How many words do we use in daily speech? A new study from the Royal Spanish Academy on language acquisition

According to the members of the Royal Spanish Academy (the Real Academia Española), humanities have experienced a decrease in importance for younger generations, English is becoming predominant, language in general is poorer in the Media and in all public speeches, classical languages disappear, people play less attention to reading, and computer terms are invading everything.

All involved in the research agree that language cannot be confined to any artificial limits, that it is mutable, it evolves and changes. However, they warn: it can also get sick and degrade. The mean Spaniard uses generally no more than 1000 words, and only the most educated individuals reach 5000 common words. Some young people use only 240 words daily.

Linguists, paedagogues and psychologists say those who write correctly demonstrate they’ve had an adecuate education, they’ve read books and they’ve exercized their minds. Thanks to that mental exercise we can achieve more elevated stages of reasoning and culture. Those who cannot understand something as basic as his own natural language will not achieve a big progress in his intellectual life, they assure.

Now, regarding those numbers and the concept behind the output of that study: would you say learning mixed conlangs like Esperanto – whose supposed benefits are precisely the ease of use, by taking the most common and simplest European vocabulary – could improve that worsening situation? Or do you think it’s better for European culture‘s sake to learn the ancient language from which Old Latin, Gaulish, Old Norse or Old Slavonic derived? It is probably not the main reason to adopt Europe’s Indo-European as the official language of the European Union, but it is certainly another great reason to learn it without being compelled to…

Source: Terra; read in Menéame

5 thoughts on “How many words do we use in daily speech? A new study from the Royal Spanish Academy on language acquisition

  1. I think that the “supposed” value of Esperanto has been proven time and time again, but I do agree that further research is necessary.

    Four schools in Britain have introduced Esperanto, in order to test its propaedeutic values. The pilot project is being monitored by the University of Manchester.

    Academic research on the value of Esperanto is essential, and perhaps it should be extended to other countries as well

    An interesting video can be seen at http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8837438938991452670

  2. @Brian Baker

    I think that the “supposed” value of Esperanto has been proven time and time again, but I do agree that further research is necessary

    What’s the difference between that sentence referring to Esperanto and, say, homeopathy? What if I tell you as your physician to substitute your “traditional medicine” for my great auriculotherapy, or for my herbal medicine? Woudln’t you tell me to fuck off with my faith and to use science (and not belief or scientism) to solve you problems? I, as a blogger, could tell you right now: “hey, abandon your common medicine and take X (acupunture, herbs, pray,…), because “it has been proven time and time again, but I do agree that further research is necessary”. “In fact, it is been proven right now, take a look at this research about X, which says it’s great”, without saying it is directed and financed by the “Association For The Promotion Of X”…

    That’s exactly what you are saying by using a supposed research explained, financed and probably directed by the “Universala Esperanto-Asocio” through some of its members in the Manchester University – as the Wikipedia article on Esperanto, written by Esperantists, asserts.

    The answer is not: “let’s learn creationism until evolution is proven”, but the other way round, because the burden of proof is on the least explained reason. If you want people to learn a one-man-made code to substitute their natural languages, then first bring the research and then talk about its proven advantages. You Esperantists have made the opposite, just like proposers of “altenative” medicines, and therefore any outputs are corrupted since its start by your false expectatives, facts being blurred, figures overestimated and findings biased in the best case.

    By the way, I don’t see how that video is “interesting” at all: it’s just another Esperanto-is-so-cool video; no facts, no studies, no reasoning: just Esperantist coolness everywhere…

  3. I think that the “supposed” value of Esperanto has been proven time and time again, but I do agree that further research is necessary.

    Four schools in Britain have introduced Esperanto, in order to test its propaedeutic values. The pilot project is being monitored by the University of Manchester.

    Academic research on the value of Esperanto is essential, and perhaps it should be extended to other countries as well

    An interesting video can be seen at http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8837438938991452670

  4. @Brian Baker

    I think that the “supposed” value of Esperanto has been proven time and time again, but I do agree that further research is necessary

    What’s the difference between that sentence referring to Esperanto and, say, homeopathy? What if I tell you as your physician to substitute your “traditional medicine” for my great auriculotherapy, or for my herbal medicine? Woudln’t you tell me to fuck off with my faith and to use science (and not belief or scientism) to solve you problems? I, as a blogger, could tell you right now: “hey, abandon your common medicine and take X (acupunture, herbs, pray,…), because “it has been proven time and time again, but I do agree that further research is necessary”. “In fact, it is been proven right now, take a look at this research about X, which says it’s great”, without saying it is directed and financed by the “Association For The Promotion Of X”…

    That’s exactly what you are saying by using a supposed research explained, financed and probably directed by the “Universala Esperanto-Asocio” through some of its members in the Manchester University – as the Wikipedia article on Esperanto, written by Esperantists, asserts.

    The answer is not: “let’s learn creationism until evolution is proven”, but the other way round, because the burden of proof is on the least explained reason. If you want people to learn a one-man-made code to substitute their natural languages, then first bring the research and then talk about its proven advantages. You Esperantists have made the opposite, just like proposers of “altenative” medicines, and therefore any outputs are corrupted since its start by your false expectatives, facts being blurred, figures overestimated and findings biased in the best case.

    By the way, I don’t see how that video is “interesting” at all: it’s just another Esperanto-is-so-cool video; no facts, no studies, no reasoning: just Esperantist coolness everywhere…

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