After looking at Firefox language support, let's look at another browser - Vivaldi. Vivaldi is quite possibly the newest browser with a well known team behind it, being founded in part by Opera's former CEO. First coming to the scene in early 2015, it's currently in beta, and I've been using it off-and-on since the first technical preview 12 months ago. All in all, I like it pretty well, and wouldn't be surprised if it were my primary browser a year from now (currently I'm split between Firefox, Vivaldi, and Opera 12).
As might be expected for a browser that is only 12 months old, its language support is not as wide as Firefox's. Yet, it's not narrow, either. As of Beta 2, Vivaldi supports 51 languages, compared to Firefox's 85. I'd consider that pretty impressive for only having been out a year and still having a much smaller user base.
As I was unable to find a page with all the supported languages listed for Vivaldi, I collected them by looking at all the options for the interface language in the Settings dialog.
A few languages are supported by Vivaldi that Firefox does not support. These languages, and their number of native speakers, are:
The latter two are constructed languages. Ido is the offspring of Esperanto (indeed, the Esperanto word ido means "offspring"); Wikipedia estimates it has 100-200 speakers as of 2000, although that figure is dated and it may be higher now. I haven't found an estimate for Lojban.
Kurdish is spoken primarily in Iraq, Syria, and Turkey, being an official language in Iraq. As I've only evaluated Firefox and Vivaldi thus far, I'm not sure what other browsers support Kurdish, but kudos to Vivaldi for supporting it early.
It's also worth noting that Vivaldi plans to support Georgian in its next snapshot (according to comments on this blog post). Georgian is another language that is not yet supported by Firefox, and it has about 4.3 million native speakers.
The list of languages that Vivaldi does not support, but Firefox does, is significantly longer than the reverse list at this point:
While these languages hail from Europe, Africa, and Asia, there's a particular lack of languages from India. In fact, there are no Indian languages currently supported by Vivaldi. As a new browser, and with many of the languages user-translated (though the initial 10 were done by their staff), the languages likely reflect where the browser is popular, and it may not yet be particularly popular in India.
All in all, Vivaldi's languages still wind up covering 53.7% or so of the world's population in their native language, compared to 71.6% for Firefox. For a browser that's only been out a year, and is missing Hindi, which has the fourth-highest number of native speakers, that's not bad at all. It shall be interesting to revisit this with Vivaldi again in 6 months of a year, and see what the picture looks like then.Return to Blog Index