LINGUIST List 6.410

Wed 22 Mar 1995

Sum: Foreign language in ads

Editor for this issue: <>


  1. Mary Ellen Ryder, Foreign language in ads

Message 1: Foreign language in ads

Date: Sat, 18 Mar 95 15:20:50 MSForeign language in ads
From: Mary Ellen Ryder <>
Subject: Foreign language in ads

Sorry to be delayed in getting a summary back on the foreign language
in the recent IBM ads. As usual, lots of Linguist List readers came through
with the goods. (Individual thanks are at the end of this message). Here
are the responses I received:

The old gentlemen walking along the river are speaking French (there was
some disagreement as to whether it was Parisian French or not, with people
coming down on both sides);

The businessmen in the marketplace are speaking Moroccan Arabic;

The majority opinion was that the nuns are speaking Czech (though a couple
of people felt it was Polish).

I've seen one ad since then which I'm pretty sure is in Greek (people on
a fishing boat), because one of the subtitles contains mention of drachmas.
If I'm wrong about that, I'd like to know, needless to say.

Those of you who expressed interest in seeing some of our research, I haven't
forgotten you! I've just been buried in administrative stuff lately. I'll
try to do something about getting it off over spring break, which is in a
couple of weeks. If you don't see something in the next few weeks, you might
want to drop me another line at

Finally, very hearfelt thanks to everyone who wrote (I hope I haven't left
anyone off this list):

Eva Wyss, Daniel Keller, Marc Picard, Laila Lalami, John Koontz, Dana
Slancova, Gary H. Toops, Marlene Abrams Miller, Guerssel Mohamed, Frits
Stuurman, Chris Miller, Greenman, Younes Mourchid, Tim Beasley, James
Kirchner, Paul Woods, Jussi Karlgren, Marc Eisinger, Michael Kac, Rebecca
Larche Moreton, Carl Woolhiser, Anton Sherwood, Elabbas Benmamoun, Karin
Ryding, Elizabeth Bergman, Kirk Belnap (?), Reinier Post.

If anyone wants the addresses of any of these people to discuss the language
ID with them further, I have them; I just didn't want to make this message
any longer than necessary.

Thanks to everyone!
Mary Ellen Ryder
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