Re: [xmca] La teoría de la actividad y la práctica , bilingualism

From: Paul Dillon (
Date: Fri Oct 27 2006 - 18:03:49 PDT

Mike, et al.
  One begins to understand the mania of the logical positivists, especially Carnap, for an absolutely logical language. But the fact is that real language is part of history/culture and is therefore particular, although el genero humano universal ya comienza a desplegarse por la technologia en esta edad de la transicion al socialismo,
  Nevertheless, it seems that there is a range between poetry and prose and cooking recipes, for example. Lawrence Ferlinghetti made a pithy observation about translations, beauty and faithfulness that I won't repeat hear for fear of being slammed by the pc POLICE.
  But Isn't what we do when talking about CHAT much closer to cooking recipes than poetry? And although when we write something that is meant to stand the test of time, unlike these posts to xmca, we want it to be as beautifully written as possible, how many really attempt that in these posts.
  But the ease of expression one feels in a lanugage that they know well either from having been born with it or having lived using it for years is important to take into account. People should be free to express themselves within their best medium and that isn't necesarrily restricted to one language, and languages change, the way people speak Spanish in Ayacucho or the way I remember hearing black English in Selma Alabama are far cries from standards -- is it possible to discuss CHAT theory in these languages?? .
  Furthermore, ones identity is closely bound to the language they speak and this can change. I remember how, when I returned to the US from one long period of residence in Peru, how I would slip into Spanish while talking to my mom, and only from the odd look she was giving me would I realize that I wasn't talking to her in English. I think that's an extreme form of culture shock, which is a term applied to the experience of returning to one's natal culture after having become acculturated to another (unlike what most people believe it to be, al reves). So for the benefit of those who feel intimidated to write in English, let's encourage them to write in whatever language they feel freest in, and let those who don't know that language do the Babelfish for themselves. Why perpetuate what Samir Amin called "Unequal Exchange"?
  But I'm still not convinced by Babelfish and am writing this in English since it's going on that way, but let's say, YES to real diversity, forget that the tower crashed to the ground and just tell everyone to write in whatever language they feel most appropriate to their ability to express and the audience they wish to address.
  Pero si podemos buscar la forma de traducir los textos y llevar a cabo nuestos conversatorios para ampliar los horizontes de la comunidad y romper la division de los lenguajes, no es cierto?
  Paul Dillon

Mike Cole <> wrote:
  I am not sure that I understand what people discussing this thread have
written in English,
never mind babblefish!!

Paul has nicely demonstrated how it is possible to use babblefish to give
readers some access to what is being discussed and Ana has pointed to the
fact that
where anyone who feels the urge can ask for help and clarification. In my
experience, such
an exercise requires about 30 secs of time.

Is a total "perfect" translation EVER possible (as the Italians question)? I
doubt it in principle, but the problem is ESPECIALLY acute in academic
discourse with little face to face constraint on
interpretation (in other contexts one can come a lot closer).

Is it worthwhile for us? I found babblefish translations of recent posts in
spanish very helpful
but of course missed much of the intended meaning. But when has that not
been true??

On 10/27/06, Ana Marjanovic-Shane wrote:
> Paul and everyone,
> Although it does sometimes feel frustrating that many more people speak
> English (on this list) than any other language, I think that
> historically there always existed a "Lingua Franca" -- a common language
> in which people of all different national languages still could
> communicate. For Science and Philosophy it used to be Latin for many
> many centuries. Nowadays English is one of these common languages.
> I have never really felt squashed by not being able to express my
> thoughts in Serbo-Croatian -- although there were times when I had to
> make a special effort to express what I could easily do in Serbian. I
> also speak German and French and a bit of Russian, and I know, like
> Michael (Roth) how nuances can get lost in translation. But on the other
> hand, I feel rich for being able to speak more than one language. I
> don't think that there is ever a possibility for "complete" translation.
> But, imagine! We sit on all these far away points of this planet and we
> chat (pun intended) together, and by doing that we are building a new
> community with its own meanings. And when we do not have quite a good
> vocabulary in English, we can add a Russian word ("perezhivanye") or a
> Spanish word (you tell me), or maybe a whole expression in another
> language, and we can start using any terminology we need to understand
> each other better, just like it has been done in all the times.
> Languages are plastic and adjustable, and if we have so much to share,
> we will find the way.
> Also, we can always serve as teachers to each other and help everyone
> learn (or at least get a sense of ) what do we loose by not reading
> Vygotsky/Luria/Leontiev/Davidov etc in Russian, what by not reading
> Marx, Hegel, Heidegger or Lewin in German, what by not reading Derrida
> and so many others in French, etc. ...
> Knowing many languages is a great asset, and no one should feel
> oppressed by any one of the languages they know. The only oppression is
> if you know only one language -- that is a loss...
> I love reading Spanish if I also have a translation into English next to
> it. That also lets me learn Spanish a little better than I can
> understand it now.
> Thank you all for that gift.
> Ana (M-S)
> Paul Dillon wrote:
> > Nacho,
> >
> > No estoy de acuerdo en principio. Quiero reflexionar un poco para
> mejor comunicar mi posicion mas tarde. Pero en breve, mis objeciones tienen
> que ver con el marco historico en el cual todo el proceso de aprendizaje
> tiene lugar y la necesidad de apoderamiento. En los discursos del CHAT se
> acostumbran a ver procesos historicos de corto plazo a pesar de que es una
> teoria que nacio y todavia tiene raices en una teoria de cambio historico a
> largo plazo. En donde se debe enfrentar esas contradicciones del tercer
> nivel de largo plazo? La cuestion de cortesia no me parece relevante si se
> trata de apoderar quienes han sido aplastado por la sociedad cuya lengua
> oficial es el ingles. Despues tratare de formular estos apuntes en una
> forma mas desarrollada.
> >
> > No obstante, quiero senalar la otra observacion que hice: si uno va a
> traducir, no seria mas conveniente hacerlo despues de haber escrito todo en
> un lenguaje?
> >
> > I disagree in principle. I want to think about it a little to
> communicate about it later. But briefly, my objections have to do with the
> historical framework in which the process of learning takes place and the
> necessity for empowerment. En CHAT discourses it's commmon to look at sort
> term historical processes even though it's a theoory that was born and
> still has roots in a theory of long term historical change. Where should
> the long-term tertiary contradictions be taken on? The question about
> courtesy doesn't seem relevant when we're dealing with the empowerment
> of those who have been squashed by the society whose official language is
> English. Later I will try to formulate these points in a more developed
> way.
> >
> > Nevertheless, I want to point out the other observation that I
> made: if one is going to translate, wouldn't it be easier to do it after
> having written everything in one language?
> >
> > Paul Dillon
> >
> > -- this is a babelfish translation of the Spanish message:
> >
> > I do not agree in principle. I want to reflect a little better to
> communicate my position but late. But shortly, my objections have to do with
> the historico frame in which all the process of learning takes place and the
> empowering necessity. In the speeches of the CHAT they get used to seeing
> historicos processes of short term although teoria is one that nacio and
> todavia has root in one in the long term teoria of historico change. In
> where one is due to face those contradictions of the third level of long
> term? The courtesy question does not seem to me excellent if it is to
> empower who have been squashed by the society whose official language is
> ingles. Despues will try to formulate these notes in a developed form but.
> However, I want to senalar the other observation that I did: if one is going
> to translate, nonserious but advisable to make it despues of have written
> everything in a language?
> >
> >
> > -- this is a babelfish translation of the Spanish message: It would
> be great if it worked but as you can see, it doesn't work very well at all,
> better than nothing, but why should people who can read English but not
> write it be forced to spend all their extra time translating for the benefit
> of people who don't read Spanish???
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Nacho Montero García-Celay wrote:
> > Paul,
> > I realize your point it's important. But I think of it as a matter of
> > courtesy. The majority of XMCA's members are not able to read in
> spanish,
> > so let start with the main language.
> > Entiendo la importancia de lo queplanteas pero yo me lo planteo como una
> > cuestión de cortesía. La mayoría de los miembros de XMCA no pueden leer
> en
> > castellano, así que prefiero empezar por el idioma de la mayoría.
> > Any way, your comment reminds me the idea that every single person has
> to
> > be able to use her maternal language for communication, for learning and
> > for research. Nowadays, it is not possible among hispanic people at USA,
> or
> > aymara and quechua people, in Peuú, Chile or Bolivia (among others).
> > En cualquier caso, tu comentario me recuerda que cualquier persona
> debería
> > poder usar su lengua materna para comunicarse, aprender e investigar.
> Hoy
> > día es algo que no es posible entre los hispanos en los Estados Unidos,
> o
> > entre los aymaras y quequa, en Perú, Chile o Bolivia.
> > NACHO.
> >
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> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
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> --
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Ana Marjanovic'-Shane,Ph.D.
> 151 W. Tulpehocken St.
> Philadelphia, PA 19144
> Home office: (215) 843-2909
> Mobile: (267) 334-2905
> > >
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