Date: Mon, 8 Jul 1996 21:02:41 -0400

Date: Mon, 08 Jul 1996 14:00:05 -0700 (PDT)

From: Stephanie Wood <swood@darkwing.uoregon.edu>

I would appreciate the input of colleagues with opinions on the use of "Indian" (versus "indigenous," "native," etc.) in scholarly writing. If this is a topic already hashed out on the list, please reply to me personally. Thanks so much.

Stephanie Wood <swood@darkwing.uoregon.edu>





Date: Tue, 9 Jul 1996 09:02:49 -0400

Date: Tue, 09 Jul 1996 07:38:54 -0500 (CDT)

From: "Ralph Lee Woodward, Jr." <woodward@mailhost.tcs.tulane.edu>

The word "indio" has long had a pejorative connotation in Central America, especially in Guatemala, but to a substantial extent in all of the Central American states. It reflected the creole elite's disdain for the Indians. It has become customary, therefore, both in scholarly and other writing, to use the term "indi'gena" in preference to "indio", at least when writing in Spanish. Call this "political correctness" if you will, but it will at least put you in the mainstream of what is considered proper. Using "indio", among many, would be considered comparable to using "nigger" for African-Americans in English. When writing in English, however, I believe that the term "Indian" does not carry that same pejorative sense, and the term "indigenous" is really not used much in common English. "Native American" might be better, but sounds to me a little contrived. Thus, "indi'gena" in Spanish could perhaps be translated safely as "Indian" in English, but not as "injun," which might be more comparable to "indio" in Spanish.

||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||

|| Ralph Lee Woodward, Jr. ||

|| Department of History, Tulane University ||

|| New Orleans, LA 70118 ||

|| E-Mail: woodward@mailhost.tcs.tulane.edu ||

|| Voice: (504)862-8616 Fax: (504)862-8739 ||

||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||







Date: Wed, 10 Jul 1996 00:30:14 -0400

Date: Wed, 10 Jul 1996 14:01:56 +0000

From: k.lehmantmk@auckland.ac.nz

Words are not things, as we in academia know at least from Aristotle through the (post) structuralists (thank you Foucault) and beyond. The word "Indian" or "indio/a" is not a thing, it is a word that makes reference to a cultural history that grouped millions of peoples together through a term taken from another continent.

Specificity in language use does not constitute political correctness, but instead demonstrates an awareness of the appropriate use of and sensitivity to language, especially taking into account that human beings exist in a dynamic language context. If one wishes to be specific in referring to a group of people, "indios" is not particularly specific and can be (is not always) offensive. If one is interested in avoiding giving offense, context matters. I would think that academics who follow this list have an interest in respecting others.

Words have a cultural history and their interpretation in any given context depends upon the speakers, the subject discussed and the audience, among other important variables. Awareness of differences is a mark of maturity, or at least sensitivity, not political correctness.

With reference to the question "What is wrong with calling Indians 'Indians', or indios 'indios'", I would respond: "What is wrong with calling 'portenos' 'Latins' or 'latinos'?" Historically the inhabitants of Buenos Aires have a relationship with others whose language comes from Latin. Aren't they Latins? But does "Latins" tell you anything about the inhabitants of Buenos Aires? It mainly tells you about a cultural history in which peoples who spoke Romance languages were grouped together by others. In the US referring to someone who speaks Spanish or Portuguese as "Latin" can be offensive because that term has a cultural history of stock, usually negative, stereotypes created by the users of that term. Some Spanish speakers in the US prefer the term "latino/a" but they would never wish to be called "Latin"; other Spanish speakers in the US are NOT "latinos(as)", and so on (not to mention Hispanic). Each term has a separate cultural history.

Similarly, there are Native Americans who refer to themselves as Indians when they are emphasising characteristics shared by many groups; others prefer the former term, but there is NO Native American who does not also have a second identity that is regional for which there is a more specific term such as Navaho (or Navajo). Similarly, there are groups of people working for indigenous rights who use the term "indios". There are also plenty of people who use this term with pejorative intentions and the strong negative connotations associated with the term "indio", mainly on the part of the dominant elite, have led academics to avoid its use, since publication for a mass audience will inevitably cause offense in some places. On the other hand, there are few or no negative associations with the use of the term 'indigenous', so one is less likely to offend by its use.

Words are not things, indios are not Indians and an indio is not an india or India.

________________________________________________________

Kathryn Lehman

Spanish and Latin American Studies

University of Auckland

Private Bag 92019

Auckland

New Zealand

Ph. 64 9 373 7599 X6651

Fax 64 9 373 7000 internal 4000

email: k.lehman@auckland.ac.nz









Date: Wed, 10 Jul 1996 15:27:39 -0400

Date: Wed, 10 Jul 1996 08:51:35 -0600 (CST)

From: RHJACKSON <AAS_JACKSON@TIGER.TSU.EDU>

Neteros

The term "Indian" obviously derives from "Indio," a Spanish caste term that essentially collapsed culturally diverse indigenous groups into a single racial and fiscal category. This is an issue I am currently addressing in an ongoing research project that examines the use of racial and caste terms in parish registers and other documents. I prefer to use either indigenous over "Indian," or else specific ethnic terms. Even ethnic terms that survive in colonial Spanish documents can be misleading. "Apache," a term created to classify bands that ranged from Arizona to Texas, was based on a word picked up from non-"Apache" groups. The most accurate label to use would be the term used by each indigenous group to describe itself, usually something like "the people." As a general term I would use indigenous.

Robert Jackson









Date: Wed, 10 Jul 1996 16:50:04 -0400

Date: Wed, 10 Jul 1996 12:47:06 -0700 (PDT)

From: "David A.V. Moody" <davm@ktb.net>

Kathryn Lehman's excellent post regarding specificity in language cites the possibility of giving offense when using terminology considered pejorative by the listener. Some would reply that this is just "too damn bad-I call a spade a spade, and if they can't take straight talk, that's their problem."

I would rather place the emphasis, not on the possibility of giving offense, but on the reality that using such terms inhibits communication, if it does not stop it completely. If I want to communicate something, such an inhibition is not "their problem," but mine, and a serious one.

If I am talking to/with/about a person, it is to my advantage not to raise extraneous issues, especially those which are likely to cloud the reception of the ideas on which I am trying to focus. The more difficult it is to accept a concept, the more likely the receiver will be to seek out reasons not to accept it; words which say to the listener that I really don't understand the problem make for the easiest "out."

Words do not mean what the speaker intends them to mean, but what the listener takes them to mean.

Avoiding unspecific and pejorative terms is not making nice-nice-it's an intensely practical tool.

Dave Moody









Date: Wed, 10 Jul 1996 22:46:51 -0400

Date: Wed, 10 Jul 1996 20:56:25 -0500 (EST)

From: "J.David Parker" <PARKER.D@fs.newcomb.wlu.edu>

I have tended to call the people who inhabited what came to be known as the Americas "Indians" or "Indios"-but I always put the words IN QUOTATION MARKS. That way I can use a handy general word to refer to hundreds of highly ethocentric people. I can also use a word that most people recognize instantly. At the same time, I let people know that I know that it is not a term that the Mapuche, Taino or TupinambA ever applied to themselves.

La verdad del caso es que en Chile, donde me criE, "No seas Indio" era lo mismo que "No seas tarado/estUpido/etc" A mi modo de ver, tanto importa el tono con que decimos las cosas como las palabras que utilizamos.

Buena suerte.

David









Date: Wed, 10 Jul 1996 23:49:21 -0400

Date: Thu, 11 Jul 1996 15:24:43 +0000

From: k.lehmantmk@auckland.ac.nz

Neteros:

I agree with David A.V. Moody's well argued post regarding the practical need to recognise the receiver's interpretation of terms like "Indian". It seems that Microsoft would be well advised to take Moody's warning into account in translating its Spanish thesaurus:

[CNN Technology]

Microsoft apologizes for offensive Spanish thesaurus

July 6, 1996 [Microsoft graphic]

Web posted at: 2:10 p.m. EDT

[Image]

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) -- Microsoft

Corporation, the world's biggest software

company, apologized Friday to Mexicans for "grave errors" in its computer thesaurus that equated Indians with cannibals.

Several Mexicans telephoned the company to protest after a newspaper reported on Wednesday that the Spanish thesaurus included in Microsoft's popular word processor program Word for Windows 6.0 contained some unfortunate synonyms.

Used by up to 200,000 people in Mexico, a country whose population is mainly descended from Aztec and Maya Indians, the Microsoft program suggested as alternatives for the word "Indian:" "man-eater" or "savage."

"Microsoft Mexico offers an apology to its users and to the public in general for some grave errors in the synonyms of the Microsoft Word dictionary in Spanish, whose mistaken connotations are offensive," the company said in a full-page newspaper advertisement published on Friday.

Other problems noted

Consulted for synonyms for "Western," the Spanish-language program gave "Aryan," "white" and "civilized." Lesbians were equated with "pervert" and "depraved person."

The English version of the Microsoft Word program does not give the same synonyms. Homosexual was equated with "gay" or "lesbian" and Indian was "cave dweller," "ancient tribe" or "aborigine." Microsoft Mexico marketing manager Alejandra Calatayud said the company was dispatching a language expert next week from its software development center in Ireland to discuss changes to the thesaurus with El Colegio de Mexico, Mexico's most august cultural body.

"We accept our responsibility and hope to have a new version of the dictionary available in about five weeks," she told Reuters. The revised version will be made available free of charge via the Internet.

Explanation offered

Ignacio Blum, Microsoft Mexico's product manager for office products, told Reuters that the computer thesaurus was based on existing dictionaries.

"If you check these words in most dictionaries, you will find the same definitions," he said.

Mexican politicians and intellectuals condemned the pejorative computer thesaurus anyway.

"I see this as profoundly dangerous because it is a lack of respect for our dignity as Mexicans and for our indigenous roots," said Adriana Luna, an opposition party congresswoman on the lower house's culture committee.

"We must give battle to combat this specter of conservatism and fascism which is appearing all around us" Florentino Castro, a legislator from the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), was quoted as saying in the newspaper La Jornada.

Copyright 1996 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Copyright ^i 1996 Cable News Network, Inc.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.

_________

By the way, if the case still needs to be made that use of the term "indio" may be pejorative, consider the Real Academia Espanola, which includes in its listing for "indio" phrases such as "hacer el indio" and "caer de indio", both of which are highly pejorative; Maria Moliner simply translates "hacer el indio" as "hacer el tonto".

________________________________________________________

Kathryn Lehman

Spanish and Latin American Studies

University of Auckland

Private Bag 92019

Auckland

New Zealand

Ph. 64 9 373 7599 X6651

Fax 64 9 373 7000 internal 4000

email: k.lehman@auckland.ac.nz









Date: Thu, 11 Jul 1996 10:36:41 -0400

Date: Thu, 11 Jul 1996 11:39:59 +0300 (WET)

From: Florinda Goldberg <msflori@pluto.mscc.huji.ac.il>

There is one detail which informs, in my opinion, the problems we are trying to cope re this word. The thing is, that none of the different peoples living in the Americas before Europe discovered it had an overall name for all the inhabitants of the continent. I guess they just thought of them as "men", because they ignored that there were other continents and that there was something specific about living in this part of the world. The first general name given to them was therefore, "indians", with all the misreading it implies. That is why we cannot find an "original" word to substitute for Colombus's invention. To consider the original inhabitants of the Americas as a unity was, probably, the first (wrong?) European contribution to American anthropology.

Regards,

Florinda Goldberg

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Lic. Florinda F. Goldberg

Spanish & Latin American Studies, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Fax 972 2 322545

Home fax 972 2 768473; tel 972 2 768759









Date: Thu, 11 Jul 1996 10:38:43 -0400

Date: Thu, 11 Jul 1996 09:17:28 -0500 (EST)

From: "J.David Parker" <PARKER.D@fs.newcomb.wlu.edu>

Since we are going to run this "Indian" business into the ground, let me help:

The Microsoft people were probably done in by their use of dictionary definitions in compiling their Thesaurus. That is because a dictionary (especially one such as the Oxford English Dictionary) tells us how words have been used in the past. You do not have to be a genius to figure out that "Indio" has been used pejoratively in English ("Indian" giver) and Spanish.

It is one thing to be told that "Indian," "cave-dweller" and "cannibal" were used interchangeably by ethocentric bigots in the past. It is another to suggest-as a thesaurus tends, implicitly to do-that we might use them interchangeably today without giving offense. I can hardly imagine a better illustration of the complex overtones of the word "Indian" than the fact that Microsoft could have come up with its spectacular series of "synonyms." I would bet my bottom dollar that Microsoft was not looking to create image problems for itself.

Saludos del "gringo" parker (as I was known, politely, in high school)

J. David Parker PARKER.D@WLU.EDU

Washington & Lee, History Phone: 540 463-8780 H: 463-4046

Lexington VA 24450 FAX 540 463-8945









Date: Thu, 11 Jul 1996 14:04:39 -0400

Date: Thu, 11 Jul 1996 17:11:53 +0000 (GMT)

From: shomick@sover.net (Stephen Homick)

It seems that Prof. Lehman just can't lay this theme to rest, and has seen fit to pursue it further by means of stale news feeds from CNN and imaginative interpretations of what standard authorities say about it.

CNN's recycling of the piece on Microsoft's notorious Spanish thesaurus that appeared in the Mexico City daily La Jornada is really old hat. Madrid's respected El Pais first broke the story over a month earlier; and I've appended a copy of it to this message because of the interest its contents hold for those who make use of electronic lexical aids generally.

The prof's comments about the RAE and Ma. Moliner leave me somewhat perplexed. Though she claims that the RAE has included certain despective phrases "in its listing for indio, I'm at a loss to find nary a one in my copy of the D.R.A.E. And dra. Moliner clearly advises that neither of the two pejorative phrases she cites in her entry on indio "figura en el D.R.A.E" (Diccionario del uso del espanyol, 1a. ed., 19a. reimpression, Madrid 1994, t. 2, p. 118, s.v. indio.

Perhaps the good professor would see fit to clear up my

confusion.

Desde las Montanyas Verdes, saludos virtuales si no confusos de

--

**********************************

#Stephen Homick #

#(shomick@sover.net) #

#(shomimid@pop.k12.vt.us)#

**********************************

REALITY.SYS failed. Reboot Universe Y/N?

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>EL PAIS

ECONOMIA

Domingo 26 de mayo de 1996

Microsoft Word ofrece informatica analfabeta

ARMANDO NEIRA, Sevilla

?Ser pobre es sinonimo de ser infeliz, triste y miserable? No haria falta respuesta, pero resulta que pueden creerlo asi los al menos 300.000 espanioles que habian comprado hasta marzo el programa Windows 95 y los miles de escolares que usan a diario su diccionario electronico en castellano.Los expertos aseveran que el diecionario de sinonimos de Microsoft Word es "lamentablemente malo".

?Ser pobre es sinonimo de ser infeliz, triste y miserable? No hace falta respuesta, de no ser que puedan creerlo asi los al menos 300.000 espanioles que habian comprado hasta el pasado mes de marzo el programa Windows 95, comunmente acompanado. por el procesador de textos Microsoft Word, y los varios miles de escolares que usan a diario su diccionario electronico en Castellano. El diccionario, segun el profesor Angel Yanguas, del departamento de la Facultad de Filologfa de la Universidad de Sevilla, es <<lamentablemente malo>>.

Algunos de los sinonimos incluidos entran dentro de lo directamente disparatado. Por ejemplo, palestino es equivalente a judio, israelita o israeli. <<Castellano>> equivale a <senior, baron, hidalgo, caballero y amo>>, entre otros terminos, mientras que <<andaluz>> puede ser sustituida, se indica, por <<canyi, agitanado, gitano, flamenco y cale>>.

Las diferencias entre hombre y mujer quedan muy claramente marcadas. El hombre es, entre otras cosas, <<ser humano>> y <<persona>>. La mujer, ni una cosa ni la otra: entre los 16 sinonimos propuestos no se encuentra nada equivalente, pero se ofrece para reemplazar el t6rmino otros como <<seniorita, doncella, venus y eva>>.

Los partidarios de un lenguaje politicamente correcto aunque sea solo un poco, se quedan boquiabiertos con los posibles sinonimos de homosexual (invertido, pederasta o desviado) o lesbiana: pervertida y viciosa.

Desde el punto de vista de las razas o desde un punto de vista geografico, las cosas no quedan mucho mejor. Mestizo equivale a <<bastardo>>, blanco a <candido o inmaculado>> e indigena bate todos los records: <<salvaje, nativo, aborigen, barbaro, antropofago, canibal, cafre, indio y beduino>>. El Occidental se retrata como <<europeo, ario, blanco, civilizado y culto>>, y el oriental como <<asiatico, amarillo y chino>>.

Jose Romero, responsable de relaciones publicas de la compania Microsoft en Espania, reconoce que <<algunos de los sinonimos pueden herir la susceptibilidad de algunos sectores de la sociedad>> y propone que los clientes del diccionario -que esta incorporado al procesador de textos Word como una herramienta fija- les hagan llegar las sugerencias que estimen oportunas. <<Nosotros corregimos los errores en las sucesivas ediciones, porque somos sensibles a las sugerencias de los clientes>>. Romero explica que Microsoft dedica en Madrid a una persona exclusivamente a estudiar esas reclamaciones y reconoce que <<evidentemente>> ya han tenido aigunas. <<Cuando se trata de cuestiones lingisticas>>, aniade, <(Microsof remite las propuestas a Irlanda, donde funciona la oficina central para Europa>>. Alli, dice Jose Romero, hay dos linguistas <<de origen espaniol>> que analizan si los clientes tienen o no razon y si creen que es asi, introducen las oportunas modificaciones.

No parece, sin embargo, que haya habido muchas reclamaciones, porque los sinonimos citados figuran tanto en el procesador utilizado par la version de Windows 95, lanzado en Madrid el 5 de septiembre de 1995 con la presencia de Bill Gates, como en el modelo del anio 1994.

El diccionario usado por ambas versiones de Word es, segun portavoces de la empresa, una traduccion de un equipo de espanioles a partir de otra obra semejante elaborada por la empresa estadounidense Softart Inc. de la que precede la licencia. El profesor Angel Yanguas, del departamento de la Facultad de Filologia de la Universidad de Sevilla, que ha examinado los sinonimos aludidos a peticion de El PAIS, afirma que el diccionario <<es lamentablemente malo>>.

<<Su problema radica>>, aniade, <<en que como la mayoria de diccionarios electronicos, recurre a buscar equivalentes sin ningun tipo de contexto. La ideal seria que diera los sinonimos dentro de un contexto gramatical, semantico y programatico, como sucede con los diocionarios de papel de la Real Academia>>.

Segun Yanguas, algunos diccionarios electronicos, lamentablemente muy pocos, son capaces incluso de dar lo que se denomina <<una cadena alfanumerica>> a la hora de usar un sinonimo. Marcan, par ejemplo, si es posible usar ese termino con una frecuencia de un 80% a del 70%. <<Lo correcto explica, es utilizarlo cuando marque del 99% para arriba. De lo contrario es mejor volver al impreso>>.

VOZ DE ALARMA

Lo paradojico es que Microsoft afirma dar gran importancia al lenguaje. Los manuales para el usuario de Microsoft incluyen un primer parrafo con una advertencia sobre los peligros que rondan al espaniol: <<Al terminar el siglo XX habra en el mundo cerca de 500 millones de personas que tendran el espaniol (o Castellano) como lengua materna. Esta expansion se vera, sin embargo, envuelta en numerosas dificultades y conflictos idiomaticos. Algunos de los peligros que acosan al espaniol son: el influjo del ingles, el mal uso que del mismo hacen los medios de comunicacion y, quizas el mas importante y relacionado con el primero, los vacios existentes en el vocabulario tecnico>>.

Y el ultimo parrafo proclama:<<Hagamos entre todos del espaniol una lengua universal, tratando de aunar esfuerzos con el objetivo de evitar, en la medida de lo posible, por una parte ese vacio en el vocabulario tecnico y par otra el surgimiento y adopcion de nuevos terminos en ingles sin su correspondiente adaptacion al espaniol. Somos 300 millones de hablantes que compartimos la misma lengua y todos tenemos que sentirnos orgullosos y responsables de ella>>.

Microsft informa que ya dispone de su servicio en catalan y vasco. Yanguas afirma que el diccionario de Microsof es una herramienta mala, pero asegura que, como herramienta at fin y at cabo, <<se puede mejorar y esa es una virtud>>. En eso estan de acuerdo, los socios de la Asociacion Pro Derechos Humanos de Andalucia que lleva dos meses trabajando en su sede de Sevilla en las <<peligrosas implicaciones que trae este diccionario, tan de moda en todo el mundo>>. Para ellos, lo impartante es que las modificaciones se hagan con rapidez.

Mientras los especialistas de Microsof siguen trabajando en la busqueda de terminos apropiados para cada cultural <<sin que hiera a nadie>>, haba que seguir leyendo que la palabra <chiquillo>> equivale a <<ninio, crio, chico y gurrumino>>. En caso de que el lector desconozca <<gurrumino>>, el diccionario indica que es <<canijo, enano, retaco, raquitico, renacuajo y gorgojo>>.

(c) El Pais







Date: Thu, 11 Jul 1996 20:31:55 -0400

Date: Thu, 11 Jul 1996 16:44:52 -0300

From: "Arturo L. A. Lisdero Molina" <lisderoa@overnet.com.ar>

(From previous message):

>It is one thing to be told that "Indian," "cave-dweller" and "cannibal" were used interchangeably by ethocentric bigots in the past. It is another to suggest-as a thesaurus tends, implicitly to do-that we might use them interchangeably today without giving offense. I can hardly imagine a better illustration of the complex overtones of the word "Indian" than the fact that Microsoft could have come up with its spectacular series of "synonyms." I would bet my bottom dollar that Microsoft was not looking to create image problems for itself.

Remember that synonyms doesn't mean that the words are exactly the same. A good language keeps out words which have exactly the same meaning than previous words. "Indio" is a general term, and some of the people who lived in America where cannibals, some lived in caves, some were very advanced but didn't know the wheel, others knew more than europeans about astronomy. It is acceptable to find "cannibal" as a synonym of "indio", as some "indios" were "cannibals". Only a person in bad faith will think that this is bad press for the indios.

If mexican people believe that the "synonymity" is incorrect may I ask if their predecessors, aztec and mayan made human sacrifices shouldn't be considered assasins? I don't think so, because their beliefs stated those sacrifices. It's easy nowadays to point a finger toward our ancestors, but every group of men has done extremely bad things in the view of other people. Think of the Inquisicion, the wars for a throne, etc. etc. etc. Returning to the subject of synonyms, try to change any word with a synonym and then find new synonyms for the second word and so on. You may find that after five or six synonyms your word has nothing to do with the first one. I'll continue to use the word "Indio" whenever I have to refer to these people in general or when I do not know the exact name of the tribe.

Arturo L. A. Lisdero Molina, from Argentina

lisderoa@overnet.com.ar









Date: Thu, 11 Jul 1996 20:34:41 -0400

Date: Thu, 11 Jul 1996 16:44:20 -0300

From: "Arturo L. A. Lisdero Molina" <lisderoa@overnet.com.ar>

Following the usage of "Indio", here in Argentina "Hacerse el indio" is understood as to be naughty or noisy, remembering the attacks of the indians to the towns.

The word "Indio" came because Columbus thought that he had arrived to the "Indias", general name for the spice regions of India, China and Japan. It was a mistake, but as people don't like to accept mistakes, the american territories were called "occidental india".

I understand the charge of meaning added afterwards to the word, but in Spanish we have the Real Academia which states the meaning of the words. To speak in correct castilian, you must keep to the meaning given by the Real Academia to the words you use.

In Spanish, "indio" only means inhabitant of India or of America. In Spanish is used much "hindu" for the inhabitants of India which is also an error, because not all the indians (of India) are hinduists.

I think that it was not the spaniards, which gave the name of "indios" to the inhabitants of the spanish colonies in America, who added the charge of discrimination to this word, but the English colonists when they received the spanish territories.

Arturo L. A. Lisdero Molina

lisderoa@overnet.com.ar









Date: Fri, 12 Jul 1996 11:08:37 -0400

[Ed. Note: The last four posts on this subject are attached below. It appears that we have moved from the initial query into current matters and the subject matter no longer within the purview of H-LatAm. We are stopping the discussion on this subject and request that any further exchange be carried on among the participants off H-LatAm.

Thank you. J. Kent]

Date: Fri, 12 Jul 1996 09:26:18 -0500

From: "Josef J. Barton" <texbart@merle.acns.nwu.edu>

Fwd from: [Simon Katzenellenbogen <MFSHSSK@fs1.art.man.ac.uk> writes:] I have little experience of the use of the term `native' to refer to indigenous peoples, but on the basis of my experience regarding Africa I am somewhat wary. In the African context, colonial administrators and others used the term `native' as a synonym for Africa, but a synonym with a very pejorative context. It had the clear connotation of sub-humanity, etc. You even have the ludicrous phrase `foreign natives' used to refer to Africans from another colony.

The use of the term with regard to the Americas is of course different, but my recollection is that there are some parallels between the colonial use in African and its use in America. This applies to the term `native' on its own. The term `native American' as I understand it would not have that pejorative connotation.

These thoughts for whatever they may be worth.

Simon Katzenellenbogen

******************************************************************************

***

Date: Fri, 12 Jul 1996 14:00:02 +0000

From: k.lehmantmk@auckland.ac.nz

Subject: The Life of Words

Professor Homick stated:

>It seems that Prof. Lehman just can't lay this theme to rest, and has seen fit to pursue it further by means of stale news feeds from CNN and imaginative interpretations of what standard authorities say about it.

* Although those who study literature do value the imagination very highly, I am sorry to report that I was less imaginative in my citations than might be assumed. I am pleased to note that dictionaries, as themes on listservs, assume a life of their own in spite of the best efforts by the more aggressively inclined to force words and other people into silence. One of the major reasons that I follow this list is that there is an active exchange of ideas with relatively little aggression, and that speaks highly of most of the contributors to it.

>The prof's comments about the RAE and Ma. Moliner leave me somewhat perplexed. Though she claims that the RAE has included certain despective phrases "in its listing for indio, I'm at a loss to find nary a one in my copy of the D.R.A.E. And dra. Moliner clearly advises that neither of the two pejorative phrases she cites in her entry on indio "figura en el D.R.A.E" (Diccionario del uso del >espanyol, 1a. ed., 19a. reimpression, Madrid 1994, t. 2, p. 118, s.v. indio. Perhaps the good professor would see fit to clear up my confusion.

* Dictionaries are written by human beings who should have an appreciation of multiple ways in which language changes as well as a recognition of the practical benefits of specificity in communication. My D.R.A.E. of 1992 (vigesima primera edicion) Tomo II p 1158 includes the entries "caer de indio", "hacer el indio" and "?Somos indios?". As human relations change, so do languages and therefore dictionaries, and the editors of the 1994 edition apparently decided to delete these entries.

What the comparison between the CNN release and the article from El Pais most vividly demonstrates is the way in which different language communities report the "same" event with very different interpretations. I am happy to note that the story would not "rest" following its appearance in El Pais.

________________________________________________________

Kathryn Lehman

Spanish and Latin American Studies

University of Auckland

Private Bag 92019

Auckland

New Zealand

Ph. 64 9 373 7599 X6651

Fax 64 9 373 7000 internal 4000

email: k.lehman@auckland.ac.nz

******************************************************************************

***

Date: Thu, 11 Jul 1996 22:03:37 -0300

From: "Arturo L. A. Lisdero Molina" <lisderoa@overnet.com.ar>

* EL PAIS

>* ECONOMIA

>* Domingo 26 de mayo de 1996

>* Microsoft Word ofrece informatica analfabeta

>* ARMANDO NEIRA, Sevilla

>* ?Ser pobre es sinonimo de ser infeliz, triste y miserable? No haria falta respuesta, pero resulta que pueden creerlo asi los al menos 300.000 espanioles que habian comprado hasta marzo el programa Windows 95 y los miles de escolares que usan a diario su diccionario electronico en castellano.Los expertos aseveran que el diecionario de sinonimos de Microsoft Word es "lamentablemente malo".

>* ?Ser pobre es sinonimo de ser infeliz, triste y miserable? No hace falta respuesta, de no ser que puedan creerlo asi los al menos 300.000 espanioles que habian comprado hasta el pasado mes de >marzo el programa Windows 95, comunmente acompanado. por el procesador de textos Microsoft Word, y los varios miles de

>escolares que usan a diario su diccionario electronico en Castellano. El diccionario, segun el profesor Angel Yanguas, del departamento de la Facultad de Filologfa de la Universidad de >Sevilla, es <<lamentablemente malo>>.

>* Algunos de los sinonimos incluidos entran dentro de lo

>directamente disparatado. Por ejemplo, palestino es equivalente a judio, israelita o israeli. <<Castellano>> equivale a <senior, baron, >hidalgo, caballero y amo>>, entre otros terminos, mientras que ><<andaluz>> puede ser sustituida, se indica, por <<canyi, >agitanado, gitano, flamenco y cale>>.

I think the author of this article does not know enough of castilian Spanish. "Castellano" is the name of the language spoken in Castilla, and it doesn't have any synonym. But its also the people who lived in a castle and specially the owners of the castle and their family. Their were the lords of the land so the synonyms "sen~or", "caballero" and "amo" are perfectly correct. Extending a little more some of the lords were "barons" and there were obviously "hidalgos" a general term to name a son of a noble or important person, coming from "hijosdalgo" (son of something), stating that there were not a common person.

As an Argentine, I'don't know the meaning of "canyi" but I do know that "gitanos" (and the adjective "agitanado" live in Andaluc=EDa and that one of the representative people of the region. "Flamenco" is the dance and style of the "gitanos" and I'm not sure but think that "calE" is a style of Andalucia.

>* Desde el punto de vista de las razas o desde un punto de vista geografico, las cosas no quedan mucho mejor. Mestizo equivale a <<bastardo>>, blanco a <candido o inmaculado>> e indigena bate todos los records: <<salvaje, nativo, aborigen, barbaro, antropofago, >canibal, cafre, indio y beduino>>. El Occidental se retrata como ><<europeo, ario, blanco, civilizado y culto>>, y el oriental como ><<asiatico, amarillo y chino>>.

"Mestizo" is obviously wrong, "blanco" is being used as only a personal adjective, but something white may be also "candido" or inmaculated. When "indigena" is used as a general noun, as every person born in a place is an "indigena" (indigenous) of the place, according to the reference to a place made, the indigenous may be "salvaje" (not civilized), is obviously "nativo" (born in the place). The same can be said of the other words. Can anyone deny that some indigenous of Africa were cannibals when they were found by europeans?

* Mientras los especialistas de Microsof siguen trabajando en la >busqueda de terminos apropiados para cada cultural <<sin que >hiera a nadie>>, haba que seguir leyendo que la palabra

><chiquillo>> equivale a <<ninio, crio, chico y gurrumino>>. En caso >de que el lector desconozca <<gurrumino>>, el diccionario indica >que es <<canijo, enano, retaco, raquitico, renacuajo y gorgojo>>. In Argentina, "gurrumIn" is used as a familiar term for the babies and small children. The same case is when I call "petiso" (short, not tall) my little five months son. Some linguistic would say that I'm calling him a horse (petiso is also the name for pony) when I'm only stating that he is only 72cm tall.

If, as it is said in the article, you take the word out of context, some synonyms may be the opposite of what is meant in the sentence. Till next message.

Arturo L. A. Lisdero Molina

lisderoa@overnet.com.ar

Buenos Aires, Argentina

******************************************************************************

******



Date: Fri, 12 Jul 1996 01:54:04 +0000 (GMT)

From: shomick@sover.net (Stephen Homick)

!!GATES A TRAGAR SALIVA!!

(Reevio de H-MEX)

---------------------------Mensaje Reenviado--------------------------------

* Microsoft ha publicado en varios periodicos de circulacion nacional una

* pagina completa en la cual se disculpa por varias acepciones ofensivas

* contenidas en el diccionario de sinonimos de Microsoft Word. El

* programa actualmente considera que "indio" equivale entre otras

* opciones a "primitivo, salvaje, antropofago"; respecto a "mestizo" los

* sinonimos serian "mixto, hibrido, mezclado, bastardo". Para "occidental",

* Microsoft propone "europeo, blanco, ario, civilizado, culto".

* Despues de que _La Jornada_ llamo la atencion sobre este tema

* hubo una ola de criticas periodisticas y declaraciones de funcionarios > (del INIndigenista, Conaculta, diputados del PRI y PRD).

* Los voceros de Microsoft - Mexico argumentaron que el diccionario

* no habia sido producido directamente por Microsoft, sino por una

* compannia (Soft-Art Inc.) cuyos derechos adquirieron y que el problema

* se debia a diferentes modalidades nacionales en el uso del idioma.

* En el desplegado, la corporacion se compromete a revisar su

* diccionario con la colaboracion de la Real Academia Espannola y de El

* Colegio de Mexico; posteriormente lo pondra a disposicion del publico en

* forma gratuita en su sitio WWW.

> -FpeCastro.

> (Fuente: El Universal, "Universo de la computacion", 8 jul. 1996, p.1)

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>Desde las Montanyas Verdes, saludos virtuales de

--

**********************************

#Stephen Homick #

#(shomick@sover.net) #

#(shomimid@pop.k12.vt.us)#

**********************************

REALITY.SYS failed. Reboot Universe Y/N?

******************************************************************************

************