Talk:Esperanto

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Former good article Esperanto was one of the good articles, but it has been removed from the list. There are suggestions below for improving the article to meet the good article criteria. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
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Removed statement with dead link[edit]

I've removed the following statement, "and can also help preserve cultural heritage that can be endangered by the widespread use of English.[13]" The link supporting the assertion is dead, and the statement leans toward political advocacy. There is little evidence that Esperanto is being used to offset cultural threats from the use of English, especially since most people that learn Esperanto are not native English speakers to begin with, as outlined and referenced with sources in the article itself. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 75.171.226.232 (talk) 15:56, 9 January 2014 (UTC)

Pronunciation again[edit]

This seems to have been discussed at length about a year ago, but I didn't really see any conclusion in the archived talk page. Regarding using "Penderecki" and "Vaclav" as examples for <c>, I can understand the motivation behind trying to associate /ts/ with <c>, but I don't think the typical anglophone will pronounce either of these correctly upon first glance. I've added in IPA values after the names so that readers won't have to click to another (completely unrelated) page to see the correct pronunciation. Jaxcp3 (talk) 02:15, 17 September 2013 (UTC)

I think I made the same point above—trying to come up with "English" examples of <c> as /ts/ only turns up words that are entirely unfamiliar to the vast majority even of highly-educated English speakers. Adding IPA doesn't really "solve" the situation so much as it clutters the page (especially Penderecki!). I'd prefer a simpler approach. Curly Turkey (gobble) 03:43, 17 September 2013 (UTC)
I agree, something simpler would be a lot better. Jaxcp3 (talk) 15:22, 18 September 2013 (UTC)
Sure, if you can think of anything. — kwami (talk) 15:48, 18 September 2013 (UTC)
"Simpler", to me, would be simply dropping the attempt at giving an "English" example of <c> as /ts/. Something more like "c has a /ts/ sound, so that paco ("peace") is pronounced [ˈpa.tso]". I'd drop "Jägermeister" from the j example as well. Native English speakers commonly butcher names like that. Curly Turkey (gobble) 23:50, 18 September 2013 (UTC)
I figured Jägermeister is well known , at least among the undergrad crowd in the US. Penderecki and Vaclav should be familiar to anyone into classical music or international affairs , and if not , you can always skip the example . — kwami (talk) 00:34, 19 September 2013 (UTC)
Most people are not that familiar with any but the biggest names in classical music, and many who are refuse to acknowledge the 20th century. Personally, I'd been listening to Penderecki for about ten years before I found out how his name was pronounced. He's not anywhere near as known as, say, Van Gogh, and how many native English speakers know how to pronounce his name? Curly Turkey (gobble) 00:40, 19 September 2013 (UTC)
Just about everybody, actually, though it's different in the US and the UK. — kwami (talk) 01:45, 19 September 2013 (UTC)
"Just about everybody"? You must be joking. I've met but a handful who weren't shocked to hear it in my entire life. Even all but one of my art teachers didn't know it. Curly Turkey (gobble) 03:56, 19 September 2013 (UTC)
You mean the Dutch pronunciation ? Of course they don't know that , it's Dutch . But they know the English pronunciation , which is all we're talking about here . — kwami (talk) 05:22, 19 September 2013 (UTC)
Oh, Jesus Christ, what bloody-mindedness. Curly Turkey (gobble) 05:33, 19 September 2013 (UTC)
If you're going to make a straw-man argument , you might get called on it . Whether someone knows how to pronounce Dutch has little correlation to whether they've heard a news reporter mention Havel. — kwami (talk) 20:20, 19 September 2013 (UTC)
Whatever, Kwakikagami. People are trying to communicate, and you've chosen instead to play games and derail the conversation. Curly Turkey (gobble) 20:58, 19 September 2013 (UTC)
Bullshit is not communication , not in the sense you mean . My argument was that a reasonable number of people know how to pronounce Jägermeister, Penderecki, and Vaclav. Your counterargument was that you don't know many people who speak Dutch . — kwami (talk) 21:25, 19 September 2013 (UTC)
"Bullshit is not communication", indeed. Deliberately ignoring a comment's major point to split hairs over a side-point is an excellent example of "bullshit". My "counterargument" was not that I "don't know many people who speak Dutch", but that few English speakers are familiar with the names "Penderecki" or "Vaclav", and that only a subset of those who do are aware of their "correct" pronunciation, thus they are terrible examples for the article. Unsurprisingly, you ignored (and continue to ignore) the point in favour of playing mind games. Meanwhile, the rest of us are only interested in making this article more accessible. Curly Turkey (gobble) 00:35, 20 September 2013 (UTC)
Then why not say that , rather than arguing that people won't know the English pronunciation of "Penderecki" because they don't know the Dutch pronunciation of "Van Gogh" ? That's like arguing people won't know the name "Moses" because they don't know the true pronunciation of YHWH/JHVH . I didn't ignore the point when Kahastok actually made it . — kwami (talk) 01:20, 20 September 2013 (UTC)
"Then why not blawh blawh blawh ..."'—because, of course, I never made anything remotely resembling such a ridiculous argument, as anyone can scroll up and see plainly with their own eyes—including yourself, if you weren't so much more desperate to score points in this obnoxious mind game of yours than to try to communicate with your fellow editors who are only trying to make this poor mess of an article maximally comprehensible. Curly Turkey (gobble) 02:54, 20 September 2013 (UTC)
If that's not the argument you were making , then please explain , because I have no idea what it is . This isn't a mind game: either your argument is specious , or I've misunderstood you , which I admit is likely enough . If you're not talking about the Dutch pronunciation , then presumably you're talking about the English pronunciation , and everyone I know knows that . — kwami (talk) 05:05, 20 September 2013 (UTC)
It's pretty obvious that I was saying that its unlikely that anyone would know the "proper" pronunciation of Penderecki given that hardly anyone has ever heard of him. It was ten years until I heard anyone pronounce it other than "how it looks in English". Thus, terrible example for the article. Curly Turkey (gobble) 05:28, 20 September 2013 (UTC)
It seems to be that Penderecki and Vaclav are a bit obscure. I don't see we need come up with suitable equivalents in English that use c or j - particularly if the words we come up with don't help a large proportion of readers. It just looks slightly desperate - like we're trying to suggest that English does pronounce some words with 'c' as 'ts' really, trying to suggest some form of Englishness of Esperanto's orthography. Articles on other languages don't do it - you'll not find Spanish language trying to cite an English word with j meaning [x] or z meaning [θ], for example.
We would be better off, if we need examples at all, simply saying that j is pronounced like an English y as in yellow, and c is pronounced like an English ts as in hats, or like the zz in pizza. Kahastok talk 21:43, 19 September 2013 (UTC)
The c is a bit desperate , I agree . The j is not , though .
(There is a common noun with c for /ts/, but it's even more obscure than the proper nouns .) — kwami (talk) 22:13, 19 September 2013 (UTC)
I have implemented my above suggestion. Kahastok talk 17:23, 20 September 2013 (UTC)

We hardly need to be told that "yellow " has a "y" in it . That adds nothing to the article . — kwami (talk) 00:18, 21 September 2013 (UTC)

My proposal was merely pointing out that we meant the "y" in "yellow" rather than the "y" in "jelly". I do not accept that it amounted to telling people that "yellow" has a "y" in it, and I maintain that it is an improvement on the status quo. Meanwhile you give no reason at all for restoring Vaclav and Penderecki, and I see no justification for them. Kahastok talk 08:07, 21 September 2013 (UTC)
And I do see justification for them. — kwami (talk) 08:24, 21 September 2013 (UTC)
Kwamaikagami, you now have myself, Prosfilaes, PeterHansen, Jaxcp3, and Kahastok telling you there is no justification for it, and noöne telling you there is. That's what we call a consensus. You're not seriously willing to editwar over your pet example, are you? Curly Turkey (gobble) 10:32, 21 September 2013 (UTC)
No, we have Kahastok and you . That's not a consensus . And no-one has argued that our audience is too illiterate for "hallelujah ". I'm still waiting for the simpler explanation that would still illustrate the point . — kwami (talk) 10:41, 21 September 2013 (UTC)
You've been given it, and you've ignored it, just as you've ignored the number of editors telling you how horrible your pet example is. here's there page from November 2013 where Prosfilaes and PeterHansen clearly and unambiguously told you so, and that you're pretending doesn't exist. This has really gotten beyond obnoxious, Kwamikagami. You've convinced not a soul that we should keep your example. Curly Turkey (gobble) 10:53, 21 September 2013 (UTC)
Well in that case, perhaps you could provide that justification? I've seen nothing so far that would suggest that they belong. Right now this is looking like consensus to remove these, if only because nobody is offering up any argument to retain. We can explain these using words that people are likely to know, and I see no reason not to.
To me, this looks like a POV issue, as though we're trying to justify Zamenhof's choices rather than just describing them. Kahastok talk 12:25, 21 September 2013 (UTC)
Usage in English has nothing to do with Zamenhof. It's simply a matter of giving examples in English . — kwami (talk) 22:09, 22 September 2013 (UTC)
We aren't describing usage in English. We're describing usage in Esperanto. The only reason I can see to give examples of obscure and little-known words in which the same letters give the same sounds in English - or for that matter foreign names whose pronunciations are not necessarily well known like Vaclav or Penderecki - is in order to try to make some non-neutral point about the Englishness or universality of Esperanto orthography (which is entirely based on Zamenhof's choices). I note that at no stage in this discussion have you even attempted to make a case for them. WP:INDISCRIMINATE applies. Kahastok talk 17:22, 25 September 2013 (UTC)
That may be all you can think of, but that's irrelevant. It's a memory aide, pure and simple, like where we note that the diacritic is like h-digraphs in English, or that the vowels have their continental values. No-one objects to those comments, even though they are not about Esperanto. What we have here is people objecting to anything they don't already know. — kwami (talk) 21:25, 25 September 2013 (UTC)

With all due respect to Kwamikagami's linguistics knowledge and competence, I believe that in this case "y as in yes and zz as in pizza" would be a better illustration for the pronunciation of Esperanto j and c, with no need for further explanation unlike Penderecki or Vaclav. Just my opinion. Apcbg (talk) 12:52, 21 September 2013 (UTC)

Yes, such examples are definitely better than some obscure name that aren't that well known. I don't see a need for examples that actually have "c" and "j" representing the sounds /t͡s/ and /j/. After all, we wouldn't look for examples in English showing "ĉ" being pronounced as /t͡ʃ/, would we? So I am with Apcbg, Curly Turkey and Kahastok here. Pizza and yes (or something similar) are good examples and immediately show the pronunciation for any English speaker, not just those who happen to know a Czech politian and whoever Penderecki is or happen to know how to properly pronounce a German drink. Perhaps a large number of anglophones might know these names, but then why not take words that everyone knowns? So where is the point in actually picking relatively unfamiliar example words with orthographic "c" and "j"? — N-true (talk) 14:33, 21 September 2013 (UTC)
Agreed. No need to focus on matching orthography. The only one I think may work is "hallelujah", or am I wrong about this one? --JorisvS (talk) 09:06, 22 September 2013 (UTC)
Hallelujah is fine for readers from Christian or Jewish audiences. It may be less familiar to Anglophone audiences from other backgrounds. To my mind it does not compete with "yes" or "yellow" for clarity. Kahastok talk 15:15, 22 September 2013 (UTC)
I suspect it's just as familiar to non-JC audiences as inshallah is to non-Muslim audiences . That is , you'd have to be pretty illiterate not to recognize it .
Of course it's not as obvious as "yellow ", but that seemed too obvious to bother with . Also , it's not just the y in yellow , but also the y in grey and boy.
Perhaps we could move them to footnotes, so they're out of the way for readers who don't recognize them ? — kwami (talk) 22:09, 22 September 2013 (UTC)
I don't think you have a clue what most of our readers will recognize. I'm pretty sure that most Americans aren't familiar with "inshallah"; personally, before looking it up, I could vaguely tell you it was Islamic. "Hallelujah" I think will be familiar to most American audiences; I don't know about European, and I'm skeptical about Indian or Chinese or Pakistani audiences. I'm guessing Jägermeister will be familiar enough to many American audiences (note, for example, the existence of wikt:Jägerbomb and the quotes on that page.) The only place I've ever heard of Penderecki and Vaclav is on this page and I suspect most Americans will follow me in pronouncing the first /pɪndɛɹɛki/ or the like.--Prosfilaes (talk) 03:03, 23 September 2013 (UTC)
I guess I expect people to have heard the names of famous world leaders, but I moved it to a footnote. — kwami (talk) 23:01, 24 September 2013 (UTC)
What pointlessness. What desperation. Curly Turkey (gobble) 23:22, 24 September 2013 (UTC)
There's no reason to assume that all readers are as ignorant as you, and no reason to restrict our coverage accordingly. — kwami (talk) 00:53, 25 September 2013 (UTC)
Another unsurprising ad hominem from Kwamikagami. That "ignorance" was of what, exactly? I knew the pronunciation of Penderecki and Vaclav. I also knew that most readers don't, as has been confirmed by a deluge of comments. Curly Turkey (gobble) 03:47, 25 September 2013 (UTC)
Even for those who don't, how is pointing out the fact that these sound values occasionally occur in English pointless? — kwami (talk) 03:53, 25 September 2013 (UTC)
Because Wikipedia is not a dumping ground for every tidbit of information that might be innaresting to someone, somewhere—otherwise we end up with this. Curly Turkey (gobble) 04:33, 25 September 2013 (UTC)
Agreed - and because the reader is here to read about Esperanto, not obscure words with unusual pronunciations. I will remove Kwami's footnote as per this reasoning. I note that no significant benefit has ever even been argued. Kahastok talk 17:22, 25 September 2013 (UTC)
Consistency with the rest of the paragraph, where we note parallels between Eo and Eng orthography. This isn't useless trivia like the diphthongs being like those of Tagalog (which they aren't), but a hook to help our readers to remember the orthography. — kwami (talk) 21:22, 25 September 2013 (UTC)
Except that Penderecki and Vaclav aren't English at all and letovicite is marginally English and often has its c pronounced as s, not ts, according to Wikipedia and Wiktionary.--Prosfilaes (talk) 08:25, 26 September 2013 (UTC)
Just like Obama and Boener aren't English at all and vagueness is only marginally English (the -ness is, but "vague" is ferner talk). — kwami (talk) 08:52, 26 September 2013 (UTC)
Kwamikagami: "Blah blah blah blah blah!"
Translation: "I have no intention of acknowledging either reason or consensus. Oh, yeah, and yer dummm." Curly Turkey (gobble) 09:58, 26 September 2013 (UTC)
I'm willing to admit to consensus. I'm not willing to pretend to believe silly arguments. — kwami (talk) 10:54, 26 September 2013 (UTC)
Mmm-hm. See point made above. Curly Turkey (gobble) 11:20, 26 September 2013 (UTC)

"Most populous"[edit]

User:Kwamikagami has reverted two different users because we think that "most spoken language" is better then "most populous language".Google Ngrams shows that "most spoken" is consistently way more common in English then "most populous". Neither Merriam Webster or Wiktionary include that definition. Google Books shows a paltry 28 hits for "most populous language". I'm not getting why this is a problem; it's clear which form is more widely accepted in English, and Kwamikagami has not given a single reason to prefer "populous" over "spoken" here.--Prosfilaes (talk) 17:08, 8 November 2013 (UTC)

They do give the def: "has a large population", in this case a large speaking population. That's not jargon. "Most spoken" sounds wrong because it doesn't state what it means: the most colloquial? the least written? the least sung? Arguably, all extant languages are equally spoken. Yes, like a lot of poorly worded phrases you know what's meant from context, but it seems like the wrong word for the meaning. I guess it's a pet peeve of mine: Every time I come across the phrase "most/least spoken language", I wonder why they say it so awkwardly. — kwami (talk) 22:11, 8 November 2013 (UTC)
And languages don't have wt:population. Merriam-Webster's definition is more useful, but it's still not a close fit. When you say a large speaking population, that's your interpolation; I think the rest of us are completely comfortable with giving "most spoken" the obvious reading, as well. I'd be fine with "the six languages spoken" (or "used") "by the most people", if all the shorter phrases are considered too elliptic for general comfort.--Prosfilaes (talk) 05:36, 9 November 2013 (UTC)
Languages do have a population. The longer phrasing is fine by me. — kwami (talk) 06:10, 9 November 2013 (UTC)

Overtly promoting the "language?[edit]

The entire article (even the criticism, which borders on the dismissive) and all the "Talk" here is relentlessly positive about the subject.

While its supporters are entitled to their opinion, the whole tenor of the article seems to be promoting the "language." (I do not entirely accept its status as a language, any more than the doggerel invented by children to conceal meanings from their parents and acquaintances, or the linguistic characteristics of certain groups - for example "Ebonics." — Preceding unsigned comment added by ExpatSalopian (talkcontribs) 23:42, 26 June 2014 (UTC) ExpatSalopian (talk) 23:45, 26 June 2014 (UTC)

I doN't doubt there are issues with the article, but you "do not entirely accept its status as a language"?—lingusits do. What are your credentials? That you would compare Esperanto to Ebonics (?!?) is evidence enough that you haven't a clue what you're talking about. Curly Turkey ⚞¡gobble!⚟ 23:56, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
African American Vernacular English is a completely valid variety of English, every bit as valid as New England English or Manchester dialect or General American in the eyes of descriptive linguists. I'm sure if you don't believe that Esperanto is a language, you might find the article problematic, just like I might find Florida if I don't believe that Florida is a real state. However, WP:NPOV requires that we treat it as a language, given that the idea that Esperanto isn't a language is incredibly marginal.--Prosfilaes (talk) 21:29, 27 June 2014 (UTC)