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Old 27th March 2013, 11:11 PM
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Post Italian university switches to English

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-17958520
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Old 28th March 2013, 12:19 AM
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Re: Italian university switches to English

So they're switching from the Latin alphabet to the English alphabet?

Avtal
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Old 28th March 2013, 04:42 AM
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Re: Italian university switches to English

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Originally Posted by Avtal View Post
So they're switching from the Latin alphabet to the English alphabet?

Avtal
Just as the Real World is either localising or switching to Chinese.

Once Britain gets kicked out of the EU and the US is forced to introduce Capital Controls ala Cyprus, they Are going to sound pretty silly trying to communicate in a Mumbai Dialect of English.
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Old 28th March 2013, 08:32 AM
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Re: Italian university switches to English

Its no shock at all. Unis survive largely from course fees from foreign students. There are loads of people that would like to live & study in Italy but can't speak Italian. Switch to English languages courses. Job done. Watch the Lira / Euros pour in.
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Old 28th March 2013, 01:09 PM
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Re: Italian university switches to English

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Originally Posted by Rubber Duck View Post
Just as the Real World is either localising or switching to Chinese.

Once Britain gets kicked out of the EU and the US is forced to introduce Capital Controls ala Cyprus, they Are going to sound pretty silly trying to communicate in a Mumbai Dialect of English.
The Chinese writing system is a cultural treasure. And it is the reason why Chinese will not replace English as a world language.

I wouldn't bet against Mumbai-accented English, though. It may be time to learn how to count in lakhs.

Avtal

Last edited by Avtal; 28th March 2013 at 01:15 PM..
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Old 28th March 2013, 02:29 PM
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Re: Italian university switches to English

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Originally Posted by Avtal View Post
The Chinese writing system is a cultural treasure. And it is the reason why Chinese will not replace English as a world language.

I wouldn't bet against Mumbai-accented English, though. It may be time to learn how to count in lakhs.

Avtal
Lingua Franca have always been about power.

As military power means nothing if you don't have the financial means to sustain it, then that means economic power.

Latin was the biggest before English, but whe the empire split and the Western Empire collapsed economically, the Eastern half quickly reverted to not only the Greek Language but also the Greek writing system.

I would not write Chinese off so readily. The great strength of the Chinese writing system is its ability to transcend languages. Many languages including Viatnamese have used Chinese and in the written form are or we're mutually intelligible.
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Old 28th March 2013, 03:25 PM
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Re: Italian university switches to English

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Originally Posted by Rubber Duck View Post
Lingua Franca have always been about power.

As military power means nothing if you don't have the financial means to sustain it, then that means economic power.

Latin was the biggest before English, but whe the empire split and the Western Empire collapsed economically, the Eastern half quickly reverted to not only the Greek Language but also the Greek writing system.

I would not write Chinese off so readily. The great strength of the Chinese writing system is its ability to transcend languages. Many languages including Viatnamese have used Chinese and in the written form are or we're mutually intelligible.
I'm really not sure how you could do proper Vietnamese in written Chinese. Vietnamese has even more weird dipthongs and tripthongs than Thai, sounds and tones just not heard in other languages, including Chinese.

Even if its possible, its academic. People in Vietnam don't write with Chinese. They write with Vietnamese.
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Old 28th March 2013, 04:02 PM
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Re: Italian university switches to English

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Originally Posted by domainguru View Post
I'm really not sure how you could do proper Vietnamese in written Chinese. Vietnamese has even more weird dipthongs and tripthongs than Thai, sounds and tones just not heard in other languages, including Chinese.

Even if its possible, its academic. People in Vietnam don't write with Chinese. They write with Vietnamese.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vietnamese_language

Language policy

While spoken by the Vietnamese people for millennia, written Vietnamese did not become the official administrative language of Vietnam until the 20th century. For most of its history, the entity now known as Vietnam used written classical Chinese written in the standard set of Chinese characters, distinguished as chữ nho "Confucian script". In the 13th century, however, the country invented Chữ nôm, a writing system making use of Chinese characters with phonetic elements in order to better suit the tones associated with the Vietnamese language. Chữ nôm proved to be much more efficient than classical Chinese characters and consequently was used extensively in the 17th and 18th centuries for poetry and literature. Chữ nôm was used for administrative purposes during the brief Hồ and Tây Sơn Dynasties. During French colonialism, French superseded Chinese in administration. It was not until independence from France that Vietnamese was used officially. It is the language of instruction in schools and universities and is the language for official business.

Lexicon

The words in orange belong to the Vietnamese native lexical stock while the ones in green belong to the Sino-Vietnamese vocabulary.
Like many other Asian countries, as a result of close ties with China for thousands of years, much of the Vietnamese lexicon relating to science and politics is derived from Chinese - see Sino-Vietnamese vocabulary. At least 60% of the lexical stock has Chinese roots, not including naturalized word borrowings from China, although many compound words are composed of native Vietnamese words combined with Chinese borrowings[citation needed]. One can usually distinguish between a native Vietnamese word and a Chinese borrowing if it can be reduplicated or its meaning does not change when the tone is shifted.[clarification needed] As a result of French occupation, Vietnamese has since had many words borrowed from the French language, for example cà phê (from French café). Nowadays, many new words are being added to the language's lexicon due to heavy Western cultural influence; these are usually borrowed from English, for example TV (though usually seen in the written form as tivi). Sometimes these borrowings are calques literally translated into Vietnamese (for example, software is calqued into phần mềm, which literally means "soft part").
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Last edited by Rubber Duck; 28th March 2013 at 04:04 PM..
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Old 28th March 2013, 07:55 PM
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Re: Italian university switches to English

You can use http://en.字.com/ to convert Chinese characters into modern Vietnamese.
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Old 29th March 2013, 02:12 AM
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Re: Italian university switches to English

From the Wikipedia article on chữ nôm, footnote 24:

David G Marr Vietnamese Tradition on Trial, 1920-1945 1984 Page 141/142 "By the same token, some women developed word skills to the point where they could outmatch any male participants — much to the delight of their peers. Partly as a means to capture Vietnamese folklore in writing, the literati gradually improvised a separate ideographic system to accord with the sounds and syntax of the spoken language. Known subsequently as nom, this unique Vietnamese script unfortunately remained even more unwieldy than the Chinese from which it was spawned. Unlike Japanese kana or Korean Hangul/no process of character simplification that resulted in a basic set of phonemes or syllables. Some of the problem lay in the tonal and nonagglutinative nature of Vietnamese as contrasted with Japanese or Korean. More important, however, was the attitude of most Vietnamese literati, who continued to regard Chinese as the ultimate in civilized communication and thus considered nom a form of recreation."

Note the section in bold. The Chinese writing system is good for writing Chinese, if you learn it at a young enough age or have a prodigious memory. It is not so good for writing other languages, once you dive into the details. Which is why the Vietnamese, Japanese, and Koreans developed their own writing systems to supplement the characters they acquired from the Chinese.

Anyway, I agree that language adoption is driven by economic influence, and that by that logic Chinese should take over by mid-century. But the writing system is a major barrier, and as a result English will probably remain the global language longer than it deserves.

Avtal

P.S. My favorite article on the subject: "Why Chinese is so damn hard", which focuses on the difficulties of learning written Chinese as an adult. A quote: "Those who undertake to study the language for any other reason than the sheer joy of it will always be frustrated by the abysmal ratio of effort to effect. Those who are actually attracted to the language precisely because of its daunting complexity and difficulty will never be disappointed. "
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Old 29th March 2013, 03:08 AM
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Re: Italian university switches to English

There's a key difference. They weren't writing Vietnamese vernacular with Chinese characters, they were writing in Classical Chinese.

Japanese is a far more dissimilar language, and they do just fine with Chinese characters.

Vietnamese is close to what Chinese would look like if it were written in Pinyin romanization with tone marks, if Pinyin had been invented by the French.
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Old 29th March 2013, 04:51 AM
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Re: Italian university switches to English

Yes, no doubt America which by then whose economy will be mostly about agricultural products and sex tourism will probably learn Chinese as a compulsory subject at Nursery School.
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