back to article ITU Gen Sec: Why not speaking English can be a virtue

If you want to make money on the internet without paying America, your best bet is to refuse to speak English, according to the General Secretary of the International Telecommunication Union. We sat down with Dr Hamadoun Touré in London, following publication of the ITU's report on the importance of broadband. Dr Hamadoun …


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  1. Colin Millar
    Big Brother

    Who needs to wait a decade

    We have the answers to his questions already

    what constitutes a crime? - whatever Uncle Sam says

    and what should happen to anyone committing one? - see above

    1. disgruntled yank Silver badge

      did you read the article?

      the dumb pipes seem to be pumping quite satisfactorily...

    2. BristolBachelor Gold badge
      Thumb Up

      You forgot:

      "what constitutes a crime? - whatever Uncle Sam says" *

      "and what should happen to anyone committing one? - see above" **

      * Depends who does it. (e.g. AT&T spying on their customers)

      ** Depends who does it. (e.g. AT&T spying on their customers)

      Apart from that, spot-on!

  2. Steve Evans

    In that case...

    "If you want to make money on the internet without paying America, your best bet is to refuse to speak English"

    I assume the French are raking it in then?

    I expect no down votes, doing so would be an admission you speak English, and you don't want to give the game away do you ;-)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      "If you want to make money on the internet without paying America, your best bet is to refuse to speak English"

      That'll be Americans raking it in then - they claim to speak English, but we all know that it's nothing like proper English (e.g.: "pants" comes from the French "pantaloon" and not the English "trousers")

      1. kain preacher


        So in the UK they don't use the word coup or the phrase deja vu? Or would you like me to give you a long list of French word used in English ? Would you like for us Americans. not to use German words too .

        1. Anonymous Coward

          You miss the point

          For many people whose main experience of culture and the world the internet is their main source, it is increasingly clear that they see through USA lenses. Fortunately, even now, such people are a small minority. In this respect, the idea is quite right.

          The role of language in the take-over or conquest of other cultures and nations is well known and happening all the time, whether politically inspired, as desribed so well by George Orwell, or for some sort of "political correctness". Language is a tool of expression and thought:

          Normal usage of "British English" is a different set compare to USA English, Indian English or NZ English, just as Swiss German v. High German v. Austrian German, or French v. Quebec French, or the Spanish in Spain from the variants in S. America. If you ever actually worked and played closely and for more than a few minutes with genuine (usually very pleasant) N. Americans, you would soon be struck by how different their semantics, humour, underlying cultural assumptions and references, vocabulary and grammar are and be surprised how often they and you need a translation. Just try a few words like "fortnight", "shall", or some common phrases that can have completely opposite meanings.. Only recently an intelligent, professional N. American asked me if "fortnight" meant "two days" (he was in Europe, so he has travelled, just not to UK or Australasia).

          To each country, its usage is a source of pride and cultural identity. Just because just about all languages include words from others does not make all languages the same. How about all PCs being the same, OS, apps., games? Treasure the difference and support your own culture in a positive sense.

          Or do you want us all to live in the same houses, eat the same food, think the same thoughts, whatever our coutnry and culture? Would save money on all those Welsh, Celtic, Urdu .... programmes, films, books, social security leaflets .... Must be good.

    2. J 3

      Je ne comprends pas

      Veja título. Danke sehr.

      Firmado: un millonario.

    3. Anonymous Coward

      Do n't speak English?

      Does not seem to have held back the Americans.

  3. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Heap Good Medicine. Kemo Sabe

    "The ITU has always been about realising the value of the global telecommunications networks, but talking to its General Secretary, it becomes clear that the values it hopes to realise out of the internet go well beyond any financial return.

    Money might be the driving motivation, and certainly what gets emphasised when selling connectivity to the developing world, but there's more than a trace of technical utopian about Dr Hamadoun Toure, who sees social and political change as an inevitable result of unrestricted access to information: and that might not be such a bad thing. "

    Bravo Sir, .... Anything less than perfection is a base for its search and temporal delusional emplacement? Now that is a Powerful Tool that can do Everything Better than just Good ..... in any changed socio-political para-military environment with strict disciplines, for it is a designedly hard act to follow and better with improvements and additions, all of which are welcome.

  4. Yes Me Silver badge

    No aspirations? Really?

    "But while the ITU considers access to the internet to be a human right, it has no aspirations to governance of the internet itself."

    Really? He hasn't been attending many ITU-T meetings then; and he needs to pass the message to some of his own staff, including very senior ones.

    I look forward to hearing that the ITU will be dropping its participation in the Internet Governance Forum.

  5. someone up north

    yes , if you want to ignore 95% of the internet

    i assume the interview was conducted in English?

  6. bazza Silver badge

    Google Translate?

    Eh bien, parle anglais est clairement la meilleure option pour les communications mondiales. Considérez française - tout à fait exact, mais pas très bon pour faire des blagues po Par exemple,

    "Pourquoi le poulet at traverser la route rapidement?

    Pour éviter de devenir Coq au Vin ".

    Aha, aha, aha. C'est la cause de mes côtés pour séparer en anglais, en français, mais l'Tumbleweed souffle passé.

  7. veti Silver badge

    I hate to be pedantic...

    ... ah, who am I kidding, who doesn't love to be pedantic?

    It's "International Telecommunication Union".

    I know it's hard to believe. I once saw Magnus Magnusson himself taking a precious two seconds to correct a contestant who had got it right. But there's no 's' in the name of that organisation.

    Now at least El Reg can start getting it right.

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