How do you determine the worth of a language?

How do you determine the worth of a language?

Arle Lommen October 30 2019

2019 is the UN year of indigenous languages.

  • Highly idealized language ideals
    • Everyone be able to use their own language as they see fit.
    • Obviously this isn't exactly how this works.

Every language has an intrinsic value

However, in a world of limited resources, not all 7,000 of the world's languages can be invested in.

less than 1% of content is translated into another language

To cover 100% of content this would take about 20 million translators. This is only for one additional language though.

to cover all 135 economically important languages we would need 2 billion translators.

Let's look at other views of value

the number of speakers does not determine the value of a language for a business

  • Though this may be exactly the information that is relevant to NGO's or religious organizations.

Maybe we can look at GDP?

  • Could look at GDP per capita to get a sense of the wealth of the individual **I'm not sure why wealth per individual is

Internet adoption rate

  • More relevant to today's globally connected tech powered companies.

Pre 2019 CSA was selecting 50? language with online relevance (e.g. usage by communities online).

Calculated number of speakers for each country/territory.

Used a zero-sum approach (no accounting for multi-lingualism).

Assigned languages to four tiers basd on cumulative market research.

This measure is called eGDP or electronic GDP, this is not a measure of ecommerce.

after 2019,

  • Added multilingualism
  • they expanded from 300 locales to 500 locales.
  • Added model of income inequality to help scale GDP (e.g. if 12% of a country's pop is online, those people probably have higher GDP than the average of the whole population)