When the Croat monc Jura Krizhanich wrote his book Politika in the 17th
century he did not know he was using some kind of Interlingua. He tried
writing a Church Slavonian language adapted to his time's spoken Slavic
languages. (That's how I have understood the descriptions of his language.
I have read about it, but not seen the book itself.)
The mathematics' professor Sj=F6stedt of Uppsala wrote his own form of
Occidental in a book on mathematics. Any mathematician schooled in Europe
can read his book. But they would probably not do that, as the book was
published in 1948 and has certainly been overtaken by more modern findings.
Back in the sixties when I together with a friend was attending night
classes (between 18.00 to 22.00 h) in Latin I remember my friend once
saying - as he well knew about my interest in Esperanto at that time:
"Look, this Medieval Latin could function as an international language."
The idea had come to him on reading some scientific style English text.
And I agreed to this, remembering the propaganda texts in Occidental I had
read. That is, the one about the Conference in the big city, that Bob
managed to dig out from Cosmoglotta.
I think Intelingua is in line with that tradition.
One of the reasons for constructing an international auxiliary language is
to make it easier to use foreign languages in cotacts with persons knowing
other languages than one's own. I will not speak about the more or less
voluntary isolative pover that elites can use language for.
You can spend years in school and in reading litterature in a language
without getting a native's proficiency in it. Using an international
language I can then put myself at the same level as other persons who have
agreed to use that same language. We are changing our language level all
the time. When speaking with one of my neighbours here who is Polish, I'm
the one who knows, when we are using Swedish and he's the expert when we
use Polish. All these positions are interesting. You learn a lot.
Another idea about an auxiliary language is that you should be able to
learn it faster than a national one, because one of the aims of the
constructors has been to do away with as many difficulties as possible.
Objections from a linguist: "Difficulties for whom?"
And this is the problem of address. Whom do we address with our language?
And the answer here will depend on our image of the world and where we are
The languages discussed on this list that I have some knowledge about in
the sense that I can speak, read and write* some of them and understand
them spoken, all have their origin in Western Vocabulary and use this
common lexicon in different ways.
*I dare say that I am fluent in Esperanto and Interlingua and I am trying
from time to time to write in Occidental (as I want to be there when Bob
makes his final break through). But seriously one of my objectives is to
find out if Interlingua really does the job better than Occidental and in
that case why?
If you use the Esperanto or Ido strategy you have to find the people who
are interested in the matter and who are capable of learning the language.
The tricky thing is here, that you can find those interested in the idea of
an international language but incapable of learning it, as they don't have
the motivation necessary or the time and capacity to learn.
The Occidental or Interlingua approach is to build on already existing
language capacity. This type of languages use the international lexicon as
their constructors have understood it.
If this approach is founded on a correct analysis of reality you should use
the language as much as possible, trying to show to the prospective user
that such a language exists and that very little educational material is
This does not mean that neither Interlingua nor Occidental are _intended_
for WENSA speakers only, it only means that speakers of those languages are
bound to be those who come to know about these languages first.
If somebody can produce good teaching material (good textbooks and tapes,
then both Interlingua and Occidental can function as international
languages and are worth the while for those who want to take the trouble to
learn them, but we don't have this material as yet, so the question of e.g.
Thai-only speakers learning Interlingua is a hypothetical one for the time
being. And to produce lousy manuals in an international language for
monoglotts just damage the cause, as far as I can understand.
How many writers of Esperanto are there who only know their mother tongue
and Esperanto? If I were such an esperantist skulle jag inte kunna skriva
det h=E4r inl=E4gget/Mi ne povus skribi tiun chi mesaghon. Those who in earl=
years have acquired a technique to learn languages will of course learn
more than one language if that is necessary.
But a person who has aquired the international vocabulary - as identified
in the IED - can understand much interlingua. If he/she is interested in
the language it can be learnt. But you don't have to be a native speaker of
the source languages. I am not. A native speaker of Turkish may well be in
my situation. He/She may know English, very likely German and perhaps some
=46rench. Such a person, can, like me, understand Interlingua or indeed
Occidental so that the mere lerning the languuage is a piece of cake.
As long as you don't just use the international vocabulary to write a
language you will need some kind of a Fundament. The rules for choosing
words for interlingua is such a fundament for interlingua. For Occidental
the radicarium might serve the same purpose.
The Occidental approach to use what is international and may function in
the system is a good one, if one can keep All-Jibbering
hence called JR. It means that if you have a word like _early_ that you
have to translate in Interlingua, as the source languages does not permit
you do coin a word like _tempran_ (which I might do anyway), you can do
that in Occidental. On the other hand the technique of selecting words for
Interlingua can at best keep the JR's quiet, as long as they are not
beginning to change the system.
On the other hand, you may well use the IED to generate vocabulary in an
international language of the "prima vista" type with a freer use of
wordbuilding elements. One of Gode's multidirectional musings was just that
As long as there is a community using the language these differences
between Occidental and Interlingua are not so important as long as people
use the languages. For their self interest it is good if they use as much
of the official form as possible in the outward contacts. If they don't
outsiders will just get confused and drop the whole thing. And Mighty
Spirit of Many Names, beware us from the JR.
What I mean is this: If Swedes and Finns using Interlingua/Occidental for
their own communication are inventing sedia-slitta for the contraption that
we call a _spark_ and the Finns call a _potkukelkka_ and my Swedish-English
dictionary calls a _kick-sled, "sled with a seat and propelled like a
scooter", it is possible that there is a common word in the source
languages, and as time goes by this term will eventually pop up. We and the
Occidentalers will do the same thing, coin a word from what we have, and
then wait and see what reaction it will create.
This is the natural way words come up, by translation borrowings, calques,
by borrowing a word and giving it a special meaning "freestyle" for
"walkman" or "pocket" for "livre de poche".
The first word for _computer_ in Swedish was _datamaskin_ or
_matematikmaskin_ in some languages one used words like _electronic brain_
etc. then there was the final decision that the word would be _dator_ which
gives/works with _data_. French and Spanish have versions of
If we try to create a culturally neutral language built on logic - like
_lojban_ we will have to find the interested people and be sure that they
have the motivation and capacity to learn that langauge.
Let us now for discussion's sake suppose that we have produced an excellent
Chinese-language material in Lojban and lots of Chinese have learnt it, as
it seams to be easier for speakers of Chinese. Does this enhance their
communication capacity outside their own circles? It will be closely
dependent from the number of Lojban speakers outside China.
Compare this to the hypothetical situation that we have made an excellent
Interlingua teaching material for Chinese-only speakers? How would that
influence their communication capacity? Much, I think, as the Chinese who
knows Interlingua will also be able to communicate with lots of other
people, quite like I can, using interlingua.
Same goes for Occidental as soon as interesting texts are produced in that
=46or the time being I prefer Interlingua as there is more order in that
language, but I have a nostalghic feeling for Occidental. Oh if only!
[log in to unmask]
S-752 64 UPPSALA
Svedia - Sweden