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Poll: Is Arnold Schwarzenegger a native speaker of English?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 09:13
SITE STAFF
Oct 5, 2005

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Is Arnold Schwarzenegger a native speaker of English?".

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


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Siegfried Armbruster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 18:13
Member (2004)
English to German
+ ...
Why should he? Oct 5, 2005

As far as I know, he is Austrian.

I am quite interested to learn why this question was posted. Is there not as saying "Where is the beef?".

So please explain, what is the reason for this question? Or why do you believe that anybody might believe that Arnie is a native speaker of English?.

Siegfried


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Maria Diaconu  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 19:13
English to Romanian
:D Oct 5, 2005

Nice poll, whose idea was it?

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Özden Arıkan  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 18:13
Member
English to Turkish
I think it's quite relevant a question Oct 5, 2005

I'm not sure if the poster of this poll had the same in mind, though, but the controversy over native-speakers, or more precisely, which language to translate into, is an important issue for us language professionals. Arnie is certainly not a native speaker of English, but the issue is not closed at that point. Such questions would be relevant, as well: Were he a translator, would he be qualified to translate into English? I don't know for how long he's been away from his native country, but it must be a long time. So, this question would also be relevant: Would he be qualified to translate into German?



[Edited at 2005-10-05 10:40]


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Helene Diu  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 18:13
Member (2004)
English to French
Poll not relevant as it involves a politician Oct 5, 2005

I personnally don't see the relevance of this poll as its subject is a person who may have become famous through the entertainement industry but whose current activities involve public office and politics. He is furthermore a controversial person in these activities.

Why should he be featured on a non-politics professional website?
What hidden message is this poll suppose to convey?

Helene - not too happy


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Niraja Nanjundan  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:43
German to English
The poll doesn't have anything to do with US politics Oct 5, 2005

This poll doesn't really have anything to do with US politics. It merely serves to provoke a discussion on what the definition of a native speaker is. Some of the translators on Proz.com have indicated that they are native speakers in two languages. Are both these languages their mother tongues or are they just their "best languages" In that case should there really be a term "native speaker" or should it be called "first language" or "best language" or anything else? It is also of concern to translators from countries like India, Hong Kong, Singapore etc., can they be defined as native speakers of English?

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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 12:13
SITE FOUNDER
Poll concerns native language, using a known speaker as the subject Oct 5, 2005

Helene Diu wrote:

I personnally don't see the relevance of this poll as its subject is a person who may have become famous through the entertainement industry but whose current activities involve public office and politics. He is furthermore a controversial person in these activities.

Why should he be featured on a non-politics professional website?
What hidden message is this poll suppose to convey?


I vetted this poll. This poll is about the native language of a well-known speaker. I don't think the person who proposed it necessarily wants to say anything, but even if they did, they can not control the results. So I think it is a fair poll. (albeit the results are one-sided and perhaps predictable.)


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tectranslate ITS GmbH
Local time: 18:13
German
+ ...
Interesting poll, interesting discussion Oct 5, 2005

Thanks, Henry. I'm glad you vetted this poll, glad there is pretty much universal agreement about Arnie not being a native speaker and I'm curious about the further discussion in this thread.

Benjamin
(who bought the Terminator Trilogy DVD box the other day and thinks Arnie's accent is a blast.)


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Monika Coulson  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:13
Member (2001)
English to Albanian
+ ...
Fun Poll Oct 5, 2005

This poll gave me a chuckle and also made me think a bit more about native speaker discussions. Thank you to the person who post it. Have a nice day.

Monika


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Klaus Herrmann  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 18:13
Member (2002)
English to German
+ ...
No way Oct 5, 2005

I don't understand this poll as it's pretty obvious that he's not a native Speaker. He's born in Austria and spent his first 20 or so years in a German-speaking country. How could he possibly claim to be a native speaker of English?

Since it involves AS: when I'm in the US, I usually tell my business partners that I'm aware of my German accent and I don't have a problem about it. This saves them from polite lies and is usually a good laugh: "I'm Schwarzenegger's pronunciation trainer." So, Arnie a native speaker? Zetts a silly kwestion.


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Andy Watkinson
Spain
Local time: 18:13
Member
Catalan to English
+ ...
Another inane poll Oct 5, 2005

I'm all for a joke, and the off-topic is probably my favourite forum because of that - but I thought the polls were supposed to be serious.

It doesn't make me think about "native speaker issues".
It makes me think that someone believes we're all daft.

What's going to be the next childish question?

"What's the sound of one hand clapping?" - no doubt a subtle, thought-provoking question for all those one-handed translators amongst us???

I give up.


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Helene Diu  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 18:13
Member (2004)
English to French
The point is clear the way you put it... Oct 5, 2005

... but I still think there might have been a better choice of person to convey it - someone more neutral than a politician in the news. Maybe a well-known writer who writes in a language different from the one they were born and raised with? Andreï Makine of "Le testament français" (Russian native, speaks and writes in French), Kaizuo Ishiguro of "The remains of the Day" (Japanese native, speaks and writes in English), for example. Or maybe people born in countries having more than one official language?


Niraja Nanjundan wrote:

This poll doesn't really have anything to do with US politics. It merely serves to provoke a discussion on what the definition of a native speaker is. Some of the translators on Proz.com have indicated that they are native speakers in two languages. Are both these languages their mother tongues or are they just their "best languages" In that case should there really be a term "native speaker" or should it be called "first language" or "best language" or anything else? It is also of concern to translators from countries like India, Hong Kong, Singapore etc., can they be defined as native speakers of English?


Henry wrote:

I vetted this poll. This poll is about the native language of a well-known speaker. I don't think the person who proposed it necessarily wants to say anything, but even if they did, they can not control the results. So I think it is a fair poll. (albeit the results are one-sided and perhaps predictable.)


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 12:13
SITE FOUNDER
Any suggestions on another speaker? Oct 5, 2005

Helene Diu wrote:

... but I still think there might have been a better choice of person to convey it - someone more neutral than a politician in the news. Maybe a well-known writer who writes in a language different from the one they were born and raised with? Andreï Makine of "Le testament français" (Russian native, speaks and writes in French), Kaizuo Ishiguro of "The remains of the Day" (Japanese native, speaks and writes in English), for example. Or maybe people born in countries having more than one official language?


These two might make good subjects for a poll on "native writers", but I suppose that most of our poll respondents will not not have heard either of these two speak, so I would not vet a poll asking about them as native speakers.

The current poll looks like it won't be moving much. Anyone have another personage (a known speaker) that we might vote on? I'll alternate the poll if there is another good character.


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Natalia Zudaire  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 13:13
Member (2004)
English to Spanish
+ ...
First actor, then politician. Oct 5, 2005

Helene Diu wrote:

... someone more neutral than a politician in the news.



I forgot he was a politician until I read your posting.
I don't think people outside the US think of him first as a politician, I always picture Terminator on my head when someone mentions his name. =)
If he is in the news, that's there, on the US. And this is a global site.

Naty


ps: I really thought the poll was fun.

[Edited at 2005-10-05 13:28]


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Andy Watkinson
Spain
Local time: 18:13
Member
Catalan to English
+ ...
Great, Naty Oct 5, 2005

"I always picture Terminator on my head when someone mentions his name. =)"

Now that's what I call imagination.)


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