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Subject: "Standard language?" Archived thread - Read only
 
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Laudre
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Sep-01-01, 00:31 AM (EST)
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"Standard language?"
 
   I don't know if this has been worked out or not, but is the Galactic Standard language English, or another language that's actually readily learnable by non-native (especially alien) speakers without fifteen years of schooling? English IS one of the two most difficult major languages of Earth to learn, after all, and one would hope that a galactic government would choose a vastly easier and more consistent language as Standard (assuming it's a natural language and not an artificial one like Esperanto).

-- Sean --

http://www.thebrokenlink.org The Broken Link 4.0 is live!
"All tribal myths are true, for a given value of 'true'." -- Terry Pratchett
Follow my random thoughts
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  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
  RE: Standard language? Gryphonadmin Sep-01-01 1
     RE: Standard language? Laudre Sep-01-01 2
         RE: Standard language? megazone Sep-01-01 7
  RE: Standard language? TRB Sep-01-01 3
     RE: Standard language? Laudre Sep-01-01 4
         RE: Standard language? Gryphonadmin Sep-01-01 5
             RE: Standard language? megazone Sep-01-01 6
             RE: Standard language? Laudre Sep-01-01 8
                 RE: Standard language? Gryphonadmin Sep-01-01 9
                     RE: Standard language? Laudre Sep-01-01 13
                         RE: Standard language? Pasha Sep-01-01 17
                             RE: Standard language? Laudre Sep-01-01 22
                                 RE: Standard language? TRB Sep-02-01 28
                         RE: Standard language? megazone Sep-02-01 31
                             RE: Standard language? Laudre Sep-02-01 32
                 RE: Standard language? Redneck Sep-05-01 48
                     RE: Standard language? Gryphonadmin Sep-05-01 49
                         RE: Standard language? BobSchroeck Sep-05-01 50
                         RE: Standard language? Mephronmoderator Sep-05-01 51
                             RE: Standard language? Laudre Sep-05-01 52
         RE: Standard language? drakensisthered Sep-01-01 10
         RE: Standard language? Pasha Sep-01-01 11
             RE: Standard language? Laudre Sep-01-01 12
                 RE: Standard language? Pasha Sep-01-01 14
                     RE: Standard language? Laudre Sep-01-01 15
                         RE: Standard language? Gryphonadmin Sep-01-01 16
                             RE: Standard language? Laudre Sep-01-01 19
                         RE: Standard language? Pasha Sep-01-01 18
                             RE: Standard language? Laudre Sep-01-01 20
                                 RE: Standard language? Gryphonadmin Sep-01-01 21
                                     RE: Standard language? Laudre Sep-01-01 23
                                 RE: Standard language? Polychrome Sep-02-01 34
                                     RE: Standard language? Gryphonadmin Sep-02-01 35
                                         RE: Standard language? megazone Sep-02-01 39
                                     RE: Standard language? Laudre Sep-02-01 37
                         RE: Standard language? Polychrome Sep-02-01 36
                             RE: Standard language? Laudre Sep-02-01 38
                                 RE: Standard language? drakensisthered Sep-03-01 41
                                     RE: Standard language? Laudre Sep-03-01 42
                             RE: Standard language? BobSchroeck Sep-03-01 43
                                 RE: Standard language? Laudre Sep-04-01 44
                     RE: Standard language? Astynax Sep-01-01 25
                         RE: Standard language? Mephronmoderator Sep-01-01 26
                 RE: Standard language? Astynax Sep-01-01 24
                 RE: Standard language? drakensisthered Sep-02-01 33
             RE: Standard language? remandeteam Sep-04-01 46
         Fun with languages: The Kosher Meatball remandeteam Sep-04-01 45
             RE: Fun with languages: The Kosher Meatball trigger Sep-04-01 47
  RE: Standard language? Star Ranger4 Sep-01-01 27
     RE: Standard language? Gryphonadmin Sep-02-01 29
     RE: Standard language? Laudre Sep-02-01 30
         RE: Standard language? Star Ranger4 Sep-03-01 40

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Gryphonadmin
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Sep-01-01, 00:37 AM (EST)
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1. "RE: Standard language?"
In response to message #0
 
   >I don't know if this has been worked out or not, but is the Galactic
>Standard language English, or another language that's actually readily
>learnable by non-native (especially alien) speakers without fifteen
>years of schooling? English IS one of the two most difficult major
>languages of Earth to learn, after all, and one would hope that a
>galactic government would choose a vastly easier and more consistent
>language as Standard (assuming it's a natural language and not an
>artificial one like Esperanto).

That is deliberately unanswered.

--G.
-><-
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor in Chief, Netadmin
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/

-><-
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Mod
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/
zgryphon at that email service Google has
Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.


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Laudre
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Sep-01-01, 00:44 AM (EST)
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2. "RE: Standard language?"
In response to message #1
 
   >>I don't know if this has been worked out or not, but is the Galactic
>>Standard language English, or another language that's actually readily
>>learnable by non-native (especially alien) speakers without fifteen
>>years of schooling? <snip>

>That is deliberately unanswered.
>
>--G.

Which means it's either an upcoming plot point, or too much of a headache ^_^. Well, I know that it's neither Old High Norse nor Gamilon. Beyond that, speculation would be totally unfounded.

-- Sean --

http://www.thebrokenlink.org The Broken Link 4.0 is live!
"All tribal myths are true, for a given value of 'true'." -- Terry Pratchett
Follow my random thoughts
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megazone
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Sep-01-01, 03:51 AM (EST)
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7. "RE: Standard language?"
In response to message #2
 
   >Which means it's either an upcoming plot point, or too much of a
>headache ^_^.

Basically it just doesn't matter. It's a Plot Device. Like the universal translator, only it still allows people to switch to other languages and not be understood. I mentally just think of everyone speaking English because that's what I speak and that's the language the stories are written in...

And because I don't see the US switching to another language even in a few hundred years, and it is obvious that Standard-speakers can communicate easily on Earth in the US. So I think Standard is either English or as closely related to it as American English is to Queen's English.

-MegaZone, megazone@megazone.org
Personal Homepage http://www.megazone.org/
Eyrie Productions FanFic http://www.eyrie-productions.com/
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TRB
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Sep-01-01, 01:38 AM (EST)
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3. "RE: Standard language?"
In response to message #0
 
   On the other hand, English is a highly expressive language that conveys ideas well. I also like to think it's the official language of all aviation for some reason other than American influence due to American laziness, but that's probably wishful thinking.
As far as learning goes, be it languages or anything, I also like to think UF has better ways to go about that than the old-fashioned way, and that -is- my American laziness talking.

TRB

"I wish I was reaper, culling lost souls. I wish I could cast them into deep and lonely holes."


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Laudre
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Sep-01-01, 02:15 AM (EST)
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4. "RE: Standard language?"
In response to message #3
 
   >On the other hand, English is a highly expressive language that
>conveys ideas well.

...Not really. There's some things that it's very good at, mostly wordplay and puns thanks to an immense vocabulary and lots of homophones. It's also just about the most musical Germanic language I'm familiar with. But there are languages that are far easier to learn, languages that are far less ambiguous in day-to-day matters, and languages that are more expressive in prose. Benjamin Sapir-Whorf (as in the Whorf hypothesis) found Hopi a language extremely well-suited to describing the world that physics and math and other hard sciences describe, far moreso than English. (He said something along the lines of Hopi being a rapier and English being a bludgeon.)

In other words, English is ambiguous, difficult to learn (particularly written English), and a poor choice for an International language. It's gained its prominence in the world stage mostly because of the economic power of the States and the extent of the British Empire, sort of like how French became the international language before that. (At least French is relatively easy to learn.) Japanese is judged to be about as difficult to learn as English, for much the same reasons, and many linguists consider Basque to be the most difficult language in the world to learn.

At the other end of the scale, there's Esperanto, which, though an artificial language, is stupidly, ridiculously easy to learn, and amazingly expressive (although it does have a tendency to generate rather immense words due to the tendency to make words by compounding them; it's not as bad an offender as German, but malsanule^jo -- hospital -- ain't elegant). I'm enough of an Esperantist to want it to become the true international language and everyone's second language (and the language thought of as "Terran" if we make contact with an alien species -- it's certainly far better suited to that than English), but enough of a realist to know that it's unlikely to happen.

-- Sean --
off-and-on amateur linguist
http://www.thebrokenlink.org The Broken Link 4.0 is live!
"All tribal myths are true, for a given value of 'true'." -- Terry Pratchett
Follow my random thoughts
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Gryphonadmin
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Sep-01-01, 02:48 AM (EST)
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5. "RE: Standard language?"
In response to message #4
 
   > (At least French is relatively easy to learn.)

Says you, compadre.

>At the other end of the scale, there's Esperanto, which, though an
>artificial language, is stupidly, ridiculously easy to learn, and
>amazingly expressive

... but is unfortunately hampered by the fact that no one on Earth (except you, apparently) is capable of taking it seriously.

Personally, I'd like to see Latin make a comeback as the international language of learning. Not for any well-thought-out linguistic reason; just because I like Latin. It's extremely chantable (English's sole great weakness) and makes everything seem impressive. (As opposed to French, which can make even the amazingly violent lyrics to La Marseillaise sound like a come-on, or Italian, in which everything sounds like you're singing about food.)

--G.
and the TV's in Esperanto, y'know that that's a bitch
-><-
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor in Chief, Netadmin
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/

-><-
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Mod
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/
zgryphon at that email service Google has
Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.


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megazone
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Sep-01-01, 03:47 AM (EST)
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6. "RE: Standard language?"
In response to message #5
 
   >... but is unfortunately hampered by the fact that no one on Earth
>(except you, apparently) is capable of taking it seriously.

I can't take it seriously for two main reasons:
1. I just think it sounds funny when spoken.
2. There was at least one guy at WPI who was REALLY into esperanto and was a total dink, so I developed a negative association about it. He acted like knowing esperanto made him better or something. (I want to say it was Duane, but I might be crossing my mental pointers.)

There was also that one Tick episode with a line like "We've studied all Earth languages. Well, except esperanto. Everyone knew that wasn't going anywhere."

-MegaZone, megazone@megazone.org
Personal Homepage http://www.megazone.org/
Eyrie Productions FanFic http://www.eyrie-productions.com/
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Laudre
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Sep-01-01, 05:04 AM (EST)
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8. "RE: Standard language?"
In response to message #5
 
   >... but is unfortunately hampered by the fact that no one on Earth
>(except you, apparently) is capable of taking it seriously.

Me and about 14 million others, depending on the count. Which is more than a number of national languages.

>(As opposed to
>French, which can make even the amazingly violent lyrics to La
>Marseillaise
sound like a come-on,

...No, not when you understand it. While I have a hard time being intimidated by French, even though I have a decent knowledge of the language, it's still possible to be scary just because the language lacks moderation.

> or Italian, in which everything
>sounds like you're singing about food.)

... I suppose. Italian actually sounds like a language of come-ons to me. Or critics. I'm not sure.

-- Sean --

http://www.thebrokenlink.org The Broken Link 4.0 is live!
"All tribal myths are true, for a given value of 'true'." -- Terry Pratchett
Follow my random thoughts
Follow my creative process


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Gryphonadmin
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Sep-01-01, 05:59 AM (EST)
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9. "RE: Standard language?"
In response to message #8
 
   >>... but is unfortunately hampered by the fact that no one on Earth
>>(except you, apparently) is capable of taking it seriously.
>
>Me and about 14 million others, depending on the count. Which is more
>than a number of national languages.

14 million against the Earth's total population is close enough to "no one" for government work...

--G.
-><-
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor in Chief, Netadmin
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/

-><-
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Mod
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/
zgryphon at that email service Google has
Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.


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Laudre
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Sep-01-01, 03:25 PM (EST)
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13. "RE: Standard language?"
In response to message #9
 
   >14 million against the Earth's total population is close enough to "no
>one" for government work...

Only 300 million or so speak English as their first language. If you add the people who speak it well as a second language, then you've got 500 to 600 million English speakers. (I'm discounting people who think they speak English but can't actually function in the language.) Compare that to 750 million native Cantonese speakers, or something like 1.2 billion if you count all the various dialects of Chinese. (Which isn't really viable from a linguistic point of view, since they're not mutually intelligible. An Italian speaker and a Spanish speaker could understand each other more readily than someone who spoke only Mandarin and someone who only spoke Cantonese.)

And 14 million people is larger than the population of a number of European countries and Southeast Asian; many of those countries are not the kind that one dismisses as "no one." New York City has a population of about 8 million; I don't think you could say no one lives there.

14 million people is nothing to sneeze at.

-- Sean --

http://www.thebrokenlink.org The Broken Link 4.0 is live!
"All tribal myths are true, for a given value of 'true'." -- Terry Pratchett
Follow my random thoughts
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Pasha
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Sep-01-01, 03:59 PM (EST)
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17. "RE: Standard language?"
In response to message #13
 
   LAST EDITED ON Sep-01-01 AT 04:00 PM (EDT)

>>14 million against the Earth's total population is close enough to "no
>>one" for government work...

14 million: ~6.5 billion ~= .05% so, a 20th of a percentage point *is* close enough to nothing for government work. (For example, the US Census only rounds to the nearest 10th of a percentage point.)

>Only 300 million or so speak English as their first language. If you
>add the people who speak it well as a second language, then you've got
>500 to 600 million English speakers. (I'm discounting people who
>think they speak English but can't actually function in the language.)

Would you care to give sources for your numbers? I have a hard time beliving that only 500 million speak english. And also, how do you count who can function in the language or not? standard kindergarten? or 5th grade (US), or with graduate degrees in the english language?


> Compare that to 750 million native Cantonese speakers, or something
>like 1.2 billion if you count all the various dialects of Chinese.
>(Which isn't really viable from a linguistic point of view, since
>they're not mutually intelligible. An Italian speaker and a Spanish
>speaker could understand each other more readily than someone who
>spoke only Mandarin and someone who only spoke Cantonese.)

No, not really. A Sicillian speaker and a Spanish speaker could get along pretty well, but italian and spanish have about as much in common as english and spanish. The only thing that they have in common is some minor grammer points, but other then that they are pretty much completely different. (I tried taking an italian class, figuring the same thing. No dice. I gave up, because it was acutally harder for me to learn it. I kept wanting to use spanish words, and pronunciations.

>And 14 million people is larger than the population of a number of
>European countries and Southeast Asian; many of those countries are
>not the kind that one dismisses as "no one." New York City has a
>population of about 8 million; I don't think you could say no one
>lives there.

8,008,278. And yes, I would, for purposes of a world langauge poll. "New York City speaks New York-ese" Or "New York cityites complain about life in general" Now, I wouldn't sneer at New York City its self, because of the history of the city, and the fact that it's almost impossible to get good challa, or pizza anywhere else. (I still think it's the water.)

>14 million people is nothing to sneeze at.

Well, if they speak Esperanto, no, not to sneeze at. To laugh at, yes, but sneeze at? No. I wouldn't want to sneeze 14 million times in a row.

--
-Pasha
Umm, right....I'll be with you in just a sec now...

All numbers from US census web site (http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/BasicFactsServlet) or not mine.

--
-Pasha
"Don't change the subject"
"Too slow, already did."


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Laudre
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Sep-01-01, 04:54 PM (EST)
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22. "RE: Standard language?"
In response to message #17
 
   >Would you care to give sources for your numbers? I have a hard time
>beliving that only 500 million speak english. And also, how do you
>count who can function in the language or not? standard kindergarten?
>or 5th grade (US), or with graduate degrees in the english language?

Say 6th-grade US, but actually able to function in day-to-day society. There are English professors in Japan who have graduate degrees in the language and know far more about the language than 99.99% of its native speakers ever will, but who can't hold an actual conversation with a native speaker because they can't speak with a comprehensible accent or have any understanding of idiomatic slang. Many of the alleged English speakers I've met for whom it is a second language are at about this level. (They can often communicate via written English, but speaking? Forget it.) And there's also people I've met who learn English words but don't actually learn the language. ("Throw me down the stairs my pants.")

As for my numbers, I'm pulling them from memory from an encyclopaedia a couple of years old, and adjusting mentally for increases in population. There's about 280 million people in the US, probably 260 million of them who speak English as their native language; add in the native-English speaking populations of the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and the former British colonies, and you hit 300 million, maybe 320 million. All told, at most there's maybe 700 million English speakers in the world. Again, compare to the various dialects of Chinese for sheer numbers (though not geographical spread), and you're still outmoded. (And, for that matter, French and Spanish each have almost the geographical spread English does. Just not an economic/cultural influence who use it as their native language.)

>No, not really. A Sicillian speaker and a Spanish speaker
>could get along pretty well, but italian and spanish have about as
>much in common as english and spanish. The only thing that they have
>in common is some minor grammer points, but other then that they are
>pretty much completely different.

In this case I'm talking from the experience of a number of people I know who speak fluent Italian and are able to communicate quite well with Castillian Spanish speakers. (Mexican might be a different matter; I don't know.) Interestingly, Portuguese speakers can usually understand Castillian Spanish, but the reverse is rarely true (although if you read Portuguese you can usually read Spanish; I can get the gist of written Spanish, although I can't always get the fine details). And Dutch speakers typically have a far easier time understanding English than the reverse (even if they've never learned English), while Frisian and UK English are mutually intelligible.

>8,008,278. And yes, I would, for purposes of a world langauge poll.
>"New York City speaks New York-ese" Or "New York cityites complain
>about life in general" Now, I wouldn't sneer at New York City its
>self, because of the history of the city, and the fact that it's
>almost impossible to get good challa, or pizza anywhere else. (I
>still think it's the water.)

My point. 14 million people is a lot of people; the fact that the number of Esperantists is on the rise (even in comparison to the rise in world population)is also impressive. Personally, I plan on teaching the language to my children. (Hebrew was resurrected by people who spoke only the language -- and it had been a dead language -- to their children. But I don't plan on doing that; English is a far more important and more difficult language to learn.) (And New York-ese isn't spoken by 8 million people; a good chunk of New Yorkers, even native-born, don't speak English as a native language.)

As for New York pizza and challah... yeah, I'm pretty sure it's the water. I've found a place in G'boro that's *almost* New York pizza. I think it's as close to New York pizza as it's possible to get without that interesting New York water.

-- Sean --
"I didn't know you could chew water."
http://www.thebrokenlink.org The Broken Link 4.0 is live!
"All tribal myths are true, for a given value of 'true'." -- Terry Pratchett
Follow my random thoughts
Follow my creative process


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TRB
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Sep-02-01, 00:42 AM (EST)
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28. "RE: Standard language?"
In response to message #22
 
   And there's also people I've met who learn
>English words but don't actually learn the language. ("Throw me down
>the stairs my pants.")
>

You've accidentally brought up one of the strengths of English, Laudre. "Throw me down the stairs my pants" might sound ludicrous, but I can grok that the dood wants me to toss him his pants.
Compare this to certain other languages where such grammatical slip ups can turn an innocent request into a death threat, or some such B-) I only wish I could give a specific example, but you get the drift, I'd think.

TRB

"I wish I was reaper, culling lost souls. I wish I could cast them into deep and lonely holes."


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megazone
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Sep-02-01, 03:07 AM (EST)
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31. "RE: Standard language?"
In response to message #13
 
   >14 million people is nothing to sneeze at.

14 million geographically concentrated, no. 14 million rather thinly spread out over the globe with not much else linking them does not constitute much of a force.

I couldn't encourage someone to study esperanto, because other languages would prove much more useful. Someday I'll get around to trying to learn Japanese.

-MegaZone, megazone@megazone.org
Personal Homepage http://www.megazone.org/
Eyrie Productions FanFic http://www.eyrie-productions.com/
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Laudre
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Sep-02-01, 03:21 AM (EST)
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32. "RE: Standard language?"
In response to message #31
 
   >I couldn't encourage someone to study esperanto, because other
>languages would prove much more useful. Someday I'll get around to
>trying to learn Japanese.

Useful for what?

I enjoy studying languages, and Esperanto is an excellent primer for learning how languages are constructed, and its vocabulary draws strongly in IE languages. And it's incredibly easy to achieve fluency in the language; many linguists, even ones who aren't specifically Esperantists, have made the assertion that learning Esperanto and then going onto learning another natural language is more efficient than going directly to a second language. My personal interpretation of this has to do with one of the key things in attaining fluency in a language: learning to think in that language, instead of formulating thoughts and translating. Because Esperanto's grammar and vocabulary are so easily internalized, it's much easier to achieve the level of actually thinking in the language, and not stumbling over vocabulary and grammar. Once you've done that in one language, it gets exponentially easier to do in a second one. And by learning an alternate grammar, you learn just how language is actually constructed, which makes learning more languages easier because you're bringing preexisting knowledge with you, and don't have to learn all about things like noun declension or the subjunctive tense while you're also assimilating the specific peculiarities of the language in question.

And when you're talking about a language as supremely difficult to learn as English or Japanese, then you need all the help you can get.

(Did you know English has no less than twenty-three different ways to conjugate a verb, and that most of them are used fairly commonly? And that most of those conjugations have no analogue whatsoever in most languages?)

-- Sean --

http://www.thebrokenlink.org The Broken Link 4.0 is live!
"All tribal myths are true, for a given value of 'true'." -- Terry Pratchett
Follow my random thoughts
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Redneck
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Sep-05-01, 00:16 AM (EST)
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48. "RE: Standard language?"
In response to message #8
 
   >>... but is unfortunately hampered by the fact that no one on Earth
>>(except you, apparently) is capable of taking it seriously.
>
>Me and about 14 million others, depending on the count. Which is more
>than a number of national languages.

ISTR that there are now more people who speak -Klingonese- than speak Esperanto...

Redneck (sorry, I can't spell th'lLinghan)

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Gryphonadmin
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19247 posts
Sep-05-01, 00:20 AM (EST)
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49. "RE: Standard language?"
In response to message #48
 
   >>>... but is unfortunately hampered by the fact that no one on Earth
>>>(except you, apparently) is capable of taking it seriously.
>>
>>Me and about 14 million others, depending on the count. Which is more
>>than a number of national languages.
>
>ISTR that there are now more people who speak -Klingonese- than speak
>Esperanto...

Dammit! Every time I think this thread is going to die quietly...

--G.
-><-
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor in Chief, Netadmin
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/

-><-
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Mod
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/
zgryphon at that email service Google has
Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.


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BobSchroeck
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2192 posts
Sep-05-01, 08:31 AM (EST)
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50. "RE: Standard language?"
In response to message #49
 
   >Dammit! Every time I think this thread is going to die quietly...

And now, Part II of "The Death of Mary, Queen of Threads"...

-- Bob
---------------
Maya: Isn't there anything we can do?
Ritsuko-chan: Well, there is one thing we haven't tried. We can pray real hard!
-- from Tenshi Muyo! Rei-o-ohki

-- Bob
-------------------
My race is pacifist and does not believe in war. We kill only out of personal spite.


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Mephronmoderator
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Sep-05-01, 10:41 AM (EST)
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51. "RE: Standard language?"
In response to message #49
 
   >Dammit! Every time I think this thread is going to die quietly...

Someone talked about Klingon. THat means this thread is going to die NOISILY, and probably with at least two people dead with it when it's done.

--
Geoff Depew - Mephron
Haberdasher to Androids, Malakite of Lightning and Angel of Tech Support Professionals
(They won't give me LARTs, they say that's restricted to Michael.)

--
Geoff Depew - Darth Mephron
Haberdasher to Androids, Dark Lord of Sith Tech Support.
"And Remember! Google is your Friend!!"


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Laudre
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Sep-05-01, 01:06 PM (EST)
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52. "RE: Standard language?"
In response to message #51
 
   >>Dammit! Every time I think this thread is going to die quietly...
>
>Someone talked about Klingon. THat means this thread is going to die
>NOISILY, and probably with at least two people dead with it when it's
>done.

See, I *could* have responded to the bait. But I didn't. I could have been a real smartass, but I wasn't. I could have posted just to get this thread over the "flaming" mark, but I didn't.

And I'm not going to take the bait now. Because I don't think there's a way I could respond to it without turning this into a rather nasty one.

-- Sean --

http://www.thebrokenlink.org The Broken Link 4.0 is live!
"All tribal myths are true, for a given value of 'true'." -- Terry Pratchett
Follow my random thoughts
Follow my creative process


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drakensisthered
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Sep-01-01, 01:31 PM (EST)
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10. "RE: Standard language?"
In response to message #4
 
   Speaking or writing English correctly is difficult relative to many other languages, yes. (I can write correctly, though I don't always bother. Speak correctly? You must be joking.) But it isn't too difficult to do either badly, while remaining coherent enough to get your point across.

drakensisthered

So I simply said one of the great trite truths: "There is generally more than one side to a story." - Corwin, Roger Zelazny's 'Courts of Chaos'


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Pasha
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964 posts
Sep-01-01, 01:33 PM (EST)
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11. "RE: Standard language?"
In response to message #4
 
   >>On the other hand, English is a highly expressive language that
>>conveys ideas well.
>
>...Not really. There's some things that it's very good at, mostly
>wordplay and puns thanks to an immense vocabulary and lots of
>homophones. It's also just about the most musical Germanic language
>I'm familiar with. But there are languages that are far easier to
>learn, languages that are far less ambiguous in day-to-day matters,
>and languages that are more expressive in prose. Benjamin Sapir-Whorf
>(as in the Whorf hypothesis) found Hopi a language extremely
>well-suited to describing the world that physics and math and other
>hard sciences describe, far moreso than English. (He said something
>along the lines of Hopi being a rapier and English being a bludgeon.)
>
>In other words, English is ambiguous, difficult to learn (particularly
>written English), and a poor choice for an International language.
>It's gained its prominence in the world stage mostly because of the
>economic power of the States and the extent of the British Empire,
>sort of like how French became the international language before that.
> (At least French is relatively easy to learn.) Japanese is judged to
>be about as difficult to learn as English, for much the same reasons,
>and many linguists consider Basque to be the most difficult language
>in the world to learn.

Ok, I'm not sure if this is true or not, but I was having a conversation with a linguist, who explained that one of the reasons that english is used so frequently is the redundancy, and the fact that, for most uses, it uses the least sylabels(Ok, I mangled the spelling on that. If an admin wants to stalinize it, go for it.) of any language.


>At the other end of the scale, there's Esperanto, which, though an
>artificial language, is stupidly, ridiculously easy to learn, and
>amazingly expressive (although it does have a tendency to generate
>rather immense words due to the tendency to make words by compounding
>them; it's not as bad an offender as German, but malsanule^jo --
>hospital -- ain't elegant). I'm enough of an Esperantist to want it
>to become the true international language and everyone's second
>language (and the language thought of as "Terran" if we make contact
>with an alien species -- it's certainly far better suited to that than
>English), but enough of a realist to know that it's unlikely to
>happen.

I could also point to lojban, which is the only language that I know that can express time travel, from the third person after the fact, without breaking down into tears. And it's just fun to speak a language that looks like code when written out. Hey! There's an idea! we'll all use some bastardized version of Perl to communicate in the future! Yeah!

--
-Pasha
Umm, right....I'll be with you in just a sec now...

--
-Pasha
"Don't change the subject"
"Too slow, already did."


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Laudre
Charter Member
Sep-01-01, 03:20 PM (EST)
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12. "RE: Standard language?"
In response to message #11
 
   >Ok, I'm not sure if this is true or not, but I was having a
>conversation with a linguist, who explained that one of the reasons
>that english is used so frequently is the redundancy, and the fact
>that, for most uses, it uses the least sylabels(Ok, I mangled the
>spelling on that. If an admin wants to stalinize it, go for it.) of
>any language.

I cannot make any sense out of that. The redundancy actually makes it *harder* to learn -- English is one of the most idiomatic languages around, surpassed only by Japanese and Chinese to my knowledge, and there's four or five substantial variations that see a fair amount of use. (An Australian who speaks with a great deal of Australian slang will probably sound like he's speaking a foreign language.)

>I could also point to lojban, which is the only language that I know
>that can express time travel, from the third person after the fact,
>without breaking down into tears. And it's just fun to speak a
>language that looks like code when written out. Hey! There's an idea!
>we'll all use some bastardized version of Perl to communicate in the
>future! Yeah!

Um. Lojban is painful to learn and speak. While it's certainly interesting as an intellectual exercise, it's nigh-useless for anything else.

As for Perl...
Random Usenet Poster: "That's not encrypted. That's in Perl."
Larry Wall: "You just contradicted yourself."

I like Perl. I intend to learn Perl. But it's not exactly the easiest language to figure out just by looking at code.

-- Sean --

http://www.thebrokenlink.org The Broken Link 4.0 is live!
"All tribal myths are true, for a given value of 'true'." -- Terry Pratchett
Follow my random thoughts
Follow my creative process


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Pasha
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964 posts
Sep-01-01, 03:35 PM (EST)
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14. "RE: Standard language?"
In response to message #12
 
   >I cannot make any sense out of that. The redundancy actually makes it
>*harder* to learn -- English is one of the most idiomatic languages
>around, surpassed only by Japanese and Chinese to my knowledge, and
>there's four or five substantial variations that see a fair amount of
>use. (An Australian who speaks with a great deal of Australian slang
>will probably sound like he's speaking a foreign language.)

Yes, but once learned, the redundancy is useful. I can understand someone who is speaking USsouthern, AustrailianGen, BritishGen, MerkinGen, and very heavily accented english with realitive ease, minus local slang (I can't *read* scots, but I can understand it spoken). And I can grab that from context. However, when speaking to someone from Puerto Rico, or just about anywhere in South America, I can hardly understand them, and they can barely understand me. But speaking to people from mexico, or those who speak USmexican, I can speak almost as well as I speak english. I know one guy who grew up in Paris. And couldn't speak with the locals when he went elsewhere in the country. So that kinda flubs that. I don't speak esperanto, just because, well, I don't see a use for it. I speak languages that are useful to me in everyday life. 'MerkinGen and USmex. I'd like to learn japanese, but I doubt that happening unless I decide to take in Uni.

>>I could also point to lojban, which is the only language that I know
>>that can express time travel, from the third person after the fact,
>>without breaking down into tears. And it's just fun to speak a
>>language that looks like code when written out. Hey! There's an idea!
>>we'll all use some bastardized version of Perl to communicate in the
>>future! Yeah!
>
>Um. Lojban is painful to learn and speak. While it's certainly
>interesting as an intellectual exercise, it's nigh-useless for
>anything else.

So? I think that Hawiian is painful to learn and speak...It's still used frequently in hawaii...If you grew up speaking it, it wouldn't be painful to learn, you'd just pick it up. And speaking it, well, same thing. You would have nothing to compare to.

>As for Perl...
>Random Usenet Poster: "That's not encrypted. That's in Perl."
>Larry Wall: "You just contradicted yourself."
>
>I like Perl. I intend to learn Perl. But it's not exactly the
>easiest language to figure out just by looking at code.

That's why I said basterdized. Not only that, but the main reason that perl is so nasty is that you can do some really screwy things with it, and it's just sort of given that you will do screwy things with it, if at all possible.


--
-Pasha
Umm, right....I'll be with you in just a sec now...

--
-Pasha
"Don't change the subject"
"Too slow, already did."


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Laudre
Charter Member
Sep-01-01, 03:53 PM (EST)
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15. "RE: Standard language?"
In response to message #14
 
   >Yes, but once learned, the redundancy is useful. I can understand
>someone who is speaking USsouthern, AustrailianGen, BritishGen,
>MerkinGen, and very heavily accented english with realitive ease,
>minus local slang (I can't *read* scots, but I can understand it
>spoken).

Funny, I can read Doric fine, but hearing it spoken often defies my comprehension. And I misunderstood the "redundancy" -- that's just a restatement of what I said about why it's so common as a second language. It's just the geographical spread of the language, and the political power of the countries in which it's the main first language. (Although, it's worth noting the widespread rise of Mexican Spanish in the States, which means that Spanish is growing in prominence. I even heard one person who works as a translator say that Spanish will probably be the next major international language, and possibly even supercede English.)

>speak almost as well as I speak english. I know one guy who grew up
>in Paris. And couldn't speak with the locals when he went elsewhere
>in the country.

My French is rather rusty, but my accent is solid, and I've been told by Quebecois that I sound like a native Parisian.

> So that kinda flubs that. I don't speak esperanto,
>just because, well, I don't see a use for it.

I find it an entertaining diversion, and I like the idea of being able to go to most industrialized countries and find locals who wear a green star, thus obviating the need to learn the local language. (Esperanto is partially successful in that goal.) And it's amazingly easy to learn, far more so than any natural language (or, for that matter, any other artificial language I've come across). And there's a number of online communities in which the only common language is Esperanto -- no English, no French, no natural languages, just Esperanto.

>I speak languages that
>are useful to me in everyday life. 'MerkinGen and USmex. I'd like to
>learn japanese, but I doubt that happening unless I decide to take in
>Uni.

I plan to learn enough Japanese to be able to read it and comprehend it spoken. I know words here and there -- mostly, the kind I've learned to pick up when watching subbed anime and want to find words that don't translate (like sempai). (For instance, it adds a whole 'nother layer to Asuka and Kaji's relationship in NGE when you know that she calls him Kaji-sempai.)

>So? I think that Hawiian is painful to learn and speak...It's still
>used frequently in hawaii...If you grew up speaking it, it wouldn't be
>painful to learn, you'd just pick it up. And speaking it, well, same
>thing. You would have nothing to compare to.

Well, yeah. English is also painful to learn. Most people don't think it about their native language; to native English speakers, it feels like the most natural thing in the world. But it's a wildly inconsistent language, and well on its way to having all meaning derived strictly from word placement, which is a headache to learn for speakers of languages where meaning is based more on inflection. (One of the things I like about German and Esperanto both is noun declension -- lets me play around with noun placement to alter emphasis without changing objective meaning, something I have to mess around with passive vs. active voice in English to do, but doing that in English has side effects I may not want. For instance, "_Min_ amas ^si" in Esperanto is far more dynamic and succinct than anything English can produce.)

>That's why I said basterdized. Not only that, but the main reason
>that perl is so nasty is that you can do some really screwy things
>with it, and it's just sort of given that you will do screwy
>things with it, if at all possible.

Which is one of the things I like about it. I like seeing Perl constructs dropped into net.conversations, same thing as seeing C constructs in net.conversations, and while I find the idea of an artificial language based on a programming or scripting language interesting purely as an intellectual exercise, it seems impractical as something useful from day to day.

-- Sean --

http://www.thebrokenlink.org The Broken Link 4.0 is live!
"All tribal myths are true, for a given value of 'true'." -- Terry Pratchett
Follow my random thoughts
Follow my creative process


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Gryphonadmin
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19247 posts
Sep-01-01, 03:59 PM (EST)
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16. "RE: Standard language?"
In response to message #15
 
   >My French is rather rusty, but my accent is solid, and I've been told
>by Quebecois that I sound like a native Parisian.

NOTE: From Quebecois, this is not a compliment.

--G.
-><-
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor in Chief, Netadmin
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/

-><-
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Mod
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/
zgryphon at that email service Google has
Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.


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Laudre
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Sep-01-01, 04:26 PM (EST)
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19. "RE: Standard language?"
In response to message #16
 
   >NOTE: From Quebecois, this is not a compliment.

I know. But I found it amusing.

-- Sean --

http://www.thebrokenlink.org The Broken Link 4.0 is live!
"All tribal myths are true, for a given value of 'true'." -- Terry Pratchett
Follow my random thoughts
Follow my creative process


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Pasha
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964 posts
Sep-01-01, 04:22 PM (EST)
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18. "RE: Standard language?"
In response to message #15
 
   >(Although, it's worth noting the widespread rise of Mexican
>Spanish in the States, which means that Spanish is growing in
>prominence. I even heard one person who works as a translator say
>that Spanish will probably be the next major international language,
>and possibly even supercede English.)

As far as I have seen, no, it's not. Not unless you are going to include ebonics as well. It's a language spoken (exclusivly) mostly by the lower class, in larger cities, or some farmers, mostly close to the borders of mexico. According to the factfinder thing, most people speak some other form of spanish, (hell, 7% are from Spain). In fact, the most common is Puerto Rican Spainish. And judging from the number of people who live in this counrty that speak no english at all, and yet there children speak at least passing english. Maybe not perfect, and it's got an accent, but no harder to get through then USsouthern.

>>speak almost as well as I speak english. I know one guy who grew up
>>in Paris. And couldn't speak with the locals when he went elsewhere
>>in the country.
>
>My French is rather rusty, but my accent is solid, and I've been told
>by Quebecois that I sound like a native Parisian.

*shrug* Didn't happen to me, I don't speak french. I think that it makes you sound like a fluffer. The only time that I learned any french at all was when I memorized "Would the lady like to attend the dance with me?" To try and get into the skirts of a cute girl, who took french.

>> So that kinda flubs that. I don't speak esperanto,
>>just because, well, I don't see a use for it.
>
>I find it an entertaining diversion, and I like the idea of being able
>to go to most industrialized countries and find locals who wear a
>green star, thus obviating the need to learn the local language.
>(Esperanto is partially successful in that goal.) And it's amazingly
>easy to learn, far more so than any natural language (or, for that
>matter, any other artificial language I've come across). And there's
>a number of online communities in which the only common language is
>Esperanto -- no English, no French, no natural languages, just
>Esperanto.

And I like the idea of being able to go to a Crack in the Box, and get my order right, 'cause the server and I speak a languge in common. For what it's worth, I've never known anyone who spoke Esperanto IRL. And I've never seen one of those green stars. And I've never had trouble in my day to day life. Or in my not so day to day life. However, I did manage to keep from being thrown into jail in mexico because I was able to explain to the barkeep that what my freind had said wasn't a mortal insult, and that what we really
wanted was another round of beer and tequila...while drunk...

>>I speak languages that
>>are useful to me in everyday life. 'MerkinGen and USmex. I'd like to
>>learn japanese, but I doubt that happening unless I decide to take in
>>Uni.
>
>I plan to learn enough Japanese to be able to read it and comprehend
>it spoken. I know words here and there -- mostly, the kind I've
>learned to pick up when watching subbed anime and want to find words
>that don't translate (like sempai). (For instance, it adds a whole
>'nother layer to Asuka and Kaji's relationship in NGE when you know
>that she calls him Kaji-sempai.)

ok, I speak no japanese, and it's untranslatable...but you learned it, so it must have some explainable meaning in english. (Please explain?)

>>So? I think that Hawiian is painful to learn and speak...It's still
>>used frequently in hawaii...If you grew up speaking it, it wouldn't be
>>painful to learn, you'd just pick it up. And speaking it, well, same
>>thing. You would have nothing to compare to.
>
>Well, yeah. English is also painful to learn. Most people don't
>think it about their native language; to native English speakers, it
>feels like the most natural thing in the world. But it's a wildly
>inconsistent language, and well on its way to having all meaning
>derived strictly from word placement, which is a headache to learn for
>speakers of languages where meaning is based more on inflection. (One
>of the things I like about German and Esperanto both is noun
>declension -- lets me play around with noun placement to alter
>emphasis without changing objective meaning, something I have to mess
>around with passive vs. active voice in English to do, but doing that
>in English has side effects I may not want. For instance, "_Min_ amas
>^si" in Esperanto is far more dynamic and succinct than anything
>English can produce.)

Yeah, I see line noise. ;-) No offense (and we've gone *way* off topic) so, why don't we just agree that esperanto, (while a good idea) will probably never be a true international language.
Que sera, sera, and all that.

>>That's why I said basterdized. Not only that, but the main reason
>>that perl is so nasty is that you can do some really screwy things
>>with it, and it's just sort of given that you will do screwy
>>things with it, if at all possible.
>
>Which is one of the things I like about it. I like seeing Perl
>constructs dropped into net.conversations, same thing as seeing C
>constructs in net.conversations, and while I find the idea of an
>artificial language based on a programming or scripting language
>interesting purely as an intellectual exercise, it seems impractical
>as something useful from day to day.

Yeah, but wouldn't it be cool! ;-)

--
-Pasha
Vaya abajo a la esquina y vea si estoy allÝ

--
-Pasha
"Don't change the subject"
"Too slow, already did."


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Laudre
Charter Member
Sep-01-01, 04:37 PM (EST)
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20. "RE: Standard language?"
In response to message #18
 
   >As far as I have seen, no, it's not. Not unless you are going to
>include ebonics as well. It's a language spoken (exclusivly) mostly
>by the lower class, in larger cities, or some farmers, mostly close to
>the borders of mexico. According to the factfinder thing, most people
>speak some other form of spanish, (hell, 7% are from Spain).

I was talking about Spanish in general, not the Mexican dialect.

>ok, I speak no japanese, and it's untranslatable...but you learned it,
>so it must have some explainable meaning in english. (Please explain?)

The closest English word I can think of is "mentor", but it also has connotations of role-model, parental figure, and master (as in apprentice). It lacks a direct analogue in English, as most Japanese words do; if I were going to replace the word "sempai" in a dub with an English word, it'd be "mentor", but that's not really accurate; in a lot of situations where one would use the word "mentor" in English, "sensei" would be more appropriate. I'm trying to think of a good illustration of the sempai relationship, but I'm blanking on it.

>Yeah, I see line noise. ;-) No offense (and we've gone *way* off
>topic) so, why don't we just agree that esperanto, (while a good idea)
>will probably never be a true international language.
>Que sera, sera, and all that.

Probably not. But the success it does have -- it's a living language, in some sense (as I've said, 14 million speakers is more than a large number of natural languages) -- and its simplicity and expressiveness appeal to me. I like speaking it, and I'm planning on writing a novella in the language once my vocabulary in is equal to the task. And artificial languages can become surprisingly common; Tagalog is a constructed language.

-- Sean --

http://www.thebrokenlink.org The Broken Link 4.0 is live!
"All tribal myths are true, for a given value of 'true'." -- Terry Pratchett
Follow my random thoughts
Follow my creative process


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Gryphonadmin
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19247 posts
Sep-01-01, 04:46 PM (EST)
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21. "RE: Standard language?"
In response to message #20
 
   >The closest English word I can think of is "mentor", but it also has
>connotations of role-model, parental figure, and master (as in
>apprentice). It lacks a direct analogue in English, as most Japanese
>words do; if I were going to replace the word "sempai" in a dub with
>an English word, it'd be "mentor", but that's not really accurate; in
>a lot of situations where one would use the word "mentor" in English,
>"sensei" would be more appropriate. I'm trying to think of a good
>illustration of the sempai relationship, but I'm blanking on it.

The most illustrative way I've seen it used is in martial arts. A friend of mine is into karate; her sensei is the guy who teaches the class, while her sempai is a somewhat older guy who's a more advanced student, and helps her out, offers advice, and whatnot in his spare time.

Students in anime often call their upperclassman friends sempai, in a similar vein.

>And artificial languages can become surprisingly common; Tagalog is a
>constructed language.

Is it? I thought it was a creole, like Acadienne. (The difference being that nobody sat down one day and said, "The world doesn't have enough languages in it - I'll make up another one.")

--G.
-><-
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor in Chief, Netadmin
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/

-><-
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Mod
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/
zgryphon at that email service Google has
Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.


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Laudre
Charter Member
Sep-01-01, 04:56 PM (EST)
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23. "RE: Standard language?"
In response to message #21
 
   >>And artificial languages can become surprisingly common; Tagalog is a
>>constructed language.
>
>Is it? I thought it was a creole, like Acadienne. (The difference
>being that nobody sat down one day and said, "The world doesn't have
>enough languages in it - I'll make up another one.")

Nope, Tagalog was actually constructed by, IIRC, a Portuguese missionary. And it's now got a few million native speakers.

-- Sean --

http://www.thebrokenlink.org The Broken Link 4.0 is live!
"All tribal myths are true, for a given value of 'true'." -- Terry Pratchett
Follow my random thoughts
Follow my creative process


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Polychrome
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476 posts
Sep-02-01, 06:04 AM (EST)
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34. "RE: Standard language?"
In response to message #20
 
   LAST EDITED ON Sep-02-01 AT 06:05 AM (EDT)

>Probably not. But the success it does have -- it's a living language,
>in some sense (as I've said, 14 million speakers is more than a large

Is it, in point of fact, a living language?
Are people teaching it to their children as a primary language?
Are the meanings and pronunciations of the words changing?
Are the grammatical structures changing? Does it have slang?

>number of natural languages) -- and its simplicity and expressiveness

There are ~2000 languages in use right now, many of them are dying out
as their associated cultures are assimilated into larger cultures. Esperanto
doesn't have an associated culture, and unless it gets one, will never become
a "real" language.

Polychrome


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Gryphonadmin
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Sep-02-01, 06:49 AM (EST)
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35. "RE: Standard language?"
In response to message #34
 
   >There are ~2000 languages in use right now, many of them are dying out
>as their associated cultures are assimilated into larger cultures.

Speaking of dying out, I think it's about time for this thread to.

ObOnT: Esperanto is not Galactic Standard.

--G.
-><-
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Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/

-><-
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Mod
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/
zgryphon at that email service Google has
Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.


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megazone
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Sep-02-01, 03:20 PM (EST)
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39. "RE: Standard language?"
In response to message #35
 
   >>There are ~2000 languages in use right now, many of them are dying out
>>as their associated cultures are assimilated into larger cultures.
>Speaking of dying out, I think it's about time for this thread to.
>ObOnT: Esperanto is not Galactic Standard.

I am rather tempted to drop something into a story about esperanto dying in the 2100s or something... ;-)

-MegaZone, megazone@megazone.org
Personal Homepage http://www.megazone.org/
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See what I'm selling on eBay


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Laudre
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Sep-02-01, 02:32 PM (EST)
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37. "RE: Standard language?"
In response to message #34
 
   >Is it, in point of fact, a living language?
> Are people teaching it to their children as a primary language?

Yes. While an accurate number is nigh-impossible to find, the number most commonly quoted as native Esperanto speakers ranges from 1,000 to 5,000. Possibly more, but nobody can say for sure.

> Are the meanings and pronunciations of the words changing?
> Are the grammatical structures changing? Does it have slang?

If any of the grammar, meanings, or pronunciations changed, it would negate the purpose of Esperanto. However, alternate conventions have arisen in use, particularly on the 'net. And, yes, there is slang.

>Esperanto
>doesn't have an associated culture, and unless it gets one, will never
>become
>a "real" language.

The point of Esperanto is that it doesn't have an associated culture. And I beg to differ; it is a "real" language, just not a natural one. It's as expressive as most other languages (not as capable of fine shades of meaning as English, which English achieves by virtue of an enormous vocabulary, although as English's grammar moves towards a purely positional structure with little to no inflection, some of that will be lost -- a good deal of it has already been lost in the changes between Shakespearean English and modern English), and there are a number of works of literature that have been written expressly in Esperanto. It's the only artificial international language that continues to thrive and grow, and even partially succeeds at its given intent, and remains as something more than a curiousity of another time.

And if all this seems a little odd, remember that the name of the language means "one who hopes".

-- Sean --

http://www.thebrokenlink.org The Broken Link 4.0 is live!
"All tribal myths are true, for a given value of 'true'." -- Terry Pratchett
Follow my random thoughts
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Polychrome
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Sep-02-01, 06:51 AM (EST)
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36. "RE: Standard language?"
In response to message #15
 
   >Well, yeah. English is also painful to learn. Most people don't
>think it about their native language; to native English speakers, it
>feels like the most natural thing in the world. But it's a wildly
>inconsistent language, and well on its way to having all meaning
>derived strictly from word placement, which is a headache to learn for
>speakers of languages where meaning is based more on inflection. (One
>of the things I like about German and Esperanto both is noun
>declension -- lets me play around with noun placement to alter
>emphasis without changing objective meaning, something I have to mess
>around with passive vs. active voice in English to do, but doing that
>in English has side effects I may not want. For instance, "_Min_ amas
>^si" in Esperanto is far more dynamic and succinct than anything
>English can produce.)

The reason English is so wildly inconsistent is because English will take
these "untranslatable" words and assimilate them. While the sublties and
connotations might be lost, the central meaning will remain, adding to the
vocabulary. This is why English has the largest vocabulary of any language.
Somthing like ~300k words as compared to ~100k words for an "average"
modern language, IIRC.

English, the Borg of languages.

Polychrome


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Laudre
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Sep-02-01, 02:42 PM (EST)
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38. "RE: Standard language?"
In response to message #36
 
   >The reason English is so wildly inconsistent is because English will take
>these "untranslatable" words and assimilate them. While the sublties and
>connotations might be lost, the central meaning will remain, adding to the
>vocabulary. This is why English has the largest vocabulary of any language.
>Somthing like ~300k words as compared to ~100k words for an "average"
>modern language, IIRC.

The reason that happens is because there exists no academic body that determines what is or isn't English. For instance, for French, there's l'Academie Franšaise, which determines what is and isn't official French. (And in Canadian French, they're even more fascistic about keeping the language pure -- anglicisms that make it into Parisian French are often kept out of Canadian French. For example, in French, it's "le weekend", while in Canadian French, it's "le fin de semaine".)

What happens, then? English becomes harder to learn, because there then becomes many more words and regional mutations that make it harder for a non-native speaker to understand the local variation.

I'm not saying English is a bad language; as a writer, I rather enjoy the language, as it's very playable-with. But it's just an abysmal choice for an international second language. French was better; smaller vocabulary, fewer idioms, much closer connection to a number of other languages (the Romantic languages), and easier to learn.

-- Sean --

http://www.thebrokenlink.org The Broken Link 4.0 is live!
"All tribal myths are true, for a given value of 'true'." -- Terry Pratchett
Follow my random thoughts
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drakensisthered
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Sep-03-01, 02:46 AM (EST)
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41. "RE: Standard language?"
In response to message #38
 
   >>The reason English is so wildly inconsistent is because English will take
>>these "untranslatable" words and assimilate them. While the sublties and
>>connotations might be lost, the central meaning will remain, adding to the
>>vocabulary. This is why English has the largest vocabulary of any language.
>>Somthing like ~300k words as compared to ~100k words for an "average"
>>modern language, IIRC.
>
>The reason that happens is because there exists no academic body that
>determines what is or isn't English. For instance, for French,
>there's l'Academie Franšaise, which determines what is and isn't
>official French.

Yeah, I heard about that. Not only does it keep French 'pure' it stamped out every other language (Breton for example) spoken in France by banning them from the schools. Nice to know freedom of speech is so respected.

drakensisthered

So I simply said one of the great trite truths: "There is generally more than one side to a story." - Corwin, Roger Zelazny's 'Courts of Chaos'


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Laudre
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Sep-03-01, 04:09 AM (EST)
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42. "RE: Standard language?"
In response to message #41
 
   >>The reason that happens is because there exists no academic body that
>>determines what is or isn't English. For instance, for French,
>>there's l'Academie Franšaise, which determines what is and isn't
>>official French.
>
>Yeah, I heard about that. Not only does it keep French 'pure' it
>stamped out every other language (Breton for example) spoken in France
>by banning them from the schools. Nice to know freedom of speech is so
>respected.

Then why is Provencal still a living, strong language?

Besides, the only country in the world I know of that protects free speech is the United States, and there's no official language in the US, nor do I expect that there ever will be. Variants of Spanish are growing in strength (Puerto Rican, Costa Rican, Mexican, Cuban, and others, depending on where in the States you are), and in almost every substantial city (say, population greater than about 100,000) there's at least one section of the city where the storefront signs are either in English and another language, or just in that other language. Spanish is the most common one, and I'd say that Chinese probably the next most common. (I love New York's Chinatown, personally, and probably two-thirds of the signs are *only* in Chinese. I've also seen signs in Korean, Japanese, Thai, Hindi...) In parts of New England, many of the signs -- even gov't ones -- are in both French (Quebecois, really) and English.

-- Sean --

http://www.thebrokenlink.org The Broken Link 4.0 is live!
"All tribal myths are true, for a given value of 'true'." -- Terry Pratchett
Follow my random thoughts
Follow my creative process


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BobSchroeck
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2192 posts
Sep-03-01, 11:17 PM (EST)
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43. "RE: Standard language?"
In response to message #36
 
   >English, the Borg of languages.

From my quote file:

Not only does the English Language borrow words from other languages, it sometimes chases them down dark alleys, hits them over the head, and goes through their pockets. -- Eddy Peters
Not only that, instead of the money, it escapes with the pocket lint. -- Don Roberts


-- Bob
---------------
Maya: Isn't there anything we can do?
Ritsuko-chan: Well, there is one thing we haven't tried. We can pray real hard!
-- from Tenshi Muyo! Rei-o-ohki

-- Bob
-------------------
My race is pacifist and does not believe in war. We kill only out of personal spite.


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Laudre
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Sep-04-01, 00:25 AM (EST)
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44. "RE: Standard language?"
In response to message #43
 
   >>English, the Borg of languages.
>
>From my quote file:
>
> Not only does the English Language borrow words from other
>languages, it sometimes chases them down dark alleys, hits them over
>the head, and goes through their pockets. -- Eddy Peters
> Not only that, instead of the money, it escapes with the pocket
>lint. -- Don Roberts

Reminds me of something from George Bernard Shaw:

GHOTI

What is this word?

Answer:

Fish.

'gh' from 'enough'; 'o' from 'women'; 'ti' from 'nation'.

This is why English is a rat bastard of a language to learn.

-- Sean --

http://www.thebrokenlink.org The Broken Link 4.0 is live!
"All tribal myths are true, for a given value of 'true'." -- Terry Pratchett
Follow my random thoughts
Follow my creative process


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Astynax
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717 posts
Sep-01-01, 07:37 PM (EST)
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25. "RE: Standard language?"
In response to message #14
 
   >That's why I said basterdized. Not only that, but the main reason
>that perl is so nasty is that you can do some really screwy things
>with it, and it's just sort of given that you will do screwy
>things with it, if at all possible.
>

Isn't it wonderful? <IMHO Perl is about as discordian as a programming language gets, YMMV {and if you can point me to one that's even more chaotic, I owe you one;)}>

-={(Astynax)}=-
"Darkness beyond Twilight"


-={(Astynax)}=-
"Darkness beyond Twilight"


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Mephronmoderator
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1763 posts
Sep-01-01, 10:28 PM (EST)
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26. "RE: Standard language?"
In response to message #25
 
   >Isn't it wonderful? <IMHO Perl is about as discordian as a programming
>language gets, YMMV {and if you can point me to one that's even more
>chaotic, I owe you one;)}>

INTERCAL?

--
Geoff Depew - Mephron
Haberdasher to Androids, Malakite of Lightning and Angel of Tech Support Professionals
(They won't give me LARTs, they say that's restricted to Michael.)

--
Geoff Depew - Darth Mephron
Haberdasher to Androids, Dark Lord of Sith Tech Support.
"And Remember! Google is your Friend!!"


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Astynax
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Sep-01-01, 07:34 PM (EST)
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24. "RE: Standard language?"
In response to message #12
 
   >As for Perl...
>Random Usenet Poster: "That's not encrypted. That's in Perl."
>Larry Wall: "You just contradicted yourself."
>

This broke me good...

>I like Perl. I intend to learn Perl. But it's not exactly the
>easiest language to figure out just by looking at code.
>

O'Reilly books are your friends.

..but seriously, thus far, I haven't found it TOO difficult to pick it up, but it helps immensely to have some sort of project to do, just to be sure you've got the right idea after reading a book and some code <seems to me Perl and English actually have quite a lot in common, in terms of 'gee, that OUGHT to work that way' items>

-={(Astynax)}=-
"JAPH"


-={(Astynax)}=-
"Darkness beyond Twilight"


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drakensisthered
Charter Member
Sep-02-01, 05:29 AM (EST)
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33. "RE: Standard language?"
In response to message #12
 
   LAST EDITED ON Sep-02-01 AT 05:32 AM (EDT)

>>Ok, I'm not sure if this is true or not, but I was having a
>>conversation with a linguist, who explained that one of the reasons
>>that english is used so frequently is the redundancy, and the fact
>>that, for most uses, it uses the least sylabels(Ok, I mangled the
>>spelling on that. If an admin wants to stalinize it, go for it.) of
>>any language.
>
>I cannot make any sense out of that. The redundancy actually makes it
>*harder* to learn -- English is one of the most idiomatic languages
>around, surpassed only by Japanese and Chinese to my knowledge, and
>there's four or five substantial variations that see a fair amount of
>use. (An Australian who speaks with a great deal of Australian slang
>will probably sound like he's speaking a foreign language.)

Given how localised variations can be (Yorkshire English vs Lancshire English) most English speakers I know would have little trouble understanding a 'foreign' variation, because they're used to working with the problem.

Heck - I understood almost 90% of what was said to me in the States when I went on holiday there this summer. Once you take into account the times I understood on a repeat, that becomes about 99% I'd guess.

drakensisthered

So I simply said one of the great trite truths: "There is generally more than one side to a story." - Corwin, Roger Zelazny's 'Courts of Chaos'


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remandeteam
Member since Jul-31-07
78 posts
Sep-04-01, 01:25 PM (EST)
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46. "RE: Standard language?"
In response to message #11
 
   >I could also point to lojban, which is the only language that I know
>that can express time travel, from the third person after the fact,
>without breaking down into tears. And it's just fun to speak a
>language that looks like code when written out. Hey! There's an idea!
>we'll all use some bastardized version of Perl to communicate in the
>future! Yeah!
>

Perl is English, or at least close enough. Larry Wall is a bit of a linguist, it seems. His explanation is along the lines of "English is so useful because it is a very messy language, and thus deals well with a very messy world. Similarly, Perl is a very messy language because it deals with a very messy world."

On the flip side, I have held in my head that Vulcan is simply a spoken version of Lisp.

--rR

--rR


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remandeteam
Member since Jul-31-07
78 posts
Sep-04-01, 01:21 PM (EST)
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45. "Fun with languages: The Kosher Meatball"
In response to message #4
 
   I remember back in college, Pfloyd and I were rolling up a team of Special Forces types for some military game which we never got a chance to play. Pfloyd had the wonderful idea that Swedish was a particularly rare language, and thus we should have every team member take training in the language so that we could speak somewhat covertly. As such, we decided that the team would call itself "The Swedish Meatballs" (regardless of the fact that the characters were not Swedish), and the CO would jokingly be called "The Meat Head".

I was in charge of rolling up the XO, and for whatever reason I really wanted him to have an Uzi. The regulations were rather strict on weaponry, so I needed a good reason to carry one. I also had a problem focusing the team's linguistic skills on Swedish; after all, this team could be deployed anywhere. It's always nice to be able to talk to the locals.

Thus, I came to the stunning decision to make the XO an Isreali Jew. This would giv ehim access to Isreali weapons, and got me to convince Pfloyd to trade some (not all) of his Swedish language skills to Hebrew. The idea behind this was that, wherever you go, there's probably a Jewish temple complete with rabbis nearby.

As such, the XO became known as "The Kosher Meatball".

Just a thought...

--rR

--rR


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trigger
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1500 posts
Sep-04-01, 01:30 PM (EST)
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47. "RE: Fun with languages: The Kosher Meatball"
In response to message #45
 
   >The idea behind this was that, wherever you go, there's
>probably a Jewish temple complete with rabbis nearby.

I like the idea. I only wish it was true. I think I can speak from experience when I say that finding rabbis in suburbs is damn difficult. It is even more difficult in latin america and asia.

I think Spanish, followed by Arabic and Chinese are the dominant lanaguages.

Of course, if you really want to use a secret language, you can fall back on some favorites of covert actions teams world wide:

Kiche Maya (US/French)
Attic Greek (Catholic Church)
Gez (Israeli for inflitration into african muslim countries)
and my personal favorite:
Navaho (excellent for encryption)

your game sounds cool...
t.


Trigger Argee
trigger_argee@hotmail.com
Manon, Orado, etc.
Denton, never leave home without it.

Trigger Argee
Manon, Maccadon, Orado, etc.
Denton, never leave home without it.

"This isn't exactly the Olympic Games." - Corwin of Amber


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Star Ranger4
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2206 posts
Sep-01-01, 10:55 PM (EST)
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27. "RE: Standard language?"
In response to message #0
 
   No dice, Laudre. Not in my book anyway. YOu know what 'Standard' is? Plain old Spoken english with a Massachucetts accent. Why? the WDF became the standard by which all other armed forces were judged, etc. And where did the WDF leadership and its core memebers come from? WPI.... QED.

___________________

Vaughn doesn't know I exist. I guess this explains why the rest of reality keeps ignoring me as well. >_<


Of COURSE you wernt expecting it!
No One expects the FANNISH INQUISITION!
RCW# 86


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Gryphonadmin
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19247 posts
Sep-02-01, 01:17 AM (EST)
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29. "RE: Standard language?"
In response to message #27
 
   >No dice, Laudre. Not in my book anyway. YOu know what 'Standard' is?
> Plain old Spoken english with a Massachucetts accent. Why? the WDF
>became the standard by which all other armed forces were judged, etc.
>And where did the WDF leadership and its core memebers come from?
>WPI.... QED.


... which is fine, except that the only one of us who was actually from Massachusetts is ReRob...

--G.
-><-
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor in Chief, Netadmin
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/

-><-
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Mod
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/
zgryphon at that email service Google has
Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.


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Laudre
Charter Member
Sep-02-01, 01:18 AM (EST)
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30. "RE: Standard language?"
In response to message #27
 
   >No dice, Laudre. Not in my book anyway. YOu know what 'Standard' is?
> Plain old Spoken english with a Massachucetts accent. Why? the WDF
>became the standard by which all other armed forces were judged, etc.
>And where did the WDF leadership and its core memebers come from?
>WPI.... QED.

When did the WDF become the galactic government?

Earth is only one world among many in the UFP, and it was a junior member of the United Galactica. (A powerful one, but a young power in the galaxy, even by the time of SotS.) It probably functions something like the UN -- two or three well-established trade languages as the official documentation, and probably a few dozen official languages, if not more. (The UN has about twenty, IIRC. And everything is documented in French and English, being the two most widespread languages among its constituent members.) As an amateur linguist, I'd guess that Galactic Standard is simply one of the languages that became common through trade; humans are relative newcomers on the galactic block, so most likely it'd be something more like a Vulcan or Salusian language -- a far more established one than English would be, on the galactic level. Possibly a creole or pidgin that'd be easier for non-native speakers to learn. WPI being in Massachussetts, though, I'd imagine they'd either speak the current version of American English (which would be much-mutated by 400 years of change), or whatever Earthdome's official language might be (which could easily be Standard, or if Earthdome's strongest constituent power were, say, China, it could be Mandarin...).

-- Sean --

http://www.thebrokenlink.org The Broken Link 4.0 is live!
"All tribal myths are true, for a given value of 'true'." -- Terry Pratchett
Follow my random thoughts
Follow my creative process


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Star Ranger4
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2206 posts
Sep-03-01, 00:57 AM (EST)
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40. "RE: Standard language?"
In response to message #30
 
   >>No dice, Laudre. Not in my book anyway. YOu know what 'Standard' is?
>> Plain old Spoken english with a Massachucetts accent. Why? the WDF
>>became the standard by which all other armed forces were judged, etc.
>>And where did the WDF leadership and its core memebers come from?
>>WPI.... QED.
>
>When did the WDF become the galactic government?
>

Government? Never. It HAS, however, been the premier force to be reconed with for the last 400 years. Just about anything major that has happened since the Wedge left earth the WDF or its central personnel have been involved with in one way or another. The only wars in which it did not 'invite' itself were those during the Exile period.

Even during that period, members of the WDF, such as Hammer and Thunder force, Chris and Mako, Doc, and sundrie others continued the ongoing presence and reputation of the WDF members, and their ongoing influance over the galaxy.

And remember that Salusia and Zardon, two of the older and most influential members of the old UG were also quite enamored with earth. I refer you to Rites of Passage, where reactionaries were so scared of the way Salusia had fallen in love with earth ways (which would include english as spoken by members of the WDF and Jeremy Freeple) that they attempted a coup.

Said coup resulted in Princes Asriel on the throne, A MEMBER OF THE WDF!

___________________

Vaughn doesn't know I exist. I guess this explains why the rest of reality keeps ignoring me as well. >_<


Of COURSE you wernt expecting it!
No One expects the FANNISH INQUISITION!
RCW# 86


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