Fieldwork today or cultural theft ? (part 4)

Michael Everson everson at
Fri Feb 7 07:27:24 UTC 1997

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Peter, I appreciate what you are saying. But it appears a bit racist in its
own way.

I was born in the U.S., of generations of monoglot English speakers. I have
a gift -- call it a mutation if you like -- and can handle quite a lot of
languages (most of the European ones but Basque and Hungarian). I was
working in Indo-European Linguistics, and changed to the History of
Religions, then left the university after my master's, well, for a number
of reasons. I came to Ireland "by accident" 7 years ago, started off in the
university again, then gave that PhD up too to localize Mac software into
Irish. Subsequent to that I worked on a Welsh localization and now am about
to embark on an Inuktitut localization. The "natives" do the translation. I
pour the translations into the software.

Now I work, rather tirelessly, in the field of international
standardization to try to ensure that the needs of minorities are catered
for in important standards which will be on everyone's computers in the
next few years. (See my web pages.)

I'm of northwest European stock, am not rich, am highly educated and male
and rather privileged by all the politically correct or incorrect criteria
one could muster.

What I get from your message, quite simply, is that you believe I haven't
the right to do what I am doing because I wasn't born a minority or a
native speaker of an endangered language. I could easily have stayed in the
university. I felt it stifling. But had I stayed there I might well have
turned my talents in the same direction I have anyway.

I find what you have written quite reactionary.

Michael Everson, Everson Gunn Teoranta
15 Port Chaeimhghein .ochtarach; Baile .tha Cliath 2; .ire (Ireland)
Guth.n:  +353 1 478-2597, +353 1 283-9396
27 P.rc an Fh.thlinn; Baile an; Co. .tha Cliath; .ire

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