15.567 monolingualism

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty (w.mccarty@btinternet.com)
Date: Mon Apr 08 2002 - 02:12:28 EDT

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                   Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 15, No. 567.
           Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

       [1] From: Stefan Sinclair <ss@huco.lang.arts.ualberta.ca> (26)
             Subject: monolingualism

       [2] From: Haradda@aol.com (21)
             Subject: Re: 15.563 monolingualism

             Date: Mon, 08 Apr 2002 06:58:49 +0100
             From: Stefan Sinclair <ss@huco.lang.arts.ualberta.ca>
             Subject: monolingualism

    Dear Colleagues,

    [Re: monolingualism]

    > What do we do about this serious problem?

    Among other strategies, those of us interested in promoting quality
    content on the Web in languages other than English, continue to do so.

    In this vein, I invite those of you who read French to visit the excellent
    "Astrolabe" site that is part of the "Recherche littraire et
    informatique" project led my Michel Lemaire at l'Universit d'Ottawa. The
    "Encyclopdie" contains (usually rather short encyclopedic type) articles
    by researchers such as tienne Brunet (Hyberbase), Michel Bernard (Banque
    de Donnes d'Histoire Littraire) and Christian Vandendorpe (hypertext).


    The Astrolabe site is always interested in reviewing submissions of
    scholarly articles in French on topics related to computing in literary
    studies. This may be an excellent opportunity for strong graduate students
    to publish a peer-reviewed article in French.



    P.S. Hopefully the (iso-8859-1 encoded) accents in this message don't get
    hopelessly deformed, thereby adding weight to complaints of

    Stfan Sinclair, University of Alberta
    Phone: (780) 492-6768, FAX: (780) 492-9106, Office: Arts 218-B
    Address: Arts 200, MLCS, UofA, Edmonton, AB (Canada) T6G 2E6
    M.A. in Humanities Computing: http://huco.ualberta.ca/

             Date: Mon, 08 Apr 2002 07:06:30 +0100
             From: Haradda@aol.com
             Subject: Re: 15.563 monolingualism

    > In any case, what Domenico sees is both no surprise and the cause of many
    > difficulties for us -- especially the isolation from important work,
    as he
    > notes. In my mind the question is, what do we do about it? All well and
    > good to say we should take a year or two to learn one or two additional
    > languages (which we should), but few of us will, and meanwhile the
    > continues. Involving other languages in our conferences is
    impractical for
    > other reasons. What do we do about this serious problem?

    My experience is somewhat different from yours in that I don't believe that
    the average person can learn another language or two in a "year or
    two." At least not proficiently. I have never run into a person who can
    read, write and speak well in a language (not his native one) who learn
    that language in school. I studied Spanish for 5 years and German for
    three years and it wasn't until I spent two years in South America having
    to communicate in Spanish (in order to eat), that I was able to cross the
    threshold in speaking ability. And I still don't do it very well. As for
    German it is hopeless to do anthing more than read for me. But of course I
    was learning these additional languages after 12. The secret to learning
    language is to do so when you are young and learning them along with your
    own in total immersion. One of my brothers took his whole family to Mexico
    for six months so that he could learn and improve his Spanish. His
    children all came back speaking Spanish well while he didn't.

    David Reed

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