LE MANIFESTO DEL INTERLINGUA PRO UNION EUROPEE It was: What do we Europeans have against the diphtongs? RE: James Hewitt 980117 James, I am a little bit late but I've been very much occupied with my job, actually since the Christmas days. [Allan Kiviaho 980117] >Perhaps the "worst" language in that respect >is French with its nasal sounds etc., but on the other >hand French is a strictly regular language. [James Hewitt 980117] Do you like any language's sounds other than those of your own? :-) [Allan 980127] Not necessarily. I think, for example, that Turkish intonation is very beautiful, although in some respects quite dissimilar to Finnish. It were crazy to demand that all languages should sound like Finnish. L a t i n is my starting point. At least the following languages or language-groups sound fairly enough like Latin: The Germanic group, the Slavic group, Finnish and Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian, and of course the Romance group save French. It is a peculiar coincidence that the Finnish language has the most Latin sounding of all European languages with the remarkable exception; the front vowels =E4, =F6 and y (pronounced as u in French "menU" or "ecU"). = After the conferences of the Latinists the Finnish Latinists in the universities and other schools use to tell the students amusing examples how the Americans pronounced THEIR Latin. (True, some Americans know how the Latin is supposed to be pronounced). = [James 980117] In what sense do you mean French is 'strictly regular'? [Allan 980127] Well, perhaps it's an exaggeration to call French as "strictly regular". But I believe that e.g. the French "ai" is always pronounced "e". In English "ea" has many different soundings, like threat, meat, steak, for example. [James 980117] Ahh, now we see the real reason for this vitriolic discourse. Aesthetic characteristics? Do you mean those sounds characteristic of your own language, and those of your neighbours? This sort of qualification of a language is purely subjective, and not particularly important to the objective aspects of the IAL debate. Still, each to their own, as they say! [Allan 980127] Almost all Europeans think that Italian and Spanish are very beautiful languages. I gladly admit that their soundings are more beautiful than that of Finnish. I do not share the opinion that the beauty of a language is purely subjective. I think that Kiri Te Kanawa's singing is more beautiful than that of some ill-trained and ill-talented rock-actress. = The choir of the Solovetski Monastery of Russia sings as angels making the Finnish audience mad, there is nothing comparable in this country. We have a super-mega singer, Mrs. Dilb=E9r, but she is an Uigoor, a Turk from China who became a citizen of Finland. No, she is not married to some Finn but a Chinese. She is the most adored singer in Finland. The same applies to the languages. The broadcasting of RAI, Italia, sounds like music as compared with the ... errr ... better to let unsaid. [Allan 980117] >Docent Kari Nahkola at the >University of Tampere (Finland) predicts that in the >not too far distance the GERMAN language will become >the lingua franca of the European Union. But not the European Union as it is today but a so-called "dense" European Union, consisting of Germany and her satellites that will be: Germany, Netherland, the = Scandinavian countries including Finland, the Baltic states, Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovenia, Austria, may be even Switzerland and Northern Italy, most likely even the greater area of Sankt Peterburg (Russia). Sooner or later also other East European and Balkan countries. A new Hanseatic League, that is. = Possibly that "dense EU" will be more or less unofficial but in any case a hard core of the Union. = [James 980117] Even with this 'dense' qualification, what is his basis? = Could you point us to more details on the web, if they are there... [Allan 980127] I tried to find the texts of Mr. Nahkola on the web but I found only references to his articles, all in Finnish. But the idea of the "dense" EU, the newly-born Hanseatic League, is a widely-spread one. Because Germany is by far the most powerful nation of that block (And in Europe as a whole), it is only natural that German language will dominate. Yet in the 1950'ies and 1960'ies German was the first foreign language in the school (In addition to the two official languages, Finnish and Swedish). I have never studied English but learned that little I can by reading books, newspapers and magazines. The most foreign cultural influences came from Sweden and Germany. But today English and the Anglo-American currents have gained a total dominancy. But German language may come back. = [James 980117] I can see that happening if the EU successfully manages to rail against the tide English as an IAL growth, but with England in the EU, I doubt it. And what would be the point anyway? [Allan 980127] The point is that very many Europeans detest strongly the idea that an external language, English, would take hegemony in Europe. Look the movement presided by Otto von Habsburg, for instance. England is no = whole-hearted member of EU. She has annoyed the continental Europe in many ways and she is glancing all the time over the Atlantic, an important part in this plays the common language with the U.S.A. = It is very important to get a common language to the EU. And let it not be English. We do not need a language where "i" is "ee" and "u" is "oo". We do not like the idea listening to operas being sung in English, which is, according to a violinist in the Helsinki City Symphony Orchestra, a farce because one cannot comprehend the texts due to the blurred pronunciation of tha lingo. Let's sing in Italian - and Interlinguan ... = One single common language is very important in Europe in order to put stop for the "non-communication". As known, a very important part of the industry and business is in hands of small and medium-size industry. Small companies cannot afford big export departments and armies of correspondents fluent in foreign languages. If even the smallest companies could do freely business with any other company, small and big, in the whole Europe, it would likely be a big booster for the efficiency of Europe as an economic area competing with NAFTA, Eastern Asia etc. = Europe is getting a common currency, Euro, within 11 months (Finland with her draconic economic discipline is probably the only country in the Northern Europe which will meet the conditions set for EMU (European Monetary Union) - qualifications in the first wave but Sweden and Denmark = will follow later. EURO and EMU is the answer of Europe to the world. But we need also a common language. = = [James 980117] You just don't like English, do you? :-) [Allan 980127] One cannot say in that way. Some of our best friends are Americans and as a lingua franca in Europe because it does not fit in properly. But within a group, guided by the lovely girl-friend of our son. Last time we visited that marvellous city in 1985 when I became 50 years old. After the collapse of the Soviet Union Russia has become pretty dangerous a place. [James 980117] IFF the member countries and their populations find it useful. OTOH, they could do themselves a favour and go with the international flow, allowing their member companies to communicate with the world! [Allan 980127] Sure! The Europeans must be fluent in English in order to communicate with the U.S.A. and other English-speaking countries but also with the rest of of the world outside of Europe. But if Europe will become strong enough, more and more businessmen in the world must become able to communicate in a good Interlingua, too. How happy will Mr. Bill Gates be when he only needs to write his programs in one language for the whole European market instead of the current tens of languages! I have some experience with such things after having been working for 20 years at Str=F6mberg Oy, now a part of the mighty ABB ("The company number one in the world" according to the "Fortune" magazine) and 11 years at KONE Corporation. Str=F6mberg Oy is one of the oldest manufacturers of electri= c motors, generators, transformers etc. in the world and a pioneer on the power electronics. It has delivered e.g. the vehicles for the New York metro. KONE Corporation is the third biggest manufacturer of elevators (lifts) and escalators in the world. It operates in all continents, even in the U.S.A. and Japan (!). Formerly KONE was a diversified = corporation making conveyors, cranes, medical electronic systems, mining = machinery etc. It won a competition over harbor cranes in the U.S.A. although it had a competitor in the U.S.A. only 30 miles away from that harbour. = [Allan 980117] >I think that every European should have a full fluency >in at least three languages: The native language of >the corresponding country, Interlingua and English. [James 980117] Why add Interlingua in there? Parochialism? If national pride is the objective, it will be added. Otherwise, it will continue to be largely ignored. [Allan 980127] For the simple reason that Interlingua is - as I believe - the best choice for the common language for Europe. It is also the best candidate for being accepted in all countries in Europe. The Romance countries will hardly oppose. The Germans will be happy to take it if the other choice would be French, or still worse, English. The Germans love Latin, after all. And ALL Slavic peoples love Latin, too, for various reasons. So do the Turks. If Interlingua sounds a little bit too Spanish and Italian, it is a simple task to latinize it somewhat more, to the direction of the lingo of Mr. Peone. Personally, I think that Interlingua is a good compromise between the archaic Latin and the modern living Romance languages. This is no mere phantasy. In a recent voting in Europarliament some 17-18 % of the MP's already voted FOR an auxlang. It was for Esperanto, because it was the only auxlang presented to them. = But James and other Gentlemen in the AUXLANG group! Let's think about a popular referendum for an auxlang in all countries in Europe. Which will the peoples vote for? For a constructed language like Esperanto with its ugly diacritic signs and still uglier "kaj", "jes", -aj, -ajn, -oj, -ojn etc? Or for a natural language, Interlingua, which sounds and tastes Latin and Romance, like Italian or Spanish but which sounds still more beautiful than Italian and Spanish becaused it is purged from the peculiarities of those natlangs, as, for example, the Spanish "lisping" sounds. Everybody in Europe loves Italy and her culture and everybody has visited Spain and her Costa del Sol. = = [Allan 980117] >My daughter and her boyfriend ("quasi-husband" - very >few people get married in Finland anymore) are very >good in English, they are teachers in English and French. >My son can speak very good English, too (he and his = >sister were in an American school in Switzerland >in 1983--5). And our son's girl-friend (quasi-wife) >was recently studying English in London. [James 980117] How are they at speaking Interlingua? [Allan 980127] Hah, after studying some 10 years English language and literature my daughter and her boy-friend were extremely sceptical at my advocating the Interlingua. How amazed they were when they understood 100 % of the text in Interlingua when they saw that language first time in their lives! My son is still cynical. He has not read Interlingua but he keeps now and then mocking over Volapuek ... [James 980117] Don't like Danish either, ey? [Allan 980127] I think the Danes are very nice people. But all other North-Europeans think that the spoken Danish is horrible (but the written one is reasonable enough). The sk=E5nska dialect of Swedish that is close to Danish is much more difficult to comprehend by a Stockholmer than all Turkic dialects from Bulgaria to China (save Tshuvassian and Yakutian) among the Turkic peoples, says a textbook on linguistics. SUMMARY Perhaps it is time to cease plodding with various odd conlangs and unite the efforts for introducing Interlingua or a still more latinized Interlingua as a common auxlang in Europe. The time is ripe just now when a new group of countries are going to join the EU and the Babel of languages in EU is becoming more and more messy! What's the target of our actions? The major political parties in the member countries of the EU! There is the real power. = Allons enfants de la Interlingua, le jour de gloire est arriv=E9! Allan Kiviaho Finlandia Que vive le Paneuropa, nostre amate!