Esperanto in school?

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Machjo
Esperanto in school?

Seeing that, according to Statistics Canada in 2006, only about 15% of Canadians identify themselves as being bilingual in French and English, and that about 8% of people in Nunavut know neither language well, do you think Canada's Ministries of Educaiton ought to allow schools to offer Esperanto as an alternative elective second-language, perhaps along similar lines to the Springboard2Languages project (http://www.springboard2languages.org/home.htm), as a way to make bilingualism accessible not only to the elites of Canadian society, but to all citizens?

What are your thoughts on this?

Papal Bull

Esperanto is a language for nerds like myself to communicate in.

Go to lernu.net!

Machjo

I believe that such a policy could hold promise on its own, but even be further enhanced by local governments that desire promoting the local indigenous language. For example, let's say that the local government of the City of Ottawa should adopt a policy giving hiring preference, all else being equal, to speakers of the local indigenous language (which I believe to be Algonquin in this region if I'm not mistaken), this would raise the market value of the language and thus encourage more people to learn it either as a first or second language.

In the long term, the freedom of schools to offer Esperanto as an alternative second language would help to promote it as a common second language in various parts of the country. At the same time, however, local policies such as the one proposed above would help to promote local indigenous languages as mother-tongues and possibly as second languages too. This combination would allow the indigenous peoples to develop their own languages while at the same time propagating a common second language that could put all Canadians, and perhaps all peoples, on an equal footing, whereby all people would need only learn two languages, one their own tongue, and the other the common second language.

 

At the international level, such a universal auxiliary language coudl also help to undermine the unjust language hegemony enjoyed by the current 6 official languages of the UN.

Machjo

Papal Bull wrote:

Esperanto is a language for nerds like myself to communicate in.

Go to lernu.net!

 

Saluton.

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

Could you perhaps keep your obsession to just one ridiculous thread?

Machjo

Lard Tunderin' Jeezus wrote:
Could you perhaps keep your obsession to just one ridiculous thread?

 

Could you please stop stalking me? You'll notice that the content of the OP in this one is in fact different. To avoid any confusions, I'd decided to focus much more narrowly on education without integrating it into other policies. You'll also notice its focus on promoting indigenous languages.

 

If your idea of equality is 'speak what you want as long as it's English', fine by me.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

I speak Esperanto like a native.

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

M.Spector: Laughing

Machjo: You have no interest whatsoever in the promotion of native languages. If you did, you would abandon your push for the expansion of the use of a eurocentric third language entirely alien to them and this country - which would only serve to further isolate aboriginal cultures and minimize open dialogue.

 

Machjo

Lard Tunderin' Jeezus wrote:

You have no interest whatsoever in the promotion of native languages. If you did, you would abandon your push for the expansion of the use of a eurocentric third language entirely alien to them and this country - which would only serve to further isolate aboriginal cultures and minimize open dialogue.

 

 

Oh my psychic friend. I support Esperanto based on the fact that it is designed to be easy to learn. I'd certainly be in favour of any other language that could fserve the purpose. In fact, Mandarin comes to mind. If we stripped it of its characters, used Pinyin, and got rid of a few exceptions such as meiyou, liang ge, and others, it would in fact be potentially quite easy to learn with few modifications. For example:

 Chinese Pinyin - English

Wo shi               I am

Ni shi                You are

Ta shi               He, she, it is

Women shi       we are

Nimen shi         you are

tamen shi        They are

 

You'll notice that in Mandarin, the verb doesn't need to agree with person at all. You'll also notice that whereas in English we need to memorise the singular and plural pronouns separately, in Mandarin we just need to learn the plural indicator -men.

 

We find a similar logic with nubers.

Mandarin in Pinyin - English

shi                           ten

yi                             one

shi yi                       eleven

er                             two

shi er                       twelve

san                        three

shi san                 thirteen

si                          four

shi si                     fourteen

wu                           five

shi wu                         fifteen

liu                          six

shi liu                     sixteen

qi                          seven

shi qi                      seventeen

ba                           eight

shi ba                      eighteen

jiu                           nine

shi jiu                     nineteen

ershi                   twenty

sanshi                    thirty

sishi                      forty

wushi                    fifty

liushi                    sixty

qishi                      seventy

bashi                    eighty

jiushi                   ninety

 

You'll notice the following complications with English:

 Eleven, twelve, and thirteen, fifteen, and eighteen (one t drops) must be memorized individually, and the suffix -teen replaces ten. Mandarin avoids these problems.

 We find similar logical aids in other words too:

 

Mandarin       English

nan            male

nv                female

ren                person

nanren         man

nvren           woman

hai               child

zi                  indicates noun

haizi             child

nvhai             girl

nanhai           boy

 

You can see how many words can be created from separate parts. The issue is not with whether we support this auxiliary language or that, but rather that whatever language is chosen be easy for the non-elite to learn. In this respect, we could even revise the English language itself to be easy to learn, or even one of the aboriginal languages.

 

I'd be open to any language as long as its grammar follows a logical grammar without exceptions and which forms words according to logical combinations.

 

Now if you have an idea even more conformant with justice, I'm all ears. After all, of what value is constant nagging if you cant' offer a solution. It's always easier to criticise others' attempts at offering solutions than it is to offer them yourself, as you well know.

Machjo

By the way, have you ever tried to learn a second language to fluency yourself? You talk of respect for other coultures. Talk is cheap. Have you ever put in the effort to learn a seocn dlanguage to as to try to meet your interlocutors half-way, or have you spent your life having your communications handed over to you on an English platter to your taste?

 

Do you have any idea how difficult and time consuming it is to learn a second language?

Sean in Ottawa

FN languages must be promoted and taught and that French and English are not optional. Beyond that, I think sign language would be the next language to introduce. After that I don't believe there is room for hobby languages even if they are philosophically interesting--

If you are a linguist, by all means learn esperanto, latin, ancient Greek, Middle English and pig latin but please don't pretend to suggest that replacing French for English language Canadians with Esperanto is anything but an offensive as well as stupid idea.

Michelle

LTJ, let it go.  People are allowed to talk about Esperanto on babble.  The other thread is maybe questionable, but this one isn't.

Sven Sven's picture

A Plan for the Improvement of English Spelling (by Mark Twain)

In Year 1 that useless letter "c" would be dropped to be replased either by "k" or "s", and likewise "x" would no longer be part of the alphabet. The only kase in which "c" would be retained would be the "ch" formation, which will be dealt with later.

Year 2 might reform "w" spelling, so that "which" and "one" would take the same konsonant, wile Year 3 might well abolish "y" replasing it with "i" and Iear 4 might fiks the "g/j" anomali wonse and for all.

Jenerally, then, the improvement would kontinue iear bai iear with Iear 5 doing awai with useless double konsonants, and Iears 6-12 or so modifaiing vowlz and the rimeining voist and unvoist konsonants.

Bai Iear 15 or sou, it wud fainali bi posibl tu meik ius ov thi ridandant letez "c", "y" and "x" -- bai now jast a memori in the maindz ov ould doderez -- tu riplais "ch", "sh", and "th" rispektivli.

Fainali, xen, aafte sam 20 iers ov orxogrefkl riform, wi wud hev a lojikl, kohirnt speling in ius xrewawt xe Ingliy-spiking werld.

_______________________________________

Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!

Machjo

Michelle wrote:
LTJ, let it go.  People are allowed to talk about Esperanto on babble.  The other thread is maybe questionable, but this one isn't.

 

Questionable or not, does that give the right to insult? As the other thread is progressing, I'm slowly starting to realise that a misunderstanding might have occured about my intentions. It might partially be my fault on two points:

 

1. I might not have explained myself clearly or concisely enough.

 

2. I lost my temper at being called a bigot out of the blue, so instead of focusing on the topic, I ended up expressing my anger resulting in further misunderstanding. That's why I decided to created a new thread on the topic.

 

Having said that, I'd like to say that to avoid these misunderstandings in futrue, instead of just throwing out venom at random, that it might pay to confirm any possible point of misunderstanding and that might avoid further misunderstanding. I'll take the blame for my mistake, but I would ask that peopel reserve insults to themselves on all sides.

 

Is that reasonable?

 

And on another point. To take an extreme example. Let's suppose I were a Nazi. Would it be more appropriate to just start insulting me or trying to learn why I think that way so that maybe you could gradually educate me? Just another point to ponder, especially since I'm new to thees forums and don't know where the landmines lie.

Machjo

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

FN languages must be promoted and taught and that French and English are not optional. Beyond that, I think sign language would be the next language to introduce. After that I don't believe there is room for hobby languages even if they are philosophically interesting--

If you are a linguist, by all means learn esperanto, latin, ancient Greek, Middle English and pig latin but please don't pretend to suggest that replacing French for English language Canadians with Esperanto is anything but an offensive as well as stupid idea.

 

I'm certainly open to new ideas. With the rate of success being so low in our second-language courses, to the point that some native Canadians learn neither official federal language well, what would be your advice?

 

Is there any other country we coudl perhaps turn to as a model we could learn from?

Machjo

Seeing that Esperanto is now an elective second-language to fulfil graduation requirements in England, Italy, Hungary, Poland and Croatia, why could we not grant the same freedom to shcools in Canada, especially fro studetns who are less likely to go on to university? After all, we do not benefit, either cultrually or materially, from a language we fail to learn.

And yes, I fully agree that ASL, LSQ, and Gestuno should be legitimate alternative second languages to fulfil second-language requirements too. Certainly a sign language woud be more useful for a Canadian with a deaf friend or family member than the second official federal language would be. It would also make it easier for the deaf to make friends too.

Machjo

And yes I agree that FN languages should be added as alternative languages too. But since those languages are so weak on the market, it makes it that even some FN don't bother to learn them anymore. The proposal I'd suggested concerning local governmetns I believe could possibly alleviate that problem. Also, comapred to FN languages, French and English need little help to survive.

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

Machjo wrote:

And yes I agree that FN languages should be added as alternative languages too. But since those languages are so weak on the market, it makes it that even some FN don't bother to learn them anymore. 

At least three of "those languages" are stronger than esperanto worldwide. 

Machjo

Lard Tunderin' Jeezus wrote:
Machjo wrote:

And yes I agree that FN languages should be added as alternative languages too. But since those languages are so weak on the market, it makes it that even some FN don't bother to learn them anymore. 

At least three of "those languages" are stronger than esperanto worldwide. 

 

But the quesstion is, are they learnable? For me, both English and French are useful because... wait for this, it might floor you... I know them! Had I failed to learn them, they would have been of no use to me whatsoever.

Now as for Esperanto, without a doubt it's not as useful as English or French, but it's still more useful for a person to be bilingual in English and Esperanto than to be monolingual. With students being free to learn Esperanto in Italy, Hungary, Poland, Croatia, and England, it can only grow. Why do you think their governments encourage this? Now the ball is in your court. Can you answer that question?

Sean in Ottawa

More ongoing resources need to be placed in second language education.

Schools need to be made to understand that this is not an optional, elective but a core subject.

Adults need access to second language education.

More immersion style opportunities need to be used rather than weak classroom methods.

Machjo

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

More ongoing resources need to be placed in second language education.

Schools need to be made to understand that this is not an optional, elective but a core subject.

Adults need access to second language education.

More immersion style opportunities need to be used rather than weak classroom methods.

That's fine in principle. But how many resources? How do we make the schools understand this? Where will we get the money for all the adult language learning? And what about the opportunity cost (i.e. what they could be learning or doing instead)? Where do we find the qualified teachers for immersion teaching? Money doesn't grow on trees.

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

Machjo wrote:
Now as for Esperanto, without a doubt it's not as useful as English or French, but it's still more useful for a person to be bilingual in English and Esperanto than to be monolingual.

Once again, you deliberately ignore the point at hand. It is far more useful for a Canadian to be bilingual in Ojibwa and English than it is to be bilingual in esperanto and English.

Machjo

Lard Tunderin' Jeezus wrote:

Machjo wrote:
Now as for Esperanto, without a doubt it's not as useful as English or French, but it's still more useful for a person to be bilingual in English and Esperanto than to be monolingual.

Once again, you deliberately ignore the point at hand. It is far more useful for a Canadian to be bilingual in Ojibwa and English than it is to be bilingual in esperanto and English.

I know nothing about Ojibwa, so I can't comment on it beyond guessing. If I were to visit an Ojibwa community, then without a doubt Ojibwa would be more useful than Esperanto. 

 I do know Esperanto, though, and can say that schools in at least 5 countries that I know of can teach Esperanto to fulfil second language requirements for high school graduation, and the AIS San Marino requires all of its scholars to present their documents in both their respective mother-tongues and Esperanto, and it is funded by the Ministry of Education of San Marino. Add to that that a number of official news agencies and internet radio stations in Esperanto exist around the world, along with various Esperanto organizations, of a religious, political, commercial, and various other natures, along with various international conferences on various topics. So like every other language, Esperanto has its uses. But no, I'm not disputing that, just like Esperanto, Ojibwa has the advantage in its own domain, again, just like any other language.

Machjo

And another point:

 

If I know English and Ojibwa, and you know French and Montagnais, you tell me how we're to communicate with one another.

Machjo

Would it not be more efficient and just  on a world-wide scale for me to know Englsih + language X, you know French + Lang X, an Ojibwa knows Ojibwa plus Lang X, and the Montagnais knows Montagnais plus Lang X, etc., with each of us being free to learn how ever many languages we want after that?

 

Of course this would be a long-term trend, but why not start now by giving schools more freedom to choose their seocnd language? When we force a student to learn French, we're also taking away his freedom to learn Ojibwe, Esperanto, Montagnais, etc. Is that equal?

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

Machjo wrote:

Would it not be more efficient and just  on a world-wide scale for me to know Englsih + language X, you know French + Lang X, an Ojibwa knows Ojibwa plus Lang X, and the Montagnais knows Montagnais plus Lang X, etc., with each of us being free to learn how ever many languages we want after that?

Pure conjecture. Lang X does not exist. And esperanto is not a reasonable candidate to fill its place. It is, in fact, after a century of artificial existence, pretty much a total flop.

Machjo

No, Lang X doesn't exist. But I wanted to emphasize what though I support Esepranto, it's not really Esperanto per se that I support, but its qualities, which could potentially be found in certain other languages.

 

As for Esperanto being a flop, Italy added it to the curriculum in 1993, Hungary and Poland in 2000, and Croatia in 2001. As for England, I'm not too sure, but it would seem recently too. So Esperanto might not be major, but what direction would you say it's heading in?

 

saga saga's picture

Machjo,

I think we are agreed that Esperanto could be an alternative second or third or fourth, etc language choice for those who want to.

 So what's the issue?

Somebody has to be forced to? (not!)

Some other language program has to go? (not!)

What is it exactly that you are proposing, other than somebody offer Esperanto somewhere where people want it?

 

 

 

 

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

Machjo wrote:
Questionable or not, does that give the right to insult? As the other thread is progressing, I'm slowly starting to realise that a misunderstanding might have occured about my intentions. It might partially be my fault on two points:

 1. I might not have explained myself clearly or concisely enough.

 2. I lost my temper at being called a bigot out of the blue, so instead of focusing on the topic, I ended up expressing my anger resulting in further misunderstanding. That's why I decided to created a new thread on the topic.

You missed point #3, the most pertinent of the reasons for the 'welcoming' you received here. You introduced yourself with an attack on the bilingual institutions of this country, supporting yourself with lies and hatemongering from the well-known fascists at the CTF. Even when their "facts" were clearly discredited, you continued to insist that their fabricated "research" was the best available. 

For future reference, there lie the landmines you might wish to avoid. 

Machjo

saga wrote:

Machjo,

I think we are agreed that Esperanto could be an alternative second or third or fourth, etc language choice for those who want to.

 So what's the issue?

Somebody has to be forced to? (not!)

Some other language program has to go? (not!)

What is it exactly that you are proposing, other than somebody offer Esperanto somewhere where people want it?

 

 

 

 

 

Wonderful. And again, I apologize for the misunderstanding in the beginning. It just shocks me that while this policy shift had occured in Italy as early as in 1993, in Poland and Hunagry as early as in 2000, and in Croatia as early as in 2001, that Canada, especially with its having four official languages shared among its federal and territorial governments, with not all Canadians speaking either official language, that Canadians have proven so slow at recognizing the benefits of giving schools the freedom to offer an easier second language as an alternative, especially in a Country like Canada where post-secondary education is not guaranteed for all. After all, even Statistics Canada has proven that both English-French bilingualism has proven out of reach of 85% of Canadians, and that both have proven out of reach of 8% of Nunavummiut. How Canada cannot recognize this is beyond me.

 

The other thing that I think had lead to further misunderstanding was my tackling too many issues at once. Honestly, I wouldn't mind shifting funds from official bilingualism to helping Canada's indigenous languages. After all, French and Englsih are in no need of protection in comparison. But I agree that I should have kept bilingual services as part of a separate thread.

 

The other thing was  I'd I was taken aback by sudden venom spewed at me, and so reacted more in shock than reason.

Machjo

Lard Tunderin' Jeezus wrote:
Machjo wrote:
Questionable or not, does that give the right to insult? As the other thread is progressing, I'm slowly starting to realise that a misunderstanding might have occured about my intentions. It might partially be my fault on two points:

 1. I might not have explained myself clearly or concisely enough.

 2. I lost my temper at being called a bigot out of the blue, so instead of focusing on the topic, I ended up expressing my anger resulting in further misunderstanding. That's why I decided to created a new thread on the topic.

You missed point #3, the most pertinent of the reasons for the 'welcoming' you received here. You introduced yourself with an attack on the bilingual institutions of this country, supporting yourself with lies and hatemongering from the well-known fascists at the CTF. Even when their "facts" were clearly discredited, you continued to insist that their fabricated "research" was the best available. 

For future reference, there lie the landmines you might wish to avoid. 

I see, so instead of educating me about this, you took it upon yourself to vomit a tank of venom. Thanks.

 The CTF study was the best available because it was the only research available! Though there may be bias in it, it is valid to consider not only direct spending, but also spinoff costs of government policy. Though the CTF study might be quesitonable in its numbers (though we have yet to prove either way that it is biassed, to be fair, if you beleive in that), it is still a valid basis for future research (i.e. counting spinoff costs and not just direct costs). After all, any government law, even if it doesn't involve direct government spending, could still force the private sector to carry more costs. That is a legitimate question at least, and no other research (In Canada) has ever taken that factor into account. That being the case, as imprecise as the CTF study might be, it's still worth looking at it as a model for future research that doesn't limit itself only to surface costs. Profesosor Grin did this for the European Union. Does that make him a Fascist too?

 

To take another example. I remember a quote from Hitler once saying that the German people had to care for their children, the future generatin of Germany. Of course we can quesiton his motives behind this (more soldiers), but does that mean that we must deny that children are important because a Nazi said they are? Must we really be so petty as to blindly oppose anything anyone says based on what they stand for? I don't do that. I take words at face value. I couldn't care less if Mother Teresa says it or if Hitler says it. The truth is the truth. Again, the CTF study might be biassed. But that has yet to be proven, uless of course you believe in guilty until proven innocent? We go by what we have. That being the case, instead of blaming me for having to rely on such study, why not criticize the government for not having engaged in such study?

 

Don't you think it's pretty pathetic that we must rely on CTF for research since they're the only ones who've done it? Shamefully enough, that 's an admission that, as biassed and 'fascist' as they are, they're already one step ahead of the left (in Canada at least) in such research. In Europe, it's precisely the lef that's in the vanguard in such research. Why is it that in Canada, it's the right?

 

If anything, the left should be more interested than the right in how language policy might institutionalize injustice, or give unfair advantages to access to economic resources to particular groups. Or how inefficiencies in language education and policy lead to extra costs that could otherwise be diverted to UNICEF or other more crucial projects.

 

Just a point to ponder. Why is it that in Canada the right is in the lead in such researh with the left having no research of its own in this?

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

Still trolling, I see.

George Victor

In the words of the song from "Damn Yankees", "Whatever Lola wants, Lola gets"... "give in".  This one, not devil-driven like Lola, will atrophy. No sense going into rightwing think tanks and their funding. That one would never come to completion and we cannot drive a Faustian bargain here.  But sometimes....

Michelle

LTJ, I've already asked you to stop. Now I'm telling you. I understand that this guy triggers you and you don't like how he started out here. But I want you, right now, to stop attacking him. If that means that you need to leave the thread, or stop reading his posts, then I guess that's what you have to do.

Machjo, if you want to talk about Esperanto, then talk about it. There's no need for you to drag up old posts in the thread and continue the pissing match once the moderator has already intervened. Move on and quit the martyr routine, or I'll shut down the thread.

saga saga's picture

Machjo wrote:
saga wrote:

Machjo,

I think we are agreed that Esperanto could be an alternative second or third or fourth, etc language choice for those who want to.

 So what's the issue?

Somebody has to be forced to? (not!)

Some other language program has to go? (not!)

What is it exactly that you are proposing, other than somebody offer Esperanto somewhere where people want it?

 

 Wonderful. And again, I apologize for the misunderstanding in the beginning. It just shocks me that while this policy shift had occured in Italy as early as in 1993, in Poland and Hunagry as early as in 2000, and in Croatia as early as in 2001, that Canada, especially with its having four official languages shared among its federal and territorial governments, with not all Canadians speaking either official language, that Canadians have proven so slow at recognizing the benefits of giving schools the freedom to offer an easier second language as an alternative, especially in a Country like Canada where post-secondary education is not guaranteed for all. After all, even Statistics Canada has proven that both English-French bilingualism has proven out of reach of 85% of Canadians, and that both have proven out of reach of 8% of Nunavummiut. How Canada cannot recognize this is beyond me.

Irrelevant, as I have said SEVERAL times.

Official bilingualism is about providing government services in both languages. It has NOTHING to do with how many people speak both languages.

If you would stop repeating errors already pointed out to you, you wouldn't arouse such IRRITATION.

Quote:

The other thing that I think had lead to further misunderstanding was my tackling too many issues at once. Honestly, I wouldn't mind shifting funds from official bilingualism to helping Canada's indigenous languages. After all, French and Englsih are in no need of protection in comparison. But I agree that I should have kept bilingual services as part of a separate thread.

 The other thing was  I'd I was taken aback by sudden venom spewed at me, and so reacted more in shock than reason.

You brought the "venom" on yourself by attacking Canadian bilingualism, and you are STILL doing it.

"shifting funds from official bilingualism"

It is clear that your agenda is to attack official bilingualism, but you are trying to hide it in other 'causes'.That's propaganda, not discussion.

You attack official bilingualism but you have not yet even grasped its purpose.

You propose we 'substitute' some other arcane 'language' as our "second" language, tromping on the rights and feelings of people, and then you wonder why some are upset at you?

I repeat: No one disagrees that Esperanto (or whatever) can be offered to interested people. We strongly object to your suggestions that it

- replace heritage languages,

- steal funding from them,

- or that it BE IMPOSED on people.

Please read carefully, and stop pushing propaganda down people's throats.

 I've never heard of Esperanto before and I already hate it, so your approach is clearly not working! Tongue out

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I agree with saga - good post.

Unionist

Almenaŭ veraj Eŭropaj lingvoj evolu nature. Kial ..us iu volas paroli inventita Eŭropa lingvo? Don mi La angla kaj Franca ĉiam.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

I think Klingon should be offered as a second language in schools.

Machjo

You brought the "venom" on yourself by attacking Canadian bilingualism, and you are STILL doing it.

 For the sake of peace, I won't argue with it.

 

 "shifting funds from official bilingualism"

It is clear that your agenda is to attack official bilingualism, but you are trying to hide it in other 'causes'.That's propaganda, not discussion.

I take offense at your insinuation, but again, for the sake of peace, I won't argue with it so that we can move on to other things. But I would like to say that if the objective is to promote Canada's official languages, I've done more than 85% of Canada's population (according to Statistics Canada 2006) by actually learning both languages. If you have found a better way of doing so than actually having learnt them, I'm certainly open to hearing of your personal contribution to the causeSmile 

 

You attack official bilingualism but you have not yet even grasped its purpose.

Alors c'est quoi son but au juste? J'ai appris les deux langues. Quoi d'autre veut-tu que je fasse?

 You propose we 'substitute' some other arcane 'language' as our "second" language, tromping on the rights and feelings of people, and then you wonder why some are upset at you?

Je m'excuse si j'ai offensé quelqu'un, mais je voudrais savoir comment j'ai offensé, afin de ne pas répéter la même erreur.

I repeat: No one disagrees that Esperanto (or whatever) can be offered to interested people. We strongly object to your suggestions that it

- replace heritage languages,

When did I ever suggest replacing Canada's heritage languages? In fact, I support the freedom of Canadians  to learn in their mother-tongue wherever numbers warrant (as I have, by the way; and if my English offends you, I'd be more than happy to discuss this with you in French, unless French offends you too?), and also support Official Bilingualism at the federal level so long as our schools continue to produce an 85% English or French monolingual population. In fact, I even support adding languages to the list of official languages so long as some of our schools continue to produce English and French analingual students up north. I simply believe that to produce a universally bilingual population with a common second language is more efficient than having four official languages and more just than ignoring the linguistic needs of  those who know neither English nor French in a democratic society. I'd say that if anything, Inuktitut and Inuinnaqtun are more a part of this land's heritage than English and French. They might not be part of my heritage, but still a part of the land's heritage.

 - steal funding from them,

 In economics we have the concept of opportunity-cost (i.e. the alternative opportunities that must be given up as the cost of something else). In this sense, we can argue that some opportunity-costs of Official Bilingualism are:

Increased time and funding for aboriginal languages.

More funding for bilingual education in schools, including in English and French.

More charity-deductible taxes.

Tax cuts.

More funding for anti-poverty programmes

etc. Of course the list is infinate by definition, since essentially opportunity-cost is ANYTHING else that the resources devoted to official bilingualism could have been applied to, but this is to give but some examples.

- or that it BE IMPOSED on people.

 That what be imposed on people? All I was proposing is that schools be free to offer Esperanto or other easier languages as an alternative second-language for those students who might lack the necessary aptitude for second-language learning, which statistics indicate comprise about 85% of Canada's population. Do we have the moral right to hold a student back from becoming bilingual just because of blind tradition?

Please read carefully, and stop pushing propaganda down people's throats.

 I've never heard of Esperanto before and I already hate it, so your approach is clearly not working! Tongue out

 

Again, call it what you will. You're free to hate it if you want. And if most Canadians think the same way, then certainly I'd rather provide more funding for bilingual education to bring that success rate up from the current whopping 15%. Seeing that I'm not convinced that even that would bring the success rate up sufficiently, I'd also be in favour of maintaining Official Bilingualism so that the monolingual masses can continue to have access to government services during their travels. And, should extra education funding fail to get all of Canada's Nunavummiut to learn at least one of Canada's official languages fluently, then for the sake of guaranteeing them the same democratic and equal access to government services as their compatriots of European descent enjoy, I'd be in favour of adding Inuktitu and Nunavummiut to the list of official languages. Personally, I believe that justice ought to trump blind tradition at all times.

Now that we can agree (I hope) that money and time spent on bilingual education is a waste unless we can ensure a decent rate of success, that switching to an easier second language is not likely to get sufficient political support, and that making second-language education optional is not an option, the only rational solution left is to increase government spending considerably to bring the chance of success way up from 15% to at least above 70% before any school reserves the right to force a student to learn his second official language.

 If we don't agree on this, I'd be curious to know what the objection is. And if we do, then my next question would be: where should the extra money come from? And since this would likely require more time spent in second-language lessons, what that time would be taken from?

 

Alternatively, if you conclude that the cost would be too high, and decide that it would make more sense to have students not be forced to learn a second-language anymore, then what would be your advice to provide equal access to the nation's economic resources to those 8% in Nunavut who know neither of these languages that we have decided are part of their heritage?

 

Another possibility is that I have misunderstood your original intent, that what you really meant was that the process of learning our second official languge, regardless of the chances of success, was in itself a part of our heritage. If that was the case, then I honestly cannot imagine what a student stands to gain, either culturally or materially, from having failed to learn a second language, but being forced to lern it anyway just because their father had to learn it too as an extension of blind tradition.

I'm certainly open to changing my mind if you can show me a more rational and just  alternative to the current system.

Machjo

Unionist wrote:
Almenaŭ veraj Eŭropaj lingvoj evolu nature. Kial ..us iu volas paroli inventita Eŭropa lingvo? Don mi La angla kaj Franca ĉiam.

 

Translation:

 

May at least European languages evolve naturally. Why? (unclear subjuctive suffix) someone want to speak an invented European language? English and French (root for give) me always.

 

What machine translated that for you?

This could be viewed as offensive to certain cultures, namely:

 

Koreans. Here is an extract about the history of Hangul (the Korean script) from Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hangul#History):

Hangul was promulgated by the fourth king of the Joseon Dynasty, Sejong the Great. The Hall of Worthies (Jiphyeonjeon, 집현전) is often credited for the work.[5]

The project was completed in late December 1443 or January 1444, and described in 1446 in a document titled Hunmin Jeongeum ("The Proper Sounds for the Education of the People"), after which the alphabet itself was named.[3] The publication date of the Hunmin Jeong-eum, October 9, became Hangul Day in South Korea. Its North Korean equivalent is on January 15.

Various speculations about the creation process were put to rest by the discovery in 1940 of the 1446 Hunmin Jeong-eum Haerye ("Hunmin Jeong-eum Explanation and Examples"). This document explains the design of the consonant letters according to articulatory phonetics and the vowel letters according to the principles of yin and yang and vowel harmony.

Hangul was designed so that even a commoner could learn to read and write; the Haerye says "A wise man can acquaint himself with them before the morning is over; a stupid man can learn them in the space of ten days."[6]

Hangul faced opposition by the literate elite, such as Choe Manri and other Confucian scholars in the 1440s, who believed hanja to be the only legitimate writing system, and perhaps saw it as a threat to their status.[5] However, it entered popular culture as Sejong had intended, being used especially by women and writers of popular fiction.[7] It was effective enough at disseminating information among the uneducated that Yeonsangun, the paranoid tenth king, forbade the study or use of Hangul and banned Hangul documents in 1504,[8] and King Jungjong abolished the Ministry of Eonmun (언문청 諺文廳, governmental institution related to Hangul research) in 1506.[9]

 

So are you suggesting that their script is devoid of culture because it was rationally created?

 

And what about Bahasa Indonesia? It's a naturalistic planned language devised from a traditional Pidgin language that was developped by the Indonesian government through corpus planning to make it capable of serving all communicative needs of society. It's grammar and lexis continue to be enforced by the government today.

 

Or what about Turkish using the Roman script? What about recent spelling reforms to German and the current discussion by the Brazilian government to reform Portuguese spelling?

 

Does this all make these languages lacking in culture or unworthy of study?

Machjo

To be fair though, I'm aware that systematic revision of national languages is much less common in Occedental cultures, and that is something to keep in mind, granted. 

Machjo

M. Spector wrote:

I think Klingon should be offered as a second language in schools.

 

I like the system in England whereby any school or organization is free to present a course plan for any language of their choice to their local education authority. If the plan is found to be pedagogically sound, then it is approved, and the school is free to teach it as long as enough parents show interest in it. That's what lead to the Springboard Project in England.

 So if enough parents show interest, and a pedagogically sound course plan is presented, why not Klingon? Who are you to tell other people what second language their children may or may not learn? My apologies if I believe in freedom.

Peter3

At this point I can only express my profound regret that I didn't protest more strenuously when my my father burned my National Lampoon collection (I'd have hidden the damned things if I thought he'd ever read them).

 They did a fabulous feature on how to swear in Esperanto. Come to think of it, that may have been the one that drove my old man over the edge.

Anyway, what I wouldn't give to have that facility now.

Peter3

And I'll second the Klingon motion.  I want a language with some romance about it.

Machjo

Peter3 wrote:
And I'll second the Klingon motion.  I want a language with some romance about it.

Laughing

saga saga's picture

Now that we can agree (I hope) that money and time spent on bilingual education is a waste unless we can ensure a decent rate of success,

Uh ... no ... (economist eh?)

Money spent on bilingual or multilingual government services is not a waste.

It's a non-negotiable necessity.

To which more languages, and more funding can be ADDED, if you insist. Kiss

 

Machjo

saga wrote:

Now that we can agree (I hope) that money and time spent on bilingual education is a waste unless we can ensure a decent rate of success,

Uh ... no ... (economist eh?)

Money spent on bilingual or multilingual government services is not a waste.

It's a non-negotiable necessity.

To which more languages, and more funding can be ADDED, if you insist. Kiss

 

 

Well, now maybe we're starting to agree on something, though I'm not sure if it's for the same reasons. I agree with the necessity of bilingual services specifically because I see them as a necessary compensation for having failed so many Canadians. Had the Ministries of Education done their jobs competently, all Canadians would be fluently bilingual, thus negating the need for Official Bilingualism.

 

I'm just curious to know your reason for supporting Official Bilingualism?

 

As for the second part: adding more official languages, I'm not sure if you're serious or facetous in your comment there (it's not always possible to tell online). When I'd made the comment, I was partially tongue-in-cheek, but not entirely. I do acknowledge that the government has a duty to make sure all citizens anywhere in the country have access to their government. That being the case, if many northern Canadians are in fact failing to learn both official languages, then I'd argue on moral grounds that they ought to have a right to access to all of Canada's economic resources too. The problem I see with that though is the cost of maintaining Official Quadrilingualism nationwide, which thus explains my preference for the long-term promotion of a mommon second language that is within reach of all students. After all, it would seem cheaper to me to have everyone learn a common second language than to have them learn four languages if they wish to have full access to the economic resources of the country. But certainly on moral grounds I do agree (all humour aside) with the idea that should a government fail its students in their language learning, it then has a duty to compensate them by providing them services in both the public and private sectors in whatever their first language is. I was wondering what your thoughts on this are? Again, no sarcasm (I'm not accusing you of this and maybe you weren't sarcastic, but like I said, it's not always easy to tell online).

Machjo

Also, you don't have to answer if you don't want to, but I'd noticed that you skipped the point about bilingual education, which of course is directly related to government services. After all, if everyone succeeded in learning both official languages, Official Bilingualism as such would cease to exist since anyone coudl function in either language. So I'm just curious as to your thoughts on the relationship between bilingual education and how its success or failure might impact government and private sector service sectors.

Papal Bull

I'm all for Esperanto being taught as an optional language in schools alongside other non-official languages. Focus on the two primary ones, but if the opportunity to have the program - it should't be passed by. I took Latin in high school, and I loved it. I could've taken Italian or Spanish. I also took extracurricular Cantonese. I love language. I actually took a great interest in Esperanto when I was in high school and early on in university. I took part in message boards and taught myself. It was fun.

 

Esperanto, due to its nature, aids in the acquisition of languages generally. It's simplicity and regularity allows for one to understand the baser makings of Indo-European languages. Also, it's wide use of linguistic 'devices' (I can not think of another word to say what I mean) from multiple sources allows for a teacher to illustrate to the learnee to explain their functions in a fashion that is simply logical. I think that is just as useful in school as Latin, Ancient Greek, Sandskrit, etc. I'm sure Machjo would be able to actually bring up the study that concluded that Esperanto may aid in language acquisition.

I like a lot of the symbolism in the Esperanto movement (the melon flag looks stupid!) and one can sympathize with Esperantists when they encounter those who choose to krokodil. Heck, I even think Zamenhoff was a pretty cool dude. However, I think that the belief that an artificial auxilliary language that can foster understanding between people and be implemented globally in the foreseeable future is simply a tad too optimistic.

Machjo

As for being too optimistic, I agree if you put it in those terms. But if the goal is simply to add it as an elective language from which schools could choose, that is not only possible but being done already in some countries.

As for propaedeutic research relating to Esperanto, you can look up:

 http://www.springboard2languages.org/documents/springboard_rationale.pdf

or

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propaedeutic_value_of_Esperanto

 

This research is already being applied by the Italian Ministry of Public Instruction (http://www.internacialingvo.org/public/study.pdf) and was referred to as early as in 1922 by the League of Nations (http://www.archive.org/details/esperantoasinter00leagrich).

 

Unfortunately, Canadians are lagging about 90 years behind on this research.

Ze

Quote:
And what about Bahasa Indonesia? It's a naturalistic planned language devised from a traditional Pidgin language that was developped by the Indonesian government through corpus planning to make it capable of serving all communicative needs of society. It's grammar and lexis continue to be enforced by the government today.

 Tidak betul. ;) You're incorrect there. 

Indonesian (Bahasa just means language, so Bahasa Indonesia = the language of Indonesia, or just plain Indonesian) evolved from pasar Melayu (trade Malay), a simplified form of the language indigenous to parts of Sumatra and the Malay peninsula. It was effectively the "second language" of many people throughout the Dutch East Indies. 

In the 1920s, anti-colonial nationalists settled on it as the language of resistance AGAINST the colonial state. It was developed by anti-government writers and in the course of a popular revolution and became a true "people's language" through the work of folks like Chaerul Anwar and Pramoedya Ananta Toer. In effect, what you had was an organic development, as part of an anti-colonial revolution, in which this language was spoken and written into being. 

The state since independence has played a role, but not much more than (say) the role played by Académie française in standardizing usage, spelling etc. 

 Esperanto was invented by elite European utopia-seekers. Nothing against it, but it's utterly invented, so not really comparable to languages in Asia that have been simplified for easy use by ordinary people. 

On topic, national official bilingualism is nothing to do with teaching languages, which is the job of provincial education systems. Official bilingualism is about the federal government ensuring that any Canadian can access services in either official language. Sure it costs, but that's a choice we've made a country, and many are very proud of the choice. Learning French or English in schools can't be mandated by Ottawa, only by the provinces. Ditto for Esperanto, Ottawa can't permit it, but if you wanted to lobby at the provincial level for it to be permitted, then go crazy lobbying. 

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