May 22, 2008

THE END OF HISTORY IS WRITTEN IN ENGLISH:

Spreading the word (Claire Provost, 22 May 2008, New Statesman)

It is unlikely that George Soros, Japanese anarchists and William Shatner have much in common - except, perhaps, for their shared study of Esperanto, the "international auxiliary language" now more than 120 years old and being heavily promoted by activists in Hokkaido, Japan in advance of this summer's G8 summit.

Invented in 1887 by Dr Ludovic Lazarus Zamenhof, Esperanto is a constructed language with Romanic and Germanic roots, Belarussian phonology, and Slavic semantics. The young ophthalmologist wanted an intermediary language to break through the language barriers that pervaded his home region in Poland, where different ethnic and linguistic groups lived in relative isolation from one another - an isolation that bred fear, suspicion and occasional violence.

There have been many attempts to spread the word (or vorto in Esperanto), but the latest spurt of enthusiasm comes from among contemporary anti-capitalist organisers hoping to use it to facilitate international action.


When the Grandfather Judd graduated from High School he was too young to go to college, so they sent him to Peddie prep school for a couple years and he learned Esperanto. It didn't catch on a hundred years ago and isn't going to now. The Brights couldn't even get America to adopt the Metric System, they think they'll get us to talk gobbledygook?

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 22, 2008 10:08 AM
Comments

There's already a language perfectly suited to this purpose. It's called Latin.

Posted by: Guy T. at May 22, 2008 11:44 AM

Guy - don't you mean English?

Posted by: John at May 22, 2008 11:52 AM

For Leftists, wouldn't French do?

Latin

And if the demographics are right, Russian will be available soon, too.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at May 22, 2008 12:06 PM

Harry Harrison's Stainless Steel Rat series of novels posits Esperanto as the language of the future.
Also, the signage aboard the Mining Ship Red Dwarf is bilugual in English/Esperanto. I think Rimmer tried to learn it.

Posted by: Bryan at May 22, 2008 12:23 PM

No kidding, the pointy heads's egoes have no bounds. They really believe they are superior to ordinary folks. They expect an artificial language they created to replace the languages spoken by common folks. Latin, as a spoken language, died because the common folks whom the intelligentia disdained did not speak it. How does filthy rich Soro plan to force his language on the people. May be he doesn't care, he just wants to be "superior", the common people are too common to learn their language.

Posted by: ic at May 22, 2008 2:42 PM

Language is a communication tool, and as such its economics are similar to those of the Microsoft operating system. Since everyone wants something compatible with everyone else's, an established standard is almost impossible to dislodge as long as it performs just moderately well.

Meanwhile, to leftists, any idea they started thinking about five minutes ago just has to be better than anything which has been established for a while. Esperanto is an old chestnut to which successive generations of leftists are attracted like moths to a flame, so we can expect to see them again and again have a go at it.

Posted by: ZF at May 22, 2008 2:56 PM

The only place I have seen any metric road signs is on US-23 near Ann Arbor. That's all that needs to be said.

Posted by: Mikey at May 22, 2008 3:17 PM

I refuse to believe there was ever an actual person named "Dr Ludovic Lazarus Zamenhof".

That's more preposterous than esperanto...

Posted by: Benny at May 22, 2008 3:17 PM

English is already the global language.

Posted by: erp at May 22, 2008 3:25 PM

Sure, English would be fine too. About the only big problem (learning-wise) with English is the spelling, and even that can be guessed well enough to be understandable.

Posted by: Guy T. at May 22, 2008 4:27 PM

There is no economic justification for using a made-up "language."

One would have to be a folk-enemy, culture traitor or Boxer-Leninist to think this were a good idea.

Posted by: Lou Gots at May 22, 2008 4:36 PM

Hello from Wales. I speak Esperanto and have used it for many years to make travel easier. Of course, Esperanto can be used for any purpose from poetry to pornography, from travel guides to church services (the Bible in Esperanto was first published in 1926!).

It really is easy to learn and use.

Take a look at www.esperanto.net

Then tell me what you think?

Posted by: Bill Chapman at May 23, 2008 8:29 AM

Hello from Wales. I speak Esperanto and have used it for many years to make travel easier. Of course, Esperanto can be used for any purpose from poetry to pornography, from travel guides to church services (the Bible in Esperanto was first published in 1926!).

It really is easy to learn and use.

Take a look at www.esperanto.net

Posted by: Bill Chapman at May 23, 2008 8:31 AM

Hello from Wales. I speak Esperanto and have used it for many years to make travel easier. Of course, Esperanto can be used for any purpose from poetry to pornography, from travel guides to church services (the Bible in Esperanto was first published in 1926!).

It really is easy to learn and use.

Take a look at www.esperanto.net

Posted by: Bill Chapman at May 23, 2008 8:41 AM

BC: And yet you're talking about it... in English. The case, it is rested, yes?

Posted by: Just John at May 23, 2008 4:52 PM
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