What is the official language of the European Union?

Mi5 Mick   Thursday, August 12, 2004, 09:15 GMT
LOL I didn't mean to sound zealous, but I can see how you enjoy to demonise me with your vocabulary of my "simplicity" and my "Google calculator"! Honestly, I really don't care about language that much; I write these things in good fun.

You may well be right that "practise" is the correct spelling for the verb in Australian English. Oh well, at least I'm not pedantic for the sake of "charm" or "British English" and I don't find hideous/ambiguous orthography charming which appears as a device for illiteracy -- A penpusher's haven and stronghold from the masses!

I don't know that the verb "practice" is uniquely an Americanised spelling. Since you mentioned it, here's how the Australian Google calculator reports on this verb for the following usages:

75,900 for "to practice"
36,900 for "to practise"

1,530 for "I practice"
613 for "I practise"

2,420 for "they practice"
920 for "they practise"

3,810 for "you practice"
1,570 for "you practise"

2,640 for "we practice"
788 for "we practise"
nick   Thursday, August 12, 2004, 09:35 GMT

Of course you are right, i made a confusion
Jordi   Thursday, August 12, 2004, 10:30 GMT
Please accept my apologies. I feel Australians have the perfect right to choose whatever spelling they prefer as long as they teach the same spelling all over the country. I also write here in good fun and my sense of humour is a mixture of Australian Anglo-Saxon and nice traditional Catalan, which can be quite a demonising mixture sometimes. I agree I'm in love with language and languages and I find the present day confusion in some Australian spellings quite fascinating. It must be a good thing and I'm sure Australians prefer the best of two worlds. :-)
Mi5 Mick   Thursday, August 12, 2004, 12:56 GMT
No worries. I was beating it up a tad too ;)
nic   Thursday, August 12, 2004, 14:06 GMT

Do you use a spanish google or a "special one", look : www.mja.com.au/public/issues/ 176_09_060502/mac10158_fm.html - 35k - 10 Ago 2004 - ""En caché - Páginas similares""

En caché
Páginas similares
Ceaser   Thursday, August 12, 2004, 14:20 GMT
Do other langauges have the same type of spelling differences if they are spoken in more than one country? For example: Canadian French versus. Beligian and France French. Brazillian Portugese and European Portugese, Mexican Spanish and Peruvian Spanish etc. British English can be very different from North American, South African or Australian/New Zealand English. For instance, Colour and Color, Neighbour and Neighbor, Programme and Program, gramme and gram. The British spelling has extra letters in it.

Yet several expressions used in British English are not used in North American English. For example - The Americans say: "The House is on Fire", while the British say: "The House was a blaze". Sotuh African English and Irish English can be very pretty. South Africans have more of a Dutch accent than a British one. Irish English has more Gaelic influence in it in terms of pronounciation and sometimes expressions and idioms. Yet, do other European Languages share these same type of differences if they are spoken in more than one country?
Jordi   Thursday, August 12, 2004, 15:01 GMT
I haven't been able to get into that in my Spanish Google. Could you repeat the whole reference including the sentences that usually appear. I might be able to track that. If it's not too long you might be able to paste it yourself here. Thanks.
Random Chappie   Thursday, August 12, 2004, 16:37 GMT
Yes, Australian English seems to be an interesting and very random mix of British and American spellings.

For instance, I think "labour" would come more naturally to a majority (60-70%?) of Australians and yet, it's the Australian LABOR Party. Does Australia even have a spelling standard? The country seems more divided on practise/practice, labour/labor, etc. than any other English-speaking country.

Maybe Australia is a peek into future of the English-speaking world: acceptance, tolerance, and freedom of usage of all the different (but standard) ways English words can be spelt.
nic   Friday, August 13, 2004, 07:47 GMT

www.mja.com.au/public/issues/ 176_09_060502/mac10158_fm.html
nic   Friday, August 13, 2004, 07:52 GMT
practice : Documents 1-20 of total 2254 found

practise : Documents 1-20 of total 149 found.

Spanish google

de aproximadamente 1,200,000 de practise

aproximadamente 53,700,000 de practice
nic   Friday, August 13, 2004, 08:00 GMT

Quebecois used expressions you cannot understand when you are french, it looks like some old french sometimes. When we (french) say chaussures, quebecois say souliers. They look less english words than french, when we say hot dog, they say chien chaud.

You can notice some differences between belgians and french, french from the north can understand some expressions used by belgians, south french cannot. It's the case between savoyards, suisses and aostians. These diffenrences do not mean you won't understand but sometimes it's the case like the way belgians use numbers.
Criostóir   Friday, August 13, 2004, 08:28 GMT
Just to expand on what Nic is saying: I know from first hand how different Québécois French can be from French French!

It's true that some words are different - souliers, des sous (pennies in Québec) and le char - the car! Québeckers call the corner store "le dépanneur", it's "bonne fin-de-semaine" for the weekend, and you use your computer to send "des courriels", not "des e-mails".

But in Québec you also hear verb forms that France has just about forgotten. I was in Paris, and one woman asked me how I learnt French. I told her:

"Bien que mes études fussent en englais, j'avais tant d'amis francophones qui m'enseignèrent le français".

She looked at me and said that was funny, the Québeckers always sounded like Molière and Voltaire, because of the verb forms which sound archaic and stilted to her but which you find in Québec. For the more knowledgeable readers concerning French, it's not that people don't use the passé composé, but sometimes the passé simple seems fitting, even in spoken French. Recall that in modern Spanish, Portuguese, and Romanian, and to a lesser extent in Italian, the inflected Preterite tense is often used in contrast with the Imperfect, while the periphrastic forms of the Present/Past perfect are later developments. Latin did not have such compound forms.

example from French and Latin:
to be =
Fr. être Latin esse (assimilation of *es-re)
I am: Fr. je suis, L. (ego) sum
subj: Fr. je sois, L. sim
Imperfect: Fr. j'étais (a later regularization of an irregular form), L. eram
Perfect(aka preterite/passé simple): Fr. je fus, L. fui
Imperfect subj: Fr. je fusse, L. essem (Pluperfect subj: fuissem, Perf. subj. fuerim)

Just so you can see where such forms came from.
nic   Friday, August 13, 2004, 10:00 GMT

""Bien que mes études fussent en englais, j'avais tant d'amis francophones qui m'enseignèrent le français""

We don't speak like that in France but we write like that. We write differently as we speak, we musn't be the only one.

With all my respect, you can't use "tant" in that case, if you do it, there must an end.

Example : Bien que mes études fussent en englais, j'avais tant d'amis francophones qui m'enseignèrent le français que je n'eu pas besoin de cours particuliers.

You speak and write well, i hope i did not offended you, cheers
Ceaser   Friday, August 13, 2004, 14:17 GMT
Is there a lot of Dutch Influence in Belgian French? It is the only form of French I have not heard. Quebecois French is rather harsh to my hears, while France French rolls off the tongue nicely. What is Belgian French like? "Spreek jij Nederlands, en Vlaams?"... Dutch is a completely different language, and surprisingly, it is harsher than German. Yet, does it influece Francais du Belgique, and how?

Merci beux cois (I think thats how you write it, :P),
Dank Je Wel~!
Criostóir   Friday, August 13, 2004, 18:27 GMT

il n'y a pas de problème - j'aurais dû écrire "beaucoup d'amis", parce que c'est vrai avec le mot "tant" que l'on aurait besoin d'un complément à la fin de la phrase!