by Oscar Mifsud
Well, to begin with, the in-thing nowadays is, unification and oneness. The trend is to have ONE system of measurement, currency etc., etc.. This is helping to bring peoples together and to ward off conflicts and wars between nations. So far nearly all attempts to unify have had very good results in recent years. But the change that is needed most urgently has so far been neglected for rather selfish reasons. What is needed most, is better communication, and for this to happen there is no better way than to have a common language for all. A world-language is the key to most of our global problems. Someone might point out that there is English . Everybody is learning English all over the world! Be that as it may, the fact remains that no particular native language belonging to any particular nation or country, is ideal for a world-language; for the simple reason, to name just one for the moment, that they all have their difficulties which it would be preposterous to expect them to remove for the convenience of others.
Take English, since there is a global craze for it. True, It is not only useful but it has now become necessary. However, meaning no offence to anyone, everything about it is full of difficulties and irregularities. When I ask my students to suggest the qualities of a suitable world language, they come up with things like: it must be easy to learn; it should be 100% phonetic; should have no fancy letters and accents on letters; should have easy spelling; no double consonants; no exceptions; easy conjugation of verbs; have an economic way of word-building to cut down on the strain on memory; easy grammar, etc... Now we all know that no existing national language has ALL these fine attributes to qualify it for a world language. English, it must be admitted, has absolutely none - not even one of these. The vowels alone give you a headache with regards to reading and writing. Pronunciation in general drives you crazy [ bed, bedevil ]; the spelling drives you mad [ belie, believe, receive, piece, peace, cat, kitten ]; and the grammar ?.Oh boy!
All this, very unfortunately, makes English most unsuitable for foreigners to learn quickly. I say very unfortunately, because we do need English and I am not in any way suggesting that people should not learn English at all. What I am on about is that besides English one could/should study a common language ,a world-language. And here I imagine someone saying: that there is Esperanto. But although it has been in use for over one century, it hasn't somehow caught on; not to a large extent anyway. It has all those fine characteristics mentioned above except one, because it has accented letters.
It may be argued that any new language must necessarily be artificial. So what? All man-made things are artificial by definition, Are we then to reject them on that account? What would we do without electricity, machines, vehicles and so many other things? Esperanto is just one such artificial language which has been proved to solve many language problems. Unfortunately, like most things on this earth, it is not perfectly smooth and without blemish. It has some though very few warts? such as letters with accents, and the non-use of some familiar letters like q,w,x,and y; and the introduction of some letters in used but with an added accent on them. These unfortunate defects have antagonized many, who nevertheless fully agree that there should be an easy world-language. The coming of the computer has made things worse mostly because of the accented letters. Requests by many to remove them have fallen on deaf ears, and Esperanto has begun to lose ground especially with people using Internet. I am a keen Esperantist, and had the accents been removed and w, x and y introduced in its alphabet I would have been satisfied; but something even better has happened.
A new world language, Mondlango (also known as Ulango) was born in China in July 2002. Its author/s, very wisely in my opinion, based it on Esperanto, removed all accents on letters and introduced the missing letters mentioned above. He/they went one better. Admitting the increasing popularity of English, they substituted English roots (phonetically) for the established Esperanto ones in many cases. This very wise step should, I think, satisfy everybody; because, in Mondlango we have exactly what we want: A very easy common language, 100% phonetic, employing no double consonants, streamlined grammar, no exceptions, no accents on letters, and, most important, very similar to spoken English. Naturally, Mondlango, being in its babyhood, is far from perfect and the least we can do is to give it a sporting chance to mature, prove itself and reach adulthood. This it can and will do because unlike Esperanto it is not cast in bronze and never to change. It will evolve and mature in due course to the delight of those who adopt it.
That is WHY, without abandoning Esperanto completely, I have chosen to switch to:
I'll stick with English.
Given the lack of success of Esperanto, I don't think it was such a great idea to base the new one on it. There's also Loblan and others, none of which has taken off.
It's grammar looks pretty familiar:
Originally Posted by RonBee
Verbs in the infinitive end in -i: iri=to go, vidi=to see.
The present tense is formed by replacing -i by -an: iran=go, vidan=see.
The past tense is formed with the ending -in: irin=went, vidin=saw.
The future tense is formed with the ending -on: iron=will go, vidon=will see.
The conditional uses the ending -uz:
If mi esuz yi.=If I were you.
The imperative ending is -ez: Sidez!=Sit down! Venez!=Come!
The active present participle uses the ending -anta:
fluganta birdos=flying birds,
leganta studento=a student who is reading.
Does this language eliminate homophone problems?
Originally Posted by tdol
You seem to know a lot about this new language. But, of course, you're smarter than I am.
The problem with all artificial languages is that, nice as they are in theory, they still don't eliminate all of the problems that learning a real langauge like English has. Plus, they don't take off because they will only work if enough people are learning them. Given that few are, they lack the critical mass to emerge as anything powerful- Esperanto has been around for donkey's years.
Why learn something no one is learning- this always strangles them at birth pretty much.
They also lack the complexity to develop into full languages because they don't have a large enough speech community obver time to develop the full needs of expression a human has.
They would be very good for tourism and travel though. I'm not sure about business as that involves the details and complexity of law.
Re: Why Mondlango?
Well, that is a chicken and egg argument! In fact there are quite a few folks who speak Esperanto. And it is possible to pick it up very quickly. I've been studying it literally for one week. My vocabulary is highly limited, but, with the aid of a dictionary, I can read perfectly complex texts in Esperanto already. I never got that far with Russian despite studying it for 5 years!
Originally Posted by Tdol
That is just plain ignorance. Esperanto is used by people to talk about any and all types of subject. It has some rich literature, both translated and original.
Originally Posted by Tdol
It is good for travel. It is also good for business - as some things which are ambiguous in English are not ambiguous in Esperanto. Plus Esperanto is almost completely free of peculiar idioms.
Originally Posted by Tdol
On the question of whether Mondlango is better than Esperanto, I don't know. It would be more popular among English speakers and possibly the speakers of other Germanic languages, and, if it takes off in China, then maybe it would replace Esperanto (it seems to be anglicised Esperanto). However, it is early days to say whether that will happen or not I think.
Re: Why Mondlango?
Artificial languages don't succeed for obvious cultural reasons. Here's a short (and, by all means, not at all comprehensive) list of the prerequisites for an artificial language to replace English as a world language:
1) It must be a native language of at least some countries (and preferably of countries that are powerful players in international politics and decision-making *wink, wink; hint, hint*).
2) A colossal amount of cultural international export must be available and acceptable worldwide (i.e. movies, songs, etc.) in this language
3) This language must be the Internet language.
4) There must be ready translations of all important bibliography (both fiction and non-fiction) for this language
Can you spell impossible?
Re: Why Mondlango?
I've traveled a lot and I've, practically everywhere, been able to make myself understood in English. Even with the little knowledge that I, or the people I spoke to, possessed of this language.
So, for me they can make English the universal language.