steorra: Restaurant sign that says Palatal (linguistics)
steorra ([personal profile] steorra) wrote in [community profile] linguaphiles2012-04-15 11:32 am

"Speaking in tongues: Language diversity around the world"

From The Economist: Daily chart: Speaking in tongues: Language diversity around the world

Briefly explains an interesting quantification of a country's linguistic diversity, based on the probability of two people chosen at random from that country having the same native language. (If two people chosen at random had 100% chance of having the same native language (i.e., everyone has the same native language), the score would be 0 (North Korea apparently fits here); if two people chosen at random had no chance of having the same language (i.e. no two people share the same native language), the score would be 1 (not actually possible in practice, but Papua New Guinea comes rather close).)

It doesn't explain the scoring in enough detail for me to tell it's as simple as that a score of 0.9 means two people chosen at random would have a 90% chance of having different languages, or if there's a bit more involved in creating the score.

It's also not clear to me if it accounts for people having multiple native languages
lilacsigil: 12 Apostles rocks, text "Rock On" (12 Apostles)

[personal profile] lilacsigil 2012-04-16 06:21 am (UTC)(link)
"Mother tongue" is complicated somewhere like Vanuatu, as well - you're expected to speak the languages of your mother, father and spouse, be educated in English or French (depending where you live) and use a creole for communication with people who don't speak any of your languages. Which is the "mother tongue", and does that mean more or less language diversity by this chart?