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POLITICS: French , the new Lingua Mortum ?

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posted on Mar, 25 2006 @ 08:00 PM
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Gaelic languages like Irish have been thinning out for a while, and yet people still speak them locally and if you wanted to buy software to learn them you would have no problem at all.

French is one of the most widely-spoken languages on Earth. I wouldn't worry about it going the way of Latin any time soon. But even if it did, Latin is still a respected language is it not? They even still teach it in high schools.

[edit on 25-3-2006 by bsbray11]




posted on Mar, 25 2006 @ 08:04 PM
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Originally posted by Aelita

And by the way, most of 418 varieties of french cheese are delicious. I only wish I could say the same about American cheeses.


What makes French cheese taste great, and a bit dangerous, is that they don't pasteurize the milk used to produce them. It's a bacterial crapshoot when you eat a piece of true French cheese.



posted on Mar, 25 2006 @ 08:31 PM
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I took four years of French in highschool, many years ago.

But I still get a kick out of the cam site, Eiffel Tower where it says :

CLICKEZ ici. The French--bless their hearts--keeping adopting English.

And I hear, they have Conferences where they take Anglicized words and create French words to replace them. How cute.

[shrug] Viva la difference.



posted on Mar, 26 2006 @ 12:41 AM
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Originally posted by bsbray11
French is one of the most widely-spoken languages on Earth. I wouldn't worry about it going the way of Latin any time soon. But even if it did, Latin is still a respected language is it not? They even still teach it in high schools.

[edit on 25-3-2006 by bsbray11]


I thought this was interesting:



Farsi is the 28th most spoken language in the world, but it now ties with French as the second most used language in the blogosphere.
timesonline



posted on Mar, 26 2006 @ 06:26 AM
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I think its the french insular approachthat could be their undoing.

Isnt there a body that goes round inventing words to replace any english ones. Such as l' Ordinateur (crap spelling) for computer, when a portion of the word still call it computer but spell it with phonemes from there own language..komputa..perhaps?

The welsh have a similar approach. They use "cyfrifiadur" for "computer" despite england being on the doorstep...or probably because england is on the doorstep!!

I lived there for a bit and I tried to learn the lingo and a tutor told me that the word "cyfrifiadur" was apparently used as the word for calculator in the late seventies. When early computers came in the word seemed apt for what it was. However, as time went on the computer took off so the calculator was renamed to prevent confusion......well thats what she said!!!

I stopped learning it because in my day to day working life hardly anyone spoke it and there where always disputes as to pronounciation and whether you used a right word. The language varies from north to south you know and there lies another issue. Both north and south believe they have "THE" language of wales. The same mentallity of pigheadedily forcing the language down peoples throats is there with the colloquial versions of the language. If I remember a cake could be "teisen" or "cacen" and milk would "llaeth" or"llefrith" depending on whether you were north or south and they were not very forgiving if you got it wrong!!

They have spent a fortune on road signage etc for what?? There is a village in North Wales that got its name from an english association..Northop Hasll I think..not sure. When they got there assembly they went round castrating the english roots where ever they could and looked at this village and not wanting to keep its english connections looked at history and found that there once was a village nearby, so they adopted that name. The villagers were up in arms because the name translates as "Village of Pigs" or something.

A girl I know took her school exams in welsh medium and regrets it now because they are useless in applying to higher education in england.

A lot of senior posts in wales cannot be filled unless you can speak or are willing to learn welsh (not sure which version though LOL). That limits the applicants skill set to a reduced field. That is why they have muppets like the chief constable they have in north wales.

Sorry its turning into a rant.

HD



posted on Mar, 26 2006 @ 07:47 AM
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We humans are so incredibly complex and rich with what we can do and the range that our cultures express. It is our birthright as all humans, that nothing has the right to take away. It is something to be cherished and passed on to our children. Oswald Spengler in his "Decline of The West" cr. 1918, suggested that when cultures become rigid and inflexible they die as living enities and become civilizations, which is a set or dead culture. I don't know about all that, I read Spengler in college and he still haunts my dreams. The key here is living. The movement in France to preserve their language as something distinctly their own is perfectly understandable, it is akin the the Slow Food movement in Italy, it is a reaction to corporate and international homogenization. If the corporate world, which has no poetry, no whismey in its soul, if indeed it has a soul at all has its way, the world will be reduced to a commodity (I almost wrote commode, actually that too) to be bought and sold, workers will be reduced to work units that have no value other than what they can produce, and populations of nationalities, clans, tribes, races and religions will be reduced to consumers who will be taught that htey are somehow less than if they don't own the newest...Is this a future we want? I certianly hope not but it is one that corporate globalism imagines... So in my book, even if it is a losing battle you go France fight for your language you go Italy fight for the right to eat well and linger and you go all you other movements that fight to hold onto our souls.

An anthropologist was studying the songs of the Hopi, and after one preformance of a series of rituals, he asked an elder why was it most of their songe were about water? The elder replied that they sung for what they had the least of in their lives and needed the most. Then the elder added, we have noticed most of your peoples songs are about love.



posted on Mar, 26 2006 @ 10:16 AM
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What a wonderful essay to read first thing on a Sunday morning.

Thank you, Grover.

Chai

[edit on 26-3-2006 by chaiyah99]



posted on Mar, 26 2006 @ 11:30 AM
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Grover - that's a wonderful post. You're right to point out the fact that a by-product of globalization is this tendency to reduce the world and its diversity to a commodity. I read somewhere on this board once that Europe should adopt English as a sole official language, as that would simplify trade with the United States.

This to me shows that there is the same attitude towards language as there is towards culture - let the market forces decide what's important and what's not. Because of this, what drives Western culture is less and less talent and more and more the $kill of marketing agents in impo$ing Britney $pear$ or Hillary Duff by agre$$ive adverti$ing campaign$. No consideration, of course, is given to diversity - if you can flood a European or African market with American products, even though it kills the local culture which can't compete, it's all good. In the mind of the apologists of such methods, if a culture can't market its products agressively and conquer other markets or cultures, then it shouldn't survive.

That is why I applauded UNESCO adopting the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, as a way to very simply pull culture out of the commercial circle and thus legitimate national cultural policies that were deemed "unfair protectionist trade practices" by the forces of globalization.

I would like to see a similar convention on the protection and promotion of the diversity of linguistic expressions, which would send a powerful signal that the market forces should not be the ones deciding which language lives and which language deserves to die.



posted on Mar, 26 2006 @ 11:32 AM
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Originally posted by chaiyah99
What a wonderful essay to read first thing on a Sunday morning.

Thank you, Grover.

Chai

[edit on 26-3-2006 by chaiyah99]


Thanks, I am glad you liked it...there are those who would take exception to the ideas it expresses but I have no interest in them, odds are they are part of the problem and not part of the solution, whatever that solution is, or will be.



posted on Mar, 26 2006 @ 11:40 AM
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What an absolute fool Chirac is! IMO. If English has been given the title of 'universal language of business' and Europe is 'unified' and the countries are business partners, surely such child like antics show that nations under the EU arent as cosy as one may like to convey and tensions still exist through ancient hatreds. I believe English should be the universal language and be taught by most (just a 'lil biased but hey!!)



posted on Mar, 26 2006 @ 11:46 AM
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I couldn't agree more Otts. What we nurture is far more important than what we buy.



posted on Mar, 26 2006 @ 12:47 PM
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We must remember that market ploys include, "Divide and conquer," "Create brand loyalty over culture," "Create a(n artificial) need and fill it, for money."

And the outcome is, we homo sapiens EITHER LEARN to resist empty persuations and thought-control, or we don't. That's the lesson at the cosmic level.

Who's listening appears to be growing by leaps and bounds, from my perspective.

These comments--in this thread--were unthinkable just two years ago. Maybe we've reached "hundredth monkey" consensus? I hope so.



posted on Mar, 26 2006 @ 01:16 PM
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The French language was doomed to die the minute they had to have laws to enforce it.



posted on Mar, 26 2006 @ 01:25 PM
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I guess most language have to bey to other superior ones. America is the biggest super power and the UK is up there with the top economies.. due to the wealth generated business needed a universal language and English was there. Because of the wealth media followed.. the majority of each population owned computers/ had tv's/watched films and thus English conveyed through that.. i mean look at 'foreign' websites in comparison to the number of English.. really is no contest!
Its quite funny to think when the Normans invaded England they tried to abolish old english speakers! In your face chirac!! Just joking!!



posted on Mar, 26 2006 @ 02:00 PM
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It is important to note that if the marketplace is indeed the sole critiria of the spread and influnce of a language the we english speakers are doomed...we will be speaking as ignorant ape be speaking mandrian or possibly hindi. But ya know the saving grace of the human species is our contrariness...language, like food is part of the soul of a culture...like I said what we nuture is far more important than what we buy. French will die when the French no longer care whether they speak it or not.

There was an old comic skit of a man seducing a woman by reciting his grocery list to her in french. There are few languages as sonorous and rich as french.



posted on Mar, 26 2006 @ 02:05 PM
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I've got my French down to a tee. Just point and speak English abit louder.. eventually they'l get it!!



posted on Mar, 26 2006 @ 02:17 PM
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Originally posted by chaiyah99

I took four years of French in highschool, many years ago.

And I hear, they have Conferences where they take Anglicized words and create French words to replace them. How cute.


I live in Québec, my mother tongue is French, being an aerospace engineer, I obviously speak English.

The English word "E-Mail" is used mostly everywhere ?, not really, in France they will say "Maile" (the "e" at the end for electronic, stupid in my opinion), in Québec people say "courriel" combining the word "courrier" (letter send via posting) and the suffix "iel" from "logiciel" (software). This word "courriel" does represent better the reality, now slowly it is being adopted by the French as well.

I recall the time, where here in Québec, when you were getting your car repair, you were using lot of engligh word to describe your problem. Now after 30 some years of effort resisting that trend, I can assure you that I can go to most dealership now, speak perfect French with proper french name for car parts and be fully understood.

Finally, I often think, that if (let say in 30 to 50 years from now) people were wearing an ear piece (with perhaps a microphone into a tooth) and speak their mother tongue, but the other person will ear it translated in his/her language, then I suspect that very few people will bother learning a foreign language and all the language on the planet will more or less remains as is (providing adequate population replacement).

If tomorrow, everybody on earth were speaking english (or any other language), then let pass 2 or 3 or 500 years and they will no longer understand each other (it will morph into different dialect).



posted on Mar, 26 2006 @ 02:31 PM
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If tomorrow, everybody on earth were speaking english (or any other language), then let pass 2 or 3 or 500 years and they will no longer understand each other (it will morph into different dialect).


I don't think it will actually change significantly.. perhaps in olden days where contact with people from all over the world and different towns was fairly rare.. nowadays communications are widespread.. I could pick up a phone and speak to someone in say.. S.America for instance at the touch of afew buttons, cars are one of the most dominant forms of transport where a journey which would have taken two days can be done in atleast half that time.. even faster in planes and trains. I feel slight changes may occour but on the whole it will resist change due to the amount of contact with 'outsiders'.

As for the whole French argument i feel French is a dying language and in your own home town fair enough you may be understood.. go to most other places and it will be a different matter.. like it or not English is the most universal language we have right now. French and most others are on the decline slowly. Chirac acting like a child throwing a dummy out of a pram just shows that he is annoyed at the inevitable decline.

Oh and you should be speaking English considering your 'our' old colony!!



posted on Mar, 26 2006 @ 04:31 PM
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Originally posted by djohnsto77
French is now just a cultural language restricted to its hearthland (France) and pockets of former colonies such as Quebec and a few far-flung islands.

I wouldn't under-estimate its viablity amoung african states that were former colonies. It could still have a diplomatic role in pan-african relations.


Originally posted by Odium
they've been making School's/College's based around teaching English, with their teachers sent to the United Kingdom for training.

Precisely, the language that it is conducted in is English. I have also heard that India might very well out-compete China in terms of sucking up american jobs because in india there is simply a large population that can speak or can easily learn english, whereas in china this is less common.

grover
French is hardly a dying language

Its definitly not a dead language or in danger of becomming so, those statements are over-done. But its clearly not going to be the 'lingua franca' of the next hundred years (ironic to say that french isn't the lingua franca
)

Aelita
I only wish I could say the same about American cheeses.

Velveta Rules, I know that you love it!



posted on Mar, 26 2006 @ 04:55 PM
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I wonder how many people who have a "strong opinion" on this matter are actually fluent in more than one language?

Being perfectly bilingual, I can appreciate the cultural significance, identity politics and importance of a language.

Sometimes when I want to say something it can only be said in one language! Translators will tell you that words can't simply be translated without loosing meaning or context. Many subtle cultural references are contained in the sentance structure, the tone or the colloquial meaning of the "sayings". Some things just can't be translated.

So hooray for cultural diversity!

A dead language is also an irreplaceable loss of history and knowledge. If it wasn't for the rosetta stone we would only be able to speculate about ancient Egypt for example, and look at all the ancient civilisations we know nothing about because we still can't read their language.

Loosing any language is like loosing a species to extinction, never to be seen or understood again and certainly not something to be wished for. :shk:
.




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