Who is really, really bilingual?

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cant...@lycos.com

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Jul 24, 2007, 3:36:16 AM7/24/07
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"Bilinguals are rarely equally fluent about all topics in all
contexts. In each situation, there may be pressures of various kinds
(administrative, cultural, economic, political, and religious) which
influence the individual towards one language rather than the other."

This is from "The Oxford Companion to the English Language", Oxford
University Press 1992. I had never before seen it stated, though I
have often thought that it had to be that way. Do you think it is true?

Evertjan.

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Jul 24, 2007, 5:25:49 AM7/24/07
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wrote on 24 jul 2007 in sci.lang.translation:

> "Bilinguals are rarely equally fluent about all topics in all
> contexts.
> In each situation, there may be pressures of various kinds
> (administrative, cultural, economic, political, and religious) which
> influence the individual towards one language rather than the other."


Even monolinguals are NEVER equally fluent about all topics in all
contexts.

However, there is a clear divide between monolinguals and multilinguals,
the latter having or acquiring a feeling, that concepts are not expressed
similarly in different tongues, slangs and dialects.

This is so obvious in alt.language.latin, where the "please translate"
postings often contain English localized [geographically or community
wize] slang expressions, which are so wrongly expected, after litteral
translation into Latin, to contain the same meaning, relevancy and
jocular impact.

> This is from "The Oxford Companion to the English Language", Oxford
> University Press 1992. I had never before seen it stated, though I
> have often thought that it had to be that way. Do you think it is true?

1 No, the "rarely" expresses it would be true sometines. It never is.

2 Bilinguality/multilinguality does not mean fluency per se.

PERHAPS multilinguality could be defined as the ability to speak and/or
write more than one language without having to translate the sentence at
hand from another language AND being able to dream in those languages.

Such definition however would not include passive multilinguals, like
some well known ancient language scholars, whose "fluency" is only on the
receiving end, and who also would be at a total loss on the "correct"
pronuniation.

I met now Indonesians who, having been to Dutch schools before the
Indonesian independence, speak, write [and think in] Dutch fluently, but
it being the Dutch of 1947, is sort of a dead language they use. ;-)


--
Evertjan.
The Netherlands.
(Please change the x'es to dots in my emailaddress)

Hans Aberg

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Jul 24, 2007, 6:03:52 AM7/24/07
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In article <1185262576.1...@22g2000hsm.googlegroups.com>,
cant...@lycos.com wrote:

"Monolinguals are rarely equally fluent about all topics in all


contexts. In each situation, there may be pressures of various kinds
(administrative, cultural, economic, political, and religious) which

influence the individual towards one sublanguage rather than the other." :-)

Hans Aberg

Leszek L.

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Jul 24, 2007, 6:10:12 AM7/24/07
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Użytkownik "Evertjan." <exjxw.ha...@interxnl.net> napisał w wiadomości
news:Xns99777446...@194.109.133.242...

> However, there is a clear divide between monolinguals and multilinguals,
> the latter having or acquiring a feeling, that concepts are not expressed
> similarly in different tongues, slangs and dialects.
>
> This is so obvious in alt.language.latin, where the "please translate"
> postings often contain English localized [geographically or community
> wize] slang expressions, which are so wrongly expected, after litteral
> translation into Latin, to contain the same meaning, relevancy and
> jocular impact.

Many years ago, it sent me chewing on the rug when I witnessed
a native (and probably monolingual) speaker of English go into
a hairsplitting analysis of this New Testament verse:

...I was in prison and you came to Me...

The man pointed out that the exact word used is "prison"
rather than "jail", so it refers to a state, rather than federal,
penitentiary facility. He went on to list the types of offences
for which you can be sent to the one or to the other,
and drew conclusions as to the precise sorts of "bad guys"
towards which one should or should not be charitable.

Cheers,
Leszek.


Evertjan.

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Jul 24, 2007, 7:03:53 AM7/24/07
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Leszek L. wrote on 24 jul 2007 in sci.lang.translation:

> Many years ago, it sent me chewing on the rug when I witnessed
> a native (and probably monolingual) speaker of English go into
> a hairsplitting analysis of this New Testament verse:
>
> ...I was in prison and you came to Me...

I thought that was from Monopoly, the American version that is.

=======================

Main Entry: jail
Etymology: Middle English jaiole, from Anglo-French gaiole, jaiole, from
Late Latin caveola, diminutive of Latin cavea cage — more at cage
Date: 13th century

Main Entry: prison
Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin prehension-,
prehensio act of seizing, from prehendere to seize — more at get
Date: 12th century

Élise Hendrick

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Jul 24, 2007, 7:54:20 AM7/24/07
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Hans Aberg schrieb:

>> "Bilinguals are rarely equally fluent about all topics in all
>> contexts.
[...]

> "Monolinguals are rarely equally fluent about all topics in all
> contexts. In each situation, there may be pressures of various kinds
> (administrative, cultural, economic, political, and religious) which
> influence the individual towards one sublanguage rather than the other." :-)

Quite. I knew something was striking me as odd about that quote, and
that was it. To be "equally fluent" about all topics in all contexts in
even ONE language, you'd basically have to know everything. Even in the
languages I grew up speaking (German, Spanish, English), I can't claim
to be as fluent when speaking of topics I know nothing about as I am
when I'm speaking of things I've studied for years. Similarly, even
highly trained specialists rarely have equally detailed specialised
knowledge about all topics in all contexts, and knowing how to drive a
car does not automatically qualify one to fly a multiengine aircraft. :)

Élise Hendrick
(new here)

Ruud Harmsen

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Jul 24, 2007, 8:22:03 AM7/24/07
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24 Jul 2007 11:03:53 GMT: "Evertjan." <exjxw.ha...@interxnl.net>:
in sci.lang:

>Main Entry: jail
>Etymology: Middle English jaiole, from Anglo-French gaiole, jaiole,

Portuguese gaiola = English bird cage = Dutch kooi


from
>Late Latin caveola, diminutive of Latin cavea cage — more at cage

Dutch kooi is also from Latin cavea.

--
Ruud Harmsen
http://rudhar.com

Evertjan.

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Jul 24, 2007, 8:55:39 AM7/24/07
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Quod significat Linguae Belgicae "lichtekooi"?

Cave, ne cade cum canem in cavem aut in caveam aut in caveolam!

Hans Aberg

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Jul 24, 2007, 9:12:47 AM7/24/07
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In article <46a5e7fe$0$16580$4c36...@roadrunner.com>,
=?ISO-8859-15?Q?=C9lise_Hendrick?= <erhen...@cinci.rr.com> wrote:

> >> "Bilinguals are rarely equally fluent about all topics in all
> >> contexts.
> [...]
>
> > "Monolinguals are rarely equally fluent about all topics in all
> > contexts. In each situation, there may be pressures of various kinds
> > (administrative, cultural, economic, political, and religious) which
> > influence the individual towards one sublanguage rather than the other." :-)
>
> Quite. I knew something was striking me as odd about that quote, and
> that was it. To be "equally fluent" about all topics in all contexts in
> even ONE language, you'd basically have to know everything.

This is in fact a good comment:

Basically every type of subculture, like different professions, has a way
of developing its own lingo, or "sublanguage", that in part has the
function of being efficient with respect to the context at hand, and in
part to show that you are the right kind of fellow.

> Even in the 
> languages I grew up speaking (German, Spanish, English), I can't claim 
> to be as fluent when speaking of topics I know nothing about as I am 
> when I'm speaking of things I've studied for years. Similarly, even 
> highly trained specialists rarely have equally detailed specialised 
> knowledge about all topics in all contexts, and knowing how to drive a 
> car does not automatically qualify one to fly a multiengine aircraft. :)

And knowledge alone may not be enough: if one does not know the lingo, one
may still be an outsider.

Hans Aberg

phog...@abo.fi

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Jul 24, 2007, 9:39:31 AM7/24/07
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On 24 heinä, 14:54, Élise Hendrick <erhendr...@cinci.rr.com> wrote:
> Hans Aberg schrieb:>> "Bilinguals are rarely equally fluent about all topics in all
> >> contexts.
>
> [...]
>
> > "Monolinguals are rarely equally fluent about all topics in all
> > contexts. In each situation, there may be pressures of various kinds
> > (administrative, cultural, economic, political, and religious) which
> > influence the individual towards one sublanguage rather than the other." :-)
>
> Quite. I knew something was striking me as odd about that quote, and
> that was it. To be "equally fluent" about all topics in all contexts in
> even ONE language, you'd basically have to know everything.

Yup, this is the very point. That's why professional translators must
know something about everything, or know lots of different specialists
personally.

Harlan Messinger

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Jul 24, 2007, 10:05:23 AM7/24/07
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I'm figuring Spanish "jaula" is thus from "caveola", but the "c" > "j"
transformation seems unique.

Peter T. Daniels

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Jul 24, 2007, 10:52:40 AM7/24/07
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Do you think that (in accordance with the opening quote) there are
topics you can discuss better in one of your three languages than in
the others, or can you talk about anything you can talk about in all
of them?

Élise Hendrick

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Jul 24, 2007, 2:42:40 PM7/24/07
to
Peter T. Daniels schrieb:

>
> Do you think that (in accordance with the opening quote) there are
> topics you can discuss better in one of your three languages than in
> the others, or can you talk about anything you can talk about in all
> of them?
>

Not that I've noticed, in any case. I use them all quite regularly in
written and oral conversation, and the only thing that makes one flow
more readily than the others in any given case is my mood. Each language
has slightly different associations for me, so my emotional state will
often bias me in favour of one or another default language (i.e., the
one I'm thinking in and/or that would come out of my mouth if I didn't
give it any thought).

Élise

Steven M (remove wax and invalid to reply)

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Jul 24, 2007, 6:14:04 PM7/24/07
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Je Tue, 24 Jul 2007 14:42:40 -0400, Élise Hendrick
<erhen...@cinci.rr.com> skribis:

Most of my schooling and my home life was in English. However, I
attended Spanish-only schools in Venezuela for a few years. Then I
worked there as an adult for almost 10 years, most of the time
surrounded only by Spanish-speakers. So my formal knowledge is
English, but lots of my informal knowledge and job experience (in the
office and on a shop floor ) was in Spanish. For a long time there
were things that I thought of only in English and others only in
Spanish.

--
Steven M - spa...@hal-pc.orgwax.invalid
(remove wax and invalid to reply)

"It's a damned fool mind that can only think of one way to
spell a word." -- attributed to Dizzy Dean

cant...@lycos.com

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Jul 25, 2007, 3:42:04 AM7/25/07
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On Jul 24, 11:25 am, "Evertjan." <exjxw.hannivo...@interxnl.net>
wrote:

> wrote on 24 jul 2007 in sci.lang.translation:
>
> > "Bilinguals are rarely equally fluent about all topics in all
> > contexts.
> > In each situation, there may be pressures of various kinds
> > (administrative, cultural, economic, political, and religious) which
> > influence the individual towards one language rather than the other."
>
> Even monolinguals are NEVER equally fluent about all topics in all
> contexts.

Yes, I had not thought of that.


>
> However, there is a clear divide between monolinguals and multilinguals,
> the latter having or acquiring a feeling, that concepts are not expressed
> similarly in different tongues, slangs and dialects.

.... so that they are always out there looking for how things are
said.


>
> This is so obvious in alt.language.latin, where the "please translate"
> postings often contain English localized [geographically or community
> wize] slang expressions, which are so wrongly expected, after litteral
> translation into Latin, to contain the same meaning, relevancy and
> jocular impact.

And remember the translations of Shakespeare or Cervantes.

>
> > This is from "The Oxford Companion to the English Language", Oxford
> > University Press 1992. I had never before seen it stated, though I
> > have often thought that it had to be that way. Do you think it is true?
>
> 1 No, the "rarely" expresses it would be true sometines. It never is.
>
> 2 Bilinguality/multilinguality does not mean fluency per se.
>
> PERHAPS multilinguality could be defined as the ability to speak and/or
> write more than one language without having to translate the sentence at
> hand from another language AND being able to dream in those languages.

I do not understand why you include dreaming.


>
> Such definition however would not include passive multilinguals, like
> some well known ancient language scholars, whose "fluency" is only on the
> receiving end, and who also would be at a total loss on the "correct"
> pronuniation.

What about multilinguals who grow up in one language and then live in
another language for a long time? Their first language becomes a dead
asset.

cant...@lycos.com

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Jul 25, 2007, 3:48:06 AM7/25/07
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On Jul 24, 12:03 pm, hab...@math.su.se (Hans Aberg) wrote:
> In article <1185262576.137265.178...@22g2000hsm.googlegroups.com>,
Yes. You are right.


Evertjan.

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Jul 25, 2007, 3:50:17 AM7/25/07
to
Steven M (remove wax and invalid to reply) wrote on 25 jul 2007 in
sci.lang.translation:

> Most of my schooling and my home life was in English. However, I
> attended Spanish-only schools in Venezuela for a few years. Then I
> worked there as an adult for almost 10 years, most of the time
> surrounded only by Spanish-speakers. So my formal knowledge is
> English, but lots of my informal knowledge and job experience (in the
> office and on a shop floor ) was in Spanish. For a long time there
> were things that I thought of only in English and others only in
> Spanish.

You give a good description, Steven.

The strange way monolinguals think and communicate verbally is beond
comprehension to us multilinguals ["us" as I suppose is the norm in this
NG], like it is for the seeing to comprehend the visual imaging of the
permanently blind.

cant...@lycos.com

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Jul 25, 2007, 3:56:59 AM7/25/07
to
On Jul 24, 1:54 pm, Élise Hendrick <erhendr...@cinci.rr.com> wrote:
> Hans Aberg schrieb:>> "Bilinguals are rarely equally fluent about all topics in all
> >> contexts.
>
> [...]
>
> > "Monolinguals are rarely equally fluent about all topics in all
> > contexts. In each situation, there may be pressures of various kinds
> > (administrative, cultural, economic, political, and religious) which
> > influence the individual towards one sublanguage rather than the other." :-)
>
> Quite. I knew something was striking me as odd about that quote, and
> that was it. To be "equally fluent" about all topics in all contexts in
> even ONE language, you'd basically have to know everything. Even in the
> languages I grew up speaking (German, Spanish, English),

That is three. Are you using all three in everyday life? I have those
three plus French, and I know I cannot maintain all four. So by now I
can't anymore speak French (that I love and spoke as a kid) and German
(that I grew up in), except by making an effort and sitting up
straight and spelling things out by telling myself that this is a
Dativ and that is a Mehrzahl.

cant...@lycos.com

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Jul 25, 2007, 4:08:41 AM7/25/07
to
On Jul 24, 12:03 pm, hab...@math.su.se (Hans Aberg) wrote:
> In article <1185262576.137265.178...@22g2000hsm.googlegroups.com>,
>
> "Monolinguals are rarely equally fluent about all topics in all
> contexts. In each situation, there may be pressures of various kinds
> (administrative, cultural, economic, political, and religious) which
> influence the individual towards one sublanguage rather than the other." :-)
>
> Hans Aberg

Now I remember:

They say that even spies betray themselves by calculating in their
native language.
So "deep down" there would be only one....??

I cannot speak German anymore, but for instance to check the waiter's
bill I have to use German.


cant...@lycos.com

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Jul 25, 2007, 4:19:48 AM7/25/07
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On Jul 24, 12:10 pm, "Leszek L." <lles...@iitis.gliwice.pl> wrote:
>
> Many years ago, it sent me chewing on the rug

what does it mean?

> when I witnessed
> a native (and probably monolingual) speaker of English go into
> a hairsplitting analysis of this New Testament verse:
>
> ...I was in prison and you came to Me...
>

> The man pointed out that the exact word used is "prison".

What universe do you live in? All Bible interpretation and most
religious strife goes like that and has been going like that for 2000
years, and many people lost their head, not just figuratively.

Recently I saw there is even a pretty name, "Hapax legomenon"" for a
word that occurs only once in all of the Bible so that the scholars
cannot fight each other with quotations.

As far as I remember "Behemoth" is one of them and "Lilith" is
another.

phog...@abo.fi

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Jul 25, 2007, 5:47:46 AM7/25/07
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On 25 heinä, 01:14, "Steven M (remove wax and invalid to reply)"

<spam...@hal-pcwax.org.invalid> wrote:
> Je Tue, 24 Jul 2007 14:42:40 -0400, Élise Hendrick
> <erhendr...@cinci.rr.com> skribis:

>
>
>
> >Peter T. Daniels schrieb:
>
> >> Do you think that (in accordance with the opening quote) there are
> >> topics you can discuss better in one of your three languages than in
> >> the others, or can you talk about anything you can talk about in all
> >> of them?
>
> >Not that I've noticed, in any case. I use them all quite regularly in
> >written and oral conversation, and the only thing that makes one flow
> >more readily than the others in any given case is my mood. Each language
> >has slightly different associations for me, so my emotional state will
> >often bias me in favour of one or another default language (i.e., the
> >one I'm thinking in and/or that would come out of my mouth if I didn't
> >give it any thought).
>
> >Élise
>
> Most of my schooling and my home life was in English. However, I
> attended Spanish-only schools in Venezuela for a few years. Then I
> worked there as an adult for almost 10 years, most of the time
> surrounded only by Spanish-speakers. So my formal knowledge is
> English, but lots of my informal knowledge and job experience (in the
> office and on a shop floor ) was in Spanish. For a long time there
> were things that I thought of only in English and others only in
> Spanish.

I was brought up by my grandparents in Finnish, but my university life
has been exclusively in Swedish. The result is, that I am a much more
conservative and stubborn person in Finnish than in Swedish. I used to
write articles in a leftist-ish intellectual weekly in Swedish, but
now that I have become a columnist in Finnish I have adopted a
moderately conservative stance. (Moderately conservative of course
only in Finnish terms. It translates into leftist liberal in America.
An American conservative in Finland would be perceived as belonging to
the neonazi-esque extreme Right.)

Leszek L.

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Jul 25, 2007, 5:51:52 AM7/25/07
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Uzytkownik <cant...@lycos.com> napisal w wiadomosci
news:1185351588.2...@19g2000hsx.googlegroups.com...

> On Jul 24, 12:10 pm, "Leszek L." <lles...@iitis.gliwice.pl> wrote:
>>
>> Many years ago, it sent me chewing on the rug
>
> what does it mean?

Upset me. Made me fall down and bite the carpet in helpless,
desperate fury.

>> a native (and probably monolingual) speaker of English go into
>> a hairsplitting analysis of this New Testament verse:
>>
>> ...I was in prison and you came to Me...
>>
>> The man pointed out that the exact word used is "prison".
>
> What universe do you live in?

I live in a small country that does not perceive its language,
its institutions, or its legal system, as a universal structure
underlying all thought both human and divine.

And a Roman Catholic country where the Bible is interpreted
by sophisticated scholars versed in Hebrew, Greek, Latin,
and occasionally Aramese, in public lectures which I seldom miss.

As well as by bigoted morons of course, but I rarely choose
to listen to them.

Cheers,
Leszek.

phog...@abo.fi

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Jul 25, 2007, 6:04:59 AM7/25/07
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On 25 heinä, 11:19, cantu...@lycos.com wrote:
> On Jul 24, 12:10 pm, "Leszek L." <lles...@iitis.gliwice.pl> wrote:
>
>
>
> > Many years ago, it sent me chewing on the rug
>
> what does it mean?
>
> > when I witnessed
> > a native (and probably monolingual) speaker of English go into
> > a hairsplitting analysis of this New Testament verse:
>
> > ...I was in prison and you came to Me...
>
> > The man pointed out that the exact word used is "prison".
>
> What universe do you live in? All Bible interpretation and most
> religious strife goes like that and has been going like that for 2000
> years, and many people lost their head, not just figuratively.

Nope. There is a difference between naive and learned Bible-
interpretation. A learned interpretation of the Bible is based on an
informed understanding of the original text, which has been written in
Hebrew and Koine Greek. A naive interpretation of the Bible does not
even take into account the fact of the original language of the Bible.

>
> Recently I saw there is even a pretty name, "Hapax legomenon"" for a
> word that occurs only once in all of the Bible so that the scholars
> cannot fight each other with quotations.

It is Greek and means something like "once said". (Disclaimer: I do
not speak, read, write or understand much Greek, ancient or modern,
beyond a couple of Classical phrases in Ancient Greek and a couple of
tourist phrases in Modern Demotic Greek.) It does not refer to the
Bible alone, but is a more widely used philological term - "hapax
legomenon" is simply a word that is found only once in a particular
text, text corpus, or a language.

Steven M (remove wax and invalid to reply)

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Jul 25, 2007, 9:58:42 AM7/25/07
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Je 25 Jul 2007 07:50:17 GMT, "Evertjan."
<exjxw.ha...@interxnl.net> skribis:

I have thought that way for a long time! The world is divided into
monolinguals and multilinguals. I thought it was just me, but then I
started meeting other translators and interpreters, both online and at
my local association, who had observed the same thing.

It was great.

--
Steven M - spa...@hal-pc.orgwax.invalid

(remove wax and invalid to reply)

"It's a damned fool mind that can only think of one way to

Oliver Cromm

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Jul 25, 2007, 1:01:36 PM7/25/07
to
* Hans Aberg wrote:

Sure, and it is a serious omission should this fact not be discussed in
the original. Still, I think the meaning of the original may be
different: For bilinguals, they are often more fluent in one of the two
languages than in the other when it comes to certain topics or contexts.

I knew a Luxemburgian who had received her schooling mostly in French
when it comes to Maths and Sciences, but in German for manhy other
subjects. She could discuss literature more easily in German, but had to
fall back to French when counting.

I am not bilingual from childhood, but even I am at a loss for words
when discussing certain scientific topics in my mother tongue, because
nearly all I have read about them was in English.

--
The generation of random numbers is too important to be left to chance.
Robert R. Coveyou

Terence

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Jul 25, 2007, 2:59:28 PM7/25/07
to
cant...@lycos.com schrieb:

That's a good point. Even after 30 years in Germany, I have revert to my
native language to do mental arithmetic or memorize phone numbers.

Terence

mb

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Jul 25, 2007, 4:59:26 PM7/25/07
to
On Jul 25, 1:08 am, cantu...@lycos.com wrote:

...


> Now I remember:
>
> They say that even spies betray themselves by calculating in their
> native language.
> So "deep down" there would be only one....??

Not necessarily in "native language", whatever your definition of it;
but by all reports the language you learned elementary reckoning in
(to go by my own example, I do the counting mostly in the elementary
school language acquired after age 5, not one of the first; all
reports where the situation allows a judgment do check on that point).

> I cannot speak German anymore, but for instance to check the waiter's
> bill I have to use German.

Now that is even more of a wonder: German is [one of] your mother
tongue[s] but you cannot speak it anymore? How come?

Message has been deleted

Evertjan.

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Jul 25, 2007, 5:54:33 PM7/25/07
to
cant...@lycos.com wrote on 25 jul 2007 in sci.lang.translation:

> Evertjan wrote:
>> PERHAPS multilinguality could be defined as the ability to speak and/or
>> write more than one language without having to translate the sentence at
>> hand from another language AND being able to dream in those languages.
>
> I do not understand why you include dreaming.

Do you never dream in different languages?

Peter Twydell

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Jul 25, 2007, 6:48:53 PM7/25/07
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In message <Xns9978F390...@194.109.133.242>, Evertjan.
<exjxw.ha...@interxnl.net> writes

>cant...@lycos.com wrote on 25 jul 2007 in sci.lang.translation:
>> Evertjan wrote:
>>> PERHAPS multilinguality could be defined as the ability to speak and/or
>>> write more than one language without having to translate the sentence at
>>> hand from another language AND being able to dream in those languages.
>>
>> I do not understand why you include dreaming.
>
>Do you never dream in different languages?
>
I dream mainly in English, but occasionally in Dutch. It regularly think
in Dutch. Not sure if I dream in German, though. I know I once dreamed
in COBOL (at least I think I did), but that was an exception.

SWMBO has lived in the UK for 32 years, but still counts in Dutch. I
find it awkward, but not impossible, to do mental arithmetic in Dutch.

Conversations with bilingual English friends in NL are usually in
English, but the odd Dutch word appears when the speaker can't think of
the appropriate English word. Especially at the rugby clubhouse when the
Grolsch has been flowing.

I agree with the other posters' comments about the difference between
monolinguists and bi/multilinguists. Almost a separatespecies. I think
that living in another country (even California) for a time makes a
difference in that respect, especially if you speak the local language
with any fluency. Gives you other viewpoints on many aspects of life.
--
Peter

Ying tong iddle-i po!

cant...@lycos.com

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Jul 26, 2007, 3:15:22 AM7/26/07
to
On Jul 25, 11:51 am, "Leszek L." <lles...@iitis.gliwice.pl> wrote:
> Uzytkownik <cantu...@lycos.com> napisal w w

> >> Many years ago, it sent me chewing on the rug
>
> > what does it mean?
>
> Upset me. Made me fall down and bite the carpet in helpless,
> desperate fury.

Yes. I should have guessed.
>

> > What universe do you live in?
>
> I live in a small country that does not perceive its language,
> its institutions, or its legal system, as a universal structure
> underlying all thought both human and divine.

Yes, I think I know the country that you mean, but I do not
understand why you define it negatively ("a country which does
not...") as if you meant to set it apart from other countries in these
regards.

Élise Hendrick

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Jul 26, 2007, 3:18:02 AM7/26/07
to
cant...@lycos.com schrieb:
> [...] Even in the

>> languages I grew up speaking (German, Spanish, English),
>
> That is three. Are you using all three in everyday life? I have those
> three plus French, and I know I cannot maintain all four. So by now I
> can't anymore speak French (that I love and spoke as a kid) and German
> (that I grew up in), except by making an effort and sitting up
> straight and spelling things out by telling myself that this is a
> Dativ and that is a Mehrzahl.
>

I use them pretty regularly in my everday life. Spanish and English more
so than German lately, though I use German all the time in my work. I
find that some words spring to my mind more quickly in some languages
and others in others. Just yesterday, in a conversation with some people
at a café, an example made its appearance. "Yeah, and plus, now he's
just completely in...Bedrängnis". It took me a minute and a half to come
up with an English word that did a decent job of expressing it. I
imagine that I'm not the only bi/multilingual person to find that the
tendency of some languages to express certain things more precisely
sometimes biases my immediate-recall vocabulary.

Élise Hendrick

cant...@lycos.com

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Jul 26, 2007, 3:29:04 AM7/26/07
to
On Jul 25, 12:04 pm, phogl...@abo.fi wrote:
> On 25 heinä, 11:19, cantu...@lycos.com wrote:
>
>
> > What universe do you live in? All Bible interpretation and most
> > religious strife goes like that and has been going like that for 2000
> > years, and many people lost their head, not just figuratively.
>
> Nope. There is a difference between naive and learned Bible-
> interpretation. A learned interpretation of the Bible is based on an
> informed understanding of the original text, which has been written in
> Hebrew and Koine Greek. A naive interpretation of the Bible does not
> even take into account the fact of the original language of the Bible.

I know. But the power of the Bible comes from that "naive"
interpretation.


>
>
>
> > Recently I saw there is even a pretty name, "Hapax legomenon"" for a
> > word that occurs only once in all of the Bible so that the scholars
> > cannot fight each other with quotations.
>
> It is Greek and means something like "once said". (Disclaimer: I do
> not speak, read, write or understand much Greek, ancient or modern,
> beyond a couple of Classical phrases in Ancient Greek and a couple of
> tourist phrases in Modern Demotic Greek.) It does not refer to the
> Bible alone, but is a more widely used philological term - "hapax
> legomenon" is simply a word that is found only once in a particular
> text, text corpus, or a language.

Yes. I know.


Élise Hendrick

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Jul 26, 2007, 3:36:31 AM7/26/07
to
cant...@lycos.com schrieb:

> They say that even spies betray themselves by calculating in their
> native language.
> So "deep down" there would be only one....??
>
> I cannot speak German anymore, but for instance to check the waiter's
> bill I have to use German.

I imagine that swearing would be another example of that. In my case,
the language of both swearing and calculating/counting depends entirely
on my mood. Some days, I'll be inclined to mutter "Arschgesicht" when
someone almost runs me over whilst crossing the street, other times,
it's "huevón" that comes out. For me, anyway, the default language seems
to be determined more by emotional associations (if I am remembering
someone I was once in love with, it's always Spanish) than by subject
matter. For example, I'm equally inclined to discuss law in German,
Spanish, and English [or others, come to that]; which one I choose
depends on the company I'm in, or, if I'm alone, what I just read and/or
how I'm feeling.

Élise

cant...@lycos.com

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Jul 26, 2007, 3:38:48 AM7/26/07
to

How come?! Impossible to know. I am Swiss. My first language was
Swiss German, a dialect that differs very very much from High German
in all regards (grammar, vocabulary, phonetics). My town was
bilingual, so I also spoke French as a kid. I did my studies in High
German, but found English much more useful, and once I left the
university and went abroad, I never spoke German again.

Some time ago I had to call the Embassy. The conversation began like
this:

(I'll cut here, and continue in about 10 minutes)


Evertjan.

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Jul 26, 2007, 3:50:30 AM7/26/07
to
Peter Twydell wrote on 26 jul 2007 in sci.lang.translation:

> I dream mainly in English, but occasionally in Dutch. It regularly think
> in Dutch. Not sure if I dream in German, though. I know I once dreamed
> in COBOL (at least I think I did), but that was an exception.

I even once dreamed I dreamt in 1950 Singapore Chinese Pidgin English,
counting: tutti-wan, tutti-too, tutti-ti.

... and in my assembler days,
feverishly counting in binary zeros and ones
was a unrelenting nightmare.

cant...@lycos.com

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Jul 26, 2007, 4:00:11 AM7/26/07
to
On Jul 25, 10:59 pm, mb <azyth...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> On Jul 25, 1:08 am, cantu...@lycos.com wrote:
>
> ...
>
> > I cannot speak German anymore, but for instance to check the waiter's
> > bill I have to use German.
>
> Now that is even more of a wonder: German is [one of] your mother
> tongue[s] but you cannot speak it anymore? How come?

(continuation of message sent in 10 minutes ago:)

As I recall now, the Embassy called me.

¿Quiere hablar español o alemán?

Alemán. (I said so without thinking twice)

Guete Tag, me händ do vo Ihne es Schriibe übercho wo Sie säged dass
Sie Aschpruch händ uf a Revision vo de Schtürunterlage womer Ihne
gschickt händ und wo....

Sorry. Könnten Sie bitte Hochdeutsch sprechen? Ich verstehe nämlich
nicht...

Jo natürli, gerne. Entschuldigen Sie, bitte. Wir haben von Ihnen ein
Schreiben erhalten, wo Sie uns mitteilen, dass Sie auf eine Revisión
der Steuerunterlagen Anspruch ...

I am very very sorry. I understand, but I do not think I can answer in
German. Could we speak English...?

______________________

(I can write High German, probably without mistakes, but very very
slowly while looking for the safest way to get around the difficult
spots, exactly as a fairly advanced learner would do.)


cant...@lycos.com

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Jul 26, 2007, 4:02:55 AM7/26/07
to
On Jul 25, 11:54 pm, "Evertjan." <exjxw.hannivo...@interxnl.net>
wrote:

> cantu...@lycos.com wrote on 25 jul 2007 in sci.lang.translation:
>
> > Evertjan wrote:
> >> PERHAPS multilinguality could be defined as the ability to speak and/or
> >> write more than one language without having to translate the sentence at
> >> hand from another language AND being able to dream in those languages.
>
> > I do not understand why you include dreaming.
>
> Do you never dream in different languages?

No. I never remember my dreams for more than a second after I wake up,
and I think they are all soundless.

cant...@lycos.com

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Jul 26, 2007, 4:22:07 AM7/26/07
to
On Jul 26, 9:18 am, Élise Hendrick <erhendr...@cinci.rr.com> wrote:
> cantu...@lycos.com schrieb:

>
> > [...] Even in the
> >> languages I grew up speaking (German, Spanish, English),

> I use them pretty regularly in my everday life. Spanish and English more


> so than German lately, though I use German all the time in my work. I
> find that some words spring to my mind more quickly in some languages
> and others in others.

Of course. I live in Spain; at home we speak English. On my way to
the gestoría I'll get pan. I went to Marcadona, and at the caja there
was a señora who was trying to colarse ("buck"??? the line), so the
señorita at the caja had to call the encargado to settle the dispute.

> Just yesterday, in a conversation with some people
> at a café, an example made its appearance. "Yeah, and plus, now he's
> just completely in...Bedrängnis". It took me a minute and a half to come
> up with an English word that did a decent job of expressing it.

What word was it? I am asking because I think that in German words are
naturally much more dramatic than in English. It is wonderful to
watch American English frivolize every serious new word into yet
another joke. (I used to think that this would protect them against
ideologies of the rougher kind.)

> imagine that I'm not the only bi/multilingual person to find that the
> tendency of some languages to express certain things more precisely
> sometimes biases my immediate-recall vocabulary.

I thought that monolinguals tend to believe that things *are" one way
or another, whereas multilinguals believe that things *are called"
this or that.

A Spanish mother tells me that her kid "es muy vago". I ask her what
she means....


>
> Élise Hendrick


Leszek L.

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Jul 26, 2007, 4:47:34 AM7/26/07
to
Uzytkownik <cant...@lycos.com> napisal w wiadomosci
news:1185434122.9...@w3g2000hsg.googlegroups.com...

> On Jul 25, 11:51 am, "Leszek L." <lles...@iitis.gliwice.pl> wrote:

>> I live in a small country that does not perceive its language,
>> its institutions, or its legal system, as a universal structure
>> underlying all thought both human and divine.
>
> Yes, I think I know the country that you mean, but I do not
> understand why you define it negatively ("a country which does
> not...") as if you meant to set it apart from other countries in these
> regards.

Just apart from the mindset of the homegrown exegete whose
analysis of "prison" as opposed to "jail" I had been quoting.

To imagine that in Biblical times there would have been
a distinction between federal and state penitentiary is the kind
of error for which I would be hard put to find a Polish equivalent.

Which is not to say that we are immune to error as such.

Cheers,
L.

Élise Hendrick

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Jul 26, 2007, 4:50:03 AM7/26/07
to
cant...@lycos.com schrieb:

>> Just yesterday, in a conversation with some people
>> at a café, an example made its appearance. "Yeah, and plus, now he's
>> just completely in...Bedrängnis". It took me a minute and a half to come
>> up with an English word that did a decent job of expressing it.
>
> What word was it? I am asking because I think that in German words are
> naturally much more dramatic than in English. It is wonderful to
> watch American English frivolize every serious new word into yet
> another joke. (I used to think that this would protect them against
> ideologies of the rougher kind.)

I think what I ultimately came up with in English was something like "he
has his back against the wall". I wasn't terribly happy with it, but it
was the best that occurred to me spontaneously.
Élise

Leszek L.

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Jul 26, 2007, 4:53:24 AM7/26/07
to
Uzytkownik "Steven M (remove wax and invalid to reply)"
<spa...@hal-pcwax.org.invalid> napisal w wiadomosci
news:3klea3l901lbntib8...@4ax.com...

>>The strange way monolinguals think and communicate verbally is beond
>>comprehension to us multilinguals ["us" as I suppose is the norm in this
>>NG], like it is for the seeing to comprehend the visual imaging of the
>>permanently blind.
>
> I have thought that way for a long time! The world is divided into
> monolinguals and multilinguals. I thought it was just me, but then I
> started meeting other translators and interpreters, both online and at
> my local association, who had observed the same thing.

By "multilinguals" do you mean only those people who can
be considered native speakers of more than one language (grew
up that way, or moved to another country and acquired a second
language that, with time, became "native" to them)?

Or does it also include people who are fluent in one or more
foreign languages, but to whom those languages are still foreign?

Curiously yours,
L.


Leszek L.

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Jul 26, 2007, 4:59:56 AM7/26/07
to
Uzytkownik "Élise Hendrick" <erhen...@cinci.rr.com> napisal w wiadomosci
news:46a84efe$0$20596$4c36...@roadrunner.com...

> I imagine that swearing would be another example of that. In my case,

Partly for the fun of it and partly out of respect for my mother toungue
(and for my mother's ears), I once learned the names of some of the most
fiendish monstrosities of Nordic mythology and used them as swear words.
So I swore in Old Norse, a language I have otherwise never even thought
of learning.

Naglfar Angrboda Ginnunagap Ragnaroek!
(pardon my accent).

Cheers,
L.


phog...@abo.fi

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Jul 26, 2007, 8:05:52 AM7/26/07
to
On 26 heinä, 11:53, "Leszek L." <lles...@iitis.gliwice.pl> wrote:
> Uzytkownik "Steven M (remove wax and invalid to reply)"
> <spam...@hal-pcwax.org.invalid> napisal w wiadomoscinews:3klea3l901lbntib8...@4ax.com...

>
> >>The strange way monolinguals think and communicate verbally is beond
> >>comprehension to us multilinguals ["us" as I suppose is the norm in this
> >>NG], like it is for the seeing to comprehend the visual imaging of the
> >>permanently blind.
>
> > I have thought that way for a long time! The world is divided into
> > monolinguals and multilinguals. I thought it was just me, but then I
> > started meeting other translators and interpreters, both online and at
> > my local association, who had observed the same thing.
>
> By "multilinguals" do you mean only those people who can
> be considered native speakers of more than one language (grew
> up that way, or moved to another country and acquired a second
> language that, with time, became "native" to them)?
>
> Or does it also include people who are fluent in one or more
> foreign languages, but to whom those languages are still foreign?

I don't know about Steven, but personally, I would say that there is
no very sharp limit between those for whom the languages are acquired,
and those for whom they are native. The point is the frequency of
usage. By frequency of usage, you can become more proficient in an
acquired (I prefer not to say foreign) language.

Personally, I distinguish between "intimate languages" and "foreign
languages". The first ones are those which come to me naturally and
without a particular struggle. the second ones are those which still
feel like a straitjacket.

phog...@abo.fi

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Jul 26, 2007, 8:42:36 AM7/26/07
to
On 26 heinä, 11:59, "Leszek L." <lles...@iitis.gliwice.pl> wrote:
> Uzytkownik "Élise Hendrick" <erhendr...@cinci.rr.com> napisal w wiadomoscinews:46a84efe$0$20596$4c36...@roadrunner.com...

>
> > I imagine that swearing would be another example of that. In my case,
>
> Partly for the fun of it and partly out of respect for my mother toungue
> (and for my mother's ears), I once learned the names of some of the most
> fiendish monstrosities of Nordic mythology and used them as swear words.
> So I swore in Old Norse, a language I have otherwise never even thought
> of learning.
>
> Naglfar Angrboda Ginnunagap Ragnaroek!
> (pardon my accent).

Ár var alda
thá er ekki var
var-a sandur né saer
ne svalar unnir,
gap var Ginnunga
en gras hvergi.

Steven M (remove wax and invalid to reply)

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Jul 26, 2007, 10:28:05 AM7/26/07
to
Je Thu, 26 Jul 2007 01:00:11 -0700, cant...@lycos.com skribis:

>(continuation of message sent in 10 minutes ago:)
>
>As I recall now, the Embassy called me.
>
>¿Quiere hablar español o alemán?
>
>Alemán. (I said so without thinking twice)
>

<confusion>

>I am very very sorry. I understand, but I do not think I can answer in
>German. Could we speak English...?

I once lived next door to a fellow who was originally from Jupiter,
Florida (also the hometown of actor Burt Reynolds). He had what I
considered to be a very universal "American" accent, with no regional
distinctions that I knew of. Several years earlier, he had worked on
the training simulator for the F-16 fighter jet.

Once he went to England for a training assignment, to teach Royal Air
Force technicians how to maintain and update the simulator system.
The students came from every corner of the British Isles. In the
classroom, he was concerned about the very wide variety of accents,
and asked his students if they could understand him. Yes, he was
fine, they cheerfully told him.

Later, in the pub, they explained that they were very familiar with
American English through movies and TV shows. It was easier in some
cases for them to understand him than to understand their own
classmates.

At several points he found himself in the middle, interpreting English
to English. The tech on one side was from someplace in the outer
Hebrides while the other one was southern England. They did not
understand each other at all.

This has been a fascinating thread, BTW.


--
Steven M - spa...@hal-pc.orgwax.invalid

(remove wax and invalid to reply)

"It's a damned fool mind that can only think of one way to

Steven M (remove wax and invalid to reply)

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Jul 26, 2007, 10:33:28 AM7/26/07
to
Je Thu, 26 Jul 2007 10:53:24 +0200, "Leszek L."
<lle...@iitis.gliwice.pl> skribis:

I meant the former, the ones whose second language is nearly a first.

My experience with the latter is less consistent. They might reach a
level of understanding of what bilingualism is, and an appreciation of
cultural differences beyond the fact that "they use different words
than we do." On the other hand, they might be (a) convinced that the
world would be better off if the world just spoke English, or (b) smug
and superior because they have a skill that their coworkers don't.


--
Steven M - spa...@hal-pc.orgwax.invalid

(remove wax and invalid to reply)

"It's a damned fool mind that can only think of one way to

Steven M (remove wax and invalid to reply)

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Jul 26, 2007, 10:37:55 AM7/26/07
to
Je Wed, 25 Jul 2007 02:47:46 -0700, phog...@abo.fi skribis:

>An American conservative in Finland would be perceived as belonging to
>the neonazi-esque extreme Right.)

True. On the other hand, there are "conservatives" in the USA who
despise the current government. For them, conservatism means no
intrusion in foreign affairs, nor in personal lives, strict separation
of church and state, smaller government, balanced budgets, and I'm
sure I'm forgetting a few.

They might have more in common with a European "liberal", if I
understand that term correctly.

mb

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Jul 26, 2007, 11:10:18 AM7/26/07
to
On Jul 26, 1:00 am, cantu...@lycos.com wrote:

> Guete Tag, me händ do vo Ihne es Schriibe übercho wo Sie säged dass
> Sie Aschpruch händ uf a Revision vo de Schtürunterlage womer Ihne
> gschickt händ und wo....
>
> Sorry. Könnten Sie bitte Hochdeutsch sprechen? Ich verstehe nämlich
> nicht...

Das gsehn I auso o zm erschte Mal, nämli öpper wo ds Schwyzerdütsch
perfekt cha schrybe aber nit cha rede, das gits ja nit! Looks like you
are a compendium of exceptional behavior.

> (I can write High German, probably without mistakes, but very very

> slowly while looking for the safest way to get around ...

No surprise there; it's not part of the discussion. What I can't
explain is keeping the vernacular as a... written language.

phog...@abo.fi

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Jul 26, 2007, 11:23:34 AM7/26/07
to
On 26 heinä, 17:37, "Steven M (remove wax and invalid to reply)"
<spam...@hal-pcwax.org.invalid> wrote:
> Je Wed, 25 Jul 2007 02:47:46 -0700, phogl...@abo.fi skribis:

>
> >An American conservative in Finland would be perceived as belonging to
> >the neonazi-esque extreme Right.)
>
> True. On the other hand, there are "conservatives" in the USA who
> despise the current government. For them, conservatism means no
> intrusion in foreign affairs, nor in personal lives, strict separation
> of church and state, smaller government, balanced budgets, and I'm
> sure I'm forgetting a few.
>
> They might have more in common with a European "liberal", if I
> understand that term correctly.

I guess the correct term is "small-government conservative". - You
are right, but the situation is somewhat blurred by the fact that in
Europe, "liberalism" is simply mainstream, and if someone bothers to
call him- or herself a "liberal", he or she most probably belongs to
one of the libertarian sects imported from the United States.
Libertarians are so marginalized, though, that they tend to drift into
some of the anti-immigration nationalist groups - simply because the
right-wing loony sectarian scene is so small: they and other kinds of
fringe rightists are simply part of the same world, and their
attitudes tend to converge.

Loekie Ratelkous

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Jul 26, 2007, 11:33:01 AM7/26/07
to
Leszek L. schreef:

[...]

> To imagine that in Biblical times there would have been
> a distinction between federal and state penitentiary is the kind
> of error for which I would be hard put to find a Polish equivalent.
>
> Which is not to say that we are immune to error as such.

Every country is entitled to its own choice of error. Some have
chosen a dumb source of one-liners as president, some a raper, few
just have the previous head of state's offspring.
You have your twin brothers.


--
Loek

Leszek L.

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Jul 26, 2007, 12:28:44 PM7/26/07
to
Użytkownik "Loekie Ratelkous" <l...@12move.nl> napisał w wiadomości
news:46a8beab$0$735$3a62...@textreader.nntp.hccnet.nl...

> You have your twin brothers.

I thought it was groundbreaking: we're the first ever country
to have a backup copy of the president.

Cheers,
L.


Leszek L.

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Jul 26, 2007, 12:32:55 PM7/26/07
to
Uzytkownik <phog...@abo.fi> napisal w wiadomosci
news:1185453756.9...@q75g2000hsh.googlegroups.com...

> Ár var alda
> thá er ekki var
> var-a sandur né saer
> ne svalar unnir,
> gap var Ginnunga
> en gras hvergi.

Can somebody please tell me if I have just been insulted?

Cheers,
L.


Peter Twydell

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Jul 26, 2007, 2:05:35 PM7/26/07
to
In message <Xns99796476...@194.109.133.242>, Evertjan.
<exjxw.ha...@interxnl.net> writes

>Peter Twydell wrote on 26 jul 2007 in sci.lang.translation:
>
>> I dream mainly in English, but occasionally in Dutch. It regularly think
>> in Dutch. Not sure if I dream in German, though. I know I once dreamed
>> in COBOL (at least I think I did), but that was an exception.
>
>I even once dreamed I dreamt in 1950 Singapore Chinese Pidgin English,
>counting: tutti-wan, tutti-too, tutti-ti.
>
>... and in my assembler days,
>feverishly counting in binary zeros and ones
>was a unrelenting nightmare.
>
Never has a problem with assemblers while asleep, but the occasional
nightmare while awake. Especially when changing from one manufacturer's
assembler to another's where the operands were the other way round. Plus
changing from 8 bits and hex to 6 bits and octal.

Peter Twydell

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Jul 26, 2007, 2:15:25 PM7/26/07
to
In message <icbha3tkbeaus20g0...@4ax.com>, "Steven M
(remove wax and invalid to reply)" <spa...@hal-pcwax.org.invalid>
writes
BTDTGTTS

I used to have to translate for American colleagues who couldn't
understand certain Londoners we were working with. OTOH I have
encountered the occasional fellow countryman I couldn't understand. One
from Somerset (despite the fact I was living there at the time), one
Geordie (every other word began with F, so I understood those), and one
from the Isle of Lewis (in the Hebrides!).

This happens in many countries that have distinctive regional accents or
even dialects. How on earth the Belgians get on with three languages in
such a small place I'll never know. One even had the nerve to tell me
how horrible my Dutch accent was.

Einde O'Callaghan

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Jul 26, 2007, 2:55:27 PM7/26/07
to
Leszek L. schrieb:
Splutter, cough, cough - I nearly choked myself when I read that - a
good one.

Regards, Einde O'Callaghan

Dominic Bojarski

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Jul 26, 2007, 5:24:54 PM7/26/07
to
On Jul 26, 10:47 am, "Leszek L." <lles...@iitis.gliwice.pl> wrote:
> Uzytkownik <cantu...@lycos.com> napisal w wiadomoscinews:1185434122.9...@w3g2000hsg.googlegroups.com...

Not immune is putting it lightly. The American "biblical scholar" you
met would hardly be out of place in Poland. The only thing that would
be unusual is his linguistic chauvinism.

I've been living in Poland for the last five years, and have to say
that I am not very impressed at all by the level of religious
discourse here. There are a thousand Fr. Rydzyks and Monsignor
Jankowskis (or, as Robert Biedro put it so well, fascistic
nationalistic Catholics) for every Fr. Boniecki, Fr. Musia , Fr.
Obirek, Fr. Barto , or Fr. Prusak. Maybe more now, that Musia is
dead, and Obirek and Barto left the priesthood.

Bishop Pieronek and Archbishop yci ski are well right of center, yet
even so are practically isolated from the bulk of the Episcopate
because of their "leftist" views. Nevertheless, even they are unable
to carry out an effective dialog with anyone to the left of them (or
to the right of them, for that matter). Archbishops Michalik,
Goc owski, Nycz and Cardinal Dziwisz may share their views, but all of
them are decidedly lackluster. And to put it as nicely as I can, I've
seen more intellectually stimulating potatoes than Primate Glemp.
Quite honestly, there isn't a single bright star in the entire Polish
Catholic Episcopate. Nor is there anything on the horizon, either.

Don't forget that only recently, hyper-Catholic MEP Maciej Giertych
made a laughingstock of the country with his creationist and anti-
semitic outbursts. A month ago, for six whole days, if you typed
"Poland" into Google News, the first article to pop up was on "Tinky
Winky", courtesy of hyper-Catholic Children's Rights' Ombudman Ewa
Sowi ska.

Neither Giertych nor Sowi ska are even close to uneducated. Giertych
is an Oxford-educated Professor of dendrology for the Polish Academy
of Sciences, and Sowi ska is a physician with an impressive 30-year
career behind her.

But this is not surprising in Poland, where the President, who is a
Professor of Law, and his twin brother, the Premier, who is a Doctor
of Law, still haven't wrapped their minds around the legal basis of a
democratic society. Witness their positions on lustration, gay rights,
the environmental controversy surrounding the Rospuda Valley, and
church/state relations. Don't forget how their letter to the Polish
bishops during the presidential campaign even turned quite a few of
the bishops off.

I highly suspect that when it comes to sophisticated Polish
theologians and religious scholars, you will find that there are a lot
more FROM Poland than IN Poland. Most have departed for the west in
search of an environment in which they can freely pursue their
studies. The same goes for parish priests. Those with an open mind are
currently serving in parishes in the US, Canada, the UK, Germany, the
Netherlands and Belgium, sometimes in non-Roman Catholic churches.

I attended sixteen years of Catholic schools in the States, eight of
then with the Jesuits, so I was not prepared to find the intellectual
wasteland that is the Catholic church in Poland today. Sad to say, I
am less likely to hear the voice of Jesus from representatives of the
Polish church than the voice of Goebbels, even from the likes of
Bishop Pieronek.

Say what you may, but this is something that Pope John Paul II had to
explain when he finally met Jesus. To say that he doesn't share in the
responsibility for the situation is absurd. He has sufficient
authority and power to put an end to Rydzyk, Jankowski and their ilk,
just as he muzzled Charles Curran and Hans Kueng. That he chose not to
do so reflects very poorly on his legacy. You cannot dump all the
blame on Card. Ratzinger/ Pope Benedict XVI for this.

If you're talking about the Poland where Prof, Ryszard Bender, Dr.
Jerzy Robert Nowak, and Prof. Ryszard Antoni Legutko are considered
leading Catholic intellectuals, you must realize that they would all
be considered extreme right-wing nutcases in the west. I'm not
particularly impressed by Terlikowski and the folks at Fronda, either.
The folks at Tygodnik Powszechny, Wie and Znak can be interesting at
times, but they represent a decidedly tiny portion of Polish
Catholics, at least as far as I can tell. I wouldn't be surprised if
they are read by more non-Catholics than Catholics. Most Polish
Catholic publications are either pap or, like Nasz Dziennik,
neofascist drivel. Sad to say, Rydzyk has his finger on the pulse of
Polish Catholicism far more than Boniecki does.

All in all, Polish Catholicism is rather unsophisticated in comparison
to Catholicism in western countries. In fact, in terms of intellectual
output and development, it most resembles...... Protestant
fundamentalism in the US. In fact, the similarities are quite
striking. Granted, something like "Jesus Camp" couldn't happen in
Poland, nor could Jonestown or Waco (the Sisters of Bethany
notwithstanding). Also, the obsession with militarism is not there,
either. But short of that, the mentality and language of Polska B and
the American Bible belt overlap to a large extent.

Sorry to burst your bubble, Leszek, but in the eyes of most observers
from the west, the Polish Catholic church is hardly a beacon of
intellectual enlightenment. The Catholic University of Lublin, the
only Catholic university in Poland, has sunk from second shelf to
third shelf.

Compare that to the situation in the States, where the Jesuits alone
run 28 universities and colleges, and more than fifty secondary
schools, many of which are top shelf. Besides these, there are at
least 125 other Catholic universities and colleges. There are also 24
Catholic law schools, and 7 Catholic medical schools.

Don't forget also that the number of practicing Catholics in the US is
only about twice as much as that in Poland, 30 million vs. 15 million
practicing adults. Of course I'm aware of the historical, cultural and
financial reasons for that, but the state of Catholic education has
been plummeting since 1989, and not improving, as I would have
expected. The fact that hyper-Catholic Vice Premier Roman Giertych is
Minister of Education has had a decidedly negative impact on Polish
education as a whole.

Again, sorry to be brutally honest, Leszek, but that is the situation
as I see it from ground level. You seem convinced that actual
sophisticated religious scholarship is being conducted in Poland. I
have seen little evidence of that, in spite of the fact that I
consider myself very informed on the Catholic church in Poland,
certainly more informed than most Poles.

I'd like to think that there are oases of Catholic intellectual
activity outside of the contributors to Tygodnik Powszechny, Wi and
Znak, and a few isolated Jesuits and Dominicans. If you've found such
an environment that I don't know about, please let me know. I'm highly
interested.

Dominic Bojarski

Peter T. Daniels

unread,
Jul 26, 2007, 6:00:19 PM7/26/07
to
On Jul 26, 8:05 am, phogl...@abo.fi wrote:

> I don't know about Steven, but personally, I would say that there is
> no very sharp limit between those for whom the languages are acquired,
> and those for whom they are native.

The difference is between languages acquired by a child's LAD and
languages learned by an adult.

I don't care to have the argument _again_ from those who think there's
no difference.

> The point is the frequency of
> usage. By frequency of usage, you can become more proficient in an
> acquired (I prefer not to say foreign) language.

You can never become perfectly fluent in a language learned as an
adult.

Loekie Ratelkous

unread,
Jul 26, 2007, 6:04:25 PM7/26/07
to
Leszek L. schreef:
> U¿ytkownik "Loekie Ratelkous" <l...@12move.nl> napisa³ w wiadomo¶ci
> news:46a8beab$0$735$3a62...@textreader.nntp.hccnet.nl...
>
>> You have your twin brothers.
>
> I thought it was groundbreaking: we're the first ever country
> to have a backup copy of the president.

ROTFL...
BTW, not only of the president: your prime minister is covered as
well...

--
Loek

Loekie Ratelkous

unread,
Jul 26, 2007, 6:08:19 PM7/26/07
to
Steven M (remove wax and invalid to reply) schreef:

> Je Thu, 26 Jul 2007 01:00:11 -0700, cant...@lycos.com skribis:
>
>> (continuation of message sent in 10 minutes ago:)
>>
>> As I recall now, the Embassy called me.
>>
>> ¿Quiere hablar español o alemán?
>>
>> Alemán. (I said so without thinking twice)
>>
> <confusion>
>
>> I am very very sorry. I understand, but I do not think I can answer in
>> German. Could we speak English...?
>
> I once lived next door to a fellow who was originally from Jupiter,

He must have been of the third sex: men are from Mars, women from
Venus.

--
Loek

mb

unread,
Jul 27, 2007, 12:41:22 AM7/27/07
to
On Jul 26, 3:00 pm, "Peter T. Daniels"

> You can never become perfectly fluent in a language learned as an
> adult.

Confusing a couple of things: Of course you can, as long as the
"fluency" is in a bookish standard dialect, with no vernacular of your
own. What you cannot get (never say never, though, there are rare
cases) is perfect mastery of one identifiable non-standard oral
dialect. Repeating slogans doesn't always help.


phog...@abo.fi

unread,
Jul 27, 2007, 3:41:30 AM7/27/07
to

Peter T. Daniels wrote:
> On Jul 26, 8:05 am, phogl...@abo.fi wrote:
>
> > I don't know about Steven, but personally, I would say that there is
> > no very sharp limit between those for whom the languages are acquired,
> > and those for whom they are native.
>
> The difference is between languages acquired by a child's LAD and
> languages learned by an adult.
>
> I don't care to have the argument _again_ from those who think there's
> no difference.

I don't care to argue with you who think there's a sharp difference.

>
> > The point is the frequency of
> > usage. By frequency of usage, you can become more proficient in an
> > acquired (I prefer not to say foreign) language.
>
> You can never become perfectly fluent in a language learned as an
> adult.

You can easily become more fluent in a language learned as an adult
than in your native language, if you simply move into an environment
where you do not hear your first language at all. As an English-
speaker, you have obviously never been in a position to personally
experience just how rapidly your native language atrophies if you are
utterly cut out from any possibility to use it.

phog...@abo.fi

unread,
Jul 27, 2007, 3:43:48 AM7/27/07