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Why do you think Esperanto isn't so popular? (Ancient Post)

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Hey guys!  I'm a girl who is really interested in languages and have been since I was 16.  One of the first new languages I came in contact with when I started to get interested in new languages was Esperanto. Back then I thought Esperanto would become a widely spoken language, to the point of becoming an international one!  I read all about its history, I thought this language was full of a great potential, but sadly it seems it fell short.

This makes me wonder... why isn't esperanto so popular?  This language was created to be used as an international language, that's why is so easy to learn for most people! So... why do you think this happened?  Do you think there is still hope?

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I think it didn't really find any use since English seems to be an ultimate international language.

I tried esperanto too, but I didn't like it. It sounds too much like Spanish to me, so I'd rather just learn Spanish. I knew one girl who learn that language quite a bit but never used it in real life. I guess it can be a nice hobby though.

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Yeah, it's really sad actually.  I remember 10 years ago or so, that there was some kind of community who was trying to promote this language, it was like a big club of families around the world who offered their houses to travelers who could speak this language.  They'd show you around and host you at their place, you weren't required to really pay for anything, but you knew you'd need to cover your expenses and give some cash to the family for their hospitality.  More like a gift.

I'm really sad this language hasn't progressed.  A friend of mine learnt it too, and nope he never uses it.  He is now living in the netherlands.

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Esperanto is an international language. Unlike other "national" languages, Esperanto doesn't have centuries of history attached to it, nor any strong cultural resonance. In my opinion, Esperanto may have a chance to become a major language if the world ever become fully globalized (being easier to learn than English, maybe it will become popular).

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Language is frequently like money. Go to a bar in the US and offer to pay in a currency they've never heard of. Would they accept it? Unlikely, because they know they wouldn't be able to pay it into the bank at the end of the day or spend it on something in another place.

Acceptability is crucial. If nobody else accepts it, the bar won't accept it.

Language is the same. People look at Esperanto and say, "Wow, great idea to cut out a lot of complications in grammar and have a language that's got no history of colonialism. But if nobody else speaks it, what's the point in learning it? It won't help me communicate like a major language will."

And if nobody else learns it, you don't learn it!

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The grammar and vocabulary of Esperanto is too Indo-European and Euro-centric. It will never be considered an "easy" language to learn by speakers of Asian languages like Chinese or Korean. It also has a complex grammar which although regular, would still be a hindrance to learning it.

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The grammar and vocabulary of Esperanto is too Indo-European and Euro-centric. It will never be considered an "easy" language to learn by speakers of Asian languages like Chinese or Korean. It also has a complex grammar which although regular, would still be a hindrance to learning it.

Hmm, I'm just wondering whether it would be possible to invent a language that is fairly easy to learn for both, Europeans and Asians. We might would have to invent something like Korean and just keep it simple and avoid using all those complex honorific expressions and such.

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Well as it has been discussed in this thread, not so many people speak Esperanto. I think the value of a language is tied to the number of speakers, as few people speak it, there's little incentive to learn it.

Take Latin for example which despite being an outdated language still has historic and cultural value, that's makes the language attractive to curious and educated people.

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Esperanto never took off as it could because there's no specific people who only speak this tongue. Also, critics state that Esperanto is eurocentric, which alienates several cultures. 

So, the intention of what the creator of Esperanto was trying to do was admirable, but the execution needed more thought.

:nerd:

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Yes, with no cultural attachment there's little appeal to learn the language. When people plan to learn a new language, they're often thinking of romanticising the culture and the people associated with it.

The second reason would be business/functional use, which is normally fulfilled by improving your English (or, learning the specific language of where you're moving to).

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There are basically 2 reasons why people would learn a language. Necessity and culture. English already was placed as the lingua franca of so many different fields anyway, and people were learning it naturally, rather than being encouraged into it with Esperanto. The only other people really learn languages with little practical use is culture. For example Latin, Sanskrit, Hebrew, Cornish. Without trying to demean it too much, Esperanto has no cultural value. It's not a religious language, not the language of someones ancestors and therefore people have little motivation to learn it apart from as a passing interest.

Even if you learn a minor language like welsh, you can find a place where there are a concentration of welsh speakers, even if it is only a small area. Esperanto doesn't have a homeland so outside of an Esperanto club there is nowhere that Esperanto can be heard in general usage.

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My main issue with Esperanto is that it's made up / constructed. Was there ever a real need for Esperanto? I get that new languages (pidgins) emerge out of necessity when there is no common language for two groups of people to communicate through, but that's just not the case in Europe -- we have English, and many Romance languages are mutually intellegible.

And as other people already mentioned, it's too eurocentric and not easy at all to learn for people who don't speak a Latin-based language as their first language.

In general, I don't think we need a conlang to allow communication between people from different cultures / nations. Languages are a naturally occurring thing!!

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Language is frequently like money. Go to a bar in the US and offer to pay in a currency they've never heard of. Would they accept it? Unlikely, because they know they wouldn't be able to pay it into the bank at the end of the day or spend it on something in another place.

Acceptability is crucial. If nobody else accepts it, the bar won't accept it.

Language is the same. People look at Esperanto and say, "Wow, great idea to cut out a lot of complications in grammar and have a language that's got no history of colonialism. But if nobody else speaks it, what's the point in learning it? It won't help me communicate like a major language will."

And if nobody else learns it, you don't learn it!

I thought so... but I wonder why this language lacks that acceptability?  Maybe because it has no history and colonialism behind it?  They tried really hard to spread this language in the past, but it seems they have given up.

I remember when I was little there were a lot organizations trying to give Esperanto a push!  I remember there were a lot intersting projects going on back then... a lot things to motivate people to learn it.

One of my friends learnt it when he was just 17, he is now living in the Netherlands and has probably forgot about it.  I wonder how many people learnt this language, but never use it?  Now it seems is gone... condemned to oblivion.

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Although Esperanto doesn't really have a culture, it is very useful as a gateway language.

As an Aussie wth Jap heritage, I struggled learning English. My parents still are trash at English.

Meanwhile, Esperanto isn't all that of a pain.

Say, if you are an English speaker, it is much easier to even learn languages like Chinese, Japanese or Korean if you do so after you learn Esperanto. Esperanto is a gateway to different cultures, which makes your life easier learning other languages.

In Australia, language barriers for English exists cause English is a bulls*** language. If Australia spoke Esperanto, the language barriers wouldn't be that bad, ESPECIALLY FOR ASIANS.

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9 minutes ago, leonleonleon_v3 said:

Although Esperanto doesn't really have a culture, it is very useful as a gateway language.

As an Aussie wth Jap heritage, I struggled learning English. My parents still are trash at English.

Meanwhile, Esperanto isn't all that of a pain.

Say, if you are an English speaker, it is much easier to even learn languages like Chinese, Japanese or Korean if you do so after you learn Esperanto. Esperanto is a gateway to different cultures, which makes your life easier learning other languages.

In Australia, language barriers for English exists cause English is a bulls*** language. If Australia spoke Esperanto, the language barriers wouldn't be that bad, ESPECIALLY FOR ASIANS.

Interesting! Didn't think about that topic from this angle yet. Oh and by the way, welcome to Linguaholic!

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I agree with many of the posts in response to your question of Esperanto's "fail" in the auxiliary language field.  It seems there isn't much point in learning Esperanto, at least to speak it with other people. However, I believe it has great potential as a way to begin learning languages. A natural language has many irregularities which can be daunting to a first time learner. But by first learning Esperanto, being it a language with simple grammar and few irregularities, it becomes far easier to pick up other languages. I learnt French and Spanish (I'm native English) before discovering Esperanto, but after learning the language in the short time of one week that it took, I found learning Italian far easier than it was before.

That's my argument for the use of Esperanto, but no, it's not a great auxiliary language.

- Frankie.

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On 6/11/2018 at 7:16 AM, leonleonleon_v3 said:

Although Esperanto doesn't really have a culture, it is very useful as a gateway language.

As an Aussie wth Jap heritage, I struggled learning English. My parents still are trash at English.

Meanwhile, Esperanto isn't all that of a pain.

Say, if you are an English speaker, it is much easier to even learn languages like Chinese, Japanese or Korean if you do so after you learn Esperanto. Esperanto is a gateway to different cultures, which makes your life easier learning other languages.

In Australia, language barriers for English exists cause English is a bulls*** language. If Australia spoke Esperanto, the language barriers wouldn't be that bad, ESPECIALLY FOR ASIANS.

Ah, sorry Leon. I didn't see your post until after I had written mine. Yeah, I totally agree with you.

- Frankie.

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