25 December 2005

The beauty of 'English'

The unusually language-respectful Spencer just apologised for the grammar in his comment (and made me think I'll have to pull up my own socks, but [glancing down] luckily, I'm barefoot):

Curses, I just realized that I used the phrase "at all" twice in the same sentence. Apologies to everyone.

What an appropriate time for you to have done this, Spencer! Don't worry at all, at all. You have given me the perfect opportunity to post part of the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Nigerian Pidgin English Version.

For December 10, 1948, di meeting of di whole world, wey dem de call United Nations (naim be say all di kontris wey de for di world come unite to be one), come hold talk and dem come bring out one paper and write wetin suppose to be our right inside. Dem call am Human Rights. Dis na di rights wey human beings get from di time wey dem born us. Na dis rights make human beings take different from animals. All di tings wey dem talk about di rights, wey human beings suppose to get, na im de for this small book. Since dis ting de veri important, dem come tell all di kontris of di world say make dem make sure say all di people for their kontri know about am, make sure say dem write and put am for where people go see am well, well, make sure say their people read am. Make dem also make sure say everibodi wey de for secondary skuls, unifasiti, plus dem all other places people dey go skul, know about am well, well. Make dem no worry wich kind goment de di kontris . . . .

Article 14

Everione naim get right to go anoda kontri, wey e like to tell dem say im wan live for dat kontri, sake for say dem de look for am for im own kontri or dem won arrest am for im kontri, wen im no do any bad ting.

But if dat person really do bad ting o, for im own kontri and e come run comot to wan go live for anoda kontri, sake for say di goment of im kontri de look for am, di goment of di kontri wey e run go, no go gree at all, at all o. Even sef, di meeting of di whole world wey we de call United Nations, say dis ting no good at all and dem too gree say if person do bad ting for im kontri, e good make im eye see wetin e de look for, as e do di bad ting for im kontri.

and now, to another continent:
The readings at hand are readings that could fundamentally change the way that you view language, that ever so essential tool of communication. They could also prove rather boring and difficult, however, we do not want to let that happen at all, at all!

3 comments:

Spencer said...

You might enjoy this website:
www.engrish.com

anna tambour said...

This is a funny site, Spencer. Thanks for pointing it out. You might enjoy this one, too. It's just as funny, but only deals with people for whom English is a first language.
The Slot
http://www.theslot.com/
Bill Walsh, who runs it, is copy chief at The Washington Post.

But pity the person who is trying to learn English. Only this morning, this slapped me in the face.
"'I think [the verdict] is going to let employers know they must apply with the law and can't take unfair advantage of their employees,'" said Mike Christian, an attorney representing the workers."
- from "Calif. Jury backs Wal-Mart Workers" by Amy Joyce, Washington Post Staff Writer, The Washington Post

I love that Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Nigerian Pidgin because it is so easy to understand, and so simply put, for all. Imagine if it were written in militarese, or George W. Bushian, which reminds me that yesterday we in Australia were treated to an American classic, the 1964 movie SANTA CLAUSE CONQUERS THE MARTIANS. In it, one of the characters distinctly said (repeatedly) "nucular". Of course, he couldn't have been expected to know how to pronounce it correctly. He was a Martian.

You might enjoy this page, too: "The History of Spelling Reform"
http://www.barnsdle.demon.co.uk/spell/histsp.html

anna tambour said...

er, I wonder what kind of clause that Santa Clause is? Wait till he gets his clause into me!