Friday, October 13, 2017


Esperanto, a world language st (after Headway Upper-Intermediate, 1 edition, p125) Some of the presenter''s words and questions have been blanked from the tapescript. Look at the list and fit the missing bits into the appropriate blanks. (P = Presenter / N = Professor Nesbit P Hello, and welcome to today''s Worldly Wise, the programme that examines world issues and the way they affect each and every one of us. Today we turn our attention to languages, or more specifically, to language. I''m not talking about everyone sharing the same first language, but sharing the same second language, and I''m ot talking about English, but Esperanto.

What are the facts about this artificial language? Well, it was invented in 1887 by a Polish doctor, Ludwig Lazarus Zamenhof. The vocabulary comes mainly from Western European languages, and the grammar is similar to Slavic languages. It sounds like Italian. From the learner''s point of view, it has the advantage that there are no exceptions to rules. It is spoken all over the world by approximately eight million people. and there are many who would like Esperanto to be the official second language of the world. I spoke to Professor Desmond Nesbit of the University of

Edinburgh for more information and asked him. 2. I prefer the term planned to artificial. Esperanto means ''hopeful'', and it was Zamenhof''s hope that a common language would promote a friendship and an understanding amongst all people of the world. His er inspiration is summed up by the Esperanto term interna ideo which means central idea, and it is an idea of human peace and Justice. 3. I see many. The advantages of the world being able to talk freely to each other about business, politics, culture, sport, hobbies, well — are obvious. The costs of translation at any international conference are staggering.

Did you know that 55 per cent of the EEC''s budget in Strasbourg is taken up by translation costs? The main advantage, as I see it, is that Esperanto is a neutral language. It doesn''t have the national, political, and cultural bias that all others of course have. If everybody has to learn a second language, then everybody is equal. 4. I think I''ve partly answered that question already. Why should people have to learn English? For many it''s a waste of time, energy, and money. The other thing that must be said is that English is by no means an easy language to learn.

There is the problem of spelling, of the large number of exceptions to any rule, it is very idiomatic and the prepositions are terrible! English is one of those languages which for many seems easy in the beginning, but then the bridge between basic knowledge and mastery takes a long time to cross, and many people give up. 5. Esperanto is a very easy language to learn. The tense system has none of the complications of English, and the grammar is based on Just sixteen rules which have no exceptions. There are five vowel sounds, and... How many vowel sounds does English have? Twenty.

The most remarkable thing is that after a ery short time learners find that they can express quite language. That''s remarkable. 6. I think it will happen, yes. I think it''s happening now. Esperanto is taught in many schools in Yugoslavia and Hungary. China is very interested. It has such internal logic that it could become the international computer language, and that would really establish it. My goodness! Professor Nesbit, thank you very much. A. But Professor, do you really see Esperanto becoming the World language? There''s quite a difference between the four hundred million speakers of English and the eight million speakers of Esperanto.

B. Hasn''t the world got enough natural languages, so why make an artificial one? C. But isn''t it making a difficult situation even more difficult? I mean, there are already so many people who speak English throughout the world, why should they have to learn another language? Why not English as the world language? D. What are the advantages that you see of Esperanto as a world language? E. On the subject of ease of learning, how does Esperanto compare? F. What would the world be like if everyone spoke the same language? Would we understand each other better and be more sympathetic to each other''s causes?

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