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Monday, June 29, 2009

Book Review: "In the Land of Invented Languages"

As Arika Okrent writes in her new book, "In the Land of Invented Languages," "from an engineering perspective, language is kind of a disaster." English in particular is choked with irregular words and anachronistic phrases that long ago stopped making intuitive sense. If it were a car, it would be a jalopy patched together from a bunch of spare parts. Such is the curse of the natural language. It's not as if French or Swahili is much more logical.

So it's easy to understand why thousands of people over hundreds of years have tried to create a better language from scratch

link: Book Review: 'In the Land of Invented Languages' by Arika Okrent -


Brian Barker said...

Concerning Arika's new book........

I think that the choice, realistically, for the future global language lies between English and Esperanto, rather than an untried project. As a native English speaker I would prefer Esperanto.

It's unfortunate, however, that only a few people know that Esperanto has become a living language.

After a short period of 121 years Esperanto is now in the top 100 languages, out of 6,800 worldwide, according to the CIA factbook.

It is the 17th most used language in Wikipedia, and in use by Skype, Firefox and Facebook. Native Esperanto speakers,(people who have used the language from birth), include George Soros, World Chess Champion Susan Polgar, Ulrich Brandenberg the new German Ambassador to NATO and Nobel Laureate Daniel Bovet.

Further arguments can be seen at Professor Piron was a translator with the United Nations in Geneva.

A glimpse of Esperanto can be seen at

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