Re: GDP by language

From: Mark Davis (
Date: Wed Oct 22 2003 - 09:13:16 CST

Marco, I certainly wouldn't draw that conclusion. This is not the appropriate
forum for a political or ethical discussion, but equating "GDP" with "more
important" in any general sense is clearly a huge leap, and one that I certainly
would not make. There is a rough correlation of GDP with "currently has more
money to spend for products", but that is only very, very rough.

And the "currently" is very important; projections are for this chart to change
pretty dramatically over the course of the next 20-50 years. See, for example,,, and

(It would be pretty interesting to make a dynamic pie chart with pieces
growing/shrinking over the period of some seconds to reflect projected changes
in the future.)

The goal of the chart was different. Many people mistakenly think the potential
customer base of non-English-speakers is smaller than it actually is. The goal
was to graphically illustrate -- in a very general fashion -- that if a product
only works with English, it misses a huge potential market.

► शिष्यादिच्छेत्पराजयम् ◄

----- Original Message -----
From: "Marco Cimarosti" <>
To: "'Mark Davis'" <>; <>;
Sent: Wed, 2003 Oct 22 02:17
Subject: RE: GDP by language

> Mark Davis wrote:
> > BTW, some time ago I had generated a pie chart of world GDP
> > divided up by language.
> Those quotients are immoral.
> Of course, this immorality is not the fault of he who did the calculation:
> the immorality is out there, and those infamous numbers are just an
> arithmetical expressions of it.
> In practice, those quotients say that, e.g., Italian (spoken by 50 millions
> people or less) is more important than Hindi (spoken by nearly one billion
> people), just because an average Italian is richer than an average Indian.
> In other terms, each Indian (or any other citizen from poor countries) has
> 1/20 or less of the linguistic rights of an Italian (or any other citizen
> from rich countries).
> BTW, by summing up languages written with the same script, it is easy to
> derive the "immoral quotients" of writing systems:
> Latin 59.13%
> Han 20.60%
> Arabic 3.82%
> Cyrillic 2.99%
> Devanagari 2.54%
> Hangul 1.84%
> Thai 0.87%
> Bengali 0.44%
> Telugu 0.42%
> Greek 0.40%
> Tamil 0.34%
> Gujarati 0.26%
> _ Marco

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