There are thousands of languages in use... That is crazy!
If the goal is: working together better than ever before, then we must for starters be able to communicate.
My language isn't English, as you have probably noticed. Nederlands is my native tongue. Maar tja; als ik lekker makkelijk in het Nederlands ga lopen schrijven, dan begrijpt bijna geen enkele bezoeker er ene moer van.
I just wrote down the correct theory of everything, in Dutch, but you can't read Dutch, so; bummer.
Estimates of the number of living languages vary from 5000 to 8000, depending on the precision of one's definition of "language", and in particular on how one classifies dialects. The following table contains the top 100 languages by estimated number of speakers in the 2007 edition of Nationalencyklopedin.
The top 100 languages
plus the % of world population that speak it:
Mandarin 14.1% Spanish 5.85% English 5.52% Hindi 4.46% Arabic 4.23% Portuguese 3.08% Bengali 3.05% Russian 2.42% Japanese 1.92% Punjabi 1.44% German 1.39% Javanese 1.25% Wu 1.20% Malay/Indonesian 1.16% Telugu 1.15% Vietnamese 1.14% Korean 1.14% French 1.12% Marathi 1.10% Tamil 1.06% Urdu 0.99% Persian 0.99% Turkish 0.95% Italian 0.90% Cantonese 0.89% Thai 0.85% Gujarati 0.74% Jin 0.72% Min Nan 0.71% Polish 0.61% Pashto 0.58% Kannada 0.58% Xiang 0.58% Malayalam 0.57% Sundanese 0.57% Hausa 0.52% Oriya 0.50% Burmese 0.50% Hakka 0.46% Ukrainian 0.46% Bhojpuri 0.43% Tagalog 0.42% Yoruba 0.42% Maithili 0.41% Swahili 0.39% Uzbek 0.39% Sindhi 0.39% Amharic 0.37% Fula 0.37% Romanian 0.37% Oromo 0.36% Igbo 0.36% Azerbaijani 0.34% Awadhi 0.33% Gan 0.33% Cebuano 0.32% Dutch 0.32% Kurdish 0.31% Serbo-Croatian 0.28% Malagasy 0.28% Saraiki 0.26% Nepali 0.25% Sinhalese 0.25% Chittagonian 0.24% Zhuang 0.24% Khmer 0.24% Assamese 0.23% Madurese 0.23% Somali 0.22% Marwari 0.21% Magahi 0.21% Haryanvi 0.21% Hungarian 0.19% Chhattisgarhi 0.19% Greek 0.18% Chewa 0.17% Deccan 0.17% Akan 0.17% Kazakh 0.17% Min Bei 0.16% Sylheti 0.16% Zulu 0.16% Czech 0.15% Kinyarwanda 0.15% Dhundhari 0.15% Haitian Creole 0.15% Min Dong 0.14% Ilokano 0.14% Quechua 0.13% Kirundi 0.13% Swedish 0.13% Hmong 0.13% Shona 0.13% Uyghur 0.12% Hiligaynon 0.12% Mossi 0.11% Xhosa 0.11% Belarusian 0.11% Balochi 0.11% Konkani 0.11%
Source: List of languages by number of native speakers
Looking at our history, does explain how all these languages came to be, and how they evolved over time. The current mess of languages is logical, became a mess when people started to travel long distances. We can't go back though. Never traveling far from our village, and only speaking a "local tongue"? That is history. Human activities have gone global now. Thus now we need one practical and pleasant global language.
Esperanto? That language is too old all ready. It was developed in 1887 and was not properly introduced. A new world language must introduced worldwide and simultaneously.
English? No sorry. Not English or Chinese or whatever other old 'natural' language. At this moment, US English is being used by many, especially on the internet, but it's not fit to become the one universal language of the future. You have seen people from different non-English speaking countries trying to communicate in English. Like looking at some mental freaks. It just doesn't work. "Yes, me speak English yes", "This road to place looking for?".
We need to design a new world language, carefully.
- Rich of content, able to absorb any new meanings.
- Logical, thus easy to learn.
- Pleasant to the ear to hear, for the eye to see, and the tongue to speak.
- Efficient. Easy and fast, to read and write.
- Machine friendly. (machines have a hard time understanding us right now)
People can get very defensive
when talking about this. Holding on to what is familiar. Don't worry too much though. What I propose:
(simultaneously & wordwide) one carefully designed language.
And that's it. Everybody may keep their old language, if you want.
There is no need to erase all ±7000 languages. Enjoy them, if you can.
Getting all the leaders of the world together.
Let them agree on when to introduce the new world language.
Yes... that is never going to happen.
What other ways of global introduction are there?
Can you develop it? And then give it to the world for free? That would be nice!
It should be such a pleasure to learn and use, that everybody wants to join. Forcing everybody to learn some stupid new language ain't gonna work.
One other road to global communication, would be technological: a universal translator, that can almost instantly
any language to any other language. Computers are getting more powerful, shared computing (cloud stuff) is starting, and software is getting better every year.
Interesting is that this
universal translator will probably not have hundreds of translation libraries in its system for each language to all other languages, but instead have just one: from each language only to the universal translator language. Translating will then go in two steps: from language A to the universal translator language, and from that to language B.
If that happens, then the machines did what we should have done: introduced 1 language for the whole world.
That universal translator language, would not be fit for humans to speak. It will be a language that suits machines well, not humans. It has possibilities though, because many new kinds of human languages can be developed, without the need for a well functioning government. Then it wouldn't matter what language you speak, as long as the universal translators are functioning, of with we will become dependent on, because we lack the discipline to do it ourselves.
There is more to communication than
just talking and writing words.
So many other areas need less standards.
For example: video framerates. (frames per second)
What have we now?
23.976 fps aka "23.98", .. why is that?!
24p fps, standard motion picture framerate.
25p fps, standard broughtcast in Europe. Because it used to be 25i, because of the 50Hz electricity.
29.97 fps, .. why is that?!
30p fps, standard broughtcast in the USA. Because it used to be 30i, because of the 60Hz electricity.
48p fps, the double of 24p.
50p fps, the double of 25p.
59.94 fps, .. why is that?!
60p fps, the double of 30p.
I would propose:
Base 32 fps:
8, 16, 32, 64.
8 fps, as a lowest quality option.
16 fps, as a low quality option.
32 fps, as a normal good quality option.
64 fps, as a very high quality option.
And possibly a variable framerate, running between 16 and 64 fps.
The beauty of this series is the compatibility, how well they can mix.
There are basically 3 camps, based upon: 24, 25, and 30 fps.
A compromise would be to keep 1 camp happy. One of these:
24 fps: 6, 12, 24, 48.
25 fps: 6.25, 12.5, 25, 50.
Base 30 fps:
7.5, 15, 30, 60.
What would be the best choice?
What matters most is the normal framerate, that should be of good quality.
Good quality is: no flickering and not too much motion blur.
What framerate works well for human vision?
Many find 24 fps to have a bit too much flickering and blur. 25 is almost the same as 24.
Another issue is the camera. The exposure time (shutter speed) should be in balance with the framerate, and that is about 2x the framerate. Shooting at 30 fps looks best at 1/60 second
exposure time per frame. The higher the framerate, the more light the image sensor needs to receive. But the amount of natural light outside is limited, as is the aperture of the lens, as is the sensitivity of the image sensor.
Anyhow, who cares about framerates... (I do!)
Point is to reduce the amount of standards, to make it all more compatible.
Then again; I don't want to fix everything. May the best standards win!
And if you think you can improve upon the current standard, please try!