The "weight" of Romani language
In its last issue (April 2009), the French monthly revue « La Recherche », on page 33, is printed a comparative table about the extent of the main languages of the world.
- In a first column, these one are ranked according to their number of native speakers : 1st Mandarin Chinese (937 M.), 2nd Spanish, 3rd English (322 M.)… etc. Romani doesn’t appear and French (80 M.) is ranked 11th.
- In a second column, languages are ranked according the number of speakers using it as their native language and/or their second language : again Mandarin Chinese (with 1120M.) is 1st, followed by 2nd English (480 M.), 3rd Spanish (320 M.), 4th Russian (225 M.), 5th French (265 M.) and again Romani doesn’t appear.
- But it appears in the third column regarding the « weight » of the languages. This « weight », was calculated from about ten criterions of which some are explained in this article. I’ll give not the details but it’s usefull to know that some of them are very modern : the presence on the Internet for instance. So, we can find : 1st English, 2nd French, 3rd Spanish, 4th German …etc. Romani appears as the 13th. Among the European languages, it is after Dutch (6th), Swedish (8th), Italian (9th), Danish (10th), Icelander (11th) and Finnish (12th) but before all the languages of the ancient Eastern Bloc and above all before some « Great Culture » languages like Portugese, Greek or Russian. Here is a cheering information. I wish to remind that Vania de Gila-Kochanowski dreamed to make the Romani an International and Intercontinental language in place of Esperanto. After all, it was not so utopian…