Esperanto : a good solution to both babelization and (English) globalization

RflctnOfU

Jedi Council Member
#16
Bastian said:
Ailén, how long did it take you to inform yourself about Esperanto ?
(Your message are usually more relevant than this one.)
Ailén said:
As good as all this may be (or sound), I tend to disagree. First, there is no real culture behind Esperanto, and a language without a culture ends up being devoid of lots of meanings, and is not able to "evolve naturally", only artificially, in the same way as it was created.
That's wrong : there is a culture behing Esperanto : books (25,000+) and magazines and music are written (or translated) in it.

For instance, the Esperanto version of Wikipedia ranks 27th (with 170,000+ articles) among others, ahead of Danish.
_http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/List_of_Wikipedias

Is that "real" enough ?
I think you are misunderstanding what Ailen is saying.

Ailen said:
You missunderstood me. When I said "culture", I didn't mean what you are referring to, but real people's habits, customs, etc.
What Ailen is talking about is not a 'subculture' growing up around a language, but the reverse, osit. Organically, if you will. Formed from life, and circumstances of life, itself. It's all well that desktop jockeys thought this up. The problem is that it (esperanto) has no meaning, in the true sense of that word.

Kris
 
#17
I suppose you could learn Esperanto and it might look good on a resumé if it were 1989. While you're at it, you could learn Tolkien Elvish, Loglan, Lojban, and enough Klingon to ask where the bathroom is.

No, but seriously, I think conlangs are fun, but just fun, that's it. I find the Mayan, ancient semitic, and Sanskrit languages much more interesting.
 

janosabel

The Force is Strong With This One
#18
What is behind such hostility to Esperanto? Give the language another hundred years and a bit less shallow criticism, it may have the culture of global peace behind it.

Once I was at an international gathering organized by some Brazilians. I listened in where a group was in animated discussion. "fo you speak Portuguese?" I asked one of them I knew was from France. "No, we are speaking Esperanto". I marveled.
 

Almariel

A Disturbance in the Force
#19
Esperanto wasn't never developed to substitute any native language. It functions as a complementary language. English, on the other hand, is clearly imposing itself at other languages' expense. You should do some more research on Esperanto. Zamenhoff's ideals were very noble. And about "Esperanto's lack of culture", Esperanto has lots of speakers and cultural products around the world. But, what is better: Esperanto doesn't represent any national culture at all (it's not imperialistic), but serves as a vehicle for international understanding and ideas transmissions.
 
#20
I always wondered why Esperanto was so liked by its users.
Whereas it has for example a descendant constructed with more collaboration : Ido
http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ido
It is simplified and was wanted more universal than Esperanto :
http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Ido/How_is_Ido_different_from_Esperanto%3F
But to go further we could say that the use of Latin alphabet is not so universal regarding the Arabic, Asian world or others... The large use of English contributed to legitimate that alphabet since the creation of the Esperanto.
My thinking on that subject is that I liked that idea of universal language because I was not good to learn foreign languages... But I admit that the lack of history and culture behind a language is something that I am not comfortable with.
 

Yas

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
#21
I admit that I know little about Esperanto, but I agree that it might just add a burden instead of solving a problem.

English has its advantages too, I agree that imperialism is one of the reasons it is so spread, but it is also because of the simplicity of the language which makes it an easy language to learn (for a functional level, I mean). Grammar in English is very simple, if you compare it to many other languages.

I think that sometimes you have to use what's already there, that is, if English is the international language now, instead of trying to bring up another language (that won't go global unless there is imposition of some sort), you can learn that language and do your best with it. Learning a language is about practice, so once you learn the basics, by "doing your best with it" you can learn even more over time. I think of it as using the enemy's energy in our benefit, instead of wasting our energy to try to impose something in the natural flow of the world just because we don't like English.

Besides that, while we can have the many advantages coming from know the international language (namely, access to information and networking globally), you have the access to understand the language of the empire itself, which definitively gives you a plus. Moreover, I think that you don't loose your language and your culture just because you learn another language, at least, that's my experience. On the contrary, by learning different languages you can expand your understanding of the world without loosing what you have learnt so far.

Finally, I wanted to point out that, even though it is true that being English the international language, it gives advantages to native speakers in a way, from my experience as a teacher, and for what I know about international examinations, people from around the world can achieve a proficiency English level while native speakers can't just because they're not interested. So, one thing is colloquial English and the use of English by most of the people, they've got a vocabulary and structure according to their use of the language; but, for academic English, everyone (natives and nonnatives) need to learn the vocabulary and other structures that are used in that context. I work with Cambridge examinations, for example, and the University lives out of foreigners who study there, and there are many examples of foreigners who speak "English" better than the average natives themselves...

By the way, English is a language that is spoken mostly by nonnatives, especially Indians (there are more Indians who speak English than "native" English speakers), and most Indians still speak their own language and keep their own culture throughout their lives. Similarly, Chinese people live around the world and they learn the local language but most of them keep close to their culture and traditions in some way, and most of them keep their language, of course.

So instead of trying to create something unnatural, which would be very difficult to make it flow naturally/organically, I repeat, we can use what's already there and use our energy for other things...

Fwiw...
 

Bastian

Jedi Master
#22
Yas said:
English has its advantages too, I agree that imperialism is one of the reasons it is so spread, but it is also because of the simplicity of the language which makes it an easy language to learn (for a functional level, I mean).
It's not that easy to learn. (Esperanto is ten to fifteen times quicker to learn than English.)
Quite difficult to spell or pronounce correctly without being a native speaker, lots of pronominal verbs with quite different meanings depending on the pronoun, and so on, and so forth.

Have you notice that the words (particularly verbs) most commonly used are also the most deformed ones ?
To be, I am, we/you/they are, (s)he is ?!?


Moreover, I think that you don't loose your language and your culture just because you learn another language, at least, that's my experience. On the contrary, by learning different languages you can expand your understanding of the world without loosing what you have learnt so far.
Do you mean lose / losing ? (Hey, English is hard to spell correctly !)
_http://www.ross.net/notes/loose.shtml

So instead of trying to create something unnatural, which would be very difficult to make it flow naturally/organically, I repeat, we can use what's already there and use our energy for other things...
To me, Esperanto (and many other "conlangs"), because its structure is more logical, flows more "naturally" than many "natural" languages.
And there is no such thing as a "natural" language : they're all artificial, as human creations. You should rather write : non-consciously designed languages.

We can make a parallel between systems of measurement and languages : there are many traditional systems of measurement (including the English units), but the metric system is a lot more rational and easier to use - so it became globally used by scientists and many people. Are the English units more "natural" ? Similarly, a rationally designed language could be a lot easier to use, as an auxiliary international language.

And someone's willing to learn a "natural" language for international communication, beyond English and Spanish (or even French), should nowadays consider learning some "Chinese" (standard Mandarin in particular).

Anyway...
 

Yas

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
#23
Bastian said:
Yas said:
English has its advantages too, I agree that imperialism is one of the reasons it is so spread, but it is also because of the simplicity of the language which makes it an easy language to learn (for a functional level, I mean).
It's not that easy to learn. (Esperanto is ten to fifteen times quicker to learn than English.)
Quite difficult to spell or pronounce correctly without being a native speaker, lots of pronominal verbs with quite different meanings depending on the pronoun, and so on, and so forth.

Have you notice that the words (particularly verbs) most commonly used are also the most deformed ones ?
To be, I am, we/you/they are, (s)he is ?!?
As I said at the beginning, I know little about Esperanto, so I'm not saying that English is easier than Esperanto, I'm just saying that it is easier than many other languages such as Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, Russian, Chinese, etc... because these other languages are far more complicated. Of course, if you are a native, they'd be easy for you... but English is fairly easy to learn for speakers of other languages. That was my point, I'm not comparing English to Esperanto specifically.

Bastian said:
Moreover, I think that you don't loose your language and your culture just because you learn another language, at least, that's my experience. On the contrary, by learning different languages you can expand your understanding of the world without loosing what you have learnt so far.
Do you mean lose / losing ? (Hey, English is hard to spell correctly !)
_http://www.ross.net/notes/loose.shtml
:lol: thanks! Yes, try spelling in those other languages I mentioned. ;)

Of course you'll make mistakes now and then in any language, even if it's your own language (I make mistakes in Spanish all the time, and for what I've seen, Germans make mistakes in their own language all the time)

Bastian said:
So instead of trying to create something unnatural, which would be very difficult to make it flow naturally/organically, I repeat, we can use what's already there and use our energy for other things...
To me, Esperanto (and many other "conlangs"), because its structure is more logical, flows more "naturally" than many "natural" languages.
And there is no such thing as a "natural" language : they're all artificial, as human creations. You should rather write : non-consciously designed languages.

We can make a parallel between systems of measurement and languages : there are many traditional systems of measurement (including the English units), but the metric system is a lot more rational and easier to use - so it became globally used by scientists and many people. Are the English units more "natural" ? Similarly, a rationally designed language could be a lot easier to use, as an auxiliary international language.
I agree with this, but there will be an imposition of some sort anyway, or you are hoping that everyone will just agree to use Esperanto as a language? So, English is already there, why fight against it?

Bastian said:
And someone's willing to learn a "natural" language for international communication, beyond English and Spanish (or even French), should nowadays consider learning some "Chinese" (standard Mandarin in particular).
I also agree with this, and we should probably learn Russian too.
 
#24
Wow, so much hate for a language that simply was intended as a bridge. I like the idea of it. There and no irregularities in it, not in spelling, not in structure. The fact that it isn't truly a living language has its advantages too. Why do you think so much of our scientific vocabulary is based in Latin? The meanings are fixed. Esperanto was never intended to replace living language. As far as those that think that english is so great for international communication they are all probably Americans (maybe a couple of Aussies thrown in). The spelling of English words is insanely difficult. We Americans often times do not spell correctly even with a college degree. Think about it. Our language is seriously messed up. Also since it is not a living language the vowels are not constantly shifting. You get dialects with living languages, all Esperanto has to worry about is accents. I would argue that most languages are easier to learn than english. What is actually harder ... tonal languages? Yeah okay, I'll conceed that. I also think we should learn multiple languages anyway. It opens up more thought patterns. It is the mental equivalent of giving someone who is color blind the ability to see in what we call full color, or better yet bird vision (they use 5 pigments unlike our 3). Just saying.

Comparing Esperanto to a living language is just weird and misses the point of it. Cool there is literature in it and what not, but it was meant to be a bridge for communication.
 
#25
You want to stop globalism dead in its tracks?

Just imagine if we were to stop communicating in English at least on an international level... :cool:
Speak with a Glaswegian accent. Learn Navajo, Hungarian or Maltese.

Buy local stuff, eat local food, speak local languages and dialects, meet local people (who are still there when we're taken off the grid)

We may be some time away from being able to communicate telepathically, so don't unlearn English yet as it still is a useful tool for networking against globalism... ;-)
 

Chu

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
#26
Wow, so much hate for a language that simply was intended as a bridge.
You obviously haven't read this thread carefully. Nobody expressed hatred for Esperanto.

I like the idea of it. There and no irregularities in it, not in spelling, not in structure. The fact that it isn't truly a living language has its advantages too. Why do you think so much of our scientific vocabulary is based in Latin? The meanings are fixed. Esperanto was never intended to replace living language.
Sure. But that's not going to prevent globalization, for all the reasons discussed in this thread already.

As far as those that think that english is so great for international communication they are all probably Americans (maybe a couple of Aussies thrown in).
Wrong. At least about 80% of the people who participated in this thread are not native English speakers.

I think there are some problems with English too, but more so in terms of how simple and vague it can sometimes be, thus becoming vulnerable to all kinds of ideologies that want to corrupt language&thought. E.g. the neutral pronoun debate. But it is what it is, it is today's vernacular, and there are many positive aspects to it, like how easy it is to learn for basic communication and understanding.

The spelling of English words is insanely difficult. We Americans often times do not spell correctly even with a college degree. Think about it. Our language is seriously messed up.
In that case, most other languages are "messed up", since that is often the rule rather than the exception. But I think that is focusing on details, and not on what this thread was about. Sounds/spelling are just one component of a language.

Also since it is not a living language the vowels are not constantly shifting. You get dialects with living languages, all Esperanto has to worry about is accents. I would argue that most languages are easier to learn than english. What is actually harder ... tonal languages? Yeah okay, I'll conceed that.
It depends. Some tonal languages are super simple in terms of grammar, but difficult for writing, pronunciation, etc. Other languages are way more difficult than English when it comes to sentence structure and grammar, but super easy regarding spelling/pronunciation. Do you speak any other languages?

I also think we should learn multiple languages anyway. It opens up more thought patterns. It is the mental equivalent of giving someone who is color blind the ability to see in what we call full color, or better yet bird vision (they use 5 pigments unlike our 3). Just saying.
I agree with that, but for those who have an inclination to do so, of course. Learning multiple languages is great, but other people can also get the "full color" through other activities, like being open and diligent to all kinds of research, for example.

Comparing Esperanto to a living language is just weird and misses the point of it. Cool there is literature in it and what not, but it was meant to be a bridge for communication.
But they say communication is at least 60% non-verbal (sometimes more). There is a lot more than words and phrase structures to language. Anyone who has learned a second language would probably tell you that it is only when they start thinking in that language, living it, experiencing it as closely a possible as native speakers, that they really communicate well in it.
 
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