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Learning A Foreign Language "Online"

".Com, la movida de Internet"

by William R. Eubank

I have just returned from a month long educational visit to Buenos Aires, Argentina. I went there with the intent of arranging teacher exchanges between the two countries facilitated through Rotary Clubs in both countries. Exchanges involving up to twenty teachers will take place in January and June of 1997!

While there, some of my free time was spent investigating the use of computers and in particular the use of the Internet in that country. Buenos Aires is a city that still has a news stand on almost every corner selling a half dozen major daily newspapers, books and magazines. While I was there, the first issue of the Argentine equivalent of COMPUTERUSER http://www.kccomputeruser.com or COMPUTER CURRENTS http://www.currents.net, hit the stands. .COM Version 1.1 went on sale June 1996 for $2.00 (not yet fully supported by advertising at the North American counterparts).

For me, it was very interesting to step into this part of the world and see a society awakening to a new form of communication with the rest of the world. While in Argentina, I wrote to publisher Ernesto Golomb, sent him a copy of the June COMPUTERUSER from Kansas City, enclosed a disk copy of infoZine for June, and welcomed .COM to the cyber frontier. I also asked permission to reprint his front page editorial from .COM Version 1.1 so that our readers could feel his excitement about the Internet and what it means to Argentina. His editorial is reprinted in Spanish with his permission.


Hola, Hi, Shalom, Ciao

Hablemos. Ante tanta novedad tecnológica, tanta velocidad en los cambios y tanto bombardeo de información, necesitamos conversar. Proponemos hacerlo desde estas páginas, amigables, conocidas en su formato tipo diario, fáciles de doblar y llevar bajo el brazo al parque, al subte, o cualquier otro sitio.

Necesitamos conversar para saber que está pasando a nuestro alrededor, hasta dónde llegan los cambios que se muestran en todos los ámbitos, cómo nos cambian a nosotros, cómo usar tanta novedad. Se dice mucho acerca del futuro, del hogar computarizado, del control remoto que todo lo controla, la desaparición del papel, y la vida en estaciones satelitales. Fántastico que así sea, pues son realidades en camino. Sin embargo, muchas cosas nos están pasando hoy, aquí y ahora. Y a esta realidad queremos darle contención.

Procesar la información, despejar la paja del trigo, ubicar los temas-eje. También ir aprendiendo a utilizar los nuevos medios que se nos ponen a disposición. Básicamente estos son los objetivos de ".com". Dicho en otras palabras, queremos acompañar la evolución de Internet en la Argentina, pregonar sus novedades, reflexionar sobre su impacto cultural, ventilar los chimentos del cyberespacio. Contamos, desde ya, con la participación de los lectores y de toda la gente del ambiente para hacerlo posible.

En medio de una incipiente y profunda transformación cultural, de la que es protagonista, Internet en Argentina tiene quien le escriba.

copyright ® 1996 puntocom, buenos aires.argentina

The English translation has been provided by Beatriz Z. Colman of Belgrano University, Buenos Aires, Argentina http://www.ub.edu.ar/. She is the author of TERMINOS DE USO ACTUAL PARA NEGOCIOS, COMERCIO EXTERIOR, FINANZAS Y ECONOMIA (a glossary, English/Spanish-Spanish/English of commercial terms).


Let's talk. We need to talk due to so much technological news, fast changes and information bombardment. Our suggestion is doing it through these friendly pages having a typical book shape - as you have already seen - easy to fold and carry under your arm when going for a walk in the park, on the subway or someplace else.

We need to talk in order to get to know what's happening around us, to understand where those changes are going, how could they be used by us, and how these things could change us. A great deal has been said about the future - computerized homes and remote controls, the way paper is disappearing, and the way life is in satellite stations. It's really fantastic - they are real things about to happen. However, many things are happening to us, here and now, and we want to talk about them.

Basically, COM's objectives are to process information, clear up things, identify the central issues and learn the way of using these available tools. In other words, we would like to accompany the Internet's evolution in Argentina. We want to inform about its news, to consider its cultural impact and reveal cyberspace gossip. We count on you readers and on all the people interested in this area, in order to make that possible.

Our country is at the center of the beginning of a deep cultural change and we want to write about the Internet in Argentina.

Copyright ® 1996 puntocom, buenos aires.argentina


An now comes the part about learning a foreign language online. In fact, I am talking about learning two foreign languages - Spanish and Computereze. Computereze is the international language of computer terminology. Where ever I went in Argentina, I was able to talk with the computer owners, computer techs and vendors regardless of their ability in English or my lack of ability in Spanish - as long as we were talking about computers. Computereze is an international language - if you have mastered it in English you will get along fine in any other country (much of the terminology of Computereze is English and so makes the learning of the rest of the Spanish that surrounds the Computereze that much easier).

.COM has a web site at http://www.punto.com/ where you can get the latest version of .Com In this way, you can study Spanish and also keep up with the developing language specific to computers in Spanish.

Copyright 1996 William Eubank

Added to the WWW 09-21-96
Updated 05-24-97

William R. Eubank Jr.

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