Would you give up your mother tongue for a common world language, if you knew that it would unite all people?

By: | Post date: 2016-11-22 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: General Language, Linguistics

Thx4A2A, Irene. I’d say that in Armenian, but my wife doesn’t speak it. 🙁

This is a painful question for me, as I was an Esperantist for a fair while.

But even before the Espereantists split about whether the “final victory” was worth messianically waiting for, they were very careful not to convey a message that Esperanto would displace ethnic languages (even though, if the hegemony of the final victory ever happened, that would be the expected outcome). Esperanto was always meant to be a second language only.

I won’t address the fact that the hypothetical is implausible, that a common language would not unite all people, as proven by every civil war ever.

I will say that my identity as an English-speaker and a Greek-speaker is definitional to me, and I will not wish to relinquish it.

The march of technology means that we’re going to see similar challenges to our identities within our lifetimes, even if not this one. I’m pretty sure I’m going to be on the wrong side of those challenges, myself.

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