Shall Constructed Languages Solve Language Barrier?
Sino- English. The news from Radio New Zealand National is that “the American Associate Professor of English at the University of Oklahoma; Jonathan Stalling has created a new alphabet for 350 million Chinese across continents that may be struggling to learn English. As a specialist in Chinese-English poetry and language
Dr. Stalling is utilizing ancient poetics to help speakers of Chinese to study spoken English more fluently. His invention has world-wide applications.”
“So what I did has I invented a way of using Chinese characters, that cut the character into consonants and vowels and redistribute them evenly to make the English language phonetically and accurately as letters. That will allow the Chinese user to see the character, understand the sound in the correct order and pronounce the English word more accurately. This is the new inter-language that one can learn more intuitively and quickly.”
The usage of early constructed languages
Volapük. In 1880 a priest Johann Martin Schreyer from Bavaria formed a language that he believed the entire world could use. He blended words from German, French and English and gave this language the name Volapük, which did not add much to it. Unfortunately, was too twisted to use, sprinkled with unusual sounds and case endings similar to Latin.
Esperanto. Volapük was over taken with Esperanto, a constructed international auxiliary language. Its name derives from Doktoro Esperanto (“Esperanto” translates as “one who hopes”), It was constructed by a Polish physician L.L. Zamenhof, whose goal was to create an easy-to-learn, politically neutral language that would transcend nationality and foster peace and international understanding between people with different languages. Wikipedia.com
Esperanto is now 129 years old and the most widely spoken constructed language around the world. About 2,000,000 people worldwide, to varying levels, speak Esperanto. The native speakers of Esperanto are approximately 1,000 people. 10,000 people can speak Esperanto fluently, 100,000 can use it actively, 1000,000 understand a lot of Esperanto, and up to 10 million have learned it to some degree.
The World Esperanto Association has members in 120 countries. It is highly used in Europe South America and East Asia. Lernu! the most popular online learning platform for Esperanto reported 150,000 registered users in 2013 and sees between 150,000 and 200,000 visitors each month On 28 May 2015, the language learning platform Duolingo launched an Esperanto course for English speakers. As of 14 January 2016, over 260,000 users had signed up.
As we can see, Esperanto is promising to become a global promising medium of communication
Which is the way forward?
Apart from individual linguists, language associations and professional translation agencies who participate in searching the solutions to the language barrier, the entire globe can be heard anxious to get over the problem of the language barrier so as to smoothen the flow trade, international diplomatic relations and all areas of globalized life.
This is a middle of a dilemma among planet earth citizens of whether to let the original languages spread naturally and gradually until the dominant language emerges for universal usage or support the construction of new languages since they are prospering given the example of Esperanto.
The dilemma is caused by the fact that both the original and constructed languages come with mega benefits yet giving way to both of them would worsen the problem; that will take us back to back cycles of a language barrier.
The original languages seem to be accompanied with technical knowledge while the constructed languages could be an appropriate communication medium in an inevitably globalizing world.
The constructed languages are origin based, they are limited to the fact that for one to learn them, they should have learned its origin first such as Esperanto which is English based and Sino- English which is Chinese based.
We may decide to construct languages for only specific purposes like trade, international relations, and law so as to protect the original languages, but as time goes on, the original languages may be absorbed in the constructed languages since these are usually commercial languages therefore powerful. We would not wish losing the original language considering that they are the key to the hidden knowledge.
As English, the original tongue of the Iron Age tribes in Denmark is emerging as an international communication medium, and on its way to being spoken by every third person on the planet, other languages that seem not to rest until they dominate; the likes of Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, Arabic and more which are spreading simultaneously.
Only time seems to have an idea about the permanent solution to the language barrier. Meanwhile, Let’s utilize the efficiency of professional translation services, you never know what the future may bring.