Re: GDP by language

From: Peter Kirk (
Date: Wed Oct 22 2003 - 11:53:44 CST

On 22/10/2003 02:17, Marco Cimarosti wrote:

> ...
>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
The data doesn't support addition to this degree of accuracy because of
the effect of the "others" area. Cyrillic may even overtake Arabic,
because there are several countries using the Cyrillic alphabet, but not
Russian or Ukrainian, which might each contribute 0.1-0.2%, but no
countries as far as I know using Arabic script but not Arabic, Persian
or Urdu as official languages (except perhaps Pashto in Afghanistan).
Also of course the GDP data is surely not reliable to sufficient accuracy.

Also you might get a slightly different picture if you add in the
relatively prosperous users of non-western scripts who have migrated to
western countries - Hebrew and Armenian as well as south Asian scripts.

As for the morality issue: while we can't do much about the relative
availability of computers, it is encouraging to see that commercial
software vendors as well as the open source community are making
internationalisation packages and localised versions of software
available, sometimes free to all and sometimes at greatly reduced cost
in poorer countries. Unicode isn't going to solve inequalities on its
own, but it can hardly be blamed for contributing to them. In the long
term, and if other factors allow it, we might even find that the
computer revolution is the key to breaking down these inequalities.

Peter Kirk (personal) (work)

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Thu Jan 18 2007 - 15:54:24 CST