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Okay, I'm back. Once I started writing this, it started to take a different form that
what I'd planned. Readers might find it hard to find *any* coherent form, but for what
it's worth ...
 
You might remember this is history written from a future perspective, in other words, a
thought experiment entitled "How X(my IAL) Conquered the World".
 
First entry:
 
The year is 2048, and Esperanto is a widely used auxiliary language.
 
How it got there:
 
Eo got it's first *big* boost in the European Union.
 
Alarmed at spiraling translation costs, the EU commissioned several reports from various
thinktanks, the most common solution was to make one or two languages (English, French,
sometimes also German) "working" languages. Prospective new members would find themselves
having to use those three and other languages, Swedish, Greek, Dutch etc. were to be
gradually phased out of the translation loop.
 
One maverick think tank however, suggested an initial cost cutting measure might be to
use an interlanguage.
 
Meanwhile the United States was pressuring the union heavily for English only, or maybe
English and French, alienating the Germans who had counted on the US for support in
adding German. The Spanish meanwhile were unhappy since Spanish (with more speakers than
French and German combined) was not being mentioned, and Russia was flat out refusing to
even consider joining an EU that didn't give Russian equal recognition. US pressure
backfired, and talks at a compromise "working languages" solution broke down.
 
A few officials took a second look at the interlanguage option. They then commissioned a
second series of reports on viable interlanguages. Several choices were examined and the
two most frequently mentioned were Esperanto and Latin. The think tanks supported
Esperanto on the grounds of general European vocabulary ease of learning, and a visible
net presence. Latin was mentioned primarily for historical reasons and also because it
was the only one (even more than Esperanto) with an existing classroom presence in
Europe.
 
After a series of studies involving cost comparisons of the working language vs.
interlanguage option, the major obstacles with both were identified and addressed.
 
One of the biggest problems with Eo was the orthography. There were by that point (222?)
several software solutions for handling the traditional orthography (not always
compatible with each other or the needs of natural languages that use accents)  no less
than five major spelling reform proposals and several minor ones. For the EU, a study was
commissioned and a solution proposed and accepted as the official EU orthography, this
did not make everyone happy, but it effectively settled the issue.
 
Esperanto and Latin were both added to the list of official languages and workers in
selected branches of European government were encouraged (forced?) to take lessons in one
or both.
Despite some initial resistence, Esperanto quickly gained ground over Latin and the learn
EO  policy spread rather rapidly, while Latin did not although it remains on the official
languages list)
 
Some  Esperantists (not all, maybe not most, but at least a significant minority) were
unhappy with this development, claiming the Union was appropriating "their" language.
They were also unhappy with many shifts in traditional vocabulary and some grammatical
innovations. Some of these innovations are similar to current reform proposals, others
seem to be spontaneous innovations, changing aspects of the language no potential
reformer ever thought of. Strangely, some of the most heavily criticised features
underwent no change at all. The biggest shift was in vocabulary, although the language of
2048 would still be almost entirely mutually intelligible to Esperantists of the
twentieth century.
 
One small breakaway division of Raumaj Esperantistoj went to the European Court of Human
Rights to try to block any further propogation of what *they* called variously Eurido,
Europanto, (they claimed the EU had no right to use the name Esperanto for a language
that was clearly divergent from Zamehof's original). Claiming the status of a
"non-traditional ethnic group" they charged that EU was engaged in "cultural genocide".
The status of the case is still unclear ...
 
 
Meanwhile life goes on in EU member states. Esperanto has made the most progress in
smaller states, Denmark, Greece, Lithuania. The British government was initially very
much against Eo, briefly making them the butt of many jokes, but those British citizens
who are interested in careers in a wider Europe are quietly learning Eo.
 
Those with no special ambitions outside their own countries are largely ignoring it,
although many people have EO phrasebooks for those occasions when they do travel abroad.
 
The English language teaching industry in Britian suffered a severe cutback, but still
exists as do similar industries in Germany, France, Spain and a few other countries.
 
Education was not greatly changed. Esperanto courses were added to many schools,but in an
ad hoc fashion, mainly limited by the availability of teachers. Courses seldom lasted
over two years. Elementary education especially is unaffected.
 
While Eo classes were added to some elementary schools, lack of teaching materials and
other problems tend to mean that primary Eo instruction takes place somewhat later,
usually in high school, or university. Natural foreign languages are still a fundamental
part of the curriculum in most countries although no one language dominates as English
does now.
 
Universal bilingualism in Eo is decidedly not getting off the ground for numerous
reasons. This dissappoints some Eo idealists, but most are quite happy that the language
has gotten as far as it has.
 
Although a working knowledge of Eo makes international travel easier for many people, it
is still a poor substitute for knowledge of the local language. Thus those who live or
work in other countries find Eo helpful in making the transition, but still have to learn
the local language to take part in local life.
 
Curiously, general market publishing in Eo is not especially plentiful. There is a daily
supposedly Europe-wide newspaper, read mostly by travellers and a few local papers in
major cities.
 
A new European CNN-style news channel in Esperanto is still in the red after six years of
operation, but the losses are less each year and it is expected to begin making a profit
within a year or two.
 
 
In essence, Eo has carved out a niche as a bureaucratic language necessary for those who
aspire for a career in the European civil service or related fields, helpful for many in
travelling, but it doesn't seem to be infiltrating most people's lives very deeply.
 
It's undeniable success in Europe though does have many international organizations
taking a second look at their own language policies and several regional bodies
representing Asian and African countries have also added Eo to their list of official
languages.
 
China, much to the annoyance of the US government, has insisted that all it's
international correspondance and agreements will be either solely in Esperanto, or in
Mandarin, Esperanto and the other language(s) involved. The US stubbornly insists on
English (to be supplemented with but not replaced by Eo translations if the other country
insists).
 
The UN hasn't done much yet, but is entertaining resolutions from a variety of sources,
before achieving any official status at the UN, a number of lobbying interests want two
provisions:
1) Eo will not be an official language of any country in the UN. That is, it can only be
recognized by international groups and not by individual countries.
2) Eo is not to be used by minority language speakers in relations with the majority
populations in member states.That means, for example, that Albanians living in the
(still) disputed Kosovo region of Greater Serbia cannot demand that negotiations with the
Serbian government take place in EO (as they once tried to do).
 
 
The US remains almost entirely monolingual, although major cities and some tourist sites
have some Eo services for foreign visitors.
 
A type of bare-bones international basic English  remains dominant in business, although
Eo is making strides there as well.
 
Higher education in most countries remains in local languages, although Eo is rapidly
displacing English as the language of international academic publications and many
national journals publish an Eo version more or less simultaneously as the first language
version.
 
 
I could go on, but you get the idea.
 
Do I think all the above *will* happen? Probably not. Do I think it *could* happen if the
proper ground were layed? Yes.
 
I've left a lot out, but you get the idea. One excellent side benefit, of this is that I
have a much better idea of what sort of groundwork needs to be done before *any* IAL has
much of a chance at success. If anyone's interested I'll post that too.
 
Now, let's here from Idist, Glossists(?) or Esperantists themselves on their versions of
IAL history from the viewpoint of 2048 (or 2098).
 
Mi amika fughi,
Mike Farris