Telling the story of Klingon, Esperanto and other invented tongues
Arika Okrent was studying languages at the University of Chicago. The languages people use and how they work.
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Bognor Regis, UK
#1 Jun 27, 2010
It was interesting to see the mention of Esperanto here. Your readers may gain from this the idea that Esperanto is something historical or experimental. In fact this planned second language is spoken by a growing population of people across the world. Take a look at http://www.lernu.net
Since: Oct 11
#2 Nov 10, 2011
this is only according to the esperanto movement. There's no independent verification of the extent of esperanto. It's sometimes considered the most successful of these planned/invented languages. Some however say that Kligon is more successful, which annoys esperantist because they don't like to be lumped in with a 'cult'. But in a sense it shouldn't be surprising. Esperanto's relative success (compared to Volapuk or Interlingua or Ido or Glossa ... the list of such 'projects' is endless) is not due its inherent qualities (any more than the spread of English is due its inherent qualities) but much more due to sociological factors. The founder of Esperanto set up a movement to promote his language - a movement that is just as cultish as the Trekkies (only not as much fun). He even created a religion to accompany it - Homaranismo. What's given the language its advantange is the semi-religious faith of its followers. Where other similar projects have stagnated by being monopolised by dry academics and other committees of experts, esperanto took the low rent road and that has been its source of success. Nevertheless, for a self styled international language it still has a very limited reach.
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