Perfection in Esperanto, Ido, Interlingua,…

When someone has learnt natural languages different from his or her mother tongue, invented languages appear always to be imperfect when compared to them, as contradictory as it may sound, given that perfection is what their creators try to achieve.

I’ve tried to learn Esperanto at least three times, and always left the grammar or learning method in the first lessons. Its aim of being the world’s only IAL, and its great community of supporters appealed to me. But, the aura of perfection – ‘no irregularities’, ‘perfect corresponding alphabet’, ‘culturally neutral’ ‘mixed vocabulary’,… – that many people try (wrongly) to assign to it as introduction in their learning materials just shows how imperfect it actually is, as only a language invented by one man or a small group can be.

I’d rather learn Japanese, Chinese and Korean as the world’s three IALs than the easiest Esperanto, if I had the choice; for me, it’s not only about having one instrument for communication; languages are not computers, they are the living rest of the intrahistory (Unamuno) of people. If I learn Zamenhof’s language, I am learning the words and structures that sounded good to his mind; I haven’t ever heard a good reason why he chose “verda” for “green”, “fari” for “make” or “fermi” for “close”.

I wish I could travel to the past and visit him, and show him the advances made in Indo-European linguistics since the 19th century, and offer him present-day IE studies, so he could publish a “Sperantom”, so that the great Esperanto community of today were a Sperantom community, now that the EU is approaching a new, more important political and social stage. Pro-Europeans shouldn’t be so divided in the linguistic issue.

But I can’t. What I can do today is to publish a summary of others’ studies and research in a free grammar; and I can create a Group to request funds for a European non-profit corporation, whose aim is to provide a single, common, official language for the EU; and I can wait to see if an IE community is born to support the revival of this old, natural language, hoping that people are not yet too tired of looking for the best choice among perfect, constructed languages, to try an imperfect, reconstructed one like European.

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