[Foundation-l] 1.3 billion of humans don't have Wikipedia in their native...

WJhonson at aol.com WJhonson at aol.com
Sun May 22 17:53:20 UTC 2011

In a message dated 5/22/2011 10:39:56 AM Pacific Daylight Time, 
andreengels at gmail.com writes:

> In Chinese writing a character shows a word, irrespective of how the
> word is pronounced. So if we would use a Chinese style writing system,
> you could write [your] [dog] [is] [dead], and a Frenchman would write
> exactly the same, even though he would pronounce [your] [dog] [is]
> [dead] as "Votre chien est mort". Thus, different languages might
> write the same sentence the same in Chinese script. This does not mean
> that there are no differences - someone who spoke Latin would probably
> spell this line as [dog] [your] [dead] [is], and perhaps in yet
> another language this would be immensely crude, and the right thing to
> say would be "[prepare for bad news] [honorific person] [your] [dog]
> [is] [not] [alive]", but the mere difference of being in a different
> language with totally different sounds is not enough to conclude that
> in Chinese writing the actual written text will be different.

How a word is pronounced has nothing to do with the issue at hand.
Secondly, the orthography (spelling) of a word could be identical but the 
meaning very different.  Just look at the differences between British English 
and American English and then multiply that by every word.  The 
dictionaries might contain the exact same words spelled exactly the same way, and yet 
the meanings of every word is quite different.

Thirdly, syntactic rules do not follow spelling variations, nor even 
meaning variations. They are yet another layer of meaning or usage.  The main 
thrust here is, are we underserving populations which cannot adequately use any 
of the projects in their own *native* language whatever that may be.  
Forcing people to utilize a secondary language is really colonialism disguised.

If the only issue here were pronounciation, then there would be no issue, 
as the Chinese are reading the project, not speaking it.  So perhaps people 
could stop waving that red herring here.

So if you are claiming that the sole differences are pronunciation, then 
this language should be removed from the list of ones lacking a project.  I'm 
not certain however that that claim can be supported.

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