[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

#1216: Florestal comments on replies to the DeGraff's vs Chamberlain debate (fwd)


I am not a linguistic expert nor I have formal training in linguistic 
application to economic resuscitation. But I found it hard not to sympathize 
with Degraff's position towards Chamberlain's "Fantasies." While Degraff made 
a forceful linguistic case for promoting Creole -or whatever name or 
orthography you may substitute for it - the primary interest in the subject 
is how fast Creole can contribute to improving the welfare of the average 
Haitian and resurrect the economy. To me the social and political aspects are 
not only secondary but almost irrelevant. Class harmonization in Haiti is 
less urgent than reducing the level of poverty. 

In economics, there are three basic categories of factors of production: 
land, capital, and labor. We all know the state of land erosion in Haiti, and 
that we are the poorest country in this hemisphere - No Capital. To me, if 
Haiti wants to develop its economy to improve the plight of its citizens, the 
only viable solution is to maximize its labor resources by providing it with 
productive skills, like China is doing now. We have failed in this goal while 
we tried it in the past 195 years using French. 

To teach people productive skills in a language, they have to be able to 
first speak it, then read it , then write it, then communicate effectively in 
it. If you do it in Creole it seems to me that you can skip teaching them to 
speak it - for providing survival skills - and jump to reading, writing and 
communicating. If you do it in French or English or Spanish, etc., first you 
would have to teach them to speak French or English or Spanish, etc. By being 
able to bypass teaching how to speak it, you not only save time but also 
resources that can be used in the latter part of teaching productive skills. 
Like Professor Degraff commented before, the challenge of transforming Creole 
into a full fledge language with structure should not be a deterrent but 
instead, it should be seen as an investment cost in the future of Haitians. 
Earlier French, German, English  and other well established languages 
linguists thought so of their language, and they were right. The rewards 
being reaped now by French, English, German and many other languages in being 
used to train their national speakers are the dividends on their investment 
long time ago when their language was like Creole is now. So, if you are 
serious about helping Haiti and his people in getting out of their perennial 
poverty, the first step has to be by making Creole a language that all 
Haitians can be learned and trained in quickly and economically. And you 
still can do this and teach the people French, like they teach English in