Re: Non-english license and documents
"Jamie Jones" <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote in message
Well, remember that there are four distinct parts to language
Reading, writing, listening, and speaking.
Perhaps you feel I don't understand this, but as I deal with this on a
daily basis, I assure you I understand this very well, more so then most
monolingual people would.
Indeed. Knowing more than one language really ensures this concept. I
mentioned it only because you strangly mentioned
speaking ability, when the questions were about written English.
Reading is easier than writing, and listening is easier than speaking.
Debatable. It very much depends on the person and how they learn a
language. I'd argue that listening, and speaking are easier, then
reading and writing. Don't believe me ? Watch children learn their first
(or second) language, they always speak second, after listening first.
Very different to "formal" language classes.
I did not inted to rank the oral components against the written components.
Look at my statement again, and you will see that we are in agreement.
I have heard of some Japanese product manuals written entirely in
transliterated English! (Using kana. This is a bit annoying to
US importers of the product, who would prefer real English, or at the
least, transliterated English written in romaji. [Normal English speakers
could probably guess the original English word often enough to understand
Well, the importer could a gotten a sample product first to determine if
they would need to translate the manual themselves. Then we could debate
which dialect of English should be used, that used in the Commonwealth
and former colonies, or that used by the USA and former colonies.
I was speaking about individuals who import. In this case the product was a
video game system accessory. I was just pointing out an example of something
was basically in english, but that most english speaking people could not
Just an amusing anecdote. Now, i'm not sure, but it is entirely possible
that that the
document used Japanese gramatical patterns, and chose to use words borrowed
the Japanese language whenever possible, such that Japanese consumers could
it with minimal difficulty. Just a bit strange overall really, as the manual
could have been
written in japanese anyway, since few English speeking people can read
This has been a fascinating learning experience for me. I've discovered
that it seems that people believe that it is ok to insist on changing
the language of a document into English, because they don't understand
the language it is in. It also shows there is a widespread belief that
most if not all Japanese understand English, so it is ok to remove
I would say that there is no good reason to remove Japanese language
manuals, except if they were out of date, and useless. Since the upstream
is Japanese, I would highly doubt thay would be the case. However, I do
suspect that in the absence of Japanese manuals, English manuals would be
preferable for the Japanese over say French documentation.
As for the licencing, I would say that generally English is the prefered
because that is the language in which most Free software licences are
as well as the language used by most Free Software developers.
That does not mean that Japanese language licences are not acceptable, but
I assume that the author could in theory make the English document
and the Japanese version non-binding. Would this be corretct?
As I understand it, in Japan, no. Of course that assumes the author is
fluent in English, which may not be the case.
That is one of the reasaons I said theoretically.
It has been my experience that no English documents (excluding the
constitution of Japan) have any legal status.
Would your country (if it has one official language) accept documents
written in another language, without a government certified
translation ? Mine does not.
To the best of my knowledge the United States does grudingly accept legal
documents not written in English.
Somewhat related: I would also not be too surprised if a judge
upheld choice of law provisions, which could force the Court to
accept annother language as acceptable for legal documents in the case
that the chosen laws are not written in English.
I'm not aware of cases where that has happened, as a judge would presumably
first attempt to transfer the case to a court in the country whose law was
as that court likely has some claim to jurisditcion anyway.
But if the foreign court refused to accept the case, it is entirely possible
that the case would procede under the US court.
Back to the actual issue:
I'm fairly sure that some European courts regularly must deal with legal
in a language other than than that countries offical language, simply
because not all relevent legal documents
would nessisarally be in the same language.