Countries with two or more official languages
Replies: 103 - Last Post: Apr 7, 2013 11:17 AM Last Post By: orangutan
Jan 22, 2008 2:12 AM
Jan 22, 2008 5:38 AM
46#44 -- But what goes in the place of the "blah blah blahing" in that sentence: "watching the new James Bond" or: "seeing the new James Bond"? Assume that you were, and that it is known that you were, at a theater. I would say "watching".
#45 -- It doesn't really matter if people say it. People (including you) hear it and don't think it's wrong. It's not as if they said "I are lovin' it".
And same question for you as for DianaHaddad, above. Watching or seeing in that sentence?
Jan 22, 2008 5:57 AM
Jan 22, 2008 7:19 AM
Jan 22, 2008 8:12 AM
49UK: Welsh and English. The UK doesn't actually have an Official Language, but Wales does. It has legislation stating that Welsh & English should be treated equally.
Finland: Finnish and Swedish
New Zealand: Maori and English
South Africa: Afrikaans, English, Sepedi, Sesotho, Setswana, Swati, Tshivenda, Xitsonga, Ndebele, Xhosa and Zulu
Jan 22, 2008 8:21 PM
50I sort of got the impression from previous threads/discussions (as I had the same question myself about watching vs. seeing) that 'seeing' is for movies seen in a cinema, while 'watching' is for something you watch on tv. I might have stuck to what DianaHaddad explained then, which I don't think is wrong....;)
#49, again, apparently sign language is also official in NZ....
Jan 24, 2008 6:36 AM
51#35, in the Valle d'Aosta ALL the geographical names were forcibly Italianized during the last years of Mussolini's dictatorship, and quickly resumed their names in 1945 (for example Courmayeur became Cormaiore, St. Oyen became Sant'Eugenio, etc.) The region is indeed officially bilingual (French/Italian), but the locals' real mother tongue is a Franco-Provencal patois that they call 'patue'. They do study French at school (along with Italian of course) but even those who can actually speak French do so with a wacky accent that is actually mocked by Frenchmen. The Italian wikipedia has an interesting (and curiously objective) article on the region that also gives interesting statistics.
As for Suedtyrol/Alto Adige, normally the Italian place name comes AFTER the German one, and that makes sense since after all in most of the area (except the city of Bolzano proper) the vast majority of locals are ethnic Germmans.
Jan 24, 2008 7:04 AM
Jan 25, 2008 2:43 PM
Jan 26, 2008 2:22 PM
Jan 27, 2008 1:29 PM
55Yep was going to mention New Zealand – New Zealand English, Maori and New Zealand Sign Language but Shiglia beat me to it. In NZ it basically means that a speaker/user of these three languages have the right to use it in judicial, legal and government proceedings.
The cynic in me would say that this would pretty much happen anyway but I suspect it is more a case of reaffirming the status of the languages and the people who use them, particularly Maori and New Zealand sign language.
Jan 27, 2008 3:09 PM
56#64 -- Presumably if one side or another in a legal case wants to call a witness who can't speak any of those three languages, they can do it, and the court will supply an interpreter, no?
And I would bet that if you had a large influx of immigrants who spoke some language other than those three, the government would publish some things in their language.
I really don't understand the point of declaring a language or languages "official."
Jan 27, 2008 7:11 PM
57Yes exactly Vinny - in fact it would be expected that an interpreter would be available. Ditto with publishing information in other languages. Perhaps (i am just guessing here), as an official language, and an Act was passed in Parliament declaring it as such, a person has the right to ask for and receive an official document to be in, say, Maori. Whereas with a non official language they may be simply out of luck if the document isn't available.
However, government brochures etc are printed in a range of different languages anyway.
Which is why i suspect that it is more to do with reaffirming the status of the people and their language.
Jan 27, 2008 7:35 PM
58I'm guessing, but I tend to think that a person could choose to conduct certain types of business/legal proceedings in an official language, regardless of how well they spoke other languages.
Take Canada, for example. I'm not saying that this is how it works there, but this is how I imagine it works in bilingual countries in general. You're entitled to conduct certain types of business, legal proceedings, educational matters, etc. in either official language. That means you can have a trial in French, even if you live in an English-speaking area and are a native English speaker. Your whole trial would be in French, and if a witness spoke English, their words would be interpreted into French.
If a witness in the same trial speaks only Urdu, their comments will be translated into French. But this does not mean that people have the right to have their trials in Urdu, it just means that accommodations will be made for people who can't communicate in one of the official languages. If you speak French and Urdu, you aren't entitled to anything in Urdu.
Again, Canada was just an example here and I'm only saying what I think is the difference. I don't have any special knowledge about this matter. But I can see why having an official language would matter, because it's about people's right to choose the language they communicate in for official business.
Jan 28, 2008 4:24 AM
59#68 I don't think your example of a trial taking place in English-speaking Canada in French is accurate. When I still lived there I worked a few times as a court interpreter. One of the cases in particular was a young woman from Quebec who pick-pocketed a plain-clothes RCMP cop at the airport. I had to interpret for her, since she claimed she spoke no English (although she did, I heard her) but all the proceedings were in English and I had to interpret what the lawyers and judge said to her, and her comments to the court.
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