Re: Interlingua: Universal language?

From: Lee Daniel Crocker (
Date: Sat Apr 29 2000 - 17:51:27 MDT

> Saw a link to this on Slashdot:
> Why does this international language have a chance of succeeding
> where others have failed? Because you can already understand it!

Very old news to some of us, but nice to see such things getting
more popular press. The main drawback of Interlingua is that it's
a "lowest common denominator" approach, and very limited in scope.

In computer science, it's commonly accepted that different languages
have different strengths and weaknesses for different jobs. I'd
like to see human language evolve with that understanding as well,
with a recognition that one needs different language for different
jobs, and not to try shoehorning every diverse function of language
into a single structure.

Lojban is ideal for things like laws, contracts, specifications,
records, and philosophical discussions where precision is important.
Interlingua is well suited to things like instructions on packages,
informational signs, warnings, world news, and applications where
getting across simple ideas to as many people as possible is the
goal. But both are useless for artistic prose and poetry, where a
language like English shines with vast vocabulary of fine nuances
and connotations, phonetic diversity, flexible grammar, rich sources
of ambiguity. There are many good English jokes, for example,
that simply aren't possible to express in Lojban.

Lee Daniel Crocker <> <>
"All inventions or works of authorship original to me, herein and past,
are placed irrevocably in the public domain, and may be used or modified
for any purpose, without permission, attribution, or notification."--LDC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Jul 27 2000 - 14:09:58 MDT