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

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Bodach gun bhrigh
Mar 30 2006 17:31
John. wrote:

I don't even have to denigrate anything, you basically acknowledge my point anyway, though you may not like it, because you're here, speaking English. And the WSM and struggle websites are both in English - a very good thing, since they can be read potentially by hundreds of millions, not hundreds, of workers.

But what exactly is your point John? You started off by saying that minority languages were nationalist shite, what's your position now?

Ach de do bheachd gu mionaideach Iain? Thoisich thu san deasbaid seo ag radh gu bheil mion-chanainean nan sgudal naiseantach, ach de do bheachd a-nise?

OliverTwister
Mar 30 2006 17:32

Right pheobe. Klingon isn't a good example because it isn't a full language. lacking many basic words.

Jack and John. You are both taking not only an extremely reactionary position, but also an anti-materialist one. Our positions should reflect the way reality unfolds if we have any hope to change it, rather than just making shit up so we can seem clever. If linguistic destruction is not intimately linked to class stratification, then what are its causes (note that i'm not saying class stratification is the only cause - some languages, such as the aforementioned Klingon, are simply weak).

Just as the BNP claim multiculturalism in support of their fascist bigotry, you claim anti-nationalism in support of your reactionary nationalist shit.

If you really did believe what you said about how in a communist society there would probably be a second language, then you'd at least make the effort that people like Serge and I have to learn Esperanto - I'm sure either of us would be willing to point you towards some resources. But I have a feeling you just uttered those phrases to cover your bigotry.

Bodach gun bhrigh
Mar 30 2006 17:33
Jack wrote:
If they wanna then later teach them some crap like Gaelic, then they can go for it and waste their time - but they shouldn't get the massive support and encouragement they get now, and it shouldn't be treated as anything more than a rather pointless hobby.

Bigot!

Bodach gun bhrigh
Mar 30 2006 17:35
revol68 wrote:
fucking sheep shagging peasant

Bigot! Racist!

Bodach gun bhrigh
Mar 30 2006 17:40
martinh wrote:

There are quite a few people on here whose first language is something that's not a lot of use internationally (Irish, Finnish, Gaelic)

Sorry Martin, I learnt Gaelic, although I have been doing so for 10 years now, and am practically fluent. I imagine I'd be even more insulted if I was a native speaker.

OliverTwister
Mar 30 2006 17:45

If a so-called communist told me that learning Esperanto was a waste of time in the service of the proletarian revolution, I'd assume they were a stalinist - no other trend from the left has ever promoted that kind of nationalistic, social-democratic shit.

revolutionrugger
Mar 30 2006 17:54
the button wrote:
Devrim wrote:
Give one example? English has very simple gramatical forms.

In German: Ich gehe.

In English: I go. I am going (but not right now). I am going (right this minute). I have been going. I will be going..... and so on.

English is nuance mayhem for the non-native speaker.[/quot]

ich gehe

ich ging

ich bin gegangen

ich war gegangen

ich werde gehen

ich werde gegangen sein

ich ginge

ich ginge (1st and second subjunctive happend to be the same here)

ich sei gegangen

I hardly call that simple. Especially when you add in that wierd ass narrative tense I don't fully understand. Not to mention hochdeutsch versus sudendeutsch versus that wierd ass swischdeutsch my 8th grade teacher spoke. Not to mention my grandmothers foul mouthed slang german. (when they say "ick" rather than "eesh" you're in trouble)

Serge Forward
Mar 30 2006 17:58
phoebe wrote:
Differences in language are inevitable. Language develops and mutates at different speeds in different regions. I see no need to preserve or "save" languages as they're not static (and neither is culture). On the other hand I find the idea that people should have a different language forced on them or suggestions that we should all speak 1 primary language worryingly authoritarian (and I don't believe that it's a tenable suggestion without authoritarian enforcement).

Absolutely agree with all that.

Many languages die of more or less 'natural causes'. E.g. some rural languages, where the young move out to the city leaving only the elderly speaking the 'mother tongue'. And when they're gone, so is the language.

Other languages are killed off for political reasons - though with these, there will often be a language revival movement - that may also be bound up with nationalism or regionalism.

Languages like Welsh and Gaelic are hanging in there. Yes, these languages may well be the 'mother tongue' of the speakers, but it's more than likely that these will eventually die out. There is political opposition to this happening (which is by and large nationalist - and which is why people like Jack condemn these languages), but I don't believe that will last forever.

Languages like Italian, Greek and Hungarian will disappear eventually, with or without support from the local state. Why? The acendancy of US English as the language of Big Business and UK English on its way to becoming the main EEU language makes it pretty much a historical certainty. If you want to go to university in Greece, you need to pass your 1st Certificate English to have a chance of getting a place. Many of the TV programmes are in English with Greek subtitles - they can't be arsed to even dub them into Greek. Sure, there will be local resistance to all this - which again will have a large nationalist element, but eventually they will be gone.

The point is, the death of these languages is invariably to do with the 'progression' if you like, of capitalist society. People leave their rural communities in search of a better life because it has grown so poor or intolerable back home, etc. Imperialism of one form or another reduces the need for these languages outside of the home and immediate community, thus contributing to their destruction. The indigenous boss class of many countries will welcome the dominance of English, those who don't will be no match for the clout of anglophone big business.

So, given that the death of these languages is all tied up with capitalism, why the fuck do anarchists want to help this process along?

Serge Forward
Mar 30 2006 18:00
OliverTwister wrote:
If you really did believe what you said about how in a communist society there would probably be a second language, then you'd at least make the effort that people like Serge and I have to learn Esperanto - I'm sure either of us would be willing to point you towards some resources. But I have a feeling you just uttered those phrases to cover your bigotry.

Hej hej! Kompano mia, vivu la lingvo internacia!

Steven.
Mar 30 2006 19:18
Serge Forward wrote:
So, given that the death of these languages is all tied up with capitalism, why the fuck do anarchists want to help this process along?

Some of the globalising aspects of capitalism are good at bringing people together. I don't think those bits should be opposed - like say the internet.

Quote:
OliverTwister wrote:

If you really did believe what you said about how in a communist society there would probably be a second language, then you'd at least make the effort that people like Serge and I have to learn Esperanto - I'm sure either of us would be willing to point you towards some resources. But I have a feeling you just uttered those phrases to cover your bigotry.

grin Oh c'mon how many people actually speak Esperanto? Be practical!

OliverTwister
Mar 30 2006 19:30
Serge Forward wrote:
OliverTwister wrote:
If you really did believe what you said about how in a communist society there would probably be a second language, then you'd at least make the effort that people like Serge and I have to learn Esperanto - I'm sure either of us would be willing to point you towards some resources. But I have a feeling you just uttered those phrases to cover your bigotry.

Hej hej! Kompano mia, vivu la lingvo internacia!

Kara kamarado, la beleco de Esperanto es ke gxi estas la malangla (aux malfranca aux malrusa aux malcxina) lingvo. Lanti estis korekte: ni ne simple estas internaciistoj sed ankaux sennaciistoj.

OliverTwister
Mar 30 2006 19:39
John. wrote:
Serge Forward wrote:
So, given that the death of these languages is all tied up with capitalism, why the fuck do anarchists want to help this process along?

Some of the globalising aspects of capitalism are good at bringing people together. I don't think those bits should be opposed - like say the internet.

Quote:
OliverTwister wrote:

If you really did believe what you said about how in a communist society there would probably be a second language, then you'd at least make the effort that people like Serge and I have to learn Esperanto - I'm sure either of us would be willing to point you towards some resources. But I have a feeling you just uttered those phrases to cover your bigotry.

grin Oh c'mon how many people actually speak Esperanto? Be practical!

I wasn't aware that certain technologies were part of capitalism. Certainly, what we are saying is that, like technology, language is dialectical. Whereas what you and Jack are promoting is the idea that languages are't dialectical - some are good and some are bad.

And speaking of practicality, the Sennacieca Asocio Tutmonda [world antinationalist association] peaked with 5000 members worldwide, who all belonged to non-/anti-stalinist lefwing movements and could communicate directly with each other. In other words, it was one of only four international associations at the time (the others being Trotsky's, the AIT/IWW, and the Revolutionary Marxist Centre) not under the complete domination of the USSR, and the only one which would remain anti-nationalist. Oh yeah, and the Vichy regime never figured out what their main office in Paris was all about, which left them free to smuggle information out during the entire war.

Bodach gun bhrigh
Mar 30 2006 20:25
revol68 wrote:

oh fuck off you tedious skirt wearing, irn bru drinking tit!

Bigot! Racist!

Quote:
I think i'm in a good place to say that the only people who speak irish exclusively are sheep shagging peasants, who (and note this!) ONLY exist in Kerry Cheddar adverts.

Bigot! Racist!

coyote
Mar 30 2006 20:29

I only managed to read a little of this before i stopped - feeling very disheartened.

I find it sad that some people seem to feel the need to demonstrate their hosility to the ideaology of nationalism, by adopting these posteures.

If you cannot see how people might want to communicate in their own language. The language they speak to their loved ones in, the language they dream in, then comrades, I think you´ll have serious problems in realting to these communities.

To Jack, John, Revol etc. i suggest you visit North or West Wales and spend some time listening to people there rather than imposing a warped anglocentrism upon them in the guiseof principled internationalism.

Not that I think you´re bigotted. Just that the reality isn´t quite matching with your ideas.

sorry.

Steven.
Mar 30 2006 20:42
coyote wrote:
Not that I think you´re bigotted. Just that the reality isn´t quite matching with your ideas.

My idea - that it's better to produce political material in a language that large numbers of people speak, instead of a small language hardly anyone speaks, and most of them speak the bigger language anyway - that doesn't fit with "reality"?

How, exactly? Even the people arguing against me have admitted most of their political activity/material is in English, so to me it looks like my idea fits perfectly with reality.

Serge Forward
Mar 30 2006 21:11
John. wrote:
grin Oh c'mon how many people actually speak Esperanto? Be practical!

Why do you say that, John? Progressive Esperanto speakers don't believe for one minute that the world proletariat is going to adopt the international language. So personally, I couldn't give a toss how many people speak it. For us, it's just a tool to communicate easily with comrades from many different countries.

So, Sennacieca Asocio Tutmonda, which is the second largest of the global Esperanto organisations actually NEVER promotes or publicises the use of Esperanto. Rather, it's a point of contact for socialists, communists, anarchists, trade unionists, peaceniks, feminists, etc, from about 80 different countries in all five continents. In this way, members communicate and pass info onto their comrades in different countries outside the control of the bourgois media - and they've been doing this for 80 odd years, long before the internet made this sort of thing possible for ordinary people in the richer countries.

The largest political tendency in SAT is non other than the anarchists, the Liberecana Frakcio. In it, you'll find members of the the various IFA and IWA groupings, SAC members, Polish AF, Russian, Korean, Japanese, Madagascaran, Bulgarian anarchists and others from local and regional groups, and individuals without a federation in their own country.

Now tell me how that kind of international contact isn't practical?

Serge Forward
Mar 30 2006 21:16
OliverTwister wrote:
Kara kamarado, la beleco de Esperanto es ke gxi estas la malangla (aux malfranca aux malrusa aux malcxina) lingvo. Lanti estis korekte: ni ne simple estas internaciistoj sed ankaux sennaciistoj.

Kiel diris Lanti... "La internaciismo estas la hodiauxa vero; la sennaciismo la morgauxa."

phoebe
Mar 30 2006 21:56

I'm going to learn esperanto because it's probably easier and more useful than the other languages I'd been slowly trying to learn bits of.

Pepe
Mar 30 2006 22:05

Yeah but most people can speak english, so don't bother

OliverTwister
Mar 30 2006 22:09

really? 5% of the world has it as a first language... how many are competent with it as a second language? Another 5%?

Serge Forward
Mar 30 2006 22:10
phoebe wrote:
I'm going to learn esperanto because it's probably easier and more useful than the other languages I'd been slowly trying to learn bits of.

Bonvenon Phoebe! And here's a link to a free online course:

http://pacujo.net/esperanto/course/

Serge Forward
Mar 30 2006 22:11
Jess wrote:
Yeah but most people can speak english, so don't bother

Yeah, right. roll eyes

OliverTwister
Mar 30 2006 22:19

Phoebe there is also a very well-designed website located at lernu.net.

Also, I'd say the point Devrim brought up is fairly valid - as revolutionaries we should put our resources where they'll have the most impact, and that means in general don't translate into Gaelic if it would detract from translating into Mandarin.

But Jack and John. know that that wasn't a choice the AF was making, because this has been brought up before (or maybe it was with CW). They know that different individuals volunteered to tranlsate into these marginal languages who could not have translated into Polish.

Further, Jack and John. were not arguing that our resources should be spent in areas which might have very little impact, or at least they argued this minimally. They argued for, and other people denounced them on, such policies as forcing parents not to teach 'marginal' languages to their children. Don't pretend you were arguing for something else when it becomes uncomfortable or untenable to maintain your position.

Mike Harman
Mar 30 2006 22:41
georgestapleton wrote:
Quote:
More spoken as a first language yea, but English is spoken by more people.

Where? In western europe almost everyone speaks english as a second language. But thats not even the case in eastern europe where the common second languages are russian and german.

Japan and India for a start both have fairly widespread English language knowledge - Japan mainly (often only) reading and writing though.

Steven.
Mar 30 2006 22:43
OliverTwister wrote:
Further, Jack and John. were not arguing that our resources should be spent in areas which might have very little impact, or at least they argued this minimally. They argued for, and other people denounced them on, such policies as forcing parents not to teach 'marginal' languages to their children. Don't pretend you were arguing for something else when it becomes uncomfortable or untenable to maintain your position.

Or how about just make up a ridiculous position for me, one that I've never made, then criticise that. Great way to win an argument.

OliverTwister
Mar 30 2006 22:47

You're right, I lumped you two together because you were arguing along many of the same lines. I apologize.

jef costello
Mar 30 2006 23:01

Wow what a lot of shite!

A few points:

bodach wrote:
You could class John, Jack and Revol's responses as pro-English bigotry.

Revol hadn't posted yet at that point, I checked. Cock

Revol is not being a racist unless you are suggesting that the irish are a race, which would make you a racist. And a cock

Button, English in its bastardised form is becoming a lingua franca, it is also a language in which it is difficult to express complex thought.

English as the language of business is a shallow utilitarian thing incapable of being the vehicle of culture, so the language is debased.

Please come to the libcom drink, I love talking about this stuff.

What version of Gaelic is taught in schools?

Which fucking dialect, or did they standardise it (removing the elements of culture by homogenisation) as a nationalistic response to English.

Button, English is a subtly nuanced language, but it is also very good, probably due to Empire (as mentioned above) at communicating. English is simpler grammatically than most other languages and English speakers require a far weaker graps of grammar to get their basic thoughts across.

JDMF I have met people who take half one to mean half TO one, but they are from up north. next friday means the first friday after today. friday week means the friday after the next friday. You probably weren't listening you dirty foreigner tongue

Why is it assumed that English speakers that think Irish etc is a waste of time are not bilingual? I speak French, I regret that I don't speak more languages. I don't think that forcefully reviving a dead language, especially in a bastardised form is worth doing at all.

The argument that welsh lang. lessons (I forget from who) was better than burnt english holiday homes is a ridiculous one from a state point of view. I presume you would support buying off trade unionists as that stopped stirkes. Its an idiotic argument.

I actually disagree with Jack on this one but you've pushed me towards his camp by being such dicks about it.

I like languages, I think learning as many as possible is great

I think deliberately trying to "revive" a language is pointless, I am fully in favour of giving people the opportunity to learn as many languages as possible, but to make one that is so widely useless is a bit pointless.

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

proportionately they do by that logic.

What happens if there are 1M racists, can they get funding for their "kill darkies" projects? Don't be fucking ridiculous, stop appealing to the state, this is an anarchist board.

Quote:
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.

Devrim you're great. Ps does Devrim mean worker?

Quote:
The massive state subsidies and guaranteed jobs for Welsh-speakers is part of a redress to a historic wrong.

What about blacks and slavery?

What about non-enslaved blacks whose resources have been stolen?

What about thai kids stitching your fucking clothes?

Don't be a dick.

ps Its a plural so it should be are, not is.

What is it with this mother tongue shite. You learn languages from your parents.

I knew a kid whose mother was danish, father spanish and lived in France.

Both Parents spoke English, kid spoke English, Spanish and French, even though his mother spoke Danish to him mostly.

When he got to six he started speaking Danish because he realised his Dad couldn't understand it.

We learn languages from our parents and our peers. I knew a girl who I thought was turkish, until one day I found out she was from Bosnia, turns out she learned to speak turkish fluently in 6 months because her friends spoke it, she spoke English but chose turkish.

Where I live 40% of people are turkish, it makes sense to speak it.

If people speak Irish then no problem learning it, but forcing kids to learn it seems a waste of fucking time.

If pople translated in their free time and they didn't do a trans instead of something useful then no problems. But you never answered the question, how many people read it in these languages who wouldn't/couldn't if it was in English.

By the way if they chose to ignore it because it was in English then they are more bigoted than English speakers without nanother language. Not reading a language we cannot understand is forgiveable, choosing not to read something because it is in a language we have ideological issues with is racist or nationalistic surely?

Serge wrote:
And probably 90% of British native English speakers are also nationalistic. 90% of Irish native English speakers are nationalistic. You'll find similar statistics for other countries, whatever the language.

I really liked you before this thread Serge, this is shit and you know it. what percentage of people are anarchists? its a lot less than 10 % which means that 90% of people are against us, should we fuck off then and support capitalism?

Quote:
That's dodging. There's clearly going to be one 'main' language

Sorry Jack, that's wrong, see my examples above, I can give you more.

I don;t think it detracts from most of your arguments, although you've taken it a bit far.

revol68 wrote:
I thought the issue was to do with the praticalities of tiny lil organisations printing literature in tiny minority languages that are spoken exclusively by next to no one

Revol is the voice of sanity, at this point, strategically a group should try to effectively use its strength. Considering the tiny number of speakers of these languages who don't speak English is it practical to translate, especially if it wastes energy that could be used elsewhere? If I only gave my AF pamphlets to a tiny minority, say human resources managers, you'd think I was a nutcase.

Quote:
So, given that the death of these languages is all tied up with capitalism, why the fuck do anarchists want to help this process along?

Capitalism also builds hospitals, does that mean that they are bad too?

I am so glad this thread is in libcommunity, revolutionrugger, despite your carp username I'm assuming you're sound. This thread is not representative of libcom, just of a certain tendency within it.

I'm shocked to see posters I like line up in such a disappointing way on this thread.

English is the dominant language of Britain, nothing will change this, even the efforts to revive welsh as a language will not save its "culture" and that is obvious.

It is narrowminded and sectional and a waste of time to translate when people can speak English, unless its for aesthetic reasons, in which case fuck off because politics and aesthetics are not the same fucking thing.

This has taken a while:

Phoebe wrote:
I'm going to learn esperanto because it's probably easier and more useful than the other languages I'd been slowly trying to learn bits of.

was the last post when I started this.

Love Jef

ps I hate most of you for this stupid thread, no one has come out of this smelling of roses except those with the brains to ignore it.

lem
Mar 31 2006 00:21

I haven't read all the thread so I apologise if I've misunderstood or am repeating something.

Well, at uni I was taught that the "english only movement" is the new form of racism.

People get better results at school have higher self esteem when taught in their native language.

I think ending any diversity because it might divide the w/c isn't particularly good thing. And the state forcing anyone to give up their language is surely the removal of a freedom (why wouldn't it be ffs?).

Quote:
It is narrowminded and sectional and a waste of time to translate when people can speak English, unless its for aesthetic reasons, in which case fuck off because politics and aesthetics are not the same fucking thing.

Enjoyment?

Serge Forward
Mar 31 2006 00:57
Jef Costello wrote:
Serge wrote:
And probably 90% of British native English speakers are also nationalistic. 90% of Irish native English speakers are nationalistic. You'll find similar statistics for other countries, whatever the language.

I really liked you before this thread Serge, this is shit and you know it. what percentage of people are anarchists? its a lot less than 10 % which means that 90% of people are against us, should we fuck off then and support capitalism?

Aww, don't stop loving me, Jef. cry I think you got the wrong end of the stick with what I was saying. Besides, I'm shite with statistics.

JDMF
Mar 31 2006 07:40
Jack wrote:
JDMF wrote:
Anyways, if i breed or adopt, i will teach the kid finnish even if i lived in south africa just to take the piss. It is such a weird language ;)

Seriously, if you have kids here, what would be the first language you raised them with?

No dodging by saying they could learn 3 at once, you have to choose one. tongue

almost missed this (HUGE THREAD!).

I would need to check the latest research, but as far as i remember it it is better for the kid if the parents consistantly talk one language.

So: my lovely wife would talk english.

I would talk finnish.

And when both present, we would talk english.

And the kid would learn zulu in the school (providing we would be in south africa). grin

Like why not! Some people teach their kid to play violin - i think that amounts to torture, but shit happens. Learning a language for a kid is not such a big deal.

Another viewpoint: i worked in a school as an assistant for a year where 6 -7 year old totally finnish kids were taught 100% english. It was amazing. The kids didn't understand fuck all for the first months, slowly they did, and in about 10 months time we were all talking in broken english. Two years later when i visited the school they were very good already, some fluent!

Similar schools exist in finland for russian, french and german languages as well and the plan is to increase the number of these schools in future.