Rosetta Stone acquires the rights to endangered languages
munro at ucla.edu
Fri Jan 21 15:48:38 UTC 2011
All these suggestions are truly scary.
Tim Thornes wrote:
> I would agree with this sentiment as well as with the inherent potential of a company like this to really screw up relationships with members of an endangered language community. I mean, if Rosetta Stone as the "worldwide leader in language learning worldwide (sic)" (http://www.rosettastone.com/backnolang?pc=se2011&cid=se-gg&gclid=CPCPvsm8y6YCFQPsKgodqhCrHA) can't help us, why would I think some nerdy academic with a microphone and a laptop could?
> As one such, I am as capable as any big company of damaging relationships with community members, and I ought to know better. Is there any expectation that RS does?
> Tim Thornes, PhD
> Assistant Professor of Linguistics
> Department of Writing
> University of Central Arkansas
> 201 Donaghey Avenue
> Conway, Arkansas 72035
> tthornes at uca.edu
>>>> John Du Bois 01/20/11 7:48 PM >>>
> I agree with Tom's assessment. One should not underestimate the damage
> that a company with Rosetta Stone's tendencies to mislead could do in an
> endangered language community.
> For example, they could insert a legal clause binding speakers that work
> with them to work with nobody else in the future. If that's the last
> speaker of the language, that's the end of the language, as far as
> indigenous language revitalization efforts, language documentation, and
> linguistic fieldwork go. Even if Rosetta Stone doesn't use this specific
> legal tactic, if speakers end up feeling abused by them for whatever
> reason, they may feel leery about working with anyone else on their
> language. When there are few speakers in an endangered language
> community, this can have a big negative impact.
> It may be worthwhile for some people involved in work with endangered
> language communities to monitor Rosetta Stone's actions closely, and to
> work with representatives of those communities to devise strategies for
> mitigating any negative effects.
> Jack Du Bois
> On 1/20/2011 10:16 AM, Tom Givon wrote:
>> Rosetta Stone is a f---ing fraud. I certainly won't recommend to my
>> Ute friends that they do anything with them--if they asked me.
>> However, preying on innocent customers is RS's specialty, and the
>> Natives are just as gullible as the rest of us, an in many way more
>> vulnerable. I hope they don't create more damage than history already
>> has. TG
>> On 1/20/2011 9:50 AM, Keith Johnson wrote:
>>> Hi Funksters,
>>> My subject heading is intentionally provocative, but this article
>>> raises a couple of
>>> issues. Is it a good thing for Rosetta Stone to have an endangered
>>> Keith Johnson
Professor, Linguistics, UCLA
UCLA Box 951543
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1543
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