Love/hate Esperanto

Jamie On   Friday, September 26, 2003, 15:24 GMT
What do you think? I like the idea of a simple world language so that we can all easily talk to each other, but Esperanto itself looks and sounds so ugly, and it is far from perfect.

Clark   Friday, September 26, 2003, 15:58 GMT
I love the idea of a neutral language, but this is more of a European neutral language (I do not see any African or Asian influences in it, do you?).

Also, I like the idea of the simple grammar because it eliminates the complexities that one has to learn like one does in natural languages.
mjd   Friday, September 26, 2003, 17:00 GMT
I've never heard spoken Esperanto. I'd be interested in hearing it. What are some of its deficiencies?
Jamie On   Friday, September 26, 2003, 18:38 GMT
In my opinion, too many sounds like aj and oj (eye and oy), and some tricky consonant combinations because of rigid word-building rules, I think.
Sima   Friday, September 26, 2003, 19:54 GMT
I don't like the idea of a monolangual planet. It would be so dull and boring if 6 billion on the earth spoke the same language. In my family, we speak at least five different languages and two dialects and we use them all. I would be bored if I had to speak only with one language with my cousins.
Clark   Friday, September 26, 2003, 19:58 GMT
There are some point about Esperanto which I think make it not the easiest International Conlang out there.

For example:

There are two cases; nominative and accusitive. The accusitive case refers to the object that receives the verb. "I have a house" would be "Mi havas domon." The word for "house" is "domo," but since the word in this case would be in the accusitive case, an "n" is added (there is no indefinite article in Esperanto).

Recently, I was seriously thinking about picking up Esperanto because I like the idea of a neutral language, but I like French better, and truthfully, I do not see the language as being neutral because it takes solely from European languages and not from any other language from around the world. To get around this problem, one would have to create a language totally from scratch; the only inspiration would come from the persons brain and past experience with language.
Esperanto fan   Friday, September 26, 2003, 21:15 GMT
Esperanto is popular in asian countries as well. It's so much easier to learn than English. There is no way to include parts of ALL languages.

If you start totally from scratch, that makes it harder for EVERYONE to learn, which greatly decreases the chance that it would become used. Since it is 75% Latin, you should have no problem learning both Esperanto and French.

Esperanto is not meant to REPLACE other languages. Just to be a common denominator, easy to learn so people of all languages can communicate. It does not restrict the number of other languages you use.

Jamie On,
I agree with you about how Esperanto sounds--maybe not ugly, but rather awkward. Maybe that's because I haven't heard really fluent speakers. But I don't like the the plural oj (oy) sound!
Chris   Friday, September 26, 2003, 21:56 GMT
I love Spanish and I wouldn't replace it with any other language, I really don't now anything about Esperanto, but as Sima posted before, I don't think people would use one single language throughout the world since the whole world is not the same for all people.

Language comes from cultures and if cultures are different the language will ever be different too, even if they tried to create one single language for everyone to communicate as English seems to be now there will always be hundreds of ways to communicate all over the world.
Clark   Saturday, September 27, 2003, 01:48 GMT
Esperanto fan, I never said the language was not popular in certain parts; what I am trying to get across is that the language is not a neutral language. I used the example about creating a language from scratch to illustrate my point.
ThaiBoxer   Saturday, September 27, 2003, 03:33 GMT
Esperanto fan,

Which Asian countries are you talking about? AFAIK not much people know about Esperanto in south east asia, but I have a friend from Nepal who is fluent in Esperanto, then I assume you must refer to middle Asia. How about India or China?

Now I'm curious who would be the native Esperanto speakers if any?
Esperanto fan   Saturday, September 27, 2003, 03:48 GMT
Yes I understand what you are saying. I just mean it is not really possible to have a totally neutral language so why not use latin/germanic root words which so many people are familiar with--either from their native language or from studying a European language. The reason I say that is because an alphabet(whether latin, cyrillic, or whatever) should be used, not a character-based system. As for neutrality, the important thing is that it is a second language for all speakers so everyone is on equal footing.

Of course not that many people are familiar with Esperanto in any countries. If you search for Esperanto pages on the web, there seem to be a lot from China, Korea, and Japan. Also many from the US and UK. Fewer from other European and Asian countries.
The current estimate of the number of speakers is between 1 and 2 million. Not a huge number. There are a few "native" speakers who were taught as children along with their native language.
wassabi   Saturday, September 27, 2003, 05:55 GMT
ive tried to learn it...but didn't fully....its quite easy tho
Clark   Saturday, September 27, 2003, 07:02 GMT
I see what you are saying as well. This is yet another reason why I like natural languages better because they are connected firmly to culture. Conlangs are not connected to anything other than the idea of being a universal language. There is one conlang that was made in Norway I think, for a type of cult. I think if a person made a language using this general idea of attaching the language to something, the language would have some value.

Obviously I do not mean let's all join a cult and make up a language, I was just using this as an example. A better example to illustrate what I mean is to take a club. Let's say this club is for anyone round the world who collects flags. The founders of this club made of a language; Flaggish. If anyone who joined this club learned Flaggish, than the language would serve as a common bond for all flag collecters.

Esperanto does not have this kind of a connection to something firm. Yes, the Esperantoists could be considered a firm connection, but there is no real unifying factor other than language; which is not tangible.

I am too tired; sorry if I am not making much sense.
Jamie On   Saturday, September 27, 2003, 16:20 GMT
Basically, I think most people are agreeing with me, that it would be good to have a simple international language that is not associated with any one culture in particular. Esperanto-speakers might defend it as not being ugly but let's face it, it is.

I'm working on making a language that is simpler and more beautiful.
Clark   Saturday, September 27, 2003, 23:50 GMT
I have worked on many languages that are so simple compared to most Natlangs, but even if I published my work(s), nothing would come of it unless I had some sort of financial backing.