to Sisters varies from calls to Elders in that more Sisters are called to the United States and fewer to the rest of North American and Africa.  Sisters are called to serve in English more often than Elders.  This implies that they will speak less of other languages, but that difference seems to be spread evenly between the other languages used by missionaries.

There is nothing in the data to suggest why Sisters are more likely to serve in the United States, speaking English than Elders.  Three areas of future research come to mind.  According to my son, the application form asks two questions about language or foreign service.  Perhaps Sisters would rather serve in the United States and in English.  Some cultures are male dominated and not friendly to women.  Perhaps women are relatively more effective compared to Elders in the United States than in the male dominated societies.  Finally, some areas may be more dangerous to women than men.  The Church could be physically protecting Sisters. 

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