language is a barrier for scientific progress.

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by Muslim, Mar 23, 2007.

  1. Muslim Immortal Valued Senior Member

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  3. one_raven God is a Chinese Whisper Valued Senior Member

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    Apparenly Muslim got turned on by your depiction of BR (which was brilliant - and I would wager 100% accurate, by the way).

    Now I'M going to puke!

    Maybe he wants to dress up a BR for you, and you dress up as Little Bo Peep.
    :shake:
    Still feel tingly?
     
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  5. Genji Registered Senior Member

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    The tinglies are diminished somewhat, especially if he thought the BR thang was arousing....:bugeye: I give Muslom special cranberry vodka. He sleep........
     
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  7. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

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    Oh, lord. I hope it's me.
     
  8. Nickelodeon Banned Banned

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    Did it hurt?
     
  9. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

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    I laughed, I shuddered.

    Peace out.
     
  10. Genji Registered Senior Member

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    Nope. You aren't on that list.....
     
  11. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

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    ...ok wait a minute. Now I'm confused. I'm not on the list. So that means...

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    Peace out dude.
     
  12. The Devil Inside Banned Banned

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    he did.
    esperanto is the most mangled, fucked up attempt at what you are referring to that man has ever embarked upon.

    apparently, you dont have the foggiest idea what he was talking about.
     
  13. glaucon tending tangentially Moderator

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    I reckon you seem to have forgotten that mathematics is the language of science.
     
  14. Genji Registered Senior Member

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    You qualify as an entree!:mufc:
     
  15. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

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    Well, now I just feel like learning esperanto.
     
  16. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    I notice that you weren't brave enough to post this in the Linguistics Forum and invoke the wrath of the moderator.

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    Language is a major part of culture because almost everything we think of we think of in words. Only sculptors, musicians, etc., think a significant portion of their thoughts non-verbally. Every time a language becomes extinct a certain number of the world's ideas die with it. You speak two languages, you surely have had the experience of thinking something in Punjabi that you would not have thought of in English, and vice versa.
    You just refuted your own theory. Each language shapes the thoughts of its speakers. Sentimental thoughts are not the only ones affected. Don't you suspect that creative thoughts, artistic thoughts, inspired thoughts, also vary from one language community to another? The only language I've spoken enough to be able to think in (and only at the level of a young child) is Chinese, and I'm always struck by how different my thoughts are in the two languages. If I were an adult scientist I would have different ideas in Chinese than I would have in English.

    Science would not be advanced by the adoption of a single language. It would be impoverished. And so would the rest of human culture.
    Patriotism, schmatriotism. Language follows the coin. The reason English has becom the lingua franca of much of the world is the combined economy of the anglophone countries. Notice that we have the term lingua franca because France used to occupy that role, and notice that the phrase itself is in Latin because before them the Romans had it. The way things are going, in fifty years it will probably be Chinese.
    Yes, and once again you've refuted your own hypothesis. The speakers of each new language provide a slightly different perspective on the problem and its solution. If you only had one language the effect would not be the same, regardless of which language you choose.
    There are a couple of actual esperantistoj on SciForums and I'm one of them. Are you sufficiently familiar with the language, the movement, and its history to make such sweeping generalizations? At its peak in the 1920s and 30s it had a million speakers worldwide. It was much more popular outside the anglophone world, since anglophones are the most arrogant people on earth about their language and consider it a point of pride to know no other. In eastern Europe, where after driving for a few hours you find yourself in a place where people speak a different language from yours, Esperanto is still quite popular. When I traveled there in 1973 people saw the verda stelo (green star) on my motorcycle and introduced themselves in the language. The Universal Esperanto Association's annual congress drew more than a thousand attendees even when it was in an exhorbitantly expensive location like Portland, Oregon. The movement has lost momentum since its heyday but it's still around and those of us who speak the language have friendships we would not be able to have otherwise, and those friendships are rich resources in our lives. Much of what I know about the world was learned by first-hand communication with people in Japan, Spain, Germany, Bulgaria and other countries. I have actually spent years studying Spanish and German but I cannot communicate as effectively with Spaniards and Germans in their language as I can in Esperanto.
    Duh? Where did you read that, in the Monthly Journal of UFOs and Creation Science? You can't even read the average scientific paper without at least some graduate-level courses in the discipline. The terminology alone doesn't make sense. As for laymen advancing "scientific" theories... Yes once in a while somebody makes a discovery that holds up to scientific peer review. But 99.999% of laymen's theories are infantile rubbish in which a freshman can spot the flaws. Of course since the writer doesn't understand science or its vocabulary, he can't understand what the freshman is saying so he assumes he's being "persecuted by the establishment."
    Esperanto arose during the age of democracy and socialism so its "leadership" was collective and peaceful. Most Esperantists were and are pacifists. We would not use force to promote our goals and we think people like Bush and bin Laden who do are filoj de hundinoj.
    Don't forget that 75% of our communication bandwidth is non-verbal. Facial expression, body language, tone of voice, etc. Cops, con men, and other people who make a living by reading lies and deceit do it by reading that bandwidth. No different choice of language will change that.
    On the contrary, it was the only one that had any success because Zamenhof did a lot of things right. Sure it's basically an Indo-European language so it's easier for speakers of English and Bengali than Xhosa and Korean, but even speakers of non-Indo-European languages develop a conversational fluency in six weeks and can read Plato or Cervantes in twelve with occasional reference to a dictionary. (If they have the intellectual acument to read those in their native language of course.) Anyone who has already gone through the process of learning a second language through formal study and who has command of at least one Indo-European language can become fluent in Esperanto in about four weeks. Contrast this with Interlingua: sure it's easy for many of us to read because it's pidgin Latin but you need a year of Latin to be able to write it.

    Esperanto is an analytic language like Chinese, an analytic language like the one English will be in a couple of centuries of using its recently perfected word-building facility to coin words like "user-friendly" and "cable-ready." An analytic language like the one German could be if it stripped away its Stone Age grammatical paradigms. Unfortunately Esperanto has inflections but the paradigms are fairly simple and absolutely regular.
     
  17. Killjoy Propelling The Farce!! Valued Senior Member

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    Point of origin of your problems.

    Give it up.
     
  18. Stryder Keeper of "good" ideas. Valued Senior Member

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    CERN manages to deal with multi-linguists, to the most part though those people that don't speak English as a First language usually have it as second (third or forth) language, It's only those that have English as a first language that are usually dependent upon others to speak English.

    On top of that having English as the only Language for Science wouldn't work, English itself is a Bastardised language so some of the sub-components Science would use would have origin's elsewhere anyway.

    Science = "Scientia" (Roman origin)
    1,2,3,4 etc = Historically Arabic Numerals
    Algebra uses Greek Letters and some Science is Greek to most of us.

    [Feel free to correct or express these further]
     
  19. valich Registered Senior Member

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    Scientific progress is directly related to freedom of thought and what country in the world has continuously allowed more freedom of thought than the United States? Britian is English too but historically we've allowed more freedom. Then perhaps you could say France, but we out number them with Britain included, and they've undergone a lot of suppression in the past; then revolution, then suppression again. I think today the French surpass us in freedom of expression, but they've earned it and appreciate it more because of what they've went through throughout history. How would you explain Germany's extremely rapid scientific progress in the 19th and 20th centuries? I'm not sure. I don't think freedom has anything to do with it in Germany, but it's definitely aided by the conciseness and cognating ability of the German language to tack on an endless amount of multiple suffixes. One could argue that German should be the International Language of science, and not English.
     
  20. Stryder Keeper of "good" ideas. Valued Senior Member

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    I would disagree with your assertion about the United States, mainly because there are so many religious groups, corporate entities and illiterate individuals that attempt to "Dumb science down", not in the sense of making it easier to understand but just making it outright "Dumb".

    I'm not undermining that there are Academic's at play from the States, for a truly fullfilling peer review system however requires a "worldly audience" since no single country alone with it's own biased views on law and structured systems would give a truly "Scientific" review.
     
  21. The Devil Inside Banned Banned

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    we will have to agree to disagree on this one...i see it as a failed language.

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  22. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    I'm not clear what you mean by "success." Is an international language a success only if it's adopted by the United Nations and is taught in public schools worldwide? If it has more speakers than Frisian, a higher literacy rate than Xhosa, more university classes than Tlingit, more TV broadcasts than Cornish, more government support than Fu Qian Hua?

    Esperanto is still spoken, it's still taught, there are still publications regularly issued. Its dictionaries are still updated regularly. Both original literature and translations are still published. There are Esperanto trade and professional associations, poetry, philosophy and religion groups, and even travel agencies. It's a living language.

    There are textbooks for language communities as tiny as Lithuanian and as out of the mainstream as Mongolian. There is still a congress of the Universal Esperanto Association every year and numerous conventions of smaller groups.

    Zamenhof was a dreamer who hoped that one day Esperanto would become an international standard, but after the idealistic 1920s and 30s, the zealots in the movement faded away as they did in all similar movements. The rank and file who took over were content with a more practical goal of keeping the language alive and ensuring its availability to anyone anywhere who wanted it.

    We have succeeded. Our community uses it for its original basic purpose of communication with people in other parts of the world with whom we would otherwise be unable to communicate. There are children learning Esperanto and using it on the internet and with snail mail to make friends with children in strange foreign lands.

    Esperanto is making a positive contribution, however small, to world harmony.

    I can't think of a more appropriate measure of success.
     
  23. Athelwulf Rest in peace Kurt... Registered Senior Member

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    I don't think you can attach any more affixes onto German words than you can onto English words. Highly agglutinative languages such as Finnish are more capable of this.

    Indeed. It even has native speakers.
     

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