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On Thu, 19 Oct 2006 6:35 am, [log in to unmask] wrote:
> li [Todd Moody] mi tulis la
>
>>  Well, readings books is a real world situation, and there are
>>  plenty of
>>  books--good ones, too--in Esperanto.
>
> Maybe, but how many are original works and not translations?

One of the interesting and perhaps unique aspects of Esperanto is that 
it caught the interest of real writers (not just hacks) from a very 
early date.

> Even then,
> these probably consist of novels and poetry for which I have little
> interest.  Most of the reading I do is of a technical nature and I have
> yet to see any technical books or even school textbooks in Esperanto.

There are certainly *some* technical books in Esperanto, but I couldn't 
guess how many.  For one thing, a number of technical linguistic studies 
of Esperanto itself are in Esperanto.

> Utility is what a language is all about.  Esperanto was intended by Z 
> to
> be an IAL, not to create the new land of Esperantujo for its speakers.

That's true enough, but utility is in the eye of the utilizer.  I agree 
that Esperantujo is not what Z hoped for, but my point is that 
Esperantujo is itself a cultural achievement, with its own kind of 
utility.  It is more than a clique; it's a culture unto itself.  This is 
a unique event in human history, and it deserves more notice than it 
gets.  That term, "samideano", says a lot, even though it's almost 
impossible to say what that "sama ideo" is.

For me, there is an element of self-actualization in it.  I'm a native 
English (okay, American) speaker.  English is the language I passively 
absorbed.  But when I *choose* to communicate in a language that is 
mostly only spoken by others who have made the same choice, I do 
something that feels inherently significant.  I grant you that the same 
is true of anyone who learns and uses an auxlang, even if it has only a 
handful of speakers.  Esperantujo is all about that feeling, in my 
admittedly limited experience.  So for me, at least, "utility" goes 
beyond mere utility.

>>  I wonder if anyone has ever designed and promoted a language
>>  not as an
>>  IAL, not as an artlang, but purely as a social language
>>  (i.e., a vehicle
>>  of conviviality), which is what Esperanto now is, though not
>>  what it was
>>  intended to be.
>
> Good question, though I've sort of thought about using my person
> language that way.  It's still very much in the early stages though and
> is designed to suit my personal tastes (ex: has phonemes like /T/, /D/,
> and /1/) rather than being designed for ease of learning as with the
> auxlang projects I have.

It makes me wonder whether Toki Pona's success, such as it is, is due to 
its having no IAL pretensions--but it still brings people together to 
talk.

Todd Moody