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Re: CHAT: Hello

From:Yoon Ha Lee <yl112@...>
Date:Tuesday, May 1, 2001, 12:19
On Tue, 1 May 2001, Andreas Johansson wrote:

> Irina Rempt wrote: > >On Mon, 30 Apr 2001, Andreas Johansson wrote: > > > > > Irina Rempt wrote: > > > > > But how does a lack of "cultural neutrality" make something bad as > > > an translation exercise? > > > >Not bad as such, but bad to translate into languages of cultures that > >clash with the values expressed in it. > > I'm not sure I follow you here. You seem to be saying one shouldn't > translate something that the speakers of the "target" lang wouldn't agree > with. In that reasoning it'd be wrong to translate, say, Mein Kampf into > English because the vast majority of English speakers aren't nazis and would > strongly disagree with its contents.
I don't follow that either. OTOH, I'm not convinced anyone should *have* to translate things into their conlang that they don't want to, for whatever reason. I have no desire to translate the Babel text into Chevraqis; it's a conculture lang, and there aren't *any* nearby cultures/nations with some of the concepts that the Babel text would require, so it would feel odd to me to come up with vocab for it. OTOH there are weird concepts to Chevraqis-speakers that *do* happen in neighboring cultures, and I would have no problem inventing words (or loan-words) for those concepts.
> It would be biased if there were SOME bits that hearkened to other cultures > and value systems. When you've went the whole way and placed yorself in one > camp it's not a mere "bias" anymore - it's a definite taking sides. As it > is, the declaration is rather an attempt to impose western democracy on the > rest of the world (not that that is necessarily a bad thing IMHO).
<wry g> According to Bruce Cumings, the Korean War was mostly the fault of the U.S., who was trying to impose "democracy" (and frankly, the gov't they supported wasn't all that much less tyrannical than the budding communist government in the North) on the South in order to "fight communism." He argues that the U.S. was pretty clueless about the culture it was getting involved with (I can see that...) and had no understanding of the ways communism was entangled with Korean culture in ways that weren't what the West conceived of as communism; communists in Korea were often respected for their role in the resistance against the Japanese occupation, whereas a lot of the Japanese-collaborators ended up going South. Cumings *is* controversial, but I think at least some of his points have merit; and at least in the short run, outside interference in Korea was pretty damn disastrous in terms of Korean lives taken. YHL


Irina Rempt <ira@...>