Language and Wealth

Don Osborn dzo at
Sun Apr 22 17:56:35 UTC 2007

Thanks for this clarification, which reminds me of a conversation several
years ago with a Malian who insisted there was no word in Bambara for
research (this in the context of his contention that Bambara was not a
language of science(!)). In fact one can say segesegeli ke (to really look
into) or even nyini ke (to look for) – which are exactly what rechercher in
French or research in English boil down to. No mystery, but a mystification
that almost seems to be promulgated by design. Probably the same as the case
with Arabic or even with the Eastern European languages.


The example from Eastern Europe I also found maddening (even as a
non-linguist who speaks no Slavic tongue) because it is comparing uses of
terms in English that are probably relatively recently developed and, yes,
linked to the economic culture. It in no way is an inherent superiority of
expression in English vis-à-vis the other languages, but rather history. Of
course the literal translations mean nothing to the speakers of the
languages. (Doesn’t this get into the domain of terminology development /


Don Osborn



From: owner-lgpolicy-list at
[mailto:owner-lgpolicy-list at] On Behalf Of Mohammed Makhfi
Sent: Sunday, April 22, 2007 1:37 PM
To: lgpolicy-list at
Subject: RE : Language and Wealth 


 I a am answering  Richard W. Rahn about an information concerning the word
"entreprise" which he says doesn't exist in Arabic.I am afraid I can confirm
you that we have the equivalent word in our language.It is "mukawala" مقاولة
Mohammed Makhfi



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