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Re: Announcing the real time list of supported languages in Debian Installer

I thank you so much for your attention and your precision. You know,
things are somehow different from what you read in many books. The
reason is the old and not accurate statistics collected in many
countries like Iran.
If I consider myself, I have Mazandarani as my mother tongue, but it
is absolutely a kind of Persian. It is very similar to old Persian,
that is called "Parsi-e-Dari". If you want to know, I absolutely
consider myself as a native Persian speaker, and there are a few
people that know Mazandarani and don't know Persian. Gilaki is much
similar to Persian than Mazandarani.
I've explored the Ethnologue, and there I could find some interesting
things, for example it had mentioned the Persian language in
India(although it has not a lot of speakers).

> As of Persian, the very maximum seems to be 67M*0.75 (percentage of
> Iran population estimated to be literate in Persian) and add the 7.6M
> people using Eastern Persian in Afghanistan and other countries,
> according to Ethnologue. This would give us 58M people.
I think this is more reasonable than the original one.

> The "problem" of Ethnologue is that they make distinctions between
> quite similar languages....but, not being a linguist, I can hardly
> guess which languages I can "assimilate" to a given language.
I agree with you. But even when you look at Parsi, there are a lot of
things that tell us IT IS Persian. For example, when I look at the
books written by them(mostly literature), they are not so much
different from our literature books. In fact, we have some poems that
are written by poets from Afghanistan and India. So western Persian is
not totally different from original Persian that today is spoken in
Iran. But I can not say more about this.
I want to know what do you thing about English language? American,
British, Australian, ....

> I found absolutely no reference to more than 40M speakers for Persian.
Anyway, some western references don't even agree with best known facts
about Iran, because of the political problems after 1979's revolution.
Have you heard about one US magazine calling the registered ``Persian
Gulf'', ``Arabian Gulf''?

> Anyway, I intend to make another survey by lookign at *each country*
> one by one, and see whether one of its official languages is supported
> in D-I or not. This would then give me a "rate of support" per
> country....and, by using each country's population, another way to
> measure the population ratio we support.
This is a good idea, but what ``looking at *each country*'' means? We
don't have and exact reference for doing that. Even if you trust
Ethnologue, how can you say that one language is different from

> However, My concern about this is that it would for instance make 60%
> of African countries supported...just because they have either English
> or French as one of their official languages.
Sadly, the native languages of those countries are dying slowly. I
agree with above statement.

> As you see, human sciences are anything but exact sciences..:-)
I agree, but with the power of media, the things are changing rapidly.
We are forced to be something like others. We should speak English, we
should eat and dress like Americans, .... It is not bad itself, but
when you see the native cultures are dying, you can not be very
positive about this.

Maybe I should ask an linguist with expertize on Persian. Anyway, very
thank you for attention.

Sincerely yours
Hossein Noorikhah

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