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RXP
11-20-2004, 02:16 AM
I was having this debate with someone that it would be so much better if everyone spoke the same language. We could communicate better. Meet more people. If you're a romantic you'd expand your horizons for finding 'the one' because you'd instantly be able to talk to anyone you encounter.

The counter was that this means no culture. I said culture's a lot more than language and the benefits of loosing language are far outweighed by the gains of a single language esp. economic gain which would raise living standards due to a barrier of trade being removed.

I was accused of being a bigot and arogant cock. Is this correct? While it's usually true I think in this respect it's not. The idea of language is to turn the electro/chemical pulses in your brain into a format that another person/animal or whatever can understand and turn it into electro chemical impulses in their head to find vaguely the same meaning as what you meant. That's it. Nothing to do with culture. Culture in my view is the actual country, food, tradition. While language is a tradition there is so much more to culture.

Discuss..

wheelchairman
11-20-2004, 04:06 AM
I agree with you.

lousyskater
11-20-2004, 04:45 AM
yeah, i've always felt that if the world can just agree on one language, foreign relations would be a lot easier and we would never have to worry about language barriers.
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wheelchairman
11-20-2004, 04:52 AM
Although if there was only one language. It would splinter into local dialects awfullly quick. And it surely would eventually become hard to understand each other again.

lousyskater
11-20-2004, 05:10 AM
Although if there was only one language. It would splinter into local dialects awfullly quick. And it surely would eventually become hard to understand each other again.
that's already starting to happen in america. lol.
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the_GoDdEsS
11-20-2004, 05:18 AM
No.

Because language DOES reflect culture and there are different ways of analyzing extralinguistic reality or a different ELR in general. You wouldn't be able to have one common language because the countries of the world are way too different.
Second point is the world could not agree on one. You'd only cause more wars.

I say it's totally impossible.

Nina
11-20-2004, 05:27 AM
i couldnt agree more with that ^.

Mota Boy
11-20-2004, 08:14 AM
It's called "English".











OK, fine, it's not exactly what you are driving at, but it is the world's second language... and I think that's what should happen. We should all agree on one second language to learn, so that we can preserve our own language and culture but still communicate with everyone else.

Tijs
11-20-2004, 08:48 AM
I agree with Mota Boy.

It's a good thing for a country to have it's own language, but what's wrong with a second language? It annoys the shit out of me if I got the McDonalds in France and ask 'Do you speak English?'
Frenchmen says: 'A little' *does a thing with his hand*
I say: 'Can I have a large fries please?'
Frenchmen: 'Que?'
Nothing wrong with a second language.

the_GoDdEsS
11-20-2004, 08:57 AM
Second language - agreed. But that is literally calling for some special arrangements in second language policy. Compulsory second language programs, mainstreaming, immersion programs or whatever. A lot of the second language on TV and radio. Because not everyone is talented at picking up a language. But sometimes effort equals talent.

English is a sort of a lingua franca today. But do you think all countries would actually agree to adopt it as their second language? It's still utopia to me.

the_GoDdEsS
11-20-2004, 08:59 AM
Plus, HOW in the world do you want to bridge the cross-cultural differences through a second language? There'd be so many misunderstandings, misinterpretations or incorrect translations that it would probably lead to the end of the world.

the_GoDdEsS
11-20-2004, 09:42 AM
Globalisation blah blah.

English is prevailing, I agree. It is the language for communication, business, trade or whatever. It is spoken by the majority of educated people all over the world. However, still on different proficiency levels. You will always need perfect translators who also understand the cultures of let's say both countries.
One of the problems that arise for me is making the language available even to the lower classes or to people who can't pay for education. There won't ever be a world that has one common language even though it's a nice idea.

Danielle
11-20-2004, 10:22 AM
i live in france - and its funny - yesterday we were talking about this in class!!
the french are deciding whether or not to make english compulsary from age 8... there was a survey in europe and out of 7 countries - i dont know which exactly, but france had the lowest level of english out of these countries. so now the french are having a big discussion about it! im not sure its a good idea, and anyway most french chose to learn english over any other language at school anyway.

jimmyjimjimz
11-20-2004, 11:09 AM
I was having this debate with someone that it would be so much better if everyone spoke the same language. We could communicate better. Meet more people. If you're a romantic you'd expand your horizons for finding 'the one' because you'd instantly be able to talk to anyone you encounter.

The counter was that this means no culture. I said culture's a lot more than language and the benefits of loosing language are far outweighed by the gains of a single language esp. economic gain which would raise living standards due to a barrier of trade being removed.

I was accused of being a bigot and arogant cock. Is this correct? While it's usually true I think in this respect it's not. The idea of language is to turn the electro/chemical pulses in your brain into a format that another person/animal or whatever can understand and turn it into electro chemical impulses in their head to find vaguely the same meaning as what you meant. That's it. Nothing to do with culture. Culture in my view is the actual country, food, tradition. While language is a tradition there is so much more to culture.

Discuss..
My mom used to always say that she thinks sign language should be the universal language, and I kinda agree with her. I mean, we all have our own languages right now, but if there was a spoken universal language, who would have the time to learn it, with all these people going to work and/or school? Yeah, they can teach it to the kids in school, but how would the teachers learn it? That's kinda hard to do. Actually, I dunno if sign language is a good idea either, because how would people learn that? lol.

Jesus
11-20-2004, 11:12 AM
On a side note; With the expansion of the EU (which results in more languages+translations and translators), there were some rumours about making 1 or a couple official languages to be used in the EU institutions (if I remember correctly).

Which would be a handicap for smaller nations (who couldn't use their native language) in debates... which resulted in some of the people from the smaller nations saying: fine lets have a couple offcial ones (for instance English, French, German), but noone is aloud to use the official language of their country (so we're all handicapped). Would be so cool to hear an English speak German hehe

anyway haven't heard about it since.

JoY
11-20-2004, 11:20 AM
many words would lose meaning & many things wouldn't have a word to express them anymore.

'sanity' for instance. there's no Dutch word for it.
'gezelligheid' in Dutch. there's not one English word, that can capture it's meaning.

'I love you', or 'you're sweet' in Dutch is said as 'ik hou van je' & 'je bent lief'. in Dutch those two short sentences have much more meaning & sound far more serious, than in English for some reason.

I think it says a LOT about culture & evolution & it's speed, that translations still don't manage to capture what actually is being said, what actually is being meant. one language wouldn't solve this problem, if you ask me, but increase it. you can change a language, but not a culture & there's no way, that everything, that has to be described the complicated way now in order to correctly translate it, will suddenly have a word, if you wipe away every other language in the world. the other way around; there would be tons of things you can't describe in this universal language & there'll be no other language to describe it in. not to yourself, let alone to anyone else.

an universal language would cause even more miscommunications, than there already exist.

on top I believe a culture *would* lose part of their identity. the chance & oportunity to speak a language, that is their own, & to choose to study a foreign language, to widen certain aspects of their horizon.

Per, how can you say you agree. soon you'll be going to France, to widen your horizon there & learn more about French. if the French would speak either Danish, or English, you would hardly be forced to actually *go* there, to learn all about it. maybe that sounds positive to you, not having to go to France (though I can hardly imagine; Vichy will rock), but I think it'd narrow horizons & partly damage interests in other cultures & countries.

languages are like colours, to me. you want to be able to choose, if you paint your room purple, red, pink, blue, or green. you'd want the colour, that is beautiful to you, that makes you feel comfortable & suits you, for your room to live in. you wouldn't just want yellow as an option, now would you? I wouldn't ever want to live in a colourless world.

on top I want to add, that if now I don't know how to say certain things in English, I invent my own expressions with the help of translated Dutch expressions, or ones I've made up myself. an universal language would leave no room for creativity. well.. a lot less of it anyway.

JoY
11-20-2004, 11:37 AM
Plus, HOW in the world do you want to bridge the cross-cultural differences through a second language? There'd be so many misunderstandings, misinterpretations or incorrect translations that it would probably lead to the end of the world.
yay, exactly what I was trying to say. *smile*

Little_Miss_1565
11-20-2004, 11:37 AM
Esperanto, anyone?

JoY
11-20-2004, 11:41 AM
Esperanto, anyone?
haha. that didn't work out peachy perfect, now did it? though most people can somewhat understand it, I don't know anyone, that could produce a single word in that language, nevermind a complete sentence. I imagine for very good reasons.

RXP
11-20-2004, 11:42 AM
On a side note; With the expansion of the EU (which results in more languages+translations and translators), there were some rumours about making 1 or a couple official languages to be used in the EU institutions (if I remember correctly).
e.

EU = gay. We already had that discussion on the old board!

Anyway its a theortical debate obviously it won't happen a single language for the world.

Also the thing about mis understanding in the godesses post is overstated. Philisophers have argued for hundereds of years that language is a rubbish communication medium because everything has subjective meanings.

A single language would be far better for the world, but its a theortical concept.

wheelchairman
11-20-2004, 11:51 AM
Whether or not countries choose to. The opening of markets for American products has brought American consumer-culture to the farthest regions, re-making the world in it's own image.

English pops up in all languages everywhere. I can almost gaurantee that. Whether it's government policy or not, it's the people who decide to do that.

wheelchairman
11-20-2004, 11:55 AM
Per, how can you say you agree. soon you'll be going to France, to widen your horizon there & learn more about French. if the French would speak either Danish, or English, you would hardly be forced to actually *go* there, to learn all about it. maybe that sounds positive to you, not having to go to France (though I can hardly imagine; Vichy will rock), but I think it'd narrow horizons & partly damage interests in other cultures & countries.


Yes, I do enjoy speaking other languages, even though I am far too American in almost everything. However, it would be more beneficial for the world to speak English I think.

The world however, will never speak English. What would happen is different forms of pidgeon English.

the_GoDdEsS
11-20-2004, 12:09 PM
EU = gay. We already had that discussion on the old board!

Anyway its a theortical debate obviously it won't happen a single language for the world.

Also the thing about mis understanding in the godesses post is overstated. Philisophers have argued for hundereds of years that language is a rubbish communication medium because everything has subjective meanings.

A single language would be far better for the world, but its a theortical concept.

I agree with the statement that everything has subjective meaning.

Take it this way: I could be describing a huge mouse to you and you could perceive it as a tiny elephant. Whatever. And it's even more complicated with abstract terms.
It's all a matter of interpretations. And these can be even worse between countries/cultures/languages than between individuals.

nieh
11-20-2004, 12:30 PM
My mom used to always say that she thinks sign language should be the universal language, and I kinda agree with her. I mean, we all have our own languages right now, but if there was a spoken universal language, who would have the time to learn it, with all these people going to work and/or school? Yeah, they can teach it to the kids in school, but how would the teachers learn it? That's kinda hard to do. Actually, I dunno if sign language is a good idea either, because how would people learn that? lol.

I've often thought that as well, but it's not that easy. The vast majority of things you would sign are basically you make the hand in the shape of the first letter of the word, and then make a motion with it. In other languages, the words would have different letters and it would make for variations that wouldn't work (or would just be a little more of a pain to memorize) Even ASL and ESL have some words with completely different signs and they're just different dialects of the same language.

Betty
11-20-2004, 03:15 PM
Hypothetically, I think the idea of one language for the world, or at least a second language for the world would be a good idea.

Thinking about it, I think you could easily differentiate culture from language. I think people just relate it together in their minds since they associate having a culture with speaking a language. Like, imagine yourself changing each word of a language to another one that means the same thing. Could you not have had the exact same life and done the same things and felt the way and experienced the same culture. They're just words. The meanings behind them are still the same.

There is the idea of different expressions in different languages, but like, there are different expressions in Quebec and France in French, and different expressions in America or in England or in Australia that are still in English. So you don't necessarily have to lose that aspect of culture if people speak the same language.

I would probably agree that it might not be feasible to actually do... but I think the questions is purely hypothetical and whether it would be a good idea if it COULD happen.

the_GoDdEsS
11-20-2004, 04:12 PM
Hypothetically, I think the idea of one language for the world, or at least a second language for the world would be a good idea.

Thinking about it, I think you could easily differentiate culture from language. I think people just relate it together in their minds since they associate having a culture with speaking a language. Like, imagine yourself changing each word of a language to another one that means the same thing. Could you not have had the exact same life and done the same things and felt the way and experienced the same culture. They're just words. The meanings behind them are still the same.

There is the idea of different expressions in different languages, but like, there are different expressions in Quebec and France in French, and different expressions in America or in England or in Australia that are still in English. So you don't necessarily have to lose that aspect of culture if people speak the same language.

I would probably agree that it might not be feasible to actually do... but I think the questions is purely hypothetical and whether it would be a good idea if it COULD happen.

Good point.

But I don't think that the meanings are necessarily the same.
Like I've said, take the extra-linguistic reality (or ELR as we refer to it) thing.

Case A: The ELR is not the same
Take the word "bread" for example. Do you know that it looks totally different in some countries. You wouldn't even dare call it bread. I mean THE bread you know. It's got a different shape or different integredients.

Case B: The ELR is analyzed differently.
Example: "morning" in English means the time before noon.
"morning" in Slavic languages means only the time until 9 or max 10am. The rest is some sort of a "pre-noon" expression.

Another thing is that there are sometimes rich semantic domains. Eskimos have dozens of words for snow which we don't even dream about.

Plus, there are different kinds of abstraction levels. Such as some African languages don't have a word for "arm" at all. They just have two words meaning "left arm" and "right arm".

See what I mean? It is ALL about semantics AND culture.

So NO common language for the world. UTOPIA!
And even if you wanted it to be English. English would have to change drastically in its form and semantics to be able to reflect all the phenomena of the world. And we don't want that, do we?

Betty
11-20-2004, 06:18 PM
Well, I never personally said it would have to be English, and especially not in the form as we know it now. I guess it would be the logical choice though in the world that we live in. However, my discussion is based on a hypothetical language.

I think a common language could be adopted to suit different cultures though.

Like, in the bread example, if it's a very different bread, then there can just be a different word for it. Or a specific kind of bread. There is no problem with adding extra words.

For the morning example, the people could just use the same word morning and have different meanings for it. Cause like we already decided, meanings ARE subjective. You wouldn't want a word with an ENTIRELY different meaning, but a modification of a meaning would be okay. For me 2AM is still "night", although this may not be the correct interpretation.

For the Africans, they can just say something equivalent to "left arm" and "right arm" whereas everybody else doesn't necessarily have to make the distinction. So their one word would become two, but it would still have the same meaning.

So I think that if you add as many words as you want, and allow some sujectivity to meanings, you could still keep culture with a unique language.

The idea is for it to be easier for people around the world to communicate, and even if some places have slightly different words/interpretations/expressions, people would be able to understand each other for the most part.

Revolver-2005?
11-20-2004, 07:53 PM
lets speak yiddish...

Chris
11-20-2004, 08:18 PM
just can't lose all the different accents though or we'll never have anyone to (possibly) laugh at

Vera
11-21-2004, 10:02 AM
Y'all should read "Popularmusik från Vittula" (English title "Popular music", I think) by Mikael Niemi. It's a book about Finnish-Swedes (meaning they're theoretically Swedes, but speak Finnish/have Finnish roots) living in North-Sweden, a place called Pajala. They speak a tongue called "meänkieli" in Finnish and the novel basically tells about the whole lingual and cultural environment of Pajala and its people.

In the book there's a tiny poke at the "one-language for everyone" theory, where a boy who's never spoken a single word of any language learns how to speak esperanto by listening to it on the radio. But I won't get all into that, just read the book to find out about it.

I think that a lot of people from English-speaking countries find it easy to agree that there should be one language because that language would most likely be theirs, as it is spoken on almost every continent.

It's not your language that would become extinct. It's not any part of your culture that would disappear with that change. Because, as people have stressed in this topic, language is a HUGE part of a culture. It's about the fact that whatever I express in English comes out just a little different if I express it in Finnish, Swedish, German, Polish, Hindi, Japanese... Language is really a basis for a culture.

Bella brought out examples that prove this. There are so many words in Finnish which they don't have a word for in English. Untranslatables are common in every language.

Why do we have different languages? Simply because the people in Brazil really don't need 9 different words for different types of reindeer (language in example: Sami, the language of the Lappish). A language reflects a culture. An universal language would reflect one culture and even though the world is becoming more and more similar, it doesn't mean that we should accept this. Besides, the question that is vital is WHICH culture would the universal language reflect? The mass culture. The one that really isn't one.

To those of us who come from and live in a country where the official language is something other than English, it's usually a different business when it comes to there being an universal language. I know I certainly don't want it. I feel like it would definitely take away something I think of as being essential to my country, my culture.

I also know it's what the world is coming to, but just not quite.

I vote no.

Just learn some friggin' languages, people. It's a pain in the ass at times, certainly, but what you get in exchange for all that time and effort spent on learning languages is a key to a different culture. A chance to understand it in its own form, not the bastardized translation.

wheelchairman
11-21-2004, 10:08 AM
On a side track. Vera, did you know that Popular Music has been made into a film now? (In Swedish of course). Supposedly pretty good. Haven't seen it myself.

the_GoDdEsS
11-21-2004, 10:17 AM
Vera really summed it up. *applauds* <3

Also, I agree with the fact that languages do open new perspectives and enable you to see the world through different eyes. I'm not quite the same person in every language I speak. They just influence me, enrich me.

Language is a manifestation of culture and is necessarily influenced by it. Period.

Izie
11-21-2004, 10:36 AM
Vera really summed it up. *applauds* <3


Completely agreed.

Vera
11-21-2004, 10:54 AM
On a side track. Vera, did you know that Popular Music has been made into a film now? (In Swedish of course). Supposedly pretty good. Haven't seen it myself.
Yes, but from what I've heard it simply can't compare to the simple genius of the book, but then again, after reading the book, I can really see why, as it's pretty much impossible.

I'm going to go see it, anyway, just to see how it compares. Rock'n'roll.

&Thanks girls. :]

And I'd also like to add that when it comes to things like culture, people are bound to cling onto the deeper values of culture (art, religion, language) when they feel like some of these values are threatened. Forcing a language upon a nation that doesn't speak it is not going to work out that easy.

RXP
11-21-2004, 11:04 AM
Y'all should read "Popularmusik från Vittula" (English title "Popular music", I think) by Mikael Niemi. It's a book about Finnish-Swedes (meaning they're theoretically Swedes, but speak Finnish/have Finnish roots) living in North-Sweden, a place called Pajala. They speak a tongue called "meänkieli" in Finnish and the novel basically tells about the whole lingual and cultural environment of Pajala and its people.

In the book there's a tiny poke at the "one-language for everyone" theory, where a boy who's never spoken a single word of any language learns how to speak esperanto by listening to it on the radio. But I won't get all into that, just read the book to find out about it.

I think that a lot of people from English-speaking countries find it easy to agree that there should be one language because that language would most likely be theirs, as it is spoken on almost every continent.

It's not your language that would become extinct. It's not any part of your culture that would disappear with that change. Because, as people have stressed in this topic, language is a HUGE part of a culture. It's about the fact that whatever I express in English comes out just a little different if I express it in Finnish, Swedish, German, Polish, Hindi, Japanese... Language is really a basis for a culture.

Bella brought out examples that prove this. There are so many words in Finnish which they don't have a word for in English. Untranslatables are common in every language.

Why do we have different languages? Simply because the people in Brazil really don't need 9 different words for different types of reindeer (language in example: Sami, the language of the Lappish). A language reflects a culture. An universal language would reflect one culture and even though the world is becoming more and more similar, it doesn't mean that we should accept this. Besides, the question that is vital is WHICH culture would the universal language reflect? The mass culture. The one that really isn't one.

To those of us who come from and live in a country where the official language is something other than English, it's usually a different business when it comes to there being an universal language. I know I certainly don't want it. I feel like it would definitely take away something I think of as being essential to my country, my culture.

I also know it's what the world is coming to, but just not quite.

I vote no.

Just learn some friggin' languages, people. It's a pain in the ass at times, certainly, but what you get in exchange for all that time and effort spent on learning languages is a key to a different culture. A chance to understand it in its own form, not the bastardized translation.

Excellent counter argument. Never thought of it like that.

Vera
11-21-2004, 11:53 AM
Which of my arguments? Because I think I had a few in that post.

RXP
11-21-2004, 12:23 PM
Well all of it. The fact that all the different languages have evolved out of necessity basically, like the inuits or whoever have 7 different words for 'snow' ( I remember that from a Due South ep!) and also the fact that it's not my culture that will die (well that's hard for me cause I'm not white so 'my' culture is nearly dead in me anyway, that's a whole other debate).

Anyway learning languages ain't as easy as people think though. I'm the perfect example. I can't spell for some reason, and have never been good at non English stuff at school.

Vera
11-21-2004, 12:53 PM
It isn't easy, because it's a skill that takes time for one to master. You can't learn a language within a day, it's not something you can download onto your brain in a matter of a few hours (oh, how I wish!). You just have to practise and practise and practise.

Harjoitella, harjoitella, harjoitella.
Üben, üben, üben.

It isn't impossible, but it's difficult and even moreso for those of us who're not linguistically talented. I read about a woman who's fluent in 12 languages and self-learned in more than 8 of them. Now that's super-talented, very few are like that. It takes a lot of work. I know I'm crap at German because I haven't put enough effort into it, but I'm trying to become better and stuff.

Speaking of which, I got to go study as I've got an exam tomorrow. Tschüss, alle.

Betty
11-21-2004, 01:05 PM
I'm not much of a "cultured" person, so maybe that's why I feel the way I do. Practicality, not sentimentality... to a certain extent.

But maybe I don't know what I'm missing, or maybe I'm just not a big culture type person. I would have to go out and travel to find out, I suppose.

I DO know two languages though, and quite well.

Not Ozymandias
11-21-2004, 01:46 PM
Sign-language is the same everywhere. Learn it.

Tired_Of_You
11-21-2004, 05:41 PM
No , I don't want a single language for the world. I'd have a lot of things to say but almost everything I would like to say have already been said... anyway

I'm just going to talk about the culture. Languages reflect our culture so much. Like here in Quebec, it's a French province, but we really don't have the same accent and expressions as French people from France. So much that it happens often that they don't understand most of our expressions or only a simple sentence because of our accent (but we understand what they say...I'll never understand why they don't often understand us ? does it make any sense?).
I guess it can be the same with Americans and English?

As I discovered on this bbs ( because it's almost the only place where I can practise my English), 2 languages have a lot of differences between them and this is something I don't want to loose, those differences, those words that don't necessary exists in English. Also those expressions that dont exists for the French or our swears ( tabarnak, osti, coliss, criss, ciboire :D ). I don't want to loose my language and its differences. I guess I'm not the only one.

I find it cool to learn new languages. Most of the time I'm able to read things in Italian but I can't speak it, same thing for Spanish, hehe.

JoY
11-22-2004, 04:03 AM
*high fives with Sanni*

Vera
11-22-2004, 04:25 AM
I'm not much of a "cultured" person, so maybe that's why I feel the way I do. Practicality, not sentimentality... to a certain extent.

But maybe I don't know what I'm missing, or maybe I'm just not a big culture type person. I would have to go out and travel to find out, I suppose.
Well, culture isn't just art exhibitions and opera, it's language and customs and manners and basically how people live and act and even (to some extent) what their values are, how they see the world (at least a lot of this is affected by the culture they live in).

Language reflects all of this so much. You may think it's not a big deal that when a Finn asks for another drink, they go "Pistä toinen" (roughly translated: "Gimme another") and when an Englishman does the same, they go "Could I have another one, please?", but all this is a reflection of the culture they come from. Being polite is an extremely important thing in the English culture (as far as I know) and you can see it in the language, whereas in Finland, it'd just be weird to use a phrase like that to ask for another drink. The bartender would give you a weird look and think you were taking the piss out of him.

Also, what a single language would do is that while it would connect the people of a certain nation to the entire world, it would also disconnect them from each other. I certainly don't want a Finland where everyone speaks esperanto or English or some fucking computer-made language to communicate with each other. After that the only thing Finns would have in common would be that fact we all live on a certain piece of land. Our national hymn would be useless if we were to sing it with a language that's not ours, the country might as well not exist at all.

You take away the language and there's not much left for the culture.

Bella- Thanks, love. :]

Mota Boy
11-22-2004, 08:41 AM
Plus, HOW in the world do you want to bridge the cross-cultural differences through a second language? There'd be so many misunderstandings, misinterpretations or incorrect translations that it would probably lead to the end of the world.

Sim, the fact that you're arguing this in English undermines your point. How can you assume that improved communication will cause more problems than it solves? (Unless, of course, we're all assholes shouting gibberish at each other, only saved by the fact that nobody else is aware just what horrible things we're saying).

Why not promote making English (or language X) classes mandatory worldwide? Sure, not everyone will take to it, but is lack of complete success reason enough to call off such an endeavor entirely?

Vera
11-22-2004, 09:29 AM
Way to leave AIM when in a middle of an argument, pussy.

My point was that people don't want English to be a universal language because of the fact it represents the English cultures.

So we'd all just be forced to communicate under the limits of the English language. Sure, the language could expand, but in no way could it ever expand enough in order to include the whole world.

But anyway, as I said, I don't think it's right for governments to standardize a certain language for everyone to be taught. It really would create inequality. There would be this whole "Why are we learning this language, this culture?"-situation. If it's a way for the linguistic evolution to go on, let it be that way. But let's not force it. That wouldn't do anyone any good.

Besides, I know why you say English, but if the language was to be any other, would you stick to your theory so much? What if everyone was to learn French? Would that not create an image of France as the greatest country, the greatest culture in the world? And if you argue no, please explain.

I guess what I'm trying to argue here is that it's not just a language, not just a communication tool. It matters.

Betty
11-22-2004, 06:52 PM
Vera -

I realize culture isn't just artsy stuff and opera, but I still don't think I'm very cultured. I'm from Canada. What culture am I? Canadian? I suppose, but that's not much of a culture. I don't feel particularly attached to it. My idea of my cullture is my Northern Ontario roots in which you embrace the outdoors, and drink a lot of beer. I already have to give that up if I want to get a good job since you have to go to a big city for that. The idea of Canada is to promote MULTIculturization so everything is integrating together. In Canada, to promote "white" culture is a BAD thing. I have some French Canadian background, but I'm not very attached to that either. I don't have any special fascinations with other cultures. I don't really have a desire to travel other than to go to some tropical resort and hang out at the beach, or go tour like, nature type things... although nature isn't really culture. I would be fascinated to see the rainforest, or the New Zealand or African landscapes but not so much the landmarks. I would be interested in different foods I suppose though. I'm not entirely opposed to culture, but I don't feel like it's the end all and be all. Maybe, like I said, cause I haven't really experienced much and so don't know it.

But everybody's argument supporting different languages is the same. You'd lose culture.

First off, WHY can't there be a universal language that is NOT English. Say not from any previous language (well maybe latin or something) and so it wouldn't be 'biased" towards a particular culture. Then there wouldn't be "inequality" or people feeling bad. Also, WHY could a language NOT be expanded to suit the needs of every culture. Can there not be an infinite amount of words or combination of words? Cultures can still have variations of the same language. Maybe certain words special to them. Different ways of putting the same words together. I don't see why having one language, but still integrating cultures specific ways of speaking, expressions, meanings, etc. would cause a loss of culture. I feel like nobody has addressed this point and keep saying the same things.

hereforone
11-23-2004, 01:22 AM
well, in response to one language, it would be one heck of a lot easier to communicate, but the language better be english or russian.

Vera
11-23-2004, 08:18 AM
First off, WHY can't there be a universal language that is NOT English.
Well, basically I was explaining Mota Boy on AIM about how difficult or impossible it would be to make up a language to fit the slot of "second language of the world" and how could it describe a whole culture of world and what kind of influences would it have to have and etc, when I got his response of: "What the FUCK are you talking about? Why can't the language just be English?"

Which is why I was arguing the English thing. Personally I think it shouldn't be an existing language and even though English is spoken widely all over the planet, there shouldn't be a special international law about teaching it or anything, that'd give it special position and therefore give the culture it represents a special position etc. as I explained in my previous post.

And well, hypothetically, a language could expand to include all cultures of the world, but to think that this language would only be "second language" (to avoid wrecking original cultures based on the language of the culture), it might not even be so widely spoken (the people living in a country would still use their own language when communicating with each other) so it might not even have to expand.

Were it to expand for the needs of all cultures, though, in long enough time I think the people might be speaking different languages (all of which were the original language in the beginning) because of the way dialects and special vocabulary has developed in different places. I'm not entirely sure about this as I'm not sure if this is how languages work, maybe the Goddess better say something about that, she's studied linguistics.

Betty
11-23-2004, 09:32 PM
Oh, I definitely agree that it probably wouldn't work, both in terms of actually implementing it and then actually keeping it in a state where it doesn't drastically change in different places of the world.

But the whole point I was trying to make is that you could still adopt a different language without losing culture. Totally hypothetical.

Vera
11-24-2004, 05:38 AM
*shrugs*

It really depends so much on the people and the culture that adopts the language.

NOAMR
11-24-2004, 06:33 AM
I'm also for one language. You can still have a culture, and it makes the world more multicultural. Maybe it's good to have less culture, the world wouldn't be that mush seperated in races, there will be less racists. That doesn't mean you aren't allowed anymore to have an own culture, to speak your own language... But maybe, it's again good for the riches, and the poor( who are just able to write), are put away.