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It's the same challenge for all of us who are not of English mother tongue. So, this makes this diary a even greater work.

And it's even a challenge for some who ARE of English mother tongue. :)

by gradinski chai on Wed Nov 23rd, 2005 at 08:35:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Why do we restrict ourselves to writing in English? Has this issue been discussed?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 23rd, 2005 at 08:43:01 AM EST
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Perhaps out of an abundance of generosity to we ignorant Americans who know little else?   Well I for one appreciate your consideration.


We all bleed the same color.
by budr on Wed Nov 23rd, 2005 at 10:08:13 AM EST
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I often find myself pointing out some resource to a fellow Spaniard only to be dismissed with the argument "uf, that's in English!".

From the Eurobarometer on Europeans and Languages, English is the most common foreign language at 34%, followed by German at 12% and French at 11%, and finally Spanish and Russian at 5%. On page 10 there is a table of "languages most commonly used". They are, in order:

  • English 47%
  • German 30%
  • French 23%
  • Italian 15%
  • Spanish 14%


A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 23rd, 2005 at 10:22:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Long ago in another life I studied Spanish at a small liberal arts college.  I was fascinated by the evolution of the Romance languages as the Roman empire dissolved and regional dialects of Latin acquired the unique characteristics of their own time and place and people.

For good or ill the imperial language of this age is English.  As the sun, having already sat on the British empire, declines in the west of the American, I can't help but wonder what family of English-based (or, more accurately, Germanic-based) languages scholars will study a millenium or two from now.  And I can't help but wonder what the lingua franca of that age will be.  I would not be at all surprised if it were some dialect of Chinese.

We all bleed the same color.

by budr on Wed Nov 23rd, 2005 at 11:48:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, Chinese is second on my list of languages to learn next (Czech is first, on account of my girlfriend).

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 23rd, 2005 at 11:52:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Fairly extensively discussed, actually. Anyone can write in their own tongue, though the problem will be limited understanding by the readers who don't read that language...and then there's the danger of a writing becoming National/regional. Plus, as others have noted, there's us ignorant English-only readers (have mercy on us). English has been sorta accepted as the common tongue...though, again, that shouldn't stop someone...it would just take someone interpreting. (And I tried the interpreter, but the device is very literal, so the subtle meanings are lost...)

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Wed Nov 23rd, 2005 at 10:33:47 AM EST
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I was wondering whether something similar to Booman's could be set up where there would be recommended diary lists in different languages instead of different regions.

It might only make sense for German and French given the number of first- and second-language speakers (see my Eurobarometer summary elsewhere on this thread).

Then again, ET is too small to fragment in that way. On the other hand, does deference to the < 13% English monolinguals justify leaving out the 53% of EU residents who don't feel they can hold a conversation in English?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 23rd, 2005 at 10:44:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Plus, my German (and French) are shadows of their former self... it would be fun and instructive to blog in them. And you yourself, living in a German-Speaking canton and working in a French-Speaking one, could benefit from trilingual blogging!

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 23rd, 2005 at 10:53:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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