Vlürch wrote:On the other hand, though, in Persian for example they're clearly different, so I don't know if there's some kind of subtle difference in how the /x/ and /h/ of Spanish and the /x/ and /h/ of Persian are pronounced or if it's just a matter of mental preparation for the perception of the sounds as distinct?
Which varieties of Spanish have both /x/ and /h/? Certainly not Castilian!
the perception of the sounds as distinct?
I mean, that's almost just a layman's description of what phonemes are.
Karavinka wrote:Is this Esperanto bashing time again? I do have a few gripes.
1. Relative pronouns that are far too complex.
2. Bloated vocabulary.
3. The prepositions.
4. The two first person pronouns could have different starting sounds; mi and ni are asking for confusion.
5. OK. This is strictly my personal preference and one may argue against it, but I don't think preterite was necessary.
[this quote has been cut in several places for the sake of brevity]
I totally agree. 1, 2, 3 and 5 are all things I have difficulty with while trying to write Esperanto.
I also thing that the solution to 2, which is part of Esperanto PR ("Esperanto is easy to learn because the roots are limited!"), totally contradicts one of their other claims ("Esperanto words are easy to recognise for speakers of other European languages"). You either choose words like malsameco
and sacrifice mutual intelligibility with Romance languages and English, or you choose diferenco
and sacrifice ease of learning for people who don't know many Romance roots (and I imagine there's at least a billion of them). Given Esperanto's stated goals the latter makes more sense, but in practice they've ended up with a chaotic mix of both. Which is, according to Esperantists, "great because it allows for more options in poetry"... except unlike with natural languages no-one can see any slight shades of meaning that differentiate these synonyms because there are no native speakers to consult.
vijayjohn wrote:There are people who speak Esperanto as their native language. To what extent can their Esperanto be claimed to be regular?
Esperanto grammar isn't defined by the usage of so-called native speakers
, more accurately "from-birth" or "heritage" speakers), anymore than Serbian is defined by the way I speak, Urdu by the way my dad speaks or Malayalam by the way you speak. One of my close friends in Poland is a denaskulo
(part of the reason I bothered to start learning this language, it was the first time I came into any real contact with it[*]) who has a bachelor's degree in Serbian Philology, and her command of Esperanto is much
weaker than her Serbo-Croatian (which is doubtless better than mine at this point).
The Esperanto of denaskuloj
tends to show massive influence from the main community language they learn (i.e. the language they become true native speakers of) at all levels. In this way, Esperanto functions as a sort of partially acquired immigrant language, with the major difference that there's no homeland to go back to and get near-native competence (as I did with Serbian). When I tried some broken Esperanto on my friend one of her comments was actually, we don't really use the definite article that much
which a passing look at Esperanto texts shows to be false, but how else would you expect a Slavic denaskulo
I'm obviously not against children speaking Esperanto at home, if you have two Esperantist parents there's no reason for them to actively hide Esperanto from you. I just think that the Esperanto PR claim that "Esperanto has native speakers, therefore it's a real language!" as a reason to learn it is ridiculous and contradicts the stated goals of the language ("we're all learners, and hence equal, no-one has an unfair linguistic advantage").
[*] This is actually kind of a funny story. Me and a Catalan friend (the only other guy in my Polish class in Barcelona) went to visit her in Toruń. At the same time they had some pasaporta servo
tourists over (two Americans and two Brazilians; the Americans lived in Poland teaching English and knew no Polish, which makes me doubt Esperanto's utility as a tool to resist language imperialism), and they spoke to us in Esperanto and we responded with broken Esperanto/Esperantised Romance/just plain old Spanish as one of the Brazilians spoke it.
It more or less worked, which lead my friend's grandmother to emphatically declare "tio estas la sagxeco de Zamenhof!
" (this is the wisdom of Zamenhof). I wasn't necessarily as impressed because, well, that's just what Romance languages do. The Catalan friend I'm talking about tried the same thing with Catalan and Lombard not once but twice
, and it worked pretty much just as well both times: this is also part of the reason why I've always been bothered by the utterly ludicrous, exaggerated claim I've heard from many Italians that neighbouring villages can't communicate with each other at all between related, adjacent vernaculars or even within the same dialect bloc
Saim knows Urdu and Serbian. I think he could learn to speak fluent Romani in like a week.
Romani is a piece of cake if you know Urdu.
Stop tempting me.