I am not sure of your perspective of real world Mr Batey. But for me I embrace a holistic concept of real world where people and their cultural values and languages are fundamental ingredients to the realization of a real world. The pattern of thinking that only the West including Australia has authentic cultures and languages (english) is gradually fading away within the new era of academic world. The world is at the cross road of cultural relativism where the rights to cultures, languages and identity are significant and must be respected. To be part of a real world, one has to learn other people's cultures and languages especially when one is living in a foreign land. And I'm not embarrass at this point to mention that beside my studies, I'm teaching Solomon Islands pidgin to a group of European Anthropology PhD students who will be going to the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu for field research this year... There is no point to return to the old conception of colonization of consciousness as Mr Batey has invited Solomon Islanders to do.
But after all I always think that its a matter of personal character of who the person or business partner is. I know of some foreign business people who have a lot of respect for local people by trying to learn some pidgins, and have tried as much as possible to communicate with them. Mr. Batey I see no problem with your concern over a business contract, it could carry a pidgin version to it just like in other countries where english is not their language of origin.
Solomon Islands pidgin is fundamentally important to the business and commercial life in Honiara. This is because 90% + of these business customers are Solomon Islands pidgin speaking community. Play a fair game!
Confidence in speaking english
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this letter are those of Rev Ben Wate and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Solomon Times Online.
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