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Asia Pacific World: Lingualism -- The Competition for Terminologies

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Capitalism forces people to compete for market shares, natural resources, and human capital. Less obviously so, they also compete for terminologies.


TOKYO -- China, India, and Japan should engage more and better in the creative process of writing "World history.' Non-Western cultures in general should better promote their socio-cultural originality; they need to compete for their key terminologies like they compete for everything else. The future of global language may be English yet it still defies tens of thousands of non-European inventions and ideas that are concealed by convenient yet erroneous (Western) translations. [See example essays in international media on shengren, daxue, or long.]

"Philosophy," "religion," and "science" are ideological concepts that serve the needs of the dominant West, and, in the past, were hardly ever challenged. In this century, however, this could change, by means of calling into question an archaic and fallible model of knowledge acquisition: translation.

Due to the one-time European conquest of the world, most of those who became European subjects took in European vocabularies, with the result that the vast majority of students no longer had any other terminologies available to them other than philosopher, religion, and science to categorize the whole range of human thought. This reduction of all the world's vocabularies to a set of inherently European words that made it effortless for our elites to, for example, compose a Philosophy of China without using a single original Chinese term."

ASIA PACIFIC WORLD, from BERGHAHN JOURNALS, has just published (online soon) -- in their forthcoming Spring 2013 issue- Pattberg's pioneering and future-oriented essay entitled: "Lingualism -- A New Frontier in Culture Studies?" ISSN: 2042-6143 (Print); ISSN: 2042-6151 (Online); Volume 4/2013, 2 issues p.a. (spring, autumn)


Dr. Thorsten Pattberg, East-West, is a linguist (PhD, Peking University) and the author of 'The East-West dichotomy', 'Shengren', and 'Inside Peking University'. He is also an alumnus of Harvard University, The University of Edinburgh, and The (more...)
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