Love/hate Esperanto

Jamie On   Sunday, September 28, 2003, 13:48 GMT
Do you think nothing has come of Esperanto?
Clark   Sunday, September 28, 2003, 18:58 GMT
In terms of becoming an international language; yes, nothing has come of it. There are debates sometimes in Europe about making it the official language, but I think the people depating this are not the politicians but linguists.

In terms of revolutionising Artlangs, yes, something has come of Esperanto. After Esperanto showed up, there were hundreds of Artlangs, and then there started to be even more Conlangs (though not talked about as much). After Esperanto, there was Ido (supposed to be the better version of Esperanto), Latino Sine Flexione (I never get the spelling right--this language is what it says; "Latin without flexions"), Interlingua (almost like Latin, Spanish and Italian put together to make one very simple language), and then we cannot forget Volupuk. But I think Volupuk came before Esperanto; anyways, Volupuk proved to be too hard to master, so it never really caught on at all.

I still think that in order for a Conlang/Artlang to become very close to a Natlang in terms of native speakers, there has to be some sort of firm base connection like a club, organisation, etc...
ThaiBoxer   Monday, September 29, 2003, 06:09 GMT
Could u elaborate what Conlang is? and the revolutionised Artlang you're talking about
Clark   Monday, September 29, 2003, 16:11 GMT
Artlang = Artificial Language
Conlang = Constructed Language
Jamie On   Monday, September 29, 2003, 20:26 GMT
Oh! I thought artlang was a language made for artistic reasons rather than communication.
Clark   Monday, September 29, 2003, 20:33 GMT
I thought so too, but when Is tarted to COnlang seriously, I quickly found out this is not the case.

Many Conlagers hate Artlangs for some reason too.
Jamie On   Tuesday, September 30, 2003, 18:55 GMT
That reminds me of an exhibition they held in London recently which had grandmasters meeting artists who had made "whacky" chess sets, or just purely based on artistic outlooks.

So does an artificial language stop being "fake" when people take it up and use it?
c:\program files\bot.exe   Tuesday, September 30, 2003, 19:13 GMT
So does Jamie On stop being boring when people listen to him or read his posts?
mjd   Tuesday, September 30, 2003, 22:11 GMT
Is there any web site where I can hear Esperanto being spoken?
Clark   Tuesday, September 30, 2003, 23:46 GMT
I would say no; or at least not yet as not enough people speak Esperanto.

I would be interested to see something, though I doubt I ever will. You know how languages eventually start to die out because native-speakers start to die? Well, the process goes from lots of speakers to little speakers, to a dead language. In the case of Esperanto, it would, in theory, be the exact opposite; no speakers to a little speakers, to many speakers (and then whenever the language lost popularity for whatever reason, it would have the same fate as any other language that was going to die).

I still think the language would be fake, but if enough people started to speak it, there would soon be a culture that would pop up around this language. And then there would be historical events eventually that would be significant for Esperanto-speakers. The speakers of the language would have to be in a central location though, because there would have to be some sort of unity or the language would be doomed (look at Yiddish; speakers spread out all over the world after WWII, and now the language is on the verge of extinction).

Eventually, if the Esperanto-speakers stayed together in one location, created a history for their language; the language would eventually be a real language with real speakers, but the language would have artificial (or fake) roots.
Lana   Thursday, October 02, 2003, 04:57 GMT
<<Eventually, if the Esperanto-speakers stayed together in one location, created a history for their language; the language would eventually be a real language with real speakers, but the language would have artificial (or fake) roots>>

Actually, even though it was a created language, Esperanto IS a real language with real speakers. And the roots are not artificial--the words are not 'made up', they are based on actual Latin and other indo-European words. So those are deep roots. It is not like someone just made up a bunch of nonsense and called it a language. The grammar structure is agglutinated, which is similar to that of some Asian languages--new words are made by adding affixes.

Personally, I like the Ido language better, because it is even more similar to Latin and sounds better to me, but it never caught on. I don't really care a lot for Esperanto, but I have learned some of it so I can read some international websites and newsgroups. It is definitely real and being used by many people to communicate--but it is not at all in the mainstream.

There was a movie made in Esperanto starring William Shatner called Incubus. mjd, if you do a search you should be able to find some sound files of Esperanto on the web.
Clark   Thursday, October 02, 2003, 05:30 GMT
Lana, yes, if you look at Esperanto in that way, than it is a "real" language.

I, too, like Ido better, but the popularity of Esperanto is better known, and I have spent more time with Esperanto than with Ido, so I would stick with Esperanto now because it would really just confuse me if I tried to switch over. Especially in the verbs is where I would get confused.

Esperanto = estas (am/are/is)
Ido = esas (am/are/is)