Monday, June 25, 2007

Bolango anyone ??

Bolango is a language. It is spoken by some 20.000 people in Sulawesi, Indonesia. There is also a place called Bolango where some 5.000 people speak this language. That is to say, in 1981 there were some 5000 people who spoke that language in Bolango, how many people are still speaking Bolango I have no way of knowing.

Bolango is the 1000th entry on OmegaWiki of the ISO 639-3 collection. For most if not all the languages recognised by this standard we have a portal, there are over 7000 of these, so many more words will need to be added before this collection is complete. This notion of a work in progress makes it very much a wiki. As people work on particular content, OmegaWiki becomes more relevant for such a domain. Typically there are not that many words needed to cover the concepts associated with a specific subject and typically once these associated concepts have been defined texts about any of these concepts will not yield many more new terms.

Working on a list like the ISO 639-3 is different. It is a list and all these languages are quite distinct. It is particularly the language of linguists that connects any language with another. Having a collection like the one I am working on becomes relevant when people involved in languages find it relevant. Until that time, it seems like stamp collecting :)


NB I just created a Bolango stub on Wikipedia
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