[langue-fr] L'anglais est-il une langue universelle ?

From: Doug Ewell (dewell@compuserve.com)
Date: Wed Dec 20 2000 - 12:09:44 EST

Something touched a nerve with Alain LaBonté <alb@riq.qc.ca>, who I
assume wrote the following since no author or source was cited:

> The new language Gestapo that patrols the Internet to blast traces of
> languages other than English, along with its counterparts in science,
> technology and journalism, forms a sub-class of intellectuals,
> equivalent to lobotomized subjects, mistaking their pitiful perception
> of reality for an objective world that is a thousand time richer and
> more colorful than they dare imagine. The imposition of English goes
> very much with the development of the simplistic, manicheist and
> strongly biased anglo-american mind. It is an insult to intelligence
> and good sense. It would result in a fantastic impoverishment of the
> mind and knowledge.

> Those of us who are eager to promote English as a unique medium for
> international communication mistake masturbation for real love making.

> As a minority, what right do native English speakers have to foist
> English upon a world majority ?

etc. etc. etc.
But I finally found something (potentially) relevant to the Unicode
mailing list:

> The Chinese are fed up hearing representatives of the Internet Society
> talk about globalization and internationalization. The Chinese, along
> with many other Asians wonder why some people dare talk about an
> international Internet as long as the Chinese have to type addresses
> in Latin characters. So, they have devised their own addressing system
> that uses ideograms. Some experts think that as long as the Unicode
> standard does not become universal, there is a distinct risk for
> various countries to go their own way for domain addresses and other
> "details" important enough to give birth to separate networks that
> will no longer be cross-communication compatible. Therefore,
> internationalization must permit people to fully localize not only
> contents but also interfaces.

The Unicode standard *is* universal, at least in intent. Virtually
every script on the planet is either (a) encoded, (b) proposed for
encoding, or (c) in need of more information before encoding is
practical. So I assume the clause "as long as the Unicode standard does
not become universal" refers to the use of Unicode in Internet domain

Neither the Unicode Consortium nor ISO/IEC JTC1/SC2/WG2 is directly
involved (nor should they be) in reforming the Internet DNS, although
some of their members are. The Latin-based DNS is a problem that may
be solved by the use of Unicode, but it is not "Unicode's problem."

There are several proposals in front of the Internet Society for
internationalizing the DNS, and more will certainly follow as each
author believes he can improve on the work of his predecessors.
Whichever solution is chosen will undoubtedly use Unicode. The question
is which one will be chosen, and how successfully the Internet can
standardize on one solution instead of trying in vain to support
multiple incompatible solutions.

-Doug Ewell
 Fullerton, California

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