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Re: Controlled Vocabularies Aid Translation and Content Management

From: Bernard vatant <bernard.vatant@mondeca.com>
Date: Thu, 05 Oct 2006 13:25:36 +0200
Message-ID: <4524EBB0.4010109@mondeca.com>
To: Hamish Harvey <hamish@hamishharvey.com>
Cc: Karl Dubost <karl@w3.org>, Semantic Web <semantic-web@w3.org>

Hamish

Hamish Harvey a écrit :
> Bernard,
>
> On 04/10/06, Bernard vatant <bernard.vatant@mondeca.com> wrote:
>
>>  Like it or not, there is an emerging language which I would call "world
>> english", which will eventually drift from both en-UK and en-US the 
>> same way
>> the latter has evolved from the former over centuries.
>
> Granted. I'm sorry if my comments seemed to suggest that I consider
> non-native English speakers to be barbarians with no care for a pure,
> correct, and unchanging English. I do not.
I did not think you did :-)
> ...
> But I can't resist returning on this:
>
>> World english is
>> already the default language of scientific community, techies, 
>> engineers,
>> web communities ...
>
> Is there, will there ever be, a single "World English"? Surely not.
Of course not. Speaking about it with my wife, she made the comparison 
with Latin, which used to have at some point, at least in Europe, the 
same kind of status English has now. Being the language of the Empire, 
it was adopted by a lot of "barbarians" who eventually incorporated with 
their own language (or the other way round), giving birth to French, 
Spanish, Italian etc ... while the mother tongue eventually more or less 
disappeared as a living language after Romain Empire collapsed (although 
it survived quite a long time after as a lingua franca for scholars and 
catholics ...). Maybe something of the like will happen in the centuries 
to come, when current empires collapse ...
> Nor a single global "scientific community". 
Granted
> Your quotation about
> Inglish, indeed, suggests (and this seems likely) that there is a
> distinct English variant in India. India being large, and its
> inhabitants far from a single coherent community constantly in
> communication with each other, there is surely also considerable
> variability within Inglish. 
Sure enough. The quoted article mentions it.
> The European Union bureaucracy has its own
> (also living) variant which is more different from Inglish than the
> variants within Inglish are from each other. All of these are
> different from formally "correct" British English, but few if any
> Brits speak that language in any case. The native residents of
> Newcastle, where I live, speak a variant of English---Geordie---which
> is quite unintelligible to many Brits, let alone Americans, Indians,
> or Eurocrats. I suppose that, in the end, every individual speaks
> their very own English, which is closer to or further from that spoken
> by any other individual depending on how close they are in a social
> network. Global communication may inhibit divergence, but it will
> never create overall convergence.
Agreed. And that's a good thing. Evolution of languages (as evolution of 
life) goes always into contradictory directions : convergence by 
exchanges and diversification by innovation ...
>
> We had better exercise care in communication---both in expressing and
> interpreting---appropriate to both the probability and the
> consequences of miscommunication. The use of controlled vocabularies
> may play some small part in this.
Back to topic : this long digression certainly indicates that controlled 
vocabularies should define their scope : which community of practice 
they are relevant to ...
>
> Cheers,
> Hamish
>

-- 

*Bernard Vatant
*Knowledge Engineering
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*Mondeca **
*3, cité Nollez 75018 Paris France
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Mail: bernard.vatant@mondeca.com <mailto:bernard.vatant@mondeca.com>
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Received on Thursday, 5 October 2006 11:25:41 UTC

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