ERIC Number: ED339220
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1991
Europe's Babylon: Towards a Single European Language? Esperanto Documents 41A.
Discussion of the establishment of a single language for Europe's many countries and cultures focuses on the debate over English versus Esperanto as the language of choice. It is argued that the notion that language has not been a major barrier to intellectual exchange is a myth. In addition, while the main European political institutions support multilingualism, the situation does not preclude establishing a single second language. Issues in developing language policy for a newly unified Europe include the geographic and political territory it must cover, the roles envisioned for the language chosen, and its learnability. English is the strongest contender because of its international preeminence and current widespread use. However, international English is composed of a large number of varieties, not all of which are internationally stable or considered legitimate. The argument in favor of Esperanto, on the other hand, is based on issues of principle rather than linguistic status. As a planned language, Esperanto is more easily learned than an unplanned national language, and it is also politically neutral. Lexically and historically, Esperanto is a European language. It is concluded that while English has historical dominance, Esperanto is dynamic and can play a larger role in future. (MSE)
Descriptors: Esperanto, Foreign Countries, Intercultural Communication, International Cooperation, Language Planning, Language Role, Official Languages, Public Policy, Uncommonly Taught Languages
Universal Esperanto Association, Nieuwe Binnenweg 176, 3015 BJ Rotterdam, Netherlands (Hfl. 3.00, plus 10% shipping and handling; discounts on larger orders).
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Universal Esperanto Association, Rotterdam (Netherlands).