Although my ignorance is huge about many, many things, I *am* aware that language is extremely important, and that there are many reasons why one who is multilingual and addressing another polyglot chooses one language above others. As I said earlier, why French was chosen in this instance is best asked of and answered by the person(s) writing the letter. All of our speculation about it is nothing more than electronic hot air, which abounds beyond belief on the internet and on this board.
While the language one uses may or may not be part of what one is attempting to communicate, the language itself is a medium, is it not? Am I mistaken in thinking that the message, whatever the language used to deliver it, is the *main* thing, if not necessarily the only thing, of import?
If, indeed, the message (i.e. that which is contained in the letter) is of highest, though not necessarily of sole priority, why then what seems here to be the greater focus on the language used to deliver the message rather than the message itself?
Forgive me if I have misunderstood these things!
Come on J Michael, language is very important in negotiations, issues such as sovereignty and political dominance (in this case Church governance) can be conveyed with the type of language one uses. They took care not to antagonize the other in these matters where the usage of one’s language can be understood as a concession of certain political power or weight to the other etc. Now your indignation over the inquirey about the language used although understandable is not entirely justified in the real world of diplomacy. so calm down and let us reason together. :angel:When these letters are written people(those in charge of writing them) are concerned not only about what is being actually said with the words, but also the language used to convey them. In this case the careful selection of the neutral language French speaks well on the good will of the communicant as well as it successfully avoids any political misunderstanding.
People who know of the importance of language in diplomatic interactions have valid point to look into the type of language used as well as the content of the language. It is part of the message. The UN is a good example, if you would care to look into it, that publications of official documents have to wait until available in all the official languages of the UN. Just because it might mean the same in English they do not rush to publish the English version first and wait on the others.
In this case there is a valid reason why the article mentioned that the Letter was in French. J Michael relax no one is arguing that the message of the words in the letter are not important, however it is a fair question and a valid one to look into why the Papal letter was written in French, the inquiry does not undermine or downplay the significance of what the letter says in words. You cannot dictate people to look into the meaning of the words only and ignore the significance of the language used. We can look at both, it should not be an either or thing. In the real world, such things are not mere speculations but rather informed and educated understandings of the significance of language in both secular and religious politics.
As we are many in here who are discussing this event, you have to give leeway for people to look at it from different angles it only serves to enrich our understanding IMO. So relax my brother we are all on the same page, you are free to discuss what the words say , as I am or any other person is free to inquire what the significance of the language used is, while holding my peace in regards to commenting on what the words say. I will not downplay the significance of the words as you should not down play the significance of the language used and get indignant over people who inquire about it. I hope we are having an intelligent and civil discussion, where educated inquiry and analysis of certain things are allowed, and we do not neccessarily have to ask the writters why they wrote it in french as you seem to think and suggest we do.
I'm as relaxed as can be, dear Hiwot
. But, thanks for that. There's much in your post I would reply to but I'm so relaxed at the moment that to do so would get me all uptight
! Okay, just kidding. I understand what you're saying, and agree with you up to a point. I'm well aware of the functions of language in many areas of life, including diplomacy. My *only* point, which seems to have gotten lost in all the verbiage and nonsensical postings, is/was that the language that the letter was written in is only a *part* of the picture in this story, and that by focusing so much attention on that, we lose sight of the *whole* picture, a huge portion of which is in the letter itself, i.e. the words and syntax and structure, etc. That's it!
As for *why* French was used instead of any other available and shared language, well...*we* just don't know, and speculating about it may be fun and interesting but gets us no closer to an answer. The only way we *will* know is if the writer(s) explain why, either on their own, or in response to a query. I don't think that should be so difficult to understand, do you?