En el grupo hispanoparlante de OAC acabamos de tener un intercambio breve pero curioso (por lo menos, asi me lo ha parecido a mi) acerca de si nos mudamos o no al foro principal, es decir, a este lugar tan centrico desde el que escribo estas lineas. La pregunta que quiero plantear en este hilo, en parte a modo de experimento, es la siguiente: £Caben otras lenguas en el foro principal de la OAC que no sean el ingles, que al fin y al cabo es la lengua franca mundial? £O podria conducir esto, como ha sugerido un colega, a un 'efecto Babel' que tal vez vaya en detrimento de la colectividad?

Confieso que yo mismo no lo tengo muy claro, aunque sospecho que la arquitectura de este tipo de foro permite la coexistencia pacifica de la lengua de Obama con las lenguas regionales - siempre y cuando haya voluntad de participacion.

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Gracias Owen. De momento, asi estan las cosas:

Foro monolingue 0, foro plurilingue 1

(Sin olvidar que lengua franca, como madre, no hay mas que una).
Con babel fish, y con un poco de ayuda de nuestros amigos, se puede capturar las temas importantes en otras idiomas algunas. En fin, se depende con quienes se quiere a hablar y entender. Luckily understanding is not only a matter of common language.

lingua franca would assume that we will see more French spoken, perhaps...
Gracias, Huon.

Foro monolingue 0, foro plurilingue 2.

Bueno, yo creo que habria que distinguir entre la unica lingua franca mundial - el ingles - y las linguas francas regionales (frances, arabe, espanol, swahili, mandarin, etc.). Me parece a mi que la unica lengua comun (= que entiende todo el mundo, mal que bien) en OAC es el ingles.

Cuando dices que "depende con quienes se quiere hablar y entender" habria que matizar: precisamente la excepcion esta en las lenguas francas de un espacio comunicativo especifico como lo pueda ser Africa Orienal (swahili) o OAC (ingles). Si quieres que te entienda practicamente todo el mundo en Africa Oriental, tendras que hablar swahili, no ingles. Pero si te pusieras a escribir en swahili en OAC te entenderia solo una pequenya minoria. La que en otro contexto es una lengua franca (el swahili), se convierte aqui en una lengua minoritaria.
John,

Bueno, Si yo no hablo en Ingles, Ingles no es un lenguaje mundial o comun en el mundo mio. Por Razones historicas, ni Espanol, ni Portugues, por ejemplo, son lenguajes regionales. En un sentido diferente, OAC no es un territorio, y si uno quiere hablar en Swahili, se puede invitar amigos que hablan Swahili; en mi opinion es tan simple. Yo no quiero que me entienden todo el mundo objectivo; que de todas formas nunca puede ser possible objectivamente.

Perhaps there is a slight danger here, also potentially present in the wonderful very interesting graphics of 'national' blocks that Francine Barrone has produced, in terms of people mobilising themselves according to (possibly fallacious) imagined identities.The community of OAC, to my mind, is the community of whoever attaches themself to OAC: there are of course historical and political reasons why certain kinds of people might predominate, but that should not provide a quasi-legal basis for anything that people then want to get up to on their own behalf.

Thanks very much for introducing this discussion point, by the way.
Me encanta la idea. Claro caben otras lenguas. ¿Por qué no?
Pues you me apunto al foro plurilingue, pero en las lenguas francas que son minoritarias como la mia (el Catalan) nos vamos a quedar dos y el gato, y despues de vivir 8 anyos en Wales, un poco de Cymraeg no estaria mal, oye, y si encima ponemos Japones (con Hiragana assistido) you encantada de la vida pues me cubre todas las lenguas que necessito pal fieldwork.

En serio, no creo que haya nada malo en saber quien habla que lengua, por ejemplo si viese a alguien escribiendo en Ruso no podria decir les ni hola, pero al menos sabria quien es quien linguisticamente.

Aunque yo no pudiese usar my lengua franca por ser minoritaria no me importaria saber quien mas la usa aqui, no para empezar un forum, sino simplemente para tener una vision mas completa del 'spectrum' de la gente en el OAC
Não poderia estar mais de acordo. I totally agree with you, Huon, and I do think that OAC is one special forum and one wonderful opportunity to discuss seriously and openly this kind of matters, so important for anthropology (and mainly for the world anthropologies).

Ingles es somente a língua franca ou é também a língua hegemónica? Both? (I feel I´m creating some kind of bad creole...).

It´s my feeling that many people in OAC are not interested in that kind of debate and avoid to explore sensitive matters that could introduce difficult questions and answers. That's not my opinion and I reaffirm it: the OAC is really an opportunity to debate and discuss openly, seriously and politely, although critically, the most sensitive anthropological matters.

Answering the question made by John Postill: for me is much more difficult to express ideas in english and it is much easier in portuguese... And - most important than my own language abilities - is that the only english-spoken debates exclude immediately those who cannot speak and understand english. So, I prefer the coexistence of several languages even if it raises some difficulties.

Obrigada/gracias/thank you, John. É uma questão importante.
Estoy de acuerdo con Cristina en su sentimiento de que muchas veces en OAC se plantean temas sensibles pero hay apatía en abordarlos. Quizá muchos sienten temor en hablar sobre temas que puedan comprometerlos frente a la opinión de los demás. Pero si somos consecuentes con un espacio que entiendo se abrió para conocer personas, experiencias y opiniones, entonces hay que hacerlo sin importar realmente el idioma.

Soy de la idea que nuestra lengua nos marca hacia una forma de comprensión de la vida y si además nuestra región tiene una particularidad histórica, definitivamente tenemos, antropólogos o no, una tendencia a tratar ciertos temas de interés particular.

Cuál tema vamos a tratar aquí a fondo? O solo vamos a demostrar destrezas de escribir en distintos idiomas?
Se agradecen las nuevas contribuciones a esta tertulia. Si no me equivoco, el marcador esta asi (una goleada de momento):

Foro monolingue 0, Foro plurilingue 6.

Yo creo que cada hilo ha de cenyirse a su tema, en este caso el tema es si caben otras lenguas en este foro principal de la OAC. Dado que el experimento parece que funciona, yo opino que lo suyo seria ahora iniciar de vez en cuando nuevas tertulias (hilos, threads) en otras lenguas, pero tolerando el tipo de hibridez linguistica que hemos visto ya en este hilo.

En cuanto al comentario de Anayensy sobre el temor a hablar, me parece un asunto digno de reflexion. No se me ocurre ningun remedio mas que proponer temas que interesen a la gente y animar a nuestros colegas y contactos a que contribuyan. Para mi una barrera imponente es la falta de tiempo, y lo veo en estudiantes, ex-estudiantes y academicos que conozco: andamos todos muy pillados de tiempo intentando buscarnos la vida en un mercado laboral duro.
Obrigado Cristina,

He provado: dios (y en realidad) Angels saven que tengo un Castellano minimo y malucho. As I think you are suggesting the way ahead will involve some kind of metodo criollo-crioulo-creole. Since I work in the Caribbean I am unable to see language as a fixed object or as determinant of a singular way of thinking.

Thanks again John
John,

I can follow much of the Spanish, but I can't begin to write it, even like Huon. From the beginning I encouraged the use of other languages in the OAC and even played a part in stimulating discussion in Spanish and Nordic languages. If De Paul university can have a closed group all to itself, I don't see why Brazilians shouldn't discuss their own affairs in Portuguese. The essence of an inclusive association is that people should be free to express cultural particulars in the way they want with people they hope might understand.

In my 20s and 30s I picked up a lot of languages, including four African, at varying levels of skill. What struck me about uneducated Africans was that no-one had told them learning a language was difficult and they often managed quite well in ten or more, mixing the words from several as they felt like it. My languages were part of a cluster of 22 in two groups, similar in variety to Germanic and Romance European. And of course dialect variations were infinite, even between two villages. I ended up becoming very fluent in one and being mutually intelligible to some degree with speakers of the other 20. If language is about communicating with the intention of being understood, there must be many pragmatic solutions that have little to do with how a national language is taught at school.

For the last three decades I have withdrawn from foreign languages, but I have had to upgrade my spoken French after living in Paris for 12 years and having a young daughter who doesn't speak English. I have become fascinated with the history and diversity of English, with its registers of German, Latin/French, Celtic, Norse and what was spoken between the time of Stonehenge and 700BC when the first Indo-European speakers arrived, its regional dialects, the interplay of American and British English, not to mention Indian, South African etc., English on the internet, how to write for an audience for whom English is a second language. The proliferation of jargons (mostly Latin-based) has been largely a result of bureaucratic expansion under the Tudor state, Victorian empire and American global hegemony.

It is after all a bloody miracle that any form of words might convey meaning from one mind to another with some level of mutual comprehension. What strikes me most is the enormous goodwill than human beings bring to conversation, a willingess to ignore the truth that for much of the time we are ships passing in the night, going through the motions, not getting much of it at all. While the Spanish-, Arabic- and Chinese-speakers are challenging English as the dominant world language, English will have become a family of proliferating dialects with large parts mutually incomprehensible to the inmates, as indeed their own regional variations are.

I'm waiting for a French discussion group to emerge and then I will propose that we each speak whatever we are most comfortable with, mixing as we normally do in informal conversation.

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