Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 22nd Jan 2016 14:04 UTC
In the News

This week, the French government announced a plan to standardize the French-language computer keyboard, as part of an effort to help protect and nurture the language. The ministry of culture and communication says it's "nearly impossible to correctly write French" on keyboards sold in the country today, meaning that the language's strict grammatical rules are being flouted more regularly. The ministry has partnered with a standardization group to develop a new keyboard norm, which will be presented for public feedback this summer.

To many monolingual people - especially those in English-speaking countries - the idea of a keyboard layout influencing a language as a whole often seems insane. It happens, though, and it's very real - I talked about this before, but for Dutch. Modern technology really is changing language in multiple ways all over the place. This really isn't up for debate.

The question, however, is not if technology can change language; no, the real question is whether or not you should care. I personally believe that no, you should not. Language has always been ever-changing, is ever-changing, and always will be ever-changing. The idea that one particular set of rules for English, French, or Dutch from a very particular area and from a very particular timeframe is somehow more or less correct is not only wrong, it's downright insulting.

Much like other aspects of culture, language is often used as a means to discriminate, insult, or ridicule. A great - and sad - example of this is African American Vernacular English, which was often seen as dumb, stupid, and incorrect, reflecting the perceived social position of African-Americans in American society and emphasizing stereotypes about African-Americans. However, when linguists actually started studying AAVE, they found out it was incredibly rich in grammatical rules and constructs that are very different from regular English, but not dumber or less complex.

Coincidentally, AAVE sounds beautiful. It flows really well.

The point being, the idea that you somehow need to "protect" language is kind of silly. Stopping a language from changing - which is exactly what "protecting language" means - is like trying to make it stop raining. If you start to try and stop a language from changing, basically all you're doing is trying to create an ever-widening rift between written language and spoken language, up to a point where the written word deviates so much from the spoken word it starts to get troublesome.

There's nothing wrong with wanting a standardised French keyboard - even if only for something as important as accessibility - but it's not going to stop the French language from changing, being influenced, and modernising itself.

Order by: Score:
How about...
by darknexus on Fri 22nd Jan 2016 14:12 UTC
darknexus
Member since:
2008-07-15

France needs a new keyboard layout because the old one is just a pain to actually type French on? That's a better reason.

Reply Score: 9

RE: How about...
by dnebdal on Fri 22nd Jan 2016 14:36 UTC in reply to "How about..."
dnebdal Member since:
2008-08-27

France needs a new keyboard layout because the old one is just a pain to actually type French on? That's a better reason.


That seems to be a part of it - making accented characters easier to type and the like.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: How about...
by Kochise on Fri 22nd Jan 2016 15:25 UTC in reply to "RE: How about..."
Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

The worst of french 'azerty' keyboards ?

1- The ultra-common period '.' is hidden behind a Shift combination !
2- Try coding in C with it : '#', '|', '{}' and '[]' are hidden behind Alt-Gr combinations !
3- Upper-case accented characters are considered dead-keys !
4- Alt+xxxx cheat sheet is obligatory

Freaking stupid :/ The useless politicians should consider simplify the french language instead to borrow and nationalize foreign words, then switch to Dvorak keyboard :

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dvorak_Simplified_Keyboard

Bonus :

https://twitter.com/unserkaiser/status/678986537544114177/photo/1

http://www.hackertyper.com/

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: How about...
by Vanders on Fri 22nd Jan 2016 15:33 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: How about..."
Vanders Member since:
2005-07-06

Sounds like Apple used the AZERTY keyboard as inspiration for their utterly useless version of a "GB" keyboard.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: How about...
by darknexus on Fri 22nd Jan 2016 15:48 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: How about..."
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

** Deleted. Misread original comment.

Edited 2016-01-22 15:49 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: How about...
by henderson101 on Mon 25th Jan 2016 13:11 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: How about..."
henderson101 Member since:
2006-05-30

No, the Apple UK Keyboard layout is basically the US one with the # replaced by £.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: How about...
by Alfman on Fri 22nd Jan 2016 15:37 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: How about..."
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Kochise,

1- The ultra-common period '.' is hidden behind a Shift combination !
2- Try coding in C with it : '#', '|', '{}' and '[]' are hidden behind Alt-Gr combinations !
3- Upper-case accented characters are considered dead-keys !
4- Alt+xxxx cheat sheet is obligatory


To late to upvote, but yeah...I have a heck of a time trying to do some administration via SSH on foreign keyboards.

It would interesting to know how technology and computer languages would be different if they were developed somewhere other than the US.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: How about...
by xdev on Sun 24th Jan 2016 06:01 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: How about..."
xdev Member since:
2005-11-11


It would interesting to know how [...] computer languages would be different if they were developed somewhere other than the US.


They'd still (*) use BEGIN and END rather than curly braces and have alternatives for array indici: "array(. index .)". (**) They'd also have sane bounds checking. Other than that, they'd probably quite similar to what we know. Unless Germany had won the war, in which case we'd likely code in a descendent of Zuse's "Plankalkül" (and this forum would be in German).

(*) Today's languages are more or less descendents of Algol 60, which iirc used BEGIN and END; the curly braces came along when BCPL was developed into B by Thompson and Ritchie, who had easy access to the curly braces on their keyboards.

(**) during the 7-bit character ages, [\] and {|} were replaced with ÄÖÜ and äöü in German speaking areas, which includes Switzerland with its ETH, where a lot of early language development took place.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: How about...
by Alfman on Sun 24th Jan 2016 12:27 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: How about..."
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

xdev,

Today's languages are more or less descendents of Algol 60, which iirc used BEGIN and END; the curly braces came along when BCPL was developed into B by Thompson and Ritchie, who had easy access to the curly braces on their keyboards.

(**) during the 7-bit character ages, [\] and {|} were replaced with ÄÖÜ and äöü in German speaking areas, which includes Switzerland with its ETH, where a lot of early language development took place.



Old languages have rarely used alternate syntax for the benefit of those whose locale lacked certain symbols.

http://www.digplanet.com/wiki/Digraphs_and_trigraphs

I encountered these once in my career and had no idea what they meant since I hadn't seen or read about them until then. Unexpected features can cause some tricky bugs...

http://www.gotw.ca/gotw/086.htm

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: How about...
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Mon 25th Jan 2016 14:41 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: How about..."
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Thirded. I used to work in a facility where keyboards were often moved from station to station depending on the shift and what language each used primarily. And some of them were very similar other than the layout. I often wouldn't realize I had the Brazilian one until I had a couple bad password attempts ...

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: How about...
by ebasconp on Fri 22nd Jan 2016 18:54 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: How about..."
ebasconp Member since:
2006-05-09


2- Try coding in C with it : '#', '|', '{}' and '[]' are hidden behind Alt-Gr combinations !
3- Upper-case accented characters are considered dead-keys !


The same two things occur in a Spanish keyboard, but you get used to work on it. Actually, finding the programming symbols in an English keyboard (though they are evidently right there) is annoying for me. It is just a question of getting used to.

In a Spanish keyboard, all the diacritic marks are dead keys; you first press the diacritic mark and later the vowel. This idea comes from old typewriters where the diacritic mark keys were dead too, I think because implementing it in that way was easier (and more practical) than providing a key for each accented character.

Edited 2016-01-22 18:59 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: How about...
by darknexus on Fri 22nd Jan 2016 19:05 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: How about..."
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

The same two things occur in a Spanish keyboard, but you get used to work on it.

Not quite. Were all the diacritical marks dead keys, it would be simpler. However, if memory serves from when I last used a French keyboard, some of the lowercase accented characters are not dead keys where as the same key, with shift, is then a dead key resulting in having to do extra key presses to get the uppercase of some accented letters. It was confusing as hell.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: How about...
by ebasconp on Fri 22nd Jan 2016 19:07 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: How about..."
ebasconp Member since:
2006-05-09

Ohhh, I see.

Then you are right.

In Spanish keyboard all diacritic marks are dead keys, that is more consistent.

Thanks by teaching me that! ;)

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: How about...
by Carewolf on Fri 22nd Jan 2016 22:03 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: How about..."
Carewolf Member since:
2005-09-08


2- Try coding in C with it : '#', '|', '{}' and '[]' are hidden behind Alt-Gr combinations !

The same applies to many keyboards, including Danish. It is not a big deal. First of all it is not hard to type, and if you spend most of your time typing when you are programing you ARE doing it wrong.

I prefer a keyboard like that over a US keyboard, simply to have access to all the accents and AltGr symbols directly, which makes it trivial to write names and short text in any latin based language when you need to (which is what the Frençh layout is apparently missing).

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: How about...
by japh on Sat 23rd Jan 2016 14:14 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: How about..."
japh Member since:
2005-11-11

The same applies to many keyboards, including Danish. It is not a big deal.


It might not be a big deal, but for me (Swedish), I always switch over to a US keyboard when writing code or doing Linux command-line stuff. Those things were developed with (and for) a US keymap, and it shows.

I can code with a Swedish keymap as well, but it does slow me down. So why do it? Most writing I do (developing, writing documentation, communicating) is done in english, so for the rare cases where I use something else, I just switch the keyboard to Swedish layout.

I also experiemnted with using a modified US keymap with the Swedish characters on alt-gr combinations instead. Took a while to get used to, but was in the end less of a hassle than trying to code in a non-US keymap.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: How about...
by Carewolf on Sun 24th Jan 2016 04:21 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: How about..."
Carewolf Member since:
2005-09-08

So how do you type ( and ) on a US keyboard? The funny thing is that shift+7-9 is a lot more difficult than AltGr+7-9 (stretching a hand to its extreme, as opposed to just moving your thumb from space to right alt), and parenthesis are a lot more common in almost all programming languages. I really don't get the noise about brackets.

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: How about...
by jal_ on Mon 25th Jan 2016 11:30 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: How about..."
jal_ Member since:
2006-11-02

So how do you type ( and ) on a US keyboard? The funny thing is that shift+7-9 is a lot more difficult than AltGr+7-9 (stretching a hand to its extreme, as opposed to just moving your thumb from space to right alt), and parenthesis are a lot more common in almost all programming languages. I really don't get the noise about brackets.

Well, there's the right shift key, you know. I'm not sure about what baby hands you have, but pressing right shift key + 9 or 0 (where the parenthesis are, not on 7 or 8) doesn't even begin to stretch my hand. Also, you can also press the left shift with your pinky finger, then press 9 or 0 with a finger on your other hand...

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: How about...
by Paedda on Sat 23rd Jan 2016 22:46 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: How about..."
Paedda Member since:
2015-02-04


The same applies to many keyboards, including Danish. It is not a big deal. First of all it is not hard to type, and if you spend most of your time typing when you are programing you ARE doing it wrong.


Well, the curly braces {} sitting on AltGr+7/0 on the German keyboard led me to learn the Neo keyboard layout (somewhat similar to the french Bépo in the article). Utterly annoying to type those braces in LaTeX, where you need them all the time, even more than in C-type programming languages.

Never looked back. In hindsight, it would have sufficed to just map a second AltGr to the useless Caps Lock key... Neo has many additional advantages, however.

Reply Score: 1

RE: How about...
by MrHood on Fri 22nd Jan 2016 16:31 UTC in reply to "How about..."
MrHood Member since:
2014-12-02

"France needs a new keyboard layout because the old one is just a pain to actually type French on? That's a better reason."



^ This.

Giving "traditional" French speakers (typers?) the right keyboard does not make neologists less able to "progress the language".

This is true of many other languages, though. Each one is a cultural heritage which shall expand and evolve in any case, but it's good to preserve in any form nonetheless, be it traditionalist or modern.

Edited 2016-01-22 16:32 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: How about...
by bassbeast on Sun 24th Jan 2016 17:13 UTC in reply to "How about..."
bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

I wonder how come they just don't take a cue from laptops and have a dedicated function key?

I always thought that was the smarter way to do things anyway, no point in having 2 "Windows" keys so simply replace the left one with a dedicated function key. This essentially doubles the number of letters as you have the regular layout and then the layout+function and since the left Windows key is easy to pop with your left pinkie? Its butt simple to use.

So unless French requires more than the 108 keys on a standard keyboard it would seem to me to be a no brainer.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: How about...
by TasnuArakun on Sun 24th Jan 2016 18:21 UTC in reply to "RE: How about..."
TasnuArakun Member since:
2009-05-24

We need the space-cadet keyboard back with its seven modifier keys: control, meta, super, hyper, shift, top and front. I know I'd make great use of it.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space-cadet_keyboard

Reply Score: 1

If only...
by dionicio on Mon 25th Jan 2016 21:30 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: How about..."
dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

All of my youth dreaming with a bright, yellow, tennis ball. Typing and macro-typing just a matter of shaking and twisting it.

Now with penny accelerometers and gyroscopes could be just a breeze. But We have Siri.

Reply Score: 1

Accentuating...
by dionicio on Mon 25th Jan 2016 21:36 UTC in reply to "If only..."
dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

Would be just a matter of squishing it ;)

Reply Score: 1

African American
by darknexus on Fri 22nd Jan 2016 14:16 UTC
darknexus
Member since:
2008-07-15

Coincidentally, AAVE sounds beautiful. It flows really well.

That very much depends. Much like American dialects in general, there are many regional variations on AV. Many of them do not flow well and are, in fact, near incomprehensible to those outside the region where said vernacular is spoken until you have some serious exposure to them. Stereotyping is another issue, and has far more to do with the media these days than anything else in our country.

Reply Score: 2

RE: African American
by shotsman on Fri 22nd Jan 2016 19:54 UTC in reply to "African American"
shotsman Member since:
2005-07-22

Can I hasa Glasga keybd?

The hardest dialect I have ever come across is Glaswegian especially those from the East End.
They deserve their own keboard. Standard Englist is far too limiting.

Reply Score: 2

Very welcome move.
by benoitb on Fri 22nd Jan 2016 14:38 UTC
benoitb
Member since:
2010-06-29

I'm French and I welcome that initiative. It is frustrating not to be able to type your own language on a keyboard layout that is supposed to be made for you.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Very welcome move.
by darknexus on Fri 22nd Jan 2016 14:46 UTC in reply to "Very welcome move."
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

I'm French and I welcome that initiative. It is frustrating not to be able to type your own language on a keyboard layout that is supposed to be made for you.

You might try the Canadian French layout. It's still not perfect, however I do find it easier to work with than the standard French one.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Very welcome move.
by Earl C Pottinger on Sat 23rd Jan 2016 21:54 UTC in reply to "RE: Very welcome move."
Earl C Pottinger Member since:
2008-07-12

I just used Google to look at the two layouts.

While I am Canadian I don't use the French language and even I can see the French design would be harder to use than the Canadian one.

France really does need a new design for it's keyboard.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Very welcome move.
by ebasconp on Fri 22nd Jan 2016 19:11 UTC in reply to "Very welcome move."
ebasconp Member since:
2006-05-09

I am a Spanish speaker, and actually I would prefer having an English QWERTY keyboard without the modifications on the layout that my language needs, that having a keyboard with a completely different layout that would render my typing efficacy useless when using it.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Very welcome move.
by Delgarde on Sun 24th Jan 2016 08:26 UTC in reply to "RE: Very welcome move."
Delgarde Member since:
2008-08-19

I am a Spanish speaker, and actually I would prefer having an English QWERTY keyboard without the modifications on the layout that my language needs, that having a keyboard with a completely different layout that would render my typing efficacy useless when using it.


Although a native speaker only of English myself, I do find myself typing in various other European languages from time to time (mostly place names; I travel a lot), and I've found that I can type all the necessary accented characters quite happily on a standard QWERTY layout, using nothing more than a compose key. Apart from an initial period of learning the necessary combinations for a new language, it's no slower for me than typing English text.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Very welcome move.
by ThomasFuhringer on Mon 25th Jan 2016 12:36 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Very welcome move."
ThomasFuhringer Member since:
2007-01-25

I so much wish there was a standard convention of using a compose key across different OSs.

Reply Score: 2

Seems sensible
by theosib on Fri 22nd Jan 2016 15:08 UTC
theosib
Member since:
2006-03-02

The French have always seemed afraid to borrow words from other languages and have this unnecessary fear of their language eroding. Instead of using “byte” and “computer” like everyone else, they use “octet” and “ordinateur.” Why doesn’t it bother the Germans and Japanese to borrow from English or other languages?

But as for the keyboard, it’s always useful to try to optimize your computing resources for the language that you’re using, so there’s no reason they shouldn’t try to develop an improved keyboard layout.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Seems sensible
by darknexus on Fri 22nd Jan 2016 15:17 UTC in reply to "Seems sensible"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

The French have always seemed afraid to borrow words from other languages and have this unnecessary fear of their language eroding

It's not just the French. Some Icelanders share this trait as well, and probably many others of which I'm unaware.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Seems sensible
by Alfman on Fri 22nd Jan 2016 15:27 UTC in reply to "Seems sensible"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

theosib,

The French have always seemed afraid to borrow words from other languages and have this unnecessary fear of their language eroding.


Well, the Québécois are a prime example of what happens when French-speaking people are allowed to borrow words from other languages, for better or worse. Pronouncing English words in a French Canadian accent always seems kind of funny to me!

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Seems sensible
by Earl C Pottinger on Sat 23rd Jan 2016 22:03 UTC in reply to "RE: Seems sensible"
Earl C Pottinger Member since:
2008-07-12

The funny thing is English has not become non-English because it has grab words from all over the world.

In a normal day if I pay attention I will hear words using in every day speech that the original came from half way round the world.

French would still be French if they used loan words for other languages.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Seems sensible
by XtoF on Fri 22nd Jan 2016 15:35 UTC in reply to "Seems sensible"
XtoF Member since:
2015-01-24

The French have always seemed afraid to borrow words from other languages and have this unnecessary fear of their language eroding. Instead of using “byte” and “computer” like everyone else, they use “octet” and “ordinateur.”


Actually, "octet" is the word that even native English-speaking people should use instead of "byte":
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Octet_%28computing%29
😉

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Seems sensible
by Veto on Fri 22nd Jan 2016 16:32 UTC in reply to "RE: Seems sensible"
Veto Member since:
2010-11-13

No!

That might have made sense at a point in time.
However byte (B) is now the internationally standardized unit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEC_80000-13

So like the Americans should adopt the metric system, the French should use "byte". However we all well know neither is going to happen until hell freezes over ;-)

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Seems sensible
by Treza on Fri 22nd Jan 2016 20:41 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Seems sensible"
Treza Member since:
2006-01-11

Byte/bit is still an endless source of confusion, particularly in languages where "Y" is pronounced as "I"

Reply Score: 2

RE: Seems sensible
by Lobotomik on Fri 22nd Jan 2016 17:16 UTC in reply to "Seems sensible"
Lobotomik Member since:
2006-01-03

Euro-Spanish also uses "Ordenador" for computer. American-Spanish, on the other hand, always uses "Computadora", AFAIK. Two different words, and in two different genders! To a Spaniard, "Computadora" sounds like quaint sci-fi. I wonder how "Ordenador" sounds to latin-americans.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Seems sensible
by ebasconp on Fri 22nd Jan 2016 19:15 UTC in reply to "RE: Seems sensible"
ebasconp Member since:
2006-05-09

Sounds really silly.

Actually I think (South American Spanish speaker) that the words "computador" or "computadora" refer to a machine that can compute things (which is what an actual computer is) and they are more accurate than "ordenador" (a machine that sorts things).

Edited 2016-01-22 19:16 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Un ordenador en LA...
by dionicio on Fri 22nd Jan 2016 21:18 UTC in reply to "RE: Seems sensible"
dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

Easy Lobotomik: Sounds like an uncluttering professional ;)

Reply Score: 1

Popular imaginarium...
by dionicio on Mon 25th Jan 2016 20:45 UTC in reply to "RE: Seems sensible"
dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

Latin America quite never saw those old IBM 'ordinateours', not precisely computers.

Reply Score: 1

According to our beloved Le Wikipédia...
by dionicio on Mon 25th Jan 2016 20:57 UTC in reply to "RE: Seems sensible"
dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

"Le mot « ordinateur » fut introduit par IBM France en 1955 après que François Girard, alors responsable du service publicité de l'entreprise, eut l'idée de consulter son ancien professeur de lettres à Paris, Jacques Perret, lui demandant de proposer un « nom français pour sa nouvelle machine électronique destinée au traitement de l'information (IBM 650), en évitant d'utiliser la traduction littérale du mot anglais "computer" ("calculateur" ou "calculatrice"), qui était à cette époque plutôt réservé aux machines scientifiques »6."

But there are prior 'mot' usage.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Seems sensible
by lucas_maximus on Fri 22nd Jan 2016 19:52 UTC in reply to "Seems sensible"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

The Japanese have an entire different alphabet for foreign words called Katakana.

It more about the French being French than anything else.

The entire existence of the Tour de France is just to show France off to the rest of the world. The Bicycle race part is almost a sideshow.

Edited 2016-01-22 19:52 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Seems sensible
by Kochise on Sat 23rd Jan 2016 08:28 UTC in reply to "RE: Seems sensible"
Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

Because you think we have something more to show off our country, beside Paris, the Eiffel tower, some technologies (the TGV and Concorde) and some weaponry ?

Our healthcare system is plagued with chronic diseases like institutionalized deficit, and our leadership and politicians all comes from a thin selected high-society that are self-sustaining themselves on citizens' votes and taxes, making a rather miserable daily show on tv and the press.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Seems sensible
by lucas_maximus on Sat 23rd Jan 2016 09:12 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Seems sensible"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

Chill out.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Seems sensible
by Treza on Sun 24th Jan 2016 16:16 UTC in reply to "RE: Seems sensible"
Treza Member since:
2006-01-11

The entire existence of the Tour de France is just to show France off to the rest of the world. The Bicycle race part is almost a sideshow.


Which is quite an achievement for a race created more than 100 years ago by a french-only sports newspaper.

And TdF now often goes through neighbouring countries, as Belgium or Great Britain.

I don't care about the race either, but am quite impressed by the organisation (closing hudreds of kilometers of public roads) and the helicopter camera footage.
Far more fun than car races where they make endless rounds on 5km circuits.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Seems sensible
by Soulbender on Mon 25th Jan 2016 12:02 UTC in reply to "RE: Seems sensible"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

The entire existence of the Tour de France is just to show France off to the rest of the world.


So...pretty much like any sporting event then?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Seems sensible
by Megol on Sun 24th Jan 2016 13:10 UTC in reply to "Seems sensible"
Megol Member since:
2011-04-11

The French have always seemed afraid to borrow words from other languages and have this unnecessary fear of their language eroding. Instead of using “byte” and “computer” like everyone else, they use “octet” and “ordinateur.” Why doesn’t it bother the Germans and Japanese to borrow from English or other languages?


Octet is more correct as byte actually doesn't mean 8 bits - there _still_ are computers running today with bytes of different sizes. Here there have been a shift _from_ octet to byte in other languages that the French evidently didn't think necessary (rightly according to me).
Ordinateur it IMHO a good choice to shortly describe the workings of a modern (programmable) computer - it emphasizes how a computer work with a central controller.

Germany have only shifted to using computer in the late 90s with the term rechner used before. Note that the terms rechner and computer derive from the same usage (calculations) so changing it doesn't make any sense except for anglophiles.

In Sweden the terms shifted from "kalkylator" to "dator" - a machine that handles data. Why not change English to use that instead, it is shorter and a better description than computer?

Many changes are made from laziness to learn the language, not from necessity nor clarity.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Seems sensible
by Treza on Sun 24th Jan 2016 15:58 UTC in reply to "RE: Seems sensible"
Treza Member since:
2006-01-11

And octet is still used in networking. For example the Ethernet standard (802.3)

And there is the obvious phonetic resemblance of byte with two related french words, with a "i" and one or two "t".

Edited 2016-01-24 16:02 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Seems sensible
by PCMartin on Sun 24th Jan 2016 16:31 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Seems sensible"
PCMartin Member since:
2010-09-24

And there is the obvious phonetic resemblance of byte with two related french words, with a "i" and one or two "t".


Well, as the French say, « Si à la Saint-Valentin elle te serre la main, vivement la Sainte-Marguerite ! »

Reply Score: 1

Comment by sb56637
by sb56637 on Fri 22nd Jan 2016 15:23 UTC
sb56637
Member since:
2006-05-11

So true about the futility of efforts to "protect" languages from changing. I've even seen native languages that are being destroyed because of well-meaning efforts by the government to protect the "purity" of the language. To achieve this goal, they usually try to teach children how to say modern concepts in an unnatural and "pure" way, whereas adult native speakers of the language simply mix in words from the other big European languages if an equivalent doesn't exist in the native one. It works just fine until somebody steps in and tries to force a puristic viewpoint and define "correct" grammatical rules for languages that frankly never really cared about grammar.

All living languages evolve with time. Even the major languages like English and Japanese heavily borrow words from other languages, and even so they continue to flourish and are obviously not in risk of extinction.

Edited 2016-01-22 15:25 UTC

Reply Score: 5

Prescriptivism
by chithanh on Fri 22nd Jan 2016 23:17 UTC in reply to "Comment by sb56637"
chithanh Member since:
2006-06-18

In linguistics, the view that certain variants of language use are better than others is called prescriptivism.

The French kind is the worst, as it combines conservative prescriptivism (ie. trying to stop the development of the language) with neologisms for English words that have no counterpart in french.

And they even hand out punishment to e.g. radio stations who dare to muck up against this.

I've even seen native languages that are being destroyed because of well-meaning efforts by the government to protect the "purity" of the language.

This couldn't be more true. In the end, the language will be well-preserved but no longer useful.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by sb56637
by Delgarde on Sun 24th Jan 2016 08:33 UTC in reply to "Comment by sb56637"
Delgarde Member since:
2008-08-19

All living languages evolve with time. Even the major languages like English and Japanese heavily borrow words from other languages, and even so they continue to flourish and are obviously not in risk of extinction.


They more than "borrow heavily"... English is pretty much nothing but borrowed words, on top of a grammar that's almost as much of a mongrel. It's a mess... and yet, it works.

Reply Score: 2

English as an assemble...
by dionicio on Sun 24th Jan 2016 19:24 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by sb56637"
dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

Certainly. And has come to be the Latin of XXI century. Which could be programming language equivalent?

Reply Score: 1

multilingual view
by Yossarian on Fri 22nd Jan 2016 15:27 UTC
Yossarian
Member since:
2008-11-14

Not French but living in France, so I may be biased, but the current French keyboard is a PITA. It just has too many differences from the Qwerty, including the need of pressing caps to type numbers (!).

Personally I respect written French (and Spanish and Italian) rules using US international, which is well more convenient if you're a developer: localized keyboards tend to have really painful locations for various common symbols, when not completely unavailable: @, #, $, <>, {}, []...

Reply Score: 2

RE: multilingual view
by dionicio on Sun 24th Jan 2016 20:12 UTC in reply to "multilingual view"
dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

Think you have the right approach, Yossarian. If I have to re-learn a new location for common characters among Western European layouts [specially parenthesis, punctuation and the most repetitive programming chars], will desist.

If well Latin American located, had to desist on using that layout, using International Spanish instead. 3 layouts resulted too much to endure.

Layouts in Technology predate on one of the main seller baits of all time: habits.

Reply Score: 1

How about just letting the language evolve?
by sj87 on Fri 22nd Jan 2016 15:30 UTC
sj87
Member since:
2007-12-16

If the language is too complex to be written comfortably on a keyboard, then it's a strong hint they should simplify it. But this is just an opinion from someone whose native language doesn't use accents at all and only extends the ascii table by a couple characters.

Languages are bound to converge back together after some time, anyways, that's quite inevitable given the modern ways of communication.

Reply Score: 2

No it isnt Member since:
2005-11-14

It's a dumb idea. Language evolves naturally, but if it's due to a technological constraint, then just change the technology. It's not as if today's keyboards are the pinnacle of input design. They're a 19th century invention, and most attempts at improving them have just changed the order of the keys around.

But that's not the reason why it's a dumb idea: Written language acts as cultural memory. The French can read French literature from hundreds of years back, without huge problems. If you start changing the written language, it becomes more difficult. To me, as a Norwegian, late 19th century Norwegian seems as quaint as Shakespearean English. Going back further, it's Danish. Still possible to read, but I generally don't. I prefer today's language to writing Danish, but the quick evolution of our language makes our history incredibly short.

Reply Score: 4

darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

It's not as if today's keyboards are the pinnacle of input design. They're a 19th century invention, and most attempts at improving them have just changed the order of the keys around.

True, however I suspect that this stems from the fact that, so far, these keyboards have proven themselves to be the most adaptable to various situations. We have other input methods for specific use-cases such as chorded entry for real-time transcription, or on-screen handwriting for non-alphabetic writing systems such as those used by Chinese and Japanese. Nevertheless, the current keyboard itself has proven to be able to be the jack of all trades, even though it is obviously the master of none of them. I'm sure there's something better we could come up with that's just as adaptable, but I've never been able to come even close to dreaming up what it might be.

Reply Score: 2

tidux Member since:
2011-08-13

It turns out that there's no way to comfortably write in an alphabet with a quarter million distinct characters on something with as few keys as a laptop keyboard no matter what you do. Pinyin is on the rise even among native Chinese speakers because it's just easier to input, much like T9's limitations prompted shorthand in English a decade ago. I suspect that a century from now the remaining ideographic writing systems will be of purely historical interest.

Reply Score: 3

jal_ Member since:
2006-11-02

Written language acts as cultural memory. The French can read French literature from hundreds of years back, without huge problems. (...) as quaint as Shakespearean English.

Actually, both French and English haven't changed their spelling over centuries, even though the language itself evolved. So Shakespearean English is equivalent to 16th century French (noth English and French changed their pronunciation dramatically during that time).

Reply Score: 2

Wider keyboards
by OCTAGRAM on Fri 22nd Jan 2016 16:19 UTC
OCTAGRAM
Member since:
2015-01-28

Russian has 7 more letters than English. I have a dream about wide keyboard suitable for both developing programs and typing Russian. I don't like how Russian letters have to fight for space with squares and other text characters like that.

Wider keyboards will probably solve both Russian and French problems.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Wider keyboards
by shotsman on Fri 22nd Jan 2016 20:01 UTC in reply to "Wider keyboards"
shotsman Member since:
2005-07-22

And Kazak has 8 more letters than Russian. These extra ones are all from greek.

Lets have Unicode Keyboards and be done with it.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Wider keyboards
by dionicio on Sun 24th Jan 2016 20:37 UTC in reply to "RE: Wider keyboards"
dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

Would be the first to crowd finance it! [should include the programmer's set] ;)

Reply Score: 1

no problem
by bob_bipbip on Fri 22nd Jan 2016 17:53 UTC
bob_bipbip
Member since:
2009-04-28

i have no problem in writing french with my keyboard.
wich is .... swiss french.
on the other hand, with true french keyboard.....

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Drumhellar
by Drumhellar on Fri 22nd Jan 2016 19:20 UTC
Drumhellar
Member since:
2005-07-12

"For example, what Lutan did is similar to what certain American Indians once did, called 'counting coup'. That is from an obscure language known as French. Counting coup..."

"Mr. Data, the French language for centuries on Earth represented civilization!"

(From Star Trek: The Next Generation, Code of Honor. God, that episode is terrible.)

EDIT: For a fun look at why the episode is so horrible, read Wil Wheaton's own review at http://bit.ly/1S9TuC2 (Sorry for the shortened link, but OSNews parses it incorrectly. It goes to the Wayback machine)

Edited 2016-01-22 19:28 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Drumhellar
by modmans2ndcoming on Sat 23rd Jan 2016 22:35 UTC in reply to "Comment by Drumhellar"
modmans2ndcoming Member since:
2005-11-09

Season 1 was terrible.....good thing there was so much pent up fandom willing to put up with it.

Reply Score: 2

Keyboards are Ok...
by dionicio on Fri 22nd Jan 2016 21:03 UTC
dionicio
Member since:
2006-07-12

They're just tokenizers. Also Macro groups should standardize.

You are right on not messing with natural language evolution. But comprehensible: 'empire and language go together'.

Reply Score: 1

PC vs Mac
by TasnuArakun on Fri 22nd Jan 2016 22:51 UTC
TasnuArakun
Member since:
2009-05-24

Do other languages have the same problem that Swedish does where the layouts on PC and Mac differ slightly? In our case the |, \, { and } signs all use completely different key combinations which is especially annoying if you're a developer having to work on multiple platforms in parallel. At least they moved the @ sign on the Mac keyboards in the late 90s so that it's in the same place as on PC.

Reply Score: 1

RE: PC vs Mac
by dnebdal on Fri 22nd Jan 2016 23:03 UTC in reply to "PC vs Mac"
dnebdal Member since:
2008-08-27

Norwegian does, at least - our Apple layout is strangely different from anything else. As an example:

In the PC layout, / is shift+7, | is the key left of 1, and \ is the key left of backspace. A bit off from the US layout, but it's been more or less the same since the typewriter days.

In the Mac layout, / is shift+7, | is alt+shift+7, and \ is alt+7. It makes a fair bit of logical sense, but ... why the difference?

Edited 2016-01-22 23:06 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: PC vs Mac
by TasnuArakun on Fri 22nd Jan 2016 23:33 UTC in reply to "RE: PC vs Mac"
TasnuArakun Member since:
2009-05-24

The Scandinavian layouts are largely similar. I have a cheap PC keyboard that I'm comparing against my Mac keyboard. The Swedish, Norwegian and Danish layouts are all marked in different colours. (One of the keys has as many as six symbols on it.) All three layouts use different keys or key combinations for | and \ because of course they do. >_< Also, the Danish Mac layout has alt-i for |. I guess that makes as much sense as alt-7.

Reply Score: 1

RE: PC vs Mac
by dpJudas on Sat 23rd Jan 2016 01:25 UTC in reply to "PC vs Mac"
dpJudas Member since:
2009-12-10

Do other languages have the same problem that Swedish does where the layouts on PC and Mac differ slightly?

Yes, same thing with the danish keyboard. And to make it even worse the Mac keyboard combination to type { is cmd+shift+8. Probably the worst keyboard ever to code on.

And you can't even plug in a Danish PC USB keyboard because Apple doesn't provide a keyboard mapping for it. ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE: PC vs Mac
by darknexus on Sat 23rd Jan 2016 09:55 UTC in reply to "PC vs Mac"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Do other languages have the same problem that Swedish does where the layouts on PC and Mac differ slightly? In our case the |, \, { and } signs all use completely different key combinations which is especially annoying if you're a developer having to work on multiple platforms in parallel. At least they moved the @ sign on the Mac keyboards in the late 90s so that it's in the same place as on PC.

Yes, English. Apple's British layout is basically a copy of the US layout, and nothing like the PC British version.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: PC vs Mac
by henderson101 on Mon 25th Jan 2016 13:25 UTC in reply to "RE: PC vs Mac"
henderson101 Member since:
2006-05-30

Correct - the # is a £, but other than that it's the same. Yet I switch between it and a UK PC keyboard with no real issues... go figure...

Reply Score: 2

AAVE studies
by UglyKidBill on Fri 22nd Jan 2016 23:12 UTC
UglyKidBill
Member since:
2005-07-27

Do you have any link to those studies? Sounds like a very interesting reading...

UKB

Reply Score: 2

Timing?
by Brendan on Sat 23rd Jan 2016 03:07 UTC
Brendan
Member since:
2005-11-16

Hi,

In the early 1900s there was a French "ZHJAY" keyboard layout, that failed because people would rather continue using the AZERTY keyboards they were familiar with.

In 1976 the French national organisation for standardisation created a standard keyboard layout for French, that failed because people would rather continue using the AZERTY keyboards they were familiar with.

My prediction is that every 50 years (2016, 2066, 2116, ...) these people will decide they want a keyboard layout for French, and invent one, and then continue using the AZERTY keyboards they were familiar with.

- Brendan

Reply Score: 2

Great post Thom!!
by sergio on Sat 23rd Jan 2016 04:08 UTC
sergio
Member since:
2005-07-06

The question, however, is not if technology can change language; no, the real question is whether or not you should care. I personally believe that no, you should not. Language has always been ever-changing, is ever-changing, and always will be ever-changing. The idea that one particular set of rules for English, French, or Dutch from a very particular area and from a very particular timeframe is somehow more or less correct is not only wrong, it's downright insulting.


Best lines I've read in a long time... now dear Thom try to explain that to spaniards... good luck ha!

For the spanish language We have the "Real Academia Española", it's a colonial institution residing in Spain that dictates what is right and what is wrong in the language... so, for example, the way We talk in Argentina is wrong by definition (until Real Academia says: "ok, now it's right... or not"... in the best 15th century fashion!!!). Yeah, sounds like a Monty Python sketch, but It's very real, "Real Academia" exists today in 2016.

France has a "Real Academia" for the french language too... and they love it!! They really think they can dictate what is right or wrong!! Spaniards and french people are very close-minded regarding the language because it was used as a colonization tool (their language is "superior" so it must be "preserved"... a total and complete non-sense as you explained).

So these crazy ideas like a new keyboard to "write better french" aren't a surprise to us latin americans, We are used to language fanatics, We know them very well (and they are more stupid than you can even imagine).

Reply Score: 2

RE: Great post Thom!!
by Kochise on Sat 23rd Jan 2016 08:42 UTC in reply to "Great post Thom!!"
Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

Yeah, our "French Academy" always tries on a regular schedule to borrow some words from foreign languages, understand mostly english, then try to transform them into neologisms. Hence :

- Mail -> "mèl" (simple phonetization) or "courriel" (from prefix "courrier" with suffix "mail"
- Chewing-gum -> pâte à mâcher (simple translation)
- ...

It looks so ridiculous and sounds so weird it is better to forget about their lame attempt to stay relevant in a globalized world.

It is quite sad considering some foreign language have also borrowed full-lenght french works and expressions like 'rendez-vous'. Why couldn't we share and exchange words on a routinely basis and be happy all together ?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Great post Thom!!
by No it isnt on Sat 23rd Jan 2016 11:34 UTC in reply to "RE: Great post Thom!!"
No it isnt Member since:
2005-11-14

I can't really see what's so ridiculous about pâte à mâcher. It rolls off the tongue as easily as chewing gum, and the literal meaning of the expression is just as descriptive of the product as the original. Perhaps it seems ridiculous to you because the first time you came across the words chewing and gum were in connection with exactly chewing gum, so you never stopped to think about what the words mean?

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Great post Thom!!
by Kochise on Sat 23rd Jan 2016 13:26 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Great post Thom!!"
Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

Mostly about that, it so looks like a lame attempt to steal the original concept out from their inventors by creating a useless 'native' word to try to make the language alive and kicking. France should invest in actually naming its own creations, but they are fewer and fewer, and given an english sounding name to sounds more cool, fuzzing its France origin and provide it with a more broad market acceptance.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Great post Thom!!
by loic on Sat 23rd Jan 2016 13:51 UTC in reply to "RE: Great post Thom!!"
loic Member since:
2012-09-23

The main problem they have is that their thinking is totally backwards. When a foreign word gets deeply entrenched in the French language, then they suddenly decide on their own that it is it should be replaced with a brand new word, which nobody cares about. Languages never work like this and you cannot force people to use those neologisms while the English variant are already fine, accepted, spread.
In France, it is a recurrent joke, in the software engineering or IT circles, to use these terms, for fun and to tease people. As a French and cheeky guy, I love to call e-mails "Émile" (a french first name).

Furthermore, in french, "new technology", internet stuff and such always have english bs terms (usually misused and mispronounced), who sound cool and important to ignorant people. It is so widespread that this technical clueless vocabulary has a life of its own. So much fun.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Great post Thom!!
by Kochise on Sat 23rd Jan 2016 18:18 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Great post Thom!!"
Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

"Je plussoie" aka "+1"

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Great post Thom!!
by dionicio on Sun 24th Jan 2016 20:30 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Great post Thom!!"
dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

Wait! What? ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE: Great post Thom!!
by lucas_maximus on Sat 23rd Jan 2016 17:39 UTC in reply to "Great post Thom!!"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

English is the same as well. There is UK English and US / Internation English for many of the same reasons.

Edited 2016-01-23 17:39 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Great post Thom!!
by Delgarde on Sun 24th Jan 2016 08:41 UTC in reply to "RE: Great post Thom!!"
Delgarde Member since:
2008-08-19

English is the same as well. There is UK English and US / Internation English for many of the same reasons.


But there's no 'official' authority trying to preserve the purity of any of the English variants. Plenty of self-appointed authorities, no question, but no equivalent to what countries like France have...

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Great post Thom!!
by lucas_maximus on Sun 24th Jan 2016 09:51 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Great post Thom!!"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

Fair point.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Great post Thom!!
by henderson101 on Mon 25th Jan 2016 13:37 UTC in reply to "RE: Great post Thom!!"
henderson101 Member since:
2006-05-30

English is the same as well. There is UK English and US / Internation English for many of the same reasons.


No, no there isn't. English has absolutely no governing body with any power over the language or language reform. Zero. Nothing like the French or Spanish. If the French or Spanish want something to change, they put out a decree, and it gets entrenched in "law" (either directly or implicitly.) If some body "governing" English put out an observation, it's more like "you naughty people shouldn't speak like that, please stop!" and then they shuffle back to the smoking room and have another brandy whilst the English speaking world totally ignores them and gets on with their lives as before.

If English had a standards body it would more than likely have been US based, and US English would probably have taken over British English by now. Snobby Brits (and I'm one) will never conform to the US standard because we see it as inferior. Therefore it simply isn't going to happen.

And even when the shoe is on the other foot - the fact that US English is actually conforming to nothing is evident because the word "Aluminum" was officially superseded by "Aluminium" a few years back - and as far as any US or Canadian speaker is concerned - that never happened.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Great post Thom!!
by darknexus on Tue 26th Jan 2016 15:28 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Great post Thom!!"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

and then they shuffle back to the smoking room and have another brandy

If only we still had those. Always liked the smoking rooms.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Great post Thom!!
by lucas_maximus on Tue 26th Jan 2016 19:21 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Great post Thom!!"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

I know it there isn't a body trying to enforce it. It just the fact that there are two types of "English", UK and International / US.

BTW The International speakers are just as snobby as Brits because our way of saying it doesn't make sense ignoring that English is a set of edge cases when it comes to pronunciation and grammar.

No the rest of the world doesn't care. I've lived in some of the former colonies and they either speak their own language (such as Gibraltar) as well as English or it is International.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Great post Thom!!
by darknexus on Tue 26th Jan 2016 19:46 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Great post Thom!!"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

"Aluminum" was officially superseded by "Aluminium" a few years back - and as far as any US or Canadian speaker is concerned - that never happened.

All the Canadians I know personally say "aluminium." Americans though... well, some of us can't even say "aluminum" let alone add an extra syllable.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Great post Thom!!
by jgfenix on Mon 25th Jan 2016 14:09 UTC in reply to "Great post Thom!!"
jgfenix Member since:
2006-05-25

That´s not true. There is the "Academia Argentina de Letras" and the last big changes were aproved by the "Asociación de Academias de la Lengua Española" which is composed by 22 academies from 22 different countries.

Reply Score: 2

modmans2ndcoming
Member since:
2005-11-09

Keyboards are for the language they are being used for.

France is just worried about the Anglicanization of their culture.

Edited 2016-01-23 22:33 UTC

Reply Score: 2

typical French bureaucracy
by unclefester on Sat 23rd Jan 2016 23:33 UTC
unclefester
Member since:
2007-01-13

How does a keyboard affect a language? Vietnamese uses the French alphabet despite being closely related to Chinese. It hasn't destroyed the Vietnamese culture.

Reply Score: 2

RE: typical French bureaucracy
by dylansmrjones on Sun 24th Jan 2016 09:26 UTC in reply to "typical French bureaucracy"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Vietnamese is actually using a heavily extended latin alphabet. They may be using french keyboard layout, but the Vietnamese alphabet is more complex than most found in Europe. They have issues similar to other countries when it comes to the sillyness of US keyboards.
To the extent substandard keyboard layouts prevents people from writing properly, one ought to fix that layout. The alternative is to lose your culture and become silly buggers like the british (and by extension the americans) did, with their hotpodge celtic-germano latin-norman french-spanish indian non-language and zero identity.

Reply Score: 2

unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

The alternative is to lose your culture and become silly buggers like the british (and by extension the americans) did, with their hotpodge celtic-germano latin-norman french-spanish indian non-language and zero identity.


The English speaking countries base their identity on laws, values and ideas rather than language and genetics. We tend to readily embrace new words, new ideas and new migrants.

Edited 2016-01-24 10:20 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: typical French bureaucracy
by Treza on Mon 25th Jan 2016 01:51 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: typical French bureaucracy"
Treza Member since:
2006-01-11

This quite a bold assertion.

These countries that speak English following colonisation in America, Africa, Asia and islands in every ocean don't really share laws nor values.

Compare the US, Nigeria, India and Australia and their behaviours about laws, ethnicity and immigration.

Just like French or Spanish spoken in wildly different countries.

Reply Score: 2

unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

This quite a bold assertion.

These countries that speak English following colonisation in America, Africa, Asia and islands in every ocean don't really share laws nor values.

Compare the US, Nigeria, India and Australia and their behaviours about laws, ethnicity and immigration.

Just like French or Spanish spoken in wildly different countries.


By English speaking I meant Britain, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand etc.

The vast majority of English speaking countries (even former African colonies) are democracies with relatively strong legal rights.

Reply Score: 2

RE: typical French bureaucracy
by jal_ on Mon 25th Jan 2016 11:49 UTC in reply to "typical French bureaucracy"
jal_ Member since:
2006-11-02

How does a keyboard affect a language? Vietnamese uses the French alphabet despite being closely related to Chinese. It hasn't destroyed the Vietnamese culture.

Vietnamese is not at all related to Chinese, let alone closely. And it doens't use the "French" alphabet, but the latin one. The most remarkable feature being stacked accents.

Reply Score: 2

unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

tnamese is not at all related to Chinese, let alone closely. And it doens't use the "French" alphabet, but the latin one. The most remarkable feature being stacked accents.


Despite being an Austroasiatic language around half of the Vietnamese vocabulary is derived from Chinese. Vietnamese previously used a modified Chinese alphabet.

French uses the French alphabet. The Latin alphabet does not have the letters J or W and has no accents.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: typical French bureaucracy
by jal_ on Tue 26th Jan 2016 08:33 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: typical French bureaucracy"
jal_ Member since:
2006-11-02

Despite being an Austroasiatic language around half of the Vietnamese vocabulary is derived from Chinese. Vietnamese previously used a modified Chinese alphabet.

True, but that doesn't make it "closely related". About half the English vocabulary is from French or Latin, but that doesn't make English "closely related" to either (even though it's related more to those than Vietnamese to Chinese).

French uses the French alphabet. The Latin alphabet does not have the letters J or W and has no accents.

Apart from the fact that "w" is only being used in loans, it is rather silly to say that French has a "French alphabet". All European languages use the Latin alphabet, with various modification, except for Greek that uses the Greek alphabet. That is the common definition of "Latin alphabet". Google.

Reply Score: 2

unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

True, but that doesn't make it "closely related". About half the English vocabulary is from French or Latin, but that doesn't make English "closely related" to either (even though it's related more to those than Vietnamese to Chinese).


In the real world (as distinct from semantic linguistics theory) shared vocabulary is by far the most important factor in learning a new language. English speakers can learn French very easily (about 24 weeks/600 hours instruction). Vietnamese speakers can learn Mandarin fairly easily because they already have a basic vocabulary.


All European languages use the Latin alphabet, with various modification, except for Greek that uses the Greek alphabet. That is the common definition of "Latin alphabet". Google.


The Roman (Latin) alphabet only has 24 phonemes It is really only useful for some Romance languages. English spelling is a total clusterfuck because we have 44 phonemes and only 26 letters. Other European languages use accents or extra letters to create additional phonemes.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: typical French bureaucracy
by jal_ on Tue 26th Jan 2016 10:04 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: typical French bureaucracy"
jal_ Member since:
2006-11-02

In the real world (as distinct from semantic linguistics theory) shared vocabulary is by far the most important factor in learning a new language.

You claimed that Vietnamese and Chinese are closely related. They are not, no matter how many irrelevant things you say on the subject.

The Roman (Latin) alphabet only has 24 phonemes

A "phoneme" is a linguistic feature, not a feature of writing. You probably mean "grapheme" (Latin had more phonemes than 24, or less, depending on what you count).

It is really only useful for some Romance languages. English spelling is a total clusterfuck because we have 44 phonemes and only 26 letters. Other European languages use accents or extra letters to create additional phonemes.

The Latin alphabet is very useful, as it's the most widely used alphabet in the world. Yes, it has been heavily extended, but that doesn't make it a non-Latin alphabet nor does that render it unuseful. The fact that English spelling is a "cluster fuck" is caused by the fact it (the spelling) hasn't changed for centuries while English (the language) has changed its pronunciation considerably. Note that English is by no means the only language with a writing system that corresponds poorly to pronunciation (French and Danish are good examples as well).

Reply Score: 2

darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

All European languages use the Latin alphabet, with various modification, except for Greek that uses the Greek alphabet. That is the common definition of "Latin alphabet".

Methinks you did forget a big one... Cyrillic?

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: typical French bureaucracy
by jal_ on Tue 26th Jan 2016 15:39 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: typical French bureaucracy"
jal_ Member since:
2006-11-02

Indeed. I should've limited it to "Western and Southern Europe".

Reply Score: 2

RE: typical French bureaucracy
by henderson101 on Mon 25th Jan 2016 13:57 UTC in reply to "typical French bureaucracy"
henderson101 Member since:
2006-05-30

IIRC Vietnamese orthography was designed by Portuguese missionaries, and the accents both represent tone and vowel change.

Also - Vietnamese was greatly influenced by Chinese, but it actually related to Khmer - which is not really a tonal language. The Tones in Vietnamese often make it seem like it should be a Chinese dialect, but it's not at all...

Counting:

Vietnamese : một, hai, ba, bốn, năm
Khmer: mouy, pii, bei, buon, pram
Cantonese: yat, yii, saam, sei, ng
Mandarin: yī, èr, sān, sì, wǔ

The Khmer is a transliteration, as are the Chinese.

Reply Score: 2

Language descrimination
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Mon 25th Jan 2016 19:18 UTC
Bill Shooter of Bul
Member since:
2006-07-14

Much like other aspects of culture, language is often used as a means to discriminate, insult, or ridicule.


Thought of the day:

I wonder if this translates over into computer languages.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Language descrimination
by unclefester on Tue 26th Jan 2016 10:08 UTC in reply to "Language descrimination"
unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

Thought of the day:

I wonder if this translates over into computer languages.


Computer 'languages' are really mathematics in verbal form. They have very few characteristics of real languages:

- all real languages are spoken. Many (most) don't even have a writing system.

- all real languages function properly even when misspelt or the wrong syntax or grammar is used.

- all real languages have nuance, puns etc.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Language descrimination
by Johann Chua on Tue 26th Jan 2016 13:50 UTC in reply to "RE: Language descrimination"
Johann Chua Member since:
2005-07-22

So sign language isn't "real language"?

Reply Score: 2

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Well, a true Scotsman, would consider it so.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Language descrimination
by unclefester on Wed 27th Jan 2016 02:03 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Language descrimination"
unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

So sign language isn't "real language"?


Sign language is "spoken" using hand movements and facial gestures. It is unequivocally a real language.

Reply Score: 2

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

So you're saying that math can't be written in a discriminatory form? Someone who's been taught exclusively with Newtonian notion wouldn't have a problem with lebinitz?

Or,maybe the closer analog, is cpu arch discrimination. Some languages or design patterns might translate better to different cpu instructions?

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Language descrimination
by unclefester on Wed 27th Jan 2016 02:20 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Language descrimination"
unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

So you're saying that math can't be written in a discriminatory form? Someone who's been taught exclusively with Newtonian notion wouldn't have a problem with lebinitz?



I'm saying that computer coding is mathematics. Nobody tells jokes or asks for directions in C#, Fortran or any other type of computer code.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Language descrimination
by Kochise on Wed 27th Jan 2016 06:25 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Language descrimination"
Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

Wrong : rm -rf /*

Reply Score: 2