Have you ever envisioned a world with one unique language? Have you heard of the Esperanto language?
In an effort to create a universal language, Dr. Zamenhof created Esperanto in 1887. The goal was to propose a second language that would allow people to communicate with one another while at the same time retain their own languages and cultural identities. Although the idea of a universal language seems quintessential and handy, the language failed to be universally adopted. However, we can ask ourselves if there is not already a language that serves this same purpose…
Today, most people would argue that there is no use for Esperanto. With more than 1.5 billion speakers, English is now used all around the world. The language’s popularity is due to the fact that it has become the language of business, commonly used in most international exchanges. An interesting fact of English is that there are now more people who speak English as a second language than people who speak it as their first language. This is very close to the purpose for which Esperanto was created: to serve as a universal second language.
Do you think that there will be another universal language after English? Could it be Spanish or Mandarin Chinese?
Although English is the official language of the United States, the country is today the world’s second largest Spanish speaking nation. According to statistics, by 2050, there will be more Spanish speakers than English speakers in the United States. The Index of Human Development ranks Spanish as the second most important language on earth, after English but before Mandarin Chinese. However, as China’s population keeps growing, Mandarin Chinese is starting to be used more and more.
With so many complications that arise from the large number of languages around the world, it becomes easy to see the benefit of having one single language. However, without culture or history behind the words, Esperanto seems artificial and empty. In my opinion, the future belongs to real and existing languages. So, which one could be next?