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oddist 11-30-2004 10:17 AM

Truely International?
Has any thought been given to expanding this site to include "foreign language" sections?

Possibly there are those interested in this site that do not speak or understand English well enough to participate and maybe there are multi-lingual users that would enjoy the input and chance to converse?


fritchie 11-30-2004 08:35 PM

Re: Truely International?
An interesting suggestion, oddist, but I don’t recommend doing this. Anne (bxl) uses French(?) as a first language, but has made the effort to communicate in English, and I do think that is the way to go.

I studied Spanish in American high school and German in college, in addition to passing a written graduate-level exam in translated, scientific French, with lots of freedom about resources. These efforts have been helpful, and with resources and time, I also have made basic sense of Italian and Russian scientific articles.

However, I don’t think this is the way to go with an Internet forum. I have found useful online references in several languages through search resources, but the search engines also do basic translation on request, so only English is needed by the user. Certainly, we would get more discourse if we included other languages, but I think the confusion level would offset any advantages.

oddist 11-30-2004 09:02 PM

Re: Truely International?

The idea wouldn't be to include foreign language in the English threads.

I picture parallel forums in foreign languages where similar threads could be discussed.

Other language speakers could participate in those forums if their second language skills are up to snuff. After all, their are those, like Anne, who converse in English. Why should it only be one way?


anne (bxl) 12-01-2004 05:52 AM

Re: Truely International?
Thank you so much Oddist to worry about non englishspeaking sculpture fellows. I appreciate your mind opening. After all, 90 per cent of the world is non english speaking!! And I have to admit that it is quite irritating for non english speaking people that english speaking people assume the all world is able to communicate with them. What would you suggest a chinese forum? a spanish one? a german one? which languages do you speak yourself?

Brussels tends to became the most cosmopolitan city in the world (129 different languages are spoken here!). Street languages are mainly french (80%) and flemish of course, but english, spanish or arabic are also currently spoken here over. We are used to compromise with languages. So the idea of a multilingual forum would be exciting for me but from my experience very difficult to apply unless the base stucture of the site has been build for initially! (Would ISCE have is own multilangual forum?). What would be interresting is to have more and more international multilangual informations over commissions, residencies and so on.

A good example of how art could open the mind to other culture is the very famous Salzburg summer art school .
Have you notice how many languages are spoken by the teaching artists?

oddist 12-01-2004 01:15 PM

Re: Truely International?

I am sorry to say, although married to a French woman for 36 years, my French speaking skills are pretty poor although I can understand a little when spoken and written.

As for the site? I could see links to "Foreign language" equivalents of located at the lower left side of the home page. (Or should the links be at the lower "right" since most sculptors are right-handed?) The Foreign language sites would have a Home, Sculpture Community, and Photo Gallery, etc.; all layed out the same way as the

There would of course have to be a language speaking monitor(s) for each site to check the appropriateness of postings.

As for the languages chosen? I guess that would all depend on finding people to create the sites and monitor them. As you pointed out, there are already many multilingual Art teachers.


By the way, I visited and wonder if this single language site will really work well for "Europe".



sculptor 12-01-2004 09:03 PM

Re: Truely International?
Great ideas Gerry:

Anne, I don't assume that everyone will communicate in my one language------I'm just gratefull for the ones who do-----and for the kind folks who'll translate for the ones who have little or no english-----

I am without the languages of my ancestors and often think it a loss of culture as well as language.

When folks on-line communicate in a different language, I seek interpreters---and rely on their translations----often, the lexicon of art is unknown to many reasonably well educated multilinguists.....c'est le vie?

I once was surfing and found myself in a korean chat room which offered an electronic translator------the english was a tad peculiar having what my wife refers to as a parent language interference---

Perhaps, such a tool could be applied here?

I prefer art and culture to be as inclusive as humanly possible despite the occasional discomfort.


fritchie 12-01-2004 09:06 PM

Re: Truely International?

Originally Posted by anne (bxl)
Thank you so much Oddist to worry about non englishspeaking sculpture fellows. I appreciate your mind opening. After all, 90 per cent of the world is non english speaking!! And I have to admit .......

Anne - I don’t know offhand how to estimate the percentage of “English-speaking” people in the world, but I’m willing to wager it’s more than 10%. With a world population of perhaps 5 billion, there are about 300 million in the US, 90 in the UK, 50 in Canada/Australia, so that’s close to 10% who are native to English. I would guess another 100 million in India, probably close to 150 in South and Central America, 300 in Europe outside of UK, and probably about 500 M in Africa, southeast Asia, and elsewhere use English regularly, even though as a second choice.

Those are all rough estimates, but they add to about 1.5 billion out of five billion. That’s only 30% admittedly, but those 30% probably include roughly 70 to 80% of people with convenient Internet access.

English is the world language for nonparochial individuals. My experience in science education led me to the belief that probably 80% of science texts in use worldwide are in English. I don’t want to be parochial myself here, but world communication and general understanding among peoples would be greatly enhanced if everyone had access to a common language. Certainly Spanish and several Asiatic languages are candidates for common use, but at the moment, English serves best.

And, I apologize for not recognizing that your first language probably was Flemish instead of French (??)

fritchie 12-02-2004 09:44 PM

Re: Truely International?; World language usage
This is sort of off-topic for a sculpture forum, but I wanted to follow our earlier discussion with some more definitive material about the use of languages worldwide, and here are some results. This material comes from a single linguistic site that seems to be professional and with no evident political bias.

The site is called “Languages of the World”, and a summary of usage among groups is here.

Because this is a professional linguistic site, it is careful about defining categories of speakers. In essence, users are grouped according to the combination of those for whom the language is primary (native) and those who speak and/or understand it as a second language.

Two languages or language groups have over a billion adherents worldwide according to this classification: English across the world; and "Mandarin" Chinese, technically Putonghua, principally in China.

Two other groups have over a half-billion users: Hindi + Urdu in southeast Asia; and Spanish + Portuguese principally in South and Central America.

Four languages or language groups have 100 million or more users: (1) Japanese; and (2) Malay + Indonesian in Asia and the Pacific; (3) German in Europe; and (4) French around the world.

oddist 12-02-2004 10:03 PM

Re: Truely International?
There really is no argument needed here.

It turns out the vBulletin software on which this site is run offers the following:

Language & Phrase Management

Language manager - allows you to easily translate your forums in any language
Multiple languages supported
Phrase manager

It's all up to the administrator to incorporate the option.

No statistics required.....

So who's the administrator?

anne (bxl) 12-02-2004 10:08 PM

Re: Truely International?
Sorry Rod if I have been rude. When using a foreign language, one of the main difficulty is to be conscious of the impact of the words used. It is always an handicap to discuss in a foreign language! Btw culture is food and language....
Fritchie, You were right, my first language is french.

After some checks on the net, here are some interresting census numbers.
We are 6,4 billion people on earth. The most common language is mandarin (885 million people among 1.2 billion chinese).

As for english speaking natives : US 220 million (it seems that close to 80 million are not english natives, among them 30 spanish), UK 60 (not 90), Canada (out of french or chinese speaking) 20, Aus 20, Ireland 4, South Africa 4, so it should be a total of (more or less) 330 million people... roughly 5% of the world population.

About India who's main language is Hindi: 1 billion people. 50% of the population is not able to read and write his own language, and only 30 to 40 millions are able to communicate in english).

You assume all Europe (out of UK) use english regularly as a second or third language? No! english is only understable by 30% of the 350 million european who are mainly scandinavians (70%) (EU statistics),

The understanding of english worldwide seems to be around 1 billion (16% of the global population). So guys, if you want to travel around the world, you will have to take language classes! :D

And statistics that concerns directly this thread : the people who use the internet communicate in English (51.3 percent), Japanese (8.1 percent) German (5.9 percent) Spanish (5.8 percent) Chinese (5.4 percent) French (3.9 percent) Source: Global Reach

anne (bxl) 12-03-2004 03:16 PM

Re: Truely International?
well guys, we all have published in the same time, sorry to forum users for this -almost- double use post!

ironman 12-18-2004 02:05 PM

Re: Truely International?
Hi, I don't really want to know nor do I care how many english speaking people there are in the world but I would like to give a big "thank you" to all the non english speakers who struggle to express themselves on this web site (in english) and also contribute greatly to it.
The Chinese are poised to take economic control over the world in this century so by 2099, we may all be speaking some dialect of their predominate language, whatever that is.
Who knows!
Have a great day,

anne (bxl) 12-19-2004 10:04 AM

Re: Truely International?

Originally Posted by ironman
I would like to give a big "thank you" to all the non english speakers who struggle to express themselves on this web site (in english) and also contribute greatly to it.
The Chinese are poised to take economic control over the world in this century so by 2099, we may all be speaking some dialect of their predominate language, whatever that is.
Who knows!

Thank you Jeff!
and... who knows about the future!

iron ant 03-18-2005 02:27 PM

Re: Truely International?
I beleive as they come into the "main streem" you will see an explosin of good chinese artist,probally goverment sponsered to make them look good,but hey whatever it takes.I love everybody in the world,but I go out of my way to buy good american tools that are not cheep knockoffs.It won,t be long they might be hard to find sence we moved all are manufacturing to aisia...................

oddist 08-30-2005 12:05 AM

Re: Truely International?
I've dug this subject up again for the following reason...

Recently we had a knife maker join our ranks and it just so happens my son is interested in knife making.

It got me to thinking about the art so I started doing some web searching and came across a forum for knifemakers..

What I'd like to point out is, they have a Forum called:
"European Knife Community
For the Knife Guys in Europe!"

If you check out this Forum you will find NO ENGLISH.

Nice jesture on the part of the Forum creator I think...

Merlion 08-30-2005 01:40 AM

Re: Truely International?
This is an old thread that was dug up just now by 'oddist'. Perhaps I can comment further as I may among the rare members from Asia.

My view is that to become more internation, this Forum can stay using English only. After all, sculptors from non-English speaking countries know pragmatically that when they want to go international, they have to use English which is very much the international language around the world. It is the same with the science, engineering, banking and other business communities.

I am Chinese from Singapore although I am comfortable using English. I notice a new member from Thailand writes in with broken English, but he communicated sufficiently. And as his sculptures are extremely good, he gained our respect and attention, and many of us repeatedly asked him to post more.

When the scupting community from a non-English speaking country gets big, they'll create their own discussion Forum in their own language. This may be happening in China although I have not made a search yet on this.

When travelling around China, I notice many art colleges in most cities. And as their economy is growing very strongly, there is a great demand for sculptures. Also, the number of their Internet users (out of a total population of 1.4 billion) is already very large, and it is a fact that this soon may exceed the number in the USA.

oddist 08-30-2005 02:34 PM

Re: Truely International?
So, to be "International" is to speak English?

I truly admire anyone that has learned and can communicate in a language other than that of their culture...There are those that even speak multiple tongues..

I do have a problem, however, in being denied the possibility of viewing the work of those that do not speak my language or are not secure enough to try, even in a broken fashion.

So, I guess, I am the ODD man out.....

Merlion 08-30-2005 07:53 PM

Re: Truely International?

Originally Posted by oddist
So, to be "International" is to speak English? ....

There are two issues here. One is the language used in this discussion forum. The other is whether members and participation are truly international.

It is for practical pragmatic reason that I suggest this Forum can stay using only or mainly English. (Actually there is nothing that stops some members posting comments in French or Spanish or other alphabetic languages, unless a Moderator decides to take it off. But this is yet another issue.)

But don't get me wrong. I am very much for, and hope that this Sculpture Community can get truly internation with participation from a large number of countries and cultures. It is very enriching. And we are very much into an era of globalisation.

As for how to make the participation truly international, I may come back and make some suggestions. (I now need to go off and have my breakfast. I am in a very different time zone from N America.) But others may also put in suggestions.

fused 08-31-2005 01:35 AM

Re: Truely International?
I am often disappointed with myself for not understanding several other languages better. Once while in Toronto there were several discussions about sculpture that became heated and eventually evolved from English to French, and I couldn't keep up. I understand how frustrating it can be when it difficult to share complete thoughts about something or explain your ideas fully.

BUT... art is a visual thing and we can all share images of what we do.

Merlion, it is nice seeing your works, a very interesting combination of traditional forms produced with unconventional/modern materials.

Merlion 08-31-2005 11:15 AM

Re: Truely International?
Thanks for your compliments Fused. I still have a lot to learn and improve, but sculpting has somehow got into my blood.

This question is for the Moderators. Is there a way to find out how international is this Sculpture Community or Forum? I suppose one can go into the Personal Profile of members one by one. But is it optional for members to enter what countries they come from?

sculptor 09-02-2005 11:23 PM

Re: Truely International?

All sculptors welcome here...I like the faces.
we speak with our hands and hearts a visual communication which transends language

flip side

I actually like it when folks type in their own language
and like it even more when someone translates for me

and, I too feel somewhat embarased that I only have english.

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