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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Serge Forward
Apr 3 2006 10:42

Some of the language used in this thread to defend Irish or Welsh culture has been very suspect. While reading through some it, I was thinking that if the writers exchanged the word 'Irish' for 'British' then the arguments would sound very similar to BNP type rubbish. Obviously I'm not saying anyone is an Irish or Welsh fascist, but I would really like to know, what makes it OK for people on the left and some anarchists to represent Irish, Welsh, Scots, Breton, Cornish, etc, nationalism/patriotism/culture in a very different way to British nationalism. Is this all simply just tied up with history and imperialism or are there other reasons?

Serge Forward
Apr 3 2006 10:45

By the way, I've just thought of a current language revival movement which has no ties to nationalism... any guesses?

Bodach gun bhrigh
Apr 3 2006 11:40
Serge Forward wrote:
By the way, I've just thought of a current language revival movement which has no ties to nationalism... any guesses?

Livonian? grin

alyn gruffydd
Apr 3 2006 12:23
Serge Forward wrote:
Is this all simply just tied up with history and imperialism or are there other reasons?

Yes and No

Yes it is, and

No there may not be, but we tend to be argumentative, eloquent, knowledgeable and stubborn b*st€r+s!

Do you know that road which goes near Leicester, thay call it the Fosse Way, we`re always told that it`s a roman road like many other straight roads in England and that Roman Roads were a major contribution the Romans made to the "progress" in England. Many eminent pre historians have shown that contrary to "historical" accounts that have now passed into common "knowledge" it wasn`t the Romans as surveyors who laid out these Roman roads for their imperial conquering armies and supply trains to ship the stolen booty back to their rulers in Rome. They merely incorporated the already existing straight tracks into their network, paving them as improvements. Who do you think laid them out in the first place? who`s version of history should we err on, the imperialist conqueror? or the indigenous people`s? What does or should British mean?

Have quoted this before but if you read French this is an excellant introduction to one version of Celtic History, Culture and Philosophy, even though some bits seem a bit wierd...

It was (not surprisngly) written for a French audience and

is downloadable from here

http://www.allankardec.net/Leon_Denis/Le_genie_celtique_et_le_monde_invisible/gc.doc

TABLE DES MATIERES

INTRODUCTION 1

PREMIERE PARTIE - LES PAYS CELTIQUES. 5

CHAPITRE PREMIER - ORIGINE DES CELTES. - GUERRES DES GAULOIS. - DECADENCE ET CHUTE. - LONGUE NUIT ; LE REVEIL. - LE MOUVEMENT PANCELTIQUE. 5

CHAPITRE II - L'IRLANDE. 18

CHAPITRE III - LE PAYS DE GALLES. L'ECOSSE. L'OEUVRE DES BARDES. 23

CHAPITRE IV - LA BRETAGNE FRANÇAISE. - SOUVENIRS DRUIDIQUES. 30

CHAPITRE V - L'AUVERGNE. VERCINGETORIX, GERGOVIE ET ALESIA. 38

CHAPITRE VI - LA LORRAINE ET LES VOSGES. JEANNE D'ARC, AME CELTIQUE. 48

DEUXIEME PARTIE - LE DRUIDISME. 57

CHAPITRE VII - SYNTHESE DES DRUIDES. LES TRIADES. OBJECTIONS ET COMMENTAIRES. 57

CHAPITRE VIII - PALINGENESIE : PREEXISTENCES ET VIES SUCCESSIVES. LA LOI DES REINCARNATIONS. 68

CHAPITRE IX - RELIGION DES CELTES, LE CULTE, LES SACRIFICES, L'IDEE DE LA MORT. 96

CHAPITRE X - CONSIDERATIONS POLITIQUES ET SOCIALES. ROLE DE LA FEMME. L'INFLUENCE CELTIQUE. LES ARTS. LIBERTE ET LIBRE ARBITRE. 107

Serge Forward
Apr 3 2006 14:50
Bodach gun bhrigh wrote:
Serge Forward wrote:
By the way, I've just thought of a current language revival movement which has no ties to nationalism... any guesses?

Livonian? grin

Nope. Keep guessing.

By the way, is there a Livonian revival movement?

AndrewF
Apr 3 2006 15:05

Personally I've no interest in the Irish language but there is something very odd with this thread. If its nationalist to suggest someone should communicate in one language (eg Irish) is it not also nationalist to suggest we someone should communicate in another (English). A lot of this looks just like the old (unrecognised) big nation unifying nationalism v small nation seperatist nationalism.

Big nation nationalism has always been dressed up in the language of progress and logic which is part of the reason so called anti-nationalist anarchists often buy into it. All the big languages (English, Spanish/Castilian, French) are not natural products of progress but the results of years of nationalist state intervention with the stated purpose of creating a common nation out of regional differences. You can't reallly simply ignore this in your promotion of one language over another.

Serge Forward
Apr 3 2006 15:24

Joe, it goes without saying that some of the worst, and most astonishing, nationalism has been from the anglo-centric types posting on this thread. But I'm not talking about that. What I'm asking is, how can it be okay to talk about 'Irish identity' in a positive light? If I started talking about 'British identity', I'd immediately be accused of being a right twat. And in fact I would be a right twat if I said that. So what's the difference?

AndrewF
Apr 3 2006 15:45
revol68 wrote:
wI mean the Irish thats forced down your bored throat in school at present is the very deliberate product of nationalism, it is sterilised, homogenised and wipes out regional differences.

Unless its changed in the 20 or so years since I left school I'd imagine this is true - but as I said I'm no fan of Irish anyway.

That's not really my point, I just think people are being a little too unself critical when they accuse others of nationalism.

Serge Forward
Apr 3 2006 16:12

Phoebe, I figured out how to get the Esperanto letters onto Libcom!

Ĉ ĉ Ĝ ĝ Ĥ ĥ Ŝ ŝ Ŭ ŭ

Bully for me.

Steven.
Apr 3 2006 16:50
Serge Forward wrote:
Joe, it goes without saying that some of the worst, and most astonishing, nationalism has been from the anglo-centric types posting on this thread. But I'm not talking about that. What I'm asking is, how can it be okay to talk about 'Irish identity' in a positive light? If I started talking about 'British identity', I'd immediately be accused of being a right twat. And in fact I would be a right twat if I said that. So what's the difference?

That is pretty much what I've been saying. Living in England I've only ever heard stuff about national cultures like that from English fascists or small-nationalism-supporting anarchists.

Are you saying I've been saying anything "nationalist" on this thread? We've been talking on a practical level about anarchist outreach material, right? You find an obscure, but very good anarchist text in say some African dialect. You want to get it out to the widest audience so what language do you tranlate it in first? The most widely spoken language in the world, obviously, English. I'm not being "nationalist", cos I'd make the same point if I were Slovakian/Indian or whatever.

georgestapleton
Apr 3 2006 18:11
John. wrote:
Are you saying I've been saying anything "nationalist" on this thread? We've been talking on a practical level about anarchist outreach material, right?

I don't think so I think we all agree that i makes more sense to produce outreach material in english than in irish scottish welsh or what-have-you. I think the argument has been around if there is something inherently nationalist or reactionary in learning/conversing in irish scottish welsh or what-have-you.

Steven.
Apr 3 2006 18:21
georgestapleton wrote:
John. wrote:
Are you saying I've been saying anything "nationalist" on this thread? We've been talking on a practical level about anarchist outreach material, right?

I don't think so I think we all agree that i makes more sense to produce outreach material in english than in irish scottish welsh or what-have-you. I think the argument has been around if there is something inherently nationalist or reactionary in learning/conversing in irish scottish welsh or what-have-you.

The argument on this thread was supposed to be:

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

My answer was "No". Shocking 56% of people voted "yes". I think they did this because they're soft nationalist-anarchists. Thankfully while they may have voted that way in order to show solidarity with the poor oppressed "nations" I bet that pretty much none of them would actually bother to devote any of their time to publishing materials in miniscule dying languages.

lem
Apr 3 2006 19:03
John. wrote:
Shocking 56% of people voted "yes". I think they did this because they're soft nationalist-anarchists.

Is there no need for Irish culture to be obliterated (something some writers have criticized Anarchism for, rightly or wrongly everyone being the same is a problem with some people) if its not because of nationalism?

Bodach gun bhrigh
Apr 3 2006 19:13
Serge Forward wrote:
Bodach gun bhrigh wrote:
Serge Forward wrote:
By the way, I've just thought of a current language revival movement which has no ties to nationalism... any guesses?

Livonian? grin

Nope. Keep guessing.

By the way, is there a Livonian revival movement?

Latin? And who knows, I remember reading in the independent years ago that there was.

martinh
Apr 3 2006 19:26
Bodach gun bhrigh wrote:
Serge Forward wrote:
Bodach gun bhrigh wrote:
Serge Forward wrote:
By the way, I've just thought of a current language revival movement which has no ties to nationalism... any guesses?

Livonian? grin

Nope. Keep guessing.

By the way, is there a Livonian revival movement?

Latin? And who knows, I remember reading in the independent years ago that there was.

The Latin revival is connected to the popularity of harry potter, IIRC, rather than an urge to understand the catholic liturgy wink

Serge Forward
Apr 3 2006 19:46
John. wrote:
Are you saying I've been saying anything "nationalist" on this thread? We've been talking on a practical level about anarchist outreach material, right? You find an obscure, but very good anarchist text in say some African dialect. You want to get it out to the widest audience so what language do you tranlate it in first? The most widely spoken language in the world, obviously, English. I'm not being "nationalist", cos I'd make the same point if I were Slovakian/Indian or whatever.

I wouldn't call you a nationalist, John. You have however been very anglo-centric, whether intentionally or not. And of course, anglo-centrism is bound up with the nationalism of the current dominant language cultures. If Slovak enjoyed the same clout that English does, then you would be 'slovak-centred' which would be no less a form of nationalism. Still, you haven't been the worst offender in this thread but basically... I'm watching you matey. wink

You're right, it's good to get propaganda out to the widest audience, but it's also worth directly targetting smaller groups or communities from time to time. Stuff translated into Welsh, Gaelic or whatever may even have a disproportionately higher impact upon those smaller communities than the 'needle in a haystack' approach of attempting to talk to the world.

Serge Forward
Apr 3 2006 19:52
John. wrote:
My answer was "No". Shocking 56% of people voted "yes". I think they did this because they're soft nationalist-anarchists. Thankfully while they may have voted that way in order to show solidarity with the poor oppressed "nations" I bet that pretty much none of them would actually bother to devote any of their time to publishing materials in miniscule dying languages.

This is just rubbish, John. How could you possibly know why 56% voted this way? I voted 'yes' in this. Why? Because I'm a closet nationalist? Out of some marxist-leninist inspired anti-imperialism? Er, no, it's because I happen to think that if you do stuff in a language that certain groups of people are more likely to read, then that's a good thing to do.

roll eyes

Serge Forward
Apr 3 2006 19:57
Bodach gun bhrigh wrote:

Latin? And who knows, I remember reading in the independent years ago that there was.

Nope, not Latin. Here's the first clue. Less than a century ago, it was spoken by many millions of people.

C'mon! Keep guessing. Points make prizes!!!

petey
Apr 3 2006 20:32
Serge Forward wrote:
Nope, not Latin.

edepol! numquam omnibus in saeculis mortua erit lingua illa subtillissima, pulcherrima!

martinh
Apr 3 2006 21:06
Serge Forward wrote:
Bodach gun bhrigh wrote:

Latin? And who knows, I remember reading in the independent years ago that there was.

Nope, not Latin. Here's the first clue. Less than a century ago, it was spoken by many millions of people.

C'mon! Keep guessing. Points make prizes!!!

Ahah, the language of the Freie Arbiter Stimme, perhaps? Didn't know it was being revived, TBH.

Regards,

Martin

Devrim
Apr 3 2006 21:36

Alyn,

You didn’t offend me at all. What I said was supposed to be a parody of some things, which have been said on this thread. I guess it didn’t work.

Bodach,

You said that:

Quote:
Bigots are people who dismiss other cultures or religions while knowing nothing about those cultures or religions, and thus fits a lot of people on this thread accurately.

I don't only dismiss cultures I know nothing about. I dismiss all ideas of national culture as being something progressive. As Serge said:

Quote:
What I'm asking is, how can it be okay to talk about 'Irish identity' in a positive light? If I started talking about 'British identity', I'd immediately be accused of being a right twat. And in fact I would be a right twat if I said that. So what's the difference?

Everybody knows this is true. I don't say that English culture is superior to Welsh culture, or that Turkish culture is superior to Kurdish culture. I say that all ideas of a national culture, are equally reactionary, and I don't defend any of them.

You said that:

Quote:
A native Gaelic speaker who can't communicate with the younger generation of his community in the language he was raised in, which is therefore the language closest to his thoughts and feelings, would see it as a bad thing. As do I.

I had said earlier that:

Quote:
Of course people from these communities feel sad when their languages are dying. They are losing a real sense of community, however partial it is. Of course it is sad when great-grandparents can’t communicate with their great-grandchildren (I know one old Kurdish woman who can barely speak Turkish who can’t communicate with her great-granddaughter, who is a Londoner who barely speaks Turkish). It doesn’t mean that we should join in the defense of national culture though.

The point isn't whether we think it is sad. It is happening, and will continue to happen whether we applaud it, are indifferent to it, or try to revive it. Look at all the money that has been pumped into Irish in Ireland. Then look at the census figures for Irish speakers. Is it declining or not?

Then look at Scots Gaelic:

Quote:
The 2001 UK Census showed a total of 58,652 Gaelic speakers in Scotland (1.2% of population over three years old). Compared to the 1991 Census, there has been a diminution of approximately 7,300 people (an 11% of the total), meaning that Gaelic decline in Scotland is continuing.

I was read that when a language reaches a level of only 50,000 native speakers it becomes moribound, and basically doomed to death. Now, I am sure that on the census there are people who don't speak it that well, but put it down anyway. Of course this isn't an iron rule (look at Hebrew), but I think that we must basically except that it is on the way out.

I think that the basic question on this thread hasn't even been asked yet. Is Anarchism an ideology, which recognizes various oppressions, and fights against them? Or is it a political tool of the working class?

In solidarity,

Devrim

Serge Forward
Apr 3 2006 23:03
martinh wrote:
Ahah, the language of the Freie Arbiter Stimme, perhaps? Didn't know it was being revived, TBH.

Ta da!!! Martin wins the virtual cigar!

Yes, there is an embryonic movement to rescusitate Yiddish. Obviously it's not nationalist, as any respectable Zionist speaks Hebrew. It seems to be based around anjoyment of poetry, drama, klezmer, social evenings, fun, drinking, and a fond nostalia for the more proletarian international language of the ashkenazi jews.[/img]

Serge Forward
Apr 3 2006 23:05

Cripes, that's a big one!

Caiman del Barrio
Apr 3 2006 23:14

I'm undecided on this one. I think both sides have offered more polemic and empty rhetoric than actual concrete justifications either way.

That said though, is it not a possibility that people from Gaelic/Welsh areas may be more aware of the cultural assimilation rampant under capitalism?? I don't really know, I haven't followed this through theoretically...it seems like a possibility though. And surely the strong links these communities may have to nationalist movements maybe a good place to start at by combatting??

magnifico
Apr 3 2006 23:32

I haven't voted 'cos I think it depends on the number of people who speak it and the circumstances which they learned it in. If the minority language is something like Cornish or Gaelic where a few people whose first language is English have basically relearned it for purely nationalistic reasons then no we shouldn't publish in it as that would be a very liberal, PC thing to do and a waste of time.

If, however, the language is something like Welsh or Kurdish which is spoken as a genuine first language by a fairly large number of people then it just seems rude to try and talk to them in English or Turkish - they might be able to understand it but we give the impression that we're not interested in them or their communities. If I lived in a Welsh speaking area I'd like to publish stuff in Welsh, not because I want to save the Welsh language but because that's the language people speak there and why shouldn't we try to communicate with them in the way that they're most comfortable with? If we can't be arsed to talk to them in their language then why should they be arsed to listen to us? There's nothing particularly special or worth saving about minority languages, it just seems polite, that's all.......

alyn gruffydd
Apr 4 2006 02:34
alyn gruffydd wrote:
Serge Forward wrote:
Is this all simply just tied up with history and imperialism or are there other reasons?

Wait on, I said Yiddish weeks ago, bloody anglo centrics, still can`t trust them after all these 000s of years, they`ll never learn...wink

Devrim
Apr 4 2006 05:54

Alan, and Magnifico,

What are communities? It is a word that anarchists use a lot, but what does it actually mean? What is our attitude to ‘the cultural assimilation that is rampant under capitalism’? Do you think that the role of revolutionaries is to fight against cultural assimilation? In my opinion this is the road to ‘Third Positionism’, for a patchwork of different cultures each flowering independently.

Let’s just think about reality for a moment. The organization that any of us are involved in are tiny groups. There must be priorities. These should be political. I find it quite shocking that the AF could make a decision to put Welsh, and Gaelic translations on their websites, but, as far as I know, didn’t produce a national leaflet on the biggest strike in Britain in 80 years (I would like to be wrong over this Please correct me if it is not true, Serge). If we had large groups all over the country including in the Kurdish speaking areas it may be a different situation that we would have to think about again. We don’t. we have a few people in the capital, and a couple of contacts in other cities. On a very practical level there is no point publishing in these languages. First I can not imagine our magazine reaching some small village, where only Kurdish is spoken, and basically in this country if you can’t speak Turkish, you probably can’t read either. You asked why they should be bother to listen to us if we don’t talk to them in their languages. I would ask whether at the moment it is worth our while to put effort into communicating with people, who don’t want to step outside that mentality. They are not going to be interested.

As I said in an earlier post, the AKI (the biggest Turkish anarchist group) is dangerously close to Kurdish nationalism. When they write ‘Newroz Piroz Be’ on their website, and has started to attend nationalist cultural events/protests, they are one step from supporting the Kurdish nationalists in the war in the South East, and what ever the leftists say, and they manage to justify supporting either the Turkish State, or the PKK, the working class has no interest in supporting this war. The Kurdish cultural movement is a propaganda group for this war.

nastyned
Apr 4 2006 08:43
Devrim wrote:
I find it quite shocking that the AF could make a decision to put Welsh, and Gaelic translations on their websites, but, as far as I know, didn’t produce a national leaflet on the biggest strike in Britain in 80 years (I would like to be wrong over this Please correct me if it is not true, Serge).

Relax Dev, it's covered in the latest issue of resistance.

Serge Forward
Apr 4 2006 08:54
nastyned wrote:
Devrim wrote:
I find it quite shocking that the AF could make a decision to put Welsh, and Gaelic translations on their websites, but, as far as I know, didn’t produce a national leaflet on the biggest strike in Britain in 80 years (I would like to be wrong over this Please correct me if it is not true, Serge).

Relax Dev, it's covered in the latest issue of resistance.

Devrim, you've got completely the wrong end of the stick. No decision was ever made to translate AF stuff into Welsh or Gaelic. A Welsh speaking sympathiser and a Gaelic speaking member translated into these languages 'spontaneously'. Now far be it for us to say, 'fuck off, no Welsh or Gaels are welcome.' Instead, we say thanks very much and put them up on our website. Now if people want to accuse us of kow-towing to nationalism, that's okay with us. At least we know in ourselves that this accusation is utter gobshite.

By the way, dunno about it being the biggest strike since the general strike. As far as I could tell, last weeks strike was about as mighty as a wet fart. Surely the 1979 winter of discontent was much more significant?

Serge Forward
Apr 4 2006 08:59
alyn gruffydd wrote:
Wait on, I said Yiddish weeks ago, bloody anglo centrics, still can`t trust them after all these 000s of years, they`ll never learn...;-)

Oops. Missed that. I've only got one cigar, so you can fight over it with Martin. Alternatively, you can have a free 10 minutes of hot XXX full on hardcore online cyber sex with yours truly... in Esperanto of course.