https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Xasybean.

Which Conlang would be the best International Auxiliary Language?

Even if Esperanto seems like the best contender, I would still like to know if anyone else thinks another language would be better suited.

I, personally, think of a certain ranked criteria:

• Consistency (no contradictory rules)

• Innovation/Design (It's artificial: I think it should take advantage of that)

• Expression (The ability to say what's on your mind without struggle)

• Simplicity/Ease of Learning

• Aesthetic (Beauty is subjective anyway. I wouldn't mind a gruff or ugly language, so long as the above criteria is met)

Note: any language can be discussed, so long as it's a constructed language. E.g. Klingon, Sindarin, Esperanto, and Ithkuil, can all be compared. It doesn't need to be popular, nor an intentional IAL. If you can argue for it, it can be considered.

March 27, 2018

52 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TheRealMaestro

Esperanto has two advantages against other auxlangs: standardisation and inertia. Esperanto's rules and vocabulary were fixed in 1905 with the Foundation and the Declaration of Boulogne; in contrast, Esperantido projects usually fracture as every man has his own idea of how Esperanto ought to be improved. Ido languished between 1914 and Usenet's invention, while Esperanto survived. Moreover, Esperanto has a spoken community of men interested in an IAL which is much larger than those of Interlingua, Ido or any other. Interlingua might be understood passively through the Mediterranean and America, though these do not replace true speakers. This factor motivated me in choosing to learn Esperanto above Interlingua.

Esperanto's grammar is consistent, and research shows its ease to learn against natural languages. (I know no research comparing between auxiliary languages: I hear Toki Pona is quicker to learn, though for obvious reasons it is ill suited for an IAL.) I am not certain what sort of 'innovation/design' you find suitable: there is an advantage in making words cognate to some family to ease learning further for them without hindering others; as I said before, as the most widespread by every metric, Indo-Germanic as Esperanto uses is the best option. Esperanto's grammar is nonetheless innovative, especially in its agglutinative word construction; it does not much resemble Yiddish upon which Zamenhof originally based Esperanto.

March 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Danielconcasco

All conlangs are easier to learn than natural languages. I think too much time is wasted on picking the perfect one instead of actually using them.

In my mind, that brings you to inertia, as you mentioned. Getting the inertia behind a conlang is nearly impossible, and dare I say, a fools errand. The fact that Esperanto actually spread and continued to spread for over 100 years is a small miracle. I think a lot of people don't appreciate how amazing that was and still is. That inertia more than makes up for any of the often cited flaws in Esperanto.

We can speculate on how useful Interlingua would be if it were ever used or we could use a language that is living and breathing right now.

March 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/salivanto

Absolutely! (Although perhaps someone could quibble: "all auxlangs" - because there are some conlangs that are not easy, and meant to be so.)


Edit: I ended up commenting a few places in this thread. The result was this video.

https://youtu.be/Sr0MXihvVjg https://youtu.be/Sr0MXihvVjg

March 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/salivanto

I got so many helpful and interesting comments on the first video that I made a part 2. More to come after that!

https://youtu.be/PoQryJDs_bs https://youtu.be/PoQryJDs_bs

February 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/salivanto

I got so many helpful and interesting comments on the first video that I made a part 2. More to come after that!

https://youtu.be/PoQryJDs_bs https://youtu.be/PoQryJDs_bs

February 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OmegaGmaster

All conlangs are easier to learn than natural languages.

I think you missed the note about Ithkuil.

April 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nemosj

I fell in love with the concept of Auxlangs the first time I stumbled upon it but I have since undertaken a more pragmatic POV, wich is that a language is a symptom—rather than the cause—of the need to communicate between people.

It is just not practical to set up a priori an international language because people won't pick it up. Only if two people have to communicate despite not having a common language, then a sort of interlanguage would automatically pop up and—if relations are kept—time and practice would hone that raw material into something more. That's how lingua francas have been born in the past

March 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Xasybean.

If I can give my own opinion, I've always been enthusiastic about Lojban. Out of my criteria, it seems to fit into the three and then some.

Consistency: all of the words, depending on what types of words they are, are a particular length.

gismu – CCVCV / CVCCV. prenu / bangu

cmavo – V / CV / CV'V. .i / ba / di'i

lujvo – 6≤. glibau / bavlamdei

Simplicity: as mentioned before, the short uniform lexicon make all the words easy to remember.

Design: compared to the other conlangs mentioned, Lojban may seem weird. Yet, I found Lojban's system much easier to understand than others. That's strange to say, since all the others are so natural.

March 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RandallBur4

There are a couple of major criteria here: a) is the language easy for folks starting from scratch to learn(i.e. people that know no world language). b) does the language facilitate learning of natural languages

The emergence of automatic translation for the web is going to enable a bunch of languages to compete on a pretty even playing field for niche a). Learning esperanto first already seems a better path to learning a world language(English, Spanish, French and maybe even Chinese, Russian or Arabic) than diving directly into any of those languages. That just isn't widely understood yet.

The thing is : any contender is going to have to show a compelling advantage to be better than esperanto. 5-10% improvement woudn't be enough to overcome esperanto's momentum. Even as is : it will take a long time for Esperanto to develop critical mass to move beyond the current niche as a glue for a specific community and the emerging niches described above.

March 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/salivanto

An idea which appealed to me (20 years ago) was a language designed to be machine translated - and yet allowed to co-evolve naturally.

Imagine a languge similar to Esperanto, relaunched on the world with one or two co-projects. One would have European vocabulary. One would have Asian vocabular. One would have African vocabulary. (Again, the details are up for discussion, but here's the general idea.) Each vocabulary would be pegged to its counterpart in the other two variations. A computer could then automatically and flawlessly translate between the variations.

The term for this is relexification (called "relex" in Conlang circles) - and usually it's thought of as a bad thing (lack of creativity.) In this case, it's intentional. IMHO, there is no solution to the vocabulary problem in Auxlang design. Auxlangs tend to be eurocentric, and a "fair" Auxlang which takes words equally from all languages, just makes sure that everybody has to learn all the words from scratch. This way, people can learn one or two vocabulary sets and still be able to communicate... in writing, anyway.

So, for example, our language will need a word for "bird". The meaning of this word will be defined the same for all three variations (by fiat), but the form will vary

  • birdo
  • torio
  • ndego

But ultimately, I see this all as frivolous speculation.

March 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RandallBur4

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_Networking_Language This is a machine readable language designed as a pivol language (an intermediate language for translations).

English, French, Russian, Arabic are the natural languages most widely used as pivot languages. Both Esperanto and Interlingua have been used for that purpose also.

I think there is niche in creating a representation of UNL in something people can understand to enable folks to manually edit automatic translations more easily. All human readable pivot language have problem in that they cannot really represent as many human languages as UNL can. UNL is being constantly extended to fulfil its specific mission.

April 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mirson8

Imagine a languge similar to Esperanto, relaunched on the world with one or two co-projects. One would have European vocabulary. One would have Asian vocabular. One would have African vocabulary. (Again, the details are up for discussion, but here's the general idea.) Each vocabulary would be pegged to its counterpart in the other two variations. A computer could then automatically and flawlessly translate between the variations.

I like this Idea. I agree that each of these wide 3 (European, African and Asian) languages "groups" have different characteristics. It is proven that learning a easy languages (like Esperanto) helps in learning other languages. So after for example African person had the oprotunity to learn Africo-Esperanto, Inter-Africo (or wherever would be the name), then he/she would have better chances in progressing in other languages too.


But I doubt that it would be easy to make accurate language for machine translations. That language would have to be most complex language with all grammatical rules and nuances.

For example when translating these two Japanese sentences to English:

私は庭に行く

私は庭に行きます

They both means "I go to the park" but the second is in formal polite form. So as you can see, there is a translation loss into English.

March 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/salivanto

But I doubt that it would be easy to make accurate language for machine translations.

Then I have failed to communicate my point. It would be trivially simple to relexify a text in this hypothetical language. I want to underscore, my idea is not to make it "accurate" for machine language, but rather to declare by fiat, that the three variations can always be literally translated between themselves. In fact, let's call this "translexation".

The example you gave (translating between two natural, mostly unplanned languages which grew up independently) is not relevant to what I'm saying here.

So, in my hypothetical language, there would have to be some discussion about what the grammar would be like, but the grammar would be 100% the same between the three variations. Each lexical item would be pinned to a corresponding lexical item with the same definition in the other language. Material would routinely be translexated between the various subgroups to help keep the languages from drifting apart with use.

There would be no reason in this hypothetical language to include formal and informal usage ... or if there is, all three variations would have the same distinction by design.

March 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Natsumipuh

私は庭に行く

私は庭に行きます

They both means "I go to the park" but the second is in formal polite form. So as you can see, there is a translation loss into English.

None of them mean that. 庭 means garden, not park. Also, where is the intrinsic loss in translation? Different levels of politeness can be conveyed in English. Admittedly, it would be a hell of a job for a machine translator to do it accurately in multiple directions.

May 5, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mirson8

None of them mean that. 庭 means garden, not park.

Yes, you are right. My mistake.

Also, where is the intrinsic loss in translation? Different levels of politeness can be conveyed in English.

Yes, there are polite English expressions like "Sir", "Madam", "Can I...?", "May I...?" etc. but IMHO because every Japanese verb can be in plain, polite or horrific form, I would find it difficult to translate some text to English without losing it's "essence". With some workarounds a lot can be achieved, but it is not the same as 1 to 1 translation.

Admittedly, it would be a hell of a job for a machine translator to do it accurately in multiple directions.

Glad that we agree here.

May 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HappyEvilSlosh

It's an interesting thought exercise though!

March 30, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/salivanto

If you were replying to me, this is very different from what I was suggesting.

April 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/salivanto

Deep down one of the subthreads, Xasybean asked me ever so kindly:

you still haven't entertained the question. Please, may you suggest a conlang and a justification?

So... to remind myself, here's the original question:

Which Conlang would be the best International Auxiliary Language?

I think the best answer is from TheRealMaestro who said - Esperanto has two advantages against other auxlangs: standardisation and inertia. This is a really great answer and does a pretty good job of summing up everything else I'm going to say below. (Yes, you can stop reading now!) To put it another way the best IAL is the one people will actually speak and there's a lot more to this quesiton than what is "best" or "perfect."

MartinKieler mentioned Intal - a project I'm actually pretty fond of - and said that it had (not has?) no chance because it's less naturalistic than Interlingua. Here's what I wrote in this thread about Intal:

I got really into Intal once. It's pretty cool from my perspective as a fluent Esperantist and hesitant Auxlanger. Then somebody went and uploaded a bunch of materials from a DIFFERENT REVISION of Intal on the web (and then quickly disappeared.) Why do people have to revise language projects? It's frustrating.

So, again, we come back to standardization and inertia. Intal has no inertia, but had some interesting solutions to that problem. The coolest thing about Intal is that you don't need an Intal dictionary to write it. You can write it using whichever IAL dictionary you have on hand. (For most of the world this will be an Esperanto dictionary - but it really doesn't matter.) I think this demonstrates that this whole question is silly. We can talk all day about whether we like Ido, or Esperanto, or LSF, or Interlingua, or Occidental, or NEO... and in the end, Intal comes out more or less the same regardless of which dictionary you use. Which language will be best? Who cares!

But also, Intal had no standardization. If I were to get into it again, it would be for the same version that I learned before, who's to say the other 3 Intal speakers in the world are using the same version?

Another suggestion I made was this:

An idea which appealed to me (20 years ago) was a language designed to be machine translated - and yet allowed to co-evolve naturally.

Several people misunderstood my suggestion. What I meant was a language designed with multiple variations, each intended to be translated between each other. The variations would be semantically identical, but the specific vocabulary labels would be regional and so would ease the memory burden of learning the vocabulary.


So, in summary

As much as I can make sense of the original question (and I've already written a ton about why I don't think it makes sense), I think I've already answered

  • Esperanto is the best choice because of standardization and intertia.
  • A zonal "translexifiable" language is the best choice because there's no other solution to the vocabulary problem.
  • Intal is the best choice because it demonstrates that it's not all about the dictionary and that differences don't matter.
May 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Xasybean.

Thank you for your genuine response. It's a very well-thought-through answer.

October 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/salivanto

Yeah. It is. (If I don't say so myself - now five months later.) I should use it as an outline for a YouTube video.

October 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/salivanto

https://youtu.be/Sr0MXihvVjg https://youtu.be/Sr0MXihvVjg

This video is the result of the question asked in this very thread. Thanks Xasybean for asking!

January 31, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MartinKieler

I think that Interlingua would be a better alternative than Esperanto. It was designed to be immediately understandable for native speakers of romance languages.

Even monolingual English-speakers can understand most of it, just as long as they are well educated and acquainted with international or scientific vocabulary.

Plus native speakers of european languages who have learned Latin or at least one romance language are also able to read it without any problems.

You must not forget the fact that naturalistic conlangs have been far more successful than the so-called schematic conlangs. Except for Esperanto due to its historical advantage of being one of the first adequate conlangs.

If you want to know more about that language You should check out this homepage: http://www.interlingua.com

Here is a little example for You that I already used over the internet:


Io scribeva un poema in le forma del haiku e io usava plure kigos que poterea causar multe confusion.

Naturalmente io vole audir vostre opinion. Que dice mi poema a vos?

Lumine lunar cuba como nive sur le pelle nude

Kigo es un japonese parola e significa "parola del saison". Le deber principal del kigos es indicar le saison del momentanee expression descripte in le haiku.

Le luna es un signo pro le autumno, le nive implica le hiberno naturalmente e nuditate significa le estate in japonese poesia.

Le confusion in mi poema es le usage de symbolos pro autumno e hiberno in le prime duo lineas de mi obra e le estive metaphora in le ultime phrase. Si on non cognosce le regulas del haiku il non es specialmente confundente pro le lector.


Io propone que le humanitate usa un lingua construite pro le communication in tote le mundo e io espera que vos facera le mesme.

By the way. I am working on a new version of Esperanto that is more naturalistic and understandable to speakers of romance languages. It does not differ very much from the normal Esperanto, so it is still supremely constistent, which was regarded as very important by you.

I call it "Esperanto Latina" or "Esperanto Nova"

Esperanto:

Mi proponas ke la homaro uzas konstruitan lingvon por la komunikado en la tuta mondo kaj mi esperas ke vi faros la saman.

Esperanto Nova:

Mi proponas ke la humanitato uzas konstruitan lingvon por la komunikado en la tuta mondo kaj mi esperas ke vi faros la mesman.

March 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TheRealMaestro

I seriously considered learning Interlingua instead of Esperanto. There are several features of Interlingua which I like: its systematic vocabulary, broad comprehensibility without formal study and design philosophy all appealed to me. Ignoring the question of popularity and evaluating the languages strictly in themselves, I still find Esperanto has some advantages. Its grammar exists more concisely than Interlingua's; Zamenhof's Fundamentals are neater than Gode's Grammar and Interlingua-English Dictionary. Esperanto's vocabulary is also more easily extended for new purposes, while Interlingua must (unless I am mistaken) rather depend on its source languages' rules for any new terms.

March 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/salivanto

I wrote a few short posts in Interlingua just yesterday. Interlinguans tend to rub me the wrong way. Interlingua has several disadvantages that nobody talks about - related to its community of speakers, such as it is. You touch on one of them - the question of usage vs "extracted" material. The community seems to be split. They're split on a lot of things.


Edit: Someone commented:

I dunno sounds a bit rich coming from a member of the Esperanto community.

The comment was voted down and has been removed or deleted. I thought it was a good question. I'd love to discuss it if the commenter is still interested. (My reply seems to be gone too.)

If there's something that I said about Interlingua speakers that applies to the Esperanto community, I'd love to talk about that - and either revise my opinion or explain why I see it differently.

March 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mirson8

"I think that Interlingua would be a better alternative than Esperanto. It was designed to be immediately understandable for native speakers of romance languages. "

"Plus native speakers of European languages who have learned Latin or at least one romance language are also able to read it without any problems."

As far as I know Esperanto already has a lot of vocabulary based on romance languages(since most Europeans languages have some roots with old Latin and old Greek literature, art and science). And as long as I can understand that Interlingua's advantage is that it can be understood by romance speakers without any learning, it's disadvantage is that it is FOCUSED on ONLY romance languages.

Compare Interlingua with Interslavic language both are similar(and different) in that Interlingua was constructed so most romance speakers could communicate with each other, and Interslavic was constructed so most slavic speakers could communicate. Do you see my point? Saying that Interlingua would be best as global and universal language would be like saying that Interslavic would be best as global and universal language. Of course by that I don't mean that Interlingua and Interslavic are useless. My point is that Esperanto's advantage is that it has wider share of words from more European languages and thus making it more easier and faster to learn on AVERAGE for wider group of speakers.

March 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Danielconcasco

This is a serious question, not a snarky, passive aggressive

"You must not forget the fact that naturalistic conlangs have been far more successful than the so-called schematic conlangs. Except for Esperanto due to its historical advantage of being one of the first adequate conlangs."

Which conlangs, naturalistic or schematic, have really had any success, other than Esperanto? All the rest are have practically no user.

I really like the sound of Interlingua, but I can't really use it, unlike Esperanto.

March 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/salivanto

I once came sort-of close to going to an Interlingua conference. It was in Bulgaria. I'd contacted the organizers (in Interlingua), told them of my interest, got the information. I even think I went out and bought some materials to learn Bulgarian so I could get around. I didn't end up going - something came up.

"Practically no users" is about right. This conference was one of the biggest in the world and smaller than most regional Esperanto events.

March 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MartinKieler

I would say that Esperanto enjoys its position as most often spoken conlang due to its historical advantage of being the first relatively adequate conlang. Esperanto is a special exception, so it must be "calculated" out of the statistic.

When I say "successful conlang" I mean a planned language, that was used during a certain period of time. There are numerous examples of living conlangs that have died out, but all of them were worthy opponents against Esperanto while they were in use.

It's like a good invention coming from an ingenious scientist that has got no chance against the established monopol from the very beginning.

The experience of the past has demonstrated that a conlang dies out quickly, when a more naturalistic counterpart emerges out of nothing. Ido (less schematic than Eperanto) was repressed by Occidental and Novial, which are classified as moderately naturalistic conlangs.

Later the Occidental prevailed but was repressed by the highly naturalistic Interlingua when it was published in 1951.

Today Interlingua is the only mentionable and worthy opponent against Esperanto, because it possesses the optimal grade of naturalness that a conlang could have.

All the following competitors against Interlingua had no chances, due to the fact that they were less naturalistic than Interlingua. Such as Neo, INTAL or Lingua Franca Nova.

My theory that naturalistic conlangs are more successful gets confirmed by the history of Slovio and Interslavic. Slovio is an easteuropean conlang based on the same schematic grammar that Esperanto is renowned for.

Slovio had a great and notable success but it was repressed very quickly by the highly naturalistic Interslavic. So all Slovio activities have vanished completely over the years.

But considering the young age of Interslavic, it can be regarded as an even bigger success than Esperanto.

So that's my point of view: In order to make Esperanto more successful, one must make it more naturalistic.

March 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Danielconcasco

If you make it more naturalistic, it's not Esperanto anymore, but just another Esperantido.

I still maintain, none of them have been successful, not even close. Some had numbers, but fizzled out, which means they didn't succeed.

March 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/salivanto

Esperantido vs Euroclone... the next epic rap battle.

March 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/salivanto

I got really into Intal once. It's pretty cool from my perspective as a fluent Esperantist and hesitant Auxlanger. Then somebody went and uploaded a bunch of materials from a DIFFERENT REVISION of Intal on the web (and then quickly disappeared.) Why do people have to revise language projects? It's frustrating.

March 30, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TheMorningDove

I think that Toki Pona would be a better option. Esperanto is very European based, and doesn't go very far from Romance and Germanic. (There's a bit of Slavic, too) Toki Pona incorporates some Asian languages, and I think a few African ones, too. There are only 123 base words, and so it blasts your simplicity requirement off the wall. Listen to a short video in Toki Pona - it's beautiful.

March 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Xasybean.

True. There is a certain internationalism in the lexicon. I will also admit that it is easy to learn. However, I am not sure if it is well-designed.

Having 120-125 words is impressive, but Toki Pona's goal was to be as simple as possible. Actually using it to speak and express actual ideas is not something it excels in. Having a concept but needing to find a certain selection of words to match that concept makes speaking Toki Pona more complicated for me.

When I said simplicity, I meant a lexicon of about 1,000–2,000 words, instead of under 150. That's too limiting.

March 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mirson8

I never heard of Toki Pona. I will take a look at it later.

March 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DaveRutan

For that, I would sincerely recommend this well done video link

March 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mirson8

Thanks for sharing! It was very entertaining and informative. It is a interesting language.

I agree with Paul about cons and pros of this language.

It is a very easy language and the way more complex words are composed from primary words remainds me of German, But Toki pona takes it to extreme. I like how Toki pona sound, but high degree of ambigunity makes it less efficient to communicate more complex ideas. Perhaps increasing amount of primary words would improve it a little, but ambiguity is deeply in it's core.

Another advantage is that, it have only 14 Phonemes ( English have 37 ) so most people can easily distinguish and pronounce all sounds.

But there is also a disadvantage of low amount of Phonemes - (which is not viable yet, at this point of development of this language). After this language develop more words(assuming it will - but probably won't ), the words will be either very long (like in German) and thus harder to remember or words will be very short(like in Japanese) and easy to confuse (one mistype would lead to a different word). There is another path going into Homophones but this leads to confusion as well. For compartment in Japanese there is only 22 phonemes and there are a lot (i mean a LOT) of homophones.

Imagine how hard it would be to pack a dictionary of words with only 14 of these.

March 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/salivanto

For those who are more interested in using an Auxlang than talking about it, I invite you to join and post in my Facebook group "Bablo" where posts can be about any topic but must be in an Auxlang - preferably one at least somewhat comprehensible to Esperantists, Interlinguans, Idists... etc.

March 30, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/salivanto

I question the apparent assumption in your question - that Esperanto is a "contender". The value of Esperanto is not in it's potential for any ultimate goal that it may be "contending" for - but in its aesthetic value and in the value that comes from being able to speak with other members of the Esperanto community. When one sees Esperanto that way (as I do), your question doesn't even make sense.

March 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Xasybean.

I wanted to know what people would choose and what they think a criteria for an IAL. I didn't want people to say Esperanto, just because it seemed to be the best contender. Some people may think differently and have different choices.

March 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/salivanto

But... I think you're still assuming that there's something to choose. At the very least, I don't think you're being explicit with what you mean by "choose". What do you think Espearnto is a contendor to?

My thought - based on years wasted (uh, I mean "spent") in discussions on the Auxlang list, if someone is interested in Auxlang projects from an aesthetic point of view, more power to them. If a person is seriously pursuing it as a goal, it really is a rabbit hole - and please, stay with us here in the real world. It's nice here. We have cookies.

March 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Xasybean.

Again, I don't think you're grasping the point. I asked what conlang (any conlang; not just ones intended to be IALs) people think would be good for the entire world to use. It's a hypothetical query. I wasn't dismissing Esperanto, I was just saying that I wanted to know what people thought would be best, and not what realistically seemed like the best choice. Because it's the most popular, Esperanto seems like the best contender.

March 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/salivanto

Of course I'm not grasping the point. That's why I asked you to make it explicit. At the same time, the fact that you clarified to me that you weren't dismissing Esperanto makes me think that you're not grasping my point either. That's OK. It happens online all the time.

You still haven't made it explicit:

  • be good for the entire world to use as what?
  • You wanted to know what people thought would be best for what?
  • not what realistically seemed like the best choice for what?
  • Esperanto seems like the best contender to what?

In reply to your comment below (we're nested too deep to continue):

  • It says in the question: Which conlang would make the best IAL? What do you mean, "for what?"

I want to thank you for your patience in trying to understand what I'm saying here - especially since it probably looks like I'm trying to be clever, or tricky, or stubborn ... or that I'm just stupid. I think at this point I'm going to move on since clearly we're not understanding each other.

I would like you to consider, however, that I spent something like 10 years on a very active mailing list (it's what we called message boards or forums back then) dedicated to the subject of Auxlangs. The subtlety of my question is based on the experience that I gathered there. If you're interested in the topic, it would be good to understand this subtlety.

You are assuming that people have the same understanding about what an IAL is for. This is not the case. You have to specify how the IAL would be used before you can even talk about the other criteria. Then you have to agree on what the criteria is. Then you have to discuss how to apply the criteria and whether different projects meet the criteria.

It's an endless rabbit hole.


So, a month went by and you wrote this:

Obviously, an IAL would be a language that the entire population can utilise. For human communication: talking to one another.

How is that obvious? It's clear you have a vision of what an IAL is and what an IAL is for, but it's not safe to assume that this vision is "obvious" to anybody. There is some overlap between IAL and "universal language" but there are many areas where they do not overlap. It's best to be explicit.

You're getting closer to answering my question, though, so thank you.

Clearly, it should be a language not too simple,

Well, "too simple" is excessive, by definition.

It should not be too much like natural languages,

This strikes me as a conclusion, not a premise.

Just imagine a future setting, in which we've united and start exploring space: what language do you imagine us speaking?

This is kind of what I'm getting at. Esperanto is already useful for the things that Esperanto is useful for. Depending on what we mean by IAL, we already have a successful IAL ... now... not in the future.


And continuing:

By asking which the best IAL, or universal language, is, I mean I'm asking which constructed language would be spoken by everyone.

I'm still having trouble with the phrase "by everyone". Even in the hypothetical future and in a perfect world, there will be people who have no interest or need for the IAL. Where would we draw the line.

Esperanto absolutely is "a language everybody (all its speakers) uses to communicate internationally."

To me "universal language" means "replacement" -- which is in conflict with the "A" in "IAL" - so IMHO, no constructed language will (or at least should) be a universal language.

Still, you still haven't entertained the question. Please, may you suggest a conlang and a justification?

Well, I said all the way up this thread that there was a reason I wasn't answering the question. I'll think about this a bit and if I can come up with something useful to say, I may start a new subthread off your OP.

March 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Xasybean.

… It says in the question: Which conlang would make the best IAL? What do you mean, "for what?"

Aside from that, the opinions and criteria will obviously be subjective for each person. That's why I asked the question in the first place.

March 30, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Xasybean.

Obviously, an IAL would be a language that the entire population can utilise. For human communication: talking to one another.

Clearly, it should be a language not too simple, so we can still express ourselves as best we can. It should be varied enough, so we can not only talk about the weather or simple things, as well as complex discussions like political subjects. It should not be too much like natural languages, as they have proven to have issues, but it should also be somewhat familiar to help people along in the beginning. These are obviously opinionated, but the job of an IAL is established. Just imagine a future setting, in which we've united and start exploring space: what language do you imagine us speaking?

May 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Xasybean.

By asking which the best IAL, or universal language, is, I mean I'm asking which constructed language would be spoken by everyone. Just because Esperanto is an IAL, it isn't a language everyone uses to communicate internationally. That's part of the hypothetical: which conlang, out of all of them, would be the best universal language.

Thanks for the distinction between IAL and universal language. That may help.

Still, you still haven't entertained the question. Please, may you suggest a conlang and a justification?

May 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/salivanto

I've edited my bottom reply to include a reply to your latest comment.

May 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Xasybean.

Excellent. It's good to hear. Now I feel content to finish this thread. I appreciate your patience.

May 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JohnKing147785

I think the best contender for an auxlang should be similar to a creole language in terms of grammar simplicity. There are some things I like about Esperanto but sometimes I think it's a bit too complex. Something like Lingua Franca Nova or Lingwa de Planeta seem easier to me.

December 7, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/salivanto

I wonder if it's the Kellerman book making you think it's too complex. :-)

P.S. Nice to see you back on Duolingo... and thanks for reminding me of this thread. I have a vague plan to turn my own commentary here into a video on Esperanto Variety Show.

December 7, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JohnKing147785

Nice to see you too. Good luck on the video if you decide to do it.

December 7, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/salivanto

Video has been recorded, edited, and is being uploaded now. It will be available for patrons later today. Presumably I'll publish it on Thursday... unless I come up with something between now and then which I want to publish first.


Edit: Three weeks later.... I actually came up with a few things which needed to be published first. It's public now, though.

https://youtu.be/Sr0MXihvVjg https://youtu.be/Sr0MXihvVjg

January 5, 2019
Learn Esperanto in just 5 minutes a day. For free.