Monday, May 23, 2011
WHY FRENCH GERMAN & CHINESE on ATAWALK.net
Far from taking the attitude that the Englo-Speaking world is self sufficient and needs not to make any concession to other languages... and being French-Canadian myself, I decided long ago that if I was to restart ATAWALK, it would have to be multi lingual from the core up!
There may be as many as 5000 covered bridges in China alone, most of the CB in Europe are in the Germanic world and Canada is the home of the PONTS COUVERTS en bois, so explain to me then how a publication-to-be about covered bridges could do a decent job and be taken seriously if it only communicated it's content in English?
Precisely... but that notion of internationality sits badly with those self-centered north American for whom the world should... and will one day all be spoken in English...
RIGHT... and for those who like the idea, the end of your world was May 21st...
Respect for OTHER cultures... NAH... too much trouble, too confusing, too many languages...
Dunno where to read...
OMG... if you cannot recognize your very own language out of a choice of 4 texts of which one is Chinese... your life needs re-adjusting. If you are too tired to fight your way through a page with 4 languages... take a nap or buy Readers' Digest! ATAWALK is for those who like to discover new stuff – new people, new places... bridges, communities... NEW LIFE!!!
Someone told me once " Why would anyone buy a magazine they only can read or understand 1/4 of ?" It took me by surprise for as far as I know... you will understand 100% of it because it is the same text. It is written in four different languages, yes, but it all says THE SAME THING!
So I get blasted by people here, some are even Asian and Jewish... and still don't seem to get that for the majority of folks on earth... English is a concept, a communication device out of their realm.
Nothing says WELCOME/BIENVENUE/WILLKOMMEN/欢迎 like seing it in the language you can actually read!
People sometimes seem to perceive other cultures as invaders or as creatures endangering their own. Could it just be intolerance or ignorance? YES! I cannot excuse this type of behaviour anymore. ATAWALK will be for the people who have achieved some sort of understanding about our planet and the people who share it's surfaces. I am not gonna be preaching in the desert to a narrow-minded segment of the population. They can simply go somewhere else if what ATAWALK is not to their liking... very simple, very sweet...
The first edition of ATAWALK will be English, French, German & Chinese.
A second when time comes will be in Japanese, Korean, Spanish and Italian.
That way every edition has a huge market potential and will, by design, have an international appeal and flair for people who can tell the difference between, and respect other cultures.
I will never forget the first HATRED message I ever got from an Ohio resident of German descent himself who was "Shocked and disgusted" at the fact that I was giving directions in Germans to bridges in Ohio, since we give directions to covered bridge in Germany in English, I really never realized doing the opposite was such a blunder... my answer to that one was "Get with it dude, your are yourself of German origin and the war has been over 60 years now"
I love the Chinese script myself. I am starting to learn it bit by bit. It is fascinating. I really believe it gives such a more worldly feel to a publication to see and actually be in contact with a system that, to this day, is the oldest communication device in all mankind and is still spoken, written and read by over 3 billion folks on earth. Having German is an honour because it is also a language that is old and where both French and English do find some of their roots. To associate German only with a war is a common mistake, I prefer to look at the complete history of a people rather than keep my focus on events we all wish had never taken place.
So ATAWALK is a multi-cultural platform UP-FRONT.
This is it's quality, it demeanour and the reason why it exists. Time will tell if it is a success. I do not have 20/20 hindsight but for my energy, to be able to communicate with the largest market possible has never been so easy. It requires a bit more efforts, more thinking and a bit more time to process, but in the end, we are all better for knowing more about ourselves...
... by the way we look at others!
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