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A world with only one language

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Esperanto is the world’s most widely spoken international auxiliary language; basically, it’s a language which has been created to provide communication between two people who do not share a common language.

Ludwig Zamenhof

It was invented by L. L. Zamenhof who dreamed of a politically neutral language which is easy to learn and he hoped it would foster peace and understanding. There are now said to be up to 2 million Esperanto speakers in the world and also evidence to suggest that learning the language provides a foundation and substantial preparation to then move onto learning other languages more easily.

If Zamenhof’s ideology were to come true, Esperanto would transcend nationally and the world would share a common language. But how would this affect humanity?:

Conflict resolution

Zamenhof hoped Esperanto may prevent conflict as disagreeing nations would share an association through language.

This is an excellent sentiment, however my view is that if two parties disagree on an issue, for example territory, and stoutly enough to engage in conflict, then a mutual language surely would not engender prevention alone.

A shared language would no doubt aid communication, and may act as a tool in initiating a resolution, but it is not a hindrance in itself.

When national security is threatened, a nation will often do all possible to secure its own sovereignty. Something that will increasingly prevail in the near future as energy security becomes a desperate and dominant concern, conflict will ensue regardless of what languages opponents speak.

Cultureless language

A world with a shared language is not unquestionable. What has become evident with the growing dominance of a small number of languages is that others will disappear. As near as the end of the century half of the worlds languages will be extinct.

Zamenhof’s vision could therefore become reality (though I doubt the universal language spoken will be Esperanto!) and the cultural implications of having only one language in the world would surely be significant.

When languages become extinct this results in the loss of a uniqueness and cultural identity which was embedded within it. Maybe it would unite the world but how would we differentiate ourselves from others, we would lose the diversity of culture for a world which might be easier to live in, but a life which would be blander to experience.

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