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To Christophe (Uusisuom and Esperanto)

From:Daniel44 <daniel44@...>
Date:Thursday, April 26, 2001, 11:24
Dear Christophe,

I agree that my knowledge of Esperanto is not very good, but what I wanted
to say was that Zamenhof's vision of a IAL was clearly a latinised language,
much less so than later IALs like Interlingua perhaps, but nonetheless the
Latin influence is clear. Clearly, Uusisuom is much different in this

'If anyone can find it inadequate for any reason than it is...'

Well, on the basis of that logic, I find Esperanto completely inadequate.
For one thing, I think it looks ugly. For another, it appears too much like
rehashed Latin or a bastardised form of Spanish and for another, the various
accents and marks make it awkward for feeding the language into computers,
word processing systems and the net, the most important communications
system in the world.

BUT, and this is an important but, I truly respect Esperanto and the legacy
of Zamenhof. I at least recognise there are flaws in EVERY language, natural
or constructed, but that they are surmountable. Humans are clever people, at
least their mental capacities are significant, and minor technical
deficiencies in a language should not automatically mean they are

Here, Christophe, is the difference between 'u' and 'y':

'u' pronounced like the 'u' in 'pUt'
'y' pronounced like the 'ui' in 'sUIt'

Just because you may have some trouble distinguishing between these two
sounds, does not automatically mean they are not two valid and distinct
sounds and that other people automatically have trouble pronouncing them.
You are assuming too much.

Doubled letters are not particularly difficult either - simply 'hold' the
letter for a little longer if it appears doubled than if it is single. It's
worth pointing out that the word 'kekko' has no rival such as 'keko' to
complicate things, same for the word 'jaani' which has no 'jani' to compete
against. Therefore, in theory, if you really can't pronounce letters
doubled, you will be understood if you say 'keko' and 'jani' instead of
'kekko' and 'jaani'. And in case you are wondering why use doubled letters
at all, it is because they help for one thing to distinguish between
nouns/adjectives on the one hand and verbs on the other which never contain
doubled letters.

'Many of the derivations escape me'

The reason I chose the colour purple to indicate anger is because the colour
red is used to denote embarassment (people DO get red when they get
embarassed in France as well, n'est ce pas?). These derivations are not
'opaque', they may simply call on the learner to adapt, just like any
language calls on its learners to make some adaptations.

'I found more negative points than positive ones (about Uusisuom)'

Somehow, I just can't believe that's true, however biased against Uusisuom
you might be. There are some things that Esperanto can offer that Uusisuom
cannot, but there are many things that Uusisuom can offer that Esperanto
can't. Ultimately, it comes down a lot to personal taste and preference.

Your mention of problems with pronunciation reminds me that because of its
international quality, ANY IAL is going to have different speakers
pronouncing certain words differently. I am sure your Esperanto is different
to a Russian's pronunciation. Only minor differences perhaps, and you can
understand each other (I hope) but the point is that you haven't made one
argument here that really 'holds water' as we say in English.

You are at least right when you say that the real test of Uusisuom will be
the public's. As I said to another critic before, please continue to
criticise Uusisuom if it keeps you busy, it makes no odds with me. Just
promise to criticise it until there are 1,000 speakers, or if that isn't
good enough for you, please criticise it until there are 10,000 speakers.
The real test of an objector is not to criticise a project when it is new
and young but to criticise it once it has fulfilled its potential and is
great and strong. If you can criticise Uusisuom when there are 10,000
speakers of the language throughout the globe, you will have earned my
respect for your integrity if nothing else.



D Tse <exponent@...>
Yoon Ha Lee <yl112@...>
Shreyas Sampat <nsampat@...>