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Paul O Bartlett wrote:
 
> On Mon, 17 Aug 1998, Robert J. Petry wrote (small excerpt):
>
> > Again, Esperanto is capable now of reaching maybe 2 million people with a scientific
> > article.  [...]
> >                                                               With Occidental those 1-500
> > million people can read most of the articles or letters without any training.
>
>     I do not have the reference -- perhaps Don Harlow does -- but I
> recall reading somewhere that an experiment was done with Interlingua.
> A group of American medical doctors with no training in Interlingua
> were given medical articles (or perhaps summaries) in Interlingua and
> asked to translate them into English.  Specialized matter otherwise
> familiar to specialists in that field.  The results were not totally
> encouraging, as the physicians did not do as well as some prople had
> expected.  Would it be any different with Occidental?
 
Well, this doesn't surprise me. I wonder if Italian or French or Spanish-speaking doctors would
do much better. I kind of doubt it.  "International" vocabulary works best at a kind of
artificial level that's hard to describe. Sort of treating "which way to the bathroom?" as
"What road to the convenient place?" if you follow me. I've seen first hand how Italians can
converse with Catalans or Spanish (especially Spaniards). Judging from the Spanish part of
those dialogues, I'd say there's a partly conscious, partly unconscious adjustment that goes on
on both sides. A Spaniard I knew spoke differently to an Italian (with no training in Spanish),
to other Spaniards and to me (non-Romance speaker with lots of Spanish classes behind him).
 
 
I wonder if they would have done better with one hour instruction? Two hours? Ten?
Now that's an interesting experiment (and one with useful PR purposes) what's the least amount
of training professionals need to be able to read specialized material in IALX.
 
The whole idea of a "you already know it!" language works best in informal situations where
little in the way of new information is to be conveyed and there's some measure of good will on
both sides. Otherwise it can be rough going.
 
Mi amika fughi,
Mike Farris