Sunday, April 22, 2007

Some conlangs

Auxlangs :
  • Volapük: created in 1879-1880 by Johann Martin Schleyer, a Catholic priest in Baden. The vocabulary is mostly from English, with a smattering of German and French, and often modified it beyond easy recognizability. Here you can find a handbook of Volapük, and , a ten-lesson course.
  • Europanto: created in 1996 by Diego Marani. There are no fixed rules, merely a set of suggestions. Europanto as it is used, tends to have a grammar much like English, with words borrowed from various languages and adapted to be easily understood. Europanto home page.
  • Folkspraak: intended to be quickly learnable by all Germanic speakers. The original idea is that a word from the same root, with the same or similar meaning should be common in, or at least exist in three out of four languages (core languages) including (General) English, (High) German, Dutch and Swedish/Norwegian/Danish (often counted as one language, where a word wouldn't need to be common in more than one of the languages).
  • Mondlango: also known as Ulango, is similar to Esperanto with a greater English influence. It was initially authored by He Yafu in 2002. Monlango home page.
  • Lingua Franca Nova: created by C. George Boeree of Shippensburg University, Pennsylvania. It is based on French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, and Catalan. The grammar is based on that of Romance creoles. LFN home page.

  • Quenya: one of the languages spoken by the Elves in J. R. R. Tolkien's work. It was the language that developed among those non-Telerin Elves that reached Valinor from an earlier language called Common Eldarin. Here it is a Quenya course and here, more information.
  • Klingon: created by Marc Okrand for Paramount Pictures and spoken by Klingons in the fictional Star Trek universe. He designed the language with Object Verb Subject (OVS) word order to give an alien feel to the language. Klingon is similar to Native American languages in several aspects. The Klingon Language Institute, Klingonska Akademien.
  • Toki Pona: designed by Canadian translator and linguist Sonja Elen Kisa. It was first published online in mid-2001. Toki Pona is a minimal language. Like a pidgin, it focuses on simple concepts and elements that are relatively universal among cultures. The language has 14 phonemes and 118 words. Official site.
  • Newspeak: a fictional language in George Orwell's famous novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. Newspeak is closely based on English but has a greatly reduced and simplified vocabulary and grammar. This suited the totalitarian regime of the Party, whose aim was to make subversive thought ("thoughtcrime") and speech impossible.
  • Nadsat: a constructed set of Russian-based slang invented by the linguist, novelist, and composer Anthony Burgess. Nadsat is a teen language spoken by Alex and his 'droogs' in the futuristic world of A Clockwork Orange. It is basically English, with some transliterated words from Russian.

  • Loglan: developed beginning in 1955 by James Cooke Brown with the goal of making a language so powerfully expressive for logic and calculation that people learning it would think better if the Saphir-Whorfhypothesis were true. The Loglan Institute.
  • Lojban: created by the Logical Language Group in 1987 based on the earlier Loglan, with the intent to make the language more complete, usable, and freely available. The grammar is based on predicate logic, and is capable of expressing complex logical constructs precisely. The Logical Language Group.
  • Ro: an a priori 'philosophical language,' meaning you can guess what category of meaning a word falls into merely by looking at the first letters. For example, bofoc means red, bofod means orange, and bofof means yellow. It was created by the Reverend Edward Powell Foster (1853-1937).
  • Ithkuil: designed by American linguist John Quijada to convey large amounts of linguistic information using fewer and shorter words than naturally-evolved languages; most sentences in other languages will be shorter when translated into Ithkuil. Grammar here.
  • Láadan: created by Suzette Haden Elgin in 1982 to test the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis for women, specifically to determine if Western natural languages were better suited for expressing the views of men than women.
But the list of conlangs is long. Take a look at Langmaker.

Saturday, April 14, 2007


(eo) influi: Havi efikon sur la pensoj, sinteno, agmaniero de alia persono
(no) påvirke: ha en innflytelse som fører til at noe forandrer seg
(sp) influir: Dicho de una persona o de una cosa: Ejercer predominio, o fuerza moral
(en) influence: A power to affect persons or events especially power based on prestige, etc.


Today someone called my attention to this article.
The Pirahã language is one of those examples in which, despite a very little amount of speakers, the language is not endangered., as as language use is vigorous and the Pirahã community is monolingual.
Pirahã language has a set of interesting features. For example, the pronunciation of several phonemes depends on the speaker's gender. And it has one of the smallest phoneme inventories of any known language. And also their counting system is limited to one, two and many (read a little more here and here).
Read Living without numbers or time. there's even an online dictionary.

Friday, April 13, 2007


(eo) sorto: Nekonata forto, imagata kiel supernatura, rigardata kiel havanta kapricojn, kaj al kiu oni emas atribui la okazaĵojn, kies kaŭzon oni ne konas
(no) en skjebne: (innbilte) krefter som er utenfor menneskelig kontroll og som bestemmer hva som skal skje
(sp) el hado: Fuerza desconocida que, según algunos, obra irresistiblemente sobre los dioses, los hombres y los sucesos.
(en) fate: An event (or course of events) that will inevitably happen in the future

Online translators

Do you know of someone who thinks translating from a language into another is trivial because computers assist us?
Let's makean experiment. Let's try one of the "best" online translators. I'll translate a sentence and then translate it back into English. Let's use a text taken from Wikipedia:
Chess is a recreational and competitive game for two players. Sometimes called Western Chess or International Chess to distinguish it from its predecessors and other chess variants, the current form of the game emerged in Southern Europe in the second half of the 15th century after evolving from similar, much older games of Indian origin.
Today, chess is one of the world's most popular games, played by an estimated 605 million people worldwide in clubs, online, by correspondence (mail and e-mail), in tournaments (amateur and professional) and informally. Aspects of art and science are found in chess composition and theory. Chess is also advocated as a way of enhancing mental prowess.
Babelfish, into Spanish and then into English:
The chess is a recreacional and competitive game for two players. Western sometimes called Chess or international chess to distinguish it of its precursors and other variants of the chess, the present form of the game emerged in southern Europe by half second from the fifteenth century after developing of similar games, much more old of the Indian origin. Today, the chess is one of the most popular games of the world, played by 605 million people of considered everywhere in clubs, in line, by the correspondence (mail and email), in matches (become fond of and professional) and unreliable person. The aspects of the art and science are in the composition and the theory of the chess. The chess also is pleaded like way to heighten mental value.
Babelfish again, into German and then into English:
Chess is a relaxing and competitive play for two players. Western Chess or international chess called sometimes to differentiate to it of its predecessors and from other chess variants to dipped the present form of the play into south Europe to the half second 15. Century up, after it had developed of the similar, many older plays Indian origin. Today chess one of the most popular plays of the world, world-wide easily by estimated 605 million people in the associations, is on-line, by correspondence (post office and email), in the tournaments (Bewunderer and specialist) and informal. Aspects of the art and the science are found in structure of chess and theory. Chess is endorsed also as way of increasing of spirit ability.
Babelfish, into French and then into English:
The failures are a play récréationnel and competing for two players. Western sometimes called international Chess or failures to distinguish them from its predecessors and other alternatives from failures, the current form of the play emerged in southernmost Europe in second half of the 15th century after evolution of the similar plays and much older of Indian origin. Today, the failures are one of the most popular plays of the world, played by 605 million people approximately in the whole world in the clubs, on line, by the correspondence (mail and E-mail), in the tournaments (amateur and professional) and semi-officially. Aspects of art and science are found in the composition and the theory in failures. Failures are also recommended like manner of increasing the mental prowess.
Babelfish, into Dutch and then into English:
The schaak is a recreational and competitive game for two players. The sometimes called western schaak came or the international schaak for of its predecessors and other schaakvarianten to distinguish, the current form of the game in Southern Europe in second half of the 15de centuries after evolving at voorschijn from similar, much older plays of Indian origin. Today, the schaak one of the most popular game of the world, which is worldwide played by valued 605 millions people in clubs, online, by correspondence (, is post and e-mail), in tournaments (amateur and profession) and informally. The aspects of art and science are found in schaaksamenstelling and theory. The schaak is also argued as a manner to improve mental dapperheid.
Babelfish, into traditional Chinese and then into English:
The chess is whiles away the time with the competition match is two players. Sometimes tells Western Chess or the international chess distinguish it with its senior and other chess distortions, the competition current form will emerge one half from has later been similar in the southern Europe in 15 centuries second in the evolution, older competed 印第安 to origin. Today, the chess is world most universal competition middle, plays by estimates 605 million people's world in the club, on-line, by the correspondence (mail and email), (amateur and expert) and is informal at the competition. Artistic and the science aspect is discovered in the chess constitution and the theory. The chess and the position achievement enhances the spiritual heroic way.
Babelfish, into Greek and then into English:
The chess is a recreational and competitive game for two players. The sometimes called western chess or the international chess in order to him it distinguishes from his predecessors and other variants of chess, the running form of game resulted in southern Europe in second half the 15$oy of century after it is evolved from the similar, much older games of Indian origin. Today, the chess is one from the world more popular games, that are played by at estimate 605 million persons worldwide in the clubs, in direct connection, by the correspondence (post and electronic post), in the championships (amateur and professional) and informally. The aspects of art and science are found in the composition and the theory of chess. The chess is supported also as way mental bravery.
Babelfish, into Korean and then into English:
The chess 2 person bows with hazard recreation is competitive game. It predecessor in office and different chess variant and it distinguishes it similar inside Southern Europe after the WesternChess international evolving which it calls from time to time inside latter half of 15 century India source it was, very long from the game which becomes, currently the shape of game it came out. By it plays inside the world-wide general on-line club, by a communication (mail and e-mail), (amateur and specialist) and 605 where the molasses flavored rice today, the chess estimates one of world-wide masses game thing, it is a person who is countless inside tournament. The aspect of art and science is discovered inside chess composing and objection. The chess spirit it strengthens bravely, also is supported with method.
Babelfish, into Russian and then into English:
Chess there will be recreational and konkurentnayaa game for 2 players. Sometimes caused is Western chess or international of chess, it is which necessary to distinguish it from its predecessors and different versions of chess, at present the form of game emerged in south europe in the second-half to yshchtyu of century afterward to evolve from similar, much Star of the games of Indian beginning. Today, chess of one of the games of the peace of the popular, after 4 is played that evaluated of 605 million people world in the clubs, online, by correspondence (mail and and -m31lo), in the tournaments (amateur and professional) is unofficial. The aspects of iskusstvoa and science are found in composition and theory of chess. Chess is also protected as road to increase the mental prowess.
You may say that with a little good will from my side, I'd be able to understand the text.
First consider that I translated back into English. Several big errors were reversed "consistently" and that's why the English final version is a little understandable.
Second, nobody does this process. It'd have no sense. You only go from one language into another. Many of those who use this kind of software don't know a word in the target language. So how can they know if the translation needs to be polished? People just leave it like that.
Third, consider that if the source text has typos or grammar errors (verbs or gender words not matching, for example), the translation won't know what to do with that.
If you don't give a damn about the resulting translation, go ahead and use an online translator. I hope your business ends well or your tatoo is not in a very visible place or that only you read the result.
Gosh! Just look at the Korean one! Even after reading the original, the resulting translation is simply crap.
I'll test more of these thingies. Just out of curiosity. Which one would be "the best"?

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Who reads me?

Very few leave a comment. Anyway, as I said from the begining, I am writing this more for me than for someone else. But I find interesting to know what langauge people arriving here have their browser in.
I live in a Spanish speaking country and my browser is in English. It is not in Norwegian only because I am too lazy. But I feel more comfortable with English. The above graph shows the language visitors of this blog use (the last 100, excluding me): English, Spanish, Norwegian, French, Danish, Ukrainian, Korean, Greek, German and Arabic.
Recently, I've had visitors from Turkey and Romania. But the languages spoken there do not show in the graph.
I wonder how that graph would be if I wrote in Spanish or Esperanto.


(eo) inviti: Afable peti iun, ke li ien venu
(no) invitere: be noen komme som gjest, by inn
(sp) invitar: Llamar a alguien para un convite o para asistir a algún acto
(en) invite: Express willingness to have in one's home or environs

Russian languages

So what's the official language in Russia? Russian, of course. But there are regions in which other languages are officially recognized. These are:
  • in the Altai Republic: Altay
  • in the Buryat Republic: Buryat
  • in the Mari El Republic: Mari
  • in the Sakha Republic: Yakut
  • in the Tuva Republic: Tuvin
  • in the Udmurt Republic: Udmurt
  • in the Republic of Adygea: Adyghe
  • in the Republic of Bashkortosta: Bashkir
  • in the Republic of Ingushetia: Ingush
  • in the Republic of Kalmykia: Kalmyk
  • in the Republic of Khakassia: Khakas
  • in the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania: Ossetic
  • in the Republic of Tatarstan: Tatar
  • in Agin-Buryat Autonomous Okrug: Buryat
  • in Chukotka Autonomous Okrug: Chukchi
  • in Evenk Autonomous Okrug: Evenk
  • in Koryak Autonomous Okrug: Koryak
  • in Nenets Autonomous Okrug: Nenets
  • in Taymyr Autonomous Okrug: Dolgan
  • in Ust-Orda Buryat Autonomous Okrug: Buryat
  • in Jewish Autonomous Oblast: Yiddish
Of course, there are more languages spoken in the Russian Federation. you can see here and here (or here). Bibliography about some of these languages (only 54 languages with speakers not exceeding 50,000) can be found here. Some of these languages are endangered. See the list.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


(eo) murdi: intence mortigi homon
(no) myrde: utføre et mord, drepe noen med overlegg
(sp) asesinar: Matar a alguien con premeditación, alevosía, etc.
(en) murder: Kill intentionally and with premeditation

Poor language

I am always complaining about how Mexican media use Spanish. Poor usage of language, deliverately misusing words or twisting grammar. Many years ago, I would have expected that someone who stands infront of a TV cammera, someone who talks on a microphone or someone who writes for a news papers should have at least some knowledge.
Don't blame immigrants for bad use of English.
But it is a problem when even teachers can't use grammar. How to solve this? Would this approach work?
The problem clearly goes beyond chat speak. I don't like it. But I can't avoid using "lol" and the like. They are already part of the way I type, even when I do it in Spanish. Is it true that youngsters who use their worst English on internet can be taken by someone educated when they write essays?
What if we'd get fined for misusing our language? I am not sure if this is a desirable condition...

Thanks to Colm and Danial.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


(eo) invadi: Perforte eniri kaj ekokupi fremdan landon
(no) invadere: gjøre invasjon
(sp) invadir: Irrumpir, entrar por la fuerza; ocupar anormal o irregularmente un lugar
(en) invade: March aggressively into another's territory by military force for the purposes of conquest and occupation

Monday, April 9, 2007

The language contest

I still don't understand why some people wants to know which language is "best". I think the question is poorly stated, in any case. But if that is really the question, I don't get it. Maybe I am stubborn and I don't want to get it.
This parable by Alex Gross, first published in Language Montly in 1987, is about this topic.

The language contest
Fifty contestants enter a large hall. Inside the hall are fifty desks. Each contestant sits down at one of the desks. On each desk is a large weirdly shaped package. All the packages on all the desks have the same size and shape. They all jut out and scoop inwards in strange ways, and they all have a large number of surfaces at odd angles to each other. Some of the surfaces are very hard to the touch, some very soft.
All the packages are exactly the same in this regard. They are in fact identical in every way.
Next to each package is a small pile of wrapping paper, tape, perhaps some string. None of the piles of wrapping materials is the same. In some the wrapping paper comes in one or more sheets of different sizes, in others it comes in rolls or strips, in yet others it is nothing more than fragments or badly wrinkled shreds. The tape too comes in a weird variety of shapes, sizes, and quantities.
The string, on those desks that have it, may be anything from a half-full spool of thread to a thickly encrusted length of clothes line. A pair of scissors is also provided. In fact, the only uniform property possessed by these various piles, other than the scissors, is the known fact, announced to the contestants beforehand, that no one of the piles of materials is sufficient to wrap the package completely, regardless of the ingenuity of the contestants. The best any of them will be able to achieve is to wrap about 90% of the package, with about 10% remaining uncovered.
This, the principle rule of the contest, is now formally announced to the fifty participants. They must use all their knowledge and skills to wrap the package as completely as possible, using only the pile of materials on the desk next to the package. They will be judged according to their success in this task.
A few informal rules are also believed to be true by some contestants but not by others. One such rule alleges that it is possible to cheat by not following all the contours of the package and letting the wrapping material stretch from edge to edge over a hollow between surfaces. Others have heard this rule but believe they may be penalized if they do not cover all the surfaces. Others say that the whole game is an enormous put-on, but one must play along in order to be promoted. Some have also heard that one is awarded higher points for the dextrous use of the scissors, others believe one will be penalized for using the scissors too often.
Contestants employ various strategies in wrapping their packages. Some try to cover as large a surface as possible, leaving the unwrapped area as the very last portion of the package, when their materials run out. Some try to hide this space in some less easily visible contour of the package. Others, in their eagerness to cover space, do not care where this space ends up. A few, dependent on their supplies or their use of the scissors, try out a postage stamp technique, taping small pieces of paper on all surfaces of the box, with the unfilled space intervening on all sides.
The package is reality, with all its odd contours and escarpments. The piles of wrapping paper, tape and string are our languages (most certainly including our computer languages as well) with all their odd, arbitrary rules and connective structures. The places where the contestants fail to follow the package's contours are the places where our language (anyone's language) lies to us about reality. The scissors are probably akin to various odd ideas of grammar and usage that we keep on teaching and tending to believe. The places which cannot be covered by the tape or paper are those parts of reality none can escape: birth, death, hunger, animal passion in its positive and negative aspects.
It is finally announced that none of the wrapping procedures is necessarily better than the others. This message is received amidst much booing, as many contestants are quite convinced that their method of wrapping is clearly the best.
Still others complain that hundreds of other possible contestants were not invited to take part, while some voice the claim that the contest is too simple-minded because everyone receives the same reality/package, contrary to "true" reality, which may differ from people to people, culture to culture, coordinately with language.
The judges give up and leave. No prizes are awarded.
Found here.
I think I am getting tired of the absurd question "What is the best language?".


(eo) freneza: Perdinta la prudenton pro mensa malsano
(no) sprø: gal, vanvittig, fra vettet
(sp) loco: Que ha perdido la razón
(en) crazy: Affected with madness or insanity.

Sunday, April 8, 2007


(eo) ekzisti: Efektive kaj nune esti
(no) eksistere: være, finnes, leve
(en) exist: Have an existence, be extant
(sp) existir: Dicho de una cosa: Ser real y verdadera; tener vida.


I fell in love with this writting system since I "discovered" it. It is FULL of meanings! Sensefull meanings everywhere!
Hangul was promulgated by the fourth king of the Joseon Dynasty, Sejong the Great. It is an artificial script in the sense that it was created from scratch by (most probably) a group of people. Hangul (한글) is a term coined by Ju Sigyeong in 1912 that simultaneously means great (한) script (글) in archaic Korean and Korean script in modern Korean. Contrary to what many may think Hangul is a phonemic alphabet. It is organized into blocks of at least two of the 24 jamo (자모) (a jamo is one of the units that make up the Hangul alphabet. 자 means letter or character, and 모 means mother, so the name suggests that the jamo are the building-blocks of the script): at least one of the 14 consonants and one of the ten vowels.
The jamo are:
  • 14 simple consonant letters: ㄱ, ㄴ, ㄷ, ㄹ, ㅁ, ㅂ, ㅅ, ㅇ, ㅈ, ㅊ, ㅋ, ㅌ, ㅍ, ㅎ, plus obsolete ㅿ(alveolar),ㆁ(velar),ㆆ,ㅱ,ㅸ,ㆄ
  • 5 double letters (glotalized): ㄲ, ㄸ, ㅃ, ㅆ, ㅉ, plus obsolete ㅥ,ㆀ,ㆅ,ㅹ
  • 11 consonant clusters: ㄳ, ㄵ, ㄶ, ㄺ, ㄻ, ㄼ, ㄽ, ㄾ, ㄿ, ㅀ, ㅄ, plus obsolete ㅦ,ㅧ,ㅨ,ㅪ,ㅬ,ㅭ,ㅮ,ㅯ,ㅰ,ㅲ,ㅳ,ㅶ,ㅷ,ㅺ,ㅻ,ㅼ,ㅽ,ㅾ,ㆂ,ㆃ, and obsolete triple clusters ㅩ,ㅫ,ㅴ,ㅵ
  • 6 simple vowel letters: ㅏ, ㅓ, ㅗ, ㅜ, ㅡ, ㅣ, plus obsolete ㆍ
  • 4 simple iotized vowel letters (semi consonant-semi vowel): ㅑ, ㅕ, ㅛ, ㅠ
  • 11 diphthongs: ㅐ, ㅒ, ㅔ, ㅖ, ㅘ, ㅙ, ㅚ, ㅝ, ㅞ, ㅟ, ㅢ, plus obsolete ㆎ,ㆇ,ㆈ,ㆉ,ㆊ,ㆋ,ㆌ
Hangul uses distinct strokes to indicate distinctive features such as place of articulation (labial, coronal, velar, or glottal) and manner of articulation (plosive, nasal, sibilant, aspiration) for consonants, and iotation (a preceding i- sound), harmonic class, and I-mutation for vowels. This is just incredible as each jamo is telling you what sound it represents!! You can tell the difference between ㄱ and ㅋ (both velar), but there is no way of telling between Latin letters g and k (here, the shape of the letter means absolutelly nothing).
Vowel letters are based on three elements:
  • a horizontal line representing the flat Earth, the essence of yin
  • a point for the Sun in the heavens, the essence of yang (this becomes a short stroke when written with a brush)
  • a vertical line for the upright Human, the neutral mediator between the Heaven and Earth
Except for a few grammatical morphemes in archaic texts, no letter may stand alone to represent elements of the Korean language. Instead, jamo are grouped into syllabic blocks of at least two and often three: a consonant or consonant cluster called the initial, a vowel or diphthong called the medial, and, optionally, a consonant or consonant cluster at the end of the syllable, called the final. When a syllable has no actual initial consonant, the null initial ㅇ is used as a placeholder (no placeholder is needed when there is no final). That is, a syllabic block contains a minimum of two jamo.
This script is fascinating. I suggest taking a look at, this short tutorial and this tutorial. In order to type the jamo, go here.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

It won't last long...

... so... I thought I had to mention it before it ends :p
For almost ayear I've been answering questions at Yahoo! Answers. Of course, the cathegory I've been participating the most in is... LANGUAGES. Difficult to guess, eh?
The layout has changed a little and now, the person with most "best answers" in each cathegory is being shown.
To my surprise... I AM the one with most answers!
And I think it won't last because second one is Martha P, who is very close and gives many good answers. Here, the list of the top ten.
But this really came as a surprise to me!

I hate this word!

It always leaves me without much to say back. It sounds as a "I don't want to continue with this argue".

Webster's Online Dictionary says:
One or some or every or all without specification; "give me any peaches you don't want"; "not any milk is left"; "any child would know that"; "pick any card"; "any day now"; "cars can be rented at almost any airport"; "at twilight or any other time"; "beyond any doubt"; "need any help we can get"; "give me whatever peaches you don't want"; "no milk whatsoever is left".

AskOxford says:
used to emphasize a lack of restriction in referring to any thing; no
matter what; pronoun used for emphasis instead of ‘what’ in questions; at all;
of any kind; no matter what happens.
You can also read the entry at
So... what's so annoying about this harmless and innocent word? WHATEV-AH!!!!


(eo) kulpa: Intence aŭ konscie plenuminta ion riproĉindan aŭ punindan.
(no) skyldig: som har skylden for en forbrytelse eller en feil, ansvarlig
(en) guilty: Responsible for or chargeable with a reprehensible act; or marked by guilt
(sp) culpable: Se dice de la persona a quien se imputa una acción u omisión ilícitas por haberlas cometido de forma deliberada o con negligencia de sus deberes

Friday, April 6, 2007


It is always nice when you get recognized for your effort at learning a language.

Kudos to Gary Petengell for his Personality of the Year award! Learning Lithuanian might have not been easy.
I should study harder!! :p


I have had some problems in my life and that's why I could not post here (this site is NOT randomly updated!). So, here we go again with the word of the day. Thanks to Lernu! :p
(eo) fremda: Senrilata kun la koncernata persono aŭ afero: pro aparteneco al alia lando.
(no) fremmed: som er ny og ukjent; utenlandsk.
(en) foreign: Of concern to or concerning the affairs of other nations (other than your own); relating to or originating in or characteristic of another place or part of the world.
(sp) extranjero: Que es o viene de país de otra soberanía; natural de una nación con respecto a los naturales de cualquier otra.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Politically-correctness times

I know this is a very controversian topic. But this:
The American people believe English should be the official language of the
government. ... We should replace bilingual education with immersion in English
so people learn the common language of the country and they learn the language
of prosperity, not the language of living in a ghetto.

Who said that? Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the United States House of Representatives and possible contender for the White House.
His reply to all critiscism he got was:

Yeah, right...
Just out of curiosity...
The name ghetto refers to an area where people from a given ethnic
background or united in a given culture or religion live as a group, voluntarily
or involuntarily, in milder or stricter seclusion. The word historically
referred to restricted housing zones for Jews; however, it now commonly labels
any poverty-stricken urban area.