HBC is an English-language site. We have tied to write the various pages in internet English so the various nationalities of English speakers (from America to India) as well as non-native English speakers can read and understand it. If you find that some HBC pages use American colloquial English, please advise and we will correct it. Non-English speaking readers can always use the Altavista translation facility which provides a ready (if not always relaiable) translation to several major languages.
The basis language of HBC is of course English as most HBC contributors are American, English, and Australians. HBC is aware that many readers have accessed HBC using English as a second language. There are of course differences between American and British English, although we cam uually figure out the differences. (I was once told my a Pakistani Brit-Rail employee that I spoke very poor English.) HBC's policy (although imperfectly implemented to date) is to seek internet English as a standard. Internet English is a form that all English speakers can understand, where ever they come from and whether they are native English speakers or speak language as a secondary language. HBC readers are encouraged to inform HBC is they encounter sentences that thery can not understand. We will then work on those pages and provide any foreign langauge explanations provided.
The history of the English language is a fascinating story in itself. The importance of Internet English as described above is only the latest chapter of the fascinating story of the English language. English is spoken by countries which once opposed the British. There were of course the other people of the British Isles, the Welsh, Scotts, and Irish. India after achieving its independence from Britain, turned to English as anational language that can be used by the different language groups making up the country. America not only fought Britain for its infependence, but fought England afain in the War of 1812 during the early 19th century. The cultural importance of language is very important. Most Americans are not of English ancestry. Yet the Anglo-American relationship became the dominant political fact of the 20th century. It was no less a figure than Chancellor Otto von Bismarck who in the late 19th century remarked that one of the decisive facts of the 19th century was that America and Britain both spoke English. In the 20th century after the trials of World War II, Winston Churchill speaking of the relationship of the two great English-speaking countries, "Let us be sure that the supreme fact of the 20th century is that they tread the same path".
HBC would like to make our site accesable to non-English speaking readers. Do the pages iun different languages in not feasible because the various pages are just drafts and HBC has only limited foreign language capability. We are quite willing, however, to load foreign language submissions, but will translate them so that readers from other countries can benefit. In this sence, English has bercome by default an international lanuage. It is the most common second language in most countries around the world.
Free electronic translation engegines are available on line. All you have to is type in the web page address (URL) or cut and paste the section of text of interest. These translations engines handle most major European languages and some even hadle Japanese and Chinese. They are very easy to handle. Almost instantaneously a useable (if somewhat unreliable) translation will come up. These electronic translations requires a great deal of editing to create a polished translation, but it will at least enable you to figure out the basic text of the page. There are difference between the different engines used and the language esired, but this is a useful tool as so much of HBC is done in English.
HBC has for some time been planning a multi-lingual glossary of the major clothing styles and terms used in this site. We finally began one in 2001. This is a major undertaking, however, and will probably be sometime before we can complete it. The principal glossary is the English language one. We even have a glossary for differents in English and American usages. We have also begun foreign language glossaries, but these are in avery early stage at this time.
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