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berto
Post subject: Getting the name right  PostPosted: Aug 04, 2007 - 10:20 PM



Joined: Sep 06, 2006
Posts: 1195
Location: Valhalla Mountains, British Columbia, Canada
An interesting bit about the correct use of language, alphabetic characters and the "Anglicization" of the internet

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Vizier
Post subject: Re: Getting the name right  PostPosted: Aug 06, 2007 - 05:37 PM



Joined: Oct 09, 2006
Posts: 22
Location: Paderborn, NRW, Germany
berto wrote:


I find that a fascinating read. When I was in grad school in Rhode Island in the '90s, we had many, many Asian students. All too often I heard introductions such as:

"My name is Bung Woo. But you should call me Antoinette, okay?"

I always found that very weird. And back in college, we had one of those very annoying French professors who gave everyone in class their "French name." Mine was, of course, Pierre. Ooh, la la! I simply didn't answer when she called me Pierre and she soon got the point, although most of my conformist classmates were only all too eager to give in and be Guillaume, Jacques and Marie instead of Walter, Jack and Mary...

Many of my students here first introduced themselves with Anglicized names - George became George, and Johannes told me he was John. Why? Their previous teacher from Australia was of the same ilk as my silly college French instructor. Damage control has resulted in them all realizing that they need not Anglicize anything as personal as a name.

Here in Germany right now, the trend of Anglicization has spread not only to and via the Internet, but also to everyday life. There are many younger Germans who no longer even realize how awful it sounds to hear (usually mangled) English dropped in as every third or second word, often even misconjugated into German cases so they can be used. My favorite example is the wonderful mispronunciation of the omnipresent cool, which comes out in German much closer to the Spanish culo and makes me laugh out loud.

But don't forget that Anglicization once was "the norm." I have an old high school friend whose family surname was "du Bois" when his great-grandfather embarked on the ship that took him to Ellis Island in the 1910s. After being put through the "entry mill" there, the family surname magically became "Woods." And he was not alone, it happened to millions and was considered "in good taste" as it gave many an immigrant the feeling of "belonging," even though many seem to be realizing that belonging at the cost of identity might be a little too expensive for many...

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Rain
Post subject: RE: Re: Getting the name right  PostPosted: Aug 07, 2007 - 03:20 AM



Joined: Apr 12, 2007
Posts: 472
Location: NYC
The French created a whole governmental agency to "de-Anglicize" the French language. Or at least, to try to control it. They even went as far as passing a law that specified, at least in print, that if a French word existed for an English word, it should be used instead.

Personally, I think that the constant spread of Anglicisms (really AMERICANISMS), only coddles English speakers into a false sense of superiority. Not only do English speaking tourists abroad (really AMERICANS) expect to be served in English in many establishments, but they expect to be understood by the general population. It never fails in Puerto Rico (an American territory) to hear Americans fully expecting all Puerto Ricans to be at the very least somewhat bi-lingual.

Imagine their surprise when they find out that 70% of the island does not read, write or speak English? Then they resort to that utterly annoying American habit of adding an "O" to the ends of English words as if that would make them easier to understand.
 
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Rain
Post subject: RE: Re: Getting the name right  PostPosted: Aug 07, 2007 - 11:19 AM



Joined: Apr 12, 2007
Posts: 472
Location: NYC
Quote:
though, frankly, it would be more helpful if its searches treated n and as equivalent (as Google does).


No...the "" is NOT an "n" in Spanish and it shouldn't be treated as such. It is a totally distinct sound which is usually quite unpronounceable for most non-Romance speaking people. French spells it "gn", so does Italian, Portuguese spells it "nh"...Spanish has been lauded by linguists for actually coming up with a sperate letter in the alpphabet for a uniquely Romance sound. If you are curious, the tilde is actually the abbreviated form of another "n", the historical development of that sound being derived in Spanish mostly from the palatilization of Latin double "n" (as well as "gn" and "mn"...i.e. annus became ao in Spanish but not in the other three.)
 
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