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wiccan
13th Dec 2006, 00:45
BBC Newsnight, [tonight 12/12] had a very interestng article that [because] we are spending £100Million pa on translating English into EVERY neccessary Language. (Case in point,Female Turk, wants to "Stop Smoking" gets an Individual "Translator")therefore, Immigrants "feel NO NEED" to learn English...:{ :ugh:
Comments, anyone......
bb

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!
13th Dec 2006, 00:49
It's already happened in the US


and will split the country in two at some point :(



It's a shame, and unnecessary :*

Blacksheep
13th Dec 2006, 01:16
We English speaking Brits are world famous for not learning the local language when moving abroad. The thing is, we don't need to; English is so widely spoken that we can get by without needing foreign language skills. I do wonder why so many non-English speaking immigrants come to live in UK.

Our local council offices and the surgery are full of signs written in squiggly worms and there are forms in the same script - I was handed one by mistake last time I visited in August (it must have been my tropical suntan ;)) In accomodating non-English speaking migrants, we discriminate against them by reducing their ability to fit in. Why is it, that in achieving the opposite effect to that which is intended, P.C. so often works in reverse...

Buster Hyman
13th Dec 2006, 02:13
The local Cop Shop has an Arabic plaque on the wall reading "Allah Akhba" or somesuch...to make them feel more welcome to go in. Now, whilst the idea isn't bad, I bet the local Vietnamese are having a hard enough time with English as it is!:rolleyes:

con-pilot
13th Dec 2006, 03:32
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh! Sadly you are correct thanks to the PC crowd.

However, there is a 'grass root' element rising in the US to stop this trend. Funny thing is that the great majority of this element are the descendent's of non English speaking immigrants. They (and I must admit myself) believe that if our grandparents, great, great-great and great-great-great-grandparents learned English to to assimilate into the society of the United States so should the new immigrants.

I have nothing against immigrants, god knows I would not be the person I am except for my immigrant ancestors, except for my great-grandmother who was an a American Indian.

Hell, even my American Indian great-grandmother learned English and it was her land to start with.

Loose rivets
13th Dec 2006, 03:55
Mmmm...the Rivetess was made in India, and if I want to know how to pronounce a word, or in particular, spell it, I'll ask her. It seems the nuns were very particular to get the Mother Tongue perfect.

Having said this, the word awry is almost always pronounced aw-ree there. Made I larf that did...pooked fun at er I did when she sayed that.

eastern wiseguy
13th Dec 2006, 03:56
Wait until you reach the level of lunacy acheived in this blighted corner of the UK ....Ulster Scots anyone?:ugh: :ugh:

The 1999 Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey found that 2% of Northern Ireland residents claimed to speak Ulster Scots my emphasis

Blacksheep
13th Dec 2006, 05:32
It seems the nuns were very particular to get the Mother Tongue perfectMrs BS was also taught English by ethnic Indian nuns - in Malaysia. She also learned to use pounds, shillings and pence. Unfortunately JB arrived in England a year after decimalisation and she only ever got to use the knowledge while out shopping with Gran.

She does dispute that the English speak English. After listening to me chatting with the taxi driver during the trip from the airport to Newcastle City Centre she asked "What language were you two speaking?"

BDiONU
13th Dec 2006, 07:25
BBC Newsnight, [tonight 12/12] had a very interestng article that [because] we are spending Ł100Million pa on translating English into EVERY neccessary Language. (Case in point,Female Turk, wants to "Stop Smoking" gets an Individual "Translator")therefore, Immigrants "feel NO NEED" to learn English...:{ :ugh:
Comments, anyone......
bb
I'd like to see a breakdown of that Ł100m because I'm pretty sure that the vast majority will be on translating everything into Welsh! :rolleyes:

BD

ORAC
13th Dec 2006, 08:23
I seem to recall an article about the Spanish health service a few months back. There are now so many Brits in southern Spain who cannot speak Spanish that the hospitals and clinics are overloaded as the doctors and nurses try to elicit what is wrong from the, usually elderly, patient in front of them.

They are going to insist that outpatients to normal hospitals must either speak Spanish or bring a translator at their own expense, or they will be refused treatment and directed to a private clinic willing to employ english speaking staff, and charge them accordingly....

MyData
13th Dec 2006, 08:28
bring a translator at their own expense

Bingo! Spot On!

tony draper
13th Dec 2006, 08:49
yer I watched that report on newnight,I enjoyed the way Jerremy dealt with that government spokesman,he is the only one in the news media that treats politicians with the scorn they all thougherly deserve,the most sensible comments came from that representative of the ethnic communities.
I suspect the inability to speak English is also used as a deliberate ploy by certain minorities to further isolate females from the main stream.
:rolleyes:

GANNET FAN
13th Dec 2006, 09:28
I seem to recall an article about the Spanish health service a few months back. There are now so many Brits in southern Spain who cannot speak Spanish that the hospitals and clinics are overloaded as the doctors and nurses try to elicit what is wrong from the, usually elderly, patient in front of them.

They are going to insist that outpatients to normal hospitals must either speak Spanish or bring a translator at their own expense, or they will be refused treatment and directed to a private clinic willing to employ english speaking staff, and charge them accordingly....

Absolutely right
When I lived in Spain, to renew your residents permit or apply for the myriad of forms required by their bureaucratic system, heaven help you if you couldn't speak the language and explain what you wanted. It would be a case of "next please"!

RAC/OPS
13th Dec 2006, 12:56
BBC Newsnight, [tonight 12/12] had a very interestng article that [because] we are spending Ł100Million pa on translating English into EVERY neccessary Language. (Case in point,Female Turk, wants to "Stop Smoking" gets an Individual "Translator")therefore, Immigrants "feel NO NEED" to learn English...:{ :ugh:
Comments, anyone......
bb

Heard a follow up article on the Turkish lady on radio 4 last night. Although not being able to speak English, when asked by the interviewer if she thought it reasonable that the money should be spent on her, she replied "My rights, my rights"!

Typical.

Whirlygig
13th Dec 2006, 13:13
Quite RAC/OPS - the Human Rights Act often gets quoted in this regard but those rights are simply not there. The only requirement is for a translator to be provided if someone is arrested and cannot speak the native tongue! There is no obligation on Councils, Hospitals or other public service bodies to provide translations or interpreters.

Cheers

Whirls

Flip Flop Flyer
13th Dec 2006, 13:20
When I lived in Spain, to renew your residents permit or apply for the myriad of forms required by their bureaucratic system, heaven help you if you couldn't speak the language and explain what you wanted. It would be a case of "next please"!

As well they should, as well they should. I'm also an expat, but luckily from a nation where learning a foreign language is a must. English, coincidentially, is "only" my third language. In my new country I was not forced to learn the local lingo, but find it rude not to at least try. Sadly, my work schedule does not permit me to undertake formal language training.

The local authorities, when I moved here 5 years ago, were more or less happy to communicate with me in English. Not anymore. My second language is one of the official 3 languages of the country, but not in this province. Therefore, if I don't speak the language of the province I'm pretty much screwed if I wish to have any dealings with the authorities.

And that is how it should be.

It is rather amusing to hear native English speakers bitch about foreigners not speaking their language, when they themselves are among the worst (together with the French) when it comes to speaking a foreign tongue. Pot, kettle, black anyone?

Gael Warning
13th Dec 2006, 13:20
Well for the Scots... allow me to translate "No Smoking"..

"Haw big yin, pit yer fag oot or al chib ye wan"..:p

I've recently been in a Muslim state, where the national news found it incredibly amusing that a majority of british shops were ditching the "Merry Christmas" theme, in favour of "Happy Holidays" for fear of offending the ethnic minorities... whilst in the Muslim states premier city, you can't move for Christmas trees and "Merry Christmas" signs, cos most of the muslims couldn't give a fig anyway.:rolleyes:

Foss
13th Dec 2006, 13:36
Eastern wiseguy
Wait until you reach the level of lunacy acheived in this blighted corner of the UK ....Ulster Scots anyone?

Oh, don't start me. Complete waste of money and time. It's a dialect not a language. All the flipping road signs now have Ulster Scot town names as well. Like, honestly.
'Awae on thae hame nae'.
What about just 'Goodbye, thanks for coming'.
Then you go west and the signs are in Gaelic subtitles.
Fos

VH-MTT
13th Dec 2006, 17:50
I think this is really only an issue for first generation immigrants. Some will learn the native language some will not, but their children will learn to speak it at school, give it a generation and the problem goes away.

Maybe its time that everywhere adopted esperanto as a taught and widely used language. Give it a couple of generations and then all our offspring will be able to talk to each other. Problem solved.

M.

frostbite
13th Dec 2006, 18:05
I don't think Esperanto will ever take off - it's been around for a very long time without any sign of universal acceptance.

Looks like English stands a better chance, since it is the official language in many fields worldwide.

aviosaurus
13th Dec 2006, 18:33
I'm anglophone but have worked in aviation for almost fourty years. As a result, I've not lived in an English-speaking country for more than more than thirty years. In each country (I'm now on the eighth) everything professional has been done in English, but simple respect for the people with whome I have lived/live means that in every country I have tried to at least speak the local language in non-work circumstances as well as possible - frequently badly and always with an atroucious accent.
It"s always worked - so far.:)

lexxity
13th Dec 2006, 19:00
Some will learn the native language some will not, but their children will learn to speak it at school, give it a generation and the problem goes away.

That's a lovely idea, that doesn't appear to have been adopted by many second or third generation immigrants up here. Unless, of course, they are just being deliberately obstructive.

terryJones
13th Dec 2006, 19:41
On Monday Mrs J and myself visited a tropical fish shop in Peterborough. It was a new shop for us, the one we normally use closes on Mondays.
I was given the name of the road, Lincoln Road for people who know the area, and knowing where this road was, as it is the home of that Big Boy's Toy Shop, Machine Mart, away I went.
We stopped in Lincoln Road and TRIED to ask five(5) different people, covering a range of ages from possible mid 20's to Mesuthala, for the location.
Three of the individuals just stood and waved their hands ans shook their heads.
The other two both just said No,No.
The final straw came this morning with a booklet from the Benefit people. On the back page it PROUDLY procaimed this Booklet is available in :- English, Welsh, Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, French, Gujarati??, Polish, Punjabi, Somali, Tamil and Urdu.
WHO pays for this. It obviously comes from the money that could be spent on Benefit...
Back in 1971 I was involved in the construction of the Holiday Inn in Eindhoven. I can assure you that ALL directives on the site were in Dutch, and if we needed to know anything the onus was on us to find out.

Juud
13th Dec 2006, 19:42
VH-MTT I believe it works like you say with a couple of caveats.

The kids' parents must be eager for the kids to learn the local language. They don't need to be fluent themselves, but the kids need to feel that being fluent is important for them.
The kids need to be in an environment where the local language and not their mother tongue is the lingua franca. If the balance tips in favour of the old language, they will never become fluent in the new.


Anecdotal evidence; immigrant kids growing up in 'rural' Holland, small villages and the like, are indistinguishable from native Dutch kids. There's not that many immigrants there, and they hear mainly Dutch.

Many children growing up in big cities like Amsterdam and Rotterdam where there are large immigrant/ex colonial populations, these days speak a language of their own. The language consists of accented Dutch with a fair smattering of Rapper English, Sranan, Arabic, Papiamento and text speak words and expressions mixed in. They have their own grammar and are quite incapable of speaking normal Dutch. Even kids whose parents are 'native' have to think hard to speak 'proper'.
It sounds melodious enough, but I have to really concentrate to follow what they're saying. :8
And I notice that their language is now creeping into the Dutch of the younger FAs.

It's a fascinating process.

G-CPTN
13th Dec 2006, 20:32
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basic_English
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simplified_English
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_English
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Globish

wiccan
13th Dec 2006, 22:00
Thanx GCPTN......:(
The "Figures" stated were [imo] "understated" knowing this [so called] Government. There are schools [with "mixed race" pupils] recruiting "Non-English" speaking Teachers....:{
bb

pigboat
14th Dec 2006, 00:02
Here's one for the Americans on the thread, thanks to Jackie Mason.

There may be those among you who support including Spanish in our National language. I for one am 110% against this! We must preserve the exclusivity, and above all, the purity of the English language. To all the shlemiels, shlemazels, nebbishes, nudniks, klutzes, putzes, shlubs, shmoes, shmucks, nogoodniks and momzers that are out there pushing Spanish, I just want to say that I, for one, believe that English, and only English, deserves linguistic prominence in our American culture. To tell the truth, it makes me so farklempt, I'm fit to plotz.

This whole Spanish schmeer gets me broyges, specially when I hear these erstwhile mavens and luftmenschen kvetching about needing to learn Spanish. What chutzpah! These shmegeges can tout their shlock about the cultural and linguistic diversity of our country, but I, for one, are not buying their shtick. It's all so much dreck, as far as I'm concerned.

I exhort you all to be menshen about this and stand up to their fardrayte arguments and meshugganah, farsthunkene assertions. It wouldn't be kosher to do anything else. Remember, when all is said and done, we have English and they got bubkes! The whole mynseh is a pain in my tuchas.
:)

con-pilot
14th Dec 2006, 00:10
Love it pigboat. However, have you ever been to see Jackie Mason live in Las Vegas? Oh he speaks good English alright, about every other work is f--k something or that.

Of course having lead the sheltered life I have, my poor virgin ears really burned the first 5 or 6 times I saw his show. :ooh:

Blacksheep
14th Dec 2006, 00:58
It sounds melodious enough, but I have to really concentrate to follow what they're saying. Hmm? Strange words and twisted, ancient grammar of foreign origin, mixed with the standard language into a melodious speech.

Its a bit like Geordie then?

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!
14th Dec 2006, 04:49
Here's one for the Americans on the thread, thanks to Jackie Mason....except it proves the exact opposite of what (I think) he was trying to say.

the majority of that quote is understandable because it's in English, the rest are some foreign words, the meaning of some is well known and the meaning of others is not. Some of those can be interpreted by the context of the understood (English) part. The rest remains a mystery.

So he proves in fact that a second language obscures rather than communicates the message.

In any event that's not the point. The point is that there are (in Texas at least) two separate languages. It's not mostly English with a bit of Spanish thrown in, it's Spanish. Spanish radio stations, Spanish newspapers, spanish supermarkets, Spanish parking and speeding tickets, Spanish signage, whole areas where Spanish is the only language spoken etc etc.

It's two separate cultures, essentially two separate countries in one because the level of duality is so high that Spanish speakers need no longer learn or use English. Unfortunately, rather than make life easier for them, it makes life more limited as they are most likely to end up in a menial job.

In any event, this battle is already lost, (in Texas at least) but the consequences haven't yet begun to be felt. They could be as extreme as the splitting of the country into two. :ugh:

Blacksheep
14th Dec 2006, 05:17
Remember the....

er....

whatsit?...

ah yes!

Los Alamos wasn't it?

Or is that Spanish? :confused:

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!
14th Dec 2006, 05:19
Yeah, but they lost. :}

ORAC
14th Dec 2006, 06:22
Los Alamos, site Y, is in New Mexico, where they built this thing before it went bang....

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c0/Trinity_explosion.jpg

The 1945 TRINITY nuclear explosion

Juud
14th Dec 2006, 09:32
Aaargh, I don´t agree with you. That Jackie Mason quote is easily understood and it´s both funny and illustrative of the ultimate futily of language-purism. I counted 7 Yiddish words in Piggie´s post that have made their way into the Dutch language, and I reckon most Dutch speakers don´t even know those words are of furrin origin.


It´s a noble cause for sure, but doomed none the less. And yes, I do enjoy the beauty of pure language. In JB context, it is one of the things that makes posts by people like Davaar, Rich Lee and singaporegirl such enjoyable reading. At the same time, Tony Draper´s prose is not only funny because of his often original way of looking at things, but also because of his curious mix of English and Geordie, old phraseology mixed with 50´s American movie slang, all served up with with dyslexic disregard for grammar and a penchant for phonetic spelling.

On the face of it, it seems sensible not to provide government and council information brochures in a plethora of immigrant languages. It costs a bomb and let them learn the local lingo right?
Yup, I agree with that, like flip flop and aviosaurus, I aquired a few languages that way. It´s only polite after all, AND makes your own life a heck of a lot more pleasant.

But...... how about hospital information for parents about the vaccination programme for their newborns? And the ones telling battered wives and girls-about-to-get-forcibly-married-off-to-their-first-cousin where to get help? Or the ones in the doctor´s waiting room explaining about family planning? You know, the kind of stuff that is vital for the immigrants themselves AND for society as a whole that they learn about.
Should that be in the native language only?
Not very operational is it?
And if not, where exactly do you draw the line?

It´s easy to beat your own righteous chest about how all those darkies should speak English, it´s something else entirely to come up with viable ways of making mixed societies work without turning them into Spaxas or The Punjabi Midlands.

tony draper
14th Dec 2006, 09:49
The most facinating variation of English one ever came across was Back Slang,recal siting at a table in a low pub in Middlesbourgh with four ladies of the night as they jabbered away in this language,they may as well have been speaking Mongolian,most of my generation could speak a few words but the ability to speak and understand it at speed was amazing.
:cool:
Interestingly Backslang seemed to be a Northern English thing,down south, Polota(sp?) was the secret language of the underworld ,later adopted by the theatrical and homosexual community,Backslang even made its way to the Americas,don't think Polota ever did.
One has always had a great love for the spoken and written word and its infinite variety.
:rolleyes:
For those who do not know of it Backslang was normal English modified by taking the first letter of the word and placing it at the back of the word then adding an A.
IE a simple sentence such as
"Do you speak Backslang" would become, err typing it phonetically
"Ooday ooyay eekspay ackslangbay"
Sounds simple and it is when you have time to think about it,but people spoke and understood entire conversations thusly and at normal speak listening responding speed as they would normal English.

Hmmm one has no expertise in that Polota language,err ducky.

Foss
14th Dec 2006, 09:58
I'm trying to be a good boy.
Be friendly and speak local like where I go.
My French is appalling. When I go skiing there is a good chance of starving because I can't order anything apart from a cheese toastie and beer. I'll have to stick pre written post-it notes with an appropriate message on them on my jacket.

German's not too bad. Watching films dubbed in German helped that.

Now I've got to learn bloody Italian because my brothers shiny wife is Italian. It's doing my head in. Books, tapes, CD's, DVD's.
'facciamo una partita alla play'
'Do you want to play Playstation'. I think.
Fos almost completely mono lingual

tony draper
14th Dec 2006, 10:19
Nephews Fiancee is from the Cezch republic and speaks about 12 languages,she does very nicely out of freelance interpreting,but to some of the Eastern European languages must be a nightmare to learn unless its on yer mothers knee.
She has writ "Vepell Vanoce" with some funny other little squiggles not on me keyboard,on the chrissy card she has sent SWH, one assumes it means Happy Chrimbo,the written word don't seem to bare any resemblance to the sound of the spoken word.
She has tried to teach me such words in Cezch as "Dog" "Cat" "hello" "Goodbye" "**** off"! ect but one has forgot em already.
:rolleyes:

henry crun
14th Dec 2006, 10:21
Backslang was not a just northern argot Mr D.

My mother, who was a teenager in the early part of the last century and lived south of London, told me of how she and her friends routinely used it to keep their conversations private.

ORAC
14th Dec 2006, 10:24
ORAC has an almost total lack of ability in languages.

Learnt French for 6 years at school, lived in Paris for 2 years. Never got much past "La plume de ma tante est sur la table".

Just going home after nearly 3 years in Madrid. The first year I took Spanish night classes 5 nights a week, 1.5 hours a class. Still can´t remember the words for things and the locals ask me stop trying and speak english as my accent is so bad. :(

(Not helped by the fact I worked in a multi-national environment where everyone spoke and the docs were written in english)

Also got a terrible memory for names. People think I am joking when I can´t remember the surname of someone I worked with for 3 years, but it´s true. :{

On the other hand, I usually got 95-100% in tests in the RAF, could rattle off the number of one requirement out of 2000+ in a contract when asked, and am good at technical subjects.

So I tend to go down the interpreter route. Disculpame.... :{

tony draper
14th Dec 2006, 10:30
I think such things used to spread around through chaps doing military service Mr Crun, in the forties fifties and early sixties spoken Geordie was peppered with such southern words and phrases as rhyming slang and words such as "Cushty"
:rolleyes:
Just read a classic line of web newspeak on another site
In response to a tale of woe
"LOL that sucks huge dude"
:uhoh:

Curious Pax
14th Dec 2006, 11:26
Have a similar 'problem' to Orac - my environment here in The Netherlands is largely English speaking - multinational, many nationalities, working language is English. Outside, as soon as I start speaking Dutch (badly it has to be said) the responses come back in English. As such I can understand some Dutch, and if it is written down then I can usually get the gist without a dictionary, but fundamentally it's a question of need.

Conversely my 6 year old is in a situation at school where everyone just speaks Dutch. As such he has picked it up without much trouble, and was pretty fluent after 6 months. Handy when kids come to the door and I don't understand them, although it can be humiliating when I try and speak to him and his mates in Dutch, and they rip my pronunciation apart!

With the exception of some strong-willed individuals, and talented linguists, the environment will mostly dictate whether people speak the language. If I was in a country where fewer people spoke English, or working in an environment where the business language was not English I would probably be fairly fluent in whatever that language was.

In a new or alien environment most people prioritise their 'survival' techniques, and if language isn't a high priority then it will get left to one side.

tony draper
14th Dec 2006, 11:38
Hmmm, I think some people have a definate talent for languages just as some have a talent for music and others are tone deaf.
Always supprised me how many people in the world in the most unlikely places spoke English,recal up in the Venuzualan Jungle by the Marikibo lakes meeting semi naked blokes with bones through their noses toting bows and arrows speaking good English.
I suppose it rather proves the point of that newsnight report,if its not necessary to learn a foriegn language ie speakers of your language are common or interpretation services available,the average person just wont bother.
Also recal reading that when the Pilgrim Fathers set foot on their new land,one of the first persons to greet em was a Indian who spoke perfect English.
That must have been a bit of a supprise forrem.:uhoh:

ORAC
14th Dec 2006, 11:52
Also recal reading that when the Pilgrim Fathers set foot on their new land,one of the first persons to greet em was a Indian who spoke perfect English Pity they didn´t manage to pick it up...... :E

G-CPTN
14th Dec 2006, 13:09
Shortly after we had moved to Denmark, our children (aged 5 and 7 initially) became fluent in Danish (through their attendance at State School), so much so that adult Danes were not aware that they were, in fact, immigrants. What is more, our attention was drawn (by a neighbour) that their command of the indigenous language included several 'ripe' and undesirable phrases better not uttered in polite society. We, of course, were unaware of their use of such language.

Foss
14th Dec 2006, 13:32
Friends moved to New York, and hired a Spanish speaking nanny for their four year old girl.
When they all came back home for a visit the kid was asking 'donna esta ma something something.'
She wanted a grape, but was asking in Spanish.
Just looked at the parents and raised an eyebrow.
'Yes, we know, she's not speaking much English at the minute.'
Fos

Taildragger67
14th Dec 2006, 14:29
Friends moved to New York, and hired a Spanish speaking nanny for their four year old girl.
When they all came back home for a visit the kid was asking 'donna esta ma something something.'
She wanted a grape, but was asking in Spanish.
Just looked at the parents and raised an eyebrow.
'Yes, we know, she's not speaking much English at the minute.'
Fos

Friends in Sydney had a South American nanny/housekeeper whilst they were off earning each day.

Nanny only spoke to the girl in Spanish so by the time she was three, she was speaking pretty good Spanish and pretty patchy Eeeengalish.

Started pre-school and that sorted the English out so now she's a fully bi-lingual eight year old.

Thread drift alert
re political correctness...

Listening to Radio 4 yesterday morning, some bint banging on about how the unfortunate young ladies who have been found deceased around Ipswich should not be referred to as 'prostitutes' as this term is, apparently, demeaning. "Workers in the sex industry" would, she said, be acceptable. Her view was that other murder victims would not be described in reports by their profession.

Oh really?

Tom ap Rhys Price - every story I saw, described him as a 'City lawyer'; similarly John Monckton - 'City financier'.

Is it just me, or does it seem to be getting out of control?

Thread drift over

Normal programming resumed

Davaar
14th Dec 2006, 14:43
At the British High Commission had a pleasant chat with staffer who is married to lady staffer. She, plus of course him as the Living Curse, was offered promotion to British Embassy in Israel. Both delighted until he learned more about the move, viz:

"They tell't me Ah wid huv tae learn Jewish. 'Learn Jewish!', Ah said. 'Ah'm no' learnin' Jewish. Ra Jews'll huv tae learn Scoatch'".

Captain Smithy
14th Dec 2006, 14:46
"They tell't me Ah wid huv tae learn Jewish. 'Learn Jewish!', Ah said. 'Ah'm no learnin' Jewish. Ra Jews'll huv tae learn Scoatch'".

Nice lingo there, Davaar, goat it oaf tae a capital T.:ok:

ORAC
14th Dec 2006, 14:56
Sounds like a man who prefers Irn Bru to Hebrew.... :}

the best civilian
14th Dec 2006, 23:49
Master DrapesShe has writ "Vepell Vanoce" with some funny other little squiggles not on me keyboard,on the chrissy cardOne thunk 'twas more summat like "Veselý Vánoce".
Not that many little squiggles in there, are they ? :rolleyes:
Or mebbe 'twas more like "Šťastný a veselý vánoce", which is indeed more squiggly

flowman
15th Dec 2006, 02:41
Back to the thread.
I think the point at issue was that all UK citizens should have access to public services. The debate is whether this means translation services should be made available. This has never been tested in a court of law, I think it's about time it should be.
I agreed with the man representing ethnic minorities that such translation facilities were a disincentive to learning English.
I live in Belgium where the average local speaks three languages but any official business, such as a visit to the equivalent of the council or any government office has to be conducted in either French or Dutch.
In my local commune the people who work there speak English but are forbidden to do so under pain of dismissal. Quite right too. It's a bit embarrassing but I have found humilty to be a great incentive to learn over the years!
The UK has to be the biggest namby pamby nanny state of all, and it will do no good in the long run.

(Translation to Welsh, Polish, Urdu, Arabic, Turkish, Bulgarian and Romanian will follow. The Finns will have to work it out for themselves!)

Blacksheep
15th Dec 2006, 04:20
(Translation to Welsh, Polish, Urdu, Arabic, Turkish, Bulgarian and Romanian will follow. The Finns will have to work it out for themselves!)I know its written tongue in cheek, but Welsh is a British Language. I have no problem with the use of Welsh for official purposes as well as conversation between those who speak it. If I could find a teacher, I wouldn't mind learning Welsh myself. One day I will, just for the hell of it.

Juud asked that in coming up with viable ways of making mixed societies work, where do we draw the line?

Well let's ask how it is that although hundreds of the foreign students in Hatfield are from China, and there are hundreds of eastern europeans living and working in the town, none of the posters in the post office or the surgery are written in Chinese or cyrillic characters?

Our Hatfield neighbourhood is well mixed. There are lots of South Asian people working in IT and retail, as well as loads of eastern europeans who do anything that's going. At least half the students at The University seem to be foreign students. My GP is a runaway former Malaysian scholarship student who hasn't been back for thirty years. The chap who cuts my hair is from Croatia, the chap who drives the taxi that takes me to LHR at the end of my holiday is a Kosovar, the people who run the one of the chip shops are Biharis, the other chip shop is run by Turks. There's a nice "Greasy Spoon" two doors down from the Turkish chippy that's run by Greeks. There's a Chinese provision merchants where you can get the proper ingredients for a Chinese dinner, the paper shop is owned by a Bangla Deshi - which is why Mrs BS calls the phone card she uses for those two hour calls to Borneo "Bangla cards".

In fact, wherever you go, from the bank, to the post office, from Boots to the bakery, there are people of almost every persuasion on the planet. The woman who lives on the opposite side of our landing is Estonian. She speaks English well enough but is learning to read it at night school. She often asks Mrs BS (a Malaysian) to help her with forms and such. Everyone gets on with everyone else and it is, or seems to be, a successful mixed society. For Mrs BS and myself, its our kind of place and we'll retire there one day.

The common denominator is that everyone speaks the same language.

More or less ;)

pigboat
15th Dec 2006, 04:24
Love it pigboat. However, have you ever been to see Jackie Mason live in Las Vegas? Oh he speaks good English alright, about every other work is f--k something or that.
Of course having lead the sheltered life I have, my poor virgin ears really burned the first 5 or 6 times I saw his show. :ooh:

CP haven't seen Jackie Mason live, unfortunately. He's a regular at the Montreal Just For Laughs festival every year, so I hope to see him one time. I have seen the late Buddy Hackett in Atlantic City. My sides were sore for a week. :p

Curious Pax
15th Dec 2006, 08:41
Taking a look from the other side of the coin: think about the outrage in the UK press when a Brit is on trial abroad (and they can never be guilty 'cos them furriners' justice is pretty dodgy) and translation into English isn't available to the defendant.

Choxolate
15th Dec 2006, 11:23
If you want the benefits of living in the UK then LEARN THE LANGUAGE or find your own translator - just what is the problem with this approach???

G-CPTN
15th Dec 2006, 12:37
Daughter works in a Children's Nursery just off Prince's Street, Edinburgh.
Several of the care staff are non-British, and they speak to the children (though not exclusively) in their native languages. As some of the children are, themselves, not British, this is not discouraged, and seems to lead to an appreciation of other languages at an early stage when their brains are well able to cope (as much as they are able to cope with language anyway). Bilingualism (or the ability to cope with more than one language) is a skill best learned early. I would have no qualms about youngsters being taught to understand (and even speak) a language other than their native tongue.
My son is married to a French girl (whose English is impeccable BTW) and they intend to raise their forthcoming child speaking French with her mother and English with her father. His wife WAS raised bilingually (her mother was born in the USA) and at home in Paris the bilingualism continues among three daughters, mother and father. All three daughters, though schooled in France, attended University in Britain.

tony draper
15th Dec 2006, 13:02
One thing the people in the future can be pleased about, all those aliens appear to speak American, except those Klingons of course but who wants to talk to a race that decorate their heads with cow pats anyway.
:hmm:

G-CPTN
15th Dec 2006, 13:52
Yea!
Just imagine the frustration of seeing a spaceship land and aliens emerge, only to discover that they've trained themselves to speak CHINESE!

Davaar
15th Dec 2006, 16:39
This recalls the old tale of the RC priest who placed an urgent call from a call box to the Vatican. By sheer persistence he was put though to the Holy Father with, as he said, Good News and Bad News. This one has remained with me from the "Good News Bad News" days so long ago. "The Good News", he said, "Is that Christ has Come Again; the Bad News, I'm calling from Salt Lake City". Oh well, perhaps not.

Keef
15th Dec 2006, 22:28
Hmmm. Salt Lake City...

I learned some languages at school, and found it easy. When I started, many years later, to try to learn some more (Welsh, Greek, Hebrew) - it was very difficult. I think the bit of the brain that learns languages and programmes them into the noddle shuts down around age 16.

An old Uni friend of mine (63-66 vintage) studied French and German, and went off to work for the EU in Luxemburg. He met and married the most gorgeous Italian lass, who was an interpreter doing Italian, French, and Spanish. She spoke not a word of English, and he not a word of Italian (they do, now).

The children speak English with their dad, Italian with their mum, and French with the two parents together. It's amazing to be there!

They both got firsts in modern languages at British universities and work for the EU.

tony draper
15th Dec 2006, 22:40
Hmmm,summat that has always puzzled me, what language do multilingual peeps think in?
The voices inside my head are always in Geordie.:rolleyes:

G-CPTN
15th Dec 2006, 23:16
The answer to that, Herr Drapes, varies. When I first moved to Denmark I thought in English and 'translated'. After a while I began to think in Danish, and, after returning to the UK I continued to think in Danish (not always) as there are linguistic structures that don't exist in English. So, it all depends on what you're trying to convey. There are concepts in Geordie that are difficult to express in Queen's English (though of course I cannot bring any to mind at present).

tony draper
15th Dec 2006, 23:25
That could prove embarrasing Mr G-C,one is about to say "Good Grief"!! and "Yumping Yiminee"!! pops out.
:rolleyes:
One has a hard enough job thinking in one language,nephews Czech fiancee says she still thinks in her mother tongue but it comes out as English now,one has taught her essencial English phrases such as "Feckin Huggy Fluffs" but it comes out as "Fooking Hoogy Floofs"
:rolleyes:

Keef
16th Dec 2006, 00:04
I think, Dr Draper, that one thinks in the language one is speaking, as long as one is reasonably fluent in it.

If I'm speaking German, I can converse at a normal rate quite happily. I've done this for days on end (and absorbed vast quantities of fine beer or wine in the process).

Cue M: she understands German fine, but then says her contribution in English (cos she thinks in it). Keef is now confused: English head's not connected. Stop, switch brains, try to work out what it was she said.

Not used French so much - it takes a day or so to reactivate the French bits in the head before I'm ready for the fray. The Russian ones left years ago - till neighbour's mum came to stay with them and was alone in the house all day, so got invited in for lunch and chat. She spoke only Lithuanian and Russian: I was exhausted after a few hours as interpreter of cookery recipes and knitting patterns as she and M conversed about things I wot not of.