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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RE[2]: this is how languages die
by tidux on Fri 15th Jun 2012 21:45 UTC in reply to "RE: this is how languages die"
Member since:

That's a stupid example. Computers have worked properly with Greek and Cyrillic since what, the 80s?

Reply Parent Score: 1

zima Member since:

I see, you managed to miss how that wasn't an example, but an analogy, and not about computers ability to display them...

And I have perhaps even more telling one: Blackletter (Gothic) script, used in Germany well into XX century (I have some books in it after grandfather), just more or less Latin alphabet - but hardly readable to somebody not used to it.
Sure, it easily works properly with computers ...which doesn't change its relative ineligibility, its potential alienating qualities (if somebody would, say, switch just the fonts - not even the language - to Blackletter at your computer)

Edited 2012-06-15 23:05 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

tidux Member since:

Blackletter script doesn't work well on computers because the font sizes would need to be enormous to be legible at current DPI. Maybe this new trend of >200 DPI screens will fix that.

Reply Parent Score: 2

mrstep Member since:

Well you were the one calling it an example in your previous post. ;)

In any case, I'm sure there are many fantastic reasons to keep around all of the thousands of languages that were spawned because of the inability of people to cover meaningful geographic distances quickly, but there are probably more reasons supporting people being able to understand each other instead.

For "analogy" (I kid...), if you post in some Khmer dialect here, you're unlikely to get many responses. It's not only not much of a market for OS vendors, it's limiting in terms of your own economic opportunities. So it goes.

Reply Parent Score: 1