Re: [OT] Re: the Ethnologue

From: Antoine Leca (
Date: Tue Sep 19 2000 - 07:11:57 EDT

Doug Ewell wrote:
> Michael Kaplan <> wrote:
> >> Spaniards generally refer to their national language as "castellano,"
> >> not "espaņol,"

In fact, "castellano" is more like a compromise used to describe the
linguistic situation of Spain. When speaking with Spaniards, native
Castilian people will almost never use the word "Castilian", always
"Spanish" (or the equivalent translations "espaõl", "espagnol", etc.)
In fact, someone which naturally uses "Castilian" instead of "Spanish"
in a conversation have probably another language as mothertongue...

From what I said (tyhat is, very few), Hispanoamericans use "espaņol",
although they know for sure what "castellano" means. Perhaps even,
the use of "castellano" may denotes the European Spanish when or where
it differs with their own languages.

> > FWIW, I do not know of any Spaniards who object to "espaņol" for the
> > generic language spoken by everyone around the world.... Castilian
> > they reserve for their own (pure) Spanish....

I beg to differ.
> Well, perhaps this is another, unintended example of a problem with
> incorporating the Ethnologue linguistic distinctions into other
> standards without serious review. If Spaniards consider their language
> sufficiently different from the Spanish spoken by Latin Americans,

They don't. At the contrary, they are proud that their language is
spoken all around the world.
Now, they are very well aware that there are differencies; the main
differences are systematic differences in prononciation (ll, y mainly).

> should there be separate codes for the two, or not? What about similar
> concerns with French vs. Canadian French, American vs. British English,
> etc.? How does this map intelligently to the existing (like it or not)
> ISO 639 standard? Standards intended for widespread use should address
> issues like these explicitly.

Most of these differences are related to the spoken languages, and do not
appear in writing. Since IT is mainly related with writing, this is a
more minor point that it may appear at first sight.


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