Fri

30

Sep

2011

Languages in a world canon list

There is a question on LitNet forum about language balance. I put up the following criteria:

 

1) Start date of the literary tradition

2) Current population literate in that lanuage

3) Language prestige

 

http://www.online-literature.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1076692&postcount=33

 

What I didn't post is my rough ranking ... hard to make this as a rule for balance I think. But as a general rule the need to include top 8: the 3 big modern languages (English, Chinese, Spanish), plus 1-2 key languages from key historical literate regions (Chinese for East Asia; Sanskrit, Pali for South Asia; Greek and Latin for Europe; and Arabic for CWANA). What surprises me is Persian really fell out the list - something unexpected to me. I guess in reality, a long representative list probably should include all the 20 languges listed here!

 

Weight 40% 40% 20%    
  Start Date Current Pop Prestige Wt. Avg. Rank Order
Chinese 10 10 8 9.6 1
English 3 10 10 7.2 2
Sanskrit 10 1 8 6.0 3
Greek 10 1 8 6.0 3
Spanish 3 8 6 5.6 5
Latin 8 1 8 5.2 6
Pali 10 0 5 5.0 7
Arabic 6 2 8 4.8 8
Japanese 6 1 6 4.0 9
Hindi/Urdu 1 6 4 3.6 10
Tamil 6 1 3 3.4 11
Portuguese 3 4 3 3.4 11
French 3 1 8 3.2 13
German 3 1 8 3.2 13
Russian 1 4 6 3.2 13
Persian 4 1 5 3.0 16
Turkish 3 1 3 2.2 17
Bengali 1 3 3 2.2 17
Tibetan 3 0 2 1.6 19
Bahasa 1 2 1 1.4 20
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