Yes, here we are again with the same subject!
Not having enough with our ebooks and webs about our project, some Esperantists have written to us emails and even left their thoughts in our forum, still repeating the same reasons we have been hearing for a year, and also complaining about us competing with their ‘languages’! By the way, the forum is there obviously for Indo-Europeanists to collaborate, not for others to promote their inventions, however great they might think they are.
The concept of Modern Indo-European (or Proto-Indo-European language revival) and the concept of the thousand invented languages that are created as international auxiliary languages (like Esperanto) are obviously different, and shouldn’t be confused. I will try to enumerate the most evident differences:
- Indo-European was a natural language, spoken in a prehistoric community, and has evolved in thousands of dialects, while conlangs are inventions – usually of one man, sometimes with collaborators.
- Indo-European revival is about Europe, especially the European Union, and its multilingual population uniting under one common country, whilst IALs are about ‘uniting the world in peace’, or some kind of go ahead of a ‘Star Wars-like period‘ of the good people of the world uniting against the ‘Black Empire’, I guess.
- Reconstructed languages’ revivals have succeeded (as Hebrew) or failed (as Coptic) – sometimes neither one nor the other (as Cornish) -, but artificial languages have never done more than attract hundreds of well-minded idealists.
- Because of those facts, one could imply that people just don’t like linguistic inventions – however arrogant some individuals may be about their advantages -, as they don’t usually like revolutions that change completely their societies, but, on the contrary, they like the own history and culture – see Basque, Catalan, Breton, Occitan, Welsh, … revivals -, and thus like evolutions which improve society without destroying the own.
- Indo-European languages have near 3.000 million native speakers, i.e. half the world’s population, and near the other half learn IE languages; Proto-Indo-European has hundreds of thousands of learners, in the form of its old dialects (as Latin, Greek or Sanskrit), as well as a few thousand experts dedicated to its study; Esperanto has a very optimistic estimated (cogh cogh – estimated by who? how? which level of knowledge?- cogh) 1 million speakers.
- Esperanto is supposedly easier to learn – yes, indeed, as it is very easy to speak. For example, I haven’t learnt Esperanto, but if I wanted to smoke in a meeting of Esperantists, I guess I could ask something like “estas tu lo fairo per mi?”, which would be like “is to you fire for me?“. If you speak (like me) Spanish and English, or maybe French and English, German and French, Polish and Latin, etc. you will understand that – and also something like “ist yu de foc fur mei?”, or maybe “haf du de ignis por mik?”, and a thousand more possible stupid combinations of different common words. However, doesn’t it sound too dumb to let one occulist fabricate a language for you, when you have natural alternatives?
- Esperanto is “culturally neutral”. Yyyes, well, if you are Chinese or Japanese (or Arab or Iranian or Indian or Indonesian or…), I don’t think you will be able to understand such sentences as easy as we Europeans are; maybe because of that, the main Esperanto associations are founded in Romance-, Germanic- or Slavic-speaking populations. Indo-European, on the contrary, is not based on an individual culture (IE had never a culture of its own), religion, country, territory or even alphabet, but on a shared linguistic ancestor.
- Some Esperantists say that spoken Indo-European is an invention, as PIE’s oldest syntax (that of Hittite inscriptions and Vedic Sanskrit/Ancient Greek compositions) will not be used for Modern Indo-European, but instead a more modern syntax will substitute it. So, are you Esperantists (and the like geeks) really complaining about Modern Indo-European being artificial, because it uses the Proto-Indo-European language with a modern Indo-European syntax?! I cannot believe it… Just in case you are serious, it is obvious that such ‘distorsions’ of old languages to fit modern needs or uses are in fact very common in language revivals; you only have to look around a little bit (viz. Hebrew, Basque, Breton, Modern Latin, etc.).
- Some have even said that Esperanto (or Ido, or Volapük) has a “history” of a hundred years trying to bla bla… Wow! A hundred years?! Then I will learn Esperanto! No, really, I guess some of you just don’t know anything about Indo-European when you contact us: Indo-European studies began more than two centuries ago, and Indo-European languages have been spoken for more than 5 thousand years, so what is the point exactly in your inventions having a “history” of some years more or less?
- Some also say that there are books and films in Esperanto, while IE has none. That’s true, but our project of IE revival exists since March 2006, and we will see how many films and books are written in MIE in a hundred years ;-)
I hoped some months ago that the the posts about Esperanto I & II were enough, at least to make Esperantists refrain from trying to convince us (if not to attract their attention to collaborate with us), but I think now that when some people accept an idea, however stupid it may seem now, they just make everything to defend it…
Anyway, I hope you all good luck in your tasks, but please, please, stop making us lose our time with your emails and posts – No, we don’t like inventions, and sorry, but we won’t return to the old alternatives, viz. English, Latin, French, Esperanto or any other old combination.
[tags]Esperanto,Ido,Interlingua,Lojban,conlang,language,constructed language,artificial language,linguistics,international auxiliary language,IAL,Proto-Indo-European language,Indo-European studies,Indo-European language,Proto-Indo-European,Indo-European,Europe,European Union,Esperantist,Volapük,language revival[/tags]