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#18 - 04/03/00 06:48 AM Re: Words from newspapers of the world
Hallyx Offline
stranger

Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 9
Loc: Southern CA
With you all the way, Shanks. At the risk of seeming politically incorrect, the most efficient way for an individual to participate in the global economy is for her to be fluent in its basic language. In that regard, English is as good as any and better than most.

It may be nice to have a regional patois or "Mother Tongue" to enhance the feeling of belonging to your particular tribe or nationality. But adhering to it at the expense of a firm and comfortable command of English handicaps the speaker in the important areas of science, economics and transportation, among others.

Having said that, it is my considered opinion that, due to impending energy limitations in the next several decades, we will likely experience a reversal of this newly-won "globalization", progressing more towards balkanisation or regionalism. Whether English will retain its prominence in a world less economically connected is anyone's guess.

I think a good argument can be made for both sides of this issue. And I find this discussion very worthwhile and extremely interesting.

Hallyx

"A time will come when men will sit with history before them
or with some old newspaper before them and ask incredulously,
'Was there ever such a world?'"
--- H.G. Wells (The Open Conspiracy)


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#19 - 04/03/00 08:30 AM Re: Words from newspapers of the world
shanks Offline
old hand

Registered: 03/16/00
Posts: 1004
Loc: London, UK
Glad to know someone agrees with me :-)

I find your contention that the world will probably beome Balkanised, due to energy limitiations, an interesting one. Whilst this is not on-topic for this board, please feel free to e-mail me about it if you would like to. My thoughts on this matter are seemingly slightly different from yours, whilst not necessarily being directly opposed to to them.

cheer

the sunshine warrior


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#20 - 04/08/00 10:14 PM Re: Words from newspapers of the world
Jackie Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11605
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
I must agree that certain Southern U.S. pronunciations can change the language. My aunt and uncle in Tennessee had an exchange student from Finland, and when my aunt would, for ex., mention her "furs", the student would look around for something fuzzy. On the other hand...in Junior High School, we got a new teacher, from New York, and for a long
time I thought there was a make of car called Porsch-er!


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#21 - 06/20/00 01:22 AM Re: Words from newspapers of the world
Bingley Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/09/00
Posts: 3065
Loc: Jakarta
Just a thought Shanks, but of the conflicts you mention, the two sides in Northern Ireland both speak English, and the Serb and Croat languages are, I gather, almost identical except that one uses the Roman alphabet and the other the Cyrillic (I forget which is which). I don't know about the situation in Sri Lanka. Do Tamils and Sinhalese speak different languages?

Anyway, my point is I don't think that even if everyone spoke the same language it would necessarily reduce the amount of conflict in the world. If you speak the same language you can find more to disagree about! It does seem to be the trend now more and more for wars to be civil wars rather than international ones.

Bingley
_________________________
Bingley

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#22 - 06/21/00 11:10 AM Re: Words from newspapers of the world
woodbeez Offline
stranger

Registered: 06/21/00
Posts: 2
Loc: Germany
I wish they made English the 2nd official language everywhere around the world! Would make things so much easier for people. But you know what, it ain't never gonna happen. Even though many Germans of my generation (thirtysomethings) speak English fairly well, all American TV shows in Germany are dubbed. I keep thinking if they weren't, my English would be a lot better now, since I have been a TV addict since early childhood. Hehe.. Maybe the Germans could even live with English as a 2nd language - I heard that in some German kindergarten schools they are already starting to teach English.


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#23 - 06/22/00 01:45 AM Re: Words from newspapers of the world
wsieber Offline
old hand

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 1026
Loc: Switzerland
Just by way of contrast, from the site http://www.educationunlimited.co.uk/specialreports/educationincrisis/story/0,5500,84128,00.html (found through a post in another thread) I got the information, concerning a school in England,
"At Fir Vale School, which has taken over from Earl Marshall, the headteacher Ken Cook has a pupil body of whom only 16% speak English as their first language. Most of the parents speak no English at all. "


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#24 - 05/20/05 08:15 PM Re: Words from newspapers of the world
Marz Offline
stranger

Registered: 05/20/05
Posts: 1
Luckily, I had English spoken to me as a sprog although Spanish is everybody's mother tongue in Argentina. I consider myself fortunate now cos this is wot I do for a living; I'm an English teacher. More and more Argentinians are beginning to learn English in order to get a better job or to work abroad. I presume English will become Argentina's second official language in the long run ... but only time will tell.


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#25 - 05/21/05 06:55 AM Re: Words from newspapers of the world
Buffalo Shrdlu Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/24/02
Posts: 7210
Loc: Vermont
welcome to the board, Marz.

_________________________
formerly known as etaoin...

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#26 - 05/24/05 11:37 AM Re: Words from newspapers of the world
dxb Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/06/02
Posts: 1692
Loc: UK
...and thanks for bringing this interesting discussion back into the light of day!

It would be interesting to hear more views on these issues.


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#27 - 05/24/05 06:47 PM Re: Words from newspapers of the world
Zed Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/27/02
Posts: 2154
Loc: British Columbia, Canada
...and thanks for bringing this interesting discussion back into the light of day!
I agree dxb.
My high school teacher told us the French expression that "You are as many times a person as languages you know." You cannot learn a language without learning about the culture. And IMO the more you learn about other cultures the wider your mind will be and the better you will be at judging your own culture and what it takes for granted.
I love to travel and I try to learn at least how to be polite in the language of that country. Partly to be respectful and acknowledge that it is their home not mine and partly because when I do the culture seems to open a little wider and let me just a little further into it's life.

Not to condone the culturecide that is occurring but I have to point out that it is not new. From the Spanish origins of Tagalog, to the Norman invasion of England and probably back to the Babylonians every empire has tried to impose it's own language as the language of the educated or the upper class. Certainly as the language of prosperity.


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