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----- Original Message -----
From: "Bjorn Madsen" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Saturday, November 23, 2002 5:21 AM
Subject: Esperanto and the number of speakers


> Supporters of Esperanto often claim that Esperanto has
> more than one million speakers. But I really wonder if
> such claims are trustworthy.
>
> Let me give just one example:
> There are only 280,000 people in Iceland. But four
> Harry Potter books have already been translated into
> Icelandic already in 2001.
>
> As far as I can see not even one Harry Potter book has
> been translateded into Esperanto yet.
>
> I just wonder why. If the population speaking
> Esperanto really is 3-6 times as big as the population
> of Iceland it should be a better business to translate
> into Esperanto than into Icelandic.
 For some reason, I think translations are not completely based on number of
speakers.  I am sure that Harry Potter has not been translated into some
African languages with an equivalent number or higher number of speakers
than Icelandic.  (Swahili comes to mind, but it may have been translated
into Swahili, not sure.)  Also, a publisher can cover the same 2 million
speakers by translating into their native languages, with greater ease to
the publisher of finding a suitable Esperanto translator.  I don't think
translations can, therefore, be a good indicator.

> Bjorn
Jake