[Strawbale] European Strawbale Building, ESBG and the share of experiences

Derek Roff derek at unm.edu
Fri Feb 17 16:07:48 CET 2012

I think the language issues are very significant.  There is a lot of implicit discrimination in the automatic use of English in international situations.  Native speakers of English have an unfair advantage, and end up providing a disproportionate percentage of the dialog.  It also diminishes or closes off the experience and information flow to a large group of knowledgeable people who are uncomfortable with English.  

There isn't an immediate solution to this problem, just as there isn't an immediate solution to global warming, non-toxic materials, pollution, zero-energy building, or any of the other problems that we work on.  To solve important long-term problems, it is necessary for a community such as ours to dedicate continuously some time, attention, and work on solving each of them.  If we start investing time on the language problem now, over the course of ten years, we might be able to transition to a practical, more democratic and egalitarian communication alternative to the dominance of English in our discussions.  If we don't, in ten years, we will see even greater English dominance than we have now.  I hope we can avoid that.  


On Feb 16, 2012, at 4:01 PM, asbn wrote:

> and many other good European
> straw bale builders, researchers, scientists, enthusiasts are not on this
> list, because they don't speak english or do more practice than writing
> emails, but are still active.
> US-baleheads have the big advantage of a common (native) language, while we
> Europeans always try to explain sometimes complicated contexts in english as
> the common conference-language (and whoever made international seminars or
> workshops or presentations about e.g. building physics knows what I mean).

Derek Roff
derek at unm.edu

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