RE: Bengali Script

From: John Dlugosz (
Date: Fri Jul 09 2010 - 17:10:07 CDT

  • Next message: Tulasi: "Re: Bengali Script"

    > Which leads to one more complex question? What is English? Is it what
    > you speak in England? or is it the version of English spoken of each
    > country? Can each country determine the English names of its language,
    > country and places?
    > Javier

    I saw several episodes of "The Story of English" on PBS, and he points out that one of its strengths is that it absorbs change and other peoples speak "English" but make it their own. They gave examples of post-colonial government in India, and Singapore, that I recall. That's why French lost its place as an internatial language -- great for contracts since the words don't change, but bad for day-to-day business.

    So, if enough Bengali people come to New York, in a hundred years it will have an influence on official mainstream English. Capice? [/ka.'piʃ/ That's a borrowing from New-York Italian-American, which isn't even standard Italian form for "You understand" but a variation from the region that imported it]

    The English spoken by the people in India certainly have different ways, and that should not bother North American Perscriptionists or Brits who can't pronounce their R's.

    For customers, changing phrasing and spelling should be a matter of course. It's no different than rewording "lift" for "elevator" or spelling "colour" as "color". In Windows, I see a huge number of sublang IDs under English: Australia, Belize, Canada, Caribbean, India, Ireland, Jamaca, Malaysia, and 8 others. So EN-IN is different from EN-US or EN-GB. Big deal. But, if you use EN-IN in a program, don't mark it as being EN-US or we'll tell you it's misspelled or bad grammar or whatnot. Don't mark it as EN-GB or you'll be informed that it's misspelt.


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