Thursday, October 24, 2013

Pattberg: How We Will Write in the Future (Video)

BEIJING - In order to preserve the full power and authenticity of any culture really we would have to preserve them their key terminologies -those words and concepts that are demonstrably difficult, if not impossible, to translate without infringing onto their culture's intellectual property rights. The English language has already adopted loads of foreign loanwords, but often in an arbitrary manner, more by chance and goodwill than by any disciplined, organized, and accountable methodology. In other words, for example Western translators, until now, practically could do whatever they wanted with Asian concepts; and Asian ideas, no matter how old and no matter how genuine, enjoyed little to no moral, scientific, or legal protection from being omitted, prohibited, or translated into convenient, often over-used European concepts. This has got to change some day, maybe not so distant a day in the near future...

Thorsten Pattberg advocates for a global language, and by that he has something very specific in mind. We need to continue to translate, of course, in order to communicate. But when it comes to the key terminologies of a culture, "we should not translate them but rather we should adopt them," Pattberg says. "The only way, as I see it, to create the global language is really to find a scientific way to adopt as many key terminologies as possible and to unite all the languages’ vocabularies into one."  [READ FULL TRANSCRIPT] [WATCH VIDEO]
Many thanks to Daniel Honan, Managing Editor, Big Think, and Jonathan Fowler & Elizabeth Rodd, Producers, Big Think