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[ox-en] language and culture (was: Free Software -> Libreware or Liberation Software

On Sun, 16 Dec 2001, Timm Murray wrote:

all thinking traditions, I find it a big advantage to now have the
possibility to gather the best of all cultures :-) .

Heh, I'm used to be in English-language forums where the "international" part 
means you're translating *from* English.  It is intresting being on the other 
side of the situation :)

I think that's one of the interesting things about Oekonux (and another 
example where the thing itself, ie. the mailing lists, is a practical test 
of the ideas involved). For the gpl-society to work, it has to be 
international, which means it has to work across cultures and languages.
The practical response of the internet in general to this problem has been
to use English as the common language, and to expect other cultures to 
adapt to American culture. This works to some extent, but has already 
failed in some cases (in particular, it looks to me like there's a 
flourishing Japanese internet and free software culture which is quite
largely isolated from the rest of the internet), and I think is not going 
to work at all for China. The Oekonux lists for me are partly an 
experiment in working out how to transfer ideas between cultures without
one culture dominating the other. I hope it doesn't turn out that the 
only working solution is for everyone to learn everybody else's language,
or this is going to be an extremely slow process! ;-) Maybe one emerging
answer is that as well as the standard roles in software projects
(leader/figurehead, coder, documenter, user, tester etc) there is also
needed an 'intermediary' who knows two cultures and can translate not just
words but ideas. Benja, you have a lot of work ahead of you... ;-)



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