Southeast Asian historical linguistics:

In recent years, Southeast Asian historical linguistics has been moving at fast pace, with many important milestones accomplished within the last 10 years. This is quite fortunate, given that many languages in Southeast Asia will become extinct within the next few decades.Within the last 20 years, there has also been a huge wealth of new data coming out of China.

There are 5 major language families in Southeast Asia:

  1. Sino-Tibetan
  2. Hmong-Mien
  3. Austroasiatic
  4. Kra-Dai
  5. Austronesian
  • Here are some Facts about Asia:

Fact 1: Asia covers a total land area of 44,579,000 square kilometers.

This makes it the largest continent in the world. In contrast, Africa, the second largest continent, covers a land area just two-thirds of Asia’s at 30,221,532 square kilometers.

Fact 2: More than 4.1 billion people live in Asia.

That’s nearly 60% of the world’s total. At 87 people per square kilometers, it also has the highest population density in the world (Europe comes in second at 72.5 people per square kilometer).

Fact 3: Asia has given birth to some of the oldest human civilizations.

From the 7,000 year old Sumer civilization in Mesopotamia to the 6,000 year old Indus Valley Civilization in India, ancient culture is rich in Asia. In fact, the region around the Tigris-Euphrates Rivers in Mesopotamia (covering modern-day Iraq, Kuwait, and parts of Syria and Iran) is often called the “cradle of civilization”.

Fact 4: Pop culture doesn’t do the people of Asia justice.

Pop culture tends to equate Asian with Japanese/Chinese/Korean people, but in reality, Asia is so vast that it covers everyone from Siberians in northern Russia and Arabs in Iraq to Indians in South-East Asia and New Guineans north of Australia. Which is to say, “Asia” covers pretty much the whole gamut of humankind!

Fact 5: Asians sure know a thing or two about making massive malls.

All 10 of the largest malls in the world are in Asia. The largest, the New South China Mall in Dongguan, China, has a total leasable area of 659,612 square kilometers. The famous Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota, in contrast, has a total area of “just” 258,200 square kilometers!

Fact 6: Japan has a lot of weird and wonderful customs and laws, the “Metabo Law” takes the cake.

As per this law, all men and women above 40 years of age are required to get their waists measured by Japanese government officials. Men found with waists above 33.5 inches and women with waists measuring 35.5 inches and above are classified as “at risk” and “overweight”. While there is no penalty for being overweight, the government suggests that you follow certain steps to ensure your good health.

It may all be in the name of staying healthy, but technically, it is now illegal to be fat in Japan!

Fact 7: Although China is the world’s third largest country and stretches 5,026 kilometers longitudinally, it still has just one time zone.

Perhaps the Chinese implemented this after seeing the PST-EST confusion in the United States (we won’t even mention the horrors of daylight savings)!

Fact 8: If you thought parents naming their newborn kids “Khaleesi” after the heroine from HBO’s hit Game of Thrones TV show was weird, wait till you hear this:

Over the past 15 years, over 4,000 children in China have been named “Olympic Games” (or ‘Aoyun’ in Chinese). Chinese naming customs tend to be quite peculiar. It isn’t uncommon for parents to name their kids after events, slogans and values they cherish. This is why you have lot of kids named “Defend China”, “Build the Nation” and even “Space Travel” in the country!

Well, that’s it for now and I hope you liked some fun facts & info which might be obvious yet when you look deeper it’s a whole different story.

Stay tuned for new blogs about the “Layer-Cake Business“… or… Localization 😉