Did you know there are more than 5000 languages in the world? The number of cultures is even higher.
In all that diversity we need some common ground in modern world. Imagine if every nation used different time units (i.e. something other than days, hours, minutes, seconds). We’d have quite a mess on our hands. How would we keep track of time? What would be days in dunno Germany, could be weeks in dunno Australia. Mkay, there are different calendars, but Gragorian calendar is used world-wide as an international calendar, so while some have two New Years in a single year (e.g. Orthodox and Chinese), we all enter a new year on January 1st at the same time. Well, with 24ish hour differences because of time zones, but we need those to use daylight properly on different parts of the planet and even in this case we have Co-ordinated Universal Time [UTC, GMT, Z(ulu) Time etc.]; we can just use GMT offset to standardize our local time (e.g. GMT-5, GMT+2…) although, truth be told, many people don’t know the GMT offset of where they live and even more don’t comprehend daylight saving time 😦 But that’s a different story.
For better or worse, out of the thousands of lingoes, we use English as de facto lingua franca. To be honest, it’s probably for the better because if you think English grammar is a bitch, you should take a sniff of other lingoes 😉
There are even Ocean Data Standards and there’s International Organization for Standardization (ISO).
But now, we come to thingies we don’t have standardized. There are many, but I’ll name a few.
To begin with, I would like to point out that I fully support localisms. Actually, they make us so diverse and rich 🙂 However, international standards should be taught at schools across the planet and standards should be used on shit foreigners can easily come in contact with. So, while you can say the distance between Glasgow and Edinburgh is 45 mi and that London is miles away from Glasgow, traffic signs should say the distance between Glasgow and Edinburgh is 75 bloody kilometres and between Glasgow and London 650 bloody kilometres.
Yeah, there’s metric system; a measurement system adopted by all countries… expect for the US and Liberia. There are about 200 countries in the world (the exact number depends on what you consider a country); many of which have autonomous regions often with their own cultural identity. Now, imagine if all those used only local measures… So, to avoid all the mess, we all adopted a single system (a system where units and subunits are simply divided by 10, making metric system the simplest measurement system; easily mastered along with a local system), but there are always those who ain’t willing to adapt one bit. Tell me again, what number do I divide units with to get subunits in the imperial system? Is it the same number with all of them? Basically, dear Yanks, be happy we learn your lingo. Is it so hard to adapt one bit? Well, truth be told, Americans ain’t the only ones having an issue with metric system. I’ve heard those smartasses from UKIP want to abolish the metric system in the UK. Assholes, nobody expects you to abolish the imperial system. You can have it alongside the metric. It has worked out splendid like that in the UK for half a century now, hasn’t it? Not only are you making lives of foreigners visiting your country easier – thus actually boosting your tourism… – you’re helping fellow Brits to communicate with the outside world. Or are you hoping to keep your nation in the dark that way? I don’t know what’s more pathetic – keeping your own people in the dark or doing it with a measurement system. It’s interesting how these ultra nationalists work – claiming they’re all for the people all the while working against them. Bloody, hypocritical bastards… Well, I’m going off-topic here. Sorry 😦
Anyhow, since I mentioned mileage on traffic signs, I might as well continue with traffic signs. There are drivers all over the world; many of them travel abroad. Wouldn’t it be easier to have the same traffic signs all over the world? Again, while most countries and territories use the same traffic signs there are always ARRÊTs (STOP signs in Québec), ALTOs (STOP signs in Spanish speaking Central America), PAREs (STOP signs in South America) and DURs (STOP signs in Turkey). Here‘s the complete list 😉 Aye, we’re way less unified with traffic signs than we are with measure. And stop is probably the most complex word on traffic signs. Goddamn, that’s a toughy! Stop is such a rare word! It certainly doesn’t appear in Spanish and French… Well, at least you don’t need a calculator to convert PARE or whatever to STOP; better than carrying a calculator with you for speed limits 😉 Although, I guess there’s no fine for using a calculator while driving …as long as it’s not on a cellphone 🙂
Say you’re on vacation in Spain and you want to email someone. You use a local computer and want to copy a word. You wanna use a keyboard shortcut only to see Ctrl is missing! Yeah, most keyboard layouts have English labels despite characters being arranged differently to accommodate the local lingo. So, while characters are different on my keyboard from, dunno, those on a Finnish keyboard, Ctrl is still Ctrl, Alt is still Alt, Ins is still Ins etc. Therefore, after getting used to them a little, I can easily use Finnish keyboards and Finns can easily use Croatian keyboards. But, some regions decided to translate the labels… And don’t tell me the key arrangement is all that matters (“if you know the arrangement of keys, you can work on any keyboard”). First, the point is to make it as simple as possible. I mean the shape of ARRÊTs and STOPs is the same, so you should recognize the sign by its shape, but that’s not the point! The key word here is “should“. I mean, I know a guy who barely mastered Ctrl. Give him, dunno, Strg (German) and his head is going to explode! And that works with what? Ctrl, Alt, Shift and Caps Lock? God knows how other keys are arranged on compact keyboards! I could probably get my way around German labels, but others… especially French! As if AZERTY wasn’t bad enough, I’d have to watch out for Maj, Suppr and whatever… Actually, my experience is opposite. Back in the days of Internet cafés, a few French tourists entered the café I was in and upon seeing keyboards around them, they started screaming something like Clavier! Clavier! ×D
Proves my UKIP point. Assholes “want to change every little thing in their image to save the ‘dignity of their nation'” and end up unnecessarily complicating their people’s lives… I mean, French wouldn’t have died if they’d left English labels. Despite, the lingo still being a major language in the world; a lingua franca in many countries; there wouldn’t be like more than 5000 lingoes, but only three the keyboard layouts are translated to and English (maybe more, but I only know about German, French and Spanish labels in addition to English). Actually, French wouldn’t be the second most spoken lingo of Switzerland – the only lingo in Switzerland that comes close to German – in that case because labels on Swiss keyboards are in English ×D Just like, the metric system doesn’t threaten neither English nor the imperial system in the UK. Well, maybe it does threaten the measurement system because metric is simpler than imperial and is international, so if people get tired of two measurement systems (a big “if”), the imperial is likely to go. After all, we all had our own systems before the metric and they still live in certain phrases. Knowing how many phrases English has with miles, inches and pounds; the imperial systems is miles away from death in the UK and other anglophone regions 😉
Back to the keyboard layouts. Unfortunately, translating labels on keyboards doesn’t seem to be a practice from the past. I’ve heard rumours of a new Slovenian layout. Granted, Slovenes use the same layout we do. The layout was designed back in Yugoslavia, but the idiot designer(s) didn’t have Slovenian in mind, so instead of putting the letters we share with Slovenes together followed by the letters Slovenes don’t use, they put one Slovenes don’t use in the middle (i.e. instead of ČŽĆ arrangement, the arrangement is ČĆŽ). This arrangement increases the frequency of typos while writing Slovenian because you have to jump over Ć every now and then. Therefore, I understand Slovenes wanting to rearrange letters on their keyboards, but translating labels… Note that unlike Spanish, French and German that are spoken by up to hundreds of millions of people and understood (to a degree) by many more, Slovenian is spoken only in Slovenia with the population of about two million people…
Posted on 8th August 2018 at 13:25 GMT
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