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Could Esperanto seriously become the lingua franca?
A2A by Rahul. Ah, Rahul. This hurts. Nick Nicholas’ answer to What is it like to be a kabeinto? What was it like to leave Esperantujo?
But, you asked.
The lingua franca? Of course not, not any more. There might have been a brief window with the League of Nations, maybe even the UN, but that’s long gone.
It’s a lingua franca, but as the Rauma school (Raumism) have taken to calling it, it’s really more a self-selected diaspora language by now.
Let me turn this on its head though. When the Delegation for the Adoption of an International Auxiliary Language met in 1907 to decide which the right auxiliary language would be, Zamenhof was prepared to go along with what they decided. He was on the record more than once saying that he was not an Esperanto chauvinist: he was in it for an international language to enable peace in the world, and he didn’t mind whose language it was.
But the rank and file didn’t go along with that—especially once de Beaufront’s double cross was found out. And really, the only way Esperanto would be adopted as the lingua franca now, is if some group like the Delegation was able to impose it on a One World Government, and they’d certainly want to make that conditional on a bucket of reforms and tweaks.
Esperantists are now Esperanto chauvinists, because we’re involved in the language not so much for Zamenhof’s dream of a world language, but for the reality of the culture that has grown around the language. I wouldn’t give up the Esperanto as I know it, in exchange for an Esperanto Mark #2 being the lingua franca. I’m curious how many would.