open leaders and language (was:Why Mother Tongue -->Prosperity)
- Bala, thank you for the post on Why Mother Tongue --> Prosperity
Andrius, you did another bold step. lets see how it works.
Gave me a lot to think.
I just had a phone conversation with my friend Ulrich Sigor in Germany
sparked by the "Mothe Tongue" Article. Ulrich met Andrius at the founding
Meeting of EUTA, the European Union of Telecottage Associations, in Bosnia
two years ago. I forwarded Bals post to him.
Ulrich is working since three years on a very ambitious project: he is
creating the scientifical and didactical foundations of something that
would enable people to speak in their mother tongue and yet be able to
understand more other languages. He thinks that you do not have to
actively perform a language to be able to understand it well. So he
focusses completely on "passive competence" - which would enable to
sustain multilingual communities, a task which is most relevant everywhere.
Now I see that Ulrich has invested three years of hard work in that
(showing the principle on a working example of the Balcan languages) and
he is finishged almost 50%. But I value Ulrichs work in other domains even
more a- for example I am sad that he cannot help me as investigator on
crafts and production in the globalvillages movement.
He has to get his work done.
So I asked him: what if a number of people would join you in this task and
you would be able to work with them on an Open Source - or Ethical Public
Domain - Linguistic Corpus project? Uli said that would be fine, but he
was anxious on the quality of the work. I said: why dont we give it a try
and see if Minciu Sodas as a virtual community is able to oragnize such an
effort. It would fit perfectly in the picture and answer the concerns many
of us have about cultural dominance built in the scheme of English as
So he agreed and told me what he was doing exactly:
1. building a corpus linguistic with minimalisation of the formal
description - a kind of "root directory" for a language
2. didactic requirement on the formalised description - be able to turn
this into learning material!
3. Overall goal is oligolingual passive competence; peope should be
enabled to understand 10 languages with same effort as learning to speak
one or two well.
4. Ulrichs main focus /aspirations/ is on: slavic - hebrew - albanic -
turkish - arabic
5. Coworkers or teams would need to: "digest" lexika of about 200000 words
and complete grammar in order to create tables of etymological and
structural roots of the language.
Ulrich could be an "Open Leader" of such a work, and that is another
example what Andrius was asking for.
I wonder if it is possible to have something like this happen within MS.
It also means: are people there willing to appreciate and support
leadership - or are we all just "doing our own thing" without involvement
I told Ulrich that we do not yet have the culture that we need for our
cooperative economy. This could be one other great example to find out how