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  #181  
Old 10.04.2011, 21:04
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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Am I the only one who does not find that funny?
Oh, I'm sure there are quite a few foreigners who might agree with you, but who cares what foreigners think?

It is an incontrovertible fact that English is the best language in the world, spoken by more important people, in more countries and in more contexts than any other language that exists now, or has ever existed.

It's survival of the fittest.

Must be hard to be a dodo.
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  #182  
Old 10.04.2011, 21:06
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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Oh, I'm sure there are quite a few foreigners who might agree with you, but who cares what foreigners think?

It is an incontrovertible fact that English is the best language in the world, spoken by more important people, in more countries and in more contexts than any other language that exists now, or has ever existed.

It's survival of the fittest.

Must be hard to be a dodo.
If I were a dodo I'd like to be Aramaic. That is all.
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  #183  
Old 10.04.2011, 21:09
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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Oh, I'm sure there are quite a few foreigners who might agree with you, but who cares what foreigners think?

It is an incontrovertible fact that English is the best language in the world, spoken by more important people, in more countries and in more contexts than any other language that exists now, or has ever existed.

It's survival of the fittest.

Must be hard to be a dodo.
Now, that's funny You are good at it, please procede.
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  #184  
Old 10.04.2011, 21:10
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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Tom,

Those expats I mentioned are here to work and are on assignments. They're not particularly interested in being approached by Swiss people to befriend them and talk to them in English and socialize therewith. They're here for a reason, expect at least to get away with some English -as they were promised- when visiting the bank or when buying food basics. They're not here to add a national language and not interested in spending the rest of their lives here either...
They just want to be able to work and live whilst they work; nothing more nothing less. Once they're done with their work, they pack and go home!
In this case, they can, and should, expect nothing. And that is precisely what they will get and deserve.

Tom
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  #185  
Old 10.04.2011, 21:12
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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Is English worth learning ? Hell yeh!
Sure. I mean, how can you even aspire to attain a minimal level of sophistication without speaking at least two languages?

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It is an incontrovertible fact that American English is the best language in the world, spoken by more important people, in more countries and in more contexts than any other language that exists now, or has ever existed.

It's survival of the fittest.
Corrected that for you
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  #186  
Old 10.04.2011, 21:13
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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You are totally missing the point. You go and live in another country for more than a few months - you make some effort to adapt and learn basic communicative language. Punkt Schluss - lala salama.
Don't think i'm missing the point ! I lived in Norway and speak fluent Norwegian not sure if you do , learnt French at School, and have taken German lessons here. Have I lived in different countries yes 5 of them, never assume!
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  #187  
Old 10.04.2011, 21:16
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

DB, I believe you are a linguist, so I assume you are interested in languages to some extent. There is no denying what you are saying about English becoming World language, and I have no problem with that per se. I am one of the 'winners' who has made the effort to learn and has achieved a fair level of proficiency. But I see no reason for English to become a Swiss National language- and I'd hate to live in a world with just one language- be it English or anything else.

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Many linguists predict that at least half of the world's 6,000 or so languages will be dead or dying by the year 2050. Languages are becoming extinct at twice the rate of endangered mammals and four times the rate of endangered birds. If this trend continues, the world of the future could be dominated by a dozen or fewer languages.
Even higher rates of linguistic devastation are possible. Michael Krauss, director of the Alaska Native Language Center, suggests that as many as 90 percent of languages could become moribund or extinct by 2100. According to Krauss, 20 percent to 40 percent of languages are already moribund, and only 5 percent to l0 percent are "safe" in the sense of being widely spoken or having official status. If people "become wise and turn it around," Krauss says, the number of dead or dying languages could be more like 50 percent by 2100 and that's the best-case scenario.
The definition of a healthy language is one that acquires new speakers. No matter how many adults use the language, if it isn't passed to the next generation, its fate is already sealed. Although a language may continue to exist for a long time as a second or ceremonial language, it is moribund as soon as children stop learning it. For example, out of twenty native Alaskan languages, only two are still being learned by children.
Fewer Languages, Fewer Thoughts
Although language extinction is sad for the people involved, why should the rest of us care? What effect win other people's language loss have on the future of people who speak English, for example? Replacing a minor language with a more widespread one may even seem like a good thing, allowing people to communicate with each other more easily. But language diversity is as important in its way as biological diversity.


Unquote - so who cares? Many of you English speakers do not- just like Palm oil plantations do not care about orang-outangs. But it does not make it right, does it?
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  #188  
Old 10.04.2011, 21:17
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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If I were a dodo I'd like to be Aramaic. That is all.
If I were a dodo I'd like to be Modern Gutnish....

We are going in circles now. Should we end here & then start a new thread on this topic in a few months?
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  #189  
Old 10.04.2011, 21:19
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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Oh, I'm sure there are quite a few foreigners who might agree with you, but who cares what foreigners think?

It is an incontrovertible fact that English is the best language in the world, spoken by more important people, in more countries and in more contexts than any other language that exists now, or has ever existed.

It's survival of the fittest.

Must be hard to be a dodo.
DB just proves that English is so much more than just a language its a way of life..........
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  #190  
Old 10.04.2011, 21:19
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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Don't think i'm missing the point ! I lived in Norway and speak fluent Norwegian not sure if you do
Fluent, hardly, but I do understand the Norwegian names of most fish, and know what I'm offered given a menu in Norwegian (or Swedish). Actually, I prefer to be given menus in Norwegian, as the English x-lations are usually wrong.

Tom
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  #191  
Old 10.04.2011, 21:21
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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Don't think i'm missing the point ! I lived in Norway and speak fluent Norwegian not sure if you do , learnt French at School, and have taken German lessons here. Have I lived in different countries yes 5 of them, never assume!
Why should I speak Norwegian? I've never been there. You are missing the point if you think that I am asking you to learn the 4 national languages.
Congratulations on your efforts with learning the languages of the countries you've lived in. So you agree then- surely you do not believe that English should be a Swiss National language. It is a wonderful language which I love and use all the time, it is hugely useful too, and I am proud to have achieved a fair command of it. There is however no reason whatsoever why it should become a CH national language, though. Really
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  #192  
Old 10.04.2011, 21:23
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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But it does not make it right, does it?
Of course it does.

Rubbish languages die out as better languages replace them, just as dinosaurs died out to be replaced by Cairn terriers.

Furthermore, if everyone spoke English there'd be no more wars. Can you name the last war that took place between two English speaking nations?

Wars are always started by people who speak other languages - usually French or Spanish or, occasionally, German. It is clear that the anger and resentment at speaking inferior languages builds up in these peoples to such an extent that they feel obliged to punish someone for it. It is only the courage and energy of the English speaking peoples that has prevented them from succeeding with their pernicious plans.

Rather than moaning about anglo-saxon 'linguistic imperialism', perhaps all these foreigners ought to be grateful to us for having permitted them to continue with their obsolete jibber-jabber for so long.

Yet another example of the inherent generosity of spirit of the Anglo-Saxon.
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  #193  
Old 10.04.2011, 21:23
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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But it does not make it right, does it?
Your question is excellent as is your comparison with endangered animals. Whether humans cause extinction or not, extinction is natural in that it's all part of the Earth's closed system. So, the only reason to care that the elephant is become extinct (is it?) is because one or more of us likes elephants. The sea trout-headed snail found along the mid Atlantic ridge is going extinct but no one cares because they don't like it. It's the same with languages. Practically we'll end up with one or two global languages because it's just easier that way - language differences are inefficient and make us poorer both in time and money. Saving languages from extinction is important to me for the sake of culture and history and interest, but I don't claim that this is globally or universally important - it's just important to me. Similarly in a few years, petrol cars and paper books will be kept by people for historical value, they're already being seen as weird and inefficient. Is a Porsche important to be saved? For some. Just like French really.
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  #194  
Old 10.04.2011, 21:30
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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Furthermore, if everyone spoke English there'd be no more wars.
Watch this space......
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  #195  
Old 10.04.2011, 21:30
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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Of course it does.

Rubbish languages die out as better languages replace them, just as dinosaurs died out to be replaced by Cairn terriers.

Furthermore, if everyone spoke English there'd be no more wars. Can you name the last war that took place between two English speaking nations?

Wars are always started by people who speak other languages - usually French and Spanish, and occasionally German. It is clear that the anger and resentment at speaking inferior languages builds up in these people to such an extent that they feel obliged to punish someone for it. It is only the courage and energy of the English speaking peoples that has prevented them from succeeding with their pernicious plans.

Rather than moaning about anglo-saxon 'linguistic imperialism', perhaps all these foreigners ought to be grateful to us for having permitted them to continue with their obsolete jibber-jabber for so long.

Yet another example of the inherent generosity of spirit of the English speaker.
If red, the latin/french words in your message. Most meaningful words in English are French. Who is superior now?
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  #196  
Old 10.04.2011, 21:30
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

So we have 11 official languages back in South Africa try and beat that!
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  #197  
Old 10.04.2011, 21:32
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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Is a Porsche important to be saved? For some. Just like French really.
Given what the UK has to offer, I'll take the Porsche.

And the French.

English is for people too stupid to speak French.

Tom
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  #198  
Old 10.04.2011, 21:33
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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If red, the latin/french words in your message. Most meaningful words in English are French. Who is superior now?
There are no Latin or French words in my message. Every single word in that post was English.

The fact that speakers of some other languages may use or may have used similar words in their own languages merely demonstrates how much they want to be speakers of English.
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  #199  
Old 10.04.2011, 21:35
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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If red, the latin/french words in your message. Most meaningful words in English are French. Who is superior now?
Touché. No, seriously.

You're writing English right now. The Egyptians had the torch first, then the Greeks, Persians, Romans, Vandals, Ottomans, French (even). But the English language has it now. Come to terms with it or sit alone while humming along to A Hard Day's Night while not understanding it.
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Old 10.04.2011, 21:37
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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There are no Latin or French words in my message. Every single word in that post was English.

The fact that speakers of some other languages may use or may have used similar words in their own languages merely demonstrates how much they want to be speakers of English.
Ya right, get back to Linguistics department at University, dear . And your provocative messages show how much you want this thread to be closed. I can't blame you for that. Every thing you say goes for English Humour even the bluntest rubbish. But that is the superiority of being DB on this forum, not of the English.
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