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#20195 - 02/26/01 10:44 AM Esperanto
macha Offline
stranger

Registered: 02/26/01
Posts: 1
Loc: Trinidad & Tobago
Why are we using English as lingua franca, whreas its pronunciation is difficult and often illogical, its spelling objectionable and since long up to reform(which goes for French too!)?
Not to mention the serious handicap that non-native speakers have compared to native ones! (Could this be the reason why today America and its little brother the UK( "uk" meaning exactly that in Dutch!), in all their linguistic megalomania, are ruling the world c.q. the EU?)
Considering furthermore its proverbial lack of precision and despite the fact that I don't speak a single word of Esperanto, I strongly believe that the issue should anew be discussed at the UN, whether Esperanto as the universal language is the answer to this crucial question!



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#20196 - 02/26/01 01:29 PM Re: Esperanto
maverick Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/15/00
Posts: 4757
its proverbial lack of precision...

I don't believe you could be more wrong about the main bodies of Englishes (note the plural) used in the modern world, whether US or UK or Antipodean or other variants. The language has evolved over a long period of time by adopting loan words and new transfusions of structure and meaning from many, many other languages, with the result that it has the largest core vocabulary of any major world language. The effect of this is to allow unprecedented control over nuances of meaning between almost-synonyms drawn from different cultural roots.

As for any grand plan to conquer the world - nah! The current state of English as the de facto world language is largely a historical accident of two major world empires having used the same core language. Other peoples now adopt it out of choice to enable their personal needs and dreams.

Esperanto, like so many bureaucratic grand schemes, will always fail when tested against this popular will enacted out by millions of individuals taking their own personal choices. There may well come a time when English no longer has such a key role to play; but we can be certain that it will NEVER cede authority to an artificial construct of this kind!

Now Chinese might be a more interesting possibility...


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#20197 - 02/26/01 02:47 PM Re: Esperanto
Jazzoctopus Offline
old hand

Registered: 07/03/00
Posts: 1094
Loc: Cincinnati & Loveland, Ohio, U...
It seems right now that all of the people that have newly posted in response to this week's theme have a starkly contrasting opinion of the English language on the global stage. While those who have posted for the first time on this subject today appear to have a scornful view of English as a tyrannical overpowering force that is trying to suck in more people and destroy other languages. This, in my opinion, is a fallacious claim. As mav said, the dominance of English is purely coincidental and nothing but it's sheer volume of usage is pushing it on others. Those of us who have been here for a while realize that English is a growing, changing language that is very accepting to the entrance of new words. This is part of the beauty of English. In English one can express any number of shades of meaning and this makes it very desirable for literature. Perhaps a massive collection of words isn't the best for a global language, but this just happened, and no supreme dictator enforced this on the world at any time.

And about Chinese, I don't think that language will be gaining any global influence as long as it remains an isolationist communism.


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#20198 - 02/26/01 04:15 PM Re: Esperanto
deguoren Offline
stranger

Registered: 02/26/01
Posts: 6
Loc: USA
Esperanto, like so many bureaucratic grand schemes, will always fail when tested against this popular will enacted out by millions of individuals taking their own personal choices.

There are many prejudices and objections against Esperanto. Esperanto certainly is not a bureaucratic scheme. It was developed for the use as an auxiliary second language by an individual who was simply addicted to languages. Just as you are. The inventor of Esperanto had no bureaucratic schemes or plans to conquer the world in mind.

One of the advantages of Esperanto as an international language is the fact that it is neutral, because it is not a national language. However, this turns out to be also an obstacle for a wider spread of its use or even of it becoming a world language. As there is no Esperanto-land you can visit, most people do not see any reason for learning such a language. The number of speakers around the world is too small (a few million) for Esperanto becoming a major player for global languages. Moreover, any national language has a more or less large support from one or more nations. This is not the case for artificial languages like Esperanto.

Artificial languages are a wonderful playground for people who love languages, but it is unlikely any of them will catch on as an internationally accepted global language.



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#20199 - 02/27/01 12:33 AM Re: Esperanto
Bingley Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/09/00
Posts: 3065
Loc: Jakarta
In reply to:

And about Chinese, I don't think that language will be gaining any global influence as long as it remains an isolationist communism.



Point of information: Chinese is also the national language of Taiwan, and is one of the national languages of Singapore. It's quite widely spoken in SE Asia, and shares most if not all of its characters with Japanese. Although the current mainland regime certainly has its regrettable features, it could easily become much more expansionist than it is at present.

Bingley

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Bingley

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#20200 - 02/27/01 12:38 AM Re: Esperanto
Bingley Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/09/00
Posts: 3065
Loc: Jakarta
In reply to:

One of the advantages of Esperanto as an international language is the fact that it is neutral, because it is not a national language.


While it's true Esperanto is not a national language, it follows the patterns common to European languages too closely to really be a neutral language. It's probably nearly as difficult for speakers of Asian languages as any other European language.

Bingley

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Bingley

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#20201 - 02/28/01 08:47 AM Re: Esperanto
maverick Offline
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Registered: 09/15/00
Posts: 4757
wonderful playground

You make some interesting points, Holger. I would still maintain that Esperanto is essentially a bureaucratic scheme though, since as you rightly point out it is not rooted in any natural speech community. A ‘wonderful playground’, yes; but is it more meaningful than a clever crossword puzzle or other extrinsic wordplay? I think not, since a ‘language’ without a natural speech community is like a stream without a source. Bottled water, preserved in a flat and insipid state for all time, may be fine in a desert - but give me natural language that dropeth as the gentle rain from heaven!

As Mencken said, “A living language is like a man suffering incessantly from small haemorrhages, and what it needs above all else is constant transactions of new blood from other tongues. The day the gates go up, that day it begins to die.” This kind of vitality, I suggest, can only be found when responsibility for a mother tongue’s changing usage is vested in a wide and diverse group of individuals. Take this Board, for instance… we rarely agree on anything except our common love of language!



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#20202 - 03/07/01 03:47 PM Re: Esperanto
deguoren Offline
stranger

Registered: 02/26/01
Posts: 6
Loc: USA
While it's true Esperanto is not a national language, it follows the patterns common to European languages too closely to really be a neutral language. It's probably nearly as difficult for speakers of Asian languages as any other European language.

I meant politically neutral. I apologize for the lack of precision. I agree that Esperanto - although artificially constructed - is a European language as its main vocabulary and grammatical features are borrowed from romance, germanic, and to a lesser extent from Slavic languages. This is one of the few points I do not like with Esperanto.

On the other hand it is difficult, indeed, to create a really neutral language. Other artificial languages, like Lojban for example, are not based on natural languages as for vocabulary and grammar, but still use the latin alphabet. A completely unbiased approach would require a totally new system of symbols or letters, but then you run into problems with acceptance and the difficulty to learn such novel structures. As a consequence most artificial languages make a compromise between borrowing features from existing languages and inventing novel features.


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#20203 - 03/07/01 04:04 PM Re: Esperanto
deguoren Offline
stranger

Registered: 02/26/01
Posts: 6
Loc: USA
Bottled water, preserved in a flat and insipid state for all time, may be fine in a desert - but give me natural language that dropeth as the gentle rain from heaven!


Nice example. Would you also prefer taking a bite out of a living cow instead of opening a can of cooked meat?

As Mencken said, “A living language is like a man suffering incessantly from small haemorrhages, and what it needs above all else is constant transactions of new blood from other tongues. The day the gates go up, that day it begins to die.” This kind of vitality, I suggest, can only be found when responsibility for a mother tongue’s changing usage is vested in a wide and diverse group of individuals. Take this Board, for instance… we rarely agree on anything except our common love of language!

This is a very good point, indeed! And it also applies to Esperanto! In the very beginning the Esperanto community was as lively and diverse as this board, and so was the language itself. But after a couple of years some guys worried about the continuous discussion about developing the language further and fixed grammatical rules and vocabulary as if it was the ultimate thing. This, of course, was the point when Esperanto stopped to expand and ever since there is a great deal of stagnation. It even made the Esperanto community fall apart as many objected this decision to 'lock' the language. The biggest block of Esperantists leaving the community were those who created Ido, a kind of reformed Esperanto (which was not a big success either). The communities of other artificial languages should learn from this (partial) failure.


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#20204 - 03/07/01 09:12 PM .
Max Quordlepleen Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/12/00
Posts: 3409


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#20205 - 03/09/01 04:21 AM Re: Esperanto or Klingon
Shoshannah Offline
member

Registered: 02/26/01
Posts: 116
Loc: Jerusalem, ISRAEL
Max>even the entire Bible is available in Klingon!

What a great idea! Do you know where I can find this Bible in Klingon - as a tour guide in the land where the Bible was written, it would be incumbent upon me to have it available in as many languages as possible and be able to quote from at least some of them - I mean, what if I should actually get a tour group of visiting Klingons (not impossible the way things are here these days - they may be the only ones not afraid to come) and they don't understand my references at different sites!

Truth is - I don't know Esperanto either - could someone point me to a site that is recommended for better understanding this global language???

Shoshannah
wonder what that would translate to in Klingon?

_________________________
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#20206 - 03/09/01 04:49 AM .
Max Quordlepleen Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/12/00
Posts: 3409



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#20207 - 03/09/01 12:28 PM Klingon bible
Sparteye Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 01/05/01
Posts: 1773
You mean to tell me, Max, that someone was actually able to translate all that turn-the-other-cheek, love-your-neighbor new testament stuff into Klingon? I would've thought there were no Klingon words to express such concepts. Live and learn.


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#20208 - 03/10/01 06:26 AM Re: Klingon bible
jimthedog Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 02/24/01
Posts: 387
Loc: Hartsville, New York.
Of course somebody translated the bible into Klingon. They translated Hamlet also.

jimthedog

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#20209 - 03/11/01 09:43 PM Re: Klingon bible
maverick Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/15/00
Posts: 4757
They translated Hamlet also

Yeah, but Hamlet's useful...


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#20210 - 05/16/01 05:21 AM Re: Klingon bible
jimthedog Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 02/24/01
Posts: 387
Loc: Hartsville, New York.
Yeah, but Hamlet's useful...

Not according to half the people at my school.

jimthedog

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#20211 - 07/16/02 12:40 PM Re: Esperanto
David Curtis Offline
stranger

Registered: 07/14/02
Posts: 1
New to this discussion, I have yet to see any mention of power. When the French were powerful, their language was the most important at top-level meetings. When the British Empire existed English took the place of French. Now that the USA is the most powerful country, English is the main world language because of the power of the USA, not Britain. Esperanto has no power behind it, so enthusiasts like me must accept that it will not become the second language for all. But it has a place for all who are interested in international communication on a basis of equality; and these are many. Opponents of Esperanto should first qualify in the language, then test its efficacy by participating for at least two years in some of the very many organised Esperanto meetings held all over the world. Otherwise they do not know what they are talking about.


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#20212 - 07/16/02 04:04 PM Re: Esperanto
wwh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
Dear David Curtis: I think that the dominance of a language depends on the economic
advantages it can offer its speakers. A strong economy makes employment for its
speakers, both domestic and foreign, and at the same time makes military power possible.
America's military did not become powerful until the economy was strong enough to
provide the funds for it.


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#20213 - 07/16/02 05:59 PM Re: Esperanto
maverick Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/15/00
Posts: 4757
Welcome, David.

I take your point that no-one can know the full value or internal qualities of a language (such as Esperanto) without tasting it on their own tongue over time. However, I do not think we can therefore dismiss all others' views on such a construction leaving commentary only to those with a vested interest either. That would be somewhat akin to denying me the right to decry murder just because I have never murdered anyone.

I agree with you about the relationship of language and power. Indeed that was one of my early points, in suggesting the almost accidental way in which forms of English have gained such worldwide pre-eminence:

The current state of English as the de facto world language is largely a historical accident of two major world empires having used the same core language. Other peoples now adopt it out of choice to enable their personal needs and dreams.



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#20214 - 08/24/02 02:26 PM Re: Chinese
Wordwind Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 6296
Loc: Piedmont Region of Virginia, U...
Just a question. Is it true that Chinese is actually a body of several languages? That provinces in China speak different kinds of Chinese and that members of certain provinces cannot understand the spoken Chinese of others? The reason I ask this is I once knew someone from China who told me he couldn't understand some Chinese speakers. However, he grew up in America, was fluent speaking with his immediate relatives, and had only been to China once in his life. That's where he encountered problems when traveling around the country. His problem may have been isolated.

Anyway, if anyone knows more about this, please post here.

Best regards,
WW


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#20215 - 08/24/02 02:51 PM Re: Chinese
of troy Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/17/00
Posts: 5400
Loc: rego park
Yes, spoken chinese is so different from one area to another it can't be understood.. but all the languages use the same characters to mean the same thing.(so any one can read something and come to the same understanding.)

think just of american engish and english english..

"fanny" has very different meanings.

"schedule" (is that skedule? or shedule?) is spoken differently)

to hospital? or to the hospital?

now imagine, the changes that can, and did occur over the thousands of mile that chinese is spoken, over thousands of years!

Mandrin is one main "dialect", Cantonese is an other.. there are thousands.. some are fairly close to each other, but all have some differences..

a character in chineses might represent a period of time (from new moon to full) it could be said as "two weeks" or "for'tnight", or 14 days, all very different words, but each represents the same interval of time.
but if you "said" it as for'tnight, many here in US would not know what you meant.. So too with chinese.. the idea (an interval of time that is 1/2 of a lunar month) can be expressed in many different "sounds". Not every one knows all the different sounds, but if presented as written chinese, it would be understood by all of the "speakers".

_________________________
my other obsession

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#20216 - 09/12/02 12:59 PM Re: Esperanto
vika Offline
member

Registered: 06/20/02
Posts: 161
Loc: Aberdeen, Scotland
>vocabulary and grammatical features are borrowed from >romance

now, that would be a language that everybody understands...
make love - not war!
:-)


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#20217 - 09/14/02 11:04 AM English as a global language
vika Offline
member

Registered: 06/20/02
Posts: 161
Loc: Aberdeen, Scotland
>I have yet to see any mention of power. When the French were powerful, their language was the most >important at top-level meetings. When the British Empire existed English took the place of French. Now that the >USA is the most powerful country, English is the main world language

This is a good point but not complete picture. Russian empire used to be very powerful and not only in Europe but in Asia ass well but nobody (big groups of people outside the empire) ever tried to study Russian. Too complicated. I think that Chinese as the most difficult language has only theoretical advantages (which Esperanto also has but see the discussion) and it will never become the language of the Net, for example.

English language is as simple as Basic in contrast with C++ if you compare it with Chinese, German or even French.


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#20218 - 09/14/02 12:11 PM Re: English as a global language
wwh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
Dear Vika: Almost two hundred years ago political power prompted increase
in French speakers. Russian power made many US schools offer Russian. My
second daughter planned to teach Russian until she found how shabbily
Harvard treated the women in the Russian department. So she went to medical school.
But it is the commercial advantages of English currently that predominantly motivates its
acquisition as a second language. That may persist for an appreciable period, since neither
India nor China possess a single national language that appears likely to become competetive.



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#20219 - 09/15/02 07:56 AM Re: English as a global language
Faldage Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13803
I think that the reign of French as the standard language of diplomacy extended well beyond the time of France as an effective global superpower. I believe that it was the openness of English to foreign influences, a quality actively opposed in the French language, that gave English the edge in the twentieth century. Having a world wide empire may be necessary to establish a world language but it is not sufficient. English has been about change since the days of the Danelaw. The language is a creole taking bits and pieces of every language it has touched and for this reason is more available to other peoples.


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#190973 - 05/09/10 06:10 PM Re: . [Re: Max Quordlepleen]
Dr Robb Kvasnak Offline
stranger

Registered: 05/09/10
Posts: 4
Hi! I am new here. I am a fluent speaker of Esperanto despite the fact that I have two mother languages (first languages) that are rather widely spoken around the world: American English and German.

At this point in time, Esperanto is no more artificial than Hochdeutsch or Cambridge English, both of which have been purposefully and consciously shaped by a group of people. Esperanto has slang (lots of it), dialects, and is used in daily life (e.g. in my house). My partner is Brazilian and so we both have acquied the other guy's language (well, his German is still a work in progress).
I have made love in Esperanto, sworn in Esperanto and used Esperanto to talk about grocery shopping and who should wash the dishes. I have also dreamed (or dreamt) in Esperanto.
There are native speakers of Esperanto (George Sorros is one of them). New words come into the language (e.g. "mojosa" - means something like "cool" in English. Noone knows how that word came about, it just did.)
Esperanto is not, as someone here wrote, a bouquet of plastic flowers. It is a living language. In fact, there are no non-artificial languages. All languages were created by humankind. Unless you are an evangelical protestant and believe that God created language and passed it down to us, then you must believe that humans created language.
I don't mean to contradict anyone here but I feel as hurt by some of the things people say about "my" language as they would if I were to make fun of their language. Furthermore, I have the impression that some of those who criticize Esperanto don't speak it or have ever studied it.
jI recently delivered a paper at a conference on the use of morphology in teaching Chinese vocabulary and was surprised when I was writing the paper that Chinese "creates" words in the same way that Esperanto does and that both languages have a large body of unbound morphemes which can be used as heads or codas for new words, which is not true of most European languages.

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#190974 - 05/09/10 09:21 PM Re: . [Re: Dr Robb Kvasnak]
beck123 Offline
addict

Registered: 02/22/10
Posts: 655
Loc: Florida, USA
Welcome aboard, Dr. Robb. There's no need to be defensive about the artificial origins of Esperanto. So what if one person essentially made up from whole cloth the grammar, syntax, spelling, etc.? That certainly doesn't make it a useless construct. That it has evolved (and is evolving yet) only underscores its different origin from other languages - in 300 years, "original" Esperanto will be unintelligible to Esperanto speakers.

On the other hand, to say that all languages were "created" by humans in the same way Esperanto was is patently specious. All of our many languages evolved from preexisting forms through the contributions of millions of people using the language(s) to suit their needs. As will happen to Esperanto. But no committee of Cro-Magnons decided the entire structure of their language at a sitting and presented it to the grunting populations outside their cave. The ability to speak and the vehicle of language evolved initially from lesser skills. The origins of Esperanto and virtually every other language that has ever been are inarguably different. Again - So what? That doesn't make Esperanto bad, but it does make it unique.
_________________________
"I don't know which is worse: ignorance or apathy. And, frankly, I don't care." - Anonymous

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#190979 - 05/10/10 06:51 AM Re: . [Re: beck123]
Faldage Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13803
Originally Posted By: beck123
The origins of Esperanto and virtually every other language that has ever been are inarguably different. Again - So what? That doesn't make Esperanto bad, but it does make it unique.


But not so unique as to make it sui generis. Cf. e.g., Lojban, Ido, Na'vi, Sindarin, etc.

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#190982 - 05/10/10 08:59 AM Re: [senskriba titolo] [Re: Faldage]
zmjezhd Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/13/05
Posts: 3290
Loc: R'lyeh
I think that Esperanto will have succeeded when it has two mutually unintelligible offspring, and, no, I do not count Ido.

But, on a more serious note, that Mandarin Chinese and English both have unbound morphemes is is not unusual as world languages go. Esperanto has more inflections (bound morphemes) than English or Mandarin.
_________________________
Ceci n'est pas un seing.

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#191037 - 05/11/10 01:34 PM Re: [senskriba titolo] [Re: zmjezhd]
belMarduk Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/28/00
Posts: 2891
Originally Posted By: Dr Robb Kvasnak
Hi! I am new here. I am a fluent speaker of Esperanto despite the fact that I have two mother languages ...

... but I feel as hurt by some of the things people say about "my" language as they would if I were to make fun of their language.


Dr Robb, the posts you are referring to are eight years old. Check out the posted date on the right of the post-box. No point in being hurt eight years later.

That said...

You can love your language but denying its origins is not honouring it. It is a recently constructed (in the late 1800s), deliberately-planned language. It did not evolve, it was carefully crafted. The fact that it is now evolving does not make it any less artificial in origin.

The fact that it was crafted does not demean the humanitarian reason for its creation though, i.e., better communication might lead to better getting along.

Revel in it, champion the cause – getting along is a good cause – but don’t get on a soapbox with the wrong history, people will only discount you for it. Instead, honour the root of the language for what it was meant, a tool of better understanding and peace.






Edited by belMarduk (05/11/10 01:36 PM)

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#191042 - 05/11/10 06:48 PM Re: [senskriba titolo] [Re: belMarduk]
Dr Robb Kvasnak Offline
stranger

Registered: 05/09/10
Posts: 4
Funny, once things are written online they are there - even if they are 8 years old. It's a bit like words blurted out that can never be unsaid.
People are very sensitive when it comes to language. After all, our language is part of our persona, our personal identity. I find it strange that people can criticize Esperanto but I haven't read anyone here criticizing English, which in my view isn't a very pleasant sounding language (with the exception of the Jamacan dialect). And I stand to my statement that at least parts of English have been artificially contrived by prescriptive grammarians, e.g. the hang up with the "split infinitives" and "dangling prepositions".
And yes, I am quite aware of the fact that Dr. Zamenhof purposely crafted the original version but then he did a remarkable thing: he stepped back and let the language community take over. I find that awesome. And the language community has reacted just as the speakers of all living languages - some things become standard and others don't. For a linguist, it must be interesting to see this happen. It is alot like Nicaraguan signing - watching a young language evolve.
Many neologisms in national languages are crafted (Ipod, walkman, Kleenex, Xerox, etc.) and nobody finds these words artificial (instead we say that they were "coined").
My partner and I prefer to speak Esperanto together even though I speak Portuguese and he speaks American English (neither of us has a fondness for English - though we both wrote our dissertations in it) because it is a special bond between us. And we experience that special bonding when we speak with others around the world in Esperanto, for, with the exception of the some thousand "denaskaj Esperantistoj" (native speakers), all of us have stepped half way to meet each other. None of us are in need of taking on another's culture in order to meet each other, as one must do when using a national language.
So we meet on a common ground, both sides having made an effort to approach the other.
As for the bound and unbound morphemes, all prefixes and sufixes in Esperanto theoretically may be used as root words. The fact that grammatical morphemes are added gives one the freedom of sentence structure.
So you get things like "la onta parado" (the future parade). But one is not bound by the etomology of the word as one is in English. In English (all varieties) there are pretty tight rules as to the use of Greco-Latinate morphemes and Anglo-Saxon morphemes. Thus, "*dogology" as the study of dogs is impossible. And consider the words inconvenient, ignoble, immature, counterclockwise, uncover, disappear, maladroit... I suppose one can find that fascinating and beautiful if one does not have to learn those forms as a second language. I have taught many years of ESOL and I have seen the frustration of students struggling to figure out why one cannot say malconvenient and why the opposite of uncanny is not simply canny. There might be something glorious about all that though it surpasses my understanding.
I am struggling with the same phenomenon in my studies of Chinese. My assistant sort of grins (he is from China) when I construct sentences using the same pattern, only that particular form is not correct. Recently, I said that I had been very ill - I said: Wo bing jile. Well, one may not use "jile" with bing (ill) to mean very, though Haojile (very well) is correct. Again, I suppose that that is very beautiful but it isn't making my command of Chinese move rapidly forward.

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#191052 - 05/11/10 10:24 PM Re: [senskriba titolo] [Re: Dr Robb Kvasnak]
beck123 Offline
addict

Registered: 02/22/10
Posts: 655
Loc: Florida, USA
"I find it strange that people can criticize Esperanto but I haven't read anyone here criticizing English, which in my view isn't a very pleasant sounding language"

Maybe you should read some of the threads, Dr. Robb, before making a comment like this. And, again, identifying the origin of a language is not criticism of a language. I for one find your defensiveness tiring already, so maybe you should unfold your arms, take the frown off your face, and discuss Esperanto with us. We all are here because we enjoy languages and what one can do with them.
_________________________
"I don't know which is worse: ignorance or apathy. And, frankly, I don't care." - Anonymous

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#191067 - 05/12/10 11:12 AM Re: [senskriba titolo] [Re: beck123]
belMarduk Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/28/00
Posts: 2891
>>>I find it strange that people can criticize Esperanto but I haven't read anyone here criticizing English, which in my view isn't a very pleasant sounding language (with the exception of the Jamacan dialect).

I have to agree with beck123, you really should read a lot more threads to make such a comment. You'll find both praises and pans – and not just for the English language but for several other languages.

>>>None of us are in need of taking on another's culture in order to meet each other, as one must do when using a national language.

I don’t agree with this comment. It is not necessary to take on another person’s culture to learn a language. I enjoy learning new languages but remain true to my French Canadian culture from Québec. English speaking Canada does not have the same culture as English speaking U.S.A. or English speaking England. To lump them together because they speak the same language is very narrowminded; it means one is looking at only one aspect of an individual to classify them.

I do think that to learn and understand the idioms, you need to immerse yourself in a culture. For example, there is no way you would know what I mean when I say I need to stop off at the store to get some push-push unless you were a French Québecer. You could get a list and learn the idioms, but you wouldn’t know why the idiom means what it means.

But again, immersing yourself in a culture, is not “taking it on” and does not erase your own culture.

=================================

Do stay for a while. You’ll see that we have members from all over the world, each with his or her own culture; and not abandoning it for one bit.

It may be a little time consuming to read all the back threads though, I mean, we’ve been around since 2000. If you stay a while, you'll quickly find that we are a very diverse group.

And don’t mistake disagreement for aggression. Sometimes, in a heated debate, a post that is meant to be assertive and determined can be misconstrued. Open discussion always works. And wasn’t that the original point of Esperanto?



* P.S. Push-push is hairspray

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#191068 - 05/12/10 12:34 PM Re: [lindaj verboj] [Re: belMarduk]
zmjezhd Offline
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Registered: 08/13/05
Posts: 3290
Loc: R'lyeh
>>>I find it strange that people can criticize Esperanto but I haven't read anyone here criticizing English, which in my view isn't a very pleasant sounding language (with the exception of the Jamacan dialect).

I have to agree with beck123, you really should read a lot more threads to make such a comment. You'll find both praises and pans – and not just for the English language but for several other languages.

I see no need to criticize either language in order to elevate the other. I grew up speaking English and am comfortable with it. It was an accident of my birth. I have criticized it on this board and elsewhere. Especially its inadequate and horrible spelling "system". Does Esperanto's more regular and systematic spelling make it better than English? I doubt it. For me statements about the aesthetic or logical or whatever superiority of one language to another are rather meaningless.

>>>None of us are in need of taking on another's culture in order to meet each other, as one must do when using a national language.

I don’t agree with this comment. It is not necessary to take on another person’s culture to learn a language. I enjoy learning new languages but remain true to my French Canadian culture from Québec. English speaking Canada does not have the same culture as English speaking U.S.A. or English speaking England. To lump them together because they speak the same language is very narrowminded; it means one is looking at only one aspect of an individual to classify them.

I am learning Japanese at the moment. When learning a language you learn a great deal of the dominant culture that speaks that language. I don't see Japanese culture subsuming my American one any time soon. I am learning a lot about Japanese culture though. As Belmarduk says, The are many Anglophone and Francophone cultures in the world. I have spent some time in India and the culture I was immersed in there is quite distinct from the cultures I observed in the UK and the States. There are languages that are separate from culture, too. Latin, Sanskrit, and Esperanto come to mind. It seems to me that most writing in Esperanto is poetry and translations, but this could just be due to ignorance on my part. What is the Great Esperantist Novel?

I have studied Esperanto briefly, as well as a host of other constructed languages. The creation of artificial languages is indeed a fun activity. My major criticism of Esperanto would be that its phonology is difficult for most people whose native language is a non-Indo-European one. As a linguist I have often wondered about the effect of a person's native language on his/her Esperanto grammar and syntax.
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#191069 - 05/12/10 02:20 PM Re: Esperanto or Klingon [Re: Shoshannah]
Dr Robb Kvasnak Offline
stranger

Registered: 05/09/10
Posts: 4
edukado.net, lernu.net, esperanto.net, esperanto-usa.org - and the articles in Wikipedia are pretty good

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#191070 - 05/12/10 02:39 PM Re: . [Re: Max Quordlepleen]
Dr Robb Kvasnak Offline
stranger

Registered: 05/09/10
Posts: 4
Somebody asked about original literature in Esperanto. Here is a starter:Proza Fikcio / Prose Fiction

Baghy, Julio: Sur sanga tero (UEA)
Baghy, Julio: Viktimoj
Boulton, Marjorie: Okuloj
Bulthuis, Hindrik Jan: Idoj de Orfeo
Engholm, Stellan: Homoj sur la Tero
Forge, Jean: Mr. Tot aĉetas mil okulojn
Francis, John: La granda kaldrono
Francis, John: Vitralo
Lorjak: Regulus
Luyken, Heinrich August: Pro Iŝtar
Matthias, Ulrich: Fajron sentas mi interne
Miyamoto Masao: Naskitaj sur la ruino
Nemere István: Sur kampo granita
Newell, Leonard Nowell: Bakŝis
Oŝlak, Vinko: Jen la sablo el mia klepsidro (UEA)
Piĉ, Karolo: La litomiŝla tombejo (UEA)
Ribillard, Jean: Vivo kaj opinioj de majstro M' Saud (UEA)
Robinson, Kenelm: Se grenereto
Cezaro Rossetti: Kredu min, sinjorino!
Rossetti, Reto: El la maniko (UEA)
Rossetti, Reto kaj Szilágyi, Ferenc: 33 Rakontoj: la esperanta novelarto
Schwartz, Raymond: Kiel akvo de l' rivero
Schwartz, Raymond: Vole, novele
Steele, Trevor: Sed nur fragmento
Szathmari Sandor: Vojaĝo al Kazohinio (UEA)
Szilágyi, Ferenc: Koko krias jam (UEA)
Szilágyi, Ferenc: La granda aventuro
Ŝirjaev, Ivan: Sen titolo
Štimec, Spomenka: Ombro sur interna pejzaĝo
Tóth, Endre: Lappar, la Antikristo
Urbanová, Eli: Hetajro dancas
Varankin, Vladimir: Metropoliteno
Poezio / Poetry

Auld, William (red.): Esperanta antologio
Auld, W., Dinwoodie, J.S., Francis, J., Rosetti, R.: Kvaropo
Auld, William: La Infana Raso
Baghy, Julio: Pilgrimo
Baghy, Julio: Preter la Vivo
Boulton, Marjorie: Eroj
Giŝpling, Miĥael: El Sisma Zono
Goodheir, Albert: Merlo sur menhiro
Hohlov, Nikolao: La tajdo
Kalocsay Kalmán: Streĉita Kordo (UEA)
Kock, Edwin de: Fajro sur mia Lango (UEA)
Kurzens, Nikolai: Mia Spektro
Maura, G.E.: Duonvoĉe
Miĥalski, Eŭgeno: Plena Poemaro
Miyamoto Masao: Invit' al Japanesko (UEA)
Montagut, Abel: Poemo de Utnoa
Neves, Kamaĉo, Dek, Fernández: Ibere Libere
Peneter, Peter: Sekretaj Sonetoj (en Libro de Amo)
Privat, Edmond: Tra l' silento
Ragnarsson, Baldur: Ŝtupoj sen Nomo
Rossetti, Reto: Pinta Krajono (UEA)
Sadler, Victor: Memkritiko
Schwartz, Raymond: La Stranga Butiko
Schwartz, Raymond: Verdkata Testamento (UEA)
Su, Armand: Poemoj de Armand Su
Tarkony Lajos: Soifo
Ungar, Krys: Meznokto Metropola

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#191073 - 05/12/10 03:05 PM Re: . [Re: Dr Robb Kvasnak]
LukeJavan8 Offline
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Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 6608
Loc: Land of the Flat Water
What is Esperanto for "Gee Whiz"?
Impressive.
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#191074 - 05/12/10 03:06 PM Re: . [Re: Dr Robb Kvasnak]
BranShea Offline
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Registered: 06/23/06
Posts: 5282
Loc: Netherlands, the Hague
Hendrik Jan Bulthuis (1865-1945), ( Hindrik Jan Bulthoys ) was a Dutchman, customs official, author, and translator of more than thirty works. One of his novels, Idoj de Orfejo (Children of Orpheus) is listed in William Auld's Basic Esperanto Reading List.

Does it not go a bit far to also translate an author's name?

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#191075 - 05/12/10 03:18 PM Re: [manieroj] [Re: Dr Robb Kvasnak]
zmjezhd Offline
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Registered: 08/13/05
Posts: 3290
Loc: R'lyeh
Somebody asked about original literature in Esperanto.

Somebody? Kiel diras oni "etiketo" en Esperantujo? Anyway, nice list (In the meantime I have been looking over some of the literature articles on the Esperanto Vikipedio.) I don't see Claude Piron on your list. Another question: how many Esperanto novels have been translated into English or other languages?
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#191201 - 05/21/10 02:20 AM Re: [senskriba titolo] [Re: beck123]
jeanlery Offline
stranger

Registered: 05/21/10
Posts: 1
Originally Posted By: beck123
"I find it strange that people can criticize Esperanto but I haven't read anyone here criticizing English, which in my view isn't a very pleasant sounding language"

Maybe you should read some of the threads, Dr. Robb, before making a comment like this. And, again, identifying the origin of a language is not criticism of a language. I for one find your defensiveness tiring already, so maybe you should unfold your arms, take the frown off your face, and discuss Esperanto with us. We all are here because we enjoy languages and what one can do with them.


English Language is not that unpleasant as you think. Your right that we shouldn't judge a Language because it help us in many things. Exactly, we must enjoy and explore Language, though English Language is much interesting.
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#191210 - 05/21/10 12:15 PM Re: [senskriba titolo] [Re: jeanlery]
LukeJavan8 Offline
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Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 6608
Loc: Land of the Flat Water


Just reading some of the delightful limericks on that thread
here in AWAD one can see that the language can flow beautifully
and roll off the tongue wonderfully.
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#191213 - 05/21/10 09:21 PM Re: [senskriba titolo] [Re: LukeJavan8]
Faldage Offline
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Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13803
Likes and dislikes of languages are dreadfully subjective things. Many don't like German because it's so guttural. For me that's one of the beauties of the language. Some like French; why I'm not sure. I find it very irritating with its nasality. Purely personal prejudice. I don't say that people who like the sound of French are wrong and I would expect they not say that I am wrong for liking German.

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#191217 - 05/21/10 11:37 PM Re: [senskriba titolo] [Re: Faldage]
beck123 Offline
addict

Registered: 02/22/10
Posts: 655
Loc: Florida, USA
I'm fascinated by people who come to dislike their native language. No child dislikes his own language, so any eventual dislike must be something to which one allows oneself to become acculturated. I wonder if it's part of a more general syndrome of self-loathing that susceptible individuals acquire through exposure to persistent criticism of their native culture.
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#191222 - 05/22/10 08:03 AM Re: [la belo de kelpordo] [Re: Faldage]
zmjezhd Offline
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Registered: 08/13/05
Posts: 3290
Loc: R'lyeh
Likes and dislikes of languages are dreadfully subjective things.

Mostly the criteria people use seems to be phonological (phonaesthetics) or semantic. Grant Barrett ran down the intricacies of the supposed beauty of cellar door in a recent New York Times Magazine Language column (link). For the other, see the various least favorite words discussions (on say Language Log) which include blog, moist, panties, et al.

[Addendum: Geoff Nunberg noodles on Barrett's Selladoa.]

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#196781 - 01/28/11 06:15 PM Re: [senskriba titolo] [Re: beck123]
LukeJavan8 Offline
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Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 6608
Loc: Land of the Flat Water
Originally Posted By: beck123
I'm fascinated by people who come to dislike their native language. No child dislikes his own language, so any eventual dislike must be something to which one allows oneself to become acculturated. I wonder if it's part of a more general syndrome of self-loathing that susceptible individuals acquire through exposure to persistent criticism of their native culture.



Perhaps a dislike for political correctness and the language
that goes with it, would fit into this thought????
Just curious.
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