Should we publish in minority languages, of which nearly all of the speakers can speak the dominant language?

Yes
48% (16 votes)
No
39% (13 votes)
Unsure
12% (4 votes)
Total votes: 33

Posted By

Devrim
Mar 30 2006 10:08

Tags

Share

Attached files

Comments

Steven.
Mar 30 2006 13:57
nastyned wrote:
And whilst on the subject of languages I've heard that as Turkish is an extemely phonetic language and we should forget about esperanto and all learn Turkish!

Italian is entirely phonetic. It's got loads of stupid tenses though, and genders for nouns which are annoying.

Bodach gun bhrigh
Mar 30 2006 13:57
John. wrote:

If you think that small languages have inherent value, and diversity's inherently good, then wouldn't it be *better* if say every family spoke a totally different language, and no one could communicate with anyone outside of it?

No, that would be the case if I was inventing a language. I speak Gaelic because it's culturally relevant to me, and because the language exists as part of my cultural heritage, rather than being isolationist, I'd prefer to be inclusive.

the button
Mar 30 2006 14:01
John. wrote:
nastyned wrote:
And whilst on the subject of languages I've heard that as Turkish is an extemely phonetic language and we should forget about esperanto and all learn Turkish!

Italian is entirely phonetic. It's got loads of stupid tenses though, and genders for nouns which are annoying.

I <3 Hungarian. 42 letters in their alphabet, one of which appears only in surnames. 8) And it's entirely phonetic.

martinh
Mar 30 2006 14:01
Jack wrote:

That people should be raised in a way that best equips them for life.

Just because dead/dying languages have some cultural relevance doesn't mean kids should be disadvantaged by being hindered with a first langauge that hardly anyone speaks. I mean, speak whatever the fuck you like, just don't expect anyone else to be put out by your bizare choices, and don't ask that parents be given the 'choice' to fuck over their kids by making them have it as their first language.

Jack,

You have very little choice in what your first language is (unless you're adopted or orphaned) as you learn it from your mother. I know plenty of bilingual kids whose mother has a different first language to English. Result: the kids speak that first, English second. It rarely happens that way with fathers, unless the family use that language in the home. And if they stay in Britain, English will probably end up as their first language, especially if they don't get to speak the other one that often. As an anarchist I think we should try to speak to people in languages they understand. This isn't always possible, but it is desirable IMO. There will never be a "universal language", and if there is there's no guarantee it will be English. In the future, Hindi or Mandarin are probably as likely, or a useable pidgin of them.

Jack wrote:

Oh, and on Spanish - one of my mates speaks South American (Equadorian, I think?) Spanish as her first language - and is no better at Spain Spainish (dunno the correct term... Castillian?) that someone who spoke a totally different romance language.

Admittedly my Castellano is a bit crap, but I've never had problems speaking to Ecuadorians (much easier than Chileans wink ). Spanish is only the first language of about half of Ecuador, less in Bolivia and Peru, and tends to be concentrated amongst the higher social classes, the urban poor and the former slaves. Still, you should hear what Castilians say about the way Andalusians mangle their language roll eyes Or what the English say about understanding broad Geordie or Glaswegian. I had a flatmate once who couldn't understand my brother. All these things take effort - and that effort should be two-way...

Regards

martin

Devrim
Mar 30 2006 14:02

Martin is right about English being simple because it is a pidgin. Also it is partly because it became that language of Empire. Latin originally had eleven cases before the Roman imperial expansion, but within two hundred years it had dropped four of them. Greek did something similar. English too has become massivly more simplified over the course of it's imperial expansion.

George from wikipedia:

Quote:
CIA World Factbook estimates (2005)

The CIA World Factbook provides the following estimates of "first language" speakers for the year 2005 (percentage of world population; CIA's July 2005 estimate for world population was 6.446 billion [5]).

Chinese, Mandarin 14.37% (874 million)

Hindi 6.02% (366 million)

Spanish 5.05% (326 million)

English 4.84% (312 million)

Bengali 3.4% (207 million)

Portuguese 2.75% (167 million)

Russian 2.63% (160 million)

Japanese 2.06% (125 million)

German, Standard 1.64% (100 million)

Korean 1.28% (78 million)

French 1.27% (77 million)

so according to this English is the second most spoken language in the world. That is if you view chinese as one language. Even if you do, the geographical spead of English must be much wider.

georgestapleton
Mar 30 2006 14:02
John. wrote:
Quote:
And I reckon raising your child with a minority language is less harmful than raising them with the attitude that different cultures are a waste of time,

Evidence?

The fuck eek eek eek

You don't really need evidence to see that teaching kids that other cultures are a waste of time isn't exactly conducive to the internationalist communist movement.

Quote:
If I invented a new language and brought up my kids only speaking it, would that be progressive?

No-one is talking about it being progressive. But denying or denigrating peoples right to speak a language of their choosing is reactionary.

Devrim
Mar 30 2006 14:06

Ned Turkish is extremely phonetic, but as I mentioned before does have over two million verb forms.

Jacques Roux
Mar 30 2006 14:10

Everyone should learn as many languages as possible. While i dont see the point in publishing prop in gaelic or whatever this was originally about. Everyone should be brought up with as much knowledge of other languages as possible.

Not least because people who can slip between languages mid-flow are sexiest wink

Bodach gun bhrigh
Mar 30 2006 14:10
John. wrote:
Bodach gun bhrigh wrote:
Calling a language pointless is bigotry, no matter how you put it.

How?

Well, I think disparaging any culture is bigotry. I just fail to see why Gaels should be subject to bigotry because there's less of them.

Quote:
The 50,000 gaelic speakers aren't all going to jump in the sea just because you reckon it would help their children.
Quote:
confused

What on earth are you on about?

Well Jack did say that people shouldn't handicap their children with a minority language, what are they going to do, take a vow of silence?

Quote:
Bilingualism helps children educationally.
Quote:
And? Where has anyone disagreed with that?

Jack did

Quote:
And I reckon raising your child with a minority language is less harmful than raising them with the attitude that different cultures are a waste of time,
Quote:
Evidence?

The BNP

Quote:
which is in effect what you're saying.
Quote:
In fact I explicitly stated the opposite.

My post was in reply to Jack

the button
Mar 30 2006 14:11

*deleted*

martinh
Mar 30 2006 14:11
the button wrote:
John. wrote:
nastyned wrote:
And whilst on the subject of languages I've heard that as Turkish is an extemely phonetic language and we should forget about esperanto and all learn Turkish!

Italian is entirely phonetic. It's got loads of stupid tenses though, and genders for nouns which are annoying.

I <3 Hungarian. 42 letters in their alphabet, one of which appears only in surnames. 8) And it's entirely phonetic.

One of my daughter's friends at school has a Hungarian mum. I can almost feel Jack's pity...

Perhaps the people who are arguing against using "minority" languages could qualify what they're saying by listing which other languages they can speak? (Devrim excepted as he already has and IMO is making a different point)

Regards,

Martin

Devrim
Mar 30 2006 14:14

John, in Turkish there is very little gender. There is no different word for he or she. He, she, and it are all 'O'. In fact there is no seperate word for sister, or brother although there are respectful terms if they are older than you.

Lets's all speak Turkish

En Büyük Turkçe, Başka Büyük Yok wink

martinh
Mar 30 2006 14:16
Jack wrote:
Why, they don't speak Hungarian in Hungary?

Well, we don't in Lewisham, which seems to lie at the heart of your argument

the button
Mar 30 2006 14:20

Fas. roll eyes

martinh
Mar 30 2006 14:24

Gaelic or Welsh are no more "crap" than French or Spanish. They are certainly less widely spoken, and therefore likely to be of little use outside parts of Wales and parts of Scotland. But if you live in those parts, they are useful. I guess I'm uncomfortable with the idea of telling people what language they're allowed to speak. Do it for a while and you tend to get a nationalist backlash (cf. Ireland, Wales, Catalunya, Euskadi) that diverts.

Martin anticipating what jack wrote:
But that's not what I'm saying, I don't think the state should repress languages, we shouldn't promote them

Means and ends.

Regards,

martin

JDMF
Mar 30 2006 14:24
Devrim wrote:
John, in Turkish there is very little gender. There is no different word for he or she. He, she, and it are all 'O'.

same in finnish.

also, one of the best features of finnish: no word for "please".

I mean, if you want the fucking sugar, you ask for the sugar, no need for betting uppety polite about it with "please's" and "excuse me's".

Steven.
Mar 30 2006 14:25
Bodach gun bhrigh wrote:
John. wrote:
Quote:
And I reckon raising your child with a minority language is less harmful than raising them with the attitude that different cultures are a waste of time,

Evidence?

The BNP

Er, but the BNP are the ones who are into all the "preserving different cultures" bollocks, like you.

I don't think "culture" has inherent value, I don't give a fuck if cultures die. A lot of cultures are shit. Sexist cultures, fundie religious ones, emo, anarcho-punk...

georgestapleton
Mar 30 2006 14:31
John. wrote:
Bodach gun bhrigh wrote:
John. wrote:
Quote:
And I reckon raising your child with a minority language is less harmful than raising them with the attitude that different cultures are a waste of time,

Evidence?

The BNP

Er, but the BNP are the ones who are into all the "preserving different cultures" bollocks, like you.

Oh for fuck sake. roll eyes

Quote:
I don't think "culture" has inherent value, I don't give a fuck if cultures die. A lot of cultures are shit. Sexist cultures, fundie religious ones, emo, anarcho-punk...

I don't give a shit if you 'don't give a fuck' if irish culture lives or dies. But I do care if irish culture lives or dies. And I do care if you denigrate my culture call it useless, tell me what language to speak or, as jack advocates, actively encourage the death of the irish language.

Devrim
Mar 30 2006 14:33

I seem to have put the cat amongst the pigeons here (he says using a bizarre English idiom). I think that there is something wrong in saying ‘crap’ languages. However, some languages are more useful (in terms of the amount of people that you can communicate with) that others. I am interested in languages (Hence the bizarre technical English grammar replies to button), and would like to start with either Kurdish, or Farsi (people say they are pretty similar) soon. The point I was making is whether, or not it is worth publishing in them considering that it is an effort. If one chooses to speak Irish at home is not the point. George said

Quote:
I have yet to meet anyone under 60 who was brought up through irish that doesn't have perfect english.

In general language revival movements are linked to national movements, which George admitted. Are we pandering to them? Is the assertion of cultural identity linked to an assertion of national identity?

Bodach gun bhrigh
Mar 30 2006 14:35
John. wrote:

Er, but the BNP are the ones who are into all the "preserving different cultures" bollocks, like you.

Like Urdu culture?

Quote:
I don't think "culture" has inherent value, I don't give a fuck if cultures die. A lot of cultures are shit. Sexist cultures, fundie religious ones, emo, anarcho-punk...

But Gaelic isn't shit, and you're not going to convince me otherwise.

Bodach gun bhrigh
Mar 30 2006 14:37
Jack wrote:

So what, you think not having things like massive state subsidies, dedicated TV channels, schools with preferential funding, employment policies that favour those who speak the minority language is the same as activly repressing a language? I just don't know how to come back to this, sorry. neutral

Do Gaels and Welsh speakers pay taxes? If they do, they have as much right to state funding for their languages as anybody else.

georgestapleton
Mar 30 2006 14:39
Jack wrote:
Quote:
Perhaps you think that there shouldn't be irish language schools, because that disadvantages children. Well I went to an irish language school and if you look at college entrances (the closest things we have to league tables) Irish language schools come up as the best schools. Even better than many private schools.

Yea, that's a good point, because there aren't any other connected factors in this at all, and no wider context it exists within, and is all entirely down to the language it's taught in, and nothing else whatsoever. Nice one.

What is the wider context? Of course there is one. But I don't see how that changes the fact that bi-lingual people do better in school. And the fact that bi-lingual, irish language schools get the best results.

Quote:
Quote:
As for "That people should be raised in a way that best equips them for life." If you mean a way that best equips them to find a job. Quite frankly fuck off. I'm a communist, I want to abolish my position as a wage-labourer not cow down to it. Saying diversity should be abolished so that people are more adaptable for the labour market is reactionary shite.

Yea, again, you've got me bang to rights. Because doing well in life really means getting a job, right? roll eyes

Well then what are you on about?

Devrim
Mar 30 2006 14:39

JDMF Linguists used to think that Finnish, and Turkish were related, but the opinion nowadays is that they are not.

Turkish is too polite. there are lots of little phrases that you say that have no equivilant in English. Like the one that you say to give your best wishes to people who have just had a shower.

Steven.
Mar 30 2006 14:40
Bodach gun bhrigh wrote:
John. wrote:

Er, but the BNP are the ones who are into all the "preserving different cultures" bollocks, like you.

Like Urdu culture?

They want that to be preserved in itself, not to encroach on "British culture". Of course the point is "British culture" doesn't actually exist. Pretending nationality and culture are in any way related is highly reactionary. Though george does it here:

georgestapleton wrote:
I don't give a shit if you 'don't give a fuck' if irish culture lives or dies. But I do care if irish culture lives or dies.

Is the paedophilia of some Irish people part of Irish culture?

What about Urdu groups within ireland, to use Bodach's example? What's the inherent link between nationality and culture in Ireland? If I moved there would I be part of Irish culture?

Quote:
Quote:
I don't think "culture" has inherent value, I don't give a fuck if cultures die. A lot of cultures are shit. Sexist cultures, fundie religious ones, emo, anarcho-punk...

But Gaelic isn't shit, and you're not going to convince me otherwise.

Why would I want to? confused

georgestapleton
Mar 30 2006 14:45
Devrim wrote:
In general language revival movements are linked to national movements, which George admitted. Are we pandering to them? Is the assertion of cultural identity linked to an assertion of national identity?

Nationalism draws on cultural community. But cultural community doesn't lead to nationalism. I think thats an important point and although it doesn't answer your question. I think you are asking the question in a funny way.

Serge Forward
Mar 30 2006 14:46
Jack wrote:
Just because dead/dying languages have some cultural relevance doesn't mean kids should be disadvantaged by being hindered with a first langauge that hardly anyone speaks. I mean, speak whatever the fuck you like, just don't expect anyone else to be put out by your bizare choices, and don't ask that parents be given the 'choice' to fuck over their kids by making them have it as their first language.

This all smacks of the "those underclass type kids are really disadvantaged, let's farm them out to some 'naice' posh family and give them a good start in life" syndrome.

Not so long ago, aboriginal kids in australia were forcibly removed from their parents. In the 1960s unmarried mothers in Britain were still having their kids taken away from them to be adopted by middle class married couples. Despite the racist, bigotted and religious rhetoric, the main excuse given for this sort of behaviour was always "best interests of the child" rubbish.

What's best for any kid is that they're happy and emotionally comfortable in their home life, not ill treated, not hungry, get educated in the broadest sense and learn to be independent. It doesn't matter what fucking language the family speaks.

Devrim
Mar 30 2006 14:50

George, maybe I am asking it in a funny way. It certainly got a lot of funny replies.

georgestapleton
Mar 30 2006 14:50
John. wrote:
Pretending nationality and culture are in any way related is highly reactionary. Though george does it here:
georgestapleton wrote:
I don't give a shit if you 'don't give a fuck' if irish culture lives or dies. But I do care if irish culture lives or dies.

Is the paedophilia of some Irish people part of Irish culture?

What about Urdu groups within ireland, to use Bodach's example? What's the inherent link between nationality and culture in Ireland? If I moved there would I be part of Irish culture?

I don't see what you are getting at unless you want me to say gaelic culture. Which would be equally flawed. This is really silly. And actually really fucking offensive. I speak Irish and you're telling me not to, that i shouldn't that its a waste of time. Well you can fuck off, you have absolutely no right or authority to tell me what language to speak. I can't believe I have to say this on an anarchist forum.

Bodach gun bhrigh
Mar 30 2006 14:54
John. wrote:

Pretending nationality and culture are in any way related is highly reactionary.

which is why gaelic isn't nationalist

Quote:
Quote:
But Gaelic isn't shit, and you're not going to convince me otherwise.

Why would I want to? confused

Well, what was the point of your original post saying minority languages are Nationalist shite? Or are you conceding the argument?

martinh
Mar 30 2006 14:56
Jack wrote:
Quote:
I guess I'm uncomfortable with the idea of telling people what language they're allowed to speak. Do it for a while and you tend to get a nationalist backlash (cf. Ireland, Wales, Catalunya, Euskadi) that diverts.

...

Means and ends.

So what, you think not having things like massive state subsidies, dedicated TV channels, schools with preferential funding, employment policies that favour those who speak the minority language is the same as activly repressing a language? I just don't know how to come back to this, sorry. neutral

The massive state subsidies and guaranteed jobs for Welsh-speakers is part of a redress to a historic wrong. The language issue was probably a large part of what drove at least Welsh nationalism for some time. It's probably better for the state to have a big subsidy than burnt holiday cottages. I made the point because you don't seem to take this history into account, and the reasons why native Welsh or Gaelic speakers might assume you're siding with the forces that repressed their language.

None of which means any of the redress is necessarily right, particularly the employment discrimination. Albert used to visit N Wales quite a bit and always held (not entirely credibly) that the Welsh-language policy was to keep out immigrants.

Regards,

Martin