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#811 - 03/21/00 10:53 AM English as a Global Language
dianabouchard Offline
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Registered: 03/21/00
Posts: 1
I am a native English speaker living in Montreal, fairly competent in French and Spanish. As a Montreal resident, an employee of a research lab with a staff like a mini United Nations, and an active volunteer leader in a worldwide professional society, I have many occasions to talk with people whose first language is not English. My experience is that it requires a greater attentiveness on my part, not only to language but to references, images etc.
(not everyone knows the same pop singers, TV shows, and sports idols), but brings the great reward of insight into a whole other way of looking at the world. I also find that it engenders a certain humility and compassion (probably both healthy) to be reminded that expressing oneself in English is not as easy for everyone as it is for me. Of course, actually communicating *in* a foreign language, especially when one knows it less than perfectly, provides an even stronger corrective to one's feelings of superiority.

Diana Bouchard
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
dbouchard@paprican.ca



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#812 - 04/02/00 06:35 PM Re: English as a Global Language
William Hofmeyr Offline
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Registered: 04/02/00
Posts: 2
This may be felt by non-L1 English speakers to be a somewhat dubious point, but for the L1 speaker it is far more difficult to acquire a working knowledge of other languages than it is for speakers of other languages to acquire at least some English: wherever the mother tongue English speaker goes, the probability is that people will have a better command of English than s/he will of the local language. Consequently, communication is more likely to take place in English than in the other language in question. The success of English has a price-tag for English speakers too: the greater likelihood of monolingualism and its attendant cultural myopia.



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#813 - 06/29/00 05:35 AM Re: English as a Global Language
Nickee Offline
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Registered: 03/13/00
Posts: 2
I live in New Zealand. When I was in high school, it was compulsory for us to take French. I thought this was silly, because even then (early 1980s) English was fast becoming "The International Language". Of course, my school took no notice of my opinions and I learned French along with all the other 13 and 14 year olds.[br]
When I was 15, the first year in which we had any real choice of subjects, guess what was among my choices? French! By then I'd grown to love the language.[br]
I now am of the opinion that it's a great pity that English has ended up the default international language. It sure is handy for me personally, but on a purely experiential level, English has got to be one of the bluntest, least-appealing to listen to, languages there is. There are many languages (French among them) which are very soft, rounded, almost musical to listen to. Why couldn't the default language have been one of those......[br]
I am also saddened on a cultural level. Language -- and dialect -- is a huge part of the culture wherein it exists. The specific words, their frequencies, and the idioms, underpin the ideas and ideals which are important in a culture. If, in a hundred years, all the world speaks English and then possibly a second language (although, it is doubtful whether the other languages would survive in anything other than "niche" usage in such a scenario), the world will be a much poorer place. I sincerely hope this does not happen.[br]
I mention dialect above because, even though New Zealand speaks English, our two countries do have different dialects, and our cultures show up strongly even in that seemingly small difference. After all, it's still English.....[br]
Just my two cents.


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#814 - 06/30/00 05:39 AM Re: English as a Global Language
Bingley Offline
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I remember somebody (I forget who, but perhaps an AWAD member can remind me) as saying something along the lines of Italian speakers must have a completely different experience of opera to the rest of us. Imagine all that high drama and passion and order in the same language as one uses to order a sandwich.

Bingley
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#815 - 06/30/00 02:05 PM Re: English as a Global Language
Jackie Offline

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Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
Yup, ordering food in Italian can be dramatic, all right: vermicelli means "little worms". Perhaps Emanuela can offer
further tidbits.


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#816 - 07/25/00 03:04 PM Re: English as a Global Language
tsuwm Offline
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>Italian speakers must have a completely different
experience of opera to the rest of us.

don't feel too bad; you have the same advantage with Shakespeare.


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#817 - 07/26/00 12:57 AM Re: English as a Global Language
emanuela Offline
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Registered: 03/16/00
Posts: 315
Loc: Italy - Perugia is a town with...
> Italian speakers must have a completely different experience of
opera to the rest of us. Imagine all that high drama and passion and order in the same language
as one uses to order a sandwich.
Well...it is not exactly the same language...In another thread William reminded us "E lucean le stelle" from Tosca: I can understand it, but I would never say it in this way : I would say "E le stelle brillavano" (And stars were shining).
Ciao
Emanuela
P.S.Jackie, when we say "vermicelli" we forget completely the meaning "little worms", we think just about big spaghetti. Incidentally, do you know that "spaghetti" means (small) strings?


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#818 - 07/26/00 01:00 AM Re: English as a Global Language
Bingley Offline
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Actually, I was thinking of it more as a disadvantage. Wouldn't the quotidianity of the language for Italians detract from the high drama?

Bingley
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#819 - 07/26/00 01:09 AM Re: English as a Global Language
Bingley Offline
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Thanks Emanuela. Looks like our posts crossed.

Bingley
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#820 - 07/26/00 10:10 PM Re: English as a Global Language
Jackie Offline

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Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
Emanuela, Hi!

I fervently hope you don't think of little worms!
Don't think I knew about the small strings.
I am partway through the Mother Tongue book--thanks to all
who lauded it so highly--I am loving it! Mr. Bryson says
there that there really is no "Italian" language as such,
that you-all really have several dialects.

Along the same lines (oh, I know I'm going to stir up the
rattlesnake nest with this one): as far as I am concerned,
Shakespeare did NOT write in English! I can read his words
but have not the foggiest idea of what he was saying.
I hate that! I understood Robbie Burns' Tam O'Shanter a
LOT more than I ever understood Shakespeare--even if I didn't know the exact meaning of every single word, I was
able to follow the action and general thread of the poem.
Shakespeare might as well have written in Greek for all I
understood of his meaning.


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#821 - 07/27/00 10:10 AM Re: English as a Global Language
tsuwm Offline
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I have always found Shakespeare to be... well... mostly unreadable; but something magical happens when S. hits the stage!


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#822 - 07/27/00 11:04 AM Re: English as a Global Language
Jackie Offline

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Having picked myself up after fainting again, Tsuwm,
I am (figuratively) on my knees in gratitude. How I
got up the nerve to admit to such heresy, I don't
know, but at least now I know there are 2 heretics alive.


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#823 - 07/27/00 11:17 AM Re: English as a Global Language
tsuwm Offline
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Loc: this too shall pass
or it could just be a typical reaction to being force fed "...Julius Caesar" (or the like) in middle school (junior high, to us ;).


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#824 - 07/27/00 11:44 AM Re: English as a Global Language
Jackie Offline

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Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
Yep--I was (force-fed it). The only Shakespeare that I can quote is, "Is this a dagger I see before me, the handle
toward my hand?", and that is because in my mind I can still see my FRIEND who used to say it. I don't even know
(or really care) what play it's from, although it was our
class assignment.


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#825 - 07/27/00 12:53 PM Re: English as a Global Language
TEd Remington Offline
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I commend to you a novel called "The Marlowe Chronicles." I cannot remember the name of the author, but he mainly writes mysteries, if I recall correctly. Midway through it there is a flashback where the aged actor (Marlowe) relives the scene in which he seduces the very young lady whom he would later marry.

The dialogue of the entire scene consists of exchanges of quotes from Shakespeare. It is so funny I could be persuaded to grab it from the stack on my bedside table and offer it up for everyone's delight.

The rest of the book is a must-read as well. What IS that guy's name???

Ted wanders off to Amazon

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#826 - 07/27/00 12:58 PM Re: English as a Global Language
TEd Remington Offline
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Marlow without an e. The Marlow Chronicles by Lawrence Sanders (First Deadly Sin, Second Deadly Sin, etc.)

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#827 - 07/27/00 09:46 PM Re: English as a Global Language
Bridget Offline
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Registered: 06/27/00
Posts: 444
Loc: Sydney Australia
>>or it could just be a typical reaction to being force fed "...Julius Caesar" (or the like) in middle school (junior high, to us ;).<<

A classic and unfortunately common recipe for disaster. The only book of all those I was 'force-read' at school that I can feel anything for these days is 'Pride and Prejudice.' Possibly because I had read it by myself before the teachers got near it.
I have never understood how taking something like Shakespeare, which is relatively complex language, designed to be spoken aloud in a flowing show, then breaking it up into chunks and putting it in the mouthns of bored thirteen-year-olds, is meant to create a love of the English language.

My advice, go and see a Shakespearian play performed live. Preferably with a director who believes in a simple set with minimal props and cleverness, but prefers to concentrate on the words and ensuring the actors know how to speak them as if they meant something.


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#828 - 07/28/00 01:30 AM Re: English as a Global Language
emanuela Offline
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Registered: 03/16/00
Posts: 315
Loc: Italy - Perugia is a town with...
>>or it could just be a typical reaction to being force fed "...Julius Caesar" (or the like) in middle
school (junior high, to us ;).<<

I know this feeling.. it happened to me about "La Divina Commedia" of Dante Alighieri.

Emanuela


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#829 - 07/28/00 07:31 AM Re: English as a Global Language
Jackie Offline

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Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
Wow, Emanuela, it's interesting that you should say that!
We were given Dante's Inferno, in English of course, when I was probably 13, and for some reason I really enjoyed it!
Perhaps if I'd been given a translated version of Shakespeare, I might have liked him, too!


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#830 - 07/28/00 08:12 AM Re: English as a Global Language
emanuela Offline
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Registered: 03/16/00
Posts: 315
Loc: Italy - Perugia is a town with...
The interesting question is: when a language is SO CHANGED with time to be ANOTHER language? and need to be translated ?
I heard last month some religious medieval songs - in old Italian, so that I could understand approximately 50% of it: is it the same language?
And, also: when a dialect is a part of a language, or a different language?
During the First World War , the Italian Army used people from Sardegna (an island) for radio-transmitting , because their dialect is impossible to be understood even from other Italian people, so it was safe against the possibility of interception.
Ciao
Emanuela


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#831 - 07/28/00 01:29 PM Re: English as a Global Language
william Offline
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Registered: 07/12/00
Posts: 200
emanuela,
fascinating example!
once (only once) i was mistaken as being from torino in rome, when my italian was a little more voluble than these days. i also remember learning that fellini's film "amarcord" comes from a me riccordo. is that true?
in my experience of shakespeare, there are lots of words that are out of use today. when reading, they really impede understanding, but when watching the play in action they barely stick out at all - the acting and intonation of the actors cover them. after all, who understands every word of a conversation, or even a movie? it doesn't matter at all. in fact, we pick up a huge amount of a conversation by an automatic understanding of rhythm and intonation (and expectations grounded in previous experiences).
am i right in thinking that shakespeare, along with more recent poets like hardy, used words not even in common use in their day?
there's no one current language, as far as i can tell. native speakers (and really good students) of a language have a huge capacity to understand nuances from all kinds of sources, historically and geographically remote.
i don't feel shakespeare is a different language, because i feel so many of his phrases in my bones, even when they're new to me.
after all we only understand the english we use now because of the english that came before. 50 per cent is a pretty good hit rate for something old.
translation is just an interface. like news stories, the more you know about it, the less true it is.
i only read japanese books or poems in english cause i can't read japanese. when i hear and understand something in japanese that moves me, i feel like i've just discovered my neglected front yard is in fact a cherry orchard.
as for shakespeare in schools, surely the teachers who think it's a necessary duty will leave students thinking the same way, while teachers who love its sensualness and beauty (and can express that) will instill the same feelings in their students.


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#832 - 07/29/00 12:27 AM Re: English as a Global Language
Avy Offline
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Registered: 06/23/00
Posts: 724
I was taught Shakespeare at school and my reaction was "This is a guy that writes stupid plots in tough language. What is all the fuss about?" But then I grew up and reading Shakespeare began to appeal - for some reason. Except I found that I couldn't - read! I have finished one Act and the whole thing has gone - whoosh - over my head. But I could sense the poetry - the "sensualness and beauty" (couldn't express it better) and wanted to be able to read. So I searched book shops for editions that made it easy. I found Cambridge school edition the best that was available here. And I began reading - sitting on my bed, surrounded by four different editions of Hamlet. And every time I completed a play I felt really good. In this manner post-school, I read Julius Ceaser, Hamlet, Macbeth, Anthony and Cleopatra, Measure for Measure, Richard the II. I am currently reading Othello. My vote for the greatest writers goes to Shakespeare and Lewis Carrol.


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#833 - 07/29/00 01:57 AM Re: English as a Global Language
emanuela Offline
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Registered: 03/16/00
Posts: 315
Loc: Italy - Perugia is a town with...
>i also remember learning that fellini's film "amarcord" comes from a me
riccordo. is that true?
Yes, it means " mi ricordo" (=I remember) in the Fellini's dialect.
Emanuela


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#834 - 07/29/00 11:20 AM The language of Shakespeare
Rubrick Offline
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Registered: 05/18/00
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Loc: Somewhere outside New York
> am i right in thinking that shakespeare, along with more recent poets like hardy, used words not
even in common use in their day?
there's no one current language, as far as i can tell. native speakers (and really good students) of a
language have a huge capacity to understand nuances from all kinds of sources, historically and
geographically remote.

I am reminded of a story I once heard of an eminent Shakepearean researcher who was baffled when he could not track the source of the line 'there is a certain divinity that shapes our ends, rough hew them how we will'. Almost admitting failure he travelled to Stratford-upon-Avon in one final desparate attempt to find a reference to this enigmatic phrase.

Walking down a lane he noticed two men were cutting a hedge. Out of natural curiosity he asked them why it took two fo them to cut one hedge.

'Well, you see', saud the first. 'I rough-hews them and he shapes their ends'. The researcher could only guess that the bard himself had walked down a lane similar to this almost three centuries previously and had the same conversation with, possibly, the ancestors of these two men.


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#835 - 07/29/00 11:26 AM Re: English as a Global Language
Rubrick Offline
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> During the First World War , the Italian Army used people from Sardegna (an island) for
radio-transmitting , because their dialect is impossible to be understood even from other Italian
people, so it was safe against the possibility of interception.

This is very interesting. The Irish army serving in Lebanon under the UN use Gaelic (Irish) exclusively for radio transmissions because the Irish language is one of the most difficult languages to understand. However, in the early years of the war in Lebanon, Israeli radio units were taught Irish as a second language with the sole view of intercepting and decoding these Irish and UN transmissions.


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#836 - 07/30/00 06:32 AM Re: English as a Global Language
Bingley Offline
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Registered: 04/09/00
Posts: 3065
Loc: Jakarta
Isn't it fun having a language no-one else can understand ! When I went back to England with my loved one we used to have long conversations in Indonesian fairly confident no-one else on the bus or train could understand us.

Bingley
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#837 - 07/30/00 12:26 PM Re: English as a Global Language
Jackie Offline

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Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11609
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
A little bit different take, Bingley--
When I was in high school, I took French and my best friend took German. We did the following all the time for a while,
and one time on the bus particularly stands out in my memory. He would ask me a question in German, of which I
understood not a word, and I would make up an answer in
French. Then we would translate for each other, with
hilarious results! We had the whole back half of the bus
cracking up, listening to us! What fun!!



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#838 - 07/30/00 12:39 PM Re: English as a Global Language
william Offline
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Registered: 07/12/00
Posts: 200
jackie,
reminds me instantly of recent experiences at karaoke, a favourite pastime here. i'm sick of the small selection of english songs and have taken to trying unknown german songs just to see what happens. yesterday i gave a rendition of "ich gehe singend durch die stadt", without knowing the song at all, and it was quite respectable. these germans have a way with music i tell you.
mind you i feel like a sardegnan transmitting secret codes: most japanese wouldn't know how my pronunciation was at all.
neither would i come to think of it...
william


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#839 - 07/30/00 09:27 PM Re: English as a Global Language
Jackie Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11609
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
william,
you're braver than I would be (though I do have an
embarrassing memory of grabbing the microphone at a party
after a couple of drinks). Here's about 75% of the German
I know: ich liebe dich!
But then, which is the worse, I wonder: acting the fool in
front of a bunch of strangers whom you never have to face
again, or in front of co-workers who can give you sly digs ever afterwards?


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#840 - 08/13/00 07:45 AM Re: English as a Global Language
Bridget Offline
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Registered: 06/27/00
Posts: 444
Loc: Sydney Australia
>i don't feel shakespeare is a different language, because i feel so many of his phrases in my bones, even when they're new to me<

Ever thought about it in reverse? Ever thought about how Shakespearean language must have sounded to his contemporaries, when all those quotations and cliches weren't quotations and cliches?


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#841 - 08/13/00 01:18 PM Re: Shakespeare's language
tsuwm Offline
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considering who he was playing to, it was probably street talk and slang.



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#842 - 08/30/00 02:57 PM Re: English as a Global Language
apples + oranges Offline
newbie

Registered: 08/30/00
Posts: 46
Loc: Canada
English is my second language, while Polish is my first. But since I've lived in Canada almost half my life now, I've gotten used to speaking English and am more comfortable with using it rather than Polish. It's also interesting to see the surprise on my people's faces whenever I tell them that I didn't speak English at first.

I don't think that English will become a global language. The only reason it is rising in popularity is because of the numerous countries that use English as their main language, and the popularity of those countries around the world.


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#843 - 09/22/00 11:37 PM Re: English as a Global Language
metameta Offline
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Registered: 09/20/00
Posts: 29
Loc: Sonoma County, California
"I don't think that English will become a global language. The only reason it is rising in popularity is because of the numerous countries that use English as their main language, and the popularity of those countries around the world."

But, apples + oranges, you see your argument carries the seeds of it's own destruction!
English will become the global language, but not the English of the English, nor the Dutch, nor the Egyptians nor the French, but I believe it is well on its way to becoming the lingua franca of the world, and in doing so will undergo many transformations.


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#844 - 10/03/00 10:24 PM Re: English as a Global Language
belMarduk Offline
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Hmmmm. All this global language talk reminds me of a language that was being touted as the language of the future in the 70's - Esperanto. Anybody heard of it? I know there is still a restaurant in my city that still bears this name but I do not know if anyone still speaks it.

I do think English is increasingly being accepted as a global language. As an example, Health Canada (akin to the American FDA) has recently introduced some rules about the listing of ingredients on medicinal products (phase one which is already being implemented) and health and beauty products (phase two being implemented over next three years). The ingredient listings are a mixture of Latin (for most chemicals) and English. This has been designed in conjunction with the European community and is considered an <international> description. Far be it from me to disagree with these learned men but I think it is piffle. It does not take into account non English-speaking communities - and who speaks Latin in thier day-to-day lives.


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#845 - 10/19/00 11:40 PM Re: English as a Global Language
antonio Offline
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Registered: 10/15/00
Posts: 4
Loc: Castlegar, BC, Canada
emanuela,

Ho confuso i vocaboli. "Thread" vuol dire filo. Come il filo di tessuto che e' composto di particelle attorcigliate e intrecciate per poi formare una tela, cosi' le parole formano il filo del discorso e del dialogo che e' diverso socondo il soggetto e chi lo trama.

L'inglese sta' attraversando le stesse fasi del Latino; diventa "volgare" a seconda della nazione che lo parla. Sono appena tornato da Trinida e ti assicuro che quell'inglese parlato non ha tanto in comune con l'inglese parlato in Canada.


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#846 - 10/19/00 11:55 PM Re: English as a Global Language
antonio Offline
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Registered: 10/15/00
Posts: 4
Loc: Castlegar, BC, Canada
Let me join the debate in favor of each keeping the language currently in use. Each writer, even English writers, use different vocabulary to express the unique personal view of the universe. How can we then conceive that the universe can be described in one language only. The native Canadian people of the North have some forty different words for what we call "snow". Each language has the power to describe life in a particular environment and the globe is environmental varied. English alone will never do to describe it all. Perhaps in the sterile field of commerce and business English, like Latin in its days, may become the 'lingua franca' (just to make the point) but for the rest of human communications, to each his/her own language.


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#847 - 10/21/00 09:25 AM Re: English as a Global Language
tsuwm Offline
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antonio, you make some good points; but you'd do better by losing the '40 words for snow' example. it's an urban legend. I've seen the list and half the words relate to ice, and the rest can be attributed to a language that forsakes adjectives.

http://www.arctic.ca/LUS/Snow&Ice.html


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#848 - 10/23/00 09:34 AM Re: English as a Global Language
shanks Offline
old hand

Registered: 03/16/00
Posts: 1004
Loc: London, UK
Thou speakest sooth, oh tsuwm.

I have jeard tell that, if we include phrases (as compound words), then English and Inuit have a comparably long list of words for water in the frozen state.

cheer

the sunshine warrior

ps. We must also somehow quash the base canard that some native American languages had no verb tenses, and their people, therefore, had no notion of time. Like the Margaret Mead issue, it was a result of an unnecessary leap taken by a researcher whose research was, in the first place, sketchy, to say the least. Stephen Pinker (The Language Instinct) is very good at puncturing such inflated apocrypha...


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#849 - 10/29/00 09:20 PM Re: English as a Global Language
VerboTex Offline
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Registered: 10/29/00
Posts: 1
Loc: Chicago area
I was fortunate to spend 1997 in Québec City. I spoke no French when I arrived. I reminded me that in Texas the influx of Spanish speakers and their language now nearly precludes any attempt at "English as an Official Language" in the United States just as it can't be done in Canada. My fear is that the discrimination I felt as an English speaker in Québec is probably similar to that felt by Hispanic immigrants here.

Another, and possibly more important aspect of the spread of Spanish in North American (I include Toronto, at the very least) is that the language is changing rapidly as we adopt Spanish words into English at least as readily as our British ancestors did with French. This will inevitably widen the gaps between our language and that of our English-speaking counterparts in Europe, South Africa, and Australia/New Zealand.

As for Esperanto, I read recently that the language has a new generation of devotees who are again trying to get it adopted worldwide. Has anyone else seen such indication?


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#850 - 10/29/00 10:39 PM Re: English as a Global Language
Jackie Offline

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Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
Whoa! VerboTex, have you submitted your e-mail address to Anu's address-of-the-month contest? It'd get my vote, and welcome to you.

I agree--Spanish is becoming more and more evident here.


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#851 - 10/31/00 03:53 PM Re: English as a Global Language
belMarduk Offline
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Posts: 2891
Hi Verbo,
What type of discrimination did you feel in Québec city? Please realize that 99.9% of Québec city residents speak and understand only French. They have no cause to speak English in business or in their daily lives so you can`t expect them to do so. You may have had trouble being understood - but did you try to speak French or did you expect the natives to try to speak English. Miscommunication is not discrimination.

If you had said the same about Montreal I would have lent a sympathetic ear, and agreed that you may have faced some discrimination. Montréal is where the 'war' is most heated. The island is divided straight down the middle between the English speaking West-Island and the French speaking East End. If you wind up in the East End and try to speak English, people will generally try to help you out, however, in every conflict you have fanatics and those are the ones that give everybody a bad name. Generally, if you have some sort of foreign accent (non-Québec English) they will realize you are not from here and help you out. If they think you are from here and have not bothered to learn French, then you will get some flack.

I am glad you started your note with 'I was fortunate....it would be sad to think someone did not have a good time while here. I get so many good reports from people who come on vacation.




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#852 - 02/24/01 11:32 AM Re: English as a Global Language
jimthedog Offline
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Registered: 02/24/01
Posts: 387
Loc: Hartsville, New York.
I have noticed the rise in Esperanto speakers, Vtex.In my wanderings over the Internet,I've only found 1 or 2 anti-Esperanto sites. If you type it into a search engine you get several thousand sites.compare the numbers. jimthedog


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#853 - 02/26/01 06:27 AM Re: English as a Global Language
MargoM Offline
stranger

Registered: 02/26/01
Posts: 1
I am a native English (L1) speaker, born, raised and currently living in the USA. I have also lived/studied/volunteered/travelled all over Europe, lived in Siberia and am now planning to move to Seoul. I have a Master's degree in Adult Education and a TESOL certificate.

I have two things to say about this topic:
1) As someone who speaks Russian fluently and has in the past been more conversant than currently in German and French as well, I would say that relations with people in their native language are quite different than making them speak English, if it is not their first language. For example, I found that in the Louvre in Paris, when a Parisian and myself were admiring the same painting, and he found out I could speak French he began to tell me about other exhibits around the city. In Russia, I spoke Russian even with English teachers, even though I offered to speak English with them if they wanted to. I felt I was much more accepted as one of them by speaking their language with them.

2) Also, as an ESL/EFL teacher, I am very sensitive to try to avoid any possible insinuation that English (or the USA) is "better" than their language. I feel this can be a kind of cultural imperialism. Just like we are afraid of losing our biological diversity, I think we need to be concerned about our cultural and linguistic diversity too. In Russia, for example, I tried to approach English teaching from the standpoint that it was helpful for them in world/international communications. Also, I took into account that they might be using English to communicate with people from all different countries, including non-native (L2) speakers. So I looked at it in an instrumental way, that English might be useful for them.

By the way, I feel very unprepared going to S. Korea without knowing the language. I'm going to put a lot of effort into learning it though and hopefully I'll be able to pick it up before too long. I DO NOT want to just hang around the expatriate community. Oh, heavens, I avoided Americans in Russia. Americans have all the answers, are god of this world, and don't think we have to learn other languages and cultures. That's a generalization, but really, I never met one native English speaking English teacher who knew Russian the whole time I was in Russia. I met one German missionary couple who knew Russian. It was pretty bad.


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#854 - 03/01/01 10:21 AM Re: English as a Global Language
belligerentyouth Offline
old hand

Registered: 12/20/00
Posts: 1055
Loc: Berlin
> ...that relations with people in their native language are quite different than making them speak English..

I friend of mine noted the other day:
'She's a real bitch in French'
That kind of puts your idea in a nutshell.

'...(Americans) don't think they have to learn other languages and cultures..'

An acquaintance from the U.S. once told me:
'I like to be able to order a beer and a meal; learning anymore doesn't really interest me'
I happily chortled, pondering how lucky I am.


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