Re: Unicode 3.0 press statements

From: Peter Constable (
Date: Thu Jan 20 2000 - 09:08:12 EST


>One of the popular almanacs used to have a single page list of
       the languages with the most speakers, and may still do so. I
       believe that
       Unicode now covers all of the scripts listed, which may well
       the primary language of 99%...

       A minor quibble: 1% of 6 billion would be 60 million. I think
       I've heard figures (I'm not positive -- I could probably find
       this out from the Ethnologue, but don't want to take the time
       now) that there are something like 350 million speakers of
       unwritten languages. If that's true, then you could say no more
       than 94%. (Mind you, a significant proportion, though by no
       means all, of those 350M also speak a second language the
       writing system of which is covered by Unicode.) Add in
       languages which have writing systems that are not yet fully
       covered by Unicode (scripts yet to be added, or incomplete
       coverage - e.g. Iranian Kurdish, as was pointed out yesterday),
       and that comes down a little more. I have no idea by how much,
       but I'd be surprised if it wasn't another 1 - 3%.


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