[lg policy] Linguistic xenophobia

mostari hind hmostari at YAHOO.COM
Mon Jan 16 16:25:07 UTC 2012


Dear Sayers , 
 
I find your topic quite original and very intriguing , to speak about linguistic xenophobia .
How can we apply this concept on the languages around the world ?
can we say that speaking non global languages like Arabic , hebrew constitue a xenophobic case ?
the list members reactions will be the welcome here . 
 
all the best
Mostari 
 


--- On Mon, 1/16/12, Dave Sayers <D.Sayers at swansea.ac.uk> wrote:


From: Dave Sayers <D.Sayers at swansea.ac.uk>
Subject: [lg policy] Linguistic xenophobia
To: "Language Policy List" <lgpolicy-list at groups.sas.upenn.edu>
Date: Monday, January 16, 2012, 9:34 AM



I was searching for Ann's excellent "exotic or maybe even subversive" line (below) in preparing this email, and I decided to reply to this old email thread since it follows quite neatly. I've changed the original email subject though, to a more generic one.

Anyway... perhaps some US-based subscribers could comment on the recent kerfuffle in the Republican candidate grudge match, namely that Jon Huntsman speaks Mandarin, and Mitt Romney speaks (shock horror) French.

I remember when the UK media used to (occasionally) mention that Tony Blair spoke fluent French, usually including a clip of a TV interview in France. I recall it being a mix of gentle mockery and begrudging pride.

I'm sure these sorts of things are either hilarious, baffling, or both, to the world's bi-plus-lingual majority.

Dave

--
Dr. Dave Sayers
Honorary Research Fellow
College of Arts & Humanities
and Language Research Centre
Swansea University
dave.sayers at cantab.net
http://swansea.academia.edu/DaveSayers



On 19:59, Ann Anderson Evans wrote: 
Coming from a country (the United States) where speaking a second language is considered exotic or maybe even subversive, I found your posting spot on. 


Ann


On Mon, Aug 22, 2011 at 6:42 PM, <dzo at bisharat.net> wrote:

Or is it really so weird? I've sometimes wondered why countries with essentially one "national language" (mother tongue) don't seek to distribute second language learning more often. Arguably it could have benefits in terms of external trade and relations, and facilitate a kind of "crossroads" effect to the extent that it facilitates selective borrowing (and "digestion" in the nationally spoken language) from diverse other parts of the world.

Not sure if Hungary has considered that aspect, but could there be any merit to this position? Examples? (Japan from the late 1800s to WWII??)

Could this be an advantage of more or less monolingual states that Hungary has stumbled upon withou knowing it?

Don

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

-----Original Message-----
From: Harold Schiffman <hfsclpp at gmail.com>
Sender: lgpolicy-list-bounces+dzo=bisharat.net at groups.sas.upenn.edu
Date: Sun, 21 Aug 2011 13:48:35
To: lp<lgpolicy-list at groups.sas.upenn.edu>
Reply-To: Language Policy List <lgpolicy-list at groups.sas.upenn.edu>
Subject: [lg policy] Hungarians Perplex World With Weird Language Policy



Hungarians Perplex World With Weird Language Policy

Ann Althouse picks up one of the oddest reports of the week: the
Hungarian government wants to discourage students from taking English
as their first foreign language because it is so easy!  The original
article in The Wall Street Journal is a head-scratcher:

   Hungary’s government wants to dethrone English as the most common
foreign language taught in Hungarian schools. The reason: It’s just
too easy to learn.

   “It is fortunate if the first foreign language learned is not
English. The initial, very quick and spectacular successes of English
learning may evoke the false image in students that learning any
foreign language is that simple,” reads a draft bill obtained by news
website Origo.hu that would amend Hungary’s education laws.

   Instead, the ministry department in charge of education would
prefer if students “chose languages with a fixed, structured
grammatical system, the learning of which presents a balanced
workload, such as neo-Latin languages.”

   Besides giving a deceptive sense of achievement, English learning
also makes acquiring other languages more difficult, the ministry
argues. Reversing the order, on the other hand, makes learning English
essentially effortless, it added.

The mystery deepens as the WSJ reporter, Gergo Racz, tells us that
Hungary’s real problem isn’t that too many Hungarians take the wimpy
way out and learn English; it is that most Hungarians don’t learn any
foreign language at all.  In fact, 75 percent of Hungarians say
(presumably in Magyar) that they don’t speak any foreign language at
all, and only six percent claim to speak one well.

Surely a government in this situation would go for the easiest
language on offer?

Few countries need foreign language fluency more than Hungary.  The
Magyar language is distantly, very distantly related to Finnish, but
otherwise Hungarian is in a world of its own.  A traveler in Europe
who has even a smattering of familiarity with a Romance, Germanic and
Slavic language will generally get around pretty well; the language
roots allow you to decipher some of the basics: words like
‘bookstore’, ‘toilet’, ‘train station’ and ‘trolley’ don’t vary all
that much within the language families.  Be able to sound out the
Cyrillic and Greek alphabets and you can survive if not always thrive
from Vladivostok to Valencia.

In Hungary you can forget that; when I first visited Hungary about
twenty years ago, even a word like ‘restaurant’, which is pretty
recognizable all across Europe, was no use. The Magyar word for
‘restaurant’ is (if I still remember this correctly) ‘etterim’. At
that time, Germany was the English of Budapest, and English was the
French.  That is, if you needed to discuss directions or money with a
taxi driver or a news vendor, German was the language to use.  If you
wanted to talk literature with a journalist or professor, English was
the way to go.

Poland was a different case back then.  Everybody over fifty spoke
German and everybody under fifty spoke Russian — but given the
circumstances attending the introduction of those languages in Poland,
nobody wanted to admit a knowledge of either.  Almost nobody spoke
English there back then — the Soviets discouraged English study even
more than the Hungarians.  If you asked for directions in the former
occupation languages people pretended they didn’t understand you; the
only way out was to be able to say in both German and Russian, “Excuse
me, please.  I’m an American and I don’t speak Polish.  Can you tell
me…” and then you ask your question.  Once the ice was broken, people
were happy to help.

None of this explains the mysteries of Hungarian language policy;
perhaps some Hungarian bureaucrats have a little too much time on
their hands?


http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2011/08/20/hungarians-perplex-world-with-weird-language-policy/

--
**************************************
N.b.: Listing on the lgpolicy-list is merely intended as a service to
its members
and implies neither approval, confirmation nor agreement by the owner
or sponsor of the list as to the veracity of a message's contents.
Members who disagree with a message are encouraged to post a rebuttal,
and to write directly to the original sender of any offensive message.
 A copy of this may be forwarded to this list as well.  (H. Schiffman,
Moderator)

For more information about the lgpolicy-list, go to
https://groups.sas.upenn.edu/mailman/
listinfo/lgpolicy-list
*******************************************

_______________________________________________
This message came to you by way of the lgpolicy-list mailing list
lgpolicy-list at groups.sas.upenn.edu
To manage your subscription unsubscribe, or arrange digest format: https://groups.sas.upenn.edu/mailman/listinfo/lgpolicy-list

_______________________________________________
This message came to you by way of the lgpolicy-list mailing list
lgpolicy-list at groups.sas.upenn.edu
To manage your subscription unsubscribe, or arrange digest format: https://groups.sas.upenn.edu/mailman/listinfo/lgpolicy-list




-- 
*Ann Anderson Evans*
*Writer and Adjunct Professor, Montclair State University*
*(201) 792-6892 or (973) 495-0338
*
*www.linguisticsintheclassroom.com*
*www.annandersonevans.com*
The Abortion Wars:  Is a Truce Possible?
on Kindle ebooks.
*
*
*



-----Inline Attachment Follows-----


_______________________________________________
This message came to you by way of the lgpolicy-list mailing list
lgpolicy-list at groups.sas.upenn.edu
To manage your subscription unsubscribe, or arrange digest format: https://groups.sas.upenn.edu/mailman/listinfo/lgpolicy-list
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://listserv.linguistlist.org/pipermail/lgpolicy-list/attachments/20120116/cdd0cd92/attachment.html>
-------------- next part --------------
_______________________________________________
This message came to you by way of the lgpolicy-list mailing list
lgpolicy-list at groups.sas.upenn.edu
To manage your subscription unsubscribe, or arrange digest format: https://groups.sas.upenn.edu/mailman/listinfo/lgpolicy-list


More information about the Lgpolicy-list mailing list