Official Languages

Subject: Official Languages
From: Simon North <north -at- RUNNER -dot- KNOWARE -dot- NL>
Date: Fri, 21 Jan 1994 21:26:37 +0000

The French also have an institution called 'L'Academie Francaise'
who believe it is their purpose in life to prevent the polution
of french by foreign words. They therefore have artificial French
words for everything to do with information technology and
computers - this has made my job as a professional translator a

Even where I live (The Netherlands) we aren't safe. Since Dutch is
spoken in both The Netherlands and Belgium there is a government
committee to standardize on spelling... they published the latest
decisions yesterday; among other things 'shampoo' is now to be
spelt 'sjampo' (this is a Dutch spelling that sucessfully imitates
a phonetic spelling). God save use all from committees and governments.
Although I work with language all the time (as do we all), and I there-
fore have a more than vested interest in clarity, language is IMNSHO the
property of the people, a living breathing growing thing that changes
and develops reflecting the vitality of the culture that owns it. Let
the common usage determine what is what, and the dictionaries and
governments come along afterwards to pick up the pieces. My one
guilder's worth.

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