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On 1/27/13, Kjell Rehnström <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> I think comparing Esperanto to English as comparing Dvorak to the
> QUERTY-keyboard is not quite adequate. The querty-keyboard is more or less
> the same for all languages while Dvorak might be more langauge-specific, if
> I understand the idea correctly, just mentioning the fact that a is much
> more frequent in Swedish than it is in English. So if you would like to use
> Dvorak in several languages I think that would be more difficult, unless
> you would have a universal Dvorak with a few adoptions for all other
> languages than English.

I meant the comparison only in reference, say, to the US and Canada.
It doesn't pay to press a parable too far. The usual argument is that
the relative success of Esperanto interferes with other auxlangs: if
people have heard of any auxlang, it's usually Esperanto, which is so
appalling that it discredits the idea of auxlangs entirely. Now, apart
from the fact that Esperanto has an amazing number of adherents for
something so repugnant, even among those who have heard of it it tends
to be little more than a name, so I don't see that it can discredit
the movement that much.

> In a way the linguists' attitude to auxlangs seems interesting, to say the
> least. On the one hand they are busy inventing languages for us
> non-world-language-impaired souls, in order that we will be equal, on the
> other hand they criticize all those auxlangs that in some way work.

I don't think linguists as such bother with such things very much.

Looking
> at myself as a possible target - if not exactly a group! - I look at things
> like Globalish or World English that someone has invented for me, as a
> gross misunderstanding.

It is a misunderstanding, at least where I'm concerned: you aren't in
the target audience for Inlis. Your native language is Germanic, and
you express yourself intelligibly in regular English. I don't think
you're quite the right audience for Basic English or Globish, for that
matter.

In a way it is not more strange than the fact that
> they made e US edition of the Harry Potter books. Obviously a US audience
> would not be able to/ would not like to read the books in their British
> original. So, if I'd like to communikate to a mass audience, I will have to
> rely on an editor or perhaps even a translater, but for my immediate needs,
> English is fully sufficient, and I don't think I would be helped by Global
> or Basic English at all.

Correct: you wouldn't be. The goal of those projects is to teach
regular English gradually, and you already know better English than
they teach. The goal of Inlis is to learn and use Inlis, which isn't
English at all, just an angloclone designed to be reasonably
intelligible to people who know some English. It's intended for people
who have a passive knowledge of English but don't feel confident
enough for active use. I've encountered a lot of people who are
overconfident about their English, and I'd say that as long as they're
using Bad English, they might as well have fun with it.

> Another paradox is that now that I'm living in Poland and am speaking
> Polish and Esperanto on a daily basis, I miss English! In a way it is
> ridiculous, but it is a fact!

I'm glad you miss English. Even considering what lousy shots most
people are, it still gets winged a lot.

> I see Esperanto and Interlingua as good additions in my linguistic arsenal.
> There is no contradiction between those languages and English, as I see it.

None at all. The more languages you know, the better.

Steve