Following on my prognostication for 2010, I came across a page on Wikipedia for the total number of language speakers in the world. I applaud the fact that this list was created as it is interesting to see. It’s just a shame that some of the figures are insanely inaccurate, which is probably why it has been proposed to delete the article.
One of my barometers on anything to deal with world languages is Croatian or Serbo-Croatian if you will. On this chart, it lists it as the 50th most spoken language in the world. That really doesn’t seem correct and a great deal of the numbers are out of whack. Digging deeper, I see that some of the African language totals are worse than a stab in the dark. For the most obvious starter, take a look at Kiswahili. It’s listed with 5 million native speakers and 80 million secondary speakers. Most accounts I’ve seen have it listed at 100-150 million speakers. Some documentation is needed there.
It’s little things like this that make this list need a great deal of love and it’s unfortunate to see that despite all the activity on it, so many of the figures are quite inaccurate. So, I ask of anyone out there with some language knowledge to document and contribute to this list in order to make it something a great deal more respectable, at least on the African front if nothing else.
Help out this world language list