Proposal: Tamil Language

Recently a proposal for Tamil and a proposal for Sanskrit made it rather far in the Definition stage, with each of them having the required number of followers, but both needing around 24 more questions to reach 10 upvotes.

Suggestions were made to expand the scope of Tamil to "Dravidian Languages" and Sanskrit to "Sanskritic Languages" but by this time too many Example Questions had already been created which were only to do with Tamil or only to do with Sanskrit, so it seemed "too late" to change the scope and have 99% of the Example questions being about only Tamil and 1% being about other Dravidic Languages.

This time, it's not too late.

Below I show that of the Dravidian languages:

  • Telegu has about 82 million native speakers
  • Tamil has about 75 million native speakers
  • Kannada has about 43.6 million native speakers
  • Malayalam has about 37.1 million native speakers

Overall 237.7 million people natively speak the four most popular Dravidian languages, and then there's several more that have up to 3 million each (Gondi, Brahui, Tulu, Kurukh, Beary).

If we expand this to proposal to not just Tamil but "Dravidian Languages", I think there's a higher chance for survival in Area51!

The numbers come from: Ethnologue (2019, 22nd edition)

enter image description here

| |

I witnessed and contributed to both of those proposals, so I could see the efforts that both communities put forth. There was much more effort than the average failed proposal, and many people contributed to both. That makes me think that there could be enough shared interest to make a single site. With widespread multilingualism among speakers of those languages, I can easily see a possibility for participants to contribute under multiple tags. English proficiency tends to be higher in the Subcontinent than in many other areas of the world, so we could even encourage users to frame their questions and answers in English so that moderators don't all have to know every language.

What should we call it? I propose

Languages of the [Indian] Subcontinent

| |
  • +1. I was thinking to first try expanding it from Tamil to all Dravidian Languages, but your idea of including Sanskritic languages too, is also a good idea. I do wonder if there's a way to avoid using the name "Indian Subcontinent". According to the Wiki page, this subcontinent includes: Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka. Some of these countries, especially Pakistan and Sri Lanka, might not be delighted to see "Indian" in the name. When I say "not delighted", I mean they might be absolutely angry and boycott the proposal. Maybe "Dravidian & Sanskritic Languages"? – Nike Dattani Apr 10 at 16:41
  • 1
    @NikeDattani I like that idea. I was thinking along the same lines as you, and that is why I put "Indian" in brackets. – Robert Columbia Apr 10 at 17:27

After discussion with Robert Columbia, I changed the title to "Dravidian & Sanskritic Languages". This needed to be done sooner rather than later, and I felt now was a good time since only 5 example questions have been asked. This way there's time for the proposal to be made more "evenly distributed".

Why did I go with Robert's suggestion to combine it with Sanskritic languages rather than just expand to Dravidian languages? Two reasons:

  • With increasingly difficult requirements for an Area51 proposal to succeed (maybe 90% of the proposals were killed when the 1 year time limit was implemented, and then 99% of the proposals were further killed when the 4 month time limit was implemented), and the painful bug which causes most users not to be able to sign into Area51, even when some of them have over 18,000 points on Stack Overflow, and as a consequence to both of these we have a drastically reduced number of people are visiting Area51 -- it is now harder than ever for an A51 proposal to succeed. We therefore need as many people as possible to participate.

  • I like the idea of Rebecca Stones, to have a general "languages" site with links to sub-sites that have their own moderators and Meta. Combining Dravidian and Sanskritic languages in that way, can be a way to pilot that idea.

| |

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .