Given that international auxiliary languages allow for more efficient cooperation; I think more people should consider using an easily learnable IAL, like Esperanto.

IALs would reduce the English dominance that gate-keeps software development to English persons; and hence allow more potential software developers to better develop software. The English language is mostly dominant in software development because of linguistic imperialism.

@katve
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The programming language is the IAL. And IMO English as the current Lingua Franca is most understood, and using/creating a new language for programmers, but not programming, would be counterproductive.

This all is ofc excluding the other problems in IALs, and the hassle of having to learn a new language for even communicating about programming.

I love conlangs, but this is not the use case for them.

I just think we should common terms among languages, and design them such that they are usable to speakers of other languages. Having totally different terms in my native language and English is pretty confusing at times…

Amicese
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The programming language is the IAL.

Then why are most programming languages in English and why are there non-English programming languages? Remember, tokens can be anything as long as it is usable.

This all is ofc excluding the other problems in IALs,

What are the problems?

And IMO English as the current Lingua Franca is most understood,

It’s also a very difficult language and largely spread through imperialism.

and the hassle of having to learn a new language for even communicating about programming.

Which is what foreign programmers have to do to be able to interact with the English software development industry: they often have to learn English, and it’s unfair that they have to learn a non-native language to even use most software, let alone develop them.

(That’s why I’m increasing my usage of Esperanto in my programming.)

I love conlangs, but this is not the use case for them.

Conlangs ≠ IALs

This is an excellent use case; the development of the internet has resulted in unprecedented collaboration between countries. This means that conflicts on which language to start will inevitably occur, due to the effort it would take to translate all of them. (I think that language should be an IAL, like Esperanto.)

Esperanto can also be used for older programs as it can be encoded in ASCII through the H/X writing systems.’

I just think we should common terms among languages, and design them such that they are usable to speakers of other languages.

Then the terms would have to be translated into other languages’ spelling systems, which would be impossible because of their massive difference.

How do you expect to accomplish this?

Having totally different terms in my native language and English is pretty confusing at times…

Likely because the U.S have imposed a culture of expecting you to learn English to support software development without taking much action to improve IALs.

@Faresh
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For software development I would have thought of Lojban (the logical language). It’s supposed to be syntactically unambiguous, so there are even parsers for that language.

Esperanto seems to me kinda… meh. Like, if we are going to do something as ambitious as establishing an IAL, why not shoot for the stars? Why not choose something that by some standard most of us can agree on, is the best of all for the job (not saying Lojban would be one, since it doesn’t even aim to be an IAL)? Let’s say ease of learning was one of the most important criteria: Then toki pona or some other derivative could be something we ought to look at. Or maybe even create and entirely new language. The one thing I see that Esperanto excels in is its popularity, which is useful to avoid the “Why would I learn that language if no one else speaks it?” situation, but I believe we should go beyond that if we have the choice of establishing an IAL.

Amicese
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Esperanto seems to me kinda… meh. Like, if we are going to do something as ambitious as establishing an IAL, why not shoot for the stars?

Trying to make a perfect IAL has failed miserably. Esperanto, while not perfect, has managed to do something most IALs haven’t: get a large mass of speakers; so I support it despite it’s flaws.

Why not choose something that by some standard most of us can agree on, is the best of all for the job (not saying Lojban would be one, since it doesn’t even aim to be an IAL)?

because Esperanto is a standard most speakers can agree on, even if it’s not perfect. Other IALs failed to develop to the material conditions of the time.

Dessalines
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I really just wish there was a simple, restricted vocab set, truly-international IAL. Esperanto is highly euroscentric, and ignores some of the most spoken language families in the world.

I’d thought that toki pona or !tokima@lemmy.ml could be an alternative, but its development seems dead unfortunately.

@hfkldjbuq@beehaw.org
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Is there any scientific evidence Esperantano is more efficient, has significantly superior user experience/usability? What about that in the context of using it for software engineering? People seem to have developed it in the 1800s; so outdated. Also many issues https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Esperanto#Criticism like bias and the gender non-neutrality; I would discard it. I would suggest to come up with a better language for the 21st century. This one seems better https://www.globasa.net/eng

Also, isn’t this an XY problem? The problem is that many people do not know the current dominant language that people use in science, technology, so on. So you propose Esperanto. Well, now you gatekeep it to people who know Esperanto, which is a way less demography than English. But since learning languages that are more close to one’s native language is easier, that would allow people from Latin/Roamance/Germanic-based languages to possibly learn it faster? That would not be true to Asiatic languages, …

Why another language is the correct solution? Why not improve current education systems? Why not machine translation? Why not improve translations? If the US switches its official language to Esperanto, wouldn’t it be imperialist as well? Language dominance is linked to socioeconomic development. You need countries like US to actually adopt it; otherwise it would be just another language to learn besides English. You are just making it harder.

Amicese
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What about that in the context of using it for software engineering?

Esperanto already adapted to programming decades ago; in fact there’s a programming language made in Esperanto: PROGRESSO.

Here are some root words related to programming:

  • Program for programs.
  • Entjer for integer. (Ent for int.)
  • Por for for.

People seem to have developed it in the 1800s; so outdated.

Yet Esperanto still adapts to today and is still used by at least a million speakers; it was even compulsory in Poland!

English developed in the 1200s, so outdated! /s

Also many issues https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Esperanto#Criticism like bias and the gender non-neutrality;

How is bias an issue?

Gender neutrality exists through the prefix ge-. (e.g gepatro)

Yeah, I don’t approve of the gender-default words either. I just use ina and masklna rather than -in-.

I would discard it. I would suggest to come up with a better language for the 21st century.

Why not just improve Esperanto? We shouldn’t discard a language just because of it’s flaws. It’s the only language that has speakers.

The Russian language has gendered words; and so does English (like father and mother); but that doesn’t mean we should immediately discard them.

This one seems better https://www.globasa.net/eng

How so? I haven’t heard of Globasa before.

Also, isn’t this an XY problem? The problem is that many people do not know the current dominant language that people use in science, technology, so on. So you propose Esperanto. Well, now you gatekeep it to people who know Esperanto, which is a way less demography than English.

Difference is that Esperanto is Indo-European and was designed to be easily adaptable across multiple languages; English is a Germanic Indo-European language.

Then just teach Esperanto in schools, like Poland did.

But since learning languages that are more close to one’s native language is easier, that would allow people from Latin/Roamance/Germanic-based languages to possibly learn it faster? That would not be true to Asiatic languages, …

You’d be right. As Esperanto is Indo-European, it naturally wouldn’t be as easily grasped in Asia (so Siberia, China, Vietnam, etc.) as in Europe and India. Hence, we should motivate the Asian and African groups to develop their IALs.

(However, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. At this time, it would be impossible for humanity to develop an IAL that perfectly encapsulates all language groups.)

Why another language is the correct solution?

Because English has historically spread through imperialism; and it would be unfair to impose to other language groups to use English for their native projects. (Remember: UTF-8 was originally built off ASCII, which prioritized English.)

Humans are also globally interconnected as a result of the development of the internet and imperialist capitalism; this leads to conflicts between foreign languages, as not everyone has the ability to learn every language spoken. This is why I think it’s important to utilize an IAL to help mediate communication.

Why not improve current education systems?

  1. We can’t always do that, especially under capitalism.
  2. Education everyone on all languages would be time consuming and unrealistic.

Why not machine translation?

Machine translation is beautiful and will get better with development. However, machine translation cannot always be utilized when e.g in emergencies or when access to electronic devices is cut off.

Also, Esperanto would be a good intermediary language to translate from (at least for Indo-European languages, not sure about Asiatic languages).

If the US switches its official language to Esperanto, wouldn’t it be imperialist as well?

Esperanto is not supposed to be a primary language; it’s an auxiliary language. It also wouldn’t be a problem if the people themselves choose to speak in Esperanto and their state supported Esperanto as a result.

Language dominance is linked to socioeconomic development.

Yes, that’s why I refer to English as an imperialist language.

You need countries like US to actually adopt it;

  1. What if other countries want to adopt a different language?
  2. Then the U.S would just stick with English to maintain a stranglehold on linguistic hegemony.

Esperanto is pretty popular in Europe too. The League of Nations suggested using Esperanto back in the 1900s. It was blocked only by France; other countries supported the decision.

Quote: > After the Great War, a great opportunity seemed to arise for Esperanto when the Iranian delegation to the League of Nations proposed that it be adopted for use in international relations, following a report by Nitobe Inazō, a Japanese official delegate of the League of Nations during the 13th World Congress of Esperanto in Prague.[20] Ten delegates accepted the proposal with only one voice against, the French delegate, Gabriel Hanotaux. Hanotaux opposed all recognition of Esperanto at the League, from the first resolution on December 18, 1920, and subsequently through all efforts during the next three years.[21] Hanotaux did not approve of how the French language was losing its position as the international language and saw Esperanto as a threat, effectively wielding his veto power to block the decision.

(France literally whined about french becoming unpopular because wanted to be able to communicate easier. LMAO!)

otherwise it would be just another language to learn besides English.

That’s the point. Esperanto is meant to be taught alongside the native speaker’s language so that they can easily communicate with other people. How is it any different from teaching Spanish alongside English in the U.S to help USians communicate with the local spanish population?

You are just making it harder.

It wouldn’t be harder; it’d be easier.

@pingveno
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If the US switches its official language to Esperanto, wouldn’t it be imperialist as well?

The idea behind a language like Esperanto isn’t necessarily that any one country uses it as their primary language. It’s that it can be rapidly learned as a second language (or in parallel with a primary language) and spoken with just about anyone.

Amicese
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The idea behind a language like Esperanto isn’t necessarily that any one country uses it as their primary language. It’s that it can be rapidly learned as a second language (or in parallel with a primary language) and spoken with just about anyone.

Yeah, Esperanto is designed to be an international auxiliary language, not a primary language. Also, no IAL can be perfect; it’s unrealistic to expect all IALs to be able to easily integrate all languages.

It’s surprising to see people forgetting that when they complain about Esperanto’s eurocentricity.

@pingveno
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auxiliary

Thanks, I was forgetting the name for the class of languages.

Domoshomo
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I have found myself thinking this more and more as well, with the rising number of projects which are being developed primarily by/for speakers of other languages, sometimes with terrible to non-existent english support. This is not a new problem, but the natural consequence of the world breaking free of english hegemony. Where as the pain was felt before by others, now it will be felt by us as well.

Perhaps the problem could be offset somewhat by using software to translate the common symbols of the major programming languages (if, else, int, float, str, etc…). But generally speaking I think the time for a commonly accepted auxiliary language is now. Not necessarily Esperanto, which I think is an impressive accomplishment of it’s time (kaj kiun mi parolas), but I think a modern -and international- effort could produce a superior language.

But we do need a better solution, and I think Esperanto is a better solution.

Amicese
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Not necessarily Esperanto, which I think is an impressive accomplishment of it’s time (kaj kiun mi parolas), but I think a modern -and international- effort could produce a superior language.

Esperanto is modern and international already; it can easily adapt to ASCII environments and is supported in Unicode.

Esperanto is mostly Indo-European, and Zamenhof knew Hebrew.

This is not a new problem, but the natural consequence of the world breaking free of english hegemony. Where as the pain was felt before by others, now it will be felt by us as well.

Remember, for most of post-agricultural history, we have been propagandized into nationalism by slave masters and feudalists. It was only during capitalism that humans began to embrace cooperation among other nations; and there’s still a ton of nationalism today.

Given that nationalism seeps into language, it’s no surprise that the idea of a nationa language is so strong. They’re called natural languages, but in practice, all human languages are fundamentally constructed; Esperanto is just blatant.

But we do need a better solution, and I think Esperanto is a better solution.

Yep. Far better than English.

@ttmrichter
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I have found myself thinking this more and more as well, with the rising number of projects which are being developed primarily by/for speakers of other languages, sometimes with terrible to non-existent english support.

I love how this is always framed: “…terrible to non-existent English support…”

There’s about 400 million native English speakers in the world. There’s about a billion native Mandarin speakers in the world. Why is it never framed “…terrible to non-existent Mandarin support…”? There’s about 475 million native Spanish speakers in the world. Why is it never framed “…terrible to non-existent Spanish support…”?

Even the way internationalists frame things is very telling.

Amicese
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I love how this is always framed: “…terrible to non-existent English support…”

Terrible to non-existent English support for projects designed in native languages.

There’s about 400 million native English speakers in the world. There’s about a billion native Mandarin speakers in the world. Why is it never framed “…terrible to non-existent Mandarin support…”? There’s about 475 million native Spanish speakers in the world. Why is it never framed “…terrible to non-existent Spanish support…”?

How is the population of speakers relevant to the language support of programs?

Even the way internationalists frame things is very telling.

Telling about what?

Domoshomo
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Why is it never framed…

Because I do not speak those other languages, and -attempt- not to be so presumptuous as to speak beyond my experience. But those are also problems, greater problems than the one I mentioned, problems that have been troubling this world for decades now, forever even.

Notice that I didn’t say that those projects should support English. I didn’t suggest there was anything wrong that they didn’t. And to be clear I don’t even mean to suggest that they must support any kind of IAL, even if one were agreed upon. The people of the world should be free to include others or serve their own… but I think generally people prefer to collaborate, and collaboration is something which should be facilitated.

Even the way internationalists frame things is very telling.

The way things are interpreted also says something about the reader. This is a sensitive subject for you, and I’d bet rightly so. You should take care of yourself. Try not to get so worked up.

@ttmrichter
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Esperanto is not a particularly easily learnable language to most of the world. It’s a very parochial language made by someone whose exposure to language was all European and very strongly focused on specifically East European languages both phonetically and grammatically. English, to take a horrifically terrible language at random, is not much harder to learn for, say, a Chinese speaker than Esperanto would be, but it would be a million times more useful given the rather pathetically small number of Esperanto speakers out there.

If you’re going to use a constructed IAL (as opposed to de facto lingua francas like have been historically the case), make one that isn’t filled with idiotic things like declension by case, by gender, by number, by tense, by … Or you’re going to have most people in the world ignoring it. Like you already have for Esperanto.

I used to think this, yoo, and made a similar comment on Reddit a year or so ago. I was challenged to back up my assertion, and presented with some studies involving Esperanto clubs/groups in China and Japan that suggest it’s not particularly difficult for non-Euro native speakers.

I wonder, are you referring to specific studies, or quoting common knowledge?

@ttmrichter
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I’m referring to 16 years of experience teaching language and seeing where the pain points were in acquiring English from Mandarin speakers. The irregularity of English grammar was never a particularly difficult point. The Chinese just sat and memorized, something they’re good at from just their own orthography, given that it’s almost, but not quite, entirely devoid of system.

What were pain points were conceptual pain points. Most people couldn’t grasp articles and when they should or should not be used. (Esperanto has an article whose use case is bizarre.) Most people had a hazy grasp on verb conjugation, freely using whichever conjugation first passed their lips without subject/verb agreement. Declining for number was a pain point. Even the mildest amount of gendered language caused problems (“he” and “she” tend to get used interchangeably and fluidly, often switching between them in the same sentence). Verb tenses. Verb aspects. Both of these caused tremendous difficulty.

And Esperanto has all of them and more.

Would Esperanto be easier than English to learn? Of course! It’s far more regular than English. But the point here is that while easier than English, it’s not much easier than English because as a language at a conceptual level it is not that different from English. And then on top of that the consonant clusters (thank you Polish!) would render it nigh-impossible to pronounce. We’re talking about people for whom the word “lonely” is a tongue-twister because of the switch between ‘l’ and ‘n’. For whom the “str” in “string” is a pain point. And I’ve spotted Esperanto words with five-consonant clusters, four of them hard.

There is not much difference in terms of difficulty between learning English for Mandarin speakers and learning Esperanto because the difficulties come from conceptual levels, not practical. There are alien ideas in Esperanto (shared with English), and that’s where the hard part comes. So the choice of a Chinese speaker is to learn Esperanto and get (generously) a million people (of eight billion) to speak with, or get (equally generously) 1.5 billion people (of, remember, eight billion) to speak with.

When that stark calculus is presented, the choice is clear: spend the little bit of extra work it takes to learn English and ignore Esperanto.

I’d be very interested in seeing your mentioned studies, incidentally. Specifically seeing who performed them (and what their methodology was). My guess is that they weren’t professional linguists, and nor were they particularly rigorous (using things like self-selected subjects, etc.).

Amicese
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Do you also study linguistics or just teach? Also, have you studied Esperanto?

I’m referring to 16 years of experience teaching language and seeing where the pain points were in acquiring English from Mandarin speakers.

So anecdotal evidence. I’d like to see if any other linguistics teacher has the same or different opinions.

Also, your evidence is from Mandarin speakers; what about European speakers, or African speakers? Your assumption should apply to Mandarin speakers then; because otherwise you just assumed that Esperanto wouldn’t be more difficult than English for other unspoken groups (like the Vietnamese and African)

It’s kinda important to get anecdotal evidence with other groups so that you don’t make a hasty generalization.

Would Esperanto be easier than English to learn? Of course! It’s far more regular than English. But the point here is that while easier than English, it’s not much easier than English because as a language at a conceptual level it is not that different from English.

Concepts aren’t the only factor that influence difficulty. Conceptually, glass is easy to make when learnt; but it is hard in practice to initially make glass, because the human body lacks experience. Likewise, English might seem easy to conceptually learn; but the English orthography can make English hard to speak, especially when there are letters that can have the exact same sounds as another letter (like C and K).

And then on top of that the consonant clusters (thank you Polish!) would render it nigh-impossible to pronounce.

How so? What’s wrong with consonant clusters? English has them (such as c).

When that stark calculus is presented, the choice is clear: spend the little bit of extra work it takes to learn English and ignore Esperanto.

Or: Learn Esperanto anyway to make communicating easier for the rest of the world that doesn’t speak English. (6.5 billion) There’s barely even a cost to learning Esperanto.

I’d be very interested in seeing your mentioned studies, incidentally. Specifically seeing who performed them (and what their methodology was). My guess is that they weren’t professional linguists, and nor were they particularly rigorous (using things like self-selected subjects, etc.).

and do you have any studies supposedly showing the negligent difficulty of English and Esperanto?

Domoshomo
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Ĉu vi scias Esperanton? Esperanto ne estas perfekta, sed la Angla estas pli granda malordo. Mi vere dubas ke la Angla estus tiel facila kiel Esperanto.

Esperanto is ignored for political reasons, not because its bad.

@ttmrichter
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Dude, I said English was harder. Seriously, try to keep up! I just said it’s not much harder and comes with the benefit of people actually speaking it so that learning it isn’t a waste of effort.

Further, Esperanto is ignored because it’s not much easier than natural languages to huge swathes of the world’s population, but at least has the benefit of being utterly useless to learn.

Learn a few languages from places that aren’t Indo-European ones. Learn how you can have grammars with little to no declension, for example: no verb tenses, aspects, voices, genders, cases … not even declining by count. Then consider:

  1. Esperanto has almost all of these alien-to-many concepts; and,
  2. While it is true that it is more regular in these than in natural Indo-European languages, the latter have the benefit of actually having speakers: the purpose of learning a foreign language is met: communication.

On top of this:

  1. Esperanto has a consonant-heavy phonetic inventory, making its pronunciation hard for a lot of speakers of other languages. (It is painfully obvious that Zamenhoff was Polish, let’s put it this way.) Too it is very bizarrely irregular (though it’s not so bizarre once you check out Zamenhoff’s native dialect and its consonantal inventory…). Lest you think this isn’t a problem, most native languages in the world rarely present more than “consonant+vowel” structures, so strings of consonants are absolutely horrendously difficult for them. (Even saying “string” is hard, and that’s mild compared to some of the atrocities of PolishEsperanto.
  2. Esperanto uses a system of affixes (pre- and suf-) to words to modify word forms and attach meanings. This is a difficult concept for speakers of languages like Mandarin, say, to comprehend (where word forms are notoriously vague and grammatical particles are used in place of affixes to accomplish many of the same things). Further, Esperanto assumes that a) word forms are universal, b) that the categories in those languages that have them are the same, and c) that even when the categories are the same individual words are categorized similarly across languages. Yet in English “angry” is an adjective. In other languages it is a verb. Fancy that!
  3. Esperanto has the single most useless feature of any language: gendered declensions. (And, naturally, just to add icing to this cake, the default is masculine.) Zamenhoff had the chance to remove the single most useless feature of a language from his grammar … and didn’t. Flipping FARSI managed to do this, a natural language in the Indo-European family, but a constructed language had to keep this vestigial nonsense?! Again, gendered grammar is not even slightly universal and makes the language difficult to learn for people coming from sane languages.
  4. Esperanto’s lexical inventory is gloriously East European for the most part, with random slathering of Romance-language vocabulary generously applied. So, you know, using as a basis words from a small geographical region instead of words from around the world. Where are the Chinese roots? The Arabic ones? The roots from various African languages? There aren’t any. Thus it is pretty much equally difficult for a Chinese(or Arabic(or, say, Swahili))-speaking student to learn the lexicon of an actual language spoken by actual people instead of a toy language spoken by basically nobody.
  5. What is a subjunctive? What is an infinitive? What is a participle? These are concepts that are very much Indo-European. Speakers of languages outside that family (which is checks notes most people) have no idea what one or more of these are. So that’s three alien grammatical concepts right off the top of my head in Esperanto’s grammar, and while sure it’s more regular (FSVO “regular”) than in natural languages, it’s the conceptual barrier that is hard to breach, not the rote memory work to learn them once you’ve grokked the idea. So again, slightly more difficult to learn a natural language, but even a natural language with as low a speaker count as Basque will give you about as many people to talk to as does Esperanto while the Big Name™ languages will give you multiple of orders of magnitude more. Each.
  6. Esperanto assumes that notions of “subject”, “object”, and “argument” are linguistic universals. They aren’t. This makes Esperanto’s twee case structure with its cute little suffixes actually fiendishly difficult to learn for speakers of languages that mix agents, experiencers, and patients in ways different from the Indo-European majority. (Don’t know what agents, experiencers, and patients are? Maybe you should crack open an inventory of linguistics before talking about how “easy” a language is to learn…)
  7. Why are there plurals in Esperanto? Why decline for number at all? Plenty of languages don’t and it works just fine. OK, so for whatever reason you think plurals are necessary: WHY THE HELL DOES ESPERANTO ALSO HAVE COUNT/VERB AGREEMENT!? That’s just bizarre even in many languages that have retained the unnecessary concept of a plural!
  8. Personal pronouns. Ugh. There’s first person singular and plural (but no way to distinguish between inclusive and exclusive in the latter case). There’s second person with no ability to distinguish singular and plural (because consistency is for whiners!). There’s gendered (🙄) singular third-person, but non-gendered (let’s be honest: default-masculine) third-person. And then there’s a weird one (oni) that means one. Or people. Because screw making sense! Why are there gendered pronouns at all!? They serve no useful purpose; many languages (including Farsi, the language of Iran(!)) eschew them completely, and others (e.g. Mandarin) only distinguish them in writing (and that itself is a very recent cultural import!).
  9. Articles. WHY IS THERE AN ARTICLE IN ESPERANTO!? And why only one!? You’ve eliminated all the other articles, take that final step dammit! Join the majority of world languages which don’t bother with these vestigial adverbs!

And I’m out of steam already. There are a whole lot of hidden linguistic assumptions in Esperanto that are alien to language speakers from outside of the Indo-European milieu, or difficult for such speakers to actually perform. To someone in steeped an Indo-European linguistic environment these are invisible. They’re “natural” or even “logical”. But they are absolute tongue-twisters and conceptual mountains for those coming from outside of those environs. And if you’re going to climb those conceptual mountains and twist your tongue in service of these phonetic horrors, where do you think it’s best to expend your efforts:

  1. On a fantasy football league language that has maybe a million speakers world-wide (and that’s being generous!); or,
  2. On a natural language that’s a little bit more difficult but gives you access to ~1 billion native speakers and ~200 million secondary speakers (Mandarin), ~475/75 million (Spanish), ~400 million/~1 billion (English), 350/250 million (Hindi), or even 50/26 million (Hausa)?

If you’re sane and value your time, you pick literally almost any natural language in the world for better return on investment, even though it may, in the case of some of those (coughIndo-Europeancough) languages, be a little bit more difficult than Esperanto. (Yes. A little bit.)

Domoshomo
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You raise some excellent points in your response, on every point besides 2 and 6 we are generally in agreement. 6 is outside of my experience, and so I don’t have a meaningful opinion. 2 is one of the things I like about Esperanto, though you might well be right. I intend to study Mandarin, and since you mentioned it perhaps that will change my opinion regarding #2.

I did say that Esperanto isn’t perfect, truly it is itself flawed. Even besides the points you made, even in the foundation there are irregularities which exist which are scarcely justifiable:

  • words which are redundant
  • some root words which are simply difficult to pronounce for anyone
  • the difficulties that arise from certain combinations of word parts
  • constructed words which work one way in a certain set of cases, a different way in another
  • the confusing resemblance to unrelated word constructions which some root words have

…to name but the things that come to mind.

And certainly if we’re going by head-count there is little reason to learn Esperanto instead of a natural language. But there is more to a language then just the number of people who speak it, there is also the question of who your going to be talking to and why. In that analysis depending on the particulars, almost any language can be about equal, even a “toy” language like Esperanto.

But it must not be forgotten what the original subject is: the question of the future of software development. Arguing in favor of any national language is like arguing for the domination of a national system of measurement, instead of metric. Certainly you probably are right that the euro-centricity of Esperanto makes it ill suited as a international language at it’s very core, and in this you and I would be in agreement, but so too in that way no national language should enter into the equation.

@ttmrichter
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Any second language used only for programming purposes is going to be doomed from the outset anyway. I work in a Chinese engineering firm. They work with Chinese people (and me). They sell their products to Chinese firms. What possible incentive could they have to make all their engineers use a different language than Mandarin to communicate in? If they grow to the point that international markets are a concern, they’ll have to i18n their products anyway (because their customers won’t be speaking some conlang!) and given the costs of that, updating the design documents in another language is a minor cost.

Conlang IALs are a solution in search of a problem for an overwhelming number of professionals. They present a high-cost initial barrier of entry (the time it takes to learn the conlang to fluency) with a very low payout in the short- and medium-term for almost all involved people. And even if the engineers in question did learn the conlang do you genuinely believe they’ll use it when doing work among other speakers of their own language? Do you genuinely believe the conlang will be the primary communication tool?

Idealism is a good thing. A great thing. Provided that it is, in some fashion, compatible with reality. A conlang IAL for programming is not compatible with reality.

Amicese
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Any second language used only for programming purposes is going to be doomed from the outset anyway.

Not if it’s consistently used by everyone.

I work in a Chinese engineering firm. They work with Chinese people (and me). They sell their products to Chinese firms. What possible incentive could they have to make all their engineers use a different language than Mandarin to communicate in?

They don’t and that’s fine.

If they grow to the point that international markets are a concern, they’ll have to i18n their products anyway and given the costs of that, updating the design documents in another language is a minor cost.

Yep, including conlangs.

Conlang IALs are a solution in search of a problem for an overwhelming number of professionals.

In search of what problem?

They present a high-cost initial barrier of entry (the time it takes to learn the conlang to fluency) with a very low payout in the short- and medium-term for almost all involved people.

Where’s your proof?

Learning English and Mandarin also has a high-cost initial barrier of entry; IALs are however better designed for inter linguistic speakers.

And even if the engineers in question did learn the conlang do you genuinely believe they’ll use it when doing work among other speakers of their own language?

yes.

Do you genuinely believe the conlang will be the primary communication tool?

IALs, yes.

Amicese
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Esperanto is not a particularly easily learnable language to most of the world.

How so? I doubt English is any different.

It’s a very parochial language made by someone whose exposure to language was all European

English is not only European, but also Germanic. It spread through imperialism by the Anglosaxtons. How is English any different?

What’s wrong with Esperanto being derived from Europe? Do you expect someone to make a language which can easily combine all spoken languages into a universal one? That is a hard task to accomplish; given the diversity in all languages used by humanity.

and very strongly focused on specifically East European languages both phonetically and grammatically.

How is that bad? Esperanto still works off European languages (which includes English). English specifically is Germanic, and not generally European, so it’s derived from specific language that most Europeans don’t speak.

Esperanto would be, but it would be a million times more useful given the rather pathetically small number of Esperanto speakers out there.

I wouldn’t consider 1 million confirmed, and 2 million estimated, Esperanto speakers to be a “pathetically small” number. Esperanto got suppressed by Nazi Germany and Soviet Union; it would have likely been more popular if it didn’t get suppressed. Esperanto mostly spread through other speakers; so it’s impressive it survived its suppression.

There are a bunch of native languages that barely have speakers at all: Cherokee has under 2000 speakers.

Also, the most popular native language is Chinese; second most popular is Spanish; and English is only the third most popular. English is also only native in 5 4 (I miscounted) countries; not exactly fair to impose to the other countries to learn English just for the convenience of other imperialist countries; especially when most English speakers barely even attempt to learn other languages.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Chinese overtakes English as the most popular language within a decade.

English, to take a horrifically terrible language at random, is not much harder to learn for, say, a Chinese speaker

That is a sweeping generalization you made. How would Esperanto be harder for a Chinese person than English?

but it would be a million times more useful

Not if there are non-native English speakers.

If you’re going to use a constructed IAL (as opposed to de facto lingua francas like have been historically the case), make one that isn’t filled with idiotic things like declension by case, by gender, by number, by tense, by …

How are declensions by X idiotic? Also by what? You didn’t complete the list.

Is English declension idiotic too?

@ttmrichter
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33 meses

Sparky, here’s a tip: read what I actually wrote instead of whatever words were flowing through your brain from the voices. Then come back and actually address what I actually said. It’s amazing how much you wrote in response to material you understood so little of.

Amicese
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13 meses

Sparky, here’s a tip: read what I actually wrote instead of whatever words were flowing through your brain from the voices.

I did. Why do you think I quoted your text?

Then what did you actually say?

Then come back and actually address what I actually said.

But I did.

It’s amazing how much you wrote in response to material you understood so little of.

Wow. That’s pretty insulting (to assume someone’s intelligence because they made a counterargument lmao).

@ttmrichter
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23 meses

I did. Why do you think I quoted your text?

You quoted text that said the exact opposite of what you then argued against. Read for comprehension this time.

Amicese
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You quoted text that said the exact opposite of what you then argued against. Read for comprehension this time.

Where did I do this? I don’t see what you’re talking about.

@ttmrichter
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It’s rather obvious you don’t see what I’m talking about. Even when you QUOTE IT.

English, to take a horrifically terrible language at random, is not much harder to learn for, say, a Chinese speaker

That is a sweeping generalization you made. How would Esperanto be harder for a Chinese person than English?

See that there, Sparky? That’s you claiming I said the precise opposite of what I said.

(Note, also, that I very clearly called English a “horrifically terrible language” yet the rest of your response to that was acting as if I said English were a good language. Another sign of not reading for comprehension, but rather reading to find some excuse to react even if you have to make up that excuse.)

So go back and re-read everything … EVERYTHING … I said for comprehension before you waste any more of my time. I’m tired of intellectually dishonest Esperantists.

Amicese
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It’s rather obvious you don’t see what I’m talking about. Even when you QUOTE IT.

English, to take a horrifically terrible language at random, is not much harder to learn for, say, a Chinese speaker

That is a sweeping generalization you made. How would Esperanto be harder for a Chinese person than English?

See that there, Sparky? That’s you claiming I said the precise opposite of what I said.

Uh, how is that the opposite of what I said? Oh. I see. Yeah that was idiotic. However, don’t be so damn rude to me for making a mistake; because that dis-motivates me from trying to learn from a mistake.

Still, by complexity, English would take longer to learn than Esperanto.

(Also, what’s a Sparky?)

(Note, also, that I very clearly called English a “horrifically terrible language” yet the rest of your response to that was acting as if I said English were a good language.

All I said was:

How are declensions by X idiotic? Also by what? You didn’t complete the list.

Is English declension idiotic too?

I didn’t say anything about the English language being bad. How could that be implied to say that English is a bad language?

@vitaminka
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33 meses

you mean for like documentation and discussion and stuff, not the languages themselves hopefully?

Amicese
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13 meses

you mean for like documentation and discussion and stuff, not the languages themselves hopefully?

Both. I don’t see what’s wrong with integrating IAL support with programming languages; though it shouldn’t be forced upon others.

@vitaminka
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33 meses

it takes like 2 minutes max to learn all the english words used in programming languages, additionally, parsing for smth like c++ is already an absolute nightmare, needlessly complicating it is … needless

Domoshomo
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23 meses

When I was looking at Mastodon Desktop clients a while back I came across Mikutter, which is only in Japanese. In their FAQ was a little gem which I feel may be relevant, the question “I am English speaker. Can I use Mikutter in English?” The response was in Japanese, here it is translated:

After the defeat in the war, the Japanese were forced by GHQ to adopt Shift-JIS and JAP106, and as a result, they fell far behind in the development of information technology. When I was in elementary school, when I started programming, I was frustrated because I was lined up with English that I had never learned. Also, you have released many low-quality services that do not support anything other than ASCII, which even Japanese elementary school students would not create. This mikutter is a precious opportunity for you to relive how we have been oppressed for generations.

How a programming language is written is a legitimate concern.

Amicese
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When I was in elementary school, when I started programming, I was frustrated because I was lined up with English that I had never learned. Also, you have released many low-quality services that do not support anything other than ASCII, which even Japanese elementary school students would not create. This mikutter is a precious opportunity for you to relive how we have been oppressed for generations.

Yeah, that right there is why I’m trying to fight against the English hegemony (through using Esperanto more in my programming projects). No one should be left out of contributing to a project just because the development industry systemically enforces foreign speakers to learn a national language of some far off country.

Amicese
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it takes like 2 minutes max to learn all the english words used in programming languages,

If you’re a native English speaker. If you’re not, expect to take longer to understand what an English term means (and also to deal with the English language).

Even if they understand the English term, someone might not be readily able to type an English character.

additionally, parsing for smth like c++ is already an absolute nightmare, needlessly complicating it is … needless

Parsing wouldn’t be any harder with different languages. There are programming languages that have been designed in different languages.

It wouldn’t be too difficult to add support for interpreting non-ASCII tokens or syntax (literally just add the ability to recognize UTF-8); in contrast to the bigger task of creating the parsing mechanism.

There’s always using the good old syntax of LISPs if the syntax gets complicated.

EDIT: Actually, Esperanto is compatible with ASCII under the H/X spelling system; so Esperanto in particular doesnt need UTF-8 support. The only change needed is to change the tokens themselves. (main() to chefo())

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