Yesterday was the anniversary of Esperanto! It has been 124 years since its invention (or creation, or formation-whatever!). Thanks to Mariah Jane (IEWY News) who has posted an article about the anniversary of Esperanto, my thoughts have focused on another issue: Is English the Esperanto of our world?
Esperanto was created by L. L. Zamenhof who wrote a book detailing Esperanto. Zamenhof’s goal was to create an easy-to-learn and politically neutral language that would foster peace and international understanding between people with different regional and/or national languages. With Esperanto, we would have built the Babel Tower once again, but obviously it did not work.
Esperanto speakers range from 10,000 to two million active or fluent speakers, which is very small deal compared to English. Although English has the third rank in the list of most spoken languages in the world, you can communicate using it in almost any country. In schools, the second language is generally English. When you apply for a position, they ask if you know English or not.
Considering all these, it seems that English has become the Esperanto of our day. Zamenhof, thanks for the idea but English is about to replace your creation. If English becomes a kind of universal language in a short time, I think wei as translators, will have to look for another job!
P.S. I talked about this idea to my Turkish teacher three years ago. He is a very passionate man about Turkish language and he almost accused me of being a traitor 🙂