Message for Pedro Cuevas

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Message for Pedro Cuevas

Post by admin » Fri Oct 07, 2005 11:09 am

Pedro, it is a given that while many of us have learned to read Spanish, given our liberal arts-oriented education, and I have no doubt that many forum members also speak the language quite fluently, I have stated and restated from the beginning that I am adopting three languages for the Ann Pale forum: Haitian, English, and French. While the occasional text passage in Spanish will do, I am not about to adopt a fourth language for the forum. So here's your chance to practice your Haitian, English, and French (whichever you like), my friend!

Perhaps you will go back and comment on the stories that you have already posted on this board. We would most appreciate it.

Also, I hope that you understand that most of all, we would like to get your personal perspective on the news, as a Dominican who embraces his Haitian origins, and living in a society far different than Haiti. Your
insights would be most appreciated, indeed.


Zanmi ou,
Guy S. Antoine

Pedro Cuevas

Post by Pedro Cuevas » Mon Oct 10, 2005 5:50 pm

Guy Antoine,

As reply to your letter, I have the chance to answer you that I would like to have my comments in English or French, (I am not too good in Creole), but I am still timid in French. Anyway, I will try to do my best in the future.

I am very sorry that you do not think in adopting a fourth language in the forum.

Your truly friend here,

P. C.

Post by » Tue Oct 11, 2005 10:56 am

Pedro, from what I can tell, most of the membership resides currently in the United States (and therefore speak and write in English every day, with little opportunity to do the same in Spanish, except those in the fields of health and diplomacy).

Of course, in addition to English, we had to include Haiti's main languages: Creole (Haitian) and French. French is little used on the forum, even though we also have some members from the French Canadian community. At this point, I don't even know if we have any member actually residing in Haiti.

As for Creole, we all speak it, but many of us did not learn how to write it correctly (by the current norms), until they learned how to do it on this very forum or its forerunner, Fowòm Ayisyen. Another pioneer in this field, before Ann Pale, was REKA (Rezo Entènèt Kreyolis Ayisyen, http://www.kreyol.org). Creole writing may look weird at first, but it is SO consistent that with a m
inimum of good faith and effort, one should be able to learn to write it quickly when one already speaks the language.

So the main languages of this forum have been Haitian and English, on a par. Then French, secondarily to the first two, but a viable third alternative. Should we also open it up to Spanish? I don't know what other forum members think about that, and I would love to hear what they have to say. As the moderator of this forum, I could open it to Spanish, because I read Spanish with little difficulty (I cannot speak it fluently, maybe because I never had a Latina girlfriend.) I do not mind seeing the occasional text in Spanish, but I am afraid that if we open the forum completely to a fourth language, then the appearance of the forum, linguistically, is going to go completely out of hand, with non-translated posts running in Haitian, French, English, Spanish (and who knows whether there would not be a fifth along the way?) For people who master one or only two of the languages
, this could be discouraging. As it is, many second, or third-generation diasporic youth have problems with our forum because they do not understand half of what is written on it.

So adding Spanish as a fourth language would exacerbate the issue, even though Spanish could also be a very good way for us to link with Haitian interests in the Latino world, and the Dominican Republic in particular.

So, as you can see, I am not totally against the idea and I am open to members' suggestions on what to do. The ideal situation would be to translate everything that appears on the forum into all of its adopted languages, but you must know that this is impossible, as we have no human resources available for translation. As for Machine Translation, its results are still too ackward for us to take it seriously.

Forum members, your two cents?

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