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I am an American born in the U.S.  I have always been curious and fascinated
about other cultures and languages.  I have studied several languages myself
and my husband is a U.S. citizen but a native of Greece.  He speaks Greek,
Albanian and English and is studying Spanish.  The United States, contrary
to popular belief here, is not the center of the universe.  Our language is
spoken throughout the world but in Europe many people speak several
languages.  Who are these arrogant people who think the entire world must
cater to us?  Have an open mind and heart; go take another language and see
how beautiful it is, learn the similarities in words among several languages
(French, Spanish, Italian--amour, amor (?), amore).  Learn the origins of
your own English language (Greek, Latin, German, et al).  Many of our words
have their origins in other languages.  We are one world, one people
(whether you like it or not).  If you complain about struggling with the
languages of other cultures, perhaps you will learn to have compassion for
those immigrants who struggle here when they arrive and many years after
that.  Remember how America became America and that it is truly a melting
pot.

I'd love to go to Montreal and renew my French that I learned over 40 years
ago in high school.  I know Canadian French is different and also has
dialects but I would love listening to it and trying to read it again.

Sorry for the lengthy tangent but this subject always gets me going.  I am
incredulous that people choose to limit themselves culturally and
linguistically.

I took a class once in linguistics that taught us the Latin and Greek
origins of English words, e.g. subcutaneous (from Latin) and hypodermic
(from Greek) both meaning "under the skin".

Dear Folks who don't want to go to Montreal because they speak their own
language and it might confuse, frustrate or anger you:  Stay home so the
rest of us who appreciate other cultures and ways of communicating can learn
and enjoy ourselves.


Anne Foster Angelou
Records Management Analyst
Archives and Records Management
(206) 296-1572
FAX (206) 205-1067



-----Original Message-----
From: A.S.E. Fairfax [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Tuesday, November 07, 2000 2:31 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: ARMA conference


This discussion of language "barriers" prompts me to write.

I think the point you all need to be aware of is that English is not
REQUIRED of the people of  Quebec.  You will find a great variety of
speakers who may have fluency in both languages, some who struggle with
English, and some who speak no English at all as they are not required to.
There are also many people living in the province who never learned French,
and who struggle to get along now that the French-Canadians have been able
to legally re-assert their natural habitat and language since the
mid-sixties.  It is naturally a source of great pride to many of them, and
the exclusive use of French is not "hostile" in and of itself.  Many
Quebecois are simply most comfortable with their own language, and expect
that people will adapt and understand this.  Canada  is OFFICIALLY bilingual
you know, and it's allowed there.  Native Canadians can be expected to
handle it,  and tourists should expect to have some experiences!  Shouldn't
this just add to the adventure? It won't be the end of the world, I promise
you!

Besides you all have about a year to brush up (on your French that is)!

Elizabeth Fairfax
Island County Records Services
e-mail to [log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]>






        ----------
        From:  Gary Vocks [SMTP:[log in to unmask]]
        Sent:  Tuesday, November 07, 2000 1:01 PM
        To:  [log in to unmask]
        Subject:  Re: ARMA conference

        I spent three days as a tourist in Montreal just about a year ago
and
        had absolutely no problems because of language. (I neither speak nor
        understand French.  I'm a typical American--unilingual!)  It seems
to me
        that the idea of "language police" is greatly exaggerated!

        Gary Vocks

        Diane Dalessandro wrote:
        >
        > I am troubled by comments that were made by several attendees at
the Las Vegas conference relative to Montreal not being a welcoming place
for folks who do not speak French.  One person mentioned "language police"
and stated that all businesses have had to remove English language signs
from their establishments.  If this is true, (and I stress IF THIS IS TRUE)
why are we going to have a conference at which proceedings are conducted in
English in a venue hostile to the language?
        >
        > D. M. Dalessandro
        > Records Manager
        > Cablevision
        > Bethpage,NY
        >