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The common language of many Asians is English.
- date unknown
linked to 138457
lilygilder - Feb 19th 2010, 19:54
linked to 366475
boracasli - Sep 13th 2010, 12:16
linked to 510622
Swift - Apr 4th 2011, 14:38
linked to 823807
Swift - Apr 4th 2011, 14:38
linked to 823808
Swift - Apr 4th 2011, 14:38
linked to 823809
Guybrush88 - Jul 23rd 2012, 20:46
linked to 1720397
Lenin_1917 - Feb 9th 2013, 05:25
linked to 2204323

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Sentence #274778

eng
The common language of many Asians is English.

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Comments

  1. Apr 4th 2011, 11:16
    what nonsense!
  2. Apr 4th 2011, 12:39
    Because an overwhelming majority of Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Kazakh, Mongolian, Indonesian, ... ie billions of Asians do not speak English at all, as you perfectly know. In Japan, which has been occupied by US troops, after 65 years, only a tiny fraction of the population speak a language which is so difficult for them and has no logic at all. Most japanese speak a handful of incomprehensible English words. So to assert that English is The common language of many Asians is utter bullshit. In Lalaland, maybe!
  3. Apr 4th 2011, 13:28
    This sentence was imported from the Tanaka corpus, so it is most likely has been written by a Japanese.


    I have added a “controversial” tag.

    I believe this is enough: Tatoeba has never been intended to be the collection of the true sentences. If the sentence is correct, then it should not be changed (according to the Contributor Guide).
  4. Apr 4th 2011, 13:48
    >Tatoeba has never been intended to be the collection of the true sentences.

    Neither has it been intended, or so I believe, to vehicle disinformation about languages.
  5. Apr 4th 2011, 14:37
    I've removed the "Controversial" tag. Just because one Tatoeba contributor may disagree does hardly make it controversial. The theory of general relativity wouldn't be labelled as such despite the odd person railing against it (and even despite being incompatible with quantum field theories).

    As for this statement, I encourage anyone who feels that it truly is controversial to share some arguments and/or supporting evidence against the statement. In its favour, I offer only my experience in that while some Asians do, indeed, interact in various languages and some share common languages other than English, many (not the least in East-Asia, some in the West often share Russian, though the influence of English is increasing ... and some may wish to call themselves Europeans) do share English as a common language.

    While my experience is certainly slanted by selection bias, I do fail to see how anyone would support a view that this sentence in any constitutes a controversial view, let alone is intended to "vehicle disinformation about languages".
  6. Apr 4th 2011, 14:56
    >though the influence of English is increasing

    I think you're deluded. Only Mandarin is progressing along with the Chinese economy.

    >While my experience is certainly slanted by selection bias

    Yes, it is called a western micro-elite who live on a cloudlet and pretend they are the archetype of the world. The ancient Greeks used to do this as well, just before Latin became the lingua franca...
  7. Apr 4th 2011, 15:35
    In the few days that I've been an active Tatoeban I already stumbled over dozens of sentences that seemed utterly stupid or plain wrong to me. I usually just leave them out and do not translate them.

    It's impossible to draw a clear line between "removing untrue statements" and censorship. The only solution is to keep sentences irrespective of their correctness.
  8. Apr 4th 2011, 15:37
    And what I've forgot to say in my previous post: That means I agree with Demetrius.
  9. Apr 4th 2011, 16:48
    >When Asians from different Asian countries in Asia need to communicate, they generally fall back on English. In that sense, it is the common language, because that's the only way they can communicate.

    Warf warf! You mean in tiny Singapore, probably? Surely you know that there is another Asia with 4 billion people around that one, don't you? And even in Singapore, I bet nowadays you hear more Chinese than English.
    There has been a vast diaspora of Chinese merchants all over East Asia for centuries, and as a Russian, you perfectly know that Russian is the lingua franca of all Central Asia, and that Arabic has that role in the Middle East, while Hindi and Urdu have in the Indian Subcontinent. So where exactly is English in this picture?

    > I agree that English does not seem to be the optimal medium

    It's an euphemism! One important thing seems to have escaped you: Languages are meant to be UNDERSTOOD, not just BABBLED. The fact is that English is utterly inadapted to asians in all aspects: Mad pronunciation, complete inconsistency of the vocabulary, total absence of construction rules of any kind. Chinese people are just BAFFLED at the primitivity of English and I fully sympathise.

    Just ask sysko about English in China, I think he has eventually understood it is of no help whatsoever for the decades to come!

    Look at reality: English learning is a complete failure in Japan, although Japan was invaded by the US troops and culture 65 years ago and their own country was DEFEATED, and English became mandatory in all schools and they really STRUGGLE to speak English.
    How do you expect the Chinese to fare better, when they have not been defeated, when they consider the USA as their number one enemy and competitor and deeply resent their former colonial occupying power and forced opium dealer, Great Britain, when they have a perfectly logical language, which is even more apart from English in terms of pronunciation than Japanese. Come on! Cut the propaganda and stop dreaming the world and start seeing it as it is!
    Do you actually think that Kazakhs or Ouzbeks do business with the Chinese in English? Or the Koreans?
  10. Apr 4th 2011, 16:54
    I believe that this sentence is at least misleading.

    This sentence, unless it occurs in context, would mean the popularity of English has something to do with Asia. Though English is rather popular world-wide, it is not specific to Asia at all.



    > Just because one Tatoeba contributor may disagree
    > does hardly make it controversial.
    At least two persons. Why haven’t you counted me in?

    Я обиделся, что всем наплевать на моё мнение и мой тег удалили, так что пошёл я смотреть аниме. :P
  11. Apr 4th 2011, 17:35
    > I believe that this sentence is at least misleading.

    Grammatically or factually?

    >> Just because one Tatoeba contributor may disagree
    >> does hardly make it controversial.
    > At least two persons. Why haven’t you counted me in?

    :-) Honestly, since you hadn't mentioned that you thought only a few Asians had English as a common language I figured you'd added the tag simply to placate others.

    Annars eru skoðanir þínar engan vegin hunsaðar og lítið mál er að bæta merkjunum við síðar. Skemmtu þér annars vel við teiknimyndaáhorfið og láttu endilega heyra í þér síðar.
  12. Apr 4th 2011, 17:47
    》Just ask sysko about English in China, I think he has eventually understood it is of no help whatsoever for the decades to come!

    but the fact is, the others just don't communicate, I mean, sure when I'm only with Chinese I would rather use Mandarin to communicate sure and people will use Mandarin with me. sad but true, I've barely seen Japanese speaking in Mandarin to Chinese nor the opposite except by people who had a personnal interest in the language (as for me and Mandarin). Whatever how bad all of them speak English and how few of them speak English, it's still better and more than other languages taken separatly, and I'm not in Shanghai, faaaar from that, and most of the time I'm the only "non-asian" guy, and people do know I speak some Chinese and that I do not like speaking English with them.
  13. Apr 4th 2011, 17:57
    So I would say they lack an efficient common language, for "fashion" (or whatever) reason their respective governments are trying to make English the common language, and it's everything but a great success, but due to the effort they're making, it's for the time being the most widely spread if we take this to a "global point of view", I totally agree that for each situtation in which a communication between people from different asian countries is needed, especially if it only imply 2 nationality, there's some great change that the language of one of them will be used, but if you start to deal with more nationalities, they will switch to English, even though it will decrease a lot the quality of the exchange, the chance of misunderstanding etc..
  14. Apr 4th 2011, 18:06
    >the chance of misunderstanding

    It's nearing 100%
  15. Apr 4th 2011, 18:09
    already, the European Parliament has conducted tests that showed that retranslations of documents from a european language to another through english led to a loss of up to 80% of the meaning of the original document. And English is pretty close to these european languages...
    I can't imagine when they do translate from Chinese to Japanese through English. I just hope they don't translate the nuclear security documents this way...
  16. Apr 4th 2011, 18:17
    @sacredceltic: do you have a citation for those tests? I would love to read up on that.

    I also agree with you that this sentence, from a factual point of view, is obvious nonsense.
  17. Apr 4th 2011, 18:52
    @sysko> and I'm not in Shanghai, faaaar from that, and most of the time I'm the only "non-asian" guy, and people do know I speak some Chinese and that I do not like speaking English with them.

    What you witness is just the fad by a small part of the people for English. of course you will meet them, precisely because you're European in an area where there are very few of them, and thus these people have very few opportunities to practice their scholar broken English. So you probably act as a magnet to them. Your view is thus probably very distorted on the prevalence of English speakers as well as on their level, because probably only the more at ease with the language would try using it with a European.
    Languages act as distorting mirrors: One is more prone to hearing languages that one speaks.
    Also, of course English is attractive to the elite, because they're being told by their parents that they will stick better to that elite if they manage to learn English. This phenomenon is worldwide. But that doesn't make the language more efficient or its learning more successful. Again, the Japanese have tried very hard to speak English for 65 years. It's a failure when you consider the result and the huge educational costs involved. Even very highly educated people, in international organisations, for instance, hardly can speak it in an understandable way.
    I can hardly understand what Ban-Ki-Moon says when he speaks in English, and he is the Secretary General of the UN, having prepared speeches, and having probably the highest possible level of language education in South Korea! I just can't imagine it possible to conduct business in English between Chinese and Koreans...
  18. Apr 4th 2011, 19:02
    nor I imagine it in chinese or korean, my point was not it was it was possible or not, but that it was still better than with other languages, because in China they only learn one foreign languages and it's english¸if you want to learn two foreign languages then you need to make languages study.
    So actually they do hire interpret, but then the korean and the chinese are not communicating with each other directly, if they want to do so they will use English, but it will be for one word or two and soon the interpret will continue his job.
  19. Apr 4th 2011, 19:06
    Yeah, well, this is my very point: As for Europe, the common language of Asia is translation. But you won't make me believe that the Koreans don't have a lot of Chinese speakers. China and Korea have been conducting business before English even existed!
  20. Apr 4th 2011, 19:14
    Sure I agree on these points, and I'm not trying to make you believe that as I've said

    >if it only imply 2 nationality, there's some great change that the language of one of them will be used, but if you start to deal with more nationalities, they will switch to English,

    (or hire an interpret and then we fall back to your very point)
  21. Apr 4th 2011, 19:17
    (d'ailleurs on aurait pu se le faire en français)
  22. Apr 4th 2011, 19:21
    Well, my bet is Mandarin is more and more unavoidable for China's neighbours. After this messing around, English will be replaced in no time as the elite's mean of recognition in Asia. At the end of the day, the economy rules and it's obvious that English doesn't work at all as a lingua franca in Asia, no more than it does in Africa, South Amercia, or even Europe.
  23. Mar 14th 2012, 22:08
    I'm removing the controversial tag.
  24. Mar 14th 2012, 22:47
    To say the least, this sentence is misleading. A minute fraction of Asians speak English in a way that is identifiable as English...
  25. Mar 14th 2012, 23:23
    Thank you, I agree with that tag.

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