“Imagine there’s no countries, it isn’t hard to do, nothing to kill or die for, and no religion too”. How often have we quoted John Lennon’s vision as an example of a truly globalised world without any barriers or boundaries, where peace and happiness prevail, and where everyone is understood? Especially in a world of 8 billion people who speak no fewer than 6,900 languages and dialects! Ever wondered what it would be like to have the entire world speak one language?
Esperanto – What’s that?
In case you haven’t heard of it yet, Esperanto is a constructed auxiliary language devised by Dr. Zamenhof (aka “Doktoro Esperanto”) in 1887. He originally called it the Internacia Lingvo (International Language), but it soon became known as Esperanto, which means “the hoping one”, with about 100,000 to 2 million speakers in the world today. He intended for it to be a second language that would combine the advantages of all the languages and still let people retain their own languages and cultural identities.
This unique conlang was created to be the future language of humanity, the solution for achieving political neutrality and a mechanism for uniting people, rather than dividing them. It also has a distinct dialect called Ido.
Trending and Why
If being a part of a globalised world with no economic, linguistic or social barriers doesn’t excite you enough, and neither does the idea of travelling in a world with no communication barriers, you definitely want to consider how easy it is and how it has the advantage of a cultural and political neutrality, since it doesn’t actually belong to any country.
While the list of pros and cons is certainly endless, like in the case of any manmade invention, a lot of people are taking fancy to the idea of speaking one language that represents the global culture that we are heading towards. Leonard, a third-generation Esperanto speaker says, “The primary objective of a language is to be able to communicate. And if learning one language lets you express yourself to people in so many countries in one shot, my question is, why not.”
Getting down to the technical details, most of Esperanto finds its roots in Latin and many modern Romance languages along with English, German, Polish and Russian. It is written in the Latin alphabet and uses six modified letters (ĉ, ĝ, ĥ, ĵ, ŝ, ŭ) that are not found in other languages.
While there are countless debates and online forums rampant with whether or not Esperanto could be adopted as a universal language, whether it could become the official language of the European Union or whether people are ready to place it on the same pedestal as English, the one thing everyone seems to agree on, is how easy it is to pick up owing to its linguistic lineage and since it teaches grammar in such a simple way and is known to make learning the next foreign language easier by leaps and bounds.
As Lennon describes it best – “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one; I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will live as one”.