Re: release notes

On 3/10/06, Danilo Šegan <danilo gnome org> wrote:
> Today at 18:55, Roozbeh Pournader wrote:
> As stated before, this is a number of first-language speakers.  Even
> Wikipedia, which counts together all the Thai speakers gives only a
> figure of 46-50 million which is far away from 65 million (of course,
> it's far away from 20 as well ;).  Theppitak, is the figure of 50
> million more like it (they seem to use the same Ethnologue data, yet
> explain that those are pretty much the same language and thus get this
> figure)?

Yes, it feels closer, but this page:
also has the 60 million number (as of 2001, which I think it's the total
population by that time, and should be 65 millon by now).

Anyway, the point is that Thai is the official language of the country.
It's uncommon to have messages in software in any local dialects,
as all Thai people are supposed to know Thai by mandatory education.
So, being first or second language or dialect, it's official. :)

BTW, some linguists may argue that some room should be left
for localization into minority languages. But certainly the numbers
of speakers are already not mutually exclusive.

> Yes, I know people like to inflate these numbers (my friends tend to
> say Serbian is spoken by 15 million, I've put in 10 million, and
> Wikipedia says 11 ;), but this was just to give us a general feel of
> how many people might be able to use Gnome in their native tongue.
> It was basically "at least this many people".  Never was it "this is
> exactly how many people speak this language".

Yeah, I realize this. But it's not clearly stated in the release notes.
And it just takes unnecessary time to explain this to local audience.

> > That is apart from SIL numbers being inappropriate or wrong. The thing
> > is that even if we could magically come by the true exact number of
> > people with whatever definition we may have for them about speaking or
> > reading a certain language, there will be people who will doubt about
> > the number and claim that it should be lower or higher.
> There are many controversial things about Gnome, this is just one of
> them.  If everybody else feels the same, lets remove them.

IMHO, the population is useful somehow. But if we like to have it,
it should not be too far from what local people expect. Or at least,
a disclaimer or a link to the reference should help clarify things.
But having the right number is certainly the best to avoid
controversy. Otherwise, it shouldn't be there at all.

Theppitak Karoonboonyanan

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