2009.01.24 13:00 - Language

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    The guardian for this session was Aurora Kitaj. Scath and Zen where at the Pavilion from the start of the session as was a French speaker who was entirely new to sl. Clearly slightly disorientated, this avi was looking for French speakers and enquiring about the goal of the ‘game’. Although we offered to translate, this avatar moved off. However, this did provide us with the theme of the session.

    Anonymous: I'm looking for a goal in this game
    Aurora Kitaj: You mean Play as Being?
    Scathach Rhiadra: or SL?
    Zen Arado: Scath
    Scathach Rhiadra: Hello Zen:)
    Zen Arado: Hi Aurora
    Aurora Kitaj: Sl is not a game in that sense ;)
    Scathach Rhiadra: it’s a virtual world
    Aurora Kitaj: Have you visited help island?
    Aurora Kitaj: Yes Scath is right
    Zen Arado: are you French, anonymous?
    Anonymous: yes
    Anonymous: oh okay so what is fun? There some place I must visit?
    Aurora Kitaj: yes, there are lots of places to visit
    Zen Arado: best place is France Accueil
    Anonymous: you know in France this game is not very famous...
    Zen Arado: I will give you a landmark

    Pila arrives and anonymous was offered a number of landmarks by those present.

    Scathach Rhiadra: Hello Pila
    Pila Mulligan: greetings
    Zen Arado: Hi Pila
    Aurora Kitaj: Hi there Pila, nice to see you again. Take a seat ;))
    Pila Mulligan: thanks
    Anonymous: thanks Zen
    Zen Arado: I will put my translator on
    Anonymous: that what I needed
    Zen Arado: it only translates me I think
    Zen's translator: elle ne traduit que moi je pense
    Scathach Rhiadra: a bit of advice Penny, stand up before you teleport
    Aurora Kitaj: that's good advice took me months of trial and error to learn that one ;)
    Zen Arado: you can get a free translator
    Zen's translator: vous pouvez obtenir gratuitement un traducteur
    Scathach Rhiadra: :)
    Anonymous: how do u use the translator
    Aurora Kitaj: Anonymous here is some information about Play as Being http://playasbeing.wik.is/
    Anonymous: thx
    Anonymous: see u again
    Aurora Kitaj: the group have a wiki, and the group meets here 4 times a day, every day
    Anonymous leaves
    Pila Mulligan: bye Anonymous
    Aurora Kitaj: bye
    Zen Arado: I think everyone should have a translator
    Zen Arado: what do you think?
    Aurora Kitaj: Yes, I agree
    Pila Mulligan: they help, but the ones I have tried are not entirely accurate

    Tenk arrives.

    Aurora Kitaj: Hi Tenk... take a seat and make your self comfortable
    Aurora Kitaj: :)
    Scathach Rhiadra: Hello Tenk
    Scathach Rhiadra: yes, where do you get one?
    Pila Mulligan: hi Tenk
    Zen Arado gave you Language Translator -By Simbolic, Cupo (103, 116, 35).
    Scathach Rhiadra: ty Zen:)
    Zen Arado: It's free when you go there
    Aurora Kitaj: Thank you for that Zen.
    Pila Mulligan: thanks for the landmark, Zen
    Zen Arado: need it for my French girlfriend!
    Aurora Kitaj: I've wondered about how people got hold of those... perhaps I should be more curious
    Zen Arado: Hi Tenk
    Scathach Rhiadra: :)
    Zen Arado: I brought this up in conversation cafe
    Zen Arado: but they weren’t interested
    Aurora Kitaj: Do we have any topics for tonight's discussion emerging?
    Zen Arado: we are all so monolingual!
    Scathach Rhiadra: yes, it’s rather shameful, when you think about it
    Aurora Kitaj: Trouble is poor quality translation can cause more problems that it sorts out
    Zen Arado: yes there is that
    Scathach Rhiadra: expecting everyone to speak English
    Aurora Kitaj: google translator has had people in stitches it is so inaccurate
    Zen Arado: but it is a help
    Pila Mulligan: I began SL in association with a forum populated mainly by Europeans -- the language crcunh was a given
    Pila Mulligan: it was interesting
    Pila Mulligan: everyone spoke English, mostly, but made allowances for imperfect communications
    Zen Arado: I always wanted to learn French
    Aurora Kitaj: Tenk crashed I think ;)
    Zen Arado: but hard to find the motivation
    Scathach Rhiadra: it takes so much time to learn a language
    Zen Arado: yes
    Zen Arado: you speak Irish Scath?
    Scathach Rhiadra: yes:)
    Zen Arado: I don't :(
    Scathach Rhiadra: ah:)
    Zen Arado: protestant :)
    Aurora Kitaj: tried to learn German with out much success for about 4 months, but tried so hard we like speaking pigeon German at home.  That however imperfect it is part of myself and my kids now.
    Scathach Rhiadra: the only person I found in SL who spoke Irish, is an American, Korean Zen monk:)
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Zen Arado: strange
    Scathach Rhiadra: and he speaks it very good
    Zen Arado: Spanish is very widely spoken in the world
    Zen Arado: and in SL
    Aurora Kitaj: would be interested to know what languages people learnt at school
    Zen Arado: I learned French and Latin
    Scathach Rhiadra: so did I:)
    Zen Arado: Latin has died out now I think
    Aurora Kitaj: just French for me,
    Pila Mulligan: Latin, French and Spanish
    Aurora Kitaj: impressed with the Latin
    Zen Arado: but you can't use it to talk to people!
    Aurora Kitaj: Learning a language as an adult can be a pretty soul destroying thing, for many people
    Tenk Kidd: I was not allowed to learn German, as I was bad at French. To get into Uni I had to study Latin.
    Scathach Rhiadra: yes, I used to live in Holland, and learned Dutch as an adult
    Zen Arado: you know I am learning French very fast at the moment :)
    Aurora Kitaj: Good your you Zen.
    Zen Arado: I have found a great method!
    Aurora Kitaj: Why were you not allowed to learn German Tenk?
    Scathach Rhiadra: oh, do tell:)
    Aurora Kitaj: Yes?
    Zen Arado: I told you!
    Zen Arado: I have a French girlfriend
    Pila Mulligan: French is indeed a romance language
    Scathach Rhiadra: ah, a girlfriend:)
    Zen Arado: Ah oui!
    Scathach Rhiadra: good motivation:)
    Zen Arado: she calls me coucou!
    Zen Arado: ha ha
    Zen Arado: blushes
    Scathach Rhiadra: what does it mean?
    Tenk Kidd: There was only one German teacher - to be allowed to get into his class you had to show talent at language and I hated French!
    Aurora Kitaj: ;)
    Zen Arado: but SL is an excellent place to learn languages
    Zen Arado: cuckoo
    Zen Arado: I think
    Scathach Rhiadra: ah:)
    Aurora Kitaj: Yes, there are so many different groups to help you
    Aurora Kitaj: I had the Goethe Institute, and 'I'm learning German' and VHS to help
    Zen Arado: maybe the internet is turning the world to one language
    Pila Mulligan: Zen, if you want to respond with a Hawaiian term you can call her ipo -- it means sweetheart or lover
    Zen Arado: is that a good thing?
    Aurora Kitaj: That's sweet Zen
    Zen Arado: oh
    Zen Arado: ha ha
    Aurora Kitaj: So what is that language that was developed that everyone could learn?
    Zen Arado: Esperanto
    Scathach Rhiadra: Esperanto?
    Aurora Kitaj: That's the one...wonder if there are any Esperanto speakers on sl
    Zen Arado: don't hear much about it these days
    Scathach Rhiadra: it was popular for a while in China, I believe
    Tenk Kidd: The international language used to be Latin - I never regretted learning it, though I'm not fluent now
    Zen Arado: so you all think it is ok if we have just one language?
    Pila Mulligan: it is helpful for understanding words when if you do not speak it
    Pila Mulligan: Latin, that is
    Zen Arado: yes
    Aurora Kitaj: or else we could all take a drug that would make our brains as receptive as young children to language acquisition
    Scathach Rhiadra: hmm, not really just one language, people loose their culture if they loose their language
    Pila Mulligan: true
    Tenk Kidd: Harry Mount has a lovely little book - 'Confessions of a Latin Lover' - fun way of learning or relearning!
    Zen Arado: if there were only one language communication would be easier?
    Scathach Rhiadra: true, but could we not just have one language for international communication, and keep other languages as well?
    Pila Mulligan: well, on Star Trek English was spoken through the farthest reaches of space :)
    Aurora Kitaj: this raises all the old questions about culture, but if we all spoke one language there is nothing to say that we couldn't speak a second language that was
    Aurora Kitaj: only used by our family or culture
    Scathach Rhiadra nods
    Zen Arado: but they tend to die if they are not used
    Zen Arado: agree?
    Aurora Kitaj: Pila... very true ;))
    Pila Mulligan: Hawaii has two official languages, English and Hawaiian, and half a dozen significant cultures present often using their native language -- the mixing zone seems to be a pidgin
    Tenk Kidd: I think our language has a shaping effect on our local environment - Russians, for example, have a pragmatic engineering approach and a direct and descriptive language
    Pila Mulligan: using words from every language
    Zen Arado: yes
    Zen Arado: the language shapes our thoughts
    Zen Arado: ?
    Scathach Rhiadra: or do national characteristics shape our languages?
    Pila Mulligan: I think climate shapes both culture and language
    Aurora Kitaj: That might be true, but think of German, which is a language requiring a lot more longer words, and yet a very efficient culture
    Zen Arado: it is said that our subject/object distinction make us individualistic and feel separate from each other
    Scathach Rhiadra: mmm?
    Zen Arado: in China there is no word for 'I'
    Zen Arado: maybe I'm wrong
    Aurora Kitaj: Chinese new year this weekend
    Pila Mulligan: in English there is no word for yin :)
    Zen Arado: but I read somewhere that that is why they are more communal than us
    Pila Mulligan: kung hee fAT choy (happy new year)
    Tenk Kidd: It is often said that the flexibility in grammar and ability to absorb alien words makes English a naturally dominant international language
    Zen Arado: oh?
    Zen Arado: or is it that it belonged to a dominant culture?
    Aurora Kitaj: But it has a lot more words than some other languages, isn't that a problem?
    Aurora Kitaj: For someone learning English for the fist time
    Pila Mulligan: idiomatic English can be very difficult for non-speakers
    Zen Arado: how could you decide which language was easier to learn?
    Zen Arado: yes and French!
    Tenk Kidd: I think there is a learning problem, and one thing that makes that apparent is foreign people -like the Dutch - speaking better English than natives!
    Scathach Rhiadra: it could depend on your motivation
    Scathach Rhiadra: to learn a language
    Zen Arado: we can't take a position outside our own language background
    Zen Arado: to gauge others
    Zen Arado: you are Dutch Tenk?
    Tenk Kidd: I'm a Scot, Zen :)
    Scathach Rhiadra: :)
    Zen Arado: oh sorry
    Aurora Kitaj: ;)
    Zen Arado: :)
    Zen Arado: I'm almost a Scot myself
    Pila Mulligan: my grandmother used to say she had a lot of Scotch in her blood :)
    Zen Arado: N.Ireland!
    Zen Arado: Ulster Scot
    Aurora Kitaj: I'm almost a scot too :)
    Zen Arado: oh?
    Aurora Kitaj: Real surname is Scottish
    Zen Arado: ah
    Tenk Kidd: Ha! Well, the world would be a poorer place without Scots!
    Zen Arado: my grandfather was a Dublin man
    Aurora Kitaj: Pila, do you have close links with Hawaii?
    Pila Mulligan: aye
    Scathach Rhiadra: well, the ancient Scots, the Dal Riada migrated across from Ireland:0
    Zen Arado: oh?
    Zen Arado: Dalriada is the name of a local health centre!
    Scathach Rhiadra: its an ancient clan too
    Pila Mulligan: A Greek and an Scotsman were sitting in a Starbuck's cafe one day discussing who had the superior culture. Over triple lattes the Greek guy says, 'Well, we Greeks built the Parthenon,' arching his eyebrows.
    The Scotsman then replies, 'Well... it was the Scots that discovered the Summer and Winter Solstices.'
    The Greek retorts, 'We Greeks gave birth to advanced mathematics.' The Scotsman, nodding in agreement, says, 'Scots were the ones who built the first timepieces and calendars.'
    And so on until the Greek comes up with what he thinks will end the
    discussion. With a flourish of finality he says, 'The Greeks were the ones who invented sex!'
    The Scotsman replies, 'Indeed, that is true, but it was we Scots who
    introduced it to women.'

    Zen Arado: I don't know enough Irish history
    Zen Arado: ha ha
    Aurora Kitaj: I was waiting for the scot to say, we invented TV!
    Scathach Rhiadra: :)
    Tenk Kidd: Oh, dear! Wipes tear from eye...
    Zen Arado: Alexander Graham Bell?
    Aurora Kitaj: Loggi Baird?
    Tenk Kidd: John Macadam...
    Zen Arado: ah
    Tenk Kidd: John Dunlop...
    Zen Arado: the Americans claim somebody else
    Zen Arado: ha ha
    Aurora Kitaj: That's interesting
    Zen Arado: forget who
    Zen Arado: like they claim Edison invented the lightbulb#and we say it was Swan
    Aurora Kitaj: Well just as a short term measure... still in favour of administering some sort of drug to myself to make my brain more able to remember a new language
    Pila Mulligan: conversation seems to be the quickest way to a language for me
    Zen Arado: dangerous !
    Aurora Kitaj: at least there are no arguments about the wheel?
    Zen Arado: yes that's what I am finding out
    Scathach Rhiadra: :)
    Aurora Kitaj: Yes, but who has time these days ;)
    Zen Arado: it is more memorable
    Zen Arado: because it relates to events between people
    Scathach Rhiadra: real communication
    Tenk Kidd: There have been moves to make certain cognitive enhancers available over-the counter like vitamins in the UK
    Aurora Kitaj: yes, sounds good to me, if it works for language I would try it
    Aurora Kitaj: they don't have any side effects either
    Aurora Kitaj: apparently
    Zen Arado: would be good for exams
    Zen Arado: would it be a good thing to be super intelligent
    Zen Arado: ?
    Zen Arado: I'm not so sure
    Scathach Rhiadra: if everyone was, maybe it would be ok
    Zen Arado: good point Scath
    Tenk Kidd: wouldn't learning be a pleasure even without a drug enhancer? Isn't there a parallel with drug-cheating athletes?
    Zen Arado: we all so want to be better than others!
    Zen Arado: yes
    Aurora Kitaj: no, I just wanted not to humiliate myself by not being able to learn German quickly
    Scathach Rhiadra: yes, some people seem to have an innate love of learning
    Aurora Kitaj: sorry that last statement doesn't make any sense
    Zen Arado: yes it does
    Scathach Rhiadra: :)
    Aurora Kitaj: I wanted to learn German, I found it impossible
    Zen Arado: little and often is the best way to learn for me
    Zen Arado: there are good language programs on thr BBC website
    Zen Arado: I was using 'Ma France'
    Aurora Kitaj: I was using Michelle Thomas
    Zen Arado: it has videos which are really natural
    Aurora Kitaj: listened to it daily for several months, learned a hand full of words, was always useless at languages
    Zen Arado: but you learned English really well
    Zen Arado: so why not others?
    Aurora Kitaj: Easy, I've been practicing for 46 years
    Zen Arado: so you need more practice!
    Aurora Kitaj: and still cannot spell in the language lol
    Scathach Rhiadra: :)
    Pila Mulligan: a certain British philosopher's lyrics come to mind -- 'you can't always get what you want' ... 'I can't get no satisfaction' :)
    Zen Arado: true
    Zen Arado: Mick Jaggerism
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Zen Arado: a great philosopher
    Zen Arado: of the 20th century
    Zen Arado: Ha ha
    Aurora Kitaj: what can we learn from all this team?
    Pila Mulligan: it being noon here, on the sunny side of the planet, Pila needs to mow some grass :)
    Aurora Kitaj: Lucky you Pila ;)
    Zen Arado: I agree that it is better to preserve languages as much as possible
    Zen Arado: to maintain cultural richness
    Aurora Kitaj: Even with all the communications problems that this can cause?
    Zen Arado: yes
    Scathach Rhiadra: but communication is so important, we need to have a common language
    Aurora Kitaj: Misunderstandings, even potential conflicts?
    Pila Mulligan: nice chatting with you all, see you next time
    Scathach Rhiadra: bye Pila
    Zen Arado: hey you are arguing the other side now Scath
    Zen Arado: :)
    Aurora Kitaj: Nice to see you too Pila :)
    Tenk Kidd: we are concerned enough to communicate with others that we will try hard to be able to do so in anothers tongue?
    Zen Arado: bye Pila
    Scathach Rhiadra: no, I think there is room for both:)
    Tenk Kidd: Bye Pila?
    Zen Arado: yes
    Zen Arado: it seems to be working itself out
    Zen Arado: but English is so dominant
    Aurora Kitaj: So can I run out to the pharmacy to buy a handful of language enhancing drugs?
    Zen Arado: well I am a bit averse to using drugs
    Zen Arado: something artificial about it
    Zen Arado: like somebody said it's like athletes taking them
    Zen Arado: to me anyway
    Aurora Kitaj: I'll take that as a 'no' lol
    Zen Arado: :)
    Scathach Rhiadra: and would the enhancements stay with you, if you had not got the drugs?
    Zen Arado: exactly
    Scathach Rhiadra: might have to keep taking them:)
    Aurora Kitaj: research indicates that they do have some more longer lasting affect
    Zen Arado: dependency
    Aurora Kitaj: I think
    Aurora Kitaj: positive affect
    Tenk Kidd: Some studies have shown that recall is better when the conditions during learning are replicated when recall is required - and that includes what's in your bloodstream
    Aurora Kitaj: Not sure what to do with that Tenk!
    Scathach Rhiadra: sounds like definite dependency:)
    Aurora Kitaj: giggles
    Tenk Kidd: what I mean is that learning a language to converse it, recall is better if learning is in a conversational context
    Zen Arado: yes I read that somewhere
    Scathach Rhiadra: maybe the way to go is developing really good personal translators
    Zen Arado: yes and computers are getting better at that
    Aurora Kitaj: you mean electronic translators
    Scathach Rhiadra: yes
    Aurora Kitaj: one's that you can take with you
    Aurora Kitaj: and use in conversation
    Tenk Kidd: similarly, if you are wanting to learn to use a parachute, then doing so with the adrenaline pumping helps when to really need to remember when to use it!
    Aurora Kitaj: that understands spoken language even?
    Scathach Rhiadra: it is possible in the future
    Zen Arado: I use voice typing
    Aurora Kitaj: We can all wear babelfish in our ears
    Zen Arado: and it works well these days
    Aurora Kitaj: just like in Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy
    Zen Arado: yes :)
    Zen Arado: they're getting there
    Scathach Rhiadra: I agree with you Tenk, learning in a good environment is best for recall
    Aurora Kitaj: Well I think that we have reached the end of he session.
    Zen Arado: How many you tried voice typing lately?
    Zen Arado: Okay
    Aurora Kitaj: So I would thank everyone for their contributions
    Scathach Rhiadra: ty Aurora:)
    Zen Arado: thank you for having me Aurora
    Aurora Kitaj: and for the moral lead that you have set keeping me on the drug-free straight and narrow lol
    Zen Arado: ha ha
    Scathach Rhiadra: :)
    Tenk Kidd: Thank you Aurora :)
    Zen Arado: thanks Aurora
    Zen Arado: can I give you a LM for France Accueil?
    Aurora Kitaj: Thanks very much for attending everyone and look forward to seeing you next time
    Zen Arado: It is a brilliant place for freebies
    Aurora Kitaj: I think you gave me one thanks Zen, or maybe it was the translator
    Aurora Kitaj: yes, that would be great
    Scathach Rhiadra: please Zen:)
    Aurora Kitaj: thanks
    Zen Arado gave you France Accueil - Apprenez second, France accueil (116, 130, 60).
    Tenk Kidd: thank you Zen
    Scathach Rhiadra: thanks:)
    Aurora Kitaj: Thanks Zen
    Zen Arado: I took an American girl there today and her eyes nearly popped out of her head!
    Zen Arado: everything is free
    Zen Arado: you should see the women/s clothes especially
    Scathach Rhiadra: ha:)
    Scathach Rhiadra: the French style:)
    Zen Arado: she just wanted me to go so she could get shopping :)
    Scathach Rhiadra: well, good night all, namasté:)
    Zen Arado: ok bye Scath
    Aurora Kitaj: Bye Scath
    Aurora Kitaj: Thanks Zen, I must visit this place
    Zen Arado: guess I better go too
    Zen Arado: It's very laggy
    Zen Arado: but it's worth it
    Zen Arado: bye
    Tenk Kidd: Bye Zen

    The session ended with Aurora, the inattentive guardian, wishing farewell, only to discover Zen and Tenk had left moments before.

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