New projects opened

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Re: New projects opened

Bod Notbod
On Sat, Aug 22, 2009 at 9:54 PM, Mark Williamson<[hidden email]> wrote:

> I disagree. All languages that have had a chance of becoming world
> lingua francas - English, French, perhaps Spanish, are some recent
> examples - were not only the languages of economic or political
> powers, they were also the languages of vast colonial empires.

You're working on the assumption that China won't colonise anywhere. I
have the feeling they're going to burst and spray their populace
across the greater part of the continent at some point.

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Re: New projects opened

M. Williamson
Okay, now that's in the realm of pure speculation.

How do you think another country - or the world - would react to
China's invasion of neighboring countries? Why would they even do
that?

Mark

On Sat, Aug 22, 2009 at 10:20 PM, Bod Notbod<[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Sat, Aug 22, 2009 at 9:54 PM, Mark Williamson<[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> I disagree. All languages that have had a chance of becoming world
>> lingua francas - English, French, perhaps Spanish, are some recent
>> examples - were not only the languages of economic or political
>> powers, they were also the languages of vast colonial empires.
>
> You're working on the assumption that China won't colonise anywhere. I
> have the feeling they're going to burst and spray their populace
> across the greater part of the continent at some point.
>
> _______________________________________________
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> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>

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Re: New projects opened

Bod Notbod
On Sun, Aug 23, 2009 at 6:26 AM, Mark Williamson<[hidden email]> wrote:

> Okay, now that's in the realm of pure speculation.

Indeed.

> How do you think another country - or the world - would react to
> China's invasion of neighboring countries?

Somewhere on the spectrum of doing a weak press release saying "we
don't like this!" and sending in nuclear bombs.

> Why would they even do that?

Why has anyone ever colonised anywhere else? Expansion, economic gain,
the dearly held belief of a leader that such would be a correct
action. That's my point: there would be many reasons to do so. If we
know one thing about world leaders it's that they don't seem to like
just tending their garden, they're always looking outwards. Always
wanting more.

It seems reasonable to suppose that China looks at America and thinks
"Hey! They get involved overseas... we want some of that action."

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Re: New projects opened

Milos Rancic-2
In reply to this post by M. Williamson
On Sat, Aug 22, 2009 at 10:54 PM, Mark Williamson<[hidden email]> wrote:

> I disagree. All languages that have had a chance of becoming world
> lingua francas - English, French, perhaps Spanish, are some recent
> examples - were not only the languages of economic or political
> powers, they were also the languages of vast colonial empires.
>
> Is it likely that English would be the second working language of
> India without India's colonial past? Would French be the official
> language of dozens of African countries if they had never been ruled
> over by France? Chinese has a very large speaker population but the
> number of speakers outside of the Han ethnic group and/or the PRC is
> negligible. Almost all non-Han speakers of Chinese are ethnic
> minorities in the PRC, virtually all Chinese speaking people outside
> of the PRC are ethnic Chinese. Is this because Chinese is difficult to
> type (which it isn't, by the way, on modern computers)? Highly
> unlikely. People don't choose to learn or not learn languages because
> of the perceived ease of typing or even the perceived difficulty of
> learning that particular language, they do it because of the perceived
> level of prestige and economic and political power it will bring them.
>
> What could the motivations be for an aspiring professional in for
> example Congo be to learn Chinese? There are few and almost all of
> them are related to business dealings with China.
>
> Hindi is in a similar position - it has quite a large number of
> diaspora speakers, but outside of a single country and/or national
> origin, it has virtually no reach.
>
> Mark
>
> On Sat, Aug 22, 2009 at 12:39 PM, Bod Notbod<[hidden email]> wrote:
>> On Fri, Aug 21, 2009 at 11:59 PM, David Gerard<[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>>> (What's the next lingua franca going to be? When?)
>>
>> It would have been Chinese if you could get a workable keyboard.

There won't be new lingua franca. ~30 years is now very small amount
of time for changing behavior of the global society, while it is very
large amount of time for machine translators. (Translation engines
between similar languages are very very good now.)

I suppose that our next stage is babelfish.

But, what's the stage after that? Probably, some more sophisticated
babelfish... If one planet would be colonized with 50% of Dutch and
50% of Korean population -- assuming that relations between those
groups are very well and without oppression toward young children --
the next generation will speak some Anglo-Dutch-Korean as a native
language, which wouldn't be sanctioned immediately, but in a couple of
generations. So, they'll still need babelfish to communicate with
people from other colonies.

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Re: New projects opened

M. Williamson
In reply to this post by Bod Notbod
Getting "involved overseas" isn't the same as colonization.

There has been buzz about American colonialism and whatnot but the US
has few true colonies and none of any substantial size or population.

I doubt if any regional expert would put any stock in the idea of
China doing a foreign policy 360 and invading a neighboring country at
this point in its history or in the near future.

Mark

skype: node.ue



On Sat, Aug 22, 2009 at 11:00 PM, Bod Notbod<[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Sun, Aug 23, 2009 at 6:26 AM, Mark Williamson<[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> Okay, now that's in the realm of pure speculation.
>
> Indeed.
>
>> How do you think another country - or the world - would react to
>> China's invasion of neighboring countries?
>
> Somewhere on the spectrum of doing a weak press release saying "we
> don't like this!" and sending in nuclear bombs.
>
>> Why would they even do that?
>
> Why has anyone ever colonised anywhere else? Expansion, economic gain,
> the dearly held belief of a leader that such would be a correct
> action. That's my point: there would be many reasons to do so. If we
> know one thing about world leaders it's that they don't seem to like
> just tending their garden, they're always looking outwards. Always
> wanting more.
>
> It seems reasonable to suppose that China looks at America and thinks
> "Hey! They get involved overseas... we want some of that action."
>
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>

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Re: New projects opened

Bod Notbod
In reply to this post by Milos Rancic-2
On Sun, Aug 23, 2009 at 8:21 AM, Milos Rancic<[hidden email]> wrote:

> There won't be new lingua franca. ~30 years is now very small amount
> of time for changing behavior of the global society, while it is very
> large amount of time for machine translators. (Translation engines
> between similar languages are very very good now.)

The Google Wave demo shows real time translation as things are typed.
I'm sure you'll inevitably end up with some of the very strange
sentence constructions you get whenever you do an online translation
but it's still quite a remarkable feat.

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Re: New projects opened

Bod Notbod
In reply to this post by M. Williamson
On Sun, Aug 23, 2009 at 8:22 AM, Mark Williamson<[hidden email]> wrote:

> I doubt if any regional expert would put any stock in the idea of
> China doing a foreign policy 360 and invading a neighboring country at
> this point in its history or in the near future.

I was thinking more along the lines of decades than immediate futures.

Mind you, I would equally say we'll all be muslim in that timescope too.

We'll be chinese speaking islamists.

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Re: New projects opened

오현성-2
In reply to this post by M. Williamson
2009/8/23 Mark Williamson <[hidden email]>

> I disagree. All languages that have had a chance of becoming world
> lingua francas - English, French, perhaps Spanish, are some recent
> examples - were not only the languages of economic or political
> powers, they were also the languages of vast colonial empires.
>

The only language that has become a world lingua franca to date is English,
and although British colonialism was clearly the original reason for this,
the dominant form of English over much of the world now is American English.
The U.S. has never had a vast colonial empire, so surely the supremacy of
U.S. English owes more to the economic and cultural dominance of the U.S.
than any other factor. If, in the future, China becomes the dominant
economic power in the world, then I don't think there's any doubt that
Chinese will supplant English as the most widely used language in business
and many other domains.


> Chinese has a very large speaker population but the
> number of speakers outside of the Han ethnic group and/or the PRC is
> negligible. Almost all non-Han speakers of Chinese are ethnic
> minorities in the PRC, virtually all Chinese speaking people outside
> of the PRC are ethnic Chinese.


The numbers are small compared to English, but they're growing, and the
Chinese government has made an effort to promote the spread of Chinese. A
lot of people outside China are learning Chinese, though probably only a
small proportion become proficient in it.


> What could the motivations be for an aspiring professional in for
> example Congo be to learn Chinese? There are few and almost all of
> them are related to business dealings with China.


Another motivating factor could be to work for Chinese companies in Congo -
maybe not likely now, but Chinese companies are becoming increasingly
involved in African countries, and this may be more likely in the future if
those companies get a more favourable reputation. Tourism is a further
possible reason, though I doubt many Chinese tourists visit Central Africa
just yet.

Hindi is in a similar position - it has quite a large number of
> diaspora speakers, but outside of a single country and/or national
> origin, it has virtually no reach.


Hindi in a completely different situation since, apart from having fewer
native speakers, it hasn't become the dominant language throughout the main
country in which it is spoken, and AFAIK it isn't widely learnt as a second
language in other countries. This could change in the future, though.

The main thing that could stop Chinese becoming a global lingua franca is
the development of translation technology, which is advancing rapidly.
Still, I think most of the arguments against it are based on misconceptions
about why English is currently the dominant language, and often-antiquated
stereotypes of China.


Richard
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Re: New projects opened

David Gerard-2
In reply to this post by M. Williamson
2009/8/23 Mark Williamson <[hidden email]>:

> Getting "involved overseas" isn't the same as colonization.
> There has been buzz about American colonialism and whatnot but the US
> has few true colonies and none of any substantial size or population.


However, people learning English frequently demand the American
version. Hence the phrase "cultural colonisation."


- d.

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Re: New projects opened

M. Williamson
In reply to this post by 오현성-2
On Sun, Aug 23, 2009 at 3:36 AM, 오현성<[hidden email]> wrote:
> The only language that has become a world lingua franca to date is English,
> and although British colonialism was clearly the original reason for this,
> the dominant form of English over much of the world now is American English.
> The U.S. has never had a vast colonial empire, so surely the supremacy of
> U.S. English owes more to the economic and cultural dominance of the U.S.
> than any other factor. If, in the future, China becomes the dominant
> economic power in the world, then I don't think there's any doubt that
> Chinese will supplant English as the most widely used language in business
> and many other domains.

"Much of the world" is not very specific. In India and Pakistan, home
to a very large population, the dominant form of English is closely
related to British English. It was the combination of many factors -
the earlier political and continuing economic power of Britain and the
later political and economic power of the US - that brought about the
current situation. American foreign policy since World War II has also
played a major part in cementing the status of English as the first
foreign language in most of the world.

Anyhow as I said before, language shift is very much related to
attitudes and perceived language prestige. When doing business abroad,
English is often the language of communication between Chinese
companies and local employees and businesses. The day the Chinese
begin to insist on doing business with only Chinese speakers is the
day the world decides to learn Chinese. It is essentially a (bad)
attitude of "We are better than you and so we do not need to learn
your language, you should learn ours" that has resulted, I think, in
the dominance of English.

Mark

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Re: New projects opened

Svip
2009/8/23 Mark Williamson <[hidden email]>:
> Anyhow as I said before, language shift is very much related to
> attitudes and perceived language prestige. When doing business abroad,
> English is often the language of communication between Chinese
> companies and local employees and businesses. The day the Chinese
> begin to insist on doing business with only Chinese speakers is the
> day the world decides to learn Chinese. It is essentially a (bad)
> attitude of "We are better than you and so we do not need to learn
> your language, you should learn ours" that has resulted, I think, in
> the dominance of English.

"But Europe is filled with foreigners!"

> Mark

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Re: New projects opened

Mike Peel
In reply to this post by Bod Notbod

On 23 Aug 2009, at 09:50, Bod Notbod wrote:

> On Sun, Aug 23, 2009 at 8:21 AM, Milos Rancic<[hidden email]>  
> wrote:
>
>> There won't be new lingua franca. ~30 years is now very small amount
>> of time for changing behavior of the global society, while it is very
>> large amount of time for machine translators. (Translation engines
>> between similar languages are very very good now.)
>
> The Google Wave demo shows real time translation as things are typed.
> I'm sure you'll inevitably end up with some of the very strange
> sentence constructions you get whenever you do an online translation
> but it's still quite a remarkable feat.

I was at a demonstration of Google Wave yesterday, and someone asked  
for a demo of the live translation robot. They weren't able to demo  
it; apparently it's been decommissioned by Google.

Mike

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Re: New projects opened

Gerard Meijssen-3
Hoi,
Google Wave is not a finished product at this moment.. The intention is to
make it available by the end of September. While Wave is developed it is not
stable and this is understood by the people who develop in it. When one
robot, in this the translation robot, you cannot infer anything from it.
When Wave is demoed you cannot even expect that all the robots that are
being developed can be demoed.

I am sure that they did not and could not demo the "MediaWiki Wave"
functionality.. for that you have to be at Wikimania Buenos Aires 2009.
Thanks,
      GerardM

2009/8/23 Michael Peel <[hidden email]>

>
> On 23 Aug 2009, at 09:50, Bod Notbod wrote:
>
> > On Sun, Aug 23, 2009 at 8:21 AM, Milos Rancic<[hidden email]>
> > wrote:
> >
> >> There won't be new lingua franca. ~30 years is now very small amount
> >> of time for changing behavior of the global society, while it is very
> >> large amount of time for machine translators. (Translation engines
> >> between similar languages are very very good now.)
> >
> > The Google Wave demo shows real time translation as things are typed.
> > I'm sure you'll inevitably end up with some of the very strange
> > sentence constructions you get whenever you do an online translation
> > but it's still quite a remarkable feat.
>
> I was at a demonstration of Google Wave yesterday, and someone asked
> for a demo of the live translation robot. They weren't able to demo
> it; apparently it's been decommissioned by Google.
>
> Mike
>
> _______________________________________________
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> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
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