We are entering a new year, hopefully The first Indo-European Year.
I have been thinking about where we started, and what I thought exactly a year ago that it was going to happen with our Indo-European revival projects. Even though I usually complain a lot about our lack of resources, I shall say that if the coming years are so good as the last, then the language revival is certainly going to succeed.
I am quite happy now looking at the past, and I am usually very pessimistic. I won’t make an extensive report – we will publish one at Dnghu, I guess, around its first official anniversary, in March or so -, but here is why:
- Firstly, we had to deal with experts who knew about Indo-European and the EU, people in a poor region like Extremadura who, apart from supporting free software (GNULinex) and licences, usually want to fund only agricultural and industrial projects. After English, Latin, and also Esperanto and a thousand conlangs,… Still another language? We believed in the project, but never expected Extremadura to support it. Surprisingly, the University, the regional government and other public institutions liked it; also, two professors wanted to permanently support the idea, and so too the Department of Classical Studies.
- Secondly, the people: we thought they were not prepared for another language; in fact, the media repeated again and again “a new language for Europe“, when they wrote about our project. Some wanted us to talk for them in the radio and tv, and I think we didn’t do it that bad. At least we had the opportunity to say everywhere “It is not an invented language!“
- Then, the Internet: well, this is the worst part, and we are not done with it. Having seen the success of social-driven projects, like the Online Free Encyclopedia (Wikipedia), we wanted people from all Europe to collaborate, so that – unlike past revival projects, lead by tiny groups of experts – it was really a common European project, and we planned accordingly a roadmap for the installation and promotion of different free sites and collaboration-based projects. As with many plans, I suppose, ours was wrong, and there is still no Internet community to support us.
So, people and institutions in our region supported the project, but, on the other hand, the Internet hasn’t been able to help the project any further! We are now trying to fix some common mistakes in our web pages, and even in some legal and web design aspects, possibly an important source of the misinformation about ‘Europaio’ that can be found in the Web right now. If you think our projects are interesting, and know how to help spreading the word, please do it! We trusted specially the Internet and free technologies and licences instead of traditional channels, and by now it is exactly that what isn’t working the way it should – or at least the way it could. Examining Wikipedia’s history, one could say we should hire an expert in Indo-European languages to work in the websites, until they have grown into well-Google-ranked pages; the only problem is that, unlike Jimmy Wales, we don’t have enough money to hire such an expertise, and the University of Extremadura won’t spend more resources on us…