Mobile menu

An apology and a correction/justification
Thread poster: Klaus Dorn
Klaus Dorn
Local time: 04:56
German to English
+ ...
May 5, 2002

Dear ProZ community!



More than a week ago I replied to a topic about arguments on ProZ in a very attacking and, for some people, offensive fashion.



I made a statement about native speakers and the my beliefs of certain nationals to call themselves a native speaker of English or German, which, as I recognized, caused offence to many individuals.



I would like to apologise for this comment and explain, that all of which I submitted was my own opinion (I had actually started the particular paragraph \"I feel\" and the subsequent words \"is a farce\" were still to be seen in the context of \"I feel\".



I have, over the nine months I spent on ProZ, met quite a few nice colleagues, I like the community and the idea of offending anyone was far from my intention.



I would like to quote Salman Rushdie right here: \"The English have lost possession of their language a long time ago.\"



For myself, I have settled the matter accepting that there are several types of German and English and I henceforth title them like this, same as I do in teaching languages (Australian English, South African English, Austrian German, etc.). I hope this is an acceptable point of view for the others too. I would like to just give one reply to those who accused me of stating that Australians, New Zealanders, South Africans and Americans not having a native language: alone in America, there were as many of 500 Indian languages prior to the arrival of any European. So much just for the record.



Furthermore, I made a statement on the rising entry of mainly British and US-English words into the German language and expanded the influence of the language to the change in culture, values and therefore the influence on the behaviour of individuals, citing the tragedy of Erfurt as a sign. Many thought this comment/connection was distasteful and without respect to the victims of the incident. I would like to apologise, if it was seen like that, because again I had no intention of causing this.



My opinion about the latter has, however, not changed and I would like to note, that there was an article in the magazine \"focus\" this week, stating that the killer of Erfurt had kept information about a similar style of incident a few years ago in the US. I would therefore like to clarify, that my statement was not without substance.



I personally believe (and I repeat, it is a personal belief), that the demise of culture and values in Germany (and maybe other countries) goes hand in hand with a change of the language, or is at least a subsequent event.



I\'d like to finish with another quote \"He who doesn\'t love his language, can\'t possibly love his people.\" Not sure who said it, but certainly a wise person.



In this spirit, I would like to once more say \"sorry\" and hope we can continue to work together from here.



I give this into the hands of the moderators who may/may not decide to post this.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

LegalTrans D  Identity Verified
Turkey
Member (2003)
English to German
+ ...
Not a native speaker? May 31, 2002

Klaus,



just a brief note:



1 - You quote Salman Rushdie. If I am not mistaken, he is Pakistani or from a Pakistani family and by your standards not a native speaker (and consequently would not be entitled to decry the demise of the English language)



2 - There is no such thing as Austrian German or Swiss German. It appears you have either never been to these countries or your knowledge of them is limited. People in Austria and Switzerland speak their regional dialects. If they can\'t communicate among themselves, they resort to German (maybe with a localism here and there and with a local accent, but otherwise perfectly German).



3 - It appears to me that any New Zealander, Australian, South African, Scot etc., if reasonably gifted linguistically, would be able to handle the regional differences between his variation of the English language and British English to qualify as a native speaker. The same goes e.g. for a Turk in Cyprus.



Your definition of a native speaker is extremely diffuse and arbitrary. I am an Austrian living in Germany, and all the agencies I work for are run by Germans. The production manager of one of them recently told me that out of the twenty or so translators they give jobs to I was the best by a long shot. Pretty good for a non-native speaker, don\'t you think?



Just a final sentence, before this gets too parochial: I am sure I speak better German than 90% of your Bavarian or Swabian compatriots.



So I see no reason why e.g. a South African (you seem to have a special axe to grind with them) should not qualify as a native speaker, provided he has the linguistic ability.



Finally, Erfurt: you forget (or may not know, although readers of Focus magazine should know) that the first mass murder of school children took place - no, not in the US - in Germany. It was in the late sixties or early seventies, if memory serves me right, and the chap used a flame thrower. So much for your theory. Something like Erfurt can happen anywhere, any time, but before we point an accusing finger at a culture outside of our own, let\'s first sweep up the dirt in our own backyard.



The world isn\'t all black and white, Klaus. There are many shades in between. Somtimes a little less dogmatism helps.



Good luck, and kind regards,

Volkmar Hirantner









Direct link Reply with quote
 

Maya Jurt  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 03:56
Member (2002)
French to German
+ ...
Yep! Jun 2, 2002

Volkmar - chapeau!!!

Klaus - it always shows greatness when someone can say sorry. But apologies normally do not need longish explaniations. But thanks, it was needed.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Kim Metzger  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 20:56
German to English
Apology Jun 3, 2002

Klaus wrote: I would like to just give one reply to those who accused me of stating that Australians, New Zealanders, South Africans and Americans not having a native language: alone in America, there were as many of 500 Indian languages prior to the arrival of any European. So much just for the record.



Please, Klaus tell us what this statement is supposed to mean. Do you want Americans to start learning an Indian language so that they\'ll have a native language?



Direct link Reply with quote
 
xxxvesparosa
Local time: 03:56
Italian to English
Live and let live Jun 13, 2002

I am often disappointed by the vehemance shown here on ProZ and wish it was something I didn\'t have to see. Poor old Klaus just seems to be digging himself in deeper. However he has apologised, which is always a positive thing, right? and perhaps at this point it would be better to leave him to his own - admittedly strong - opinions.



Love and peace to all,



Fiona


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:56
French to English
Hear, hear Jun 13, 2002

Quote:


On 2002-06-13 08:01, vesparosa wrote:

I am often disappointed by the vehemance shown here on ProZ and wish it was something I didn\'t have to see. Poor old Klaus just seems to be digging himself in deeper. However he has apologised, which is always a positive thing, right? and perhaps at this point it would be better to leave him to his own - admittedly strong - opinions.



Love and peace to all,



Fiona





Yes. And on that note, let\'s just accept the apology and move on.



Nikki Scott-Despaigne

Moderator FR>EN

Direct link Reply with quote
 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

An apology and a correction/justification

Advanced search






TMreserve
Wake up in the Morning and see that you have sold TMs and made Money overnight



The TM Market Place for Translators
New: Our Instant TM Download
TM owners: Upload your TMs into the online database
Customers: Analyse your text & instantly download a text-specific TM
Well over 1.2 BILLION translation units

More info »
PerfectIt consistency checker
Faster Checking, Greater Accuracy

PerfectIt helps deliver error-free documents. It improves consistency, ensures quality and helps to enforce style guides. It’s a powerful tool for pro users, and comes with the assurance of a 30-day money back guarantee.

More info »



All of ProZ.com
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs