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Populations and Language Prevalence (Tau Ceti Basic vs Sol Common)


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I had a question regarding the prevalence of the languages, more specifically Sol Common and Tau Ceti Basic. This forked out into a greater question of population numbers and it arguably gets a bit wonkey.

1st part:

Going by the wiki (https://wiki.aurorastation.org/index.php?title=Languages) the number of speakers of the languages are:

Sol Common, est. 35.3 billion native speakers, 41.5 billion total speakers.

Tau Ceti Basic, est. 43.6 billion native speakers, 49.9 billion total speakers.

Now according to the wiki (https://wiki.aurorastation.org/index.php?title=Republic_of_Biesel) the population of the Republic of Biesel is:

2445 Census: 2,709,678,435

2457 Est.: 3,056,727,000

Similarly the population of the combined Sol Alliance is supposed to be ca 90 billion (https://wiki.aurorastation.org/index.php?title=Sol_Alliance).

43.6 - 3 = 40.6 billion native speakers of Tau Ceti Basic who are not from Tau Ceti. This when apparently Tau Ceti Basic is not the only official language in the Republic of Biesel either.

"Official Language(s): Sol Common, Tau Ceti Common (dialect of Sol Common), 24 additional Recognized Languages.".

If we decide then decide to add upp all the remaining native speakers of Tau Ceti Basic and Sol common, we get a total of 40.6 + 35.3 = 75.9 billion people. Lets add in the native speakers of Freespeak, Tradeband and Terran Languages too, 75.9 + 15.2 + 14.1 + 10.4 = 115.6 billion people.

Now if we subtract the number of people in Sol Alliance from this number we get 25.6 billion people outside the Sol Alliance and Republic of Biesel who has one of these languages as their native language. Now, of course, there are people with multiple native languages, which would subtract from that number. Then again, as the wiki says:

"The languages of the known Galaxy are diverse. While many regional languages exist, there are few major languages which are of particular note for their large number of native speakers and status as official administrative and official species languages by governments and transtellars.".

There are also other languages besides those I've added in the numbers for. I find it fairly reasonable that the number of people who speak another language as their native language would be larger than the number of people with dual native languages, hence further adding to the 25.6 billion people. I will however assume that those two factors cancel each other out.

This leaves us with a large surplus of 25.6 billion people not living in Tau Ceti/Sol Alliance space who speak one of the 5 major languages as their native language. Hence there would probably be an even larger number of people since many of them would have another native language. The only faction of this type I can find is the Republic of Elyra (https://wiki.aurorastation.org/index.php?title=Minor_Factions). They have a population of "2457 Est.: 1,704,452,210". So we would then need a further 14 factions (25.6 / 1.7 - 1) of the same size to make the numbers even slightly add up.

Here comes my first question, is this correct? Are there indeed that many people in minor factions? Or have I done some wonkey thinking at some point or is the wiki info just not accurate?

Now the 2nd part:

Now I know that Tau Ceti Basic is "The most common language in human space and the official language of commerce in the Sol Alliance and numerous systems". I know that Tau Ceti used to be part of the Sol Alliance so it makes sense to have it prevalent there to some extent. And it makes total sense that we speak it on the Aurora, since we are in RoB space etc etc. But does it really make sense to have Tau Ceti Basic be the de-facto dominant language in human space?

Especially among native speakers. If we wish for it to be a commerce language, then wouldn't it make sense to have the total speakers number be further away from the amount of native speakers+ Especially since there is actually a higher % of Sol Common non native speakers than Tau Ceti Basic non native speakers.

Just look at the math:

Sol: 1 - (35.3 / 41.5) = 14.9% are non native speakers.

Tau Ceti: 1 - (43.6 / 49.9) = 12.6% are non native speakers.

There are a higher percentage non native speakers of Sol Common than Tau Ceti Basic.

I can't seem to find any explanation as to why Tau Ceti Basic is such a massive cultural phenomenon. Again, it makes perfect sense we speak it in game. But why is it the major human language? And if it is that and we decide to keep calling it Tau Ceti Basic, because it originated there, rather than something than "Human Basic", then why do so few people who aren't native speakers of it speak it?

I am no lore creator. But my personal suggestion would be to have some agreed number of people (say 120 billion). Assign certain languages a certain percentage of that (say Sol Common gets 25% natives hence 30 billion). Keep a large percentage as "other" (20-30%?). If wishing to keep Tau Ceti Basic as the most prevalent language (over Sol Common), then considering changing the name to something like "Human Basic" (rather unimaginative, I know). And whichever language end up being the most prevalent language, majorly increase the number of non native speakers.

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Guest Marlon Phoenix

We are currently debating changes to languages and this may be included.

These numbers are probably off as you suspect. I have always worked with generalizations and narrative more-so than the technicalities of numbers for these things.

But given the current questions hanging over human languages this question can't be answered definitively right now.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest Marlon Phoenix

Hey what's up,

We've hashed up a new blurb for the human languages.

Ceti Basic (,0)

A spiritual successor of Esperanto, established in 2433 in Tau Ceti by Ceti intellectuals. It's unique, fully customized alphabet and structure allow it to be spoken even by most alien species. It's the official language of Tau Ceti and has growing traction in diplomatic circles.

Sol Common (,1)

With its roots in Mandarin Chinese, Common evolved as the official language of the Sol Alliance, with officials working to tie it together with a common tongue. It's spoken by state officials, taught in schools, and spoken by those who either feel a sense of national pride in the Alliance or otherwise fell sway to the culture.

Freespeak (,3)

A language of renegades and frontiersmen descending from various languages from Earth like Hindi combined into a multi-rooted jumble that sounds incoherent or even barbarian to non-native speakers. This language is the only common cultural identity for humans in the frontier. Speaking this language in itself boldly declares the speaker a free spirit. Often called 'Gutter' by Alliance citizens.

Tradeband (,2)

Descended from latin and romance languages of old Earth, Tradeband remains the main tongue of the upper class of humanity. The language sounds elegant and well structured to most ears. It remains in popular use with traders, diplomats, and those seeking to hold onto a piece of a romantic past.

With these languages assorted as they are now, I have to say that Basic would most likely be spoken by all those within Tau Ceti as well as a few million outside of its borders. What do you think about this status quo? How do you personally think a galactic Esperanto would fair?

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