Worldwide language, worldwide brotherhood

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hanumizzle
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Postby hanumizzle » 2007-09-04, 11:44

RBWTexan wrote:And to those who said that my mention of the Jewish heritidge of the language was inappropriate and anti-German. I am of German heritage, and proud of my German heritage. That doesn't make me agree with everything about Germany's history or agree with every German person. I have another book for you. "La Dangxera Lingvo" which documents a part of history where Hitler (among other leaders) rounded up all Esperantists and put them in prison camps stating that "Esperanto is a language of Jewish, communist spies".


Errr...that can be, but why hold Steli to account for that behavior? Seriously. Even if he said that he hated Esperanto, that would make him no more an anti-Semite. Whether he is or not, orthogonal to his opinion of E-o.

I have been the victim of several drive-by 'Reductio Ad Nazium' devices myself and it never ceases to amaze me how people manage to force-fit Adolf Hitler into the strangest of places.

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Postby Steli » 2007-09-04, 13:48

First of all, I'm of German heritage, too, but that doesn't make me agree with German history or every German person either. :)

If you were offended by the word ridicoulous so I'm sorry, but I couldn't think of a better one that moment. My point nevertheless is that if you would make a comparison of the grammatical structure of Latin and E-o you would get a very long list of differences. I had Latin lessons in school and most things I had to worry about at that time don't even exist in E-o. On the other hand Latin is lacking the complex suffixation system of Esperanto for instance.
Based on my experiences both grammar systems are as different as iron and ore. You may find the one in the other but you have to remove all the unnecessary bits first and the result is quite different.

The problem with definitions is that there is more than one. The wikipedia defines a pidgin as "a simplified language that develops as a means of communication between two or more groups who do not share a common language,..." (yes, I know, wikipedia is not scientific, but I don't have many English encyclopedias around and the cited passage is taken from a scientific source, so I guess it's OK).
"Develops", not "is developed", but that's probably splitting hairs, because it doesn't change the result. :) E-o can perfectly well fulfil the role of a pidgn, regardless if it is one or not.

By the way, if you want to make a point with the books you mentioned you should give us a little summary of the things you think are important, because you can't honestly expect us to buy the books just for being able to continue the discussion.

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Postby Nukalurk » 2007-09-04, 14:30

Steli, I don't think he actually meant the grammar itself. Quite a few English natives use the word grammar even if they mean everything from punctuation over spelling (especially younger ones).

So I guess he thought you meant everything instead of just the actual grammar. ;)

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Postby hanumizzle » 2007-09-04, 18:45

Steli wrote:By the way, if you want to make a point with the books you mentioned you should give us a little summary of the things you think are important, because you can't honestly expect us to buy the books just for being able to continue the discussion.


Supplemental texts are essential to understanding the main idea.

He'd make a killing in the role-playing games industry. :waytogo:
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Postby RBWTexan » 2007-09-06, 11:46

Steli wrote:First of all, I'm of German heritage, too, but that doesn't make me agree with German history or every German person either. :)


Glad to hear it, because there are a lot of people I've personally met online who won't have anything to do with Esperanto simply because of it's origins and their own anti-semitic stance. And your arguments sounded a lot like theirs, seeming to totally ignore and denegrate all opinions that didn't exactly line up with your own and making fun of them without rational argument.

Steli wrote:If you were offended by the word ridicoulous so I'm sorry, but I couldn't think of a better one that moment.


I was, in the extreme (in case you couldn't tell). It was tantamount to laughing in my face and calling me a fool ("ridiculous" is a synonym for "foolish", http://webster.com/cgi-bin/thesaurus?bo ... ridiculous) and really pissed me off. Sorry for my knee-jerk reaction above.

Steli wrote:My point nevertheless is that if you would make a comparison of the grammatical structure of Latin and E-o you would get a very long list of differences. I had Latin lessons in school and most things I had to worry about at that time don't even exist in E-o. On the other hand Latin is lacking the complex suffixation system of Esperanto for instance.
Based on my experiences both grammar systems are as different as iron and ore. You may find the one in the other but you have to remove all the unnecessary bits first and the result is quite different.


All I said was "the base of the grammar is from Latin (with some Germanic and Slavic thrown in). The question word, ĉu, he took almost directly from Polish, the accusative case he took from German, etc.)". It is an accurate statement. The verb conjugations are Latin in structure, but EXTREMELY siimplified to make Esperanto easy to learn. About 60% of the root words of the language come from Latin. If Esperanto and Latin's gramatical structure were identical why would we give it another name? We would just be talking about Latin. Dr. Zamenhof said he originally considered reviving Latin to be the IL, but dismissed it as to difficult, so he chose to base his language primarily on Latin, but very simplified then take from other languages as well. Esperanto's grammar doesn't have to be identical to Latin's to be "based on" Latin. The movie "Bourne Identity" says at the beginning, "Based on the novel by Robert Ludlum", but if you've seen the movie and read the book you understand that there are few things even similar, yet the description "based on" is still accurate, although the end points widely diverge, doesn't dismiss the fact that the starting points were the same.

Steli wrote:The problem with definitions is that there is more than one. The wikipedia defines a pidgin as "a simplified language that develops as a means of communication between two or more groups who do not share a common language,..." (yes, I know, wikipedia is not scientific, but I don't have many English encyclopedias around and the cited passage is taken from a scientific source, so I guess it's OK).
"Develops", not "is developed", but that's probably splitting hairs, because it doesn't change the result. :) E-o can perfectly well fulfil the role of a pidgn, regardless if it is one or not.


If you think that Esperanto hasn't continued to develop, but is exactly the same as Dr. Zamenhof originally described in the "Unua Libro", then you haven't done much research into the language. Esperanto is a living language, with an official language academy to govern changes in the language (patterned after the french language academy) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akademio_de_Esperanto, http://www.akademio-de-esperanto.org/. Here is a list of words that were added to the official dictionary of the language this year by the academy http://www.akademio-de-esperanto.org/of ... _2007.html Dr. Zamenhof simply designed the base of the language and then gave it to the community to continue to develop it.

Steli wrote:By the way, if you want to make a point with the books you mentioned you should give us a little summary of the things you think are important, because you can't honestly expect us to buy the books just for being able to continue the discussion.


Thank you. You are proving my point that you are arguing without actually reading or seriously considering my arguments. With the exception of the etymological dictionary, which I didn't think needed such a summary, I did give a summary of the things I thought were relevant to the discussion from the recommended books.

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Postby hanumizzle » 2007-09-06, 15:06

RBWTexan wrote:
Steli wrote:First of all, I'm of German heritage, too, but that doesn't make me agree with German history or every German person either. :)


Glad to hear it, because there are a lot of people I've personally met online who won't have anything to do with Esperanto simply because of it's origins and their own anti-semitic stance. And your arguments sounded a lot like theirs, seeming to totally ignore and denegrate all opinions that didn't exactly line up with your own and making fun of them without rational argument.


I can think of a number of modern politicians whose ideas more or less neatly line up with thoughts expressed in Mein Kampf. Nonetheless, one doesn't jump out and scream "Nazi!", as it's considered poor form.
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Postby Narbleh » 2007-09-06, 15:26

Especially on the forum of a language whose main goal was to help end racism and this very kind of misunderstanding ;)
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Re: Worldwide language, worldwide brotherhood

Postby linguaholic » 2008-09-27, 21:03

I'm no esperantist, but on the topic I'd like to comment that maybe it is not the fact of having a common language that could foster a more peaceful atmosphere, but that everybody has made a conscious effort to learn that language. I don't quite see Kim Jung II learning Esperanto.

Edit: Oh, sorry, I just realised I dug up a one-year-old topic. This seems to be a quiet forum.
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Re: Worldwide language, worldwide brotherhood

Postby Formiko » 2008-09-27, 23:10

linguaholic wrote:I'm no esperantist, but on the topic I'd like to comment that maybe it is not the fact of having a common language that could foster a more peaceful atmosphere, but that everybody has made a conscious effort to learn that language. I don't quite see Kim Jung II learning Esperanto.

Edit: Oh, sorry, I just realised I dug up a one-year-old topic. This seems to be a quiet forum.


The goal was to put everyone on equal footing. If I'm a native English speaker, and you're a native Spanish speaker, one of us has an unfair advantage when we are communicating in one of our languages. But Esperanto is no one's native language (for the most part), so we all start at the same level.
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Re: Worldwide language, worldwide brotherhood

Postby Narbleh » 2008-09-28, 16:10

The goal was to put everyone on equal footing. If I'm a native English speaker, and you're a native Spanish speaker, one of us has an unfair advantage when we are communicating in one of our languages. But Esperanto is no one's native language (for the most part), so we all start at the same level.


That assumes that Esperanto is as equally foreign to everyone, which it certainly is not. A French speaker will recognize a great deal many more words than an English speaker would, and a Taiwanese speaker is simply out of the running.

And from my experiences in talking to Esperantists from around the world, Polish/Russian/French Esperantists in general have flawless Esperanto, while English speakers are among the worst vandals of its most basic features and linguistic style. I've never talked to a Chinese or Vietnamese Esperantist, though I'd be very curious to see how easily they can produce correct Esperanto.

I think the unfair footing that Esperanto purportedly prevents is actually inherent to the language itself. Something totally removed from the world's most popular languages, such as a grammar modeled on Polynesian languages, or even vocabulary drawn more evenly from the world's languages, would be more blindly broad in ensuring this. In fact, I'm really not sure why Zamenhof, as a speaker of several Slavic languages, opted to have 80% or more of Esperanto's vocabulary be Romance-centric.
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Re: Worldwide language, worldwide brotherhood

Postby linguaholic » 2008-09-28, 16:42

As a counter-argument to that I have heard that most people who would learn Esperanto have also been exposed to other European languages (especially English) before - but if we accept this as a precondition, then English is just as good, isn't it?

I really like the idea, but I can't really imagine meeting anyone with whom I can converse in Esperanto more easily than in any of the other languages I know, especially English of course. I imagine it would be quite awkward to try to speak Esperanto while knowing that both parties have a better command of English. Hm.
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Re: Worldwide language, worldwide brotherhood

Postby Formiko » 2008-09-30, 5:52

linguaholic wrote:As a counter-argument to that I have heard that most people who would learn Esperanto have also been exposed to other European languages (especially English) before - but if we accept this as a precondition, then English is just as good, isn't it?

I really like the idea, but I can't really imagine meeting anyone with whom I can converse in Esperanto more easily than in any of the other languages I know, especially English of course. I imagine it would be quite awkward to try to speak Esperanto while knowing that both parties have a better command of English. Hm.


Actually, it's pretty amazing how Esperantists refuse to speak any language BUT Esperanto when they get together. We even have a term for it:
krokodili
It's considered very bad taste to speak your native language when Esperanto can do.
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Re: Worldwide language, worldwide brotherhood

Postby linguaholic » 2008-09-30, 13:43

Yeah, I've read about krokodili. Cool word.

Found this on Wikipedia:

Words and phrases reflect what speakers of a language talk about. Tellingly, Esperanto has five expressions for speaking a language other than Esperanto when Esperanto would be regarded as more appropriate, as at an Esperanto convention, whereas there is nothing equivalent in English:

krokodili (to crocodile) to speak one's native language instead of Esperanto;
kajmani (to caiman) as above, but where the language is not native to all of the interlocutors;
aligatori (to alligator) where the language used is native to no one;
lacerti (to lizard) to speak another conlang, such as Ido.

These words are sometimes subsumed under the general term reptilumi (from reptilo, reptile, plus the undefined suffix -um), though this is rare and krokodili is generally used instead as the generic term.


Are the other words really used in spoken Esperanto? Or is krokodili just the term for "speaking a language that is not appropriate"? Is there also a word for "speaking Esperanto when not appropriate" (i.e. if all people present speak English, but not all speak Esperanto)?

Cool, there's a group in my city and it seems to be active. Might have a look at their meetings, though I'd feel guilty because when it comes to meeting people for language practise Dutch should absolutely be on top of my list.
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Re: Worldwide language, worldwide brotherhood

Postby Mutusen » 2008-09-30, 17:34

Formiko wrote:It's considered very bad taste to speak your native language when Esperanto can do.

Is it? I went to IJK this summer, and almost whenever I came across another French I spoke French; I heard Hungarian, Polish, Czech and other languages and I never heard anyone saying “Ne krokodilu.

Ĉu? Mi iris al IJK ĉi-somere, kaj preskaŭ ĉiam ajn, kiam mi renkontis alian Francon mi parolis france al li; mi aŭdis hungaran, polan, ĉeĥan kaj aliajn lingvojn, kaj mi neniam aŭdis iun ajn dirantan “Ne krokodilu.”

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Re: Worldwide language, worldwide brotherhood

Postby Formiko » 2008-10-01, 1:57

Mutusen wrote:
Formiko wrote:It's considered very bad taste to speak your native language when Esperanto can do.

Is it? I went to IJK this summer, and almost whenever I came across another French I spoke French; I heard Hungarian, Polish, Czech and other languages and I never heard anyone saying “Ne krokodilu.

Ĉu? Mi iris al IJK ĉi-somere, kaj preskaŭ ĉiam ajn, kiam mi renkontis alian Francon mi parolis france al li; mi aŭdis hungaran, polan, ĉeĥan kaj aliajn lingvojn, kaj mi neniam aŭdis iun ajn dirantan “Ne krokodilu.”


I can't say about other places, but at the North American convention in Quebec, if you didn't speak Esperanto, they assumed you were a beginner, and would gently prod you into speaking E-o when you were in a group.
Mi ne povas paroli pri aliaj lokoj, sed dum la NordAmeriko-Kunveno, se oni ne parolis Esperante, oni supozis, ke oni estis komencanto, kaj oni pikis vin por paroli Esperanton, kiam vi estis en grupo.
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Re: Worldwide language, worldwide brotherhood

Postby Tenebrarum » 2008-10-01, 4:03

Narbleh wrote: I've never talked to a Chinese or Vietnamese Esperantist, though I'd be very curious to see how easily they can produce correct Esperanto.

Lol. For a Western language Esperanto's phonology is very forgiving for Vietnamese. Even easier than Spanish's.

Except for << c >> /ts/ (confused with /s/) and post-vocalic << jn >> like e.g. in urbojn (the /n/ is most likely to be dropped).

Oh and the post-vocalic << r >> too, like in, again urbojn.

Vietnamese also don't handle consonant clusters and fricative codas very well, fortunately those are mostly simple in Esperanto's latin-like syllable structure.
(Germanic and Slavic languages are nightmares to Vietnamese, btw :mrgreen:)

And you'll see post-vocalic /t/ is unreleased, as it's done in Vietnamese.

But talk about incentive... I dare to say that 99% of Viets are too pragmatic to understand the point of learning Esperanto. That same 99% don't even know what it is, hey!
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