From RationalWiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Icon language.svg

This language related article has not received a brainstar for quality. Please consider expanding the article appropriately. See RationalWiki:Article rating for more information.


Archives for this talk page: <1>, (new)

False Friends?..[edit]

Adulti - to commit adultery Novelo - Short story Pretendi - to claim

I am very unsure about the above three. English has "Adultery", "Novella" and "Pretend"(as in "pretender" = claimant) corresponding to the Esperanto words.

It's like saying "Adultery" and "Adult" in English are false friends. -- (talk) 16:38, 15 December 2014 (UTC)

In one sense they are. An uneducated person might assume that adult and adultery were related (which is not that unreasonable.
That section is mostly a bit of tongue in cheek humour.-Albannach (talk) 13:14, 30 June 2021 (UTC)

Green Star[edit]

Esperanto can hardly be criticised for the clash between its use of the green colour and its environmental associations. Green was associated with Esperanto from the late 19th century, presumably before the concept of environmentalism even existed. Blame for failure by others to perform due diligence can hardly be laid at its door. — Unsigned, by: Translateltd / talk / contribs 19:27, 7 January 2015

If I remember rightly, green was adopted by accident. I think it was to do with book binding. Unlike black, blue and red, it had not been widely used as a political colour until the 1960s (although radical Islam has used green).-Albannach (talk) 00:50, 19 July 2021 (UTC)
I seem to remember that the first books in Esperanto were green b/c that was what the print shop had. Smerdis of Tlön, wekʷōm teḱsos. 16:58, 19 July 2021 (UTC)
Yes, serendipity! I suppose it is also a neutral colour and associated with new growth.-Albannach (talk) 22:21, 19 July 2021 (UTC)

A few comments[edit]

First off my compliments to whoever wrote this - this is easily one of the best takes on this subject I've read.

Some other comments - a bit long, sorry:

  • I'm surprised this article doesn't mention the correlatives. The accusative (which actually useful in Esperanto terms) comes in for a lot of flak, but the correlatives are probably the most fearsome aspect of Esperanto grammar that comes to my mind. Esperanto may be simpler than most other languages, but the correlatives ensure it is not as easy to learn as its supporters claim.
  • There certainly are Jewish features to Esperanto for anti-Semites to latch onto. Some of them quite quirky - edzino is a strange choice for wife, but comes from either Yiddish or Hebrew (I forget). Some people have commented that a lot of the Germanic wordstock in Esperanto i.e. supposedly from German and English, is often similar to Yiddish.
  • The article needs far more on Soviet persecution of the language. Although strangely, during the Cold War, it was quite popular in Eastern Europe - probably because it was an alternative to capitalist English and its design is quintessentially Eastern European. (I've long seen it as a form of Romanian gone rogue.) Red China seems to be one of its biggest supporters these days.
  • "[English has] one of the most complex syllabic structures of any language" - not even close, even within Europe, when including some of the Slavic languages, let alone some of the smaller Caucasian languages. (There are a lot of features that do English no favours, but you can weigh that up against tonal languages such as Mandarin (which also has a fearsome script), some of the features of Arabic (with another beautiful but problematic script), let alone Russian which loves consonantal clusters even more.)
  • Culture - what it lacks in terms of film and TV, Esperanto has made up for in literature and music. It actually has a very respectable literary tradition now. "Some people see the cult-like aspects of Esperanto as extreme manifestations of Esperanto culture, which also demonstrate that such a thing exists." - meh, not quite ... The cultlike behaviour is not an indicator of a healthy culture, but an inhibitor of it. Esperanto is certainly a secular religion for some people.
  • Artificiality - the "planned language" concept is preferred by many Esperantists. It does have slang. GMOs are not a good example, as there are environmental risks posed by some of those (particularly if you want to create plants which are resistant to certain pests or are overly fertile)
  • "Esperantists are mostly sane and well-meaning people" - some are great people, but the culty aspects have led to a lot of infighting/splitting Marxist/religion-style and have attracted a disproportionate number of fringe learners. And of course, it is incredibly nerdy... -Albannach (talk) 02:52, 3 December 2020 (UTC)

@Albannach The problem with artificial languages is that there intended universality fails, that is, people who have an enthusiasm for language reform often have a taste for tinkering and innovating; and thus, ironically, an artificial language such as Esperanto approaches its intended universality only to crumble into a new Babel of its own. Another problem with artificial languages, unlike natural languages, is their 'artificiality,' they have not evolved over millennia in response to a complex world, why not use English which is already an auxiliary international language? In my mind, Guiseppe Peano's 'Interlingua', in its original form, was an example of a superior artificial language; it too, however, was besmirched by meddlesome enthusiasts, who have marred the transparency of the language. The reoccurring theme, which I hope I've made clear, is that the tinkering and innovation that plagues artificial languages: defeats their original purpose, ruins their clarity, and leads to insular cultures. Moreover, artificial languages like Esperanto are not subject to the sharp and rigorous criteria of selection that the artificial languages of mathematical-logic enjoy. Mathematicians and Logicians recognize that the notation of an artificial language is not for bridging language barriers, rather it is a medium and instrument for understanding something out beyond. I fear that, once again, nerds have bastardized otherwise noble pursuits! Leucippus (talk) 12:28, 3 December 2020 (UTC)


There is a footnote saying that Stalin could not speak Esperanto. There is actually some eyewitness evidence that Stalin did pick up some Esperanto in earlier life, but that he never went and joined the culture. There are various theories as to why he persecuted Esperantists - a) an easy group to pick on, b) they were a group who had had a lot of international contact and c) he feared that Esperanto might supplant Russian as a major language in the USSR and the Communist movement.-Albannach (talk) 02:45, 24 December 2020 (UTC)


In this section, it reads, "Esperanto poets have also taken a few liberties, such as dropping terminal vowels etc to improve the form." This was not poetic "liberties" but is in fact the 16th of the 16 Rules of Esperanto written early on: Elision: the final "o" of a noun or the final vowel of the article "la" can be removed for poetry purposes to cut down on the number of syllables without affecting the syllable-stress. This can't be done if the noun-ending -o is made plural with an added -j or made accusative with a final -n. Dracopol (talk) 03:02, 27 April 2021 (UTC)