EN to replace FR in Algeria?

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Re: EN to replace FR in Algeria?

Postby Saim » Mon Jul 15, 2019 5:15 am

Speakeasy wrote:
PeterMollenburg wrote: … Turning back the clock, perhaps the planet, linguistic diversity and natural diversity would thrive ...
Turning back the clock far enough would lead us to “Lucy”, the common name of AL 288-1, several hundred pieces of bone fossils representing 40 percent of the skeleton of a female of the hominin species Australopithecus afarensis. If her offspring had kept their mouths shut and simply stayed in the ‘hood, linguistic diversity would never have developed. All species colonize: plants, animals, fish, molluscs, insects, bacteria, everything colonizes. :o


I don't necessarily agree with Peter either, but here you're equivocating. Peter is talking about colonisation in the historical sense, which refers to a specific form of political organisation. He's not talking about all possible meanings of the word colonise; in fact no species colonise except for humans by definition (for this specific use of the word).

Bacteria do not have politics, empires, languages, economies, armies, religions or anything that has to do with "colonisation" as a historical phenomenon.

PeterMollenburg wrote:The French language may not be in-grained as much in Algeria as English in the U.S. or Australia, but one can’t deny it’s strong presence.


It's a completely different situation. English is simply the language of Australia for pretty much any domain of use and throughout almost the entire territory. I don't see what that has to do with French in Algeria.

As far as I understand Arabic already features alongside French in the education system in Algeria. Multilingualism, I’m sure is an advantage, that is, having both Arabic and French as opposed to only Arabic.


What about Berber?
What about vernacular Arabic as actually spoken by Algerians?
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Re: EN to replace FR in Algeria?

Postby Speakeasy » Mon Jul 15, 2019 10:54 am

PeterMollenburg wrote: … But the difference now in our era of modern man compared to other living organisms and to a certain extent, ancient man, is we are much more conscious of the impact our choices and decisions can lead to. We must tread carefully to protect ecosystems and the biodiversity of the planet. As with languages, we ought to proceed carefully and fight to protect diversity as we realise the impact of our decisions (or lack of). This is why Québec has had to put language protection laws in place. Without them, English language colonisation would’ve left Québec much less Québecois today.
You seem to be implying that there existed some idyllic period in the past during which peace and harmony reigned throughout the world, a period during which human migrations ceased, a period when languages were immutable. It is particularly vexing to me that you have assigned a degree of heightened morality to this imagined state of being and a degree immorality to any forces which may have disturbed the hallowed balance.

You have not spoken to the question of the mass human migrations which have been taking place since the latter half of the twentieth century and which are predicated to accelerate throughout much of the twenty-first century. You have not addressed the linguistic impacts that these population shifts will have on the receiving communities.

Finally, as you have chosen to focus on the Québécois Francophone population and their efforts to protect their shared language, I would point out that it was an act of the British parliament which enshrined their rights to do so. Do tell me, which “diversity” are the provinces’ language laws designed to protect? What proportion of these European colonizers ever bothered to acquire even a tourist level knowledge of any of the indigenous languages?
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Re: EN to replace FR in Algeria?

Postby Saim » Mon Jul 15, 2019 11:58 am

Speakeasy wrote:You seem to be implying that there existed some idyllic period in the past during which peace and harmony reigned throughout the world, a period during which human migrations ceased, a period when languages were immutable. It is particularly vexing to me that you have assigned a degree of heightened morality to this imagined state of being and a degree immorality to any forces which may have disturbed the hallowed balance.


I don't think there was some idyllic past period, but it is true that we live in a period of mass language extinction unprecedented in human history. That has very little to do with French being "lost" in Algeria (it primarily isn't used there as a mother tongue so it's more that French is, potentially maybe sometime in the future, going to disappear from some domains of use, which has very little to do with language endangerment), but I don't see why that should lead us towards some sort of absolute historical relativism. The current level of linguistic homogenisation underfoot is quantitatively and qualitatively different to anything we've experienced before (let alone before the colonial period!), I think very few people working in the field of language endangerment would disagree with that.

You have not addressed the linguistic impacts that these population shifts will have on the receiving communities.


I don't think the effect on the "receiving communities" will be substantial in any way, except in cases where there is already language shift going on, in which case the immigration will accelerate shift towards the dominant language. What sort of effect do you think there would be?
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Re: EN to replace FR in Algeria?

Postby rdearman » Mon Jul 15, 2019 12:05 pm

I recently read an article by an environmental scientist who said that if we turned back the environmental clock by 50-100 years, something on the order of 10,000+ new species would die. These are plants, insects, animals, which have adapted to the new environment, or hybrids which have come about because of human migration. He isn't saying global warming and other things are good, only that things have now changed and if you tried to revert to the past you'd have an effect a lot of people haven't thought about. If we speak specifically of languages, if it wasn't for human migration and movement would we have a language like Haitian creole? How could we get a mixture of French, Portuguese, Spanish, English, Taíno, and West African languages? Would the world be better or worse without it?
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Re: EN to replace FR in Algeria?

Postby Speakeasy » Mon Jul 15, 2019 12:42 pm

Saim wrote: … I don't see why that should lead us towards some sort of absolute historical relativism. The current level of linguistic homogenisation underfoot is quantitatively and qualitatively different to anything we've experienced before (let alone before the colonial period!), I think very few people working in the field of language endangerment would disagree with that...
This is a repetition of the argument that there is some degree of morality attached to the emergence, the existence, the decline, and the extinction of languages. I do not share this view. Repeating these types of value judgments will not convince me to change my opinions on the matter.

Saim wrote: … I don't think the effect on the "receiving communities" will be substantial in any way, except in cases where there is already language shift going on, in which case the immigration will accelerate shift towards the dominant language. What sort of effect do you think there would be?
Although it is impossible to predict the future, we need only look to the present. There are increasingly powerful, and not very welcoming, reactions amongst some members of the “receiving” populations. While some people choose to discount, and even to disparage, this apparent want of brotherly love as a retrograde, elitist, and racist reaction on the part of a privileged minority, these are, nonetheless, the manifestation of genuine anxieties, however poorly expressed they might be.

Arriving populations frequently seek the linguistic and cultural comfort and security of establishing ghettos (in the non-pejorative sense of the word) in the receiving communities and, to a certain extent, isolate themselves from the host populations in cases where their demographic weight supports it. You can call it migration or you can call colonization, the effect is the same. What this bodes for the future is very hard to say. Nevertheless, increased strife between the arriving and the receiving linguistic communities, as well as the Balkanization of the latter, are most definitely on the table. Writing this off as a "natural process" and ascribing a higher morality to it than to colonization does not change the effects on the receiving linguistic group.
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Re: EN to replace FR in Algeria?

Postby PeterMollenburg » Mon Jul 15, 2019 1:00 pm

Saim wrote:
PeterMollenburg wrote:The French language may not be in-grained as much in Algeria as English in the U.S. or Australia, but one can’t deny it’s strong presence.


It's a completely different situation. English is simply the language of Australia for pretty much any domain of use and throughout almost the entire territory. I don't see what that has to do with French in Algeria.


English was the language of the colonising empire in Australia. It was French in Algeria. That was my comparison, and that’s where I was drawing the connection. I agree French has not the degree of use in Algeria as English does in Australia, but they are both languages introduced with colonisation. I'm not trying to say Australia and the US situation is exactly the same.


Saim wrote:
PeterMollenburg wrote:As far as I understand Arabic already features alongside French in the education system in Algeria. Multilingualism, I’m sure is an advantage, that is, having both Arabic and French as opposed to only Arabic.


What about Berber?

What about vernacular Arabic as actually spoken by Algerians?


The thread is about EN potentially displacing FR in Algeria. I would love to see more local languages in a stronger position, absolutely, anywhere in the world.

Speakeasy wrote:
PeterMollenburg wrote: … But the difference now in our era of modern man compared to other living organisms and to a certain extent, ancient man, is we are much more conscious of the impact our choices and decisions can lead to. We must tread carefully to protect ecosystems and the biodiversity of the planet. As with languages, we ought to proceed carefully and fight to protect diversity as we realise the impact of our decisions (or lack of). This is why Québec has had to put language protection laws in place. Without them, English language colonisation would’ve left Québec much less Québecois today.


You have not spoken to the question of the mass human migrations which have been taking place since the latter half of the twentieth century and which are predicated to accelerate throughout much of the twenty-first century. You have not addressed the linguistic impacts that these population shifts will have on the receiving communities.


No, I haven't. I didn't intend to.

Speakeasy wrote:Finally, as you have chosen to focus on the Québécois Francophone population and their efforts to protect their shared language, I would point out that it was an act of the British parliament which enshrined their rights to do so. Do tell me, which “diversity” are the provinces’ language laws designed to protect? What proportion of these European colonizers ever bothered to acquire even a tourist level knowledge of any of the indigenous languages?


Well, I was using it as an example to provide evidence that protecting a language via laws (regardless of who granted that possibility) can do just that - protect it. I'm all for protecting indigenous languages.

Saim wrote:
Speakeasy wrote:You seem to be implying that there existed some idyllic period in the past during which peace and harmony reigned throughout the world, a period during which human migrations ceased, a period when languages were immutable. It is particularly vexing to me that you have assigned a degree of heightened morality to this imagined state of being and a degree immorality to any forces which may have disturbed the hallowed balance.


I don't think there was some idyllic past period, but it is true that we live in a period of mass language extinction unprecedented in human history. The current level of linguistic homogenisation underfoot is quantitatively and qualitatively different to anything we've experienced before (let alone before the colonial period!), I think very few people working in the field of language endangerment would disagree with that.


Agreed, Saim.

Speakeasy- I do convey some kind of immorality to the forces disturbing the balance.
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Re: EN to replace FR in Algeria?

Postby Speakeasy » Mon Jul 15, 2019 2:08 pm

PeterMollenburg wrote: … Speakeasy- I do convey some kind of immorality to the forces disturbing the balance.
Do you not see the inconsistency, not to mention the moral equivocating, of this position? How was this hallowed balance achieved? What made the establishment of the balance more morally acceptable than its disturbance? Your moralizing on the matter as is inconsistent as it is untenable.
PeterMollenburg wrote:
Speakeasy wrote: You have not spoken to the question of the mass human migrations which have been taking place since the latter half of the twentieth century and which are predicated to accelerate throughout much of the twenty-first century. You have not addressed the linguistic impacts that these population shifts will have on the receiving communities.
No, I haven't. I didn't intend to.
Peter, you were the individual who chose to respond to the OP’s post by dragging out the old saw of colonization and (in your mind) the most horrific of legacies, the current dominance of the English language. Your refusal to comment on the current disruptions to the “balance” exemplifies, perfectly, your own, unsustainable biases. You have done nothing more than “picked sides” in an unending saga of interaction between linguistic groups.
PeterMollenburg wrote: Well, I was using it as an example to provide evidence that protecting a language via laws (regardless of who granted that possibility) can do just that - protect it. I'm all for protecting indigenous languages...
I would not expect you, or anyone else on the forum, to be well-informed on the history of New France and British North America and the legacies that these two “founding nations” had on the linguistic mosaic of present-day Canada and Québec. Very briefly, by the Treaty of Paris, Great Britain agreed to not interfere with the French colonists’ use of their native language or their religion in New France. These rights were confirmed in 1791, in 1841, once again in 1867, and the country became officially bilingual in 1963, not in response to a demand from Quebec, but as an gesture meant to promote linguistic peace and harmony within the nation. Historically, the post-unification French (Québécois) colonizers chose to isolate themselves from the English population which, in Québec, has always been a small minority.

The official policy adopted the clergy, which controlled much of the daily life of the inhabitants, was the “revenge of the cradle” whereby the French population hoped to displace the small number of British and Scottish immigrants by increasing their linguistic and cultural dominance, something that the arriving immigrants never challenged. They even went so far as to deny access to their school system by all immigrants, save for the few French immigrants of which there were virtually none, and to counsel the French population not to conduct commerce with the English, nor to go into business for themselves as this was a English-dominated road to iniquity. This disastrous and self-destructive policy led to (a) widespread poverty amongst the Québécois (23 children per family was not unusual) the offspring of whom, in order to seek a decent living, emigrated to the United States in very large numbers, thereby reducing their demographic imprint, (b) the “assimilation” of new arrivals by the English population who made room for the immigrants in their separately-run school system, (c) the guaranteed dominance of the English and Scottish immigrants in the commercial sector, and (d) the unilingual “Two Solitudes” of the English and French populations, neither of which deigned to learn each other’s language.

During the 1960’s “quite revolution”, leading Québécois educators and politicians came to the realization that their century’s long policy of isolation was not preparing the province to face the future. Birth rates were declining, as was the level of immigration, and the few immigrants who did choose to settle in Québec were frozen out of the French language school system. This led to anxieties over the possible assimilation of the French into the greater North American English culture. Although the ROC (Rest of Canada) was identified as the bogeyman, the real fear was of the massive impact of American cultural dominance. To address the situation, within a decade, the Québec government adopted “La Charte de la langue française” which imposed severe restrictions on the use of English in the province and the mandatory attendance by virtually all immigrants, even internal immigrants, in French language schools. Although the linguistic rights of great swaths of the population, which were otherwise guaranteed under the Canadian Constituion, were abolished, as a gesture of goodwill, the Federal Government chose not to challenge the new Québec language laws before the Supreme Court of Canada (historians agree that the Court would have struck down the language laws). Perhaps this was necessary; however, it was a major disservice to all other linguistic communities in the province and it did nothing to protect or to advance the status of indigenous languages.

So, in a word, if you want to champion the Québec language laws, I suggest that you inform yourself before sounding off.
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Re: EN to replace FR in Algeria?

Postby PeterMollenburg » Mon Jul 15, 2019 2:52 pm

Speakeasy wrote:
PeterMollenburg wrote: … Speakeasy- I do convey some kind of immorality to the forces disturbing the balance.
Do you not see the inconsistency, not to mention the moral equivocating, of this position? How was this hallowed balance achieved? What made the establishment of the balance more morally acceptable than its disturbance? Your moralizing on the matter as is inconsistent as it is untenable.


It is not inconsistent from where I stand. Forces exist today that did not back then.

Speakeasy wrote:
PeterMollenburg wrote:
Speakeasy wrote: You have not spoken to the question of the mass human migrations which have been taking place since the latter half of the twentieth century and which are predicated to accelerate throughout much of the twenty-first century. You have not addressed the linguistic impacts that these population shifts will have on the receiving communities.
No, I haven't. I didn't intend to.
Peter, you were the individual who chose to respond to the OP’s post by dragging out the old saw of colonization and (in your mind) the most horrific of legacies, the current dominance of the English language. Your refusal to comment on the current disruptions to the “balance” exemplifies, perfectly, your own, unsustainable biases. You have done nothing more than “picked sides” in an unending saga of interaction between linguistic groups.


I did not respond to the OP's post. I was the OP. Did I state the most horrific of legacies was that of the current dominance of the English language? I wrote the OP, I never mentioned 'horrific', neither in that post nor any subsequent ones. I'd be a little careful about how you think I see things, when I have not stated such things. Yes, I think it is deeply concerning the spread of English for a number of reasons, but I might add that the spread of the English language is a symptom or an after-effect of the a greater issue. I choose not to go into detail on that.

Why do I need to comment on current disruptions? I was not out to write a thesis, nor to discuss every single possible angle related to the situation. I originally wanted to bring the articles to the attention of the forum for some discussion on the situation. I did not wish to expand my the justifications of my views simply because you expect me to do so. I was up for some pretty light discussion truth be told, but I seem to find it difficult to avoid that bloody projector beam... okay okay, I might have tripped into the spotlight and pretended to do up my shoe laces. I respectfully refuse to discuss mass migrations as that is getting far too political to me and I value my time and sanity. I'd prefer to stick to the language situation in Algeria, despite the fact there are lots of other issues at work globally. I mentioned globalisation as it is playing a role within Algeria, in my opinion on the potential shift in the linguistic landscape.

Speakeasy wrote:
PeterMollenburg wrote: Well, I was using it as an example to provide evidence that protecting a language via laws (regardless of who granted that possibility) can do just that - protect it. I'm all for protecting indigenous languages...
I would not expect you, or anyone else on the forum, to be well-informed on the history of New France and British North America and the legacies that these two “founding nations” had on the linguistic mosaic of present-day Canada and Québec. Very briefly, by the Treaty of Paris, Great Britain agreed to not interfere with the French colonists’ use of their native language or their religion in New France. These rights were confirmed in 1791, in 1841, once again in 1867, and the country became officially bilingual in 1963, not in response to a demand from Quebec, but as an gesture meant to promote linguistic peace and harmony within the nation. Historically, the post-unification French (Québécois) colonizers chose to isolate themselves from the English population which, in Québec, has always been a small minority.

The official policy adopted the clergy, which controlled much of the daily life of the inhabitants, was the “revenge of the cradle” whereby the French population hoped to displace the small number of British and Scottish immigrants by increasing their linguistic and cultural dominance, something that the arriving immigrants never challenged. They even went so far as to deny access to their school system by all immigrants, save for the few French immigrants of which there were virtually none, and to counsel the French population not to conduct commerce with the English, nor to go into business for themselves as this was a English-dominated road to iniquity. This disastrous and self-destructive policy led to (a) widespread poverty amongst the Québécois (23 children per family was not unusual) the offspring of whom, in order to seek a decent living, emigrated to the United States in very large numbers, thereby reducing their demographic imprint, (b) the “assimilation” of new arrivals by the English population who made room for the immigrants in their separately-run school system, (c) the guaranteed dominance of the English and Scottish immigrants in the commercial sector, and (d) the unilingual “Two Solitudes” of the English and French populations, neither of which deigned to learn each other’s language.

During the 1960’s “quite revolution”, leading Québécois educators and politicians came to the realization that their century’s long policy of isolation was not preparing the province to face the future. Birth rates were declining, as was the level of immigration, and the few immigrants who did choose to settle in Québec were frozen out of the school system. This led to anxieties over the possible assimilation of the French into the greater North American English culture. To address the situation, within a decade, the Québec government adopted “La Charte de la langue française” which imposed severe restrictions on the use of English and the mandatory attendance by virtually all immigrants, even internal immigrants, in French schools. Although the linguistic rights of great swaths of the population, which were guaranteed under the Canadian Constituion, were abolished, as a gesture of goodwill, the Federal Government chose not to challenge the new Québec language laws. Perhaps this was necessary; however, it was a major disservice to all other linguistic communities in the province and it did nothing to protect or to advance the status of indigenous langugages.

So, in a word, if you want to champion Québec language laws, I suggest that you inform yourself before sounding off.


Well, I've been informed. Thank you for your very kind suggestion. I shall do my best to behave as you have requested in future. Now I of course, know much less than yourself on the matter, and it seems pretty much most matters, but I am still led to believe that the introduction of language protection laws in Québec lead to an increase in the prevalence and/or use of the French language in Québec. Am I correct? I'd also like to raise the matter, now I freely admit very limited knowledge here, but didn't the French speaking Acadians get expelled in large numbers from Canada at one point? Could it not be possible that some resentment remained, so that when power was granted by the lovely British, the Québécois, perhaps rightfully felt they could exert a little revenge? As far as I am to understand in the expulsion of Acadians to Louisiana, French was then wiped from the Louisiana map to a large extent via the mass employment of teachers who spoke little to no French in a kind of unofficial linguistic cleansing policy. It's been a little while since I read The Story of French, but that's where my vague recollection of it stems from. I eagerly await re-educationment. Oops, franco there, sorry typo, I mean.

Edit:
Am I so wrong to simply draw connections to Algeria's potential change from FR to EN being related to globalisation? And if I am wrong, do I really need to be beaten down with a stick? Do I really need to be driven to respond to matters I do not necessarily want to? Do I not deserve kinder 'corrections' as opposed to pompous and haughty tellings-offs? Can we not be a little more respectful?
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Re: EN to replace FR in Algeria?

Postby rdearman » Mon Jul 15, 2019 3:20 pm

I allowed this thread to proceed and it has for the most part been non-political. In addition to the no politics rules, we have others.

You can argue about ideas and language learning techniques, but individuals are off limits.


You can attack the argument, but not the person.
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Re: EN to replace FR in Algeria?

Postby Saim » Mon Jul 15, 2019 4:34 pm

Speakeasy wrote:This is a repetition of the argument that there is some degree of morality attached to the emergence, the existence, the decline, and the extinction of languages. I do not share this view. Repeating these types of value judgments will not convince me to change my opinions on the matter.

[...]

Although it is impossible to predict the future, we need only look to the present. There are increasingly powerful, and not very welcoming, reactions amongst some members of the “receiving” populations. While some people choose to discount, and even to disparage, this apparent want of brotherly love as a retrograde, elitist, and racist reaction on the part of a privileged minority, these are, nonetheless, the manifestation of genuine anxieties, however poorly expressed they might be.

Arriving populations frequently seek the linguistic and cultural comfort and security of establishing ghettos (in the non-pejorative sense of the word) in the receiving communities and, to a certain extent, isolate themselves from the host populations in cases where their demographic weight supports it. You can call it migration or you can call colonization, the effect is the same. What this bodes for the future is very hard to say. Nevertheless, increased strife between the arriving and the receiving linguistic communities, as well as the Balkanization of the latter, are most definitely on the table. Writing this off as a "natural process" and ascribing a higher morality to it than to colonization does not change the effects on the receiving linguistic group.


Let me just point out that I didn't intend to attach any morality or value judgements to my comment. Please cite the part that you considered to be a value judgement, because if I did appeal primarily to morality and value judgements that means that I've expressed myself really badly, so I'd appreciate the opportunity to explain what I actually meant.

I'll admit that I do find intrinsic value in language diversity, but I didn't intend to convince you to adopt the same value. In my post I meant to take issue at (what I understood to be) your view that the current rate and nature of linguistic homogenisation is comparable to other periods of human history. I was making the factual claim that what is going on now is quantitatively and qualitatively different.

I don't really know what your point about people's attitudes towards immigration is. Of course some people have negative attitudes towards immigration and/or immigrants. People have negative attitudes towards all sorts of things that are just as irrelevant to the discussion at hand. I imagine I have a different view on immigration than you do, but I don't think a discussion on that is really relevant to the topic or even allowed in this forum. I don't know what that has to do with language shift (which is what I was talking about) or French losing some domains of use in Algeria (the original topic of this thread).

The effect of immigration and colonisation is objectively not the same when it comes to language shift. It doesn't fundamentally matter how much 'strife' or 'Balkanisation' (???) or 'ghettos' there are (that has very little to do with language), I am not aware of any examples of language shift being caused by inter-state migration.
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