Talk:Languages of Vanuatu
|WikiProject Melanesia / Vanuatu||(Rated Start-class)|
Materials on languages of Vanuatu (New Hebrides)
South Sea languages, a series of studies on the languages of the New Hebrides and other South Sea Islands (1889)
@Womtelo: do you have any citations? Ethnologue  lists the most-populous official languages of Vanuatu as being English, French, and Bislama (from most-spoken to least-spoken). That figure includes both first-language speakers and second-language speakers combined (e.g. Bislama-speakers who also speak English as a second language). It makes sense that Bislama would be most populous out of the official languages as a first language, but not necessarily for both first- and second- language speakers combined. Nicole Sharp (talk) 12:42, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
- hi Nicole. Well, that Ethnologue page is certainly not a proper source for comparing English and Bislama, if only because it doesn't include any number for L2 speakers of Bislama: it only says “Widespread”. This paper (cited in the WP entry) is a more reliable source; it shows on p.104 that the first language of Vanuatu families is Bislama for 33.7% of the population, and "others" (incl. English or French) for only 3.1%. Even if one doesn't know the country, it is very unlikely that English with only <3% of 1st lg speaker would suddenly take over Bislama for 2nd language. Now if you know Vanuatu, you know that Bislama is the lingua franca used by everyone in the country, just like Italian in Italy. It is fair to say that L1+L2 speakers of Bislama form 99% of the Vanuatu population (not counting short-term expats and tourists); that's about 250,000 people. I don't have a reference to this, but it would be easy to find. As far as knowledge of English is concerned, it is way less strong in the country. It is mostly learnt in schools, and will only be spoken fluently by a portion of the people who have learnt it at school and use it in their daily life (I'd say 20% maximum).
- Saying that Vanuatu has more speakers of English than of Bislama, would be like claiming that Italy has more speakers of English than of (standard) Italian; I'm sure this would be incorrect (although I don't have a reference for Italy handy). best, -- Womtelo (talk) 13:48, 5 September 2016 (UTC).