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Dave MacLeod wrote:
 > I think that would almost all depend on promotion. I'm in the Harlow
 > camp on that one, that once you have a fairly good design and your
 > language is stable and ready to go, that the only thing you can do is
 > start the long slog of translating content every day and spreading the
 > message. If it takes five years longer to create an IAL due to
 > checking a huge multitude of languages for the vocabulary, then that's
 > five years of language promotion that one has missed out on.

Your thinking is based on the assumption that any constructed language 
will do as the world IAL. I disagree with that. It's the same in all 
walks of life: not every book becomes a bestseller, not every actor 
becomes a star, not every song becomes a hit regardless of their makers' 
best intentions. You might think that reviving Latino sine flexione is a 
bright idea, but the fact is that Giuseppe Peano promoted the language 
already in more favorable times and without significant or lasting 
success. Five more years of promotion today won't make a difference. The 
well of Latin has dried a long time ago...

My opinion is that only a worldlang has any realistic chance to become 
the universal second language of the world. So if it takes five years to 
make the worldlang then so be it. It must be done.

 > I guess I do think that to a certain extent, since I don't believe
 > that the underlying reasons behind wordlangs is valid - that ease of
 > learning is based on finding vocabulary that you already know in your
 > native tongue,

I don't emphasize it that much. Ease of learning is not based on finding 
familiar words, but familiar words are helpful to some extent, maybe 
critically. Language learning is sometimes compared to climbing a 
mountain. Euroclones basically provide a stairway carved to the rock for 
a privileged class of people, but there's also a sign that says "No dogs 
and no Chinamen allowed" or something like that. You know quite well 
what I mean. A worldlang doesn't provide a stairway to anyone, but it 
provides everybody a foothold here and a handhold there, just enough to 
help you to climb that mountain. It won't be easy but there will be 
something to hold on to all the way up.

 > and that people are really that concerned about where a
 > language's vocab comes from.

I think that people expect by default that a constructed world language 
reflects the linguistic diversity of the world. Or at least they will 
agree that it makes perfectly sense once they are told about it.

 > It's not really true for the following reasons:
 > 1) The vocab you recognize in your native tongue probably has a
 > slightly different usage than in the worldlang, so either the
 > worldlang is going to have to accept possible other usage of these
 > words when native speakers encounter them, or it's going to have to
 > tell them to only use it in a limited sense, in which case it's little
 > different from learning a new word

In some cases it is true but not in all cases. A TV is a TV and the sun 
is the sun in most languages.

 > 2) Recognizing words you know in another language isn't always that
 > helpful. The Turkish word for laboratory is laboratuvar but I
 > struggled with it a bit more than some others because it's a bit
 > mangled from the form I recognize and it doesn't sound very Turkish,
 > whereas something like bilimsel yeri (science place, just a fake word
 > I made up) would have been easier to remember.

The decisive question is: Are they helpful more often than not?

-- 
Risto Kupsala
http://www.kupsala.net/risto

Pandunia - a cross-cultural IAL
http://www.kupsala.net/risto/pandunia/