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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

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

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!

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

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.

#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.

#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.

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

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.

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

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

#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.

#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.

#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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