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Kjell Rehnström wrote:
> As long as people often, if not most, learn Eurolanguages like English,
> Spanish, French, German, Russian to a greater extent than any others,

It is a fact that the European languages are geographically more widely
studied than most other languages, the only exceptions being Arabic and
Mandarin. Demographically the situation is different. The position of
Mandarin in China is comparable to the position of Russian in the Soviet
Union, about half of the population speaks it natively and the rest are
learning it. Languages like Indonesian and Swahili have a very low number
of native speakers but a very high number of second language speakers and
learners. (These matters have been discussed here before, quite recently.)

> and even if that's not the case, it is better to promote a Euroclone
> where lots of people, both Europeans and non-Europeans, learn them and
> know their vocabulary. If a majority of those learning our neutral
> worldlang, were experts in Arabic, Hindi, Japanese, Chinese, not to
> speak about English, Russian and German, then there might be a good idea
> for a worldlang.

The majority of those learning a neutral worldlang will be experts in
Arabic, Hindi, Japanese and Chinese, in fact, they will be their native
speakers! Maybe they won't be the first ones to study the language, but
they belong to the target group, which is (very idealistically) the entire
population of the world.

But even if the group to be targeted first consists mainly of educated
polyglot Westerners, the traditional target group of the Eurocentric IALs,
I believe that a worldlang can appeal to them too because they are exactly
the type of people who are well aware of the current trend of
globalization and therefore they are prone to appreciate a globally
distributed vocabulary. Who wouldn't like to speak a few words of Chinese
these days?

> A world lang is indeed an idealistic enterprice, but it is a very
> realistic one as well. All depends how you look at it. Wouldn't talking
> about democracy in a dictatorship be idealistic, yet it is necessary.

That's a beautiful comparison. I'm glad that you too sympathize the idea
of worldlangs.

> Your choice of language must be dependent from your answer to this
> question: "What can I do?" If you are a heck of a leader and can make
> people follow your advice, then you can well support a Neutral Language
> with vocabulary and grammar from all over the world. You have such a
> strong spirit that you can call together a counsil of top-noch linguists
> to invent your fantastic language and then raise the money to interest
> others than language geeks to learn your favorite language.

I put my hope on a kind of snow ball effect. If I can get some people
interested who will in turn get some other people interested and so on,
then one day there will be enough people behind it. Certainly it would be
easier to join an existing movement such as Esperanto and Occidental,
compared to starting a new language, but then I should believe in their
cause. And I don't.

-- Risto Kupsala