>>>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