Wednesday, January 12, 2011

esperanto

Turning now to the world of technology, this year's Consumer Electronics Show was all about tablets and boy, what a long parade of meh it was. Thanks but no thanks, I'm still waiting on iPad 2 and whatever it is HP will be announcing in February. One product, however, did stand out and it was Motorola's Xoom. It wasn't so much the specs or the promise of Honeycomb as this teaser video:



Funny, clever (I literally lol'd at "successful Latin American distribution") and for the most part accurate. Except that one bit. With all the effort they put into getting the scripts and artefacts right, why did they have to display the English version of the Ten Commandments? How much cooler would that video be with the Decalogue in Hebrew in Paleo-Hebrew script! And they didn't even have to hire a Semitic philologist for that, all they had to do was google "charlton heston ten commandments":


The other big news item among us geeks was the decision by Google to drop support for the H.264 codec from future versions of Chrome and replace it by WebM, a move widely criticized and characterized as the final sign of Microsoftization of the formerly non-evil corporation. Ironically enough, one of the most interesting reactions came from the general vicinity of Redmon, WA. It begins with the following words:

The world’s ability to communicate with one another is a key factor in its rapid evolution and economic growth. The Esperanto language was invented last century as a politically neutral language that would foster peace and international understanding. Since the launch, we’ve seen first-hand the benefits of a constructed language:

Go read the whole thing and follow the links. Spoiler alert: Yes, it is a satirical piece. But darn me if the parallels aren't eerie.

3 comments:

Bill Chapman said...

I loved the reference to Esperanto here. However, your readers should know that Esperanto itself is far from a joke.

Esperanto hasn't yet gained the recognition it deserves. However, all things considered, it has actually done amazingly well. In just over 120 years, it has managed to grow from a drawing-board project with just one speaker in one country to a complete and living natural language with around 2,000,000 speakers in over 120 countries and a rich literature and cosmopolitan culture, with little or no official backing and even bouts of persecution. It hasn't taken the world by storm - yet - but it's slowly but surely moving in that direction, with the Internet giving it a significant boost in recent years.

David Marjanović said...

the recognition it deserves

O RLY?

it's slowly but surely moving in that direction

Numbers, please.

cantueso said...

But the Google joke mentioned Esperanto as "the failed language".

No more subsidies!
Yet it made so much sense. It was such a great idea.

There won't be any misunderstandings anymore and the wolf and the lamb will graze together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox and all shall speak Esperanto.(with apologies to Isaiah)