Yasna wrote:Isn't that par for the course? I can count on one hand the number of serious learners of African languages I have come across on the Internet in my entire life.
vijayjohn wrote:Even Papuan languages get more meaningful attention than Swahili does
I know the most widely spoken languages in Africa don't get much attention, but what I'm saying is they get less attention than languages that are far more obscure
. Let me flesh out the Papuan vs. Swahili example to illustrate this:
R/papuan is, understandably, pretty dead. I posted something there about the Papuan languages I picked to focus on. They are endangered languages spoken on random Indonesian islands that are so tiny that I seriously suspect they're not even included on some world maps. Who is going to care about languages that are that obscure? And yet I still managed to have a short discussion with someone about these languages, and this person actually knew a thing or two about Papuan languages!
By contrast, while r/swahili technically has more posts than r/papuan, there is just no participation. From what I recall, the situation there is as follows: No one posts anything in three months at a time, not even a comment. I write a post in Swahili going "hey, let's talk in Swahili!" (which works for all kinds of other languages, again including much more obscure ones). No response. I post a link to a useful resource for learning Swahili. Still no response. The other posts either require zero knowledge of Swahili or are short posts or links to news articles in Swahili, and there are usually no comments at all to those, either. Occasionally, there is one comment; rarely, there are up to three. All the comments are very short. No one seems to use Swahili on other subreddits, either, just English.
So it's pretty weird to me that you can find interest for the most obscure Papuan languages but not for what people all over East Africa speak.
And not for lack of fluent speakers on Reddit, either.