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Emacs i18n

From: Christopher Dimech
Subject: Emacs i18n
Date: Wed, 21 Jul 2021 12:04:59 +0200

> Sent: Wednesday, July 21, 2021 at 8:43 PM
> From: "Emanuel Berg via Users list for the GNU Emacs text editor" 
> <>
> To:
> Subject: Re: Emacs i18n
> Thibaut Verron wrote:
> >> They used to speak French, now they speak English.
> >>
> >
> > I don't know what they used to speak, but nowadays they
> > speak their own language afaik.
> They used to speak French, that was the langauge of diplomacy,
> now they speak English.
> > We see the effect of this when all EU treaties are
> > translated in all the official languages of the EU (which,
> > luckily, still include English).
> Well, they have resources to do that, and hire themselves and
> each other to do the job for the right price. A lot is for
> political reasons, also. But, obviously I don't know how
> everything happens there, but of course the international
> language is English there as well as everywhere else.
> >> We see traces of this in for example the Euro Vision Song
> >> Contest where they tell the score in English and French.
> >
> > Is that diplomacy now? :)
> I think it is! It is a competition between nation and about
> national pride.

All this focus on identification with a nation must go away.
Particularly in a today's market economy (capitalism is long gone).

After the collapse of the berlin wall, many thought about freedom,
but all we got since then has been more borders and isolation.
A dystopian reality rather than an opportunity for exploration
and seeking.

> But it is also just a show, of course.
> Commercial, monetary. Just like IIHF, too bad the French
> didn't have a team this year (they play the B tournament, with
> a bunch of Canadian guys, I think, so hopefully we see them
> again soon).
> FYI I've played ice hockey with Canadian guys from Quebec -
> you know of course that they were separatists in the 70s - now
> (well, this was 5-10 years ago) now these guys spoke English
> in a way that was inseparable from any US or English-speaking
> Canadian dude, no French accent, nothing. Reality, "man".
> > Okay my bad. Might I still assume that I have met more
> > French scientists and programmers than you? Most of them
> > speak very broken English, and hate it.
> Then it is a matter of attitude. Most Swedish people enjoy
> speaking English a lot actually, and in the tech world it
> makes sense as well, but even so most people get over it after
> the initial love affair, of course we don't want to speak
> English to countrymen we meet in the street or to our parents
> (who speak good enough, sometimes excellent English, my mother
> speaks good French as well BTW, and German, and Spanish, my
> father's English is so-so, he speaks OK German tho, I speak
> and write English fluently but not always correctly of course,
> I can read French to some extent and I speak get-by Russian,
> this may sound like a lot of languages everywhere but
> I consider my skills at a pretty basic or low level, I didn't
> score the top marks in school by any means, and if it hadn't
> been for technology, education, student life, and talking like
> this on Usenet/mailing lists and IRC, I don't think my English
> had been on a so-so (or lower) level as well).

I also speak many languages.

> > I'm flattered that you take me as an example, but I speak
> > and write English on a daily basis precisely because I don't
> > live in France.
> Yes, hah, you are allowed to speak French about technology in
> France and everywhere else where you meet French-speaking
> people, sweet heavens! It is just very impractical for you and
> everyone else if you for example write source in French, and
> you will put yourself at a huge disadvantage if you cannot
> read books and source and web pages in English, and _we_ then
> also cannot benefit from _you_ if you choose that path, as
> I've said many times now. But you are not so no worries about
> that, it is just this charade over and over, unbelievable!

The biggest problem today is people identifying with this and that.

> > In France I was speaking 99.9% French, including at work.
> > We would be writing a paper in English and discussing in
> > French about which words to use.

I did part of my education in France.  And was respected for my capabilities.
Same happened in England, Spain, Russia.  When I wanted to get a piece of meat
I spoke spanish in spain.

> The French students I met were 20-25 years old and they were
> fluent speaking English, in a couple of years or a decade at
> the most the French people will be as fluent as them, only at
> 15-20 instead, it is inevitable, French people are proud of
> their engineering skills and everyone wants to take part of
> the international world, including the French, you can pretend
> to be annoyed by it all you want, as long as you still do it,
> which is the case clearly, I'm fine... well, I am annoyed by
> the whole charade, which the French are the only ones who do,
> interestingly enough, but I know you are here anyway so it
> doesn't matter really. And those who are not will come.
> And a couple of generations more it will be all natural, no
> one will even think about not doing it.
> > And France is far from the worst place to speak English.
> > Try a random Chinese or Japanese or Russian student.
> > Try a random Turkish or Thai or Ivorian student.
> No! Well, Thai or Ivorian students I never met but Chinese,
> Japanese, Russian, and Turkish I all met, a lot, my dad even
> has a house in Turkey, their technology students speak English
> excellent, just fine, or are getting there, Russians in
> particular are a weird bunch in this respect, ha, there are
> some who refuse and some who are like Western Europe (i.e.,
> very good), but it is inevitable, their education has always
> been awesome and they are into everything Western, it is
> inevitable that the "English-speakers" will win that battle,
> and it doesn't have to take that long, these processes are all
> under way sine long... (And actually it isn't a battle, the
> Russians that "refuse" do that because they think they cannot,
> they are in a "blocked mode", often they rely on a friend who
> speaks excellent English but they themselves want to speak as
> well and one forces them to speak they are happy about that
> and learn very fast, if you think I'm generalizing now I am
> but I've seen it so many times I know its true, ha.)
> > And to be clear, it's not about the people. Some languages
> > are extremely different from English (how hard is it to
> > learn English from Swedish?). Some countries have extremely
> > poor English teaching in lower education.
> No, no, everyone is capable of learning English, some small
> (or smallish) countries and language groups (e.g., Sweden, the
> Netherlands, ...) has had a head start since it was so
> apparently necessary for one reason, and there are other
> reasons as well, but everyone else is equally and more than
> capable and as we have seen with Russians and in particular
> with the Germans who has had a rocket-career in this respect
> it doesn't have to take that long, it will all come, so
> whatever head start Sweden or other countries might have had -
> well, good for us :) we were always clever merchants and
> warriors at the same time :)) - but the point is that head
> start for us won't mean anything sooner than we would like,
> actually :)
> >> Wrong! They do, and they do even more and better for each
> >> year, and the very small group who don't, well, they have
> >> a HUGE problem that should be fixed by them putting ALL
> >> their efforts learning English as soon as possible
> >
> > Not realistic. Instead, they think that their English is
> > good enough and will improve as they go.
> Those who don't learn English will be at a disadvantage in
> every aspect. People don't want that, it doesn't benefit them
> or their games and it isn't fun, girls want to talk to foreign
> guys and guys want to play games and watch stupid movies and
> so on and so forth etc etc etc - I mean, why on Earth would
> one not do that in general? And in particular a tech or
> science person? I don't understand, why? The Swedish world is
> small but the French world isn't big enough by far, sorry.
> Deal with it...
> > But learning a difficult topic will always be easier in your
> > own language.

Should there not be enough people in france to do translations in french
if need be.  Which means they see value in what  non-french people write.
People can argue how much they want, but one cannot force other to read
your stuff if they don't want to.

> No, not with technology once you have made that step, then it
> is more difficult, well, more _impractical_ I should say, to
> speak about it, and in particular _write_ about it, in your
> own language, actually. English is already the international
> language and the language of technology and science, if you
> want to be an international warrior you need this gun in your
> belt as well, use only the French guns - you are gunned down,
> sorry.
> > Yes. But to those who know some English but for whom it
> > requires effort, it would mean that they get a first contact
> > with new difficult topics without language hurdles.
> > They will still be able to access the complete documentation
> > in English when needed.
> They must and they will take the step, I'm positive, I'm 100%
> convinced. Go to a party with 20 year old, as a field trip.
> Go to the cutest, most intelligent girl and the guy who is
> most skilled with tools and the guy who is most skilled with
> sport. They ALL SPEAK ENGLISH and see no problem with it.
> This decides everything already at this point!

Local languages were useful at a time where people stayed and
functioned within their community.  It worked as a support
system.  If something terrible happened in your life, you could
go back to your clan and they would accept you and help you.

> Translating huge books is just an immense wasted effort that
> also have several negative effects that I've mentioned
> already. For example this book
> @book{introduction-to-algorithms,
>   author     = {Cormen and Leiserson and Rivest and Stein},
>   edition    = {2nd edition},
>   isbn       = {0-268-53196-8},
>   publisher  = {MIT Press},
>   title      = {Introduction to Algorithms},
>   year       = {2001}
> }
> It is 1184 pages!
> And that format (book heft) isn't uncommon!

Perhaps one day artificial intelligence could do it.  That would
make great possibilities.

I have read articles in french, spanish, portugese.  If those writings
are valuable to you, you will put the effort to learn or get a translation.

You can learn one or two languages pretty well to write, but beyond that,
becomes too much work and people usually have a quite limited life-span
if you have big aspirations.

> Are you going to translate this to French because some French
> guys aren't good enough English readers? This reasoning is
> insane, I don't know how you get it to work in your heads,
> that are rational in every other sense, including this one,
> but only for your personal life and activities? Are your
> compatriots that stupid? And you some kind of elite or
> something? And you are gonna translate 1084 page books on
> algorithms to remedy that? Ha, listen, it doesn't make any
> sense any of it! Hahaha :)

There is a group of mathematicians, called the Bourbaki Group, originally 
to make a textbook in analysis.  Eventually became a group french mathematical
purists that became too rigid in their approach.  Applied mathematicians 
the approach too restrictive in solving current problems of computation.

> >> and in the worst case they would be deluding themselves
> >> thinking they are so great, while actually living in
> >> a bubble 10 000 miles behind everyone else!
> >
> > With this kind of attitude, some of them just might.
> > Talk about delusions...
> But it is true, remove English from the world of technology
> you can never keep up and you are restricted to work in the
> fields were other people have translated stuff. French people
> had I think with feudalism, right? That's what's gonna happen?
> Haha :)
> Native French output in terms of computers and programming and
> (technology and science in general) cannot in any sense or in
> any way be compared to the corresponding output in English.
> Restrict yourself to French, that's the stupidest move in
> anyone's personal or professional career, you just have to
> deal with that reality, that doesn't work anymore -if it ever
> did that world is long GONE. Gone but not forgotten, it would
> seem! Hah. But know you will come and be here just as everyone
> else, this recurring charade notwithstanding...
> > Books get translated. Wikipedia is translated. Is it all
> > negative to you?
> Yes, if the explicit or implicit reason is that people are bad
> at English! Of course there can be commercial, personal,
> emotional etc reasons to do whatever but in terms of
> technology restricting oneself to one's native language (well,
> unless that's English, d'oh) that would be a huge blunder, no
> one should do it and certainly not live under the illusion
> that translations can make one not have to come HERE, where
> the game is! You think French hockey players should only play
> in the French league? NO, they should come to use here to
> Sweden and Finland, where the level is ... another :)
> Meanwhile WE should aim for the NHL and KHL, ha :) If enough
> of them come, after their careers peak, they will not be good
> enough for Sweden and Finland so they'll go back to France,
> where they will bring the level up with their skills and
> experience, and before you know it the French league can be
> competitive with perhaps Germany, Litva, Belarus, Kazakhstan
> ... well, if you send A LOT of players anyway! But you will
> never ever be at the level of Sweden or Finland and never ever
> in a million years will the French hockey league be competitive
> with NHL and the Russian Super League. So the only way you can
> compete with the NHL and KHL is _in_ the NHL or KHL, and these
> guys show it is indeed possible: (3 French guys in the NHL)
> <>
> There are 50 Swedish guys in the NHL BTW:
> <>
> and 50 Finnish guys:
> <>
> > Heck, *you* wrote a book in Swedish!
> Please, you or anyone else get me a contract in NYC (which is
> the publishing capital of the world BTW, tho the biggest
> publishing house is English, Penguin, right? I think Hachette
> Livre is number 2 but they also have their HQ in NYC) - you or
> anyone else offer me a contract and instead of ranting here
> I'd be more than happy to translate it to English or write
> another book in English for that matter :) How about a book on
> a tree house project?
> <>
> Or Elisp robotics?
> <>
> >>> And all over the world, a lot of students who do not feel
> >>> confident with English treat the lack of available
> >>> translations as a significant hurdle, or even a barrier.
> >>
> >> 100% incorrect
> >
> > You really have no idea
> I know so many people have take the step and those who don't
> will be at a disadvantage, I don't think they like that so
> they too will take the step, it makes sense and we see it
> everywhere every day, why on Earth would it NOT happen? It is
> already happening all over the world! Even here, I can go to
> one of the student house quarters right now and there will be
> people from all over the world - we have 42 559 students here
> <> - all of
> them will speak excellent English, and if we ask about their
> parent some will say their parents speak good English, some
> so-so, and some not at all, but guess what, these people are
> soon parents _themselves_, people use more and more technology
> and consume more and more culture, watch movies, read
> magazines, watch DIY YouTube videos how to demolish their
> carbon bicycles, while trying to raise the saddle and learning
> something in the process - it is inevitable. RESISTANCE IS
> > It's not really the same thing. Nobody asks *you* to write
> > or read a manual in French or Chinese.
> OF COURSE everyone is allowed to do it, I'm not going to do
> anything more that write these messages, actually I'm getting
> a little tired of it by now, I think I'll bookmark these 3-4
> rantings the next time the French connection get their way up
> to Annapurna (the first 8000+ mountain to be summited BTW, by
> a French expedition, everyone gives them credit for this -
> except the Swiss. why? because of langauge? can't have
> a brother succeed? but Swiss mountaineering expertise is
> beyond question - Mt. Everest OTOH was first summited by the
> English but none of the two people reaching the top was from
> England, ha, typical of them :) maybe the most difficult
> mountain in the world, K2, was first summited by the Italians.
> of the Polar explorers we have respect for the English
> super-human efforts but there is no doubt in our minds the
> best in this respect were the Norwegians.)
> > But yes, I guess French diplomats make it a point to remind
> > everyone that English domination should not be taken for
> > granted. You can call it tradition. :)
> Yep, Frenchh hangup (Frenchh = French and only French)
> > But when I say that translated manuals are helpful, it's not
> > part of that tradition, it's from my experience meeting and
> > teaching to French students. Many of them simply do not
> > bother or are blocked from learning a topic because there is
> > no entry-level material in their language. That's a fact.
> Manuals - maybe in the 70-80s but I'm not sure, now - harmful.
> Textbooks - sure, if you have the manpower and resources and
> political and individual desire to do that instead of
> something more interesting, ha, but remember that
> English-language university undergraduate textbooks are often
> ~1000 pages. They call everything before or below PhD
> "Introduction" which is fun because again the books are
> often >1000 pages. So if you want to translate the "intros" by
> all means, do it.
> And before you say it, what about the French production, which
> is in French already? That is a competitive bout but not
> close, and certainly not a draw. If you try to compete in that
> sense you will loose. The only way for you to compete is to do
> it in English like everyone else. You already do it, now you
> have to 1) deal with it; and 2) do it even more, and the
> French honor will be restored, despite the IT and computing
> setback to the accursed Anglo-Americans...

Perelman could have written in russian, but who would have read
them ! The most important people working in the field were american
or british.  And we all think highly of Grisha.

> --
> underground experts united

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