The need of a Universal Language

in religion •  3 years ago 

When I lately saw a news message about the fact that the United States is not neatly divisible by racial lines any more, this is only one aspect of the undeniable fact that the world is more and more one country in its essence, just not reflected in politics. One of my Esperanto friends we jokingly considered the wildcard for nationalities lately, because nobody including herself knows any nationality that reflects really who she is: hungarian father, french mother, born and studying in the Netherlands, parents living in Luxembourg and a french passport. Even I, undeniably Dutch by origin and also living her right now, am called often enough a world citizen because I manage to get around quite well in 11 languages, and I don't really regard borders in my everyday life.

We must thus regard that the practical organization of our world doesn't reflect this reality yet. Sure, out of necessity we adopt the English language in practice to get around. This doesn't work universally as a solution yet, because it's both hard to learn and very much divided in itself between all the countries that speak it and sometimes don't really understand each other. Yet it has many things to teach us about what we need in a World Language, and it does show us THAT we need one. If no Universal Language is chosen officially, we still have a provisorial one in practice, because we cannot do without in our current society.

For one thing, English has elements in it that are easy: basic vocabulary, when learned, is easy to use and doesn't change. For basic usage this often is enough. As a language for very basic communication, World English (Globish) certainly already succeeds really well. As a Universal Language for everything though, it falls terribly short. Still most aviation accidents are found to depend on communication problems, and the messages in the plane itself are far from universally understandable. English phonetics are terrible for international communication and spelling English also brings its own share of problems. We hardly have an internationally understood vocabulary, and the full English dictionary for general use is huge. Only few manage to get to a really decent level.

Esperantists plead for the introduction of Esperanto as an international language from 1887, and it is an effort that has a lot we can learn from. I speak it myself, and I must say that learning it teaches a lot both about the language problem itself and about what we need to solve it. Esperanto is an old project, and there are things we know now that weren't taken into account when creating Esperanto, but still I think it's the best project that works today, and one that I would heartly recommend to learn if you are truly interested in creating World Peace.

The Bahá'í faith has the introduction of a Universal Language among the firm beliefs of things we need to get world peace. Many things have been said about this, and the importance of Esperanto has been confirmed in what has been said about the Universal Language we need to have.

The Universal Language with all the elements that such a language should have doesn't exist yet, but I believe such a language is being created right now in the form of Pandunia, a project that takes into account everything we have learned about learnability of languages, fairness of language, it searches to take elements that make the language really feel to be of everyone from the start. The working language of most of its creation is Esperanto, and we have people from all over the world participating in deciding the fitness of the way of expression for the whole world. If you speak Esperanto and you are from a part of the world with interesting language and culture traits, you are very welcome to join, and everybody can already try to learn it.

What do you think about the need of a Universal Language? Do you think we are already there? What do you think is the role of Esperanto in this? How do you solve language problems in your daily life?

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Hi there! I'm Jim. I am an American born mutt. I am currently living in Taiwan studying Mandarin Chinese. In high school I learned to speak German relatively well and in my twenties taught myself to speak Spanish. Anyway I've been thinking a lot lately about a world language and what it would take to create one. I've got some interesting ideas and some people around me, interested. I would love to talk with someone who has an authentic interest in making a global language possible. I am new to steemit, like I've had an account for about five minutes and I am very interested to see what this can do as well. Thanks for posting.

Oh by the way, is there some way of private messaging on this site?

because this lives on a blockchain, you cannot really do private messaging. but you can privately message me on Telegram,

I think it is time to give Esperanto a try.

I've never heard of Esperanto before, very interesting.
I do think one universal language would be handy. If only for us 'regular folk' during vacations or to talk to people online.

  ·  3 years ago (edited)

Ja, jes Esperanto , la internacia lingvo estas interesa afero ! Vi ja povas kompreni ion.

Wow, that's actually quite easy to understand! Amazing :o

I would love to see some phonetic examples of Esperanto to make the comparison. I concur that English is "tricky" in pronunciation (not to mention the dialects and accents!), and limited verbally and adjectively speaking, not because of an embedded hindrance and limitation, but because most English speakers rarely have a vocabulary of over 800 words. Only comparing verb conjugations with, for instance, romantic languages; we can see a HUGE gap of information that is "lost in translation".

I think the biggest gap of information exactly comes from information that has to be embedded in our words, that isn't there in some source languages. This brings about a huge amount of incorrect interpretation of sometimes intentionally vague wording. Esperanto has the capacity to express things really exact, but in my opinion still has too much detail in its wordings to provide a true Universal Language. Other than that, for general international use I cannot see any way it would be worse than English for international use :) except maybe getting up to speed in the very first step...

  ·  3 years ago (edited)

Saluton amiko, dankon pro paroli pri tiu grava temo. Mi neniam aŭdis ion pri Pandunia. Mi sekvos tion. Jam mi sentis iom, ke Esperanto, kvankam tiel kara al ni, iun tagon atingos novan nivelon. Do ek !

I think that automatic translators similar to Google Translate and Bing will make the language problem less severe. There are also apps that translate spoken language automatically that help.
Creating a new universal language is an exercise in futility.
I speak Esperanto and at least four other languages besides English. I haven't heard of Pandunia, and while I'm skeptical about its future, I am curious about it, too.