Hong Kong: Suspected to Resemble Gillian Chung

Duimanpark discusss about the funny language in the recent sex photo scandal and wonders if English speakers would understand the commonly used phrase in local mainstream media: “nude photographs of a woman suspected to resemble Gillian Chung.”


  • This is not something any native-speaker would ever write. More normal would be: “nude photos of woman suspected of resembling G.C.” Or perhaps even in a cheap tabloid newspaper: “G.C. look-alike nude photos found.”
    And one of the English-language comments at the site indicated, although understandable, is very contorted and even painful to read. Only with great difficulty did I manage to read to the end of it – I’m sorry, I don’t mean to be mean, but that is my honest reaction.

    There is only one language in which most people may (theoretically!) attain grammatical and stylistic perfection, and that is a non-ethnic, non-territorial one, viz. Esperanto (already used daily by Radio China International: http://esperanto.cri.cn/

  • Actually, “woman suspected of resembling G.C.” is already funny. You can’t be suspected of resembling somebody. Either you do or you don’t. It should simply be “woman resembling G.C.” “Resembling” really means “suspected of being”.

    About the second paragraph, it’s not quite fair to say that there is “only one language.” Yes, Esperanto is one, but there are a number of other non-ethnic languages as well, i.e. Ido, Interlingua, Lingua Franca Nova, Occidental, as well as my own personal favorite, Neo Patwa (patwa.pbwiki.com). . .

  • @ Jens Wilkinson
    You cite and compare six other ‘non-ethnic languages’ with Esperanto. You omitted Klingon, by the way. Do any of these, other than Esperanto, have even a handful of speakers/users? Which of them, besides Esperanto, has daily broadcasts using it? Which of them, besides Esperanto, has an annual world congress attracting around 2,000 speakers to one place? Which of them, besides Esperanto, has a large body of original and translated literature available? Which of them, besides Esperanto, has 100+ Yahoo discussion groups using it? Which of them, besides Esperanto, has had postage stamps issued using it? Which of them, besides Esperanto, has had Unesco resolutions passed in its favor? Which of them, besides Esperanto, has 100+ magazines regularly appearing in it? Which of them, besides Esperanto, is used reguarly by the Pope in the annual ‘urbi et orbi’ blessings? etc. etc.

    In other words you seem to be trying to compare gooseberries with gannets (to coin a comparison).

    What is the point of inventing yet one more language, before thoroughly (!) investigating what is already there? The page on Neo Patwa does not inspire me with great confidence, since I found this grammatical monstrosity at the foot of the page:
    >There is also two blogs in Neo Patwa.

    How many people other than yourself (and are not other con-lang-ers) do you know who can actually speak this language? And obviously it is your ‘favorite’, since you appear to be its author!

    Update: http://www.uea.org/info/angle/an_ghisdatigo.html

  • I’m not and would not dispute the assertion that Esperanto is by far the most popular constructed language today. I was just reacting to your use of the word “only.” “Only” means that there are no others.

    And thanks for pointing out the grammatical monstrosity! Actually, the need to conjugate verbs for the 3PS isn’t something I’m all that enamored about English. And neither Esperanto nor any of the other languages I cited does it. Maybe I was just trying to being conlangish! :-)

    About the last question, not many. But all languages start out that way. And if you are interested in why I am interested in creating another language, I don’t mind discussing it but it might be fairly long. I have investigated other languages. What constitutes “thoroughly” has some degree of subjectivity to it.

  • Jens:

    Thanks for taking the time to reply and for your comments. I decided, after some considerable investigation of Ido, Occidental, Novial, Interlingua, Interlingue etc. and other projects way back around 1950 that, although a most interesting topic, there was very little point in discussing linguistic minutiae. That is not why the general public is not interested in ‘universal bilingualism’, and such public discussions only serve to confuse. Then came Neo, Europanto, Globish etc. to further muddy the waters. Linguistic colonialism of English, and endangered languages, now concern me much more.

    Several visits to international Esperanto congresses, much correspondance, listening to Esperanto radio broadcasts, reading literature in Esperanto, have only convinced me that the Esperanto works perfectly fine as it is. There is absolutely no point in discussing language reform of something already so widely used. What interests me these days is/are the 7 points of the Prague Manifesto:
    and discussions about Esperanto in the EU:
    (mostly in French). Sorry, but I no longer have any interest in, or time for, the fascinating game of con-langs. Neo Patwa is certainly an interesting new approach, but it simply comes too late in the game – it might be ideal for New Guinea, Borneo or the Solomon Islands. It is most regrettable that all those interested in such things prefer to go on inventing and promoting their own personal projects, rather than joining forces and getting behind the obvious leader in the field.

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