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Re: META: "Chinese whispers"

From:Jim Henry <jimhenry1973@...>
Date:Saturday, February 28, 2009, 23:56
On Sat, Feb 28, 2009 at 6:23 PM, Peter Collier
<petecollier@...> wrote:
> -------------------------------------------------- > From: "Peter Collier" <petecollier@...> >> >> -------------------------------------------------- >> From: "Mark J. Reed" <markjreed@...> >> >>> Sorry, but am I the only one a bit bothered by the subject of the >>> other thread?  I don't know the history of the term but it has the >>> terribly politically incorrect flavor of terms like "Indian giving", >>> "going Dutch", "Chinese fire drill", and so on, and I'm kind of >>> surprised it passed unremarked.  Maybe the name is purely a linguistic >>> reference, to people passing along messages in a language they don't >>> speak, or something? >>> >>> -- >>> Sent from my mobile device >>> >>> Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...> >> >> >> No,- it's a children's game - they all sit in a circle and the first child >> whispers something to the next, and it gets passed on around the circle. >> When it gets back to the beginining it's compared to the original. >> >> I'm surprised you've not heard of it! Maybe its just a British thing, or >> perhaps we're different ages? >> >> It's quite commonplace - I can't imagine it's in anyway a pejorative term, >> although to be fair I suppose you would have to ask a Chinese person's >> opinion. >> >> >> P. > > Trying to find an explanation for the name of the game, I found this on > wikipedia which quite neatly sums up the differences in perception of the > offeniveness or otherwise of the name: > > "In the United States, 'Telephone' is the most common name for the game. The > name 'Chinese Whispers' reflects the former stereotype in Europe of the > Chinese language as being incomprehensible. It is little-used in the United > States and may be considered offensive. It remains the common British name > for the game."
.... Oddly enough, that article on "Chinese whispers" is also the redirect-target for the article title "Translation relay"; but the article contains no text about translation relay games per se. In September 2008 I wrote on the Talk page: === I was going to write another Translation relay article if nobody objected to my above comment in a week or two, but it seems that the former "Translation relay" article went through AfD in November 2007 and was theoretically supposed to have been merged into this article, but apparently was just deleted tout court. I'll add a section to this article instead, when I finish some work I'm doing on the History section of International auxiliary language. I personally think translation relay games are different enough from the "Telephone game" (or "Chinese whispers" if you insist) that it deserves a separate article, but unless someone else backs me up on this, I fear yet another AfD if I recreate a separate article. --Jim Henry (talk) 17:14, 8 September 2008 (UTC) === I still haven't gotten around to writing the additional text or a new article, and the way things are going now I won't have time to do so till after LCC3 -- my main priority until then needs to be working on my conlang fluency talk for the conference. Does anyone else want to back me up on the talk page ( ) re: the benefits of having a separate "Translation relay" article? Also, re: the discussion on this thread about possible offensiveness of the name, there was a discussion some while ago about changing the name of the article to "Telephone (game)", with a "no consensus" result. -- Jim Henry