Re: Appalling English

Subject: Re: Appalling English
From: "Tim Altom" <taltom -at- simplywritten -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 31 Oct 2000 11:23:51 -0500

----- Original Message -----
From: David Downing <DavidDowning -at- users -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Sent: Tuesday, October 31, 2000 10:58 AM
Subject: RE: Appalling English

> <<On the other hand, even these bad examples are
> better than anything I can do in a second language.>>
> Indeed, I've heard that their response to the complaint of bad English is,
> "Okay, the English in the manuals for product we export to the U.S. may be
> awkward, but at least we provide a manual in English. When you export
> products to our country, you don't even give us a manual in our own
> language."

That may be so, but I think there's a good counterargument that Japanese is
spoken by only a tiny percentage of the population of the industrialized
world, while English is spoken by a much bigger number of educated people in
the developed world. Educated Japanese often read English, in fact. If I had
to do material in but one language for distribution to the industrialized
nations, I'd choose English. Supplying English exclusively isn't always
arrogance; it's also a pretty safe bet under most conditions.

That being said, if China ever becomes truly industrialized (read "fully
democratic and capitalistic"), then we'll all have to learn Chinese, because
there are more Chinese speakers on the planet than speakers of any other

Tim Altom
Simply Written, Inc.
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