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A universal language

By Henriette Vanechop - posted Thursday, 8 May 2008

The great number of language courses taught in New South Wales’ schools proves the quasi-impossibility of enabling all human beings to communicate universally, by use of national languages.

Only an auxiliary language, easy to learn, error-proof, taught in all primary schools in every country, would provide our descendants with a tool for international communication, while respecting and ensuring the continuity of all national tongues, dialects, and idioms within each ethnic group.

One of the objections cited by the Education Department to the teaching of such a language is that there is no demand from any ethnic community and no evidence of student interest.


But, for example, in 1966 "friendly persuasion" had to be used, along with firm perseverance, to adopt the metric system, yet it is a time-saver compared to the Imperial system. Likewise, no doubt, when Roman numerals were replaced by the Hindu-Arabic numerals: if we had waited for public demand we would still be making long divisions with M, D, C, L, X, V, I ... what fun!

In the musical world, if each member of an international orchestra read his part in his/her own language, could harmony be achieved?

Maybe it is time for educators to take the lead in the communication area.

English is often suggested as the international language. English is an elegant language, it would be a pity to see it disintegrating into “Englishes” and being spoken badly by non-native English users. To preserve its integrity, we should protect it to prevent it going the way of the Latin language.

Of course, there have been many attempts at "simplifying" English but what would become of the treasures of literature?

There have also been many attempts at inventing an international language: and one is presently gaining in popularity. In December 2007, Esperanto was added to the list of languages officially used by the European Union. It is very popular in Korea, Japan, China, Brazil and Canada, surprisingly welcome in parts of the United States, and getting known in Africa.


Esperanto is rejected by some educators as being an "artificial" language. The vocabulary is based mainly on Latin, Greek, German and Slav which hardly makes it artificial. (Anyway, come to think of it, aren't cars "artificial horses"?)

Phonetic and carefully compiled, Esperanto is logical. It is free of the exceptions, inconsistencies, irregular verbs, and traps inherent in, say, English or French, for example. It has a definite value in providing introductory instruction, encouraging the learner and boosting confidence - what one learns today is not contradicted tomorrow. Esperanto is a "bridge" to the acquisition of more languages.

Here are a few sites with useful information:

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About the Author

Henriette Vanechop has become obsessed with the need for the abilty to communicate universally with all peoples. In retirement she has examined various offerings, discussed them with people of different nationalities and concluded that Esperanto seems to be the best option.

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

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