The writing on the wall - English, the false prophet!

hsmr at hsmr at
Sat Mar 26 07:51:49 UTC 2005

Dear list members,

I would like to comment on the recent article posted by our venerable
host with regard to Iceland's impending threat to preserve its language
and culture.

March 19, 2005, 8:18PM

Icelanders on a mission: Fighting English invasion
Can proud people preserve their ancient language?


"Why care?

'When you lose a language,' the late linguistics professor Kenneth Hale
once said, 'you lose a culture, intellectual wealth, a work of art. It's
like dropping a bomb on a museum.'"

This is a weak argument. If it is the only one wielded, it is no wonder
that linguists and anthropologists are failing in their goal to preserve
our world's languages and cultures. The much larger loss is
environmental -- both biological and social.

Whereas globalists roam the world looking for economic opportunity, local
communities should be thinking of economic ways to preserve the
integrity of their cultural, linguistic, and biological environments.
Local communities are close to the land and sea, and can see the damage
that industrialization and commercialization bring. Globalists fly
around in the air, high above the clouds; live and work in penthouses
far away from the din and noxious gases of crowded streets and sewers;
and spend their vacations on pristine beaches and mountain sides that
only they can afford.

"In one sense, the Icelanders have no one to blame but themselves. Just
they have earnestly defended their language, they have with equal
enthusiasm made sure that every schoolchild has a computer and learns
English. Thus Microsoft sees no need to translate Windows into

This is precisely the problem, and it is one that can be avoided through
the introduction of language policies that take into consideration the
needs of everyone -- not simply internationally conscious, governmental
and industrial elite.  I have outlined the problem somewhat vividly on
the following webpage.


Globalization and community preservation should go hand-in-hand. National
governments are the best line of defense against social and biological
environmental destruction from industrial and commercial globalists.
Nevertheless, they will sit on their hands until local communities fight
for what is theirs and in effect all of humanity's.

Economic growth should be channeled, not rampant

Best wishes for the Easter holiday,

R. A. Stegemann
EARTH's Manager and HKLNA-Project Director
EARTH - East Asian Research and Translation in Hong Kong
Tel/Fax: 852 2630 0349

More information about the Lgpolicy-list mailing list