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Hi!
Thank you very much for your mail! I understand all that you say. I'm
aware of the Voyager messages and other stuff. But, my sentence should
only be interpreted from a linguistic point of view. I have chosen
this sentence because it is interesting, as well as relatively simple
to translate for most languages. I have decided to put more
information on my site explaining why i chose this sentence. I'll put
it online soon.
Regards,
Nikhil.

On 10/08/2011, Charles Butler <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Nikhil,
>
> First of all, I understand your intent. However....
>
> 1) My brother-in-law is a literal "Man in Black" so I know that "aliens"
> already know our languages.
>
> 2) We sent out the Voyager I Spacecraft with a disk of more than 150 of the
> earth's languages more than 30 years ago.  It has now reached the heliopause
> so is farther away than any other man-made object, so a physical artifact is
> "already out there" with those languages.
>
> 3) Our radio waves on public television stations teach grammar and grammar
> programs dating  back to U.S. broadcasts in the early 1930s, so that is now
> nearly 70 years of language tapes. Radio broadcasts are not discriminatory,
> they go in every direction, so now more than 70 light years away, able to
> reach Giselle, Sirius, Gemini, and at least 35 other star systems with
> possible planets.
>
> 4) I feel as I am Carl Sagan.  We are not alone here. You have asked for
> "languages" affirming human solidarity on the whole planet. If you name the
> planet, then you live in the 21st century, not the 14th century.  We can see
> the entire world from space, the only time in the past 200 years when this
> is "ordinary."
>
> I would ask that you realize that "we are from Earth" declares that we are
> not parochial, but your disclaimer is decidedly so.
>
> I sincerely hope that aliens learn all languages, from speech to sign to
> dance. I am sure that "we are human and we are from earth" would make a
> lovely gesture in Balinese ballet but the first thing they would need to
> address is who the audience is, and from the phrase, "from Earth" it is
> clearly pointing to someone "not from Earth" which in many languages
> presumes Deity or other beings not native to this planet.
>
>
> Respectfully,
>
> Charles Butler
>
>
> From: Nikhil Sinha <[log in to unmask]>
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Sent: Tuesday, August 9, 2011 3:03 PM
> Subject: Re: Wahawafe - a multilingual translation project
>
> Hi!
> My name is Nikhil. :) Wahawafe is the name of the project.
> About the sentence: You should think of the project as a linguistic
> showcase. Nothing more. It just showcases the languages of the Earth,
> with the help of a statement that is common to all people. It is not
> intended for aliens...after all aliens wouldn't understand human
> languages. Therefore, there is no point making a human language
> scrapbook from the point of view of aliens.
> Nikhil.
>
> On 10/08/2011, Charles Butler <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> Wahawafe,
>>
>> I would have to agree with Ingvild here. To create an inclusive we, and
>> then
>> say we are from Earth (the planet) is to provide a context that is
>> planetary
>> inclusive.  That is a context that is not national, nor neighborhood, nor
>> next person over, but by definition of Earth, an interplanetary context.
>> The addressed party of "we" is whole planet, and so the widest inclusion
>> of
>> "we" possible until we have settlers on Mars or the Moon.  This is the
>> message of the Voyager spacecraft, the originator of the website
>> notwithstanding.
>>
>> Words have meaning beyond their origination and cannot be reduced to a
>> given
>> context when one goes beyond  one language. If the originator would
>> realize
>> that, then this could be a great leveler of people looking up and beyond
>> themselves, not single planet solely. If you say "from Earth" that
>> presumes
>> that someone else would say "from the Moon".
>>
>> One may try to make it to "exclusive" by a disclaimer, but that really
>> does
>> not work if one mentions the planet "Earth."
>>
>> Charles Butler
>>
>> From: Ingvild Roald <[log in to unmask]>
>> To: [log in to unmask]
>> Sent: Tuesday, August 9, 2011 2:22 PM
>> Subject: Re: Wahawafe - a multilingual translation project
>>
>>
>> OK -here the path of the index is wider, including you and your friends
>>
>> Ingvild
>>
>>
>>> Date: Tue, 9 Aug 2011 20:10:36 +0530
>>> From: [log in to unmask]
>>> Subject: Re: Wahawafe - a multilingual translation project
>>> To: [log in to unmask]
>>>
>>> Hi!
>>> Thank you very much for your translation! :-) but, could you please
>>> rewrite this using the inclusive form of we? Quite a few people have
>>> thought of aliens because of the line "from Earth". So, i have
>>> mentioned on my site that this project is only for humans and you
>>> should use the inclusive form. Sorry for the trouble!
>>> Thanks again! :)
>>> Nikhil.
>>>
>>> On 09/08/2011, Ingvild Roald <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>> >
>>> > As I suppose the sentence is something you could use if you were to
>>> > meet
>>> > extraterrestrials, I have chosen to use the exclusive but extensive
>>> > 'we',
>>> > and the Norwegian SL-sentence would translitterate something like
>>> > 'humans we
>>> > yes, live Earth we yes', where the 'we' is 'all of us here, but not
>>> > you'. I
>>> > am not a 'native' signer, and cannot guarantee that this would be the
>>> > best
>>> > way of putting it in Norwegian SL, but I think it would do. The
>>> > sign-text is
>>> > a screen dump. as I always have problems with the SignText in
>>> > combination
>>> > with e-mail
>>> >
>>> > Ingvild
>>> > Roald, Norway
>>> >
>>> >> Date: Sun, 31 Jul 2011 22:28:57 +0530
>>> >> From: [log in to unmask]
>>> >> Subject: Re: Wahawafe - a multilingual translation project
>>> >> To: [log in to unmask]
>>> >>
>>> >> Hi! I don't claim that my sentence will not cause any problem in
>>> >> translation. I accept that languages are really different from one
>>> >> another to come up with an easily translatable and meaningful
>>> >> sentence. However, this sentence can be satisfactorily rendered in
>>> >> most languages, at least spoken ones. I don't have much idea of sign
>>> >> language grammars.
>>> >> You should use the version of "we", which includes the maximum number
>>> >> of people. If there is a difference between inclusive and exclusive
>>> >> "we", then use the inclusive one. Both the we's refer to the same
>>> >> group of people. If it's not possible to say the whole thing in one
>>> >> sentence, you can break this into two, by dropping the "and".
>>> >> Nikhil.
>>> >>
>>> >> On 31/07/2011, Trevor Jenkins <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>> >> > On Sat, Jul 30, 2011 at 1:22 PM, Valerie Sutton
>>> >> > <[log in to unmask]>wrote:
>>> >> >
>>> >> > Nikhil needs the translations in written SIGN LANGUAGES, not spoken
>>> >> >> languages!
>>> >> >
>>> >> >
>>> >> >> I am not an ASL expert, or I would do the translation myself in
>>> >> >> ASL.
>>> >> >> I
>>> >> >> actually do not how to sign that phrase in ASL, so that is why I
>>> >> >> was
>>> >> >> waiting
>>> >> >> for someone who knows ASL to do the translation for NIkhil in
>>> >> >> ASL...written
>>> >> >> in SignWriting.
>>> >> >>
>>> >> >
>>> >> > I'm in a similar situation with BSL. I'm increasing fluent in its
>>> >> > use
>>> >> > but
>>> >> > not a native speaker. However, I am fluent in English yet I don't
>>> >> > know
>>> >> > how
>>> >> > to understand the phrase:
>>> >> >
>>> >> >
>>> >> >> "We are humans and we are from Earth."
>>> >> >>
>>> >> >
>>> >> > How many are the "we"s? English, plus I guess many (all?) of the
>>> >> > spoken
>>> >> > languages given here as exemplars, the first person plural is
>>> >> > uncountable.
>>> >> > It would be possible to translate it into Swedish with "vi" and
>>> >> > still
>>> >> > obscure the number of participants. In BSL, at least, the first
>>> >> > person
>>> >> > plural is countable; up to four maybe five even 10. It is signed
>>> >> > differently
>>> >> > depending on the number of participants. For example, if "we"
>>> >> > consists
>>> >> > of me
>>> >> > and my wife then I sign that slightly different from me, my wife,
>>> >> > and
>>> >> > you
>>> >> > (Valerie), plus the physical proximity of the "we" one to another
>>> >> > would
>>> >> > change the sign(s) needed. However these small groups are signed
>>> >> > entirely
>>> >> > differently from "we" as the subscribers to this list (if all of us
>>> >> > happened
>>> >> > to be assembled in one locale).
>>> >> >
>>> >> > The presence of the "and" indicates that the second "we" is a
>>> >> > distinct
>>> >> > different group from the first but with the speaker (signer) a
>>> >> > member
>>> >> > of
>>> >> > both groups. There is a famous phrase that exemplifies the same
>>> >> > problem
>>> >> > "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path." In this
>>> >> > case
>>> >> > the
>>> >> > AND is a transliteration from the source language but its inclusion
>>> >> > creates
>>> >> > an ambiguity that is not in the original. If that second "we" of the
>>> >> > sample
>>> >> > sentence were to refer to me, my wife and my dog then the "and" is
>>> >> > vital.
>>> >> >
>>> >> > There's also a BSL issue here. We have no sign for AND. There are
>>> >> > ways
>>> >> > to
>>> >> > indicate that two things are connected but not immediately.
>>> >> >
>>> >> > The "from" affects the translational choices too. Where is this
>>> >> > discourse
>>> >> > dislocated sentence being transacted and how did the various "we"s
>>> >> > arrive
>>> >> > there, or were "we" there from the beginning. Similarly the actors
>>> >> > to
>>> >> > whom
>>> >> > this phrase is being relayed are they from somewhere else coming to
>>> >> > the
>>> >> > "here" or were they there from the beginning. This information will
>>> >> > change
>>> >> > how the sentence can be translated.
>>> >> >
>>> >> > It's not that the sentence is un-translatable *per se* but that
>>> >> > rather
>>> >> > it is
>>> >> > not context free as Nikhil claimed somewhere (possibly on his web
>>> >> > site).
>>> >> > At
>>> >> > least for BSL, context is required otherwise the processing costs in
>>> >> > the
>>> >> > sense of Relevance Theory is astronomically high. Without the
>>> >> > enclosing
>>> >> > context it isn't really possible to provide a BSL translation.
>>> >> >
>>> >> > Regards, Trevor.
>>> >> >
>>> >> > <>< Re: deemed!
>>> >> >
>>> >>
>>> >>
>>> >> --
>>> >> निखिल सिन्हा | Nikhil Sinha
>>> >> [log in to unmask]
>>> >> www.wahawafe.zxq.net - Wahawafe - a multilingual translation project.
>>> >> "We are humans and we are from Earth." in several languages.
>>> >>
>>> >
>>>
>>>
>>> --
>>> निखिल सिन्हा | Nikhil Sinha
>>> [log in to unmask]
>>> www.wahawafe.zxq.net - Wahawafe - a multilingual translation project.
>>> "We are humans and we are from Earth." in several languages.
>>>
>
>
> --
> निखिल सिन्हा | Nikhil Sinha
> [log in to unmask]
> www.wahawafe.zxq.net - Wahawafe - a multilingual translation project.
> "We are humans and we are from Earth." in several languages.


-- 
निखिल सिन्हा | Nikhil Sinha
[log in to unmask]
www.wahawafe.zxq.net - Wahawafe - a multilingual translation project.
"We are humans and we are from Earth." in several languages.