Esperanto, Nice Try

Esperanto was created to be the international language, and would be the second language everyone would learn after their mother tongue and before a foreign language. That way anyone could speak with anyone, regardless of their nationality. Communication among all peoples would foster peace and cooperation. The world would be a better place.

It didn’t work out that way. Oh, Esperanto gained a lot of support, and since it’s beginning more than a hundred years ago has garnered millions of speakers and enthusiastic proponents. It has made some gains, and today has an increasing presence on the internet, but it hasn’t been enough, and it never will be.

The problem is two-fold. First of all, one can connect with more speakers using widely spoken languages such as English, Spanish, or Mandarin. These languages are going to offer young learners vastly more reward for their effort in culture, business, and travel opportunities. Esperanto simply can’t compete.

Secondly, Google Translate. That one pretty much speaks for itself, and in whatever language you want. No need to spend time learning when you can get free, fast, and somewhat accurate translations at the click of a button.

It is certainly a good thing to have a universal language to bring peoples of the world together to share in the common cultures, technologies, and ways of thinking that make up the human experience. But this only happens when one nation dominates and spreads it’s spoken word as supreme among the nations of the world.

Today, that language is English, yesterday it was French, and before that Latin. As for tomorrow, who knows. It’s not likely going to be Esperanto.


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