Linked by Eisel Mazard on Thu 14th Jun 2012 22:01 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes The average computer user might think that the number of languages their operating system supports is pretty long. OSX supports 22 languages, and Microsoft claims to support 96, but they're counting different regional dialects multiple times. But there are over 6000 languages, and though many of them are spoken by a dwindling few, there are some languages that are spoken by millions of people that are supported very poorly, if at all, by computer operating systems. The reason for the support being poor is that the people who speak those languages are poor, and are not good "markets." It's only because of the efforts of a few dedicated people that computing support for languages such as Burmese, Sinhalese, Pali, Cambodian, and Lao have been as good as they are, but the trends for the future are not good.
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this is how languages die
by tidux on Thu 14th Jun 2012 22:40 UTC
tidux
Member since:
2011-08-13

Younger speakers of these languages may decide to just communicate in English when using computers rather than enduring the frustration of trying to get their native tongues working on their systems. As more and more of humanity's interactions take place via computers, this marginalizes the "incompatible" languages. In the same way that English-only schools in the US nearly wiped out many Native American languages, the Internet is going to put the squeeze on the Third World. Who knows, we may get a global standard language this century after all.

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