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.