How to Create a Universal Language Project

No one neutral, universal language is yet spoken by the majority of the world. Esperanto has been much more successful than all other non-national, planned universal languages combined. Yet it is only spoken by a fraction of a percent of English speakers. English, in turn, is the only practical present day alternative. However, English is far from universal, egalitarian or neutral, so global communication compared to what it could be is still lopsided, inefficient and still far from universal. Unfortunately, the only way a languages have successfully spread in history so far is through war, prestige and political and economic might, which will never be a way to create a universally accepted, neutral language. War, etc., is also how other languages like Spanish, French, Greek, etc. spread. This article is written in hope that by having the world's peoples create their own language, that it will be universally accepted and used. We need people like you and me to contribute and help begin working on such a project so we will finally have a language we can all call our own, a language for the whole human race. Here are some of my ideas of how start forming such a language. What are yours?


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    Get everyone involved. Become a volunteer and donate your time to helping to develop an international language that can be used by everyone worldwide.
    • Find others to join in. Get people who can share their experience and knowledge, as well as their time.
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    Create a place on the web to gather and pool resources.
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    Evaluate the success and failures of Esperanto, English, Chinese and all other attempts at creating a universal language or overlaying an existing language into being a worldwide language.
    • Avoid focusing on a complete language from the start, but rather step by step beginning the process of increasing the "universal vocabulary that already exists." This way it is useful from the start. People will not spread or continue to use that which they cannot immediately put into use. Nor will people abandon their own comfortable language to learn something complex. But people create idioms all the time and if a universal language can build on this with only universal words, it's likely to be more effective.
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    Start with a list of commonly understood words that are pronounced the same internationally. Words like "ok", "coca-cola", "taxi", "hotel", etc.
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    Use existing examples. Already our universal number system of 1-9 and so on is recognized in all the Americas, Europe, India, Africa, and most Chinese learn this as children. People of almost any language can recognize and read numbers without trouble. It is called the Hindi-Arabic numeral system, though most of us just think of them as numbers. To this day you can write down any large number in almost any country of the world and be understood.
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    Keep it simple. Simplicity requires that one word, number or meaning can be shown in only one number, letter or symbol. In implementing a universal language, think about extra simplicity to accomplish the task.
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    Learn from Chinese in seeking to develop a universal writing system. For written Chinese, as difficult as it might look, there are some great lessons to learn. China is divided by seven different spoken languages. And they are not simple dialects; they are distinctly different spoken languages. However, many years ago, they had a leader who merged the several different languages into a single written language not based on pronunciation. To this very day, when two Chinese from different places can't understand each other, they simply have to write and then they understand one another. This is how our written number system of 1-9 works. Only for the Chinese, they can communicate about almost anything on paper. They're not limited to numbers.
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    Think of the Egyptians and their simplification. Considering how hard learning new symbols might be it might be easier then learning letter combinations, such as when we learn French or German. That doesn't mean that we have to use such odd looking symbols.
    • Consider using individual letters for many words such as "l", "b", "e", or symbols like "@", € and "©". Imagine if the whole world could have its own universal written language, without anyone having to give up their own spoken language. Imagine if Spanish, French and Russians could all understand each other on paper. With the power of the internet, this would have a huge impact.


  • There have been hundreds of language projects. Study how successful they were and why before making assumptions of how and why a language grows in popularity and use. What forms of languages and language projects have been the most successful? What kinds of promotion were the most successful languages given? Why did the languages which tried to use the most successful one as their basis (Esperanto), also not succeed?

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Categories: World Languages