Languages, was: German software licensing law

MJ Ray mjr at
Tue Sep 27 14:42:11 UTC 2005

Rui Miguel Seabra <rms at>

> English grammar and semantics are way simpler than that of Portuguese,
> French or even German. :)

I'm not sure about that claim, especially for French and doubly
so for semantics. There are lots of subtleties to English which
non-English users miss. Those can be the source of much humour,
but we make fun of other English dialects too. Said in jest:

  "It is impossible for an Englishman to open his mouth without
  making some other Englishman hate or despise him. German and
  Spanish are accessible to foreigners: English is not accessible
  even to Englishmen." -- from Preface to Pygmalion, Bernard Shaw

> I think you greatly overestimate the number of incompatible dialects of
> english when faced against other languages (even ones that are more
> spoken over the world).

I suspect it depends what "incompatible" means. If it's not sharing
some words, then my birth county (area ~2300km^2) has two or maybe
three.  $DEITY knows about England as a whole (area ~130000km^2).

ObTopic-ish, Catalan, Spanish, Irish, Dutch, Romanian, Swedish and
pan-European English lists are hosted on while 
French, Portuguese, German, UK-specific English and Dutch are on - any plans to unify more?
(I would be happy not to subscribe as "English (USA)" too.)

MJ Ray (slef), K. Lynn, England, email see

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