Article: Serious versus Popular Language
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 10:28
SITE STAFF
Jan 2, 2011

This topic is for discussion of the ProZ.com translation article "Serious versus Popular Language".

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cfoncha
United States
Local time: 13:28
I agree wholeheartedly! Oct 25, 2011

I am constantly having to remind laypeople that the purpose of language is to communicate, and to the extent that that goal is achieved, the language of choice has been successful. Whether or not the language of choice is of popular/slang origin or conforms to a rigid standard of textbook correctness is not the most important consideration.
I do point out that if speech is too casual or colloquial, the speaker will have a harder time communicating in the wider linguistic community, since colloquial speech is often restricted to relatively small geographical, ethnic, or age boundaries. It is best to choose the words most likely to be understood by the largest number of people to avoid having to explain and repeat what was meant by what was just said!
Meanwhile, time passes, and grammatical forms become obsolete no matter how hard formalists try to hold on to them, ("there's" is overtaking "there are" even in the plural, and "myriad" becomes "a myriad of..." even among the "educated". It's just the way language goes: in 100 years what was considered slang or worse, will be standard and acceptable.


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Portalkata
Indonesia
Local time: 00:28
Member (2006)
English to Indonesian
+ ...
late comment Sep 3, 2013

And in the new oraliteracy era marked with Internet Revolution nowadays and the intimacy usage of high-techs, Indonesian economic middle class (currently over 50% of total population), unconsciously are those who contribute direct-and-indirectly the re-creation of contemporary Bahasa Indonesia, spoken and written. In this perspective, Bahasa Indonesia as the legitimate part of world culture should have been harmonized with a historical document dated February 18th 1950 called “Surat Kepercayaan Gelanggang” saying that “….kami tidak akan memberi kata ikatan untuk kebudayaan Indonesia…” affirms that Bahasa Indonesia is still growing and developing, there should be no large gap between formal and informal, spoken and written, which will just back from the social language...

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