Languages know no borders
Scripps Howard News Service
March 1, 2008



The following editorial is by Dale McFeatters of Scripps Howard News Service.

It's probably only fair to warn Hugo Chávez of this, but the French tried the same thing he's trying and it didn't work for them either.
The Venezuelan strongman is upset at the number of English words slipping into Venezuelans' vocabulary.
According to the Associated Press, the telecommunications company CANTV has been ordered — and now that it's been nationalized Chávez can do this sort of thing — to avoid English business and technical terms. In fairness to CANTV employees, this is pretty tough to do in today's global business environment without looking like a complete rube.
The Communications and Information Ministry warned darkly that Spanish is "threatened by sectors that have started a battle for the cultural domination of our nations."
Here are some of the English words AP says the government wants replaced: staff ("equipo"), marketing ("mercadeo"), password ("contrasena"), meeting ("reunion") and sponsor ("patrocinador").
Urges the ministry, "Say it in Spanish. Say it with pride." OK, all together now, "Raton!" (That's "mouse.") Thwarting Yankee cultural imperialism one double-click at a time.