[Wikipedia-l] Bengali (was Re: Starting a new wiki)

Henry H. Tan-Tenn share2002nov at lomaji.com
Wed Sep 22 09:28:40 UTC 2004

Yann Forget wrote:

> It's surprising that Bengali Wikipedia didn't start yet. There are probably 
> more than 200 millions people speaking Bengali, although I don't how many 
> among these have Bengali as their monther tongue (190M according to 
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bengali_language, 207M according to other 
> sources). And Bengali people have also a strong reputation for cultural 
> awareness, and the Bengali language has a long tradition of poetry and 
> literature.

Apparently Windows just got around to supporting Unicode Bengali with 
their SP2 release this year (see 
http://www.alanwood.net/unicode/bengali.html).  So I'd _guess_ the 
Internet-using elite is still largely using a legacy encoding (assuming 
Windows dominance in Bengali computing).  I've certainly run into Indic 
sites that render text with graphics files (as is still occasionally 
done with Chinese characters).

Actually Minnan has the same issue:  transitioning from legacy encoding 
to Unicode.  Community growth is to an extend limited by the will to 
switch, i.e. how desperately people need Wikipedia ;)

> Each of Assamese, Burmese, Gujarati, Kannada, Khmer, Nepalese, Oriya, Panjabi, 
> Pashtu, Sindhi, and Telugu have more than 10 millions speakers. However most 
> of these speakers have a poor Internet connectivity at the best. So it just a 
> matter of time when Internet connections become easily available in these 
> parts of the world.

So it would seem that connectivity is necessary but insufficient for 
accessing less-well supported/unsupported Unicode standards.

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