Re: language barrier

Devi Jankowicz (
Fri, 7 May 1999 21:32:06 +0000

Luis Botella wrote:

>particularly interested in those of you who are non-native English
>speakers or live in non-English speaking countries.

>My questions are these ones:
>1. What country are you working at at the moment?

>2. What is your native language?

>3. How did you first get to know about PCP, through texts (papers,
>books) written in English or in your own language?
English: Laurie Thomas at Brunel University.

>4. In your country, what is the approximate percentage of texts
>about PCP originally published in your own language?
England: 95% (assuming you mean US as well as UK English.
Poland: under 5%, though I'm trying to change that.

>5. In your country, what is the approximate percentage of texts
>about PCP translated to your own language?
England: 0% (we have little incentive to search out non-English PCP
materials for translation, I'm afraid. Following an idea first mooted by
Joern Scheer, we _did_ translate a few reports, articles and reviews
_into_ German, Spanish and Italian, in the Newsletetr of the European
Personal Construct Association a few years ago...)

Poland: I've yet to come across an extensive article in Polish. I
producdee my own teaching handouts in Polish; there _are_ one or two
chapters in translated psychology textbooks that treat kelly as a minor
personality theorist, but no effort to tackle the PCP corpus as such; and
that's about it.

>6. In your country, are there any journal or newsletter that
>publishes papers on PCP in your own language?
England: yes, see above
Poland: No

>7. What is the approximate percentage of your own published works
>in English?

>8. When you teach or give lectures about PCP in your country, do
>you chiefly use English or your own language?
England: English
Poland: Polish, but with the proviso that my audience will accept the
occasional macaronic English-Polish sentence! I'll tell you one thing,
though: Kelly at his most succinct (e.g. the fundamental postulate and
corollaries) are an absolute _bugger_ to translate into Polish, and I've
spent money on professional translation services which I've then
fine-tuned myself: and I'm a native Polish speaker! I could go on about
this, and, indeed, have published around this theme...

>9. Among the conferences you attend, what approximate percentage of
>them have English as the only or dominant language?
Say 50%

>10. Do you think that language is a barrier for newcomers to PCP in
>your country?
England: no
Poland: yes. But, as I sugegst above, it's not a simple matter of
language translation. It's to do with the extent to which language works
as an encoding system, such that meanings in one language and culture do
not map isomorphically onto meanings in another one; and that includes

>11. Please add any comment you find relevant.
The best thing I can do here is to offer a few references on your very

Jowrn Scheer's paper at the 2nd European Conefrence of EPCA held in St.
Andreasberg, Harz, 1994: I don't have the full reference here at home, my
apologies. Anyone wanting the reference please e-mail me at and I'll dig it out. Also my own paper at that
conference, which through laziness and distraction on my part didn't get
printed in the proceedings: ask me and I'll send you a copy:
Jankowicz A.D."Etymology as cultural encoding: the stories hidden in the
words which we use" A paper given at the 2nd European Conference of the
European Personal Construct Association, St. Andreasberg, Hartz, Germany,
April 1994.

Jankowicz A.D. "Planting a paradigm in Central Europe: do we graft, or
must we breed the rootstock anew?" _Management Learning_ 1999, in press
for 30, 3 or 4.
Jankowicz A.D. "The stories hidden in the words which we use: a
constructivist analysis of business language as a device for cultural
encoding" in Ullman, A. & Lewis, A. (eds.) _Privatization and
Entrepreneurship: the Managerial Challenge in Central and Eastern Europe_
Binghampton, NY: The Haworth Press 1996.
Jankowicz A.D. "The new journey to Jerusalem : mission and meaning in the
managerial crusade to eastern Europe" _Organization Studies_ 1994, 15, 4,

NB Luis, I won't be at the Berlin Conference: please twist Joern's arm to
produce another of his excellent Proceedings volumes so that I can read
your paper, and everyone else's, after the event!

Kind regards,

Devi Jankowicz