Sep 18, 2008

Update-Feel identity in your mother tongue?

Right after I wrote down the previous article titled 'dissertation nerd', I got a message. Thank you very much. Let me talk about it.

I wrote down like this---is it possible for people all over the world to use only one language for communication? No. Not to mention, there are tons of languages over the world.

Actually,,,I should have said more precisely like---is it possible for us to use only one language? Can we imagine the world which has only one language?

As the person who gave me a message said, there's a language called Esperanto. This language was made for all of the people to communicate.

I have no idea how many people can speak Esperanto but there are not so many people, I guess.
That's the point. How come it's difficult to be familiar with Esperanto?

I can say two reasons.
One is that Esperanto is artificial language. It means it's not easy for human to learn it. I need Chomsky's theory to verify my opinion...I will just recommend those who are interested to read Universal Grammar theory by Noam Chomsky...Sorry, I can't tell well...

The other is related to the identity for their mother tongue. If there's only one common language, we don't have to have our mother tongue. If everyone speaks same language, we don't need our first language. Besides, as I mentioned above, it's quite convenient for communication.

However, in fact, we feel identity in our languages. Some people feel their language is one of their culture. I also felt that. I didn't notice that Japanese people tend to use 'sorry' so often until I came back to Japan.
I guess this represent though of Japanese pretty much. I don't think all people can reject their mother tongue to unify one language.


I don't think my explanation is clear enough to understand...ohh...

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Thank you for some comments! I really appreciate it! This is the one of advantages blogs have. Even though I live in countryside in Japan, I can talk with people from other places. I thoroughly enjoy it now=)

Let me add some points based on comments I got today.

At first, I should clearly point out that Esperanto is constructed language, that is, artificial language, not natural language. It's also said international auxiliary language which aim at communication between people who have different mother tongue.

The discussion has started like this...some of my friends said 'Sign languages should be unified'. I thought it's nonsense. If we think this in spoken languages, it'll be good example. All spoken languages can be unified? I don't think so.

And here, I got an idea 'Esperanto.' However, originally, Esperanto is NOT for unifying one language. It's just international auxiliary language.

Difficult to make my opinion clear in English...Well, I want to write organized blog...

Thank you for reading. I hope you can come here again soon(^^)

にほんブログ村 英語ブログ 英語の日記へ ←More blogs written by Japanese in English.

8 comments:

Brian Barker said...

Can I point out that Esperanto is not artificial,but is a living language.

If you have time can I suggest http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8837438938991452670

Alternatively http://www.lernu.net

Remush said...

"One is that Esperanto is artificial language. It means it's not easy for human to learn it. I need Chomsky's theory to verify my opinion."
Esperanto is a constructed language build to be easier to learn than natural languages. Chomsky is not more.competent than you are to decide what you are able to learn easier or not. However, if you seriously examine the grammar of the language, and evaluate the amount of words you need to know to have a simple conversation in Esperanto, it is very probable that you will underestimate the time to reach your objectives. (see Esperanto easy? etc...). This will course frustration and doubt at you own intellectual capabilities.

"If there's only one common language, we don't have to have our mother tongue."
Esperanto should only be leaned at a later age, and only used between people who do not share the same mother tongue. No panic! (read Replacement of natural languages? for more)

kaori said...

Thank you for comments!!
Based on your ideas, I put some into this article.
I would appreciate it if you guys read it again.

As I wrote in original post, I throughly enjoy the discussion. Even though I'm living in countryside in Japan, I can talk with people from different places. It's one of good points of blogging.

In fact---do you feel it easy to get Esperanto?? It looks difficult...hehe.Let me check it later! Thank you!!

mankso said...

What a horrible idea that there should be only one language in which we all communicate, but that seems to be the direction in which we are now headed with World English. It is already destroying smaller languages and cultures. Compare today's Japanese language with the language of only 55 years ago!

The point of Esperanto on the other hand is 'universal bilingualism' [YOUR ethnic language + non-ethnic Esperanto for all], and to preserve all ethnic languages. It is possible to be a member of two linguistic communities (or more) at the same time. I don't know where you get the idea from that Esperanto is so difficult - it is easier than any ethnic language, because it has very, very few irregularities. Perhaps you should ask someone in Japan who has learned it?:
http://www.jei.or.jp/hp/esp.htm
and check the Prague Manifesto:
http://lingvo.org

Bill Chapman said...

Yes, do take a serious look at Esperanto! The fact that you didn't know about it doesn't mean a lot. You know now.

Esperanto even has some native speakers (perhaps a couple of thousands), the results of international marriages. They all learn the languages of their parents too.

Remush said...

"Sign languages should be unified"

The amount of people speaking a sign language is small. The problem is with the family and close relatives of the deaf person: they prefer to learn a language that is close to their own, with the same grammar and word construction.
So there are many sign languages, what is a disaster when deaf people go abroad, or worse, attend an international meeting.
In my opinion, "unifying" languages is a very difficult task, much more difficult than creating a language from scratch.
A sign language based on Esperanto could be the solution. Look at Signuno

kaori said...

Thank you for giving me many comments!!
It's a good chance to think about many aspects of language.
I would appreciate all of you guys who joined the discussion here!!

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