Saturday, January 10, 2009

International Linguistics

Earlier this month Franklin Pham contacted me from Paris. Prior to that, I had a chat with Carlos Suarez here in Mountain View.

The conversation considered the internationalization of Global Understanding (GU). This is an English-language version of the organization name. Yet how would the organization be known when translated into foreign languages?

Rendered into Spanish, it will be known as Entiende Global (EG). And in French, Entente Globale (EG).

Entiende or Entente mean “to make sense” of something. It is a word choice which can be compared to the Spanish “ComprensiĆ³n,” or French “Arrangement.” The former is more focused on the internal subjective integration of knowledge, and the latter on a mutual settlement or agreement. Instead, “to make sense,” while a subjective interpretation, is still outward focused. To sense requires observation and bring internal information regarding the world around us. Yet “entente” is a feminine noun, which, besides meaning “understanding” and “agreement,” also means “harmony.”

What other ways can we translate the term Global Understanding? Please add your suggestions in the comments.

-Peter Corless.

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