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International scholarly publishing is a multifaceted and interconnected activity around the globe. This paper critically examines the linguistic facet of scholarly publication as a global phenomenon. We investigated the distribution of languages in the Social Sciences Citation Index and the Arts and Humanities Citation Index lists to determine Chinese humanities and social sciences scholars’ choice of language as recorded in the Web of Science when publishing in selected disciplines. Covering a ten-year period from 2005 to 2014, the findings show that English was by far the most preferred language. Although other languages have a presence in the two key lists, Asian languages were conspicuously absent. Chinese scholars’ language preferences have been almost exclusively confined to English and Chinese, and they have limited multilingual abilities for scholarly publication. The findings are discussed in relation to equity and multidirectionality in international scholarly publishing.