[Theforum] Re: [Admin] Re: langs (was: 17320)

Bob Davis bobd at members.evolt.org
Tue Nov 13 08:19:14 CST 2001

At 7:05 AM +0000 11/13/01, you wrote:

>Madhu Menon wrote on 13/11/01 7:52 am
>>Agreed. German is spoken in many countries, including Germany and Austria.
>>French is spoken in France, Algeria, and Vietnam. Spanish is the official
>>language in 21 countries. English is... well, you get the idea.
>>Instead, we should simply list the language by its name, like "Español",
>>"Français", etc.
>And is that Quebecois Français, or Français as spoken in the Elysee
>And is that Español as spoken in Spain, or that spoken in the other
>20 countries?

My vote would be that we try to use "standard" language. The language 
that one would find in text books, the literature that is part of the 
linguistic culture, etc. In German, that's pretty simple to 
determine. Austrian German and "German German" are pretty different - 
there are villages in Austria where it's damn near impossible to 
understand folks - and Swiss German is even worse. However, they all 
understand formal, written German.

>And does it matter? Are they different enough to be significant?

In the above cited cases, they are significantly different in spoken 
form, but there's the formal German that is taught the same pretty 
much everywhere (don't know about Namibia though...large German 
speaking population there). As for some of the variants of German 
(such as Amish, in particular), I don't think we'll need to worry so 
much about them.

>But I don't have enough Spanish or French to know if
>that's the case there.

According to Heather (who speaks Spanish fluently), an article would 
be understood throughout the Spanish speaking world if it were 
written in "standard Spanish", which, in Spain, would be Castillian 
(sp?). This assumes some education (which would be  a save 
assumption, I think).

Pretty much, I think as long as we stay away from localized slang (we 
have this problem in English too, remember?) and patois, we should be 


bob davis
bobd at members.evolt.org

More information about the theforum mailing list