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Assyrian speakers only 230,000?

Cascade

Active member
According to Ethnologue, there are 232,300 speakers, but yet Assyrians as an ethnic group are around 4,250,000+.

How does that make sense? Are you telling me that only 200K of 4 million speak the language? I really doubt this. Most Assyrians, excluding younger folks, are decent Assyrian speakers. The Assyrians who can't speak the language are pretty much the minority on average. I would personally estimate that Assyrian speakers are around 1-2 million at best.

http://www.ethnologue.com/18/language/aii/
 

mrzurnaci

Active member
that's not what it's saying, it's saying only 230,000 Assyrians speak Assyrian-Syriac at a native level
 

Cascade

Active member
mrzurnaci said:
that's not what it's saying, it's saying only 230,000 Assyrians speak Assyrian-Syriac at a native level
How does that change what I said? My point is, there are more Assyrian speakers (native or not) than 230,000. The figure should be in the millions.
 

mrzurnaci

Active member
Cascade said:
How does that change what I said? My point is, there are more Assyrian speakers (native or not) than 230,000. The figure should be in the millions.

not native, the native LEVEL.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_language#Defining_.22native_speaker.22
A native speaker is defined according to the guidelines as this:

    The individual acquired the language in early childhood.
    The individual has intuitive knowledge of the language.
    The individual is able to produce fluent, spontaneous discourse.
    The individual is competent in communication.
    The individual identifies with or is identified by a language community.
    The individual has a dialect accent (including the official dialect).
 

Cascade

Active member
mrzurnaci said:
not native, the native LEVEL.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_language#Defining_.22native_speaker.22
A native speaker is defined according to the guidelines as this:

    The individual acquired the language in early childhood.
    The individual has intuitive knowledge of the language.
    The individual is able to produce fluent, spontaneous discourse.
    The individual is competent in communication.
    The individual identifies with or is identified by a language community.
    The individual has a dialect accent (including the official dialect).
That's their guidelines alright. But people would tick "Assyrian speaker" even if they know like 50% of the language. I don't think Ethnologue would sit down and analyze the way you speak and see how much you speak the language. They want statistics and data ASAP. I'm pretty sure you would count yourself as someone who speaks Assyrian, even if you don't speak the language fluently.

Again, that list doesn't prove or disprove anything. Assyrians are around 4 million. Therefore, it is probable that at least 1 million of them would speak the language. 230K is a huge understatement!
 
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