Re: Internationalization--Standard Conventions

From: Alain LaBont\i\ (
Date: Sat May 29 1999 - 12:22:09 EDT

A 08:32 99-05-29 -0700, Markus Kuhn a écrit :
>Over 50% of the world population are able to communicate in some basic
>form of English.

500 million native speakers, 900 million speakers (in a form or another) is
definitely not half the population of the world.

>While Mandarin remains the most widely spoken language,
>it's knowledge is geographically rather restricted and English is by far
>the most widely understood language.

That remains true, though, no doubt about that.

>While products for mass
>markets still have to be translated into at least one of the ~20 most
>widely used languages today, products that are targeted for
>well-educated users can often do perfectly with only English product
>information today.

This is more controversial matter... and extremely debatable. In Québec
(and many other areas in the world but Québec is certainly *the* example
used in English-speaking countries as being a demon, we have written laws,
not customary unwritten laws -- they should be read though, one should not
rely on mediatic and biased rumours) there are laws that make what you say
inacceptable. Users, workers, have a right here to use products, and work
in the language of the collectivity, in the official language, French. It
has nothing to do with education. Educated people here are encouraged to
learn as many world languages as possible (and not only English which of
course remains the second language of choice), but that said, what applies
to an individual person, and depends on his/her free will, should not be
imposed on a collectivity. That's the idea of our linguistic laws, in spite
of what you may have heard otherwise.


Alain LaBonté

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