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Re: CHAT: Dutch & Cyrillic

From:J Y S Czhang <czhang23@...>
Date:Saturday, April 13, 2002, 0:04
In a message dated 4/12/02 12.51.04 AM, Jan (ijzeren_jan@YAHOO.CO.UK) quotes
yours truly and writes:

>> Sci-Fi idea: an alternative future in which a >> Dutch-Nordic Alliance colonize space (what do you >> expect from a SuperNation based on maritime power, >> cultural pluralism, and progressive socio-political >> ideology?) > >Great idea, indeed. I have always dreamt of being >President of the Universe!!! >But I somehow doubt it, since we are a SuperNation >with a strong collective minority complex... Sigh! >I'm afraid it will be America or China, after all.
I did say "alternative future"... sort of based on the nostalgia that some of my older Chinese-Indonesian relatives are prone to express ("It was a better life under the Dutch than now... The Dutch kept the Indonesians off us.") Also I like the Dutch and Nordic nations record for being usually very progressive in modern times (strange that the descend- ants of mercantile colonialists and Vikings/Norsemen could be so different from their ancestors. Makes me whistfully hopeful for the whole bleeding human race).
>> Just a bit ago IIRC there was much "Slavic/Cyrillic >> activity"... I found this interesting bit of text >> deliberately underlined in the Berkeley class-notes >> a female Russian friend gave me: "The advantage of >> spelling in Cyrillic lies mainly in its greater >> versatility, derived from the fact that its alphabet >> has more letters than Latin, and that diacritical >> marks are therefore required less than in Latin >> transcriptions or transliterations" > >I'm afraid I disgree with your female Russian >class-mate.
Oh, she's not a classmate. I don't go to Berkeley :)
>Look at the following differences: > >- Latin script is used by much more languages than > Cyrillic, and deals with them well.
<ZNiiP of very true facts on Cyrillic vs. Latin>
>Conclusion: only for a very specific kind of languages >the Cyrillic script would be better.
That is why I deliberately followed that quote with: ("People, Languages, and Migrations," from _Central Asia: 130 Years of Russian Dominance, A Historical Overview_, 3rd edition, 1994) By citing the source material, I was hopefully putting it _within_ that context. And also pointing out my friend's Slavocentricism or Cyrillicentrism ;)
>But then, following the quotation, wouldn't it be >better if we all started to use Armenian or Georgian >script?
Eek! Talking of Latin alphabets... one of my favourite re-designs of it is done by the Bauhaus-influenced Herbert Bayer ("Basic Alfabet" also known as "Bayer fonetik"). Herbert Bayer also designed "a new machine alphabet" called "Universal Type." Another Latin alphabet re-design is Wim Crouwel's "neu alphabet."
Hanuman Zhang ~ "When you lose a language, it's like dropping a bomb on a museum." - Kenneth Hale ------------§------------ ¡ ptoleme pan.xero i anatropi lexzi ! ¡ poie lexzi meta.amoebe ! <<fight linguistic extinction & entropy ! create mutant/mutating language(s) !>>


Levi Tooker <nerd525@...>Latin Alphabet Re-Designs (Was: Dutch and Cyrillic)