No One Knows Which Is the Most-used Language

Globe of languages

Language rankings are fun. It’s exciting to read lists of languages to find your very own mother tongue. Is it better than others? Are there a lot of fellow native speakers? Is the language getting stronger? The basic competitiveness of a human nature is strong when it comes to languages. We all have a personal relationship to our native language. It’s our way to communicate. It defines us. We want to see its position against other languages. Continue reading No One Knows Which Is the Most-used Language

The Future Speaks Spanish

Spanish / English class

The influx of Spanish speaking people in the US over the past several decades has created a powerful new interest in this vibrant culture that is extending to all parts of the globe as well.

After English, Spanish is probably geographically speaking one of the most widely used language on Earth. And the growth hasn’t met its peak yet.

Continue reading The Future Speaks Spanish

Cool Infographics About the Multilingual & Multicultural Internet

While some people feel that the Internet is a threat to local languages, cultures and customs, the truth is that the more users there are in the online world the more the more multicultural and multilingual it will become. Here are some cool infographics showing how versatile and rich the Internet is: Continue reading Cool Infographics About the Multilingual & Multicultural Internet

What Are the Most Spoken Languages in the World?

Most Spoken languages of the World?To many people it may seem that English is the most widely spoken language in the world, this is sort of true to the extent that it is the most popular secondary language, it is after all the official language of the Business World as well as the language used in international relations. There are many languages out there which are more widely spoken than  English and in this article I am going to discuss a few of them. Continue reading What Are the Most Spoken Languages in the World?

Language Barriers Visualized [graph]

Globalization seems to be a phenomenon which is here to stay. For some people globalization is a possibility and for others it is a threat. The latter group says that globalization is going to kill local cultures, habits and languages. These people can now be less concerned about the issue, because language barriers still exist.

In the graph below you can see the language barriers in action. It shows how much or little separated each language is linked from each other. The graph tells for example how many of the sites in German language link to sites in French (0.01). We can draw interesting conclusions from the graph.

Click to enlarge. Source: http://googleresearch.blogspot.com/2011/07/languages-of-world-wide-web.html

We can assume that when a person visits an interesting site he or she shares the link with others in social media sites or in a blog posting or in other location. This means that if for example many French people visit German sites often there should be many links from French sites to German sites and vice versa. Likewise, if French people don’t visit German sites often there is only small number of links.

Like the graph illustrates, there are surprisingly little connections between languages. Even when people do understand other languages, they usually visit sites in their own language. For example, French people commonly study Spanish at schools. However, they don’t commonly visit Spanish web sites. And although Germans often study French, they don’t usually visit French sites. And the same applies to almost any other language.

There are couple of possible reasons for the lack of links between different languages. First, the content might already be translated to many languages, and people can choose in which language they read the content. People tend to choose the language they understand best. Secondly, people might find foreign language content uninteresting. This scenario is only theoretical because we cannot assume that the attractiveness of the content is related to the used language. Thirdly, people might not fully understand the content if it is written with other than their native language. If they don’t understand, they may not want to link to the content.

All this confirms the common opinion that you have to communicate in people’s own language to reach them. In the future, machine translation quality will surely improve and lower the language barrier.

 


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Bamunka Localization of Software Now Possible

Bamunka language has got their own alphabet. This is a good thing in this time of globalization when few, giant languages tend to rule the global communication. Languages ​​are an asset to the world. Bamunka is spoken by 20,000 people in Cameroon. Here are the Bamunka alphabet:

 

Software can be localized to Bamunka because Bamunka can be written with Unicode.

In addition software can now be localized to Bamunka language, because the alphabet is Latin alphabet plus some special characters that have existing Unicode codepoint. Thus the software to localize must be Unicode enabled to support proper localization.

What is the most exotic language you know?

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