11/21/2005

Language Matters

Lots of useful language information here, e g.:
In the US 322 languages are spoken, the most linguistically diverse states being California with 207 different languages and New York with 169 different languages.

In Austria, the official language is German, and there are two more additional official languages: Croatian and Slovene.In Carinthia, a legal right to use and display bilingual place-names has been granted in those areas where at least 25 per cent of the population belongs to the Slovene ethnic group. This right is not, however, implemented in all the areas to which it theoretically applies. Street-names are not put up bilingually, nor are place-names in telephone directories, public transport timetables and other such semi-official material given bilingually. But this is a political matter and has to do with the political situation in Carinthia and the right wing Carinthian governor, Joerg Haider. Besides Slovene and Croatian there are minority languages: Czech, Slovak, Hungarian, Turkish.
Germany includes five indigenous minority languages in addition to the official one, which is the German language: Danish and Northern Frisian, Sater Frisian, Sorbian, and the Romany language.

2 comments:

Daedalus said...

Unfortunately in the US, a majority hasn't even mastered one language! It's quite embarassing at times to be a compatriot of people who can't speak a coherent sentence. It's no wonder Americans think Dan Brown is a good writer.

francessa said...

Well, a certain amount of people with inadequate mastery of their native language can be observed in every country or language community - not only in the US. I wonder if there's a critical mass in a country's literacy - and where its excess would lead to.

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