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On 6/27/14, Leo Moser <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Jeffrey Brown raises many important issues. Very refreshing.

> Jeffrey “.  .  . one should make a distinction based on value (benefit /
> effort).”

> YES! People will learn even difficult languages when there is sufficient
> BENEFIT .

> A modern IAL must also bring BENEFIT. Of course, some people get fun from
> just playing with language. Examples are the blogs in Neo, Volapuk, and the
> like. (Even Klingon)

As I've said, since an auxlang can't compete seriously with English,
it should compete unseriously with English. We can't be more useful,
but we can be more fun or cool.

> Jeffrey said “With no perceived economic benefit, and no one (or very few
> people) to converse with, it is extremely hard for an auxlang to get
> traction.”

> It is IMO quite impossible for it to get enough traction. BENEFIT must
> outweigh the trouble of learning. This is the key reason for the historical
> failure of the international auxiliary language movement.

The ultimate problem is the lack of any felt need for an auxlang.
Scarcely anyone needs a generic auxlang. They either need no language
but their native one(s) or some specific additional language(s) for
work or trade. A generic auxiliary only becomes useful once it is
widely adopted. So it can't succeed as an auxlang; it must succeed
(and be marketed) as something else. And the best available choice is
a toy: it may be educational, but it must be fun (and if at all
possible) cool.

The number of people who could be induced to learn a language for fun
is also rather small, but that's all right: there is no need to design
The One Perfect Auxlang--which is just as well, since it can't be done
anyway. People have different needs, and those needs conflict. So
instead of designing the be-all and end-all auxlang, design one for
the people most likely to need and use it--and currently that's going
to be a westlang, though if the Auxlang Epiphany occurs, worldlangs
will become more attractive over time.

> Jeffrey  said “The immediate benefit of learning an auxlang is less than a
> natlang. Therefore, for an auxlang to have the same value to a potential
> learner, it must be extremely easy to learn.”

There is a limit to ease. Once you eliminate unnecessary difficulty
(mostly irregularities and redundancies), all you can do is distribute
the remaining difficulty so that most users won't notice it. This is
how at-sight systems are meant to work. Other types mostly have to
spread the difficulty as evenly as possible and hope for the best.

Steve