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Saturday, 27 September 2008

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>a bit like Esperanto, really: universally pointless.

I'm not sure that you have really thought about 'universal bilingualism' and Esperanto [YOUR ethnic language + non-Ethnic Esperanto for all], nor can I know how many languages you have reached a level of communicative competence in after slaving away for years in highschool/college. But if you had ever had the experience of being closeted in a railway coach in E. Europe for 24 hours unable to communicate with fellow-passengers in a common language (with speakers of 6 or 8 languages different languages present); or your small ethnic group has had its languages declared exinct in your lifetime (because of pressure from English), then you might take a somewhat different view. The 7 points of the Prague Manifesto:
http://lingvo.org
give some good, brief reasons for being interested in Esperanto (and one of them, thank heavens, is NOT 'one language for the world'!!).

So, if I spoke Esperanto, I'd be able to carry on a conversation with any of the thousands of people in the world who speak Esperanto... assuming I happened to cross paths with one of them.
Which puts in in the same category as universal remotes: a wonderful idea that doesn't work out so well in practice.
I've had many such ideas myself, mainly in electronics. I come up with a great product idea, except that in order to be actually useful it needs to be widely adopted, and there's no prospect of making that happen.

" assuming I happened to cross paths with one of them."

... or had access to the network...

Aparatoj devus reagi al Universale Unika Identigilo (UUID: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universally_Unique_Identifier) sekvata de funkcikodo, laŭ kriptita protokolo simila al tiu uzita de HTTPS (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Https).
Tiam oni povus sekure kontroli ĉiujn aparatojn en sia hejmo kaj, se la teleŝaltito estas rete konektita, el ie ajn en la mondo.

Approx. translation with http://traduku.net/cgi-bin/elitrad/elitrad :-)

--
Raymond GERARD
ЄЭ Remuŝ (Belgio)- perSkajpe: RemushBE

And having access to the network would help, in Mankso's railway-coach scenario, how exactly?
In a random setting such as that, I'd be more likely to happen across someone who speaks Klingon. (Not that Klingon is a useful language; there may be a lot of people who've studied it, but the language itself is flawed, due largely to its origins and the need to maintain consistency with the early use of brief grunts to refer to advanced technology.)
Or did you mean access to the Internet? For translation services? In which case, why not translate directly between our respective languages, rather than going through an intermediate language which is itself not exactly translatable to or from either of them?

>So, if I spoke Esperanto, I'd be able to carry on a conversation with any of the thousands of people in the world who speak Esperanto... assuming I happened to cross paths with one of them.

Probably not in redneck Silicon Valley of course, ;-) but most Esperanto-speakers know how to contact others during their foreign travels. Alternatively, you could continue to shout loudly in English at all non-English speakers, thus perpetuating the 'ugly American' notion! Seriously though, are you not aware that Esperanto is already used daily in meetings around the world:
http://www.eventoj.hu/kalendar.htm
and in radio broadcasts and on the internet in blogs and Yahoo discussion groups? And that there are thousands of books available in Esperanto? Not to speak of the anti-Alzheimer effects of second-language learning (any language, not just Esperanto!), memory, logic, mental challenge, mind-opening and so on?

How do we get from the 7 points of the Prague Manifesto, away from inter-ethnic rivalry (USIS/British Council, Alliance Française, Goethe-Institut, Pushkin Institute, Instituto Cervantes, Istituto Dante etc.) to a wider application of something which so clearly and demonstrably works, is already used by thousands around the globe, but whose goal is usually misrepresented and whose very existence is concealed by obscurantism? A new and universally equitable language régime, more efficient and effective than the present 'language/culture-devouring' one of World English, and a multi-directional info flow, are possible within a generation, or less. Esperanto is as useful NOW as you yourself like to make it. Since you obviously think it is for the birds, why not start with your own pretty bird?! By the way, I like your aviator propeller helmet! It must turn many heads when the two of you go out. Are you sure you are not a crypto-Esperantist after all?!

You should try explaining this stuff to my wife (a real technophobe) took me about 3 years to explain how to set the alarm clock.

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