Author: joeching

FUTURE OF LANGUAGES [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2009-1-16 11:37:19 |Display all floors
Originally posted by joeching at 2009-1-16 10:55


both


So if you're promoting both a human language and a technical language, they can't both be the same. A technical language limits itself to commands and data whereas a human language must be capable of the whole range of expression including literary and poetic expression. Literary and poetic expression must necessarily be excluded from a machine language. The two are mutually incompatible. So if you're promoting both, then I must conclude that you are promoting two separate languages here.
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Post time 2009-1-16 11:42:25 |Display all floors
Originally posted by joeching at 2009-1-16 11:02


to me english is anti-culture in that it's predatory.  just hear the politicians, the lawyors and journalists talk.  we r at the mercy of their brainwashing, if their english is good, that is.  ...


Well, to me 'predatory' and 'anti-culture' are not synonymous terms. I do agree that English as an international language (which I distinguish from English as a national language) is predatory, and yes it does give native English-speakers an unfair advantage in the world. We cannot blame native English-speakers entirely though. After all, if we take the case of the PRC as an example, it's not native English-speakers forcing so many Chinese to learn English. So in this case, you yourselves are partially to blame for this too, and must decolonize your minds. In many European countries, students are required to learn a second language to graduate from highschool, but schools are free to choose from various languages to teach, and are not compelled to teach English per se. The PRC and the PRC alone is to blame for not following this example and requiring so many students to waste their time learning English.
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Post time 2009-1-16 11:47:26 |Display all floors
Originally posted by joeching at 2009-1-16 11:14


technical languages(which is just a secondary subset to the main cultural language) should be strictly to close the gap between the digital divide between the haves and have nots.  i v proposed ...


So if I understand correctly, your technical language would be a subset of a larger cultural language. I could see that work, but this would mean that it would have to be a grammatically extremely precise language. But if done right, maybe it could work.

As for requiring foreingers to pass some kind of test to enter Asia, if you should create such a language, that could be reasonable. After all, such a language would likely be much, much easier to learn than any Asian national language, so there really would be no excuse for anyone not to be able to learn it. After all, if the language is designed to be easy to learn, what excuse would there be for a foreigner to not be able to learn it?
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Post time 2009-1-16 11:53:21 |Display all floors
Another point is that if you were to promote Far-Eastern cultural unity, a common language would need to be coupled with a common religions (a term which I'm using loosely here) too. For example once the Far-Eastern Auxiliary Language (FEAL?) would be created, translating some Far-Eastern religious and other classics would likely be your first priority. This might include Confucian and Buddhist classics. The objective would not necessarily be to convert anyone, of course, but rather to emphasize common traditions, values, morals, etc. that all Far-Easterners could agree to, and which could lay the foundation for this new auxiliary culture.
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Post time 2009-1-16 23:14:02 |Display all floors
Originally posted by seneca at 2009-1-16 21:27


In my words: You want to (over-) simplify English to make it look like Chinese - mere syllables with no affixes, plural markers, tense indicators, a 'pure' phonetic spelling in line with accepted (contemporary!) pronuncation.


I don't know if 'simplify' is the right word. If he wants to create a computer language out of it, then certainly simplification would be required (after all, computers can't understand literary devices and never will because such devices cannot be converted into any kind of mathematical formula, so such devices would need to be purged from the language). But he said he wanted to create a human language alongside it. If that's the case, then perhaps revision, standardization, or rationalization might be more accurate, since the language would have to remain just as complex as any other human language and maintain its poetic abilities. This would mean that English could not be dumbed down in its abilities, but only in its learnability. In some ways, it might develop an even more precise language than English (aircrafts, sheeps, fishes with fish becoming reserved for the singular only). Spelling would certainly need revision too. Ai'm SO: wI kUd @'gri: t@ D{t. None of this would destroy the new revized English's literary abilities, but it would destroy its claim to being the same language. A person who would learn the new rationalized English would in no way be able to read standard English literature without learning standard English as a separate language.

It could however serve as a propaedeutic language. For example, since this language would unquesitonably be much easier to learn than standard English, schools could use this language as a training and testing ground for standard English. Students who find this language difficult could be expected to continue learning it (after all, if they can't learn an easier language, they certainly wouldn't be able to learn a more difficult one). And students who learn the language quickly could then be free to go on to standard English if they wish, with this rationalized English providing a stepping stone to learning it faster. This way the revized English could be used for communication between countries that have accepted the new standard (though I suspect that like Esperanto in Europe, it would have to be introduced gradually over time).

That would look like an Asian equivalent to Esperanto minus its grammar rules. Completely arbitrary like the former, hence difficult to spread internationally; as a 'technical jargon' perhaps acceptable in select circles.

All languages need rules to make sense. So certainly it would have some kind of grammatical rules. The question might be rather how precise or ambiguous the rules will be. If this language is to be used as a computer language too, then it would need to be even more precise than Esperanto (research at the University of Patterborn had found that though machine translations of technical texts from Esperanto proved to have fewer errors in them than any from Europe's major languages, it still had errors). Maybe Lojban or Loglan would be good models to study. In fact, these languges were also intended as logical human languages that, when stripped of their literary devices, could be used as computer languages too. How compatible they are with machine languages, I'm not 100% sure. But from what I've read, this extreme grammatical precision has resulted in these languages, though still easier to learn than national tongues, being much more difficult than Esperanto. So it would seem that if we intend to create one human language the subset of which can be used as a machine language, then we might have to sacrifice learnability for those persons who have difficulties with languages, thus sacrificing the democratic social benefits of the language for more disadvantaged or disenfranchised classes. So it would seem to me to make more sense to create 2 separate and unrelated languges, one a human language designed to be easy to learn, and the other a machine language for which precise grammar is the only criterion. This way no compromise needs be made either way, one democratic (learnable for anybody), the other specialized (learnable to those who are gifted in grammar).

As for Espearnto rules being arbitrary, they're actually much less arbitrary than English. There is not one single exception to the rules of the language, everything is phonetic, all rules fallowed and can applicable universally within the language, etc. Nothing arbitrary about it.

As for making it difficult to spread internaitonally, the main obstacle is power. As I'd mentioned in a previous post, in Europe the governments that have allowed Esperanto to fulfil the second-language portion of graduation requirements are all countries whose languages are insignificant internationally, with the surprising exceptions of England, ther USA, and (experimentally) Australia. France and Germany officially oppose Esperanto. So though the language is growing, it would seem that former imperial powers fear it more than countries that have nothing to lose from it.

THe moment we all speak an identical, standardised and sanitsied cookie-cutter gibberish nobody will want to speak it to friends and family. It would produce no literature, no poetry, no journalism, or would it?

The late William Auld, a Scottish Esperanto poet, was nominated for the Nobel prize for literature from 1999 to his passing in 2006! Not bad for a 'technical jargon', wouldn't you think? In fact, Esperanto anthologies have been published, and novels written in the language, and songs written in the language, along with a small but stable music CD industry. Besides original works, many works have been translated into the language too. Tolkien's the Hobbit has been translated into the language, Quo Vadis has been too along with Shakespear, the Bible (the Old Testament of which is considered to be a masterful literary translation), the Qur'an (again a masterful lierary translation).  So if this could happen to Espernto, why not in a new one?

So if this could happen to Esperanto,
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Post time 2009-1-17 06:09:53 |Display all floors
Originally posted by tianyuanedu at 2009-1-15 07:34 PM


Your link seems to suggest a computer language based on English. This would not allow for the full range of human communication and cannot truly be defined as a human language.

Now as for a  ...


everything u said make a lot of sense.  but my perspective is really just from a techical problem solver.   i see culture as the time-tested tool for the world to get out this period of barbarism.  the asia culture(or the land where the culture of confucius, buddhism and taoism) should be used to unite some countries as it did in the confucius days.  i would be more than glad to see europe achieve the same, but i dont think the culture and the language can really cut it.

as for europe, the first thing they need to resolve is getting to the bottom of what really happened between the jews and hitler(i v been tracking hitler and found most stories are jewish propaganda, which help nobody, least of all jews.)  all europeans need to search deep within them to expose what made them overt or covert anti-semite.  and the jews need to listen to their findings and make some self-correction(like stop killing the the gaza rite away) so the world can turn around on its way to armaggeddon.
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Post time 2009-1-17 06:26:00 |Display all floors
Originally posted by tianyuanedu at 2009-1-15 07:37 PM


So if you're promoting both a human language and a technical language, they can't both be the same. A technical language limits itself to commands and data whereas a human language must be capa ...

i m promoting they should be two distinct set.  the culture being the main one.  the technical, an appended subset.

one small point i didnt mention might be because the modern humans would consider it too big a point to swallow:  

NOT EVERYONE NEED TO BE THAT EDUCATED.

and this should not be a reason that we should jeopardize those who want to be educated to the highest possible level achievable by man and most of us should want to see such people's effort to inspire us all.  in short am 100% anti-democracy.  i m a believe in that nature's way or dao is the meritocracy -- let each fit into his proper slot.

beside the above theoretical bs, the cultural language, anchored by the traditional chinese characters, and the tech language, on my computers, are all there.  i just happened to come out of my hermitage and say a few words or two.
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