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Metallixs Girl
2nd May 2006, 12:25 AM
Chirac upset by English address

President Chirac is a proud defender of his native language
French President Jacques Chirac showed his temper at the EU summit when a French business leader addressed delegates in English.

He stormed out of a session when Ernest-Antoine Seilliere said he chose English "because that is the accepted business language of Europe today".

Mr Chirac told reporters on Friday he was "deeply shocked" that a Frenchman chose to address the summit in English.

Protectionism has emerged as a hot topic at the Brussels summit.

Mr Chirac's protest came when Mr Seilliere, the French president of the employers' association UNICE, said he would address the meeting in English.

Business language

According to a French official, Mr Seilliere was interrupted by Mr Chirac, who asked him in French why on earth he was speaking English.

He replied that English was the working language of that particular session and the accepted business language of Europe today.

Mr Chirac, Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy and Finance Minister Thierry Breton left the room.

Mr Chirac returned to hear the French president of the European Central Bank, Jean-Claude Trichet, address the leaders in French.

He later explained his actions, saying: "France has great respect for its language.

"It has been fighting for a long time to establish the presence of the French language - whether it be at the Olympic Games, where it was contested for a while, whether it be in the European Union, or at the United Nations."

He added: "Faced with the efforts that we are making constantly, particularly within the European Union... I must say that I was deeply shocked to see a Frenchman speak at the council in English. That is the reason why the French delegation and I left, rather than have to listen to that."

French pride

It is not the first time Mr Chirac has made a point of defending the French language in the international arena.

At previous gatherings he has stuck to French, using an interpreter to translate into English, despite the fact that he has a good understanding of English, having spent time in his youth as a Harvard student and forklift driver at a US brewery.

Mr Seilliere went on to urge EU leaders to "resist national protectionism in order to avoid a negative domino effect".

Italy has accused France of protectionism over a controversial deal to merge Gaz de France and Suez, which was a takeover target for Italian firm Enel.

Mr Chirac rejected the charges on Friday, telling reporters: "When I hear talk of French economic protectionism, for me that is complete nonsense".

French used to be the lingua franca for most EU business, but with the expansion of the EU to 25 member states, English is becoming even more dominant.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, who often switches between languages in speeches and press conferences, later stuck to French in his address to the meeting.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/4840160.stm

There is this story, plus someone has made a Spanish version of the Star-Spangled Banner, which is also contraversial. I'd like to know y'all's opinions on these two Language-based issues.

Should English remain the main business language, and what do you think of Chirac's behavior?
I believe so, isn't it the one used by the most countries? Why fix what isn't broke? It didn't hurt the French did it?

Should National Anthems be left in their own languages?
I think they should officially, yes. If someone wants to sing an unofficial version that's fine.

Thoughts?

mr_pikachu
2nd May 2006, 12:45 AM
My opinion on English as the "main business language":

From what I can tell, it is used by more economically advanced nations than any other language, and it seems to be the standard for most business communications as well, especially those from country to country.


My explanation for Chirac's behavior:

He's French.

Dark-San
2nd May 2006, 03:23 AM
[b][size=3] We cannot escape the fact that English is the most widely spoken language in the world. Hence the tag of it being a main business language is understandable.

IMO, English should remain as the main business language if not many countries besides Singapore would have to revamp their education system just to include in the French language. I can't blame the French President actually, he has the pride of the nation to uphold. Furthermore that businessman who gave the speech is his countryman.

National Anthems of course should be sung using the native language. For Singapore, the national anthem sung is in Malay.

Roarkiller
2nd May 2006, 04:28 AM
[b][size=3] We cannot escape the fact that English is the most widely spoken language in the world. Hence the tag of it being a main business language is understandable.

IMO, English should remain as the main business language if not many countries besides Singapore would have to revamp their education system just to include in the French language. I can't blame the French President actually, he has the pride of the nation to uphold. Furthermore that businessman who gave the speech is his countryman.

National Anthems of course should be sung using the native language. For Singapore, the national anthem sung is in Malay.


Correction: The most used language in the world is Mandarin. Not Chinese, but specifically Mandarin.

It's not that English is one of the most widely used language in the world. It's a small little underlooked detail called Americanisation. Put simply, the influence of American culture all over the world.

In business, the idea of using English as a medium is probably due to international business deals, particularly with the Asian side. China, India, Japan, and many Asian countries have adopted English as a language to learn when dealing with business because of dealings with the British and the Americans. Hence other European also adopted English in order to communicate with these countries.

Amongst French, though, it is literally taboo to speak in anything other than French. The French are the only nation I know other than the Japanese who hold their language in so high a position. Blame it on their pride, but that's the bare truth.

So my take on the incident: both are wrong. My Chirac is wrong because he is blinded by patrioticism, while Mr Seillierre is wrong for being insensitive in the face of so many high-profile figures.

Austrian ViceMaster Alex
2nd May 2006, 06:50 AM
English is the main business language right now. Maybe when China gains (even) more international power that changes in a distant future but English is the way to go at the moment and I don't see it changing. It's a good thing that there's some kind of "international" language that a lot of people around the globe speak. It's not really difficult to learn either, compared to other languages.

I fully understand Mr. Chirac though and I think he has the majority of his country backing him there. The French are extremely proud when it comes to their language, nothing wrong with that.

National Anthems should always be in their own languages. Why translate them? And how? After all they are mostly quite old and the lyrics were precisely written for the music (or vice versa), thus translating it would screw the entire hymn pretty badly in many cases. If it's only for reasons of national pride, national anthems should remain in their proper language.

mr_pikachu
2nd May 2006, 07:02 AM
English is the main business language right now. Maybe when China gains (even) more international power that changes in a distant future but English is the way to go at the moment and I don't see it changing. It's a good thing that there's some kind of "international" language that a lot of people around the globe speak. It's not really difficult to learn either, compared to other languages.

Actually, I personally think it's more likely that Japanese could be the language to overtake English as the most-spoken business language. I don't mean to say that it is spoken by a great number of countries; to my knowledge, this is most certainly untrue. However, I would certainly argue that Japan itself is currently the most technologically advanced country in the world. Because of that, I think that Japan could eventually grow powerful enough to rise into dominance over the world economy as a whole. In that event, I think that Japanese becoming the standard language for business affairs would be a distinct possibility.



National Anthems should always be in their own languages. Why translate them? And how? After all they are mostly quite old and the lyrics were precisely written for the music (or vice versa), thus translating it would screw the entire hymn pretty badly in many cases. If it's only for reasons of national pride, national anthems should remain in their proper language.

It's kind of funny that you mention this, as The Star-Spangled Banner has precisely the same melody as Canada's God Save the Queen, only with different lyrics. :D

Austrian ViceMaster Alex
2nd May 2006, 07:32 AM
It's kind of funny that you mention this, as The Star-Spangled Banner has precisely the same melody as Canada's God Save the Queen, only with different lyrics. :D


It's not precisely the same melody, they start off completely different, just near the end they sound very similar. Besides, for Canada they always play "O Canada, terre de nos aieux" as national anthem even if "God Save the Queen" is still the official one, no idea if it is.

mr_pikachu
2nd May 2006, 07:46 AM
Huh, I didn't realize that the melody was different at all. My mistake. I'll have to try to remember that for the future.

It might be worth pointing out that our consideration of whether national anthems can be adequately translated comes at a very interesting time, considering the following:


On April 28, 2006, a highly controversial Spanish-language version of "The Star-Spangled Banner" called "Nuestro Himno" was released. It is related and timed with the the planned nationwide demonstrations on May 1, 2006 regarding pending immigration law reform in the USA. The United States President, George W. Bush, told reporters in response: "I think people who want to be a citizen of this country ought to learn English and they ought to learn to sing the national anthem in English." Public opinion has been intense and widely divided.

Austrian ViceMaster Alex
2nd May 2006, 08:09 AM
Well I don't agree with George Bush often but I agree with him there, at least for the first part. I think that immigrents should get a solid knowledge of the countries mother tongue before. It brings lots of troubles especially for the children of immigrants later on. If their parents don't speak the mother language, they won't most likely either, making them sort of outsiders in public.

If they should know the national anthem, well in Austria where I live many of the locals don't even know it. I don't know more than the first verse myself. But in a patriotic country like the US I'd understand if it's required.

mr_pikachu
2nd May 2006, 08:17 AM
If they should know the national anthem, well in Austria where I live many of the locals don't even know it. I don't know more than the first verse myself. But in a patriotic country like the US I'd understand if it's required.

Well, actually, I'd have to disagree with Bush on that particular point. It's really not a requirement of U.S. citizens to know the national anthem; in fact, many people consider it a favorite pastime to laugh at professional singers who forget the words while singing them at sports events. (I've seen a few of these performances, myself.)

But yeah, it's kind of a problem when the people of a country can't communicate beyond "No hablo englais," and sometimes not even that. That seems to be a fact which citizens living in the north part of the U.S. can more easily ignore than those in the south, seeing as those who run across the southern (U.S.-Mexican) border tend to stay in that area.

Austrian ViceMaster Alex
2nd May 2006, 08:41 AM
I don't doubt it's not a requiremenet for US citizens to know the national anthem. But what I notice is that sometimes we require things from immigrants that not even the locals know.

For exmaple new immigration laws have been put into effect in Austria not long ago. In order to be recognized and allowed entrance you have to (beside other things) pass a test of 20 questions. Some of them are really difficult political and historical questions. And you need to get 17 of them right. When I tried the test for fun I just got 13 right. Later they announced that from all Austrians only around 20 % would actually pass the test.

Dark Dragonite
2nd May 2006, 09:35 AM
Correction: The most used language in the world is Mandarin. Not Chinese, but specifically Mandarin.

It's not that English is one of the most widely used language in the world. It's a small little underlooked detail called Americanisation. Put simply, the influence of American culture all over the world.


Actually, I believe you are far from right here...

"The English language is a West Germanic language that originated in England."

First off, America didn't invent the English language, I believe the U.K. did, so it wouldn't be Americanisation to speak a language not created here, huh?

Second, I believe you are wrong with Mandarin being "the most widely used language", check a search engine, according to:
www.linguasphere.org
www.wikipedia.org
both say English is "the most widely used language"
don't go by www.soyouwanna.com
let's look at the facts, there are 6,525,170,264 people in the world roughly
China has about 1,313,973,713
USA has about 298,444,215
UK has about 60,609,153
no shit, more people speak Mandarin, how many more people are in China alone...you can't go by that, that's a crap out, go by how many different countries fluently speak the language, English is spoken world wide.

EDIT: Now that I addressed the post that bothered me, to address the point...

The Anthem should stay how it was originally written, they even changed verses in it, that changes it, asking for citizenship with their breaking the chains bs...that pissed me off, and I'm not even a patriot, lol

It has never been a requirement to know the anthem, the pledge is a different story...

Oh, and Chirac is a joke, like the dictator of Iran, Chirac needs to eat some more frogs, and stay out of the World's affairs, and Iran needs to leave Israel the frig alone for Christ sake!!

Alucard
2nd May 2006, 10:22 AM
First off, America didn't invent the English language, I believe the U.K. did.

and here's me thinking England did, ya know being English and all ;x

I really don't care about the French, there language or anything they care about. If I had it my way, the whole world would speak English and use 1 currency. It'd make everything a lot easier ;/

Dark-San
2nd May 2006, 11:06 AM
[b][size=3] Correction again, actually for the most widely spoken language in the world in Mandrain.

However for most widely written language is still English. All documents handled by the multi- corps are still in English.

Dark Dragonite
2nd May 2006, 11:36 AM
and here's me thinking England did, ya know being English and all ;x


Isn't the United Kingdom the same as England?



[b][size=3] Correction again, actually for the most widely spoken language in the world in Mandrain.

However for most widely written language is still English. All documents handled by the multi- corps are still in English.


Like I told Roarkiller, you can't use the fact that there are millions of more people in China as a basis for that statement, people all over the world speak english, or a mixture of both called...
www.engrish.com (http://www.engrish.com)

I don't think we're talking about how many people in the world speak it, but which language is spoken all over the world, and English is pretty much everywhere...

Alucard
2nd May 2006, 11:42 AM
Isn't the United Kingdom the same as England?

Nay.

UK = England, Ireland, Scotland & Wales.

I think is Uk. That might be Great Britain though. I dunno, I failed Geography. It explans why I live in England and I have no idea what the Uk consists of lolz~

Dark Dragonite
2nd May 2006, 12:01 PM
Here is a question for you asian, and asian speaking people...do you find engrish funny or offensive?

Austrian ViceMaster Alex
2nd May 2006, 12:42 PM
Nay.

UK = England, Ireland, Scotland & Wales.

I think Northern Ireland belongs to the UK but Ireland doesn't.

Chris
2nd May 2006, 02:31 PM
I think Northern Ireland belongs to the UK but Ireland doesn't.


This is correct. Ireland is a separate entity.

Dark Dragonite
2nd May 2006, 02:59 PM
Anyone who's gone to school in America has probably read "The Sniper" in junior high, it's about the civil war going on in Ireland, and I believe it's the IRA Vs. the brittish part of N. Ireland

firepokemon
2nd May 2006, 06:04 PM
From what I can tell, it is used by more economically advanced nations than any other language, and it seems to be the standard for most business communications as well, especially those from country to country.

I wouldn't call many english speaking countries economically advanced. Particularly not european and america where they still slap on tariffs and give money to carmakers and oil companies. Basically america pays for farmers, carmakers and whoever else to continue in business. Thats not economically advanced, thats just whack.

Secondly a country such as mine New Zealand is not economically advanced, because while we don't have tariffs and quotas etc. We have not made a fully technological transformation and are still heavily dependent on primary production and tourism.

Countries that are economically advanced include Japan and South Korea. Countries that have a real achievement in technological advancement. Or countries such as Singapore and Hong Kong that have made great achievements in economica transformation.

Though people in Japan need to stop watching hentai, stop playing dating sim games and find partners, have sex and make babies cause their population dropped this year.; Although this needs saying for countries such as Germany as well. NZ is need for more heterosexual sex as well. The western world is getting older cause people just don't have enough babies these days.

It is indeed a shame that English has become so dominant. But if we really want to speak of English that is international. Unfortunately its the disgusting US English. Americans have butchered the english language.

As for National Anthems. Leave them the fuck along.

As for immigration. People should know the language they are speaking. If you come to NZ speak english. If you choose to live in Spain. Speak Spannish. If you choose to live in France. For the love of God speak their damn language.

Hyperness is a Good Thing
3rd May 2006, 07:10 AM
Here is a question for you asian, and asian speaking people...do you find engrish funny or offensive?

here in Malaysia, we have something termed as Manglish...(personally it's rather like a total mangle of the English language to hear it). It's droll to listen to, but it really gets on my nerves sometimes.
I believe Singaporeans have a version of their own known as Singlish. Both are basically English mixed up("rojakked") with local words....and generally spoken with unique pronounciations found only here, and of course, terrible grammar. =.=
fav quote: We're so powderful at engrishlah. ^^

Dark-San
3rd May 2006, 07:32 AM
Here is a question for you asian, and asian speaking people...do you find engrish funny or offensive?


[b][size=3] Engrish? I had never heard of this word in my life before. Unless you can tell me what does it means?

Hyperness is a Good Thing
3rd May 2006, 07:47 AM
I believe engrish is slang for English mixed with the local language? (correct me if i'm wrong)

Dark Dragonite
3rd May 2006, 07:53 AM
if you go to www.engrish.com, you'll find out, it's the mispellings you get in the translation from chinese, japanese, etc into english, one of the most popular is the often seen "No Smorking" sign, it has that infamous "r" in it.

Dark-San
3rd May 2006, 08:07 AM
[b][size=3] Amazingly thats the first time, I've seen that word.

Lady Vulpix
9th May 2006, 04:24 PM
1. When it comes to establishing communication among people of different countries, I think it's best to use whatever language works, as long as the meaning can go through. Doesn't understanding each other matter more than what language is used?

2. Yes, I think national anthems should be left in their original languages. A translation can be made to help others understand what they say, but I wouldn't try to fit a translation into the original rythm, let alone sing it. I would find it disrespectful, and besides and important part of the meaning is bound to be lost too.

3. I've heard the term Engrish before referring to a mix between English and Japanese. Here in Argentina, a lot of people speak Spanglish. I'd rather stick to one language when I can, rather than mixing them up.

SupremeChampion
10th May 2006, 11:34 AM
[i]as pertaining to your questions: 1.) really, whatever language works... be it english, italian, french, japanese, whatever... i mean if english is the language that everyone generally uses, so be it. 2.) yes, i really think that national anthems should be left in their own language. i mean you don't hear english verisons of the french national anthem being sung in france (how mad would they get then :rolleyes:), so i mean i think anthems should be sung in whatever language they were written in originally. on a related topic, i think countries should have one offical language (english for america and britian, french for france, and so on) that should be spoken when outside the home, like when you're at a restraunt or whatever. now i mean, exceptions can be made for tourists or whatever, but like each country should have an offical language so that places like mcdonalds don't need translators. i'm not saying the spanish can't speak spanish in their own homes, but just to make it easier on everyone, have one offical language that is to be spoken everywhere else.

~The Italian Stallion