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Saturday, March 27, 2010

A Common World Language (World Language)

By Ron Tichenor Platinum Quality Author

World Language

One of the greatest obstacles to human communication has been the language barrier. It has limited communication between nations and peoples, confused ideas and intentions, and has even led to wars. While there have always existed regional languages of influence and lingua francas, these come and go through the years, leaving disarray and power vacuums in their wake.

A more viable, long-term solution is for everyone to learn a common second language.

If everyone learned a common second language, many communication problems between people and nations would be solved. It would level the playing field between nations. Of course, most people reading this are thinking "one world language? - yeah, English. Anyone of consequence speaks it already." Not true.

English is an easy language to speak badly, but very few ever learn to speak it well. It's actually a rather difficult written language. It's very inconsistent, lots of irregularities and exceptions and spelling is a nightmare, even for most native speakers of English. Not everyone learns English. Of those who learn it, few learn it well enough to use, and fewer still really master it.

Learning English also comes with a lot of political baggage. Some people may feel it is being imposed upon them by American or British imperialism or elitism. Any other national language comes with similar restrictions or limitations.

So what other choice is there?

One potential common language already exists. Esperanto. It was constructed for exactly this purpose. Invented by L.L. Zamenhof in the 1880's, it was designed to be relatively easy to learn and use. Since everyone learns it as a second language, no one is at an unfair advantage or disadvantage.

Esperanto has its detractors. Some say it is too European in its origins and therefore puts Africans or Asians at a disadvantage. Some linguists believe a more viable and neutral language could be created, but none has yet done so successfully.

Esperanto has a life of its own. Original works have been written in Esperanto, music is recorded in it, numerous websites and podcasts are in Esperanto and there is even a movie or two. Unlike other constructed languages, it has a growing body of users world-wide, many in Asia where it is popular because it is not English!

By the way, there is a term for this - International Auxiliary Language. So far, Esperanto is the only International Auxiliary Language that has shown enough popularity, usefulness and resilience to merit consideration as a second language common to all people and nations. The United Nations has even entertained the idea of using it as an auxiliary language. Time will tell if the concept gains any steam, but I think that ultimately a common second language is in mankind's future.

Ron is a long-time language enthusiast, exploring Spanish, French, Swedish, Cornish, Esperanto and others. Learn more about studying a language on your own at Language Learning Advisor This guide for self-study language learners has reviews and recommendations of language learning methods and products, links to online learning resources, learning tips to maximize your study time and effectiveness and articles on language learning.

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World Language