Marc SCHAEFER schaefer at
Wed May 2 11:18:37 UTC 2001

On 2 May 2001, MJ Ray wrote:

> > Now, in my opinion, we should start FSFE in the more convenient language
> > which is precizely English, [...]
> Idealistically, shouldn't we aim for a neutral second language, eg
> esperanto?  But English will probably suffice for now.


Although there is an Esperanto Learning Centre about 15 km from here, do
you really think that using a fabricated language is a solution ?

I really prefer English first (and only, at the international level), then
let the local chapters write their own. I am sure it will be difficult to
accept for some countries (France and Germany, probably), but the
rationale is, for me: let's make something multinational that will
advertise the Free Software movement ideas, and, could, for example, help
in case of a trial. And the best effort/cost ratio is to choose English
for now, and only English, in the top structure. And some countries, for
example Switzerland and Belgium, might well prefer that language in place
of another language that is a majority in that country. 

Il y a cent ans j'aurais peut-être soutenu le français. Malheureusement
pour les francophones, ce n'est plus la langue internationale (si ce n'est
encore pour la Poste). C'est ma langue maternelle.

   Hundred years ago, I might have proposed French instead. However,
   it is no longer an international language. This is my mother tongue.

Deutsch ist eine schöne Sprache, die weit verbreitet ist.  Jedoch ist sie
keine Sprache, die als einzige Sprache für internationale Organizationen
eingesetzt werden könnte. C'est la première langue parlée (en proportion)
dans mon pays, la Suisse. 

   German, although widely spoken, isn't an international language either.

In the EurOpen (which is mostly defunct today AFAIK), official language
was English, official currency was ECU, and every local organization was
responsible for passing the information (raw or cooked, curses(3X); ie
translated or not) to the local members. That was working very good --
well, as long as the central comittee was producing anything.

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