Dr. Zamenhof (the inventor of Esperanto) was born in Poland, and he was a fluent Polish and Russian speaker. There is the same pronoun vy (plural you) in Russian and Polish. So I think the Inventor took this pronoun from these languages. And it's interesting that many other European languages have the similar words)) It's a pity that this language didn't become the worldwide mean of communication. But we never will be able to replace a great live national language, which have been created for ages, for centuries, with a planned language... And I want to say that Esperanto is easy only for Europeans and Americans, but not for Africans, Indians and Chinese
I'm in partial disagreement with Arthur0703's last two sentences. I don't pretend to know the future, and I've noticed that no one else seems to either. It's hard to predict what language might replace another at some point in the future, and almost all the bigger languages, and many smaller ones, have some combination of public and private language planning going on.
It's wrong to say that Esperanto isn't easier for "Africans, Indians, and Chinese." We have more than a hundred years of evidence and testimony that shows the Esperanto is easier for people from these groups. An important question is, "easier than what?" Since Esperanto is more consistent and simpler than almost all natural languages, it is easier to learn as a second language than almost all other languages would be, no matter what your native language is. On the other hand, for every native language, there may be a closely related or very similar language, which would be simpler to learn than Esperanto, for those native speakers. If you are a native speaker of one Chinese language, then learning another Chinese language would be easier for you than learning Esperanto. But learning Esperanto would be easier than learning French or German. Or learning Navaho.
Hello, Nekonida! I think I expressed myself incorrectly and you didn't understand me correctly. I made a mistake in my last sentence. I really agree with you but I wanted to say that Esperanto is easier for Europeans and Americans, but it's less easy for Africans, Indians and Chinese :) I think you argee with me that the vocabulary of Esperanto is "european". About 95% Esperanto words are Latin, Greek, English, German, Italian, probably, Spanish, Portuguese, Danish, Swedish, Polish, Russian and some other Slavic languages and it's all! The list is almost finished. But if we declaire Espereanto as a world language, we'll have no respect for Africans, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese or, for example,Papuans! Esperanto can be international only for Americans and Europeans.
Your raise interesting questions, Arthur0703. I certainly agree with you, that the more overlap between languages, the simpler learning can be. But let's not exaggerate the effect of those similarities. English and Danish are both Germanic languages, close relatives, but if we listen to normal spoken Danish, we won't understand a single sentence, and there is a good chance that we won't recognize more than a handful of words correctly in a half-hour speech. French, German, and Russian are in the same language family, but the differences make mutual understanding impossible, without a lot of study. I'm told the same is true of Kiowa and Cree, Aymara and Tupí, Yoruba and Bantu. Except for a few pairs of languages, the learning advantages of being in the same family are often exaggerated.
"Respect" is a challenging concept to pin down. If we picked one lexical item from each of the worlds 7,000 languages, would that be respectful? Perhaps, but it certainly wouldn't be helpful. Similarly, if we refuse to select any simple, well-designed candidate for international language use, is that more respectful? It just means that money and power get to crush all other languages more easily. Picking a national language as the international auxiliary language would certainly make learning harder for most students than learning Esperanto is, which seems disrespectful to me.
One way to show respect is to ask people what they want, rather than speculating on what they need. This has been done in relation to Esperanto, beginning in the early years. Non-Europeans (mostly Asians) were asked whether they wanted an international language that had more Asian word roots. While answers obviously varied by individual, a common response was along the lines of, "No. I already know an Asian language. I want a language that will help me interact with Europe, to help me connect via commerce or education, or help me learn a European language." Various Asian Esperanto speakers said that they had tried and failed to learn a European language, until they tried Esperanto. In some cases, they then learned German, French, or English. In other cases, Esperanto was sufficient. But the viewpoint was widespread that they weren't longing for an international language with more Asian word roots.
Esperanto's structure has more in common with Chinese that it does with French. It's simple enough that it seems somewhat familiar, and fairly straight forward for both. The French speaker has an advantage over the Chinese speaker in the area of vocabulary, but I don't know of a better alternative.