Talk:List of languages by number of native speakers/Archive 8

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Thai

Why is Thai ranked at 46? The numbers here show that it should be at about 26. I must assume I'm failing to notice something about the data or how it's organized, for there to be such a seemingly obvious contradiction in this list. I mean, come on. [ɹɔɪ̯ˈoʊ̯ɾiː] 01:08, 2 January 2011 (UTC)

Cornish language figures

Why does it state that Cornish has 3000 native speakers? It blatantly has not got that many native speakers. Its wikipedia page says 3000 people are able to understand simple conversations; that is not speaking a language natively from birth; that is 3000 people learning a few phrases from phrase books. I would suggest native speakers number less than 300 rather than 3000. Even if 3000 COULD speak it fluently, note that the page is asking for numbers on native speakers, not fluent speakers who have learnt it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Hpc1989 (talkcontribs) 17:50, 27 January 2011 (UTC)

Hindi is spoken by 422 million people.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Indiaspeak-English-is-our-2nd-language/articleshow/5680962.cms

According to this link Hindi is spoken by 422 million people (according to government census). How can it be just 200 million which means just 20% of India's population. Ashok4himself (talk) 20:01, 13 March 2010 (UTC)

ethnologue considers hindi, bhojpuri, chhattisgarhi, magahi, rajasthani, and all the dozens of other dialects of hindi as seperate languages. the indian census does not (it does still count urdu seperately). if you look on the hindi version of this page, you see hindustani is listed in their version as it is here, as one language. if you used the indian census data (your 422 million), the number would have to include both hindi and urdu, and would not be 422 million but rather 474 million. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 173.66.8.104 (talk) 00:38, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
It's worse than that. The Indian census goes by self identification, so members of the same family might report different home languages, say one calls it Awadhi, and another calls it Hindi. Check the figures for Awadhi: they have nothing to do with the actual number of speakers. — kwami (talk) 14:55, 23 February 2011 (UTC)

Serbo-Croation

Under Serbo-Croation it says Croatian is spoken by 6,200,00 people - shouldn't there be an extra zero at the end? 114.78.185.1 (talk) 02:36, 10 April 2010 (UTC)

60 million? Didn't know Croatia was now the third largest European country. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 128.135.24.80 (talk) 17:06, 1 March 2011 (UTC)

SERBO-CROATIAN DO NOT EXIST

Serbo-Croatian do not exist.
  • isn't official language of any country
  • no exist by ISO
  • Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian and Montenegrin are similar, all slavic languages are similar, but languages, no language
  • name Serbo-Croatian is inovated 1953 by politic reasons
  • you have titles/sycnhronization of film an Croatian, Serbian... no Serbo-Croatian
  • in school you can learn Croatian, Serbian... no Serbo-Croatian
  • books are write in Croatian, Serbian... no Serbo-Croatian
  • you have translate books from Serbian to Croatian and same... why if is one language?!
  • political idea of fictional language serbo-Croatian never have success in nation (in time when scr was official, all speak Croatian, Serbian...)
  • Serbo-Croatian is stupidness like slavic languages; you speak one slavic language, you can understand very good all, but Russian and Bulgarian are'nt one language

--89.201.244.109 (talk) 12:09, 1 October 2010 (UTC)

As far as I understand it, Croatian and "Bosnian" are pretty close to identical; I'd never even heard there was supposed to be a "Montenegrin" language before you just mentioned it - I see now that it's basically an attempt to make some slight orthographic changes from standard Serbian so as to be able to claim to have their own language. Serbian and Croatian obviously have different writing systems, but my understanding was that standard Croatian and standard Serbian both derive from the Shtokavian dialect, the spoken languages are considerably closer to one another than standard Croatian is to Kajkavin and Chakavian, which are considered mere dialects of Croatian. This seems one of the clearest cases of an instance where a language is a dialect with an army and a navy, but in this case it seems even worse - here a language is a variation within a dialect with an army and a navy. john k (talk) 14:27, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
Croatian and Bulgarian are more similar than Croatian and Bosnian, Montenegrin or Serbian.
"Croatian and Bulgarian are more similar than Croatian and Bosnian, Montenegrin or Serbian" = Rubbish.

Whether it is "official" means nothing to linguists. Linguistically, one shouldn't even talk about Croatian/Bosnian/Serbian languages, but to Shtokavian/Kajkavian/Chakavian languages, and to ekavian/ikavian/ijekavian dialects within shtokavian. Shtokavian BCSM is spoken in all four countries. "Serbs" and "Bosniaks" in central Bosnia speak absolutely identically (ijekavian), and only slightly differently from people in Belgrade (ekavian) or Dubrovnik (ikavian). The language of Zagreb (Kajkavian) is quite different, but Shtokavian South Slavic is one language, regardless of political borders, ethnic ideologies or different alphabets. You can refuse to call it Serbo-croatian if you want. That doesn't make you a linguist. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 128.135.24.80 (talk) 17:16, 1 March 2011 (UTC)


--89.201.227.165 (talk) 17:29, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

That sounds like complete nonsense. john k (talk) 05:18, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

Portuguese

Brazil has a population of 190 million people. Almost 99 percent of Brazilians are native speakers of Portuguese.

Portugal has a population of 11 million people.

Angola has a population of 18 million people.

How is it possible that Portuguese can have only 178 million native speakers? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Siaraman (talkcontribs) 14:28, 20 December 2010 (UTC)

There are almost no native Portuguese speakers in Angola. But the basic issue is that ethnologue numbers are a few years out of date. The 163 million Portuguese speakers they give for Brazil is based on 1998 numbers. This is unfortunate, but seems basically inevitable. The article will never be perfectly consistent, but it gives a good broad sense of which languages are the most spoken. Is Portuguese definitively the seventh most spoken language in the world? I don't know - it may at this point have more than Bengali, but the Bengali figures given here are undoubtedly out of date as well, so who knows? What we need here are sources, not broad extrapolations from demographic figures. john k (talk) 07:35, 28 December 2010 (UTC)
    • How can you say such nonsense. if you dont know what you are talking, dont talk. There are millions of native speakers of Portuguese in Angola alone, it is the official and MAIN language in Angola. So you are the reason why this article is like this?! ---Pedro (talk) 17:12, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Just a correction, it is not true that "99 % of Brazilians are native Portuguese speakers", the truth is OVER 99% of Brazilians are native Portuguese speakers.
  • Another issue is that Angola by itself may suppress Portugal in a not so distance future in number of native speakers. Mozambique alone has way over 1 million native speakers. The number of total speakers in both country may already had or will suppress.

this being said: the data from Encarta should be removed from the article, it is unreliable and non-informative. Even data from ethnologue is not reliable, but it has historical relevance, although it also has statistical errors even using outdated information. As for Encarta, it is 100% garbage. -Pedro (talk) 11:39, 7 January 2011 (UTC)

I'm deleting Encarta apart from a few remnants under 'other estimates'.
It's clear that Ethnologue has not accounted for Angolan speakers. A recent reference would be useful, if you have one. — kwami (talk) 14:52, 23 February 2011 (UTC)

Chinese Sign Language

Shouldn't Chinese Sign Language be somewhere in this list? According to the article, there are over twenty million signers, so I would think it would be fairly high up. --Yair rand (talk) 04:58, 16 January 2011 (UTC)

The article was wrong. We don't know how many speakers there are. — kwami (talk) 14:49, 23 February 2011 (UTC)

wrong kurdish info

kurdish lang. = min. 35.000.000 ! —Preceding unsigned comment added by 92.224.185.66 (talk) 12:01, 20 January 2011 (UTC)

Source? — kwami (talk) 14:49, 23 February 2011 (UTC)

wrong numbers for french and german?

The numbers for French do not correspond at all (!) with the numbers given in the main article on the "French language". German numbers are also largely inferior to what is stated in the article on the German language. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 217.249.206.121 (talk) 21:06, 21 February 2011 (UTC)

That might be better resolved by changing the article French language. Also note the difference between native and total speakers. Munci (talk) 00:23, 24 February 2011 (UTC)
The problem is that nobody knows how many native speakers there are in Africa, but certainly the total number of French natives is far superior to 68 million. The same goes for German, there are more than 90 million native speakers of German. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 217.249.246.208 (talk) 23:35, 24 February 2011 (UTC)
We use WP:RS's. Find those, and we're golden. — kwami (talk) 00:21, 25 February 2011 (UTC)

deleted incomplete sections

The sections under 1M were hopelessly incomplete, so I just deleted them. I left a section on <10, but that should probably go as well, as it will be in constant flux and is already covered by the lists of endangered languages. — kwami (talk) 14:48, 23 February 2011 (UTC)

I don't understand how that's a good enough reason to just remove it all. Why? It's not as if they don't fit on the list at all. Or as if it's something comepletely abnormal in wikipedia lists for them to be incomplete. It already has the incomplete list template. That should be enough to make people realise it's incomplete. Munci (talk) 00:21, 24 February 2011 (UTC)
But it will never be complete. There has never been enough input to get even close. The point of the list is for people to see which languages are the most spoken. After a while, it no longer fulfills that function. Better to have a limited list that is somewhat reliable than an expanded list that's not representative.
I've also removed the rankings after the top sections. After about the top 20 or so they become almost meaningless: 40th may not mean more speakers that 50th. The languages are close enough down there that every time the numbers are updated they jump all over the place: not because their actual rank has changed, but simply due to variations in the statistics. — kwami (talk) 02:44, 24 February 2011 (UTC)
I wouldn't say "The point of the list is for people to see which languages are the most spoken." quite fits it because it could well also be used simply to see where a particular language is in the list, or to compare two languages. And doing those is easier when you actually include all the languages. Even if you are going to leave it like that, surely you should put some sort of notice at the top saying that you've decided to remove all the ones below 1 million? Munci (talk) 10:45, 24 February 2011 (UTC)
Actually, you hit on my main problem with it: beyond the top languages, where a language falls in the list means almost nothing. Our figures for Pashtun are 18–50M; Thai was at 46M when the ref says 26M. With data like that, you can't really make a meaningful comparison. If you want to compare two languages, best to just check their articles. But good point about being explicit with the cutoff. — kwami (talk) 12:15, 24 February 2011 (UTC)
Isn't that at least partly because Ethnologue splits Thai up into multiple dialects and treats them as separate languages where others would keep them as a single language? Munci (talk) 13:10, 24 February 2011 (UTC)
Yup.
If you have a good ref that Thai and Lao are mutually intelligible, we can use "Thai-Lao" as a language. Many of the languages are in dialect clusters and therefore poorly defined. Another reason absolute ranking doesn't help much. — kwami (talk) 00:23, 25 February 2011 (UTC)
Well here's a source anyway ("Standard Lao is indeed close enough to standard Thai (as spoken in central Thailand) that for native speakers the two are mutually intelligible."), not sure how appropriate it is. This, however, says "In fact, the language of Laos is almost identical to dialects of northeastern Thai, and even the Central Thai and Lao languages are mutually intelligible to many speakers." so since it's not all speakers I don't think it really counts. I'm more concerned about whether we keep Central Thai separate from Northern Thai, like on ethnologue, or not though. Munci (talk) 03:33, 25 February 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, I don't know. Many classifications count Isan w Lao, or even count them as one language, but not Isan w Siamese Thai. On the other hand, the consensus seems to be that Ethnologue is overly splittist, assigning iso codes based on the needs of biblical translation rather than of objective cladistics. — kwami (talk) 06:21, 25 February 2011 (UTC)
There's Southern Thai as well, with 4.5M.
Many of the languages in our source (which stops at 3M) are not in our list. I've added them (or all I noticed anyway) to the bottom of the 3–5M section. — kwami (talk) 17:26, 1 March 2011 (UTC)

Listed separately vs. collectively

From the lede: "...some mutually intelligible idioms with separate national standards or self-identification have been listed separately, including... Hindi-Urdu..." That sentence needs to be consistent with the list itself. If we are going to list Hindi-Urdu and Serbo-Croatian as single entities (which we currently do), then clearly we should not claim in the lede that we are listing their component languages separately. Please remember this when altering the main list, so that the article does not provide a false description of itself. Lfh (talk) 10:56, 8 March 2011 (UTC)

violated procedures

Kwami violated procedures, and more importantly, he abused his admin privileges by protecting the article in which he contributed himself. He also took part in the 'conflict' (by reverting others).--Sokac121 (talk) 13:56, 11 March 2011 (UTC)

Edit request from 84.78.250.13, 11 March 2011

{{edit semi-protected}}

Catalan doesn't appear in the list of languages by number. It is a Indo-European, romanic language. The number of speakers is more than 9,000,000 people. It must be in the list of 5 to 10 milion native speakers. There is an entrance in wikipedia related with catalan language: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catalan_language

Thank you very much

84.78.250.13 (talk) 17:31, 11 March 2011 (UTC)

There's even more than that -- it's in the "10 to 30 million native speakers" section. "Catalan (Valencian) Indo-European, Romance 11.5 million (2006) 15 million". If you'd like any further help, contact me on my user talk page. You might instead want to put a {{help me}} template up on your own user talk, or put the {{edit semi-protected}} template back up on this page and either way someone will be along to help you. :) Banaticus (talk) 06:07, 12 March 2011 (UTC)

Serbo-Croatian

Someone added Serbo-Croatian. Let's look the facts. How many citizens in ex-Yugoslavia states declares to speak Serbo-Croatian, only a very small minority.

Facts are next:

  • Croatian language - 5,5 milion native speakers
  • Serbian language - 9-10 milion native speakers
  • Bosnian language - 2,2 milion native speakers
  • Montenegrin language - unknown native speakers

Source for number of speakers of Serbo-Croatian language (source) is sum of number of citizens of Republic of Croatia, Republic of Serbia and Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as quoted "Population total all countries: 16,351,052." This leads us to conclusion it is not number of speakers, but number of citizens of those three states.

I think main argument for adding Serbo-Croatian is kind of "karadžiđistic" if I may call it so... Karadžić stated, I can't qoute him correctly: "I met two Macedonian shepherds and they told me that their language is similiar to Serbian, so this means Macedonians are also Serbs."

Don't play with Karadžić toys.

Regards, --Wustenfuchs (talk) 01:02, 13 March 2011 (UTC)

Yes, let's look at the facts: All the millions of people you listed speak SC. Some people say they speak Spanish, and some call it Castilian, but we don't list those as different languages. Same for Hindi and Urdu, Malaysian and Indonesian. We list almost all of the Ethnologue "macrolanguages". Anyway, please don't vandalize the article just to make your point: Regardless of the merits of your SC argument, the hundreds of other changes you made are petty disruption. — kwami (talk) 04:14, 13 March 2011 (UTC)

The Serbo-Croatian language in Croatia is spoken by 4,961 people, and Croato-Serbian 2,054 people Republic of Croatia - Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS).--Sokac121 (talk) 11:48, 13 March 2011 (UTC)

Kwami, I just reverted the latest change... I didn't notice I done anything ealse beside changing SC to Croatian, Serbian and Bosnian.
Now, you made a mistake here, SC is like a fammily of languages, not a language by it self... like Germanic languages or Roman languages. SC is just a branch on a Slavic tree fromed of little branches - Croatian, Serbian, Bosnian and Montenegrin.
Croatian language has a thousend year old culture, so you can's say they speak Serbo-Croatian, because that "language" was formed in 1945. Nobody knew about the name "Serbo-Croatian" and as you can see, it's unnatural. It's dead language, nobody use it since Communisam falled.
Sokac, a little corection, 4,265 milion people speaks Croatian while only 2,045 speaks Serbo-Croatian.--Wustenfuchs (talk) 12:55, 13 March 2011 (UTC)
You might wanna study some history Wustenfuchs, of which you appear to be largely ignorant (or at least to say selective and biased). Serbo-Crotian was not "invented in 1945" by Communist, it was invented in the early 19th century by the prominent Croatian intellectuals, such as those that attended the Vienna Literary Agreement and who wrote normative grammars and orthographies of it (Tomislav Maretić, Ivan Broz etc.). How much people speak Serbo-Croatian aka standard Neoshtokavian is not determined by how they refer to that language in some censi data. Majority of the common people are dumb and uneducated and their opinions are irrelevant. --Ivan Štambuk (talk) 13:10, 13 March 2011 (UTC)

Majority of people are dumb, but you are smart? Ok, :) But, when did Serbo-Croatian entered the service? In 1945, when was kicked out of service in 1990. This language has it's history only for 45 years. Second thing, how many people stated they speak Serbo-Croatian? And know what Herr Štambuk, don't do WP:ORIGINAL RESEARCH. It's what you think, not what majority of dumb people think and says. Look all over the literature and internet, every seriouse scientist will write how many people speaks Croatian, Serbian, Bosnian and now Montenegrin, what they wrote 30-40 years ago it's political literature, and no good to Wikipedia. And, I can think that your oppinion is this is "nationalistic", but, nationalist isn't bad word any more, it stoped to be 20 years ago. And it's not nationalistic, those are the facts my friend.--Wustenfuchs (talk) 13:17, 13 March 2011 (UTC)

Serbo-Croatian (SC) literary language was created in the 19th century as a cumulative effort of many dedicated individuals, groups, spanning many divergent political platforms. Communists in the 1945 didn't exactly "created" it ex nihilo: they simply picked up the situation as it was current in the contemporary linguistic landscape and put their own ideological spin at it with unified SC as one of the bases of the brotherhood and unity policy of putting and end to ethnic hatreds among Yugoslavs. The word Serbo-Croatian predates Titoism as well as Marxism-Leninism itself, so the former couldn't have possibly been a result of the latter. These are all well-documented facts that can be easily verified in the literature and corroborated with citations. I gave you some links above: why don't you start with them? Basically all of the Croatian participants of the Illyrian movement (which is today in Croatian schools mistakenly portrayed as a "Croatian nationalist revival") took the idea of a common language for all South Slavs (i.e. not only Serbs!) to the heart and preached it vigorously in their works. Once again, I suggest you to hit the books ;)
Again, what people think is irrelevant. People are not a verifiable reference for wikipedia: only credible experts are. The fact that a large chunk of Croats imagines to be speaking a different language than Serbs, Bosniaks and Montenegrins, (and the obverse being valid for any other of the three ethnicities), is interesting and amusing by itself, but immaterial for the purposes of this particular article. Why? Because it deals with the commonly used meanings of the words language and Serbo-Croatian in the English language, which do not necessarily correspond to their respective counterparts in the tongues of the native speakers of Serbo-Croatian. As said above by kwami, we make the same "politically incorrect" generalizations for Hindustani, Malaysian/Indonesian etc. I know it hurts to hear that, but try to understand that most of the world doesn't really care whether you speak [mleko] or [mljeko]. --Ivan Štambuk (talk) 16:16, 13 March 2011 (UTC)

Look Herr Štambuk, we don't care about short history of Serbo-Croatian "language", I won't even try to reply about those short historical story of yours. Facts - Croatian, Serbian and Bosnian are official languages in Croatia (Croatian), Serbia (Serbian), Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian). Great majority of population of those states declared them selfs to speak Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian, in later time Montenegrin. About your "brotherhood and unity" feelings, facts don't give a damn. Maybe it would be more beutifoul if we were all bros and sis, but who would I marry then? :D I my self, know diferenties between Croatian, Serbian and Bosnian, no need you to explain me that. But you look only on grammer diferency, look at historical one also. And look at today situation. You can't just add Serbo-Croatian language to a list with argument "We all speak same, we are all brothers and sisters", Jesus can say that, but not you, it's not good argument. And what World think I don't care, I care about facts. For you Štambuk, it's not about what World thinks, it's about facts.

And it's not "mljeko", but "mlijeko", you don't know Croatian, why would you care anyway.

Regards--Wustenfuchs 18:57, 13 March 2011 (UTC)

This has been discussed ad nauseum at the SC article. It's a duplication of effort to replicate the debate here. — kwami (talk) 22:21, 13 March 2011 (UTC)
You asked for a more elaborate explanation, and it was given to you. If you cannot comprehend it for some reason, that is not my problem. You appear to be reiterating the same arguments all over again. Namely:
  1. That Serbo-Croatian language was somehow "invented" by the Communists in 1945, when in fact there is an abundant historical evidence of it being forged a century earlier, with Croatian intellectuals leading the effort.
  2. That what some censi data list is somehow relevant for this list: it's not. See Hindustani et al. as precedents for the common treatments of what Ethnologue dubs "macrolanguages". See the censi data before the invention of "Croatian language" in the 1990s - the vast majority of the Serbs/Croats/Bosniaks/Montenegrins claimed to be speaking Serbo-Croatian during Yugoslavia. Linguistic reality is fortunately invariant to identity brainwashing and the ignorance of the language agents (lets not forget that the number of literate, college-educated people in the Serbo-Croatian area measures in single digits, 5-7%). What Serbo-Croatian-speaking people think of their mother tongue is by itself an interesting statistical data worth of encyclopedic importance, but not in this article.
  3. The attitude of yours: "And what World think I don't care, I care about facts.", i.e. sticking your hand in the sand and ignoring the educated opinion of the rest of the world, as if you somehow "own" the language that you speak (which you don't) is a telling symptom of the nationalist delusion.
  4. Ad hominems: I assure you that I'm not Communist in my politically affiliations (which I don't have any), and that I oppose any form of totalitarian governance and support freedom for all sentient forms of intelligence :D My opposition to your edits here is primarily motivated as a reaction of an informed observer willing to provide a counterweight to potentially malicious untruths and propaganda. --Ivan Štambuk (talk) 13:30, 14 March 2011 (UTC)

You probably don't read what I write... I didn't say SC was invented by Commies, I never said you are a Commie. Second thing, stick to the point. Serbo-Croatian language is speaked almost by nobody, Croatian language has far longer history then this invented SC language. Serbian language is also older then this SC, Bosnian not, but it was a product of this same SC, that is a fact. Look, I know you know things, like Marulić and other old writers, they wrote in "Arvacki or as they liked to write Croatian or Illirian in later time. The word Serbo-Croatian is very very young word, compared to Croatian. SC is family of languages, not language by it self. And I must notice this your sentence "I assure you that I'm not Communist in my politically affiliations", I can only reply with an example, when kids done something bad, thay betray them selfs with sentence "It wasn't me" :D.

Regards.--Wustenfuchs 16:36, 14 March 2011 (UTC)

Numerical mistake regarding the number native of Turkish speakers

There are more than 70 million Turkish citizens in Reublic of Turkey. Even if you separate all Turkish languages, the number of Turkish speakers in this list should be 71 million as seen in this link http://www.milliyet.com.tr/Ekonomi/SonDakika.aspx?aType=SonDakika&ArticleID=1051677 (the link is in Turkish) --DenizCc (talk) 19:42, 18 March 2010 (UTC)

Also, should Azeri and Turkish be combined under a single name. In the discussions above it is seen that Tajik is counted as a form of Persian because they can intercommunicate. The same applies to Turkish and Azeri. --DenizCc (talk) 19:54, 18 March 2010 (UTC)

Furthermore, since languages like Turkic, Oghuz, Altaic are regarded as a family of Turkish language, the total number has to be around 220 million.Turkish is the fifth most spoken language of the world.( ref. ekrem akçay trabzon). Turkish spoken in Albania, Azerbaijan,Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Greece,Northern Cyprus, Kosovo, Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Syria,Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and by immigrant communities in Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and the United States.

I agree; in this list language of Arabic countries did not count as separete languages, same goes for english, spanish, russian etc. But when it comes to Turkic language, every country's dialect counts as a separete language. This neither neutral nor correct. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 88.235.91.137 (talk) 08:33, 18 March 2011 (UTC)

Unlike those other cases, our source does not count Turkish as a "macrolanguage". Chuvash and Yakut are clearly distinct languages, so the question would be, which lects are part of "Turkish"? I think a good case can at least be made for Osman-Azeri-Turkmen (80M), so I'll add that, but we're really starting to get into OR. — kwami (talk) 09:16, 18 March 2011 (UTC)

Portuguese

Can someone explain to me how is possible that this list says that less than 180.000.000 people speak portuguese in the world if only in Brazil there is more than 190.000.000 people? Now Portuguese is first language in alot of countries including, Brazil, Portugal, Angola, Cape Verde, Macau, Mozambique, etc etc etc so how can you say there is less than 180.000.000 people speaking portuguese? ... This list is so wrong Tacv (talk) 02:03, 14 April 2010 (UTC)

Firstly, part of the problem is the statistics are sometimes a decade or so out of date.
Secondly, not everyone in Brazil speaks Portuguese as their first language. There are many languages of Brazil. Unfortunately, there are no statistics for how many people speak which languages in Brazil.
Thirdly, only in Brazil and Portugal is Portuguese extensively spoken as a first language. Those other countries you mentioned have many second language speakers of Portuguese though. Munci (talk) 22:34, 15 April 2010 (UTC)
In Brazil portuguese is the official language and its speaked by the vast majority of the people (99.9%), excluding maybe the indigenous small groups.
Portuguese is speaked as the first language in 9 countries (Portugal, Brazil, East Timor, Macau, Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde, San Tomé e Principe and Guiné-Bissau) and its also speaked as second and third language in alot more countries, i mean portuguese is even speaked in India (but lets not even go there). Many reliable sources including some used in the Portuguese language article, cleary state that Portuguese is speaked by more than 240.000.000 people.
I mean lets be real how can you say that its normal that portuguese is speaked by less than 180.000.000 (not even the population of Brazil)? Even if only 50% of the portuguese speaking countries speaked portuguese the numbers would be higher than that. The list is clearly wrong. Well i just wanted to raise attention to this issue. If this list is so wrong about portuguese language i can imagine how many other languages have wrong ratings in this list as well. I hope someday someone update it and correct it. Big hug Tacv (talk) 17:16, 17 April 2010 (UTC)
Spoken by 240 million people maybe. But those are for total speakers and not native speakers. Furthermore, there are 2 sources that cite the Portuguese language article data for native speakers. One is from Ethnologue which supports the 180 million and the other doesn't work. Failed verification. A huge misconception that a lot of people have been having is that the population of country means that's the amount of native speakers in the country which is not true. A prime example is the U.S. where many different ethnic groups exists that have a different native language other than the national or official language. Official language doesn't mean native language either. Consider the Philippines for example where English and Filipino (Tagalog) are the official languages. Yet, in terms of native speakers, both those languages even combined don't even make up half the population. Also, the article is for native speakers and not total speakers. So the 240 million figure would be irrelevant to this article. Elockid (Talk) 18:01, 17 April 2010 (UTC)

So lets see. This list says portuguese is native language of 150-170 million people. So lets count the higher estimate number 170 million. Lets look at Portugal and Brazil. 11 million (Portugal) + X (Brazil) = 170 million ... This mean the population of native speaker in Brazil had to be 160 million to reach the estimate number of 170 million. This means a cut of 40 million people in the Brazilian population which is ridiculous (brazilian population is 190 million and portuguese is the ONLY official language in Brazil). And this is only counting with 2 countries that speak portuguese. There are 9 countries that have portuguese as their native and official language. I don't want to start a discussion or anything, but i really think the numbers in this list are very odd. As i said i only wanted to raise awareness to the issue. Big hug Tacv (talk) 22:15, 18 April 2010 (UTC)

I forgot to add that i don't think there are 240 million native speakers of Portuguese, that number is an official number of speakers of the language, which probably includes second language or joint first-language. But i do believe that a number around 200 million of native speakers of Portuguese is closer to reality than 170 million, as some sources state, for example [1] Big hug Tacv (talk) 00:45, 19 April 2010 (UTC)

From the article about Brazil: "The official language of Brazil is Portuguese, which is spoken by almost all of the population and is virtually the only language used in newspapers, radio, television, and for business and administrative purposes". The same article states that the brazilian population Is over 192 million. Even if 1% of brazilians didn't speak portuguese (and that's a high estimation), that would mean 190 milion of portuguese speakers ONLY in Brazil...Counting 10 million from Portugal, that would mean 200 million people. And I'm not even counting portuguese speakers from Africa and Asia. So, the number in this article is VERY low. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 200.189.93.115 (talk) 19:55, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

Again, that higher number would total speakers, not native ones. The African figures, especially, mostly only come in to play if you're talking about total speakers, most African Lusophones being second language speakers. Granted, the figure is also somewhat out of date and Brazil's population has increased significantly since. Munci (talk) 00:39, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
And, like it says at the top of the article, "For number by total speakers, see List of languages by total number of speakers." Munci (talk) 00:42, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

Sorry Munci, I am Brazilian and I can assure you that Portuguese is the NATIVE language of, at least, 99% of the population. In fact, I never met or heard about a Brazilian that doesn´t have portuguese as his (hers) first language. There are some tribles in the Amazon forest that don´t speak portuguese as their first language, but they barely outnumber 100.000. That would be less than 0.01% of the Brazilian population. This article is a joke. I am sure that the same happens to many other languages here. DANIELMALANSKI —Preceding unsigned comment added by 92.140.51.250 (talk) 19:20, 24 May 2010 (UTC)

  • this is an issue that comes up again and again. it is quite clear that the source used in the article is NOT RELIABLE. So please use a reliable source. If not the article should be tagged.-Pedro (talk) 10:10, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

It's clear that the numbers published on Portuguese speakers are wrong by a huge margin. A little research can confirm that. Anyone who knows anything about Brazil can confirm that more than 99% of the population is a native speaker. I can much more easily find a local publication in a minority language in any major city in the US than in the whole country of Brazil. While immigration in the early 20th century led to communities that preserved their language for a couple of generations (German, Italian, Japanese)that effect has disappeared with greatly reduced immigration in the last 50 years. Clearly there is great prejudice behind the lack of accuracy in the numbers published, and the main cause of prejudice is ignorance. Ignorance reflected on the data published in an Encyclopedia is quite a paradox... I have traveled in Brazil, and lived in multiple Portuguese speaking countries (Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, Macao) and I can come up with a quick approximation that is much more reliable than the published numbers. Native/2nd language speakers in Brazil: 191/192.5 million; Portugal: 11/11.5 million; Angola: .8/8 million; Mozambique: 1.1/10 million; Sao Tome, Gunie-Bissau, Cape Verde: 1.1/2.5 million; East Timor.4/1.0 million. Ignoring small populations of native Portuguese, and Portuguese dialect speakers (Luxembourg, Andorra, Spain, France, Germany, South Africa, Goa, Senegal, Equatorial Guinea, Macao, Dutch Antilles, Australia, USA) this adds up to 205 Million native speakers and over 220 million including those who speak Portuguese as second language. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Crosscontinental (talkcontribs) 19:15, 24 October 2010 (UTC)

What about older Brazilians? Wouldn't many of them be immigrants, and so not have Portuguese as their first language? saɪm duʃan Talk|Contribs 09:30, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

saraiki

Saraiki is the largest language of pakistan. according of HEC Islamabad Pakistan , There are more than 120 million saraiki .Kindly saraiki may be included. Parvez Qadir Khan Saraiki is 9th largest language but ignored.this language be included in the list. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 115.186.10.107 (talk) 01:19, 3 May 2010 (UTC)


see [Saraiki language] and global recordings —Preceding unsigned comment added by 115.186.10.107 (talk) 01:25, 3 May 2010 (UTC)

saraiki is included in punjabi. saraiki is the major language so it be renamed as saraiki. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 115.186.14.238 (talk) 00:32, 4 May 2010 (UTC)

According to its aticle, Saraiki has 13.9 million speakers in Pakistan. The largest language in Pakistan by native speakers is Punjabi. AlexanderKaras (talk) 00:17, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

There is no way Saraiki has anywhere near 120 million speakers. Even the broadest definition of Punjabi doesn't have that much. saɪm duʃan Talk|Contribs 09:32, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

"Standard German"

German only has that many native speakers if using the broader definition (including mutually unintelligible dialects). Most people in Bavaria, Austria, Swabia and German Switzerland speak Austro-Bavarian and Alemannic "dialects", for example. Because of this, I've removed the references to "Standard German" from the German section. saɪm duʃan Talk|Contribs 08:59, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

Total Numbers

Hi, as per your request, I am taking it up on the talk page (here). You mentioned the source is wrong. Why? (Why is it better than George Weber's?) Also, the "List of languages by total speakers" article uses the numbers I added. That's what I was referring to in my edit comment. I skimmed through the Talk page before making my edit, and I did not find a discussion regarding the sources for the totals. Please explain your rationale for using these numbers. Regards, --Therexbanner (talk) 21:53, 19 March 2011 (UTC)

All of the data in the main columns are from Ethnologue. Figures from other sources appear in the other estimates column. Sorry, only the native column was actually cited, but all of the total-column figs come from the same source. I have no problem adding Weber's figs to the other column, but he wouldn't be much good for the main column because he covers only a fraction of the languages Ethnologue does. Also, from past experience I suspect that if we start mixing sources in the main column, we'll end up with people gaming the system to promote their favorite language until we have as big a mess as this was before I cleaned it up recently. (I clean up BTW that was a pain in the ass and is still not finished.) — kwami (talk) 23:09, 19 March 2011 (UTC)
Although I agree with the approach, I have major issues with the Ethnologue numbers. Although they covered more languages, their numbers are very hard to believe and are themselves not supported by census and international demographic data. I'll give you some examples:
For the total number of Japanese speakers it says 123 million. The population of Japan is 127+ million of which 98+% are people of Japanese ethnicity. There is also a large Japanese diaspora worldwide.
It is guaranteed that at the very least, the 125 million Japanese citizens speak the language natively, and that many more know it as a second language. Therefore, claiming that there are 123 million total Japanese speakers in the world is quite absurd.
Similarly, Portuguese says 193 million total and 173 million native, when just Brazil has a population of 190+ million. Portugal has a population of about 10 million, and Angolans speak Portuguese. Not all the citizens of Brazil and Angola may speak Portuguese as a native language, but they definitely know it as a 2nd language which would make the total at least 210 million.
Finally, citing 452 million Arabic speakers is shocking. With the total number of Arabs in the world at about 300 million, and not all Arabs speaking Arabic (especially the ones who are Arabs by ancestry), there is no possible way of there being another 150+ million people who speak Arabic as a 2nd language.
Anyways, these and other blatant mistakes are why I would recommend re-considering using Ethnologue as the only source.
To maintain objectivity, I propose using both sources for estimates; making two columns, or just writing in the numbers as "From X to Y million." What do you think?--Therexbanner (talk) 13:04, 20 March 2011 (UTC)
The Arabic data is from here: 206M L1 speakers, all varieties; 242M L2 speakers, all varieties (1999).[2] Perhaps I'm misreading that, and counting people twice? But Arabic is unusually complex. — kwami (talk) 03:24, 21 March 2011 (UTC)
It's not entirely clear from there but, considering they (or anyone else) don't actually outright put a figure of 400 million on that page or anywhere else, I think it's reasonable to assume that the highest figure they put is the total figure; all figures for Arabic are somehwere between 200 and 300. Munci (talk) 13:03, 21 March 2011 (UTC)
Part of the issue at least is dating: especially for the likes of Brazil, the population has grown significantly since the latest ethnologue figures. You may have a point about Arabic though but I'm not sure where on ethnologue there is such a high number as 450 million. I see 221,002,544 at [3] and at [4] and 206,000,000 L1 at [5] so, as far as I can tell, we should change the figures for Arabic but not the source. Munci (talk) 17:21, 20 March 2011 (UTC)
Yeah I just noticed some of the data is for the 1980s. I don't think that using such an outdated source by itself is viable(especially since it's the 2010s). What do you think about using two numbers (or three if a 3rd source could be found)?--Therexbanner (talk) 21:46, 20 March 2011 (UTC)
I think that should be fine. That way in the Total Speakers column it would be AB million (Ethnologue, XYZÆ), CD million (Weber, 1997). Probably best to wait to see what Kwamikagami has to say on it though. Munci (talk) 22:47, 20 March 2011 (UTC)
I tried policing this article years ago, and eventually gave up because the constant attempts at population inflation took up too much of my time. A couple other people took over, but they eventually dropped off too and it looks as though there hadn't been much quality control until I took it up again this year.
I agree that the Ethnologue figures are often bad. Problem is, if we start debating which is the best source, we get into the kind of time-draining and often fruitless arguments that caused me to abandon this article the first time. At least if we use one source, there are fewer arguments. Dated data is of course a problem, which is why I appended the dates this time. Going to other sources won't necessarily solve that problem: AFAIK, there is no more recent figure for Cantonese, for example. Also, different sources have different ways of estimating speakers, and use different definitions of what is a "speaker". If we mix up sources, we have no way to control for that. It's meaningless to rank Spanish and French if the definition of a "Spanish speaker" is disconnected from the definition of a "French speaker". I was hoping that the "other figures" column would be adequate to handle the deficiencies of the Ethnologue data.
I'm not trying to own the article, but I really think that going with whichever source we like best for whichever languages we like best will turn the article into a meaningless pile of almost random data. — kwami (talk) 03:19, 21 March 2011 (UTC)
How about, if we have a RS that covers a large number of languages (say the top dozen or so), that we add an additional column for that source? We could then have native (Ethn), total (Ethn), total (Weber), other estimates down to the point where Weber (or whoever) leaves off. Sources for specific languages would then still go in the other column. — kwami (talk) 08:39, 21 March 2011 (UTC)
That sounds ok. Munci (talk) 13:03, 21 March 2011 (UTC)
Sure, that seems reasonable.--Therexbanner (talk) 13:41, 21 March 2011 (UTC)
Good. Hopefully that will fend off some of the disputes. People will still change the main column for an estimate twice as big, but all we'll need to do to justify a revert is note that it doesn't match the source for that column. And if it's provided with a good source (which occasionally it will be), we can move it over to the 'other estimates' column. — kwami (talk) 18:44, 21 March 2011 (UTC)
Could somebody please add the extra RS columns? (Or at least explain how it's done); I'm not very good at wiki-tables yet.--Therexbanner (talk) 23:19, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
For each language, find the 4th pair of pipes (||) in the line; double it, expand it out, and put your data inside (|| new data ||). — kwami (talk) 00:50, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
Thanks, I'll try that.--Therexbanner (talk) 10:55, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

Hindi-Urdu 240 millones

Los hablantes nativos son más de 240 millones. 190.51.133.52 (talk) 22:14, 27 April 2011 (UTC)

Fuente? - PhilipR (talk) 13:57, 6 May 2011 (UTC)

Ethnologue disagreement (dubious template)

I know it's been discussed for multiple languages above but the numbers here and in List of languages by total number of speakers differ radically. There are more native speakers than total speakers for at least one language (Hindi/Urdu). Ethnologue is cited as the primary source for both, but Hindi/Urdu cites another, probably less reliable source (BBC language lessons).

Without some standard to reconcile widely differing sources, these articles make no sense. I don't have inclination to sort this out but IMO both articles are dubious as-is. Feel free to either provide better footnotes on what's what or fix the numbers, then delete the dubious template i added. - PhilipR (talk) 13:56, 6 May 2011 (UTC)

Numbers of speakers and population figures ought to bear some reasonable connection

Even in the clearest case, however, that of "native-speakers", in this case of English, one would expect the figures to match the population figures of "English-speaking" countries which these do not. And, if you include also those for whom English has become their primary mode of communication--a not unreasonable extension (as long as the definitions are clearly made)--then the numbers are even more undercounted. Indeed, if you totaled all of the languages, does the total equal the world population (or at least the world population minus those young enough not to yet be speaking--or even yet listening comprehendingly to--any language!). Brief acknowledgement of these matters, and some consistency and precision here, would go a long way to making this much needed page a great deal more useful! — Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.170.177.38 (talk) 17:51, 10 June 2011 (UTC)

Footnote [4] refers to a dead link

I didn't know what to do, so I say it here... Galanom (talk) 19:31, 2 July 2011 (UTC)

Number of speakers in this article, compared to the numbers in the French language article

  • The list on this page speaks of 68 million native speakers and 120 million total speakers.
  • The French language article claims 110 million native speakers and 290 million total speakers.

One of the two articles is blatantly wrong and should be corrected. 193.190.253.146 (talk) 16:33, 22 May 2011 (UTC)

I'm sure they're both wrong. Counting speakers of a language is a tricky business. — kwami (talk) 20:29, 22 May 2011 (UTC)

This estimate is pretty accurate as of 2011:
136,456,100 Native French speakers + 59,052,000 Partial French speakers, for a total of 195,508,100 French speakers in the world. Source [6] [7] See also List_of_countries_where_French_is_an_official_language — Preceding unsigned comment added by Fredericb (talkcontribs) 06:59, 31 July 2011 (UTC)

Understimation of Igbo and Yoruba native speakers

Its seems that the native speaker figures for Igbo and Yoruba are too low. For both of these 'peoples' they have a total of 25-30 million of total speakers. Barely any people speak these languages other than the natives, so I believe the proper number should be around 25-28 million. Just a suggestion. Also many other languages have been underestimated. I am a native speaker of Igbo. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 70.54.16.236 (talk) 01:11, 27 May 2011 (UTC)

We need refs. — kwami (talk) 08:03, 31 July 2011 (UTC)

Edit request from Fredericb, 31 July 2011

Please edit this page to reflect the numbers of French speakers listed on

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:List_of_languages_by_number_of_native_speakers#Number_of_speakers_in_this_article.2C_compared_to_the_numbers_in_the_French_language_article

136,456,100 Native French speakers + 59,052,000 Partial French speakers for a total of 195,508,100 French speakers in the world.

Sources: http://20mars.francophonie.org/IMG/pdf/FICHE_03_Nombre_de_francophones.pdf and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_where_French_is_an_official_language

I think these are more accurate than the numbers currently referenced.

Fredericb (talk) 07:08, 31 July 2011 (UTC)

Well, your source says 136M French speakers (with a level of precision that makes it laughable), not 136M native speakers. We currently say over 200M French speakers, so yes, that's quite a difference. (We don't count partial speakers.) — kwami (talk) 08:13, 31 July 2011 (UTC)

Edit request from 67.177.189.176, 13 August 2011

Hello, I was looking at this page and the French Speakers part is just out right wrong. It states that there are about 68million native Speakers and 120million total. The population of France alone is greater than 68 Million. French is spoken all over the world and the total number of speakers is about 346,812,250. The number of native speakers is about 110 Million. French is the most second most studied language in the world and is definetly spoken much more than it is being shown as. It would help many people who use Wikipedia to know the truth so please change the number of native and total French Speakers on this page to the correct number. I have looked this up on many websites and this is the number that is most common and I have in my general knowledge

67.177.189.176 (talk) 17:46, 13 August 2011 (UTC)

Not done: Please list the sources to support the requested change. As a side note, the population of France even including areas outside of metropolitan France is not greater than 68 million population per INSEE. Elockid (Talk) 18:09, 13 August 2011 (UTC)
The cited figure of "346,812,250" speakers looks like false precision and makes the number appear suspicious. It's doubtful that the number could be known to even ±100,000 accuracy. Sources needed. — QuicksilverT @ 15:04, 22 September 2011 (UTC)

First of all, I agree with the above about the French language. Second of all, according to your own Wikipedia and other sources, the number of native speakers of Persian is around 80 million, while the total number of people who speak Persian is around 140 million. Here you only put 30 million people or so, which is less than half of the population of Iran, not to even mention Afghanistan and Tajikistan, where 90% of people speak Persian, as well as other regions. I don't have additional sources, but you already have everything in other pages of Wikipedia.--Kasparov49acer 19:40, 22 August 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Yamaweiss (talkcontribs)

Tables do not sort properly

I noticed that the tables do not sort properly, it appears they sort alphabetically rather than numerically. Try sorting the Total column and you will see that it sorts 1025 million, 123 million, 192 million, etc... — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mgmarcum (talkcontribs) 08:45, 2 October 2011 (UTC)

Additional languages section needs improvement

For those of you who want to improve the article, the section "Additional languages to consider" has yet to be integrated into the main tables. — kwami (talk) 09:33, 24 August 2011 (UTC)

The table syntax is a mess and includes information — primarily locations where the languages are spoken — not included in the tables above, and thus breaks the pattern. Column alignment and number of columns is messed up, too. It will take a serious effort to straighten up the tables. — QuicksilverT @ 15:04, 22 September 2011 (UTC)
Which is why I abandoned the effort part-way through. Might get back to it some day. — kwami (talk) 00:32, 3 October 2011 (UTC)

What happened to the section that had the languages with few speakers?

Why was it removed? Dylpickleh8 (talk) 19:13, 11 October 2011 (UTC)

It was arbitrary, inadequately sourced, and unencyclopedic. — kwami (talk) 05:14, 12 October 2011 (UTC)

Distinction between Languages and Dialects is not addressed properly

Chattisgarhi, Rajasthani, Marwari, Awadhi and those are still considered as dialects of Hindi. Urdu is a separate language, but it is clubbed as Hindi-Urdu. Can someone cite the sources for the classification mentioned in the article - Why are Hindi and Urdu clubbed, why are dialects of Hindi shown as separate languages, especially when they are not used anywhere outside India and inside India, no one officially or unofficially treats them as separate languages? Same applies to Chittagongian(Bengali) as well. Especially, this doesn't make sense when all the Arabic dialects, even they are not mutually intelligible, are treated as a same language. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 94.175.99.164 (talk) 23:11, 2 October 2011 (UTC)

Chattisgarhi, Rajasthani, Marwari, and Awadhi are considered distinct languages by our source. Standard Hindi is Urdu: native speakers can't tell them apart. — kwami (talk) 00:30, 3 October 2011 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but Standard Hindi is not Urdu, and native speakers can easily tell them apart. Also, the primary source does not list any language called 'Hindi-Urdu'. So by your definition, it should not be listed as a single language in your article (as it would be original research). The primary source is (wrongly) listing dialects as languages. e.g. it lists Western Panjabi as a dialect of Lahnda, while listing Eastern Panjabi as a separate language, which is clearly wrong. In the article, Lahnda, Seraiki, Hindko, Mirpur are all (correctly) listed as dialects of Panjabi. Btw, does listing only the POV of the primary source not a violation of the WP:NPOV guideline? Tinpisa (talk) 12:51, 3 November 2011 (UTC)

Dispute tag

How could the number of Persian-speakers worldwide be 39 million when CIA fact-book has the number of native Persian speakers in Iran alone at 61% of Iran's 75 million population? And there are at least another 30 million native Persian-speakers in Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan? The article uses Ethnologue's outdated/inaccurately-categorized numbers for Persian, yet for 34 million Azerbaijani language speakers (which is an exaggerated number), the main source used is some random webpage called www.azstat.org, which does not meet the requirements of WP:RS. I'm adding a disputed tag, until these obvious inaccuracies are corrected. Kurdo777 (talk) 23:36, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

You're correct. I apologize: I don't know how that slipped by me. Both figures attributed to E16 now match what E16 says, and non-E16 figures have been moved to the 'other sources' column. — kwami (talk) 09:10, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
It was here. I must not have checked my watch list that day. I've further protected the article, as almost all edits are similar examples of population inflation and reference falsification. — kwami (talk) 09:15, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

Edit request from , 20 November 2011

number of native speakers for Hindi should be 600 million. Number of native speakers of Bengali should be 300 million.

Nishant ram2007 (talk) 17:42, 20 November 2011 (UTC)

If you have reliable sounces, we can add those to the 'other' column. But I doubt your 'Hindi' is the same as Hindi-Urdu. — kwami (talk) 18:38, 20 November 2011 (UTC)

English — 1,340 million speakers?

English is spoken by over 1,340 million tongues worldwide. It is the language of science and entertainment. Please include it in the article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 14.99.14.165 (talk) 12:49, 24 May 2011 (UTC)

This article is about native speakers. Certainly many people around the world can and do speak English, but most do not fall into the category of "native speaker". Kidigus (talk) 04:02, 2 June 2011 (UTC)

The number of native English speakers in this article is absurdly low, given the collective populations of the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada. The definition of "native speaker" must also be unrealistically narrow and, thus, result in a very low number for, say, India. To define fluent English as nonetheless non-native may be interesting academically, but it is impractical for multilingual societies. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 170.112.1.251 (talk) 20:39, 23 August 2011 (UTC)

Defining "native speaker" could be problematic. For example, English is a third language for me, although I was born in a country where English is the official language. I learned two other languages at home before venturing outside and learning English from my young playmates. My command of the language is better than that of 97% of the "native speakers". Am I a "native speaker"? Many children of immigrants fall into this category. Taken to the extreme, none of us are "native" speakers, since we don't speak any language at the moment we emerge from the womb; we all learn languages after birth. — QuicksilverT @ 15:26, 22 September 2011 (UTC)


Exuse me but "The number of native English speakers in this article is absurdly low" is false this number is very hight beaucause : USA 300 + england 60 + Kanada 20 + australia 20 + 10% population of india =401 milion

For kwon the true masterie of english  : http://claudepiron.free.fr/articlesenfrancais/orban.htm

and find in other documents in language french :

Selon le service de la recherche pédagogique de Hanovre, il existe un décalage important dans l'apprentissage de l'anglais comme seconde langue entre le niveau qu'estiment posséder les utilisateurs et leur véritable maîtrise. Ainsi, il a été demandé à des élèves qui pratiquaient depuis 8 à 10 ans d'estimer leur niveau de compétence : 34 % ont répondu « très bien », 38 % ont répondu « bien » ; en revanche, à la suite d'un test d'évaluation on s'est rendu compte que seulement 1 % des étudiants maîtrisaient très bien l'anglais, et seulement 4 % le maîtrisaient bien

Dans le cadre d’une étude réalisée en 2000 et publiée dans le numéro 26-27, 2002, de Läkartidningen, revue spécialisée destinée aux médecins suédois, 111 médecins généralistes danois, suédois et norvégiens ont lu le même article synoptique pendant 10 minutes. La moitié l’a lu dans sa langue maternelle, l’autre moitié en anglais. Des questions étaient posées tout de suite après la lecture. En général, tous les médecins danois, norvégiens et suédois sont relativement à l’aise avec la langue anglaise grâce à l’enseignement reçu à l’école et grâce également à la télévision, au cinéma et aux chansons. De plus, leur langue est apparentée à l’anglais. Ils lisent également des ouvrages d’études en anglais, sont abonnés à des revues médicales en anglais. Dans le cadre de cette étude, les médecins avaient indiqué qu’ils comprenaient tous l’anglais. 42 % d’entre eux avaient même signalé qu’ils lisaient chaque semaine des communiqués en anglais. Cette étude a révélé que les médecins qui avaient lu le texte en anglais avaient perdu 25 % des informations par rapport au même texte lu dans leur langue maternelle

A gross error resulting in a low number of Enlish native speakers is using 2000 US census data that does not count childen under five. But that data for Spanish countries seems to count little kids. Either count little kids as English speakers or deduct kids under five in Spanish speaking countries.

Anouther grosss error is assumeing that all Hispanics in the US speak Spanish. Not true. Even the census data cited showed that only about half of Hispanics speak Spanish very well but count 35 million as native speakers.

In summary 215 million US native speakers (out of 207 million Americans) is low since my two year old nice can speak English. OK, the US census would not include her but use similar criteria for Spanish speakers. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 99.171.181.95 (talk) 15:54, 19 December 2011 (UTC)


--Wxkq (talk) 11:06, 21 November 2011 (UTC)

Portuguese is spoken by more than 200 million people

The idea that the Portuguese language has only 193 million speakers is absurd.

Brazil alone has 190 million people according to the 2010 Census. Virtually all of the population of Brazil speaks Portuguese.

Portugal alone has 10 million people. Virtually all of the population of Portugal speaks Portuguese.

Angola has a population of 18 million people. A large portion of the population of Angola speaks Portuguese as first language.

Mozambique has a population of 22 million people. A large portion of the population of Mozambique speaks Portuguese as first language.

Add to that number the other smaller Portuguese speaking countries, plus the Brazilian, Portuguese, Angolan and Mozambican diasporas around the world, and anyone can see that the Portuguese language is spoken by way more than 200 million people. Siaraman (talk) 12:27, 23 November 2011 (UTC)

Fine. Let us have your sources. — kwami (talk) 16:14, 23 November 2011 (UTC)
There is no better source than the following articles from Wikipedia: Brazil, Portugal, Angola, Mozambique. Just read each one, in the "Language" section, and do the Math. Siaraman (talk) 19:22, 24 November 2011 (UTC)
You'd have to change the Mozambique part to "small" portion of the population at least. Part of the problem here is that the population of these countries, like most, have increased since the publication of the figures. I mean, if you do the same for Bengali, for example, you come out with 91 million (West Bengal) + 142 million (Bangladesh) + 3 million (70% of Tripura) + 6 million (20% of Assam) and then some = 242 million+. Munci (talk) 15:45, 26 November 2011 (UTC)

68 million French native speakers ?

There are 65 million of french people (in France). According of Ethnologue, there would be only 68 million french native speakers in the world.... There are only 3 million french-speaking native people out of France ?!?!
Where are the french-speaking Belgians ? Where are the french-speaking Swiss ? Where are the french-speaking Canadians ? And where are the french-speaking native people around the world ? Please Ethnologue recount seriously for your credibility. Busway (talk) 16:58, 14 December 2011 (UTC)
Not everyone is a native speaker of French, even in Metropolitan France. There is Breton, Basque, Arabic, German and many more to account for. Munci (talk) 07:24, 20 December 2011 (UTC)