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Re: Supported languages (was: draft of the release announcement; please review)

> But writing something like: "the installation system for Debian
> GNU/Linux has now been translated to 58 languages, which covers 57% of
> the world population." leafes to many questions open (and I think an press
> announcement should avoid that).
> Has anyone any suggestion how to phrase that, so that it's still short
> but understandable?

Hard to give a good suggestion, but for others to suggest something
correct, please let me give explanations abou thow this is calculated:

-for each language supported in Debian, I included two numbers in the
reference file (attached):
 - the number of language speakers, according to Ethnologue
 - the "estimated" number of language speakers, calculated from an 
   estimation taken from various sources (including translators)

"speakers" mean "people with the given language as a "mother tongue",
ie a language they learnt in their childhood

The second number is often a correction of the first one, when the
first one is obviously underestimated.

For instance, take a few examples:

-Dutch has 17M, according to Ethnologue. According to Frans, and
indeed everybody with a brain, Dutch can be understood by at least the
entire population of the Netherlands (the number of people who don't
have Dutch as mother tongue and are Dutch is easily compensated by
those who have Dutch as mother tongue and aren't Dutch.
 As a consequence, the number becomes 21M, which is approximately the
population of the Netherlands plus the Dutch speaking part of Belgium,
if I'm correct (unverified as of now ;-))

-German is listed for 95M as first number, which we corrected to 101M,
which is roughly the cumulated pop of Germany/Austria/Switzerland (german
speaking part)

-There are many special cases, such as avoiding to count Catalan
people for both Catalan and Spanish

So, the second number tries to be a good representation of "people who
are comfortable with the said language" and also avoid counting people
for two languages (which explains why English has only 309M so roughly
the number of inhabitants of English speaking countries, without
citizens of India where other languages are the real street language
while English is among the official languages, who are counted for

I would say something like "We estimate that 57% of the world
population will be able to install Debian in a language they're
familiar with since their childhood".

Attachment: languages.xml
Description: XML document

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