Thursday, March 19, 2009

Global Language Map

Here’s a nice-looking, if very coarse-grained, map of the languages of the world. It shows the most widely spoken languages, but continent. I’m posting it mostly because I had not been aware, until I saw the data on the map, just how much less linguistically diverse North America is than any other continent shown.

But I guess that result is only due to the fact that Australia is not counted as a separate continent, but rather as part of “Asia and Pacific,” so that its overwhelmingly English-speaking population is drowned out by the languages of China, Indonesia, Japan and Indonesia.

16 comments:

Brian Barker said...

I agree about the need to promote the Filipino language.

Although there are at least 7,000 languages throughout the World, and an increasing number are endangered through the linguistic imperialism of both Mandarin Chinese and English.

The following declaration was made in favour of Esperanto, by UNESCO at its Paris HQ in December 2008. http://portal.unesco.org/culture/en/ev.php-URL_ID=38420&URL_DO=DO_PRINTPAGE&URL_SECTION=201.html

The commitment to the campaign to save endangered languages was made, by the World Esperanto Association at the United Nations' Geneva HQ in September.
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=eR7vD9kChBA&feature=related or http://www.lernu.net

I hope you do not mind me passing on this information.

Jim Morrison said...

Interesting map!
Its a crying shame how languages are dying out. I hope something can be done to reverse the trend.
Jim

Mikethelawstudent said...

It seems to me that if the native american languages did not die out (or begin the process of doing so) than North America would be as diverse as the other area's. Tobad.

Mike

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Joshua said...

It also makes a difference that Mexico and Central America are counted not with North America, where they are often considered to be located geographically, but with Latin America. If Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean were counted with North America, that would add about 150 million more Spanish-speakers to the continent's total.

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