(no subject)

Sean M. Burke sburke@cpan.org
Sat, 07 Dec 2002 20:13:06 -0700

At 10:08 2002-12-06 -0600, Peter_Constable@sil.org wrote:
>On 12/06/2002 06:08:33 AM "Sean M. Burke" wrote:
> >* People's orthographic/script preferences are almost always attached to
> >particular languages...
>Also, when people express language preferences, are they not typically 
>thinking in terms of text, and also expressing writing system and 
>orthography preferences?

I'd guess: typically yes for languages where literacy is widespread and/or 
where a text medium is implicated, and typically no for a potentially large 
number of other cases.

For example, the public radio station here in New Mexico does a voter guide 
show in several local languages -- i.e., taking the descriptions of the 
ballot parts (candidates for posts; bond measures; referendums, etc.) and 
reading them in translation.  So there's 20 minutes of the voter guide in 
Laguna, 20 minutes in Zuni, 20 minutes in Navajo, etc.

So imagine the radio station has those as mp3s on their web site (which 
would be a shocking display of competence, but note that I use the word 
"imagine").  If their web page said "The voter guide show is available in 
several languages.  Which language would you prefer?  * Zuni    * 
Navajo    * Laguna  [...etc]".
Ditto if the voter guide were on some kind of dial-in touch-tone menu system.

Clearly, on the Internet, text is historically the privileged "default" 
medium, but I think of that as a non-essential (but common) detail.

Sean M. Burke    http://search.cpan.org/author/sburke/