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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Steven.
Mar 31 2006 15:58
nastyned wrote:
Only one to two million people to speak to? Pah, obviously pointless. roll eyes

Er, well over a billion people speak English. I'd also be willing to bet that most of that 0.1% of that figure who speak Esperanto would speak English as well.

TBH I think if you really did think it was useful you'd have the AF site, or at least the IFA site in Esperanto.

nastyned
Mar 31 2006 16:01

I don't speak esperanto myself. I just thought you were making a silly point. grin

And as I though had been established by now what languages AF stuff is available in depends on who has volunteered to translate it. If I remember rightly there is some AF stuff available in esperanto.

OliverTwister
Mar 31 2006 16:17
John. wrote:
nastyned wrote:
Only one to two million people to speak to? Pah, obviously pointless. roll eyes

Er, well over a billion people speak English. I'd also be willing to bet that most of that 0.1% of that figure who speak Esperanto would speak English as well.

TBH I think if you really did think it was useful you'd have the AF site, or at least the IFA site in Esperanto.

http://www.libcom.org/hosted/af/esperanto/index.html

http://www.iaf-ifa.org/home%20page/index_int.htm

Also, it seems from my experience that far less than 5% of Esperanto speakers would be considered native english speakers - the anglophone countries are generally known for having the weakest esperanto movements.

Serge Forward
Mar 31 2006 16:20
John. wrote:
I've seen estimates of Esperanto speakers at 1-2m. Which is not a lot. It doesn't really seem worth it confused

You've not really grasped this one, John, have you? wink

You're comparing Esperanto to a national language, when really, it has a completely different function.

And personally, I don't care how many people speak it. The real question is, does it have a useful role to play in any revolutionary movement? So, for arguments sake, if only 100 people in the world spoke Esperanto, and they were all revolutionary anarchists, then it would be no less useful as a means of communication between comrades from different countries than if 2,000,000 spoke it. If just one member from each national or regional anarchist federation spoke Esperanto, it would have a useful function.

Look, think of it as a kind of international telephone, or even an affordable precursor to the internet. In fact, since just before the start of the 20th Century, Esperanto has been used in exactly this way. Up until the arrival of the internet, it was pretty much the only way for workers to communicate with their comrades overseas, without mediation by the state, party or national media. In poorer countries where people can't afford a computer, Esperanto is still used in this way by progressives and revolutionaries.

Agreed, there are some Esperantists who believe everyone in the world will eventually speak Esperanto as a second language. They are called finvenkistoj and are a bunch of friggin loons. The anarchists who use it though (and yes, there are many more than 100) tend to have a much more pragmatic approach.

alyn gruffydd
Mar 31 2006 16:25
revol68 wrote:
what is "your" history, what are the parameters to being in your stupid, reactionary, blood and soil lil club?

missing the point,

"ours" in a collective rather than possesive sense

some parameters,

open mindedness,

an interest in cultural history,

in indigenous peoples useful, (aborigène; amerindian, mayan etc)

sense of humour can come in useful

Steven.
Mar 31 2006 16:27

The predominant language of both those sites is English. Even the link to the Esperanto section is English!

Quote:
Also, it seems from my experience that far less than 5% of Esperanto speakers would be considered native english speakers

I didn't say native. I said I bet a lot of them speak English as well.

You know I don't care speak Esperanto if you like with your "more than 100" other anarchists who do. I'll speak English, French or Italian with the other 1.5 billion-odd people who speak them...

OliverTwister
Mar 31 2006 16:36
John. wrote:

The predominant language of both those sites is English. Even the link to the Esperanto section is English!

All you said was "If Esperanto's so great, why dont the AF or IFA pages have sections in it?" Now your argument seems to be that the primary page is not in Esperanto, therefore .. wha exactly?

Quote:
Also, it seems from my experience that far less than 5% of Esperanto speakers would be considered native english speakers

I didn't say native. I said I bet a lot of them speak English as well.

You know I don't care speak Esperanto if you like with your "more than 100" other anarchists who do. I'll speak English, French or Italian with the other 1.5 billion-odd people who speak them...

You speak French and Italian?

Bueno, porque estudiaba Espanol hasta cinco anos porque es nesecario tener comunicacion con personas que se hablan otras lenguas. Pero durante cinco anos de clases con profesores...

...mi lernis malpli da la hispanan lingvon ol la Esperanton, kiu mi eklernis nur unu kaj duono jaroj antauxe sen instuistoj aux klasoj.

Steven.
Mar 31 2006 16:41
OliverTwister wrote:
You speak French and Italian?

Bueno, porque estudiaba Espanol hasta cinco anos porque es nesecario tener comunicacion con personas que se hablan otras lenguas. Pero durante cinco anos de clases con profesores...

Posso anche capire a bastanza Spagnolo perche l'Italiano e quasi auguale. L'Esperanto non capisco, me mi sembra che tu dici che e multo piu semplice, vero?

Re: my comments of the AF and IFA sites, you have misquoted me. Not even misinterpreted you've actually misquoted me! Why? My point was that if Esperanto was a more useful international language than English you'd have the IFA site in it (as a default), but you don't.

Serge Forward
Mar 31 2006 16:50
John. wrote:
Also, it seems from my experience that far less than 5% of Esperanto speakers would be considered native english speakers

I didn't say native. I said I bet a lot of them speak English as well

Nope. I've been to a few Esperanto congresses and people who can speak even a crippled form of English is actually a small minority. I lived for a year in a Greek town. Guess how many adults could speak English... about 3 out of a population of 5,000.

I think a lot of people in the anglophone countries have fallen hook, line and and sinker for the propaganda of the British Council and the US based multinationals. The reality is somewhat different.

OliverTwister
Mar 31 2006 16:58
John. wrote:
OliverTwister wrote:
You speak French and Italian?

Bueno, porque estudiaba Espanol hasta cinco anos porque es nesecario tener comunicacion con personas que se hablan otras lenguas. Pero durante cinco anos de clases con profesores...

Posso anche capire a bastanza Spagnolo perche l'Italiano e quasi auguale. L'Esperanto non capisco, me mi sembra che tu dici che e multo piu semplice, vero?

Re: my comments of the AF and IFA sites, you have misquoted me. Not even misinterpreted you've actually misquoted me! Why? My point was that if Esperanto was a more useful international language than English you'd have the IFA site in it (as a default), but you don't.

"TBH I think if you really did think it was useful you'd have the AF site, or at least the IFA site in Esperanto."

That's a pretty ambiguous statement. If you go to the IFA web page, the main page is english but Esperanto is right next to all the other languages (Incl. French, Italian, and Spanish, none of whom are the default). You're right, and I apologize, insofar as by paraphrasing you, I paraphrased your statement in the apparent meaning that I saw, and not the one you might have intended.

Also sorry for showing off with the Esperanto and Spanish, my main point was that after studying taking spanish classes with professors for 5 years and self-teaching esperanto for 1 1/2, i'm far more proficient in Esperanto (also I was rebutting your implication that it's either/or).

Serge Forward
Mar 31 2006 17:03

Phoebe, in Word, if you go to 'insert' and click on 'symbol' you'll find them all in there. Trouble is, they don't work on web pages unless you've downloaded the extra characters (or use html code, e.g. &#365).

"So you're saying that esperanto doesn't use a diminutive suffix to make default-masculine words feminine? ino is just an abbreviation of "virino" as far as I was aware. Anywho."

Some people do use Esperanto like that, so you have a point. But there's no reason why it has to be that way. E.g. virhundo = male dog, hundino = bitch. But yes, people often use the root, in this case 'hundo' to mean male. Not everyone does this, depending on their political orientation. Additionally, there are reform movements within Esperanto which aim to clear up any possible 'sexist language'.

Yes there are far more than 100 Esperanto speakers. It also has associations with working class movements. Ido doesn't. The language is far from 'broken'. In fact, it functions extremely well. That's not to say it's perfect, but what language is?

phoebe
Mar 31 2006 17:13

Besides the fact that I don't (and wouldn't) run Word, I asked you what languages used those characters. The fact that (in over 100 years since Esperanto has been invented) computer accent standards have been expanded to accompany it is irrelevant, and pretty annoying given that those keys don't exist on most keyboards. Hell, from poking around the net, it looks like I can type 日本語 easier than I can type in Esperanto.

Just saying.

phoebe
Mar 31 2006 17:18
Serge Forward wrote:
Yes there are far more than 100 Esperanto speakers. It also has associations with working class movements.

You mean Mao (or followers or predecessors, I'm not sure which) considering it for a replacement for the national language? Not an example I'm much up for following.

In all honesty from reading up on both I prefer Ido because (supposedly) it's relatively easy to switch from Esperanto, and it solves a huge number of issues with Esperanto. Esperanto probably won't be changed because of the numerous puritans in the Esperantist movement. The Ido movement was started by a bunch of Esperantists in the first place who wanted to fix problems with Esperanto. Given that they're both hobby second languages, it doesn't seem unreasonable to change for a better one if/when it's developed.

OliverTwister
Mar 31 2006 17:22

There's a pretty simple solution which most people use called the x-system, which just means typing x after a letter which needs a supersign. For example 'because = cxar'.

Also as Serge said Esperanto does have links into working-class culture, and moreover its the only 'conlang' which is actually functioning on any level as a used, living language. If Esperanto has 1-2 million speakers, and the next closest has 1-2 thousand, that's quite a difference. (though admittedly Interlingua is easy to understand for europeans).

revolutionrugger
Mar 31 2006 17:23

I didn't get to finish reading the whole thread (i can only surf sporadically on my work computer during the day) But as someone in the states I'd like to hear jack's opinion on First World People, and their languages.

Also, why is everything about Utility? or "relevance" as jack would have it. Fuck utility. Lets be different and hopelessly inefficient. Come on people lets read some horkheimer on Instrumental Rationality. Specific languages can often contain IDEAS that aren't expressable in another tongue. (how many times do you see a philosopher use a german word for which there isn't really a translation. IE: aufheben) By pushing for a so called internationalist (dude what fucking fascist double speak) language, you're destroying not just words but concepts, practices, and ideas that might make the world a better place. I attempted to learn Irish a couple years ago, and failed miserably (again, i'm in the states) but one word I thought was really cool, because it had a combined meaning english didn't have a word for: geiso- it means madman and poet at the same time. Isn't that cool, it is a fundamentally different worldview, perhaps one we want.

Serge Forward
Mar 31 2006 17:24

Oh yeah, I forgot to say. 'Ino' is not a diminuitive but female form. 'Eta' is the diminuitive.

phoebe
Mar 31 2006 17:29
OliverTwister wrote:
There's a pretty simple solution which most people use called the x-system, which just means typing x after a letter which needs a supersign. For example 'because = cxar'.

Yeah and I can write "watashi" instead of "私", but it's a bit naff.

Not to mention that the -x system is:

-annoying

-entirely unnecessary if you just design the language differently

Seriously, there's absolutely no need to use a badly designed conlang. No need at all.

Serge Forward
Mar 31 2006 17:30
phoebe wrote:
Besides the fact that I don't (and wouldn't) run Word, I asked you what languages used those characters. The fact that (in over 100 years since Esperanto has been invented) computer accent standards have been expanded to accompany it is irrelevant, and pretty annoying given that those keys don't exist on most keyboards. Hell, from poking around the net, it looks like I can type 日本語 easier than I can type in Esperanto.

Just saying.

No idea which languages use them, possibly non-cyrillic Eastern European or maybe Turkish (Devrim would know) but don't believe for one minute that Bill Gates put those letters in Word because of Esperanto. These days, esperantists just use the letter 'x' (which doesn't exist in espernto) to denote an accented letter. So typing in E-o is a piece of piss really and uses the same keyboard that you use everyday.

Serge Forward
Mar 31 2006 17:33
phoebe wrote:
You mean Mao (or followers or predecessors, I'm not sure which) considering it for a replacement for the national language? Not an example I'm much up for following.

confused

martinh
Mar 31 2006 17:38

IIRC esperanto uses an alphabet that's very similar to Czech. If you're using an open source word processor that's the sort of thing someone will have addressed by now - outside of English and Dutch (and maybe Catalan) almost all roman character languages use accents for different letters, so you'd have this problem whatever language you tried to write in.

It is also widely used by workers' movements. I know some esperantists in the CNT, who use it to talk to people in the former eastern bloc, where English is the language used by young educated people, but unknown amongst the mass of the population. It's always had quite an emphasis in workers movements in countries and regions where the languages change every 100km or so. Historically it was also the way that the japanese and Chinese anarchists and broader workers movements communicated internationally.

regards,

Martin

revolutionrugger
Mar 31 2006 17:40
revol68 wrote:
you live in the states and tried to learn irish?

are you just trying to make me hate you?

Yes.

My attempts to learn German, Hebrew, French, and Gaelic, and my stubborn refusal to attempt to learn Spanish (indespite of its political neccesity in the states) have all been a complicated plot leading up to this moment, to cause you to hate me.

That or I 1.)have a german grandmother 2.) dated an israeli guy 3.)had a obsession with ancient celtic mythology and archeology. when I was younger. 4.)French they forced me to learn in high school.

I really should learn spanish. American radicals that can't speak it are wankers.

phoebe
Mar 31 2006 17:41
Serge Forward wrote:
No idea which languages use them, possibly non-cyrillic Eastern European or maybe Turkish (Devrim would know) but don't believe for one minute that Bill Gates put those letters in Word because of Esperanto. These days, esperantists just use the letter 'x' (which doesn't exist in espernto) to denote an accented letter. So typing in E-o is a piece of piss really and uses the same keyboard that you use everyday.

As far as I'm aware noone (even in Eastern Europe) uses them.

My point is that if you're creating a latin character set based language, there's absolutely no reason to add rarely used or completely unused accents (yes lots of european languages use accents on vowels, I lived in hungary for three years and they really love their accents). On the other hand, every keyboard around can cope with the 26 unaccented latin characters. If we're going for universality, that's a good place to start.

The design principles weren't consistently adhered to at all. This was contributed to by Zamenhof not having modern linguistics to hand, but the character set is a particular example.

The unicode and iso character standards (or various other non-ascii text encodings) have fuck all to do with Bill Gates by the way.

Bodach gun bhrigh
Mar 31 2006 17:44
Jef Costello wrote:

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

Ah but he had, page 1 I'll think you find

Quote:
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

Well I was doing it tongue in cheek, but do you think it's allright to call Irish peasants sheepshaggers?

Quote:
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.

What's your point caller?

Quote:
I don't think that forcefully reviving a dead language, especially in a bastardised form is worth doing at all.

Well don't expect me to agree with you, and Gaelic isn't dead, although a lot of people may like it to be.

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.
Quote:
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.

Well if Jack was complaining that the state funds Gaelic and Welsh, and the Gaels and Welsh have their money appropriated by the state, like everybody else, surely they're entitled to the same treatment as everybody else? And stop comparing Gaelic speakers to racists, or is that racism?

Quote:

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

Why, cause it's the language of sheepshaggers?

Quote:
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?

You could as easily say anti-imperialist. I reckon you'd get a better response from people if you produced material in their native, albeit marginalised language. Sure they speak English, but that's hardly through choice.

Quote:

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.

It didn't waste any of my energy translating the aims and principles.

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

Yeah but it also kills millions of people, is that a bad thing?

Quote:

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.

Were we arguing that? no. I reckon it would be nice to save an alternative, that's all.

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.

How can translating something into another language be narrowminded, surely it's being broadminded?

Quote:

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.

Why, cause we object to having something we've spent a lot of time and energy on, out of purely humanitarian, cultural motives, disparaged cause it's not English?

petey
Mar 31 2006 17:46
revol68 wrote:
you live in the states and tried to learn irish?

are you just trying to make me hate you?

i did too. but then i'm already a liberal postmodernist, so what have i got to lose?

revolutionrugger wrote:
I really should learn spanish. American radicals that can't speak it are wankers.

now i'm a liberal postmodernist wanker.

Serge Forward
Mar 31 2006 17:47
phoebe wrote:
The unicode and iso character standards (or various other non-ascii text encodings) have fuck all to do with Bill Gates by the way.

Means nothing to me. But I know fuck all about computers. That's why I type esperanto with an x. Problem solved.

phoebe
Mar 31 2006 17:50
Serge Forward wrote:
phoebe wrote:
The unicode and iso character standards (or various other non-ascii text encodings) have fuck all to do with Bill Gates by the way.

Means nothing to me. But I know fuck all about computers. That's why I type esperanto with an x. Problem solved.

All you need to know is that Microsoft make their software compliant with unicode and ascii and other "standard" formats for text encoding so that you can see the characters on the screen. They're set by large groups of nerds. There are quite a few nerds around who speak esperanto (amongst klingon, elvish, and various other shit) and thus those things get accepted into the text formatting standards.

Serge Forward
Mar 31 2006 17:54

That's all very well saying 'all you need to know is'... but I still don't understand. Look Phoebe, I can talk political bollox till the cows come home, but I'm really out of my depth with computer stuff embarrassed

phoebe
Mar 31 2006 18:00

An encoding is just a way of representing a letter as a number. having c^ on your computer is done by assigning it a number. This isn't done by microsoft.

Serge Forward
Mar 31 2006 18:06
phoebe wrote:
An encoding is just a way of representing a letter as a number. having c^ on your computer is done by assigning it a number. This isn't done by microsoft.

So the esperanto letters will probably have a number then? I have heard esperantists talking about unicode and stuff like that, but I usually panic and bury my head in the sand at that point... or just nod and say the esperanto equivalent of 'Mmm... that's nice.'

phoebe
Mar 31 2006 18:09

Klingon has a set of numbers assigned to it. Esperanto definitely does. (not to mention arabic, hebrew, ancient greek, the bulk of the chinese and japanese character sets, and almost everything else that's even moderately well-known).