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"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

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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.

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Summary Details

Query:   Orient vs. Orientation
Author:  John Esposito
Submitter Email:  click here to access email
Linguistic LingField(s):   Sociolinguistics

Summary:   Regarding query http://www.linguistlist.org/issues/15/15-3227.html#2

Responses to this query were unanimous. Orientate is the only commonly-heard form of the word in British and most other dialects of English. Orient is regarded as an Americanism, although, ironically, there may still be a few British prescriptivists who prefer orient.

Many thanks to those who responded:

Susan Fischer, Rochester Institute of Technology
Fay Wouk, University of Auckland
Tonio Green, Berlin
Roger Lass, University of Cape Town
Neil Bermel, University of Sheffield
Dan Wedgwood, University of Edinburgh
Jeff Pledge, Wanadoo France
Debbie Berkley, Microsoft Natural Language Group
Ellen Grote, Edith Cowan University
Jeannette Regan, University of Lausanne

Finally, a word of thanks to Lesley Thompson Esposito (my wife), who has lived in England and has a degree in linguistics, and if I?d just asked her in the first place, I would have had the answer. Apologies for my provincialism! -- John

LL Issue: 15.3281
Date Posted: 22-Nov-2004
Original Query: Read original query


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