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OT: Re^14: Best practice or cargo cult?

by tirwhan (Abbot)
on Aug 04, 2007 at 13:07 UTC ( #630634=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Re^13: Best practice or cargo cult?
in thread Best practice or cargo cult?

Many other languages, including Dutch, German, Scandanavian have taken the step of regularising their spellings over the last 30 years, and the ongoing benefits to their younger generations education standards are manifest.

Given the unmitigated disaster that the Rechtschreibreform has been, I'm not sure citing it amongst the examples to follow is wise.

All dogma is stupid.

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Re: OT: Re^14: Best practice or cargo cult?
by BrowserUk (Pope) on Aug 04, 2007 at 16:49 UTC

    I know nothing of German, and cannot comment on the German experience.

    I did spend 3 years in Holland, and spent time attempting to learn Dutch and I became aware of Het Groene Boekje. One thing I noticed was that those over say 40, thought that the Green Book was a bad thing and in some way dimished Nederlandse. Those under, generally thought it was a good thing. And a teacher I was aquainted with was vermently in favour of it. I wonder if a similar range of emotions exist with respect to the German experience?

    For my part, I have to say that whatever the causes of my failing to make good headway--mostly pronounciation, I can read it really quite well--working out how I should be trying to pronounce something was never a factor. And, once my ear had become accustomed to Dutch sounds, and I was picking out the individual words, I could usually make a good attempt at spelling them, even if I didn't know what they meant and had never encountered them before.

    I was assured by the teacher that by age 6 or 7, most dutch children have stopped having any problems with spelling their language at all. And limited (just one guy from each country), anecdotal evidence suggested that the same was true for Danes and Swedes. Contrast that with most english language students, in any english-native country, and you'll find high proportions of university graduates, in subjects outside of English Lit. etc, that are still struggling to master writing their own language!

    For the sake of "retaining the flavour and uniquiness of that language", that's a complete nonsense.

    At this point, I could cite a raft of recent BBC news Education stories that show that both the UK and the US are falling further and further behind in the education standards of our young, compared to European countries, but you're probably not interested. And all that because a bunch of academics think that the English of Chaucer and the Bard is some how perfect. Pah!

    Examine what is said, not who speaks -- Silence betokens consent -- Love the truth but pardon error.
    "Science is about questioning the status quo. Questioning authority".
    In the absence of evidence, opinion is indistinguishable from prejudice.

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