Follow

The Illinois Department of Public Health has a very comprehensive drop-down menu for picking your preferred language, which is good, except that it is so comprehensive that it includes "English, Middle (1100-1500)" and "English, Old (ca. 400-1100)" right under English, also there's "Egyptian (Ancient)", "German, Old High ca. 1050-1500", "Irish, Old (to 900)", "Low Saxon", and, maybe most perplexingly, "Indo-European languages"

@deneb do they have an Old English interpreter on staff?? You gotta wonder

@Pixley hi yes i speak the hypothesized common language proto-indo-european so just do some research to figure out the historical roots and get on my level

@Pixley i don't know. is covid running rampant in the 4000 BC Pontic–Caspian steppe? should i be concerned?

@Pixley i bet it would be pretty easy to find where the developer stole this list from lol

@Pixley i keep saying "Official Aramaic"!!!! like it's a dancehall DJ alone to myself as everyone else has gone to the grocery store this morning

@alex personally I speak only Imperial Aramaic (700-300 BCE), I'm just built different

@alex @Pixley yepppp I was about to say "oh no this is standards ruining everything"
I get the desire to just use a standard but ....

Klingon is in there somewhere I think. IIRC it's based on every book ever published/language known 😂

@Pixley @alex thanks to my job I am V. familiar with this particular list 😂 and it's a v. v. bad choice for this use case 🙃 but fun to see in the wild

@platypus @Pixley @alex hold up. Klingon is in there, but not Tengwar? What's going on here?

@platypus @alex it's deeply funny to me that the state of Illinois thinks it's exactly as likely that I speak Polish or Spanish or Swahili as it is that I speak Old Norse or Klingon

@Pixley @platypus at the USCIS center in chicago where i took the citizenship test all the signs are in english, spanish, and polish

@alex @Pixley @platypus last time I voted the ballot was English Spanish and Chinese (I do live near a large Chinese section so makes sense)

@alex @platypus growing up in Chicagoland has given me an unshakable confidence that I can pronounce any Polish-American's name

@Pixley I find it insulting that a real language like Kirundi is placed at the same place as a completely made-up language. Kirundi, as Kirghiz btw, is a real language spoken by real people and transporting real culture. By putting it next to some fantasy language, you devalidate all of that as "not real", not to be respected the same way as "real" languages like English or French. @platypus @alex

@platypus @Pixley @carl well, Carl, as heavily discussed in this thread, this is a list of every language that has ever been published, which includes fictional languages and even “no linguistic content.” If anything is insulting here it’s that the state made an unusable language picker list, not that there are both real and fictional languages here

@carl so Carl, as I was saying elsewhere, the context of this international standard is that it is a standard of all languages in which a work has been published. This does not include all spoken languages and includes many ancient and also “constructed“ languages such as Klingon or even Esperanto which is spoken.

it’s a perfectly good standard for librarians like me who are the ones who created it.

However. It’s bad and lazy for devs to reuse. And ridiculous. Which was our convo.

@carl So your whole “if you say so it must be true” directed at Alex is really weird and passive aggressive. You could have either dug in to learn or you could have simply thanked Alex, who is not a librarian and only yesterday learned what the standard is but did do the bare minimum to learn what that standard is.

tl;dr Lots of developers are unwilling to do the bare minimum before reusing a standard and that is how we get drop-downs like this.

You could just say “ah, got it”

@carl “no linguistic content” as represented by zxx in the list, is also a fine response

@platypus I apologze for the form.
And I appreciate the effort of Alex.
But white people, as part of their white privilege, are often not aware of the many faces of racism. I do not assume evil intent, but people have to be aware. At all times.

@Pixley @platypus @alex can someone point me to the exact menu? I'm only getting a limited selection of languages

@Pixley I think rockford has a big Old High German (ca. 1050-1500) community. Good sausages, weird accent

@prehensile it makes sense that Rockford would become unstuck in time

@Pixley “we’ve got an Old English speaker here, better contact the Medieval Studies programs state-wide for a possible interpreter”

@neoncoughh I'm picturing the guy at the farmers market who sits there in his medieval garb cheerfully flintknapping or whatever

@Pixley can a skald sing to me about food safety practices

@Louisa "yes hello I only absorb medical advice in saga form, you'll need to make arrangements"

@Pixley Hark thys sound advyse! If gud foode waiting for ye feast-tyme be/ mind well yt sits notte betwixt 40 and 140 degrees

@Pixley But does the Illinois Department Of Public Health know why kids love Cinnamon Toast Crunch

@douglasfur yes but they can only explain it in "Greek, Ancient (to 1453)"

@Pixley ah, yes, Indo-European, i, (un)fortunately, only speak that

@meena I'm glad you found an Indo-European home on federated social media

@Pixley wow a lot of people from a lot of different places & times sure must live in Illinois huh

@nashhigh we're losing population to neighboring states, and it's because people "want to live in one set timeline" like a bunch of babies

@Pixley meanwhile the IDHS website isn't even available in Spanish 🙃

@Pixley You do need to be inclusive about all the time-travellers, obviously!

@Pixley Also, this menu works only if you have Javascript enabled :-(

@bortzmeyer oof yet another way my state is very embarrassing

@Pixley Interestingly, they do have content, whatever is the language you choose. I assume they use some automatic translation and the menu simply reflects the available languages.

The translation in french, for instance, is good but very unhuman ("soutien d'une ligne d'arrêt du tabac" for "help from a hotline").

@Pixley
doctor: preferred language
patient: *speaks in hieroglyphics*

Sign in to participate in the conversation
Skull Dot Website!

Skull dot website is an intentionally small instance for friends.