Sean crunches language numbers: Tibetan shows increase

Sean Gilbert, International Editor for the World Radio TV Handbook (WRTH), posted the following information on WRTH’s Facebook page. He has kindly given permission to share this on the SWLing Post.


WRTH2013Sean writes:

“I have just been looking at the reductions in SW/MW output by international broadcasters and SW output by domestic broadcasters (where possible) in a language-by-language form. I have been keeping records of the top 19 languages used by broadcasters, since the B10 season, and I can see a reduction in output on 18 of those 19 languages. The only language to show an increase is Tibetan.

The languages that have suffered the most reduction (since the B10 season) are:
#1 German (-53%);
#2 Russian (49.6%);
#3 Farsi (-48.8%);
#4 Spanish (-45.7%);
#5 Portuguese (-43.7%);
#6 Indonesian (-36.9%);
#7 French (-32%);
#8 English (-31.2%);
#9 Arabic (-28.5%)
#10 Vietnamese (-22.5%)

This is based on the schedules we use in WRTH and, as the data is processed in the same manner each season, this does give a reasonable portrayal of the situation.

In contrast to this, Chinese is only down by -5% and Korean 1.1%, while Tibetan is UP 7.3%. The Far East languages, to be fair, tend to have a much slower decline than the more Westerly languages.

The table below shows the top languages in order of popularity (i.e. frequency of use). Chinese is the language that stands out as being the one with a noticeably slower decline. This is borne out when you tune the SW broadcast bands! I will fill in the B13 data after WRTH has been published.”

Language Chart

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