[ExI] Linguistic shifts

Anders Sandberg anders at aleph.se
Tue Dec 21 21:37:21 UTC 2010

On 2010-12-21 17:49, spike wrote:
> ... On Behalf Of Anders Sandberg
> Subject: Re: [ExI] Linguistic shifts
> ...
>> ...Och of course vi speak flytande Swenglish here i Sweden these dagar.
> I can translate that:  "Eh, of course I speak a mixture of English and
> Swedish, but here in Sweden I carry this really big knife."

Ah, I can hear that you know Swedish well!

> So we need to think of adapting language in such a way that automated
> translation effectively translates it.  A good technical paper is already
> written that way: engineering terms are often universal, mathematical
> equations are exactly universal.  So we start by eliminating figures of
> speech specific to our own cultures, and migrate towards words that have
> more universal and very specific meanings.

Many terms also have fixed meanings: "nonlinear" - scary. "it is 
generally believed that" - I think. "It is obvious that" - I'm too lazy 
to explain.

I like the idea of developing useful subsets of languages. The problem 
is figuring out when you are encountering them. Philosophese often 
sounds like slightly stilted English, but some words are entire rabbit 
holes of strangeness (case in point: intentionality). Maybe we should 
have markers indicating when we get into a special domain.

Anders Sandberg
Future of Humanity Institute
Oxford University

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