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Votes: 14

 Breaking Down the Language Barrier

 Author:  Topic:  Posted:
Mar 25, 2002
The world is growing more connected each passing day. The internet has brought instant communication between many far flung places, and enabled both businesses and individuals to quickly share ideas. Almost universal is the praise of this new era.

One thing that appears to slow down our newfound conduits of communication is the language barrier. Quite familiar to the people who live near tourist attractions, two people who speak different languages often have a difficult time communicating, a problem exacerbated by the fact that hand gestures and facial expressions are not typically transmitted over the internet.

What follows is an unpresumptuous proposal for alleviating this source of inefficiency.


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There certainly are a multitude of languages in the world. Most of them are variants of a few common root languages, Greek and Latin being two of the largest. Some languages are pictographic, many more use the familiar A-Z alphabet, still others toss in some other letters or symbols. Given all of this variation it is obvious why there is not a single human being anywhere who could possibly be fluent in even half of the world's languages. What this breeds is confusion. Without a single source for translation one can never tell whether their message will be understoond by another party.

There have been a number of attempts at resolving this problem but they have all been far from adequate. Babelfish is very popular. The familiar translation dictionaries might help you ask "Where's the bathroom" next time you are traveling. The Christian bible has been translated back and forth many times over. The problem with all of these solutions is that one is vulnerable to misdeeds by the translator. In business this may mean that millions of dollars are at stake. On a personal level you might encounter considerable frustration, or end up looking like a fool. None of this is good, so why don't we pursue a better way?

My home state of Indiana has seen a recent influx of individuals of Latin American lineage. Many of these individuals speak some odd mumbly language where all the words sound the same. Their young appear to have more readily embraced their new country, as they speak excellent English and can often act as translators for their elders. While this is all well and good it would be much more efficient if all of these people could understand me as I speak as opposed to wasting my time, and possibly garbling meanings, by swapping tongues. The Amish speak English and they are originally from Germany. I suppose the difference is that the Amish understand that despite their questionable nationality, America is prepared to accept them if they will just do their part. I think this is key to resolving our internet language barrier as well, if we simply make English the standard language of the internet, communication will be greatly improved.

Most of the internet is written in English anyway. It is a difficult language to learn, but I'm sure people will catch on eventually. Russian is much more difficult, I'm told, and while gramatically simple, Chinese is pictographic in nature and not compatible with modern computer keyboards. (In high school I tried to learn rudimentary Mandarin, the pinyin was fine but the characters made it a mess). English is the obvious choice. Most countries already teach children English as a second language, thus English has a well established beachead all across the world. This position should be extended to include English training for any individual who uses the internet but does not currently speak the Standard Language, and would eventually encompass anyone anywhere, regardless of their contact with the internet. Like most revolutionary ideas, this one will no doubt meet with resistance.

Some people cling to tradition. They insist that simply because their parents did something, they must continue to do it. The occurance of this fear of the future is well documented among many indigenous tribes, such as the French. These people continue to cling to tradition, even though the rest of the world has moved on to more efficient means of conducting their business on the internet. Despite this resistance, the world must move forward if we expect to fully realize our potential. The pointless nationalism of refusing to accept English as the Standard Language must end immediately, for the benefit of all humanity. In no time at all most people will have forgotten their previous maner of speaking and will see English for what it really is: The natural language of civilized people and the means by which we will all better ourselves. When the entirety of a person's daily business can be conducted in English, on the internet; in the home; at work, there is no reason to continue to allow the old language to exist. To prevent confusion, speaking in any tongue other than English, except for religious purposes, should be a punishable offense.

As an aid to those who would ask "What dialect of English will I be speaking?", I will provide a few sample words and their meaning.

  • Sod - A dirt/grass combination used in landscaping.
  • Bugger - Similar in meaning to 'damaged', as in "My car is all buggered up".
  • Chap - A garment worn on the legs that offers increased protection when welding or riding horses in briars. Normally supplied in a pair (Chaps).
  • Lenux - A Finnish computer operating system named to honor a Soviet dictator, translated to English (like everything else).
  • Lory - Not a valid word.
  • Y'all - A valid contraction of "you all".
  • No count - Phrase that means something is worthless.
  • Eh? - Phrase with a meaning similar to "What is it that you mean by that?".
  • Warsh - Phonetic pronunciation of "wash" (it may be mecessary to transition many of the world's non-Standard English speaking people to the New Standard by allowing them to use phonetic spellings for a short time, approximately three weeks should be sufficient).

  • As you can see, the Standard Language of the internet is both practical and simple to understand. It aids in the rapid relay of information by condensing many of the long winded phrases present in non-Standard versions of English into short and concise words. It avoids ambiguity by assigning a single meaning to a word, such as "sod", to aid in comprehension. I hope that the elimination of the world's non-Standard languages can be accomplished as quickly and painlessly as possible.

    Thank you.


    catching the bait (none / 0) (#4)
    by manux on Mon Mar 25th, 2002 at 03:11:29 AM PST
    Let me be the first one to post a comment and to remark that your idea is far from revolutionnary. Actually, someone already thought of using a standard language to simplify communication.

    By the way, English (or American, to be more precise) is already the de-facto standard laguage on the Internet, and in international business in general, though you seem to mean the world lacks one. Actually it is not bad in itself, since it is quite an easy language to learn. The thing that bothers me is that it is the standard for reasons related to economical power. But sadly I can think of no better choice.

    Better than de facto (none / 0) (#6)
    by Icebox on Mon Mar 25th, 2002 at 06:17:09 AM PST
    In the article I alluded to the fact that English is the de facto standard of the internet, much the same way that Microsoft products are the de facto standards in their respective areas. I think improvements can be gained by writing that standard into policy.

    You'll notice that one of the links above will direct you to a Google translation of a site written in French. Unfortunately, I have no way of knowing whether Google's translation is correct, thus the site's author has no way of knowing whether his message is reaching me unaltered. Communications between he and I would be much improved if he would simply write his site in English from the beginning.

    worse than de facto (none / 0) (#8)
    by manux on Mon Mar 25th, 2002 at 08:15:01 AM PST
    Right... I did not understand your point this way.

    You write that "improvements can be gained" by promoting de facto standards into rules. Of course, if one day some official instance (who might that be, by the way?) decided that from now on, the official standard language on the Internet will be English, and that all public contents should be written in English, communication throughout the world using the Internet would become smoother. But such a decision would lead to so many drawbacks that it cannot be decently accepted. First of all, it would implicitly deny access to the Internet to people unable to read English with enough ease. Using your parallel with Microsoft products, it would be similar to deciding that every document that is meant to be printable should be written with MSWord: it would forbid anyone to express oneself if they do not buy MSWord (moreover, no specific format can be perfect for every application, hence the absurdity of definitive standards here). And teaching a minimum of English to every potential user of the Web is as unrealistic as making every computer user buy a copy of the latest MSWord (and this should be unrealistic!).

    Another point, way more important than the latter, is the cultural meaning of the decision you propose. Interestingly, your example of a Babelfish-translated site provides for arguments here. Babelfish sometimes gives decent translations from French into English, (Yahoo's index is surely not the best page to consider to get an opinion about that, because it is made of isolated expressions), however translation from English into French is really bad, and I never found even a simple text that gets translated in a satisfactory way (I don't know other languages enough, but I suspect it not to be an exception). As you point out, the fundamental problem is that automatic translation can never be perfect nor reliable, and that is because of the cultural background present in any language. The direct consequence is that imposing one language for communication is imposing one culture for the whole world. And the influence of the American culture all over the world is already obvious. This fact is simply a danger for the integrity of any culture in the world, except maybe for the American one. And do I really have to explain why cultural imperialism is bad?

    I don't think so (none / 0) (#21)
    by Icebox on Tue Mar 26th, 2002 at 05:56:53 AM PST
    Yes, yes, improvements can be gained. English is the de facto standard but there still exist sites that are not written in English. There still exist people who speak languages other than English in their daily lives. This is inefficient. Writing the use of English, and only English, into law would eliminate this problem. It wouldn't deny anyone anything, people would be retrained, free of charge.

    As for the destruction of cultures, I think I covered that as well. Evolution is sometimes cruel. Those cultures that exhibit a fear of the future as I described above, are doomed to die out anyway. Obviously Americanism will be the winner in this cultural battle of natural selection, there is a McDonald's in Hanoi Square for chrissakes. Kids in Afghanistan are right now booting Nike soccer balls back and forth. We've already infiltrated everything everywhere. All that is left is to phase out the obviously inferior languages so that we can all speak to one another unaided.

    if I really have to... (none / 0) (#26)
    by manux on Tue Mar 26th, 2002 at 02:16:19 PM PST
    I think the main problem with your arguments is that you are not trying to consider your matter with generality. Your point about efficiency is a typical symptom of a whole way of thinking, namely the essence of the capitalistic culture, and thus the American culture. The one-word summary of the problem would be short-sighted. But this would require more than a few sentences here to be developped.

    It is not inefficient that people use languages other than English in their everyday life. What is inefficient, undoubtedly, is that people who speak in different languages have to translate when they communicate. However, imposing one common language, whatever the language, would force the large majority of humankind into learning it. Apart from the fact that this is simply unrealistic, just transpose the situation in order to get an idea. What if some widespread language you know nothing about, let's say Arabic (if you know Arabic, just pick another one...), was to become the one and only language on Earth? How would you consider the idea of learing rapidly how to pronounce and write it, and then stop with English?

    One language everywhere is simply an impossible thing to do. The obvious reason is that the vast majority of people, including myself, will never want to abandon their culture and take the one of the dominating military power of the time. Another reason is that dialects would quickly appear, ruining the whole effort in a few decades. Just look at examples: Spanish varies a lot between Spain, Mexico and South America, French has plenty of differences between Québec, Guyana and France, and so on.

    And about your point on Darwinism applied to cultural evolution, let me just remark that, though Americanism seems to be "the winner in this cultural battle of natural selection", it is obviously not for cultural reasons, but for military and economical ones. If there is a McDonald's on the Red Square in Moscow, it has nothing to do with a culture being better than the other, just with the fact that we live in a world where money can buy anything. And this is more of a political symbol of supremacy and imperialism than anything else.

    First article that made sence! (none / 0) (#43)
    by Anonymous Reader on Fri May 31st, 2002 at 08:54:11 PM PST
    I do believe that there should be one and only one standaried language on this planet but I think we are moving in that direction anyway. After all more that half of Japan has English text support on their computers and other countries are adopting our culture. If you watch any anime or listen to any song in a different language they will most likely throw in an english word or two. Asian culture is very similar to ours they just have some different stuff and so do we. If it wasnt for these dumb language barriers the world economy would be raised significantly. People will work at a faster pace shipments to other countries will move faster because of no translation and scienetists or any type of doctor could share information with minor accidents in translation that could cost lives or the world. Negotiations would die down quick with the one on one conversastions

    The natural language of civilized people (3.00 / 3) (#5)
    by Anonymous Reader on Mon Mar 25th, 2002 at 03:24:10 AM PST
    Is, sadly, the natural language of too many uncivilized people.

    English To Complex (none / 0) (#7)
    by Peej on Mon Mar 25th, 2002 at 07:48:02 AM PST
    I think the major problem in the World is that although languages like Spanish and English are popular, are used by lots of people, and are widely spoken, they are too complex for many people to pickup as a second language.

    We need a new language that is easy to learn, for everyone. Since English is already widely used upon the Interweb, it would be beneficial if this were the basis for the new language thus keeping backwards compatibility with existing web content.

    English is a great language due to rich vocabulary, however it is this rich vocabulary that makes it so hard to learn. I propose that we strip the language down to it's bare minimum, thus making it easier for non-English speakers to learn.

    Take the word "good", for example. If you have a word like "good", what need is there for a word like "bad"? "Ungood" will do just as well, better in fact, because it's an exact opposite, which the other is not. If you want a stronger version of "good", what sense is there in having a whole string of vague useless words like "excellent" and "splendid" and all the rest of them? "Plusgood" covers the meaning, or "doubleplusgood" if you want something stronger still.

    Extend this concept to the rest of the language and I'm sure we can cut the vocabulary of the English language down to around 25% of it's former size.

    Oh what a BINARY world (none / 0) (#9)
    by Narcissus on Mon Mar 25th, 2002 at 08:45:44 AM PST
    Mr. Peej you say the language is too complex ... it is not so much complex as it is emotional. We could all just start writing in formal logic notation where almost everything has its exact complement or we could even go as far as writing in only binary ... oh wait that's the language the internet is REALLY written in. I propose we do away with all compiling of language and simply convert everything to 0s and 1s so we can completely throw emotion out the window.

    Ok, who picked the flower???

    Hello there Mr Orwell (n/t) (none / 0) (#10)
    by budlite on Mon Mar 25th, 2002 at 09:42:37 AM PST

    hi there, Mr Obvious n/t (none / 0) (#12)
    by nathan on Mon Mar 25th, 2002 at 10:18:43 AM PST

    Li'l Sis: Yo, that's a real grey area. Even by my lax standards.

    Esperanto (none / 0) (#11)
    by because it isnt on Mon Mar 25th, 2002 at 09:59:52 AM PST

    Forget Orwell. The ultimate interconnect language of the future is ESPERANTO. -- because it isn't

    Esperanto (none / 0) (#18)
    by The dev0 on Mon Mar 25th, 2002 at 06:57:27 PM PST
    Is that in any way like Spanglish?
    Never fight naked, unless you're in prison...

    One the the big reasons.. (none / 0) (#13)
    by DG on Mon Mar 25th, 2002 at 11:41:12 AM PST
    why people will not totally only speak english is becuse they will lose their cultural identity if you think about it, i read that some countrys that have been mostly teaching english have also started teaching the languages it replaced. i know it would be easy if they didn't but it would be tragic if any laguage was lost if you ask me, many would say no to this, i fee sorry for them i would love to learn something new about a culture i know nothing about
    © 2002, DG. You may not reproduce this material, in whole or in part, without written permission of the owner.

    Except that (none / 0) (#22)
    by Icebox on Tue Mar 26th, 2002 at 05:58:06 AM PST
    I'm not proposing we ask them to change.

    But (none / 0) (#28)
    by budlite on Tue Mar 26th, 2002 at 03:58:49 PM PST
    You can't force them to. Thankfully.

    diversity is important (none / 0) (#42)
    by Mr Somebody on Wed Apr 10th, 2002 at 05:10:08 AM PST
    I agree. If bio diversity is so important to the world (for obvious reasons) then cultural diversity should be put at a premium too. Not sure if it will aid in our survival in the long run, but it enriches our existance.

    The writer has missed a crucial point (none / 0) (#14)
    by NoahVale on Mon Mar 25th, 2002 at 03:52:32 PM PST
    The most startling point about English was missed in this article. Many linguists know this fact, but play it down because, like Schlegel, they really advocate a return to proto-Indo-European.

    English is the language that most readily captures the order of our ideas:

    (Preposition) (Adjective) Subject (Adverb) Verb (Preposition) (Adjective) Object.

    If we were to rely on other languages, we would impare our efficiency to express ourselves because our spoken words would be out of order from the flow of our thoughts.

    Interdependency? (none / 0) (#15)
    by The Mad Scientist on Mon Mar 25th, 2002 at 04:33:19 PM PST
    English is the language that most readily captures the order of our ideas:

    Isn't the order of our ideas largely influenced by the language(s) we are used to use for their communication?

    If we were to rely on other languages, we would impare our efficiency to express ourselves because our spoken words would be out of order from the flow of our thoughts.

    The same applies to the speakers of the other languages forced to rely on English.

    I wonder .. (none / 0) (#20)
    by Anonymous Reader on Tue Mar 26th, 2002 at 02:21:48 AM PST
    English is the language that most readily captures the order of our ideas
    I wonder what Aristoteles, Plato, Pythagoras, Leonardo da Vinci, Galileo, Copernic, Spinoza, Freud, Kant, Heidegger, Lacan, the young Einstein and many others would think of that.
    That assertion is evidently true, but only for english-speaking people.

    English is unsuitable... (1.00 / 2) (#16)
    by The Mad Scientist on Mon Mar 25th, 2002 at 04:57:06 PM PST
    ...for this task.

    If you are going to establish new specs, dump the legacy language entirely. Ambiguities, homonyms, pronounciation variations, cultural differences - when planning a fundamental change, why do it halfway and not get rid of these as well?

    We have plenty of already existing possibilities. On the first glance, Lojban and its predecessor Loglan look very promising. Desa Chat looks good as well. There is a lot of other possibilities as well.

    These languages provide strong syntax, making them suitable also for natural human-computer communication.

    Another armchair linguist (none / 0) (#17)
    by Peter Johnson on Mon Mar 25th, 2002 at 06:08:54 PM PST
    I believe adequacy has covered this topic before.
    Are you adequate?

    Hello (none / 0) (#19)
    by Anonymous Reader on Tue Mar 26th, 2002 at 12:36:34 AM PST
    English is a fine start for a standard worldwide language, thanks to its rich vocabulary and widespread usage. However, it does need some streamlining.

    First, verb conjugations need to be jettisoned. They are a useless artifact of humankind's superstitious past. Now that that be out of the way, we can move on.

    Plurals also need to be standardized. We can do this by use one standard method of make words plural. The easiest to remember be to add "-s". Cat, cats, dog, dogs, mouse, mouses, goose, gooses, this, thises. As you can see, thises words be much easier to memorize.

    What's next? How about we get rid of the apostrophe? I hate apostrophes and thats needledick grammar nazis who always get all self-righteous about use aprostrophes correctly.

    Okay. We be really make progress here. Lets also standardize past tenses. All past tenses be made by add "-ed". Simple. Now we dont need worry about thats freak verbs like "throw" or "think" (what be the past tense of think? Thunk? Thinked? Forget that. All past tenses be made by add "-ed".

    Ha! Soon the English language will be a lean, mean, communication machine! Now we drop the "-ly" appendage for adverbs: its a waste of two letters, as I will now demonstrate: 1. He run quickly 2. He run quick. Obvious, sentence 1 can be understood just as easy as sentence 1.

    Lets also get rid of the pluperfect and all that other junk. No more foppish crap like "I have gone". Instead, we will express the same idea more concise: "I goed".

    This be just a start. I be sure the clever readers of this site will be able to think up many other ways to streamline English.

    Mas que se eu não quiser aprender falar o inglês? (none / 0) (#23)
    by Anonymous Reader on Tue Mar 26th, 2002 at 12:36:19 PM PST
    Eu não quero ter que aprender o inglês, mim quero poder ler artigos no Web em nenhuma língua que eu quiser

    Perfect Example (none / 0) (#24)
    by Icebox on Tue Mar 26th, 2002 at 02:07:41 PM PST
    First of all, I didn't even know what language this was written in. Thats the first problem. Next, I run it through babelfish (three times! Once in French, once in Spanish, finally in Portuguese) and I get the following:

    I do not want to have that to learn the English, me I want to be able to read articles in the Web in no language that I to want

    So that is where we are. That is the best the web can offer. Some guy sitting at his computer running some unknown gibberish through a 'translation engine' three times in order to get some unintelligible mumbo jumbo, that isn't even remotely close to Standard English.

    The sooner we can force everyone to learn English the better off we will all be. I have yet to read a valid reason why this shouldn't be done, so please write your congressman.

    Well, here's a shot (none / 0) (#29)
    by budlite on Tue Mar 26th, 2002 at 04:09:13 PM PST
    Why English? Why not some other language? English isn't even an original language. Oh sure, it retains some original Anglican words and form, but nowadays it's mostly a mish-mash of words and conventions taken from countless other languages. If we're all going to speak a "standard" language (which, quite frankly isn't going to happen), why not make it Esperanto or some other language designed from the ground up specifically for the task?

    The real nature of English (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by T Reginald Gibbons on Tue Mar 26th, 2002 at 07:33:20 PM PST
    It's a difficult thing to admit that you speak an impure tongue. When you stated that our language, with over a thousand years of history and literature, is merely a polyglot of other, real languages, I was quite incredulous. After a spot of research, I was forced to admit that you are absolutely correct. Unlike other languages, such as French, German, and Spanish which have been spoken since long before Roman times -- predating even latin! -- English is an upstart tongue. For example, the English lexicon is a shoddy piece of work, containing a bloated 500,000 words, compared to the more lean and concise languages of Europe, of which few exceed 200,000 words. These languages have matured enough to cast off the unnecessary linguistic chaff that English still carries.

    Worse yet, many English words are borrowed (a euphemism for stolen) from French. This, for me, was the final nail in the coffin of English as a language. A truer name for the language would be pidgin French, since that is the language on which English is based, having been brought to the Sceptred Isle by the conquering Normans, who extinguished whatever language was spoken there before their arrival. Saxonish or something, I guess.

    let's not exagerate (none / 0) (#31)
    by manux on Tue Mar 26th, 2002 at 09:06:42 PM PST
    I mainly agree with your point. However, I cannot let you write that "other languages, such as French, German, and Spanish [have] been spoken since long before Roman times -- predating even latin". It is nonsense since both French and Spanish are derived mainly from Latin, with important pieces from Greek, and a few words imported from various other roots. As for German, I don't know precisely how old it is, but though it is (not surprisingly) a germanic language, thus with roots possibly older than latin, its present form is not older than a few centuries.

    Read the article (none / 0) (#32)
    by Icebox on Wed Mar 27th, 2002 at 06:16:09 AM PST
    I think I explained Why English? in the article quite well. It is already spoken by more people than any other and more web sites are written in English than any other. It is already the de facto standard.

    It doesn't matter one whit that it isn't an 'original' language. So what it is composed of words taken from other languages? That is simply proof that it can evolve as needed. I'd hazard a guess that every single language that exists today has borrowed from other languages at some point along its development path. Regardless, we are trying to improve the human condition here, lets not mire ourselves in a pointless debate over originality, it is without merit.

    I also don't understand why there is disagreement over whether the entire world can be made to speak a single language, English. I'm not proposing we ask people to do it, nor that we implore them. I say we put this into law. Yes, there will be violators, but that is no excuse for giving up entirely. When those violators are found they should be punished, and they will serve as examples to any would-be miscreants.

    Another day, another law. (none / 0) (#33)
    by The Mad Scientist on Wed Mar 27th, 2002 at 06:33:12 AM PST
    I'm not proposing we ask people to do it, nor that we implore them. I say we put this into law.

    Another law that will not be respectable, nor respected.

    Will be keeping of English-to-anythingother dictionaries or performing translation services from English considered being an accessory to a crime? How you will enforce the law and detect its violations? What will you do when you will find that the only result is that nobody takes the laws seriously anymore?

    But (none / 0) (#35)
    by budlite on Wed Mar 27th, 2002 at 07:58:25 AM PST
    You CAN'T put it into law. It's wholly unfeasible. It'd rely on every country on earth agreeing to do this, and that's something I can't see happening.

    Just let capital run its course. (none / 0) (#36)
    by JoePain on Wed Mar 27th, 2002 at 11:22:04 AM PST
    At the end of the day we will all be speaking Mandarin

    Querido! (none / 0) (#25)
    by Anonymous Reader on Tue Mar 26th, 2002 at 02:14:48 PM PST
    Sim, melhor deixar o inglês de lado pelo momento, porque tens que melhorar poucochinho teu português.

    Not wanting ... (none / 0) (#27)
    by Anonymous Reader on Tue Mar 26th, 2002 at 02:26:42 PM PST
    Icebox, not wanting you to loose your time in translation, I just wrote that he'd better let english for the moment to improve his portuguese, which is horrible.

    Portuguese correction (none / 0) (#39)
    by Anonymous Reader on Sun Mar 31st, 2002 at 04:50:39 PM PST
    You too need to improve your portuguese. I mean, WTF is "poucochino". I believe you were trying to say "pouquinho".

    Like that old USENET saying states "all gramatical flames have at least one grammatical error on ther own." Yeah, probably this one also.

    The author is biased (none / 0) (#34)
    by Anonymous Reader on Wed Mar 27th, 2002 at 06:36:47 AM PST
    Actually a large percentage of the internet is not in english, the only reason that the author proposes that english be the standard communication lanuage of the internet is because s/he speaks english. I am sure if this was a spanish site then the author would be trying to convince everyone that the internets standard should be spanish. I don't know why the United States thinks that the entire world should be eager to hop in the melting pot along with it, I live in Canada and in Canada, we celebrate our differences, schooling can be given in any language as long as there as sufficiant students as to start a class. With the advent of internet translators such as altavistas version of Douglas Adams Babelfish, the point of a message can be quickly and easily gotten across language barriers. I think that everyone should learn from Canada's example and celebrate our differences instead of dissolving them

    Oh, Canada (none / 0) (#37)
    by Tyen on Wed Mar 27th, 2002 at 07:52:55 PM PST
    I most heartily concur with this proud Canadian.
    By forcing Canadians with no French ancestry to learn French the Canadian government does indeed set a great example. People need to have diversity shoved down their throats much like the U.S. government's policy of desegregation.

    Lazy (none / 0) (#38)
    by bob6 on Thu Mar 28th, 2002 at 08:57:34 AM PST
    Instead of dreaming of a world that speaks your language, why don't you learn another one (or two) so you will be able to communicate ?

    What follows is an unpresumptuous crap proposal. (none / 0) (#40)
    by RandomAction on Tue Apr 2nd, 2002 at 04:10:21 PM PST
    "What follows is an unpresumptuous proposal for alleviating this source of inefficiency"

    The answer is English, be it American, Australian, with a French bloody accent. Let the market decide. Yeah the market may not be perfect IE Microsoft, but let the market rule. I'm English. I spell color colour, whatever. I pronounce route differently so the fuck what.. as long as you get me, it don't matter. There are loads of wonderful words around, German, French, blah blah, use them if your audience understands them. Why is this even a bloody topic?

    Not presumptuous? My arse.

    "Unpresumptious"... (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by because it isnt on Thu Apr 4th, 2002 at 03:56:49 AM PST
    is a synonym of "modest", in this case. -- because it isn't


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