Common language? [was re: black hat .cn networks]

David Diaz davediaz at
Thu May 10 16:20:55 UTC 2001

For whatever it's worth, the official language of aviation worldwide 
is English.  It is a standard and a requirement in towers.  Reality 
is that they most likely speak "aviation English" is remote airports. 
Just enough so pilots can understand where to put the plane and were 
not to.  So a common language can be chosen.

My experience with the issue occured a few years back.  Doing some 
work with a large Columbian conglomerate, they sent over they top 
admins for a meeting in the US.  We had native speakers (from Cuba) 
who were also 20-25 year UNIX admin veterans.  A funny thing 
happened... they could not speak common Spanish UNIX.  Each group had 
local terms created for items as simply as Email.  I found it very 
interesting that we basically had to go back to describing something 
like a car as "that thing we sit in with 4 wheels that takes us 

It was an eye opening experience.  I do not believe having 
internationally recognized words such as Email, File system, Disk are 
bad. English is a bastard language with lots of foreign words.  In 
Florida most Spanish speakers use SpanGlish which is a combination of 
Spanish with very useful English words thrown in.  It works, and even 
English only speaks have a good idea of what the conversation is. 
(Yes, it's always about them!! :-)  )


At 2:42 PM +0800 5/10/01, Adrian Chadd wrote:
>On Wed, May 09, 2001, Clayton Fiske wrote:
>>  Nor should you have to learn how to patch and maintain a webserver
>>  to surf the web. But we're not talking about end users, we're talking
>>  about admins. Do admins -have- to learn English? No, but I don't think
>>  it's an unreasonable request when they will be operating a server in
>>  a network where it's the most common language spoken by their fellow
>>  admins, particularly when their machine is in a position to pose a
>>  security risk to others' machines and networks.
>"fellow admins" ? What, the admins they:
>* hang out with in their city?
>* on irc?
>* in a newsgroup?
>* through IM type clients?
>>  But I guess wanting to be able to deal with operational issues in a
>>  common language, whether it's English or not, makes me USA-centric...
>no, that doesn't make you USA-centric. Wanting people to speak English
>because its the "standard language" .. what "standard language" ?
>Wanting people to speak English because the internet and computing
>in general was invented by Americans - well, guess we're all going
>to have to speak Chinese since they invented gunpowder.
>You want a globally-self-regulating internet, yet you want English to
>be the "standard language" ?
>A common language for internet operations would be a good thing.
>Now, how do you encourage people to learn and speak it?
>As a fun thought experiment - imagine for a moment how you'd feel if
>you had to learn Chinese (and you obviously didn't speak it!),
>but you couldn't move to Chinese. Everyone around you still speaks English
>(so you don't get the practice/exposure needed) but you get net-related
>emails in Chinese. Some of your software is written in Chinese, but
>all the modern stuff has an English option.
>Welcome to planet earth. please enjoy your stay.
>This is my last post on the topic.
>Adrian Chadd			"How could we possibly use sex to get
><adrian at>	  what we want?
>				   Sex _IS_ what we want!" -- Fraser

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