At 20:51 +0100 2005-09-01, Andrew Dunbar wrote:

>Well it's pretty widely accepted that learning languages is special.

It certainly is.

>They are much more easily learned by children than by adults.

Yes, and multilingualism is high in Africa, and has always been.

>What's to say that phonemic analysis is not one of the things that
>is difficult for adult learners for instance?

Learning the values of 26 letters isn't learning a language, but I
mean, come ON. To type the euro sign, I have to type alt-2. Is that
"natural" in any meaningful way?

I don't think that monoglot Vai speakers will get very far with
computers if they don't learn the Latin script. I don't think that it
is unfair or unreasonable to expect them to understand the advantages
of the Latin script with regard to computers. And it isn't "cultural
imperialism", but simple realism that is behind this view. Even if
Firefox is localized into Vai, the Vai user who wants to go to is, amazingly enough, going to have to figure out
how to type h and t and p.

How long would it take a Vai person to learn what the letter T means?
And the letter A? And that typing one after the other allows him to
type the Vai syllable TA? Years? Months? Hours? Minutes?

Michael Everson *