"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more
To find some answers Tim Machan explores the language's present and past, and looks ahead to its futures among the one and a half billion people who speak it. His search is fascinating and important, for definitions of English have influenced education and law in many countries and helped shape the identities of those who live in them.
This volume provides a new perspective on the evolution of the special language of medicine, based on the electronic corpus of Early Modern English Medical Texts, containing over two million words of medical writing from 1500 to 1700.
This book is about the limits of machine translation. It is widely recognized that machine translation systems do much better on domain-specific controlled-language texts (domain texts for short) than on dynamic general-language texts (general texts for short). The authors explore this general domain distinction and come to some uncommon conclusions about the nature of language. Domain language is claimed to be made possible by general language, while general language is claimed to be made possible by ethics. Domain language is unharmed by the constraints of objectivism, while general language is suffocated by those constraints. Along the way to these conclusions, visits are made to Descartes and Saussure, to Chomsky and Lakoff, to Wittgenstein and Levinas. From these conclusions, consequences are drawn for machine translation and translator tools, for linguistic theory and translation theory. The title of the book does not question whether language is possible, it asks, with wonder and awe, why communication through language is possible.