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rpm_pseud0name's avatar

Universal Language?

Asked by rpm_pseud0name (8193points) March 26th, 2010

If there was a universal language, would you want to learn it? Let it be known, in no way would I want to replace the languages of the world with a single one. I love language & I love that there are so many. A universal language would just be one more in which everyone of the world would be able to talk with one another.

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18 Answers

janbb's avatar

Sure, what would be the downside?

Chongalicious's avatar

If we had that, the other languages might fall out! Of course…unless people wanted to share secrets where no one else around them would understand :P

laureth's avatar

I did attempt to learn Esperanto in high school.

Ivan's avatar

You mean mathematics?

DominicX's avatar

English is the closest we have to a universal language and I already know it, so I feel pretty good. :)

cbloom8's avatar

Why not? An obvious majority of the world would know it, so it would be almost mandatory. Think of English now – it’s as close to a Universal Language as we have, and you see people all over the world who know it.

ChaosCross's avatar

Absolutely, learning one language to talk to everyone is much easier than 200.

And @DominicX actually the most-spoken language in the world is mandarin Chinese, in case you care at all.

DominicX's avatar

@ChaosCross

Yeah, because of China. I’m talking about universal, in other words, all around the world. Universal language =/= language with most speakers.

citizenearth's avatar

Universal language – people have been talking about it for ages. Some people even resort to create artificial language (think Esperanto) to create a language that all earthlings can use to talk to each other. But Esperanto failed to fulfill the dream.
IMHO, we have popular languages at certain era of time and at certain places. Last time in Europe, we have Koine Greek, then Latin. Popular language changes from time to time, largely depends on the course of history.
There could never be a time when all people of the earth speak only one language because people are a varied lot. It is hardly possible that all people can speak to others using only one popular language. Even with several popular languages, it is a monumental task to get all people to communicate accordingly. There are people who just get by in life knowing only one or two languages, which is not necessarily belong to the popular languages of the time.

iphigeneia's avatar

Esperanto was created with the intention that it would become a neutral universal language. As widespread as English is, it is not neutral because native speakers are advantaged over non-native speakers. No matter how well the non-native speaker knows English, they still have had to make extra effort to get to that level.

I do speak a little Esperanto, and I’ve written an article about it for school. The problem is that English is everywhere these days, so many people are not interested in the wonders of the languages of the world because it takes so much effort to learn a new language, even one as simple as Esperanto.

PadmanJones's avatar

If there a universal language – and there isnt, and never will be – then I’d love to learn it.

davidbetterman's avatar

There is already a universal language.

It is zee language of love…

Nullo's avatar

I feel that we ought to leave language alone. If it all melts together into a single tongue, then so be it.

mattbrowne's avatar

Already exists. Some of our body and facial language. Some signs. Baby talk. Music.

Parrappa's avatar

There was a literal universal language in Stargate SG-1 which was composed of atoms and their surrounding subatomic particles. Kind of a cool idea.

I like to throw stargate references in whenever I can.

XOIIO's avatar

I read somewhere that our best bet to communicate with aliens would be math, and that would be our universal language or so.

garydale's avatar

Throughout history there have been many lingua francas that served mainly as trade languages and were mostly used regionally. Latin served in the ancient times until the period of discovery as a common religious, scholarly and even political / legal language (remnants of this still exist today). But for reasons of politics any language of a particular nation will always be resisted by some groups, leaving the question: Where would we find a neutral language that could serve as a common language?

This has lead to the creation of many artificial, or “constructed languages” (or “ConLangs” as many refer to them). One should note that not all ConLangs were created for universal communication, but many were. But if we, humankind, were to choose a ConLang, which would be the most obvious choice?

Right now the obvious choice of a “universal language” would be Esperanto. Though there are offshoots of Esperanto and many other ConLangs have sprung up since, Esperanto has a massive headstart on almost all of the others! For instance, have you ever heard of Ido, Toki Pona, Logban, Interglossa or even Volap√ľk, the first planned language to achieve any significant degree of success? You can look some of these up on YouTube but have you ever even met anyone who speaks any of these? Me neither. But I speak Esperanto and can find people all over the world who do.

Etequetaqui's avatar

The language is perhaps the most important part of a culture, it’s a culture itself, a perpetual cultural connection between its native speakers.

An universal language (I would call it international instead) will never replace local languages, nobody would like that. Take for instance Spain, where what most people foreigners know as SPANISH is just the national language and everybody speaks it, but almost in every province there is a local language or dialect, and not necessarily related to spanish, like EUSKERA, which is way older than the first and as close to it as finnish could be. In Spain people love their local language and know how important it is to nurture it. Connecting languages are nothing new.

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