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

From: Elizabeth J. Pyatt (
Date: Thu Dec 21 2000 - 09:11:25 EST


I usually lurk, but I would like to throw in my two cents now.

For the record I am getting frustrated with your postings, NOT
because I don't think there Anglophone bigots in the world (I know
there are) BUT because I don't think the Unicode list is where they
"hang out."

The people at the Unicode are working very hard to develop standards
to make sure every possible language is fairly represented on the
Internet. Internationalization is technologically very difficult, and
as somewhat of an amateur, I commend their efforts to get all the
many details right.

To continually point out to THIS list that there are non-English
speakers in the world is redundant, and ultimately counterproductive.

So again, I ask - other than pointing out that there are non-English
speakers in North America and around the world, what message would
you like to send to Unicode?

Merci beaucoup.

Elizabeth J. Pyatt

>À 15:45 2000-12-20 -0500, John Cowan a écrit:
>>Alain LaBonté scripsit:
>> > Just as
>> > an indication, Québec, a 7.5-million-people island of French speakers
>> > which is surrounded by an ocean of monolithically English-speaking
>> > community of 300 million users of this language public-wise (I mean
>> > outside of homes), does not speak English (at least not enough to
>> > understand a simple question on the phone and answer it) in a proportion
>> > of approximately two thirds.
>>I suggest that there are ideological reasons for this which do
>>not apply to the rest of the world, which does not feel their
>>native languages under such a threat as you describe, and feel
>>freer to learn other languages as a matter of individual
>[Alain] There is absolutely no ideological reason for this, in
>spite of the well-known cliché. On the contrary, everybody here
>would like to know English, even those who hate it as not being nice
>to hear (there are of course exceptions, but they remain exceptions,
>I must tell you -- the trend among independentists is to say that
>all Québecers should at least learn English and Spanish as a second
>and third language, and perhaps Portuguese as a fourth one -- Québec
>independentits being objectively those by which NAFTA passed in
>Canada; when the issue was discussed the rest of the country was
>divided on it while in Québec the North-American union was widely
>supported, regardless of political opinions -- the soverigntists
>were in power in Québec -- they still are, and currently go beyond
>this in preaching a single currency throughout the Americas,
>horrifying a lot of Canadians-outside-Québec).
> A former independentist Québec Premier (Jacques Parizeau, not to
>name him, and he is among the most vocal of "separatists") already
>said: "if I ever see a guy who does not even try to learn English, I
>will kick kim in the ass".
> That said, the learning of a second language beyond a primitive
>level is not given to everybody, you must admit it. I would say that
>it is easier to learn a third language because after the second one
>you have gained enough confidence.
> Now all Western languages are relatively near one to each other
>(a caricature with a bottom of truth: "English is a dialect of
>French, which is but bad latin originally spoken by a Germanic tribe
>and which only got refined"), but this is far to be the case with
>languages not in the Indo-European group, and in this case, I
>infinitely doubt that more than a tiny minority of these people will
>even be able to align two words in a row in English and even
>understand what they are saying or writing... To me this is the bare
>reality, and perhaps most Americans, even more than the other
>peoples on earth, will agree with this. (;
> Cases like Michael Everson or Scott Horne are the admirable and
>noble exception which confirms the rule, as we say in French
>("l'exception qui confirme la règle").
>Alain LaBonté

Elizabeth J. Pyatt, Ph.D.
Instructional Designer
Penn State University, (814) 865-0805

228A Computer Building
University Park, PA 16801

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