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Posts Tagged ‘language’

If you’re like me, a language lover and occasional Simster, you’ve probably seen the article on ModTheSims2 about how to change the display language. Up until fairly recently, the article was out-of-sync as to how languages are numbered in the game. I wrote this tutorial to compensate for that.

It’s since been fixed, but here’s my take on how to do it.
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Vistalizator is a program to change the UI language of Windows Vista using the MUI packs even if you don’t have the Ultimate or Enterprise editions. The MUI packs, by the way, are available online if you know where to look.

I love this program, for the simple fact that it counteracts Microsoft’s stupid decision to not allow localization on the lower-end Vista editions. I’m using Vista in Japanese now and loving it!

It’s ridonkulously fast ūüėÄ

http://froggie.sk

And to continue my rant a bit further, whose bright idea was it to not allow all editions to be localized to all languages? What if someone is forced to buy a lower-end computer and doesn’t speak the installed language? Or someone comes to visit who doesn’t speak English?

I’m sick of them eeking out every bit of cash from every corner they can.

This is only another reason to switch to Linux.. sure Vista makes language installs less painful, but that gap gets narrower every day.

I will NEVER EVER understand why they didn’t allow MUIs on all editions. However, thanks to programs like Vistalizator, we can rightly have what we are wrongly denied.

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You know, before I started studying foreign languages, I wouldn’t give that question much thought. I’d throw out the¬†usual “Language is important because it’s how humans communicate” and get on with it. That, of course, is definitely true, but when I seriously started studying languages, I discovered a more involved answer.

Language, in all its forms – verbal, written, and physical – is not only a way to communicate, but also a way to live the culture where a language is spoken. The problem lies in that people hold strong associations with what exactly a “culture” is, and how it relates to a particular language.

Let’s take Arabic, for example. It can be a fascinating language. But the minute I take one step into being interested in it I get resistance and can hear the echoes of “Terrorist!”, “Anti-American!”, and the like. Russian and Chinese hold connotations of communism, German of Nazis, Japanese of evil kamikaze, Spanish of dirty illegal immigrants.

Though, some of these stereotypes have a certain element of truth to them. Language helps shape a person’s identity.¬†People tend to¬†hold fast to their identifying characteristics.¬†Obviously, not every speaker of every language is conformant to these stereotypes, but some may adhere to them just because it gives them a sense of¬†belonging to their country or to their ethnic group.

And in the context of foreign language learning, one’s personality may be altered, even if only slightly. An interesting phenomenon I’ve noticed since starting Japanese is that I tend to be more humble and find that other people seem more “pushy” than they used to. Exposure to another culture can change one’s inner self, and that’s why one may be unsuccessful at language learning: because, perhaps subconsciously,¬†one is afraid of losing part of the things one identifies with.

Perhaps it isn’t about ignorance or lack of knowledge as much as it is about fear. What if you lose who you are?

I suppose a better question would be, “What if you change who you are?”

So, why is language important? Besides the paramount ability to communicate, given the chance, it can open up completely new worlds.¬†To learn another language does not mean to leave one’s base culture; rather, it enables a process of “reality expansion” to see things from another perspective.

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