A Word An iMac in Spanish
May 27, 2000 8:51 AM   Subscribe

A Word An iMac in Spanish Apple is finally getting with the program on localization (after ausgeficking badly in the last two years: cancelling English and Quebec French variants, for example; failing to upgrade system software in major languages like Spanish; considering Puerto Rico a foreign country; refusing to sell foreign-language keyboards even as aftermarket items) and selling iMacs in Spanish in the U.S. (Hmm. What system version?) However, some unilingualists see it as symptomatic of the cancerous breakdown of their beloved Republic. You Americans.
posted by joeclark (13 comments total)
take it easy on american's joeclark. not all of them are morons with out of control nationalaistic beliefs.

i think that if you look at the page you've linked to you'll find that many of the people on the forum disagree with the origional poster.

as a rather open minded american it makes me ill to see americans stand up and say crap about how 'english is the glue that holds the united states together' but at the same time it doesn't help when someone lambasts all amreicans when only one foolish american stands up and says something without thinking

by the way, i give apple the big thumbs up for finally releasing a spanish iMac
posted by darainwa at 9:45 AM on May 27, 2000

Yeah Joe, take 'er easy there. You were pretty harsh there with your "some unilingualists" and "You Americans".

('Course, knowing all about Neilsen reatings, that one foolish American counts for 166,000 people who think that no OS should be made in any other language than 'Murrican.)
posted by sylloge at 1:39 PM on May 27, 2000

After reading the linked text, I realize the subject is a little uglier than I first thought.

My contribution to the conversation was going to be that I think it would be wonderful thing to have all operating systems available in one language only. It would also be nice if we spoke on language world wide. It need not be english, tho it might be easier since it is somewhat commonly spoken, and so much tech is already native to it.

I find little romantic about our cultural differences, especially when it requires uncessary rework.
posted by thirteen at 2:10 PM on May 27, 2000

Please excuse my paragraph breaks ruining the look of the page.
posted by thirteen at 2:14 PM on May 27, 2000

I take no offense, since I'm not an American, I'm a Californian! (and like most true Cal'fernians, semi-fluent in English, Spanish, Japanese, Tagalog (or Armenian, depending on your neighborhood), Yiddish, Variety Slanguage, Legalese, "Dennis Miller Obscure References", Old Basic, Visual Basic, Perl and Pascal.)
Hey, Mathowie! Do they still teach Programming in Pascal at UCLA? 10-plus years ago, it was UC's language of choice, because their SD campus had a copyright on a version of it... Does ANYBODY use Pascal anymore? Now THERE is a language issue!
posted by wendell at 2:39 PM on May 27, 2000

wendell I was at UCLA and had my first year of CS in Pascal! I believe in 1996(!?) they finally got rid of it.
posted by chaz at 4:06 PM on May 27, 2000

About 6,000 languages in the world right now, with over 90% "endangered" (less than 100 speakers). I think it's very sad. One language would not be cool at all.
posted by sylloge at 7:09 PM on May 27, 2000

I think it makes sense for Apple to do this. The truth is we've never really accepted the fact that about 1/4 of the lower 48 used to be in Mexico. Allowing people to speak and work in their native tongue, as long as they can find opportunity, is a choice I'm loath to interfere with. Forcing people to learn English, to me, is akin to forcing people to salute the flag or vote.

That said, there are many Hispanic immigrants who are die-hard US English supporters. Wasn't a recent bilingual education referendum in California blocked by a majority of Hispanics? Some of them are even for harsher immigration laws! It's not all about ethnic identity for everyone.

The thing is, government activities are open to this kind of debate. But a company is free to do whatever the market demands: that's the wonderful system of free enterprise we have that this poster was supposedly extolling. The Hispanic market in the USA is huge and a lot more successful and upscale than some people seem to think. And just as many Europeans are perfectly fluent in English as a second language, so many Hispanics in America are fluent in Spanish as a second language ... the one they use in talking with their parents and relatives. Missing that crucial point is, I believe, the Achilles heel of the English-only movement, as if most people were only capable of fluency in one language. The truth is, just about the only people in the entire world who have trouble learning more than one language are white Americans. Even blacks learn two dramatically different idiolects for use in different social situations.
posted by dhartung at 11:09 PM on May 27, 2000

Hey! You Americans! You can't even see when a Canadian is chiding you. There is as yet no <CHIDE> tag, though there oughta.
posted by joeclark at 10:08 AM on May 28, 2000

I just bought a new G4 and am very happy with it. I'm planning to start assembling a box to run Linux. My point was that it is a better use of our time to refine a standard, rather than force another layer of sludge on top of the OS. I realize most people want things to be easy, but the way I think easy=cheap, and cheap=crap. I want more power not less. My love of the GUI is coming to an end.
I have nothing against the endangered languages out there, but I will feel no loss if they disappear. I would learn esperanto if I was reasonably sure everyone else would go along with it. I cannot think of one valid reason we should not want the ability to communicate with each other in the same language. Why would that not be cool? It's not like we NEED a redundant language.
posted by thirteen at 12:10 PM on May 28, 2000

Actually, Dhartung, white Americans aren't the only ones who don't learn a foreign language. Growing up in New Zealand, I learnt a smattering of French and Japanese, but that is all. I think is an abomination that most of the people from white English speaking countries, including Australia, Britain, New Zealand, America, and Canada(although you have French and could be somewhat exempted), cannot speak a foreign language by the time they graduate from high school.I have friends from Europe who can speak 3 or 4 languages and feel somewhat embarrased for my country.

posted by jay at 11:47 PM on May 28, 2000

Foreign languages are not necessarily required in every school (although many do) in the US, but that doesn't make the populace automatically ignorant in that regard.
posted by plinth at 6:24 PM on May 29, 2000

Despite what you may have heard, (and what our fair government has no doubt pushed into the global perception of happy, friend-of-all Canada) only 3 or 4 of the provinces can someone walk into a store and expect reasonable service if they don't have a decent grasp of english. In 2 of the 4 provinces it's really only where the Quebec border is within an hour.

Even Quebec has numerous people that can't speak much, if any, french, somehow.

European countries have high multi-lingual rates because they need it to survive in the much-adoed-about-nothing Global Economy. Things like the European Union couldn't exist without a reasonably free flow of information, and for that to happen a standard language is required.
posted by cCranium at 6:46 PM on May 29, 2000

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