Linguistic rights

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Jurgen Wullenwever
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Re: Linguistic rights

Postby Jurgen Wullenwever » 2012-01-21, 23:14

Talib wrote:I don't say "I shouldn't have to pay for it" in reference to the police or courts. I say it in reference to state program intended to benefit certain interest groups, in this case linguistic minorities.

Suppose that the state of B orders everything in country B to be done in language B only, the former suppressed language, never in language A, but there is no investment done in favor of language B, so everyone has to learn to use the language immediately without any help from the state. The B-isation is thus not a financial burden. Would that satisfy the unwilling taxpayers?
Chekhov wrote:I don't know about naive worldviews, but Jurgen Wullenwhatever pisses me off to no end because of his extreme pessimism and cynicism. You'd think the world was going to end imminently when talking to that guy.

Jag är rebell: jag sockrar teet, saltar maten, cyklar utan hjälm, och tänder glödlampor.
(Ovanstående var förut, nu försöker jag minska sockret och saltet.)

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Re: Linguistic rights

Postby Chekhov » 2012-01-21, 23:17

I don't get it. You mean all government-provided services have to be in that language? How exactly do you plan to do that without taxpayer's money?
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Re: Linguistic rights

Postby linguoboy » 2012-01-21, 23:21

Tenebrarum wrote:
Rumpetroll wrote:They themselves, yes. Kids, no.

Poverty happening to the kids would add a particularly bitter layer of irony though, muahahahah.

It's like I secretly wish future children of young homophobes turn out to be gay.

With the difference that being that being gay isn't inherently harmful to someone in the way that being poor is.
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

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Re: Linguistic rights

Postby Jurgen Wullenwever » 2012-01-21, 23:33

Chekhov wrote:I don't get it. You mean all government-provided services have to be in that language? How exactly do you plan to do that without taxpayer's money?

{Where did Talib go this time? :? Has he been banned? }
All government-provided services has to be in some particular language, which costs something, yes, but the cost of having them in B is the same as having them in A, so there is no additional cost.

Everyone simply has to individually start using language B instead of using language A, probably haltingly and with difficulties at first, but better and better as time passes.
Chekhov wrote:I don't know about naive worldviews, but Jurgen Wullenwhatever pisses me off to no end because of his extreme pessimism and cynicism. You'd think the world was going to end imminently when talking to that guy.

Jag är rebell: jag sockrar teet, saltar maten, cyklar utan hjälm, och tänder glödlampor.
(Ovanstående var förut, nu försöker jag minska sockret och saltet.)

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Re: Linguistic rights

Postby Chekhov » 2012-01-21, 23:45

Jurgen Wullenwever wrote:Where did Talib go this time? :? Has he been banned?
Yep.
All government-provided services has to be in some particular language, which costs something, yes, but the cost of having them in B is the same as having them in A, so there is no additional cost.
So the speakers of language A get soaked, then? Awesome.
Everyone simply has to individually start using language B instead of using language A, probably haltingly and with difficulties at first, but better and better as time passes.
Forcing people to speak a different language for political reasons is wrong. This thread is about linguistic rights: ie. the idea that everyone has them.
吾が舞へば、麗し女、酔ひにけり
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Re: Linguistic rights

Postby Jurgen Wullenwever » 2012-01-21, 23:53

Chekhov wrote:Forcing people to speak a different language for political reasons is wrong. This thread is about linguistic rights: ie. the idea that everyone has them.

You are not willing to pay for a doubling of language services, so it is your fault that language A in country B is relegated to an unofficial and unsupported position. Is there a country that has not forced public speakers to use a certain language?
Chekhov wrote:I don't know about naive worldviews, but Jurgen Wullenwhatever pisses me off to no end because of his extreme pessimism and cynicism. You'd think the world was going to end imminently when talking to that guy.

Jag är rebell: jag sockrar teet, saltar maten, cyklar utan hjälm, och tänder glödlampor.
(Ovanstående var förut, nu försöker jag minska sockret och saltet.)

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Re: Linguistic rights

Postby Chekhov » 2012-01-22, 0:01

Jurgen Wullenwever wrote:You are not willing to pay for a doubling of language services, so it is your fault that language A in country B is relegated to an unofficial and unsupported position.
Uh, when the hell did I ever say that?
Is there a country that has not forced public speakers to use a certain language?
Irrelevant to the point. (By the way, there are countries with no official language, such as the United States.)
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Re: Linguistic rights

Postby Jurgen Wullenwever » 2012-01-22, 0:42

Chekhov wrote:
Jurgen Wullenwever wrote:You are not willing to pay for a doubling of language services, so it is your fault that language A in country B is relegated to an unofficial and unsupported position.
Uh, when the hell did I ever say that?

I quoted that above, from the top of page 5, I think it was:
Jurgen Wullenwever wrote:
Talib wrote:I don't say "I shouldn't have to pay for it" in reference to the police or courts. I say it in reference to state program intended to benefit certain interest groups, in this case linguistic minorities.

I read that as spending no extra money on extra languages. (Which has been a normal situation in many countries.)

Chekhov wrote:Irrelevant to the point. (By the way, there are countries with no official language, such as the United States.)

I am not that well informed of the US policies. Have there never been any pressures from the government regarding what language to be used in any situation, say, in the army, or in court, or ... ?

Chekhov wrote:Forcing people to speak a different language for political reasons is wrong. This thread is about linguistic rights: ie. the idea that everyone has them.

Has everyone the right to speak the language of the country, or has everyone the right not to speak the language of the country?

There are three groups of inhabitants in country B:
-the remaining B-speakers
-immigrant A-speakers
-previous B-speakers who have shifted language to A.

Should all of them have the right to use their current language for everything, or
should all of them have the right to use the country's language (B) for everything, or
should there be special cases?

Now I read in the original post that there was only one country, with two languages, and that the question is about denying language rights to A-speakers in B-majority areas. Perhaps one needs to be more familiar with the situation. If a single family moves to another country, they should learn the local language, but if a large group of settlers arrive somewhere, they could try to keep their language.
Chekhov wrote:I don't know about naive worldviews, but Jurgen Wullenwhatever pisses me off to no end because of his extreme pessimism and cynicism. You'd think the world was going to end imminently when talking to that guy.

Jag är rebell: jag sockrar teet, saltar maten, cyklar utan hjälm, och tänder glödlampor.
(Ovanstående var förut, nu försöker jag minska sockret och saltet.)

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Re: Linguistic rights

Postby Chekhov » 2012-01-22, 1:06

Jurgen Wullenwever wrote:I read that as spending no extra money on extra languages. (Which has been a normal situation in many countries.)
Where did I say anything about "extra" languages? I was talking about language B speakers making their language the only official one (ie. the situation in Canada).
I am not that well informed of the US policies. Have there never been any pressures from the government regarding what language to be used in any situation, say, in the army, or in court, or ... ?
It's rarely an issue at the federal level; everyone just uses English. In border states, there is pressure to provide services in Spanish, and some do so.
Has everyone the right to speak the language of the country, or has everyone the right not to speak the language of the country?
People have a right to speak whatever language they feel like. The issue is whether they deserve government services in them.
There are three groups of inhabitants in country B:
-the remaining B-speakers
-immigrant A-speakers
-previous B-speakers who have shifted language to A.

Should all of them have the right to use their current language for everything, or
should all of them have the right to use the country's language (B) for everything, or
should there be special cases?
I would say they should be able to use both.
Now I read in the original post that there was only one country, with two languages, and that the question is about denying language rights to A-speakers in B-majority areas. Perhaps one needs to be more familiar with the situation. If a single family moves to another country, they should learn the local language, but if a large group of settlers arrive somewhere, they could try to keep their language.
It's all very arbitrary, isn't it? The only thing that determines whether your language gets any official recognition is the size and political influence of your community.
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Re: Linguistic rights

Postby Saim » 2012-01-22, 5:34

Chekhov wrote:
Jurgen Wullenwever wrote:I read that as spending no extra money on extra languages. (Which has been a normal situation in many countries.)
Where did I say anything about "extra" languages? I was talking about language B speakers making their language the only official one (ie. the situation in Canada).

:?:

So what if Quebecois don't want "their money" to go to English translations?

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Re: Linguistic rights

Postby JackFrost » 2012-01-22, 6:08

It wouldn't be fully realistic due to some constitutional clauses anyways.
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Re: Linguistic rights

Postby Jurgen Wullenwever » 2012-01-22, 11:21

The situation in Sweden is a little different, and I disregard recent immigrant groups here.

Earlier we had a group of territorial languages: Standard Swedish (urban vernacular + rural dialects close to the standard), and peripheral dialects which could be of Scandinavian, of Finnish, and of Sami.

Nowadays a debased (not adhering to the actual historical developments, but more of a subjective desk product) version of Standard Swedish, so called National Swedish (rikssvenska) has been forcibly promoted by the government and is used by almost everyone.

Adjusting (aborting) National Swedish for the state language to become more like the real Standard Swedish is a minor matter (although the most important to me personally). The more interesting question here concerns the peripheral dialects. Most people in their areas, or of their tribes, do not use them anymore. How should they best be supported?

Should only the current speakers have some support for their language, or should the ethnic descendants of people speaking that language be encouraged or forced into using it, or should people in selected municipalities have the opportunity or be forced to learn the language?

The regime has forbidden ethnic statistics, so it is not known what tribe anyone belongs to. :(

When one munipality (Kiruna) suggested that school pupils there should get a choice to learn one of three local languages, people demonstrated and protested that the politicians should not force their children to learn anything. :|
Chekhov wrote:I don't know about naive worldviews, but Jurgen Wullenwhatever pisses me off to no end because of his extreme pessimism and cynicism. You'd think the world was going to end imminently when talking to that guy.

Jag är rebell: jag sockrar teet, saltar maten, cyklar utan hjälm, och tänder glödlampor.
(Ovanstående var förut, nu försöker jag minska sockret och saltet.)

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Re: Linguistic rights

Postby Sol Invictus » 2012-01-22, 18:24

Jurgen Wullenwever wrote:Suppose that the state of B orders everything in country B to be done in language B only, the former suppressed language, never in language A, but there is no investment done in favor of language B, so everyone has to learn to use the language immediately without any help from the state.

Welcome to Soviet Union :notme:

Jurgen Wullenwever wrote:Nowadays a debased (not adhering to the actual historical developments, but more of a subjective desk product) version of Standard Swedish, so called National Swedish (rikssvenska) has been forcibly promoted by the government and is used by almost everyone.

Adjusting (aborting) National Swedish for the state language to become more like the real Standard Swedish is a minor matter (although the most important to me personally). The more interesting question here concerns the peripheral dialects. Most people in their areas, or of their tribes, do not use them anymore. How should they best be supported?

I am interested in this too - how healthy is it for language to have standard dialect, which brings to extinction every non standard variety, no matter how different?

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Re: Linguistic rights

Postby Jurgen Wullenwever » 2012-01-22, 19:07

Sol Invictus wrote:
Jurgen Wullenwever wrote:Suppose that the state of B orders everything in country B to be done in language B only, the former suppressed language, never in language A, but there is no investment done in favor of language B, so everyone has to learn to use the language immediately without any help from the state.

Welcome to Soviet Union :notme:

The text above is not my opinion. I just tried to find a way to make things fit Talib's opinion (which he later denied having expressed).

I do not know how that worked in the Soviet Union. Russian was promoted, but the state did support learning Russian, at least for children, I suppose. The languages of the Soviet Republics, such as Latvian, were they in any way supported or not?

Estonian did survive the Soviet period in Estonia, although its geographical area became smaller. In the Western countries, many Estonian exiles lost their language.
Chekhov wrote:I don't know about naive worldviews, but Jurgen Wullenwhatever pisses me off to no end because of his extreme pessimism and cynicism. You'd think the world was going to end imminently when talking to that guy.

Jag är rebell: jag sockrar teet, saltar maten, cyklar utan hjälm, och tänder glödlampor.
(Ovanstående var förut, nu försöker jag minska sockret och saltet.)

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Re: Linguistic rights

Postby Chekhov » 2012-01-22, 20:35

Saim wrote:So what if Quebecois don't want "their money" to go to English translations?
This would make sense if Quebec didn't have quite a large population of Anglophones and both languages weren't official at the federal level. I don't know why you seem to think that minority languages need such stringent protection anyway. French is doing just fine in Quebec, and that's with plenty of English influence in the form of media. It's not Scottish Gaelic.
The text above is not my opinion. I just tried to find a way to make things fit Talib's opinion (which he later denied having expressed).
Because it's a strawman. Demonstrate to me how that fits with what I said.
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Re: Linguistic rights

Postby Jurgen Wullenwever » 2012-01-22, 22:18

Chekhov wrote:Because it's a strawman. Demonstrate to me how that fits with what I said.

I am not trying to provoke anyone. I just wanted to find a solution to the problem posed, but if your opinion is different from what I thought it was, then perhaps you might express it a bit clearer.

Talib wrote:That sounds like a good idea to me, but even better would be to avoid the issue by simply having no national language at all.

Talib wrote:This raises the question to me of why we should have state-sponsored initiatives to promote certain languages in the first place. Yes, they're well-intentioned and make us feel warm and fuzzy inside, but they can never be anything but arbitrary and based on political concerns. For all the whinging we hear from Quebeckers over how precious and special their language is, I don't hear many of them campaigning for Arabic to be made co-official in Montreal.
...
I don't think it matters if it's only group B imposing its language in its own territory. It's just a microcosm of the same thing.

Talib wrote:I don't know what you mean by that. I don't believe in special privileges for anyone, no matter how oppressed they might feel. I believe in equal rights for everyone.

Talib wrote:It's not that I don't care about minority languages, it's that I'm not sure if the state belongs in the business of promoting certain cultures.

Some people take it as a given that minority cultures deserve state protection. I'm questioning whether this is viable, especially since it always necessitates favouring certain groups over others (usually those who are politically important).
Besides,
linguoboy wrote:I'm of the opinion that governments should provide services in as many languages as is practical.

Talib wrote: Formerly, I held the belief that affirmative action was justifiable in certain cases. That belief has now changed.

Talib wrote:I already explained what justice is in this case. It's equality of opportunity.

Talib wrote:
See the ACLU report linked to above. It more than adequately documents the mechanisms by which institutional racism is perpetuated.
Which still doesn't mean that minorities need to be compensated somehow.

Talib wrote:
Saim wrote:Talib, do you think it's still unreasonable if language B is only mandated as a partial medium of instruction (i.e., you can either go to a B school or a mixed B-A school) or is only mandated in public schools?
It's much worse if it's mandated in public schools. If it's in private schools, I don't care.

If your language needs government support to survive, I don't see why I should have to pay for it. It's up to the speakers to keep it alive if they value it so much.

Talib wrote:I don't say "I shouldn't have to pay for it" in reference to the police or courts. I say it in reference to state program intended to benefit certain interest groups, in this case linguistic minorities.

Talib wrote:Why is social engineering bad? Because freedom is prima facie good.

Talib wrote:So we should round up every healthy adult and send them to language re-education camps, right? Now you know how it feels!

Talib wrote:I object to state initiatives designed to favour minorities. That's a whole different matter than state-provided services for everyone, like the police.

What happens is that politically influential interest groups lobby for official status of the language in the territories where its speakers form a majority, and then demand all sorts of special privileges for themselves.

Talib wrote:I don't think the state should be in the business of promoting certain cultures.

Chekhov wrote:Forcing people to speak a different language for political reasons is wrong. This thread is about linguistic rights: ie. the idea that everyone has them.

Chekhov wrote: People have a right to speak whatever language they feel like. The issue is whether they deserve government services in them.

The government should not use any language at all, then, since using a language would be support of an ethnic group, and not pay for any schools, since a school must use a language.

Or are you saying that any language whatsoever should have full support by the government in all circumstances? But you were not willing to pay for it, or were you willing to pay for all languages equally? Now I think I am starting to get the point, then. All 6000 or so, languages will be fully supported by the government! :?
Chekhov wrote:I don't know about naive worldviews, but Jurgen Wullenwhatever pisses me off to no end because of his extreme pessimism and cynicism. You'd think the world was going to end imminently when talking to that guy.

Jag är rebell: jag sockrar teet, saltar maten, cyklar utan hjälm, och tänder glödlampor.
(Ovanstående var förut, nu försöker jag minska sockret och saltet.)

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Re: Linguistic rights

Postby Sol Invictus » 2012-01-23, 1:32

Jurgen Wullenwever wrote:
Sol Invictus wrote:
Jurgen Wullenwever wrote:Suppose that the state of B orders everything in country B to be done in language B only, the former suppressed language, never in language A, but there is no investment done in favor of language B, so everyone has to learn to use the language immediately without any help from the state.

Welcome to Soviet Union :notme:

The languages of the Soviet Republics, such as Latvian, were they in any way supported or not?

Technicaly they were co-official, but everyone had to learn Russian, immideatly. :hmm: It is, though, currious - Russia too, and I am not saying I know much about that country, makes every other language co-official, yet I hear it doesn't really benefit these languages and apparently they now have forced cyrillic upon languages that used different alphabets. So is this case where A&B now supposedly live in harmony really the best case scenario or can it be a way for A to assert dominance in more civilised way?

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Re: Linguistic rights

Postby Saim » 2012-01-23, 4:54

Chekhov wrote:
Saim wrote:So what if Quebecois don't want "their money" to go to English translations?
This would make sense if Quebec didn't have quite a large population of Anglophones and both languages weren't official at the federal level. I don't know why you seem to think that minority languages need such stringent protection anyway. French is doing just fine in Quebec, and that's with plenty of English influence in the form of media. It's not Scottish Gaelic.
The text above is not my opinion. I just tried to find a way to make things fit Talib's opinion (which he later denied having expressed).
Because it's a strawman. Demonstrate to me how that fits with what I said.

I thought you didn't want your tax dollars to go to minority languages, no matter how big they are?

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Re: Linguistic rights

Postby Lada » 2012-01-23, 8:36

Sol Invictus wrote:Technicaly they were co-official, but everyone had to learn Russian, immideatly. :hmm: It is, though, currious - Russia too, and I am not saying I know much about that country, makes every other language co-official, yet I hear it doesn't really benefit these languages and apparently they now have forced cyrillic upon languages that used different alphabets.

It works like this:
Russia is a federation. According to the law it has only one official language - Russian. But regions has their own law that mustn't contradict with the federal law. So some regions with non-Russian or half-non-Russian population made their languages official.
For example Tatarstan has two languages - Russian and Tatar. Street names are written in both languages (If I'm not mistaken). If you want to make a career in Tatarstan, you need to speak Tatar language, I think the situation is the same in other national republics, however everything depends on population. Tatars are second largest nationality in Russia, Chechens are third, so they support and promote their language, while Chukchis and Evenkis probably not, who knows.
During Soviet times, many national minorities received their first writing system (of course in cyrillic), books and so on, especially it concerns Far North nations who lived in a nutshell for more than thousand years if not more.

Situation in Russia looks like the situation in the US. You can speak and know your native language, but if you come out your house/region, you are nothing without Russian/English.

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Re: Linguistic rights

Postby Sol Invictus » 2012-01-23, 9:26

Lada wrote:During Soviet times, many national minorities received their first writing system (of course in cyrillic)

That is not what I meant - I've heard that Russia requires using cyrillic even when language allready has different writing system.


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