Name: Tran Hoang Minh Student number: L9918889 Critical Response to Esperanto With the considerable development of the globalization, there are an increasing number of cross-cultural communication breakdowns, which can lead to conflict and war easily and one of the main reasons is language barriers. To solve this problem, a Polish doctor created Esperanto to facilitate communication between people from different cultures. While some people believe that Esperanto is an ideal replacement of English, many others are against it.
To clarify this problem, Yan Rado has written “Esperanto, The Hope Of The World” (Esperanto – The way Forward Conference, June 2011) to exhort people to learn Esperanto as the world’s second language. Nonetheless, in the article “What’s the point of Esperanto” (The Language Journal, 2011), Dr. Angla Sola argues that Esperanto will not be able to become a global language in the future. The aim of this essay is to critically response to the two authors’ arguments. In his article, Rado believes that Esperanto’s neutrality and simplicity can help unite the world.
In Rado’s opinion, it is much easier to learn Esperanto than other national languages due to its simple grammatical rules. Furthermore, he also notes that another advantage of learning Esperanto is a lack of cultural identity. While English is a language of England, which used to be a colonial country, and the USA, which controls the global media and technology overwhelmingly, Esperanto does not belong to any cultures or countries. Thanks to that, Esperanto speakers can communicate equally.
In Sola’s article, she claims that Esperanto cannot compete with English as the world’s lingua franca. Sola notes that Esperanto is not neutral because it is affected by European languages. Therefore, it is easier for European people to learn Esperanto than the Asian counterparts. Moreover, she states that learning Esperanto is a waste of time because it is not still acknowledged worldwide and English has a significant effect on global mass media. Both Rado and Sola have presented arguments in supporting their view about the process of learning Esperanto.
While Rado believes that studying Esperanto is much easier than other languages, Sola claims that people are squandering their time on studying it. However, Sola’s statement is more convincing because firstly, Esperanto is based on European languages; thus, Asian learners find it more difficult to study Esperanto than European counterparts. Secondly, motivation is also an important reason helping learners study faster and one of main motivations is jobs in the future; in other words, qualifications.
While English has thousands of recognized qualifications and is used in a large number of well-paid jobs, Esperanto does not have any qualifications or jobs with high salaries. Thirdly, in recent decades, most students find it very useful to study a new language through the mass media and the internet. To clarify, students can study English better and more effectively by listening to English music, watching English movies or reading an English newspaper.
Whilst English has been expanded rapidly through global media, the improvement of Esperanto in the media is quite limited; therefore, it is quite hard for learners to find resources when studying Esperanto. In addition, Sola makes a stronger point than Rado that Esperanto is simply not a neutral language. To begin with, it is made from six European languages; thus, it might relate to European cultures. For example, the language itself sounds quite like Italian or Spanish and is spelt like Romance and Latin.
Moreover, not only does Esperanto make learners confused about the culture of the language, but it can also create conflict or even war when it becomes a global language. To demonstrate this point, if Esperanto becomes a world’s lingua franca, European countries may exploit it to expand their dominance or they may struggle with each other for the origin of Esperanto, which are completely against the purpose of the creation of Esperanto. In conclusion, Rado and Sola have different perspectives about Esperanto in terms of culture and learning process.
While Rado makes a weak point that studying Esperanto is very easy, Sola persuasively states that it is a waste of time to study Esperanto because comparing to English, Esperanto has a lack of sources for studying and researching and no recognized qualifications. Besides that, Esperanto is not a neutral language because it is made from some European countries. Overall, supporters should abandon trying to encourage Esperanto to become a global language because in the future, English will stand still and still be a world’s second language.