Talk:Criticism of Esperanto

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Constructed languages / Esperanto  (Rated B-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon This redirect is within the scope of WikiProject Constructed languages, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of constructed languages on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
B-Class article B  This redirect does not require a rating on the project's quality scale.
 High  This redirect has been rated as High-importance on the project's importance scale.
Taskforce icon
This redirect is supported by Esperanto task force.
 
Note icon
This article is an Esperanto core topic.

Sexist constructs[edit]

I tried to integrate the point-counterpoint nature of this page by putting all the related arguments together while maintaining NPOV. I think I have mostly succeeded, but I encourage those from both sides of the argument to point out parts that might be construed as biased. I personally don't really care, so I thought I would be a good person to do it.

However, I have to say that the pro-Esperanto responses to the sexism issue are kind of weak. The bit about being "gender-specific" is lame. I don't see why Esperantists can't just do what people have done to remove sexism from other languages, like English, by stigmatizing gender-specific words and using generic forms for all instances. "Steward" and "Stewardess" has been replaced by flight attendant. Within the acting community, "actress" has been mostly replaced by "actor", and you hardly ever run across references to things like "lady lawyer" or "woman doctor" anymore, and when you do, they are rightly labeled as sexist. I don't see any reason why you can't just say "doktoro" all the time and only use "doktorino" or "virdoktoro" when it is necessary to describe the gender of the doctor. I suppose this isn't done because the grammar of Esperanto is consisered "set" and unchageable, which seems pretty short-sighted to me. Maybe someone with more experience with Esperanto could explain why this argument isn't made. Anyhow, I've tried to keep the handling of it in the article neutral, but I think anyone who reads it will see that the Esperanto response is weak. --Nohat 01:12, 2004 Feb 9 (UTC)

From your second paragraph it can be seen that you have a very Anglo-centric view. Getting rid of gender-specific meanings is just the way it was done in English, given the grammatical features of the English language. In German, for example, it is considered sexist to just use the male form when you mean both (i.e. a sign for neglecting the females). Hence in Germany, the feminist movement caused that more and more people use both forms, saying for example "Kollegen und Kolleginen" for "colleagues", which in written language is sometimes abbreviated as "KollegInnen". A similar use can be observed in Spanish, where the words ending in -o will certainly never get a gender-neutral meaning. There they sometimes use @ for a/o in written language. So the anti-sexism movement needs to consider the given circumstances, and decide what changes can be forced to increase awareness among speakers of that language. In Esperanto, this movement has already changed a few things, namely that more and more words are considered gender-neutral, and only next-of-kin words are still used completely gender-specifically. The word "doktoro" for example is mainly used in a gender-neutral way. The form "virdoktoro" never existed anyway, as this way of forming the male form is only used for animals. A few people still use "doktorino", mainly for anti-sexist reasons, because in their native language it is considered sexist not to mention the female form. When using the plural, one can always use the both-gender-prefix ge- (eg. gedoktoroj), which is however mainly used for next-of-kin words (i.e. words where the stem still clearly has a male meaning), e.g. gefiloj. Only speakers of languages like German would use forms like "gedoktoroj", again in order to be non-sexist. If you understand Esperanto, you can read http://www.bertilow.com/pmeg/gramatiko/o-vortoj/seksa_signifo.html for a more detailed explanation of gender in Esperanto.

Anonymous, do you feel this is due to something inherent in German or Spanish culture, or might it be due to the grammatical gender of the German and Spanish languages, so that every word faces the problem that he/she faces in English? Because in English we use precisely the kinds of solutions you illustrate for our pronouns: he or she, s/he, etc. kwami 01:38, 2005 Jun 2 (UTC)
  • I removed European from the sentence Defenders reply that this asymmetric treatment of male and female is not a feature of Esperanto, but only a general feature of most European languages. Why? Because I've found that most languages distinguish between the feminine and the nonfeminine, that is, they treat the feminine in a special way, for good or bad depending on one's point of view. But before saving my change, just to make sure, I pulled a random (but non-European) language book from my bookshelf... Indonesian. And sure enough, I quickly found two Indonesian examples: The word orang is used to refer to people, persons or men; and Indonesian has a term of address for a man (Tuan) and one for a woman (Nyonya)... and one for an unmarried woman (Nona)! Indeed, this asymmetry is not merely European. Ailanto 00:17, 15 September 2005 (UTC)
Irrelevant, and in any case OR. This is what defenders say. And Malay orang means 'man' in the sense of homo, not of viro. AFAIK there is no gender asymmetry in the grammar. kwami (talk) 10:01, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
"Sexism"

Now, can someone explain to me how a language can be "sexist"? Just because there are words deprived from other words to make a femine doesn't mean it's sexist. If it is sexist, that means most of the European languages are naturally sexist, due to that most european languages have masculine and feminine forms of words. Is it even possible for a language to be sexist? Onerace (talk) 08:10, 24 December 2008 (UTC)Onerace

Doesn't matter. This is one of the more common criticisms. (And yes, these people would say that European languages are 'sexist': this is something they would expect to be 'corrected' in a planned language.) kwami (talk) 10:01, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

Okay, first off, why I touched the discussion page is that someone has it saying that "he" of English can be gender-nuetral... Which is false. "He" is never gender nuetral. There might be male-specific words a woman won't be insulted by ... "He" is definitely not one of them. You will not get away with manizing a woman in discussion to that degree unless she literally wants to be a man. So, this brings me to my second point. It is sexist to deny the acknowledgment of the existence of the female gender. Not only is that sexist, it's as sexist as you can get. "They don't like that we slap their bum and call them toots? Well, let's just pretend they don't exist and call them men! Ladies, what ladies? Those are gentlemen! I see no difference! Differences don't exist! Why are you crying? Men don't publically cry! Man up, you snivelling baby!" Seriously, people who are themselves sexist, racist, etc. are the ones who come up with this ridiculous idea that not acknowledging a group of others erases the problem. They think, erase their existence altogether, and you erase the problem. Except they are not actually erasing their existence or the problem, they're just pretending it doesn't exist so they don't have to deal with it.Dragopolska (talk) 06:06, 11 August 2011 (UTC)

Historically, masculine has been used as a default unknown gender. Part of the blame for this lies in translations from Latin and French, but it did become convention in formal English whereas informal English would often just use "they". Modern usage has got really mucked up by political correctness, by often just favouring "she" instead (this is no solution). Convention in the computer world has gone really over the top, with all program developers being "she" and users being "he"; I say over the top because statistically there are more men than women in software development, and quite a lot of the software written is for admin departments which are statistically dominated by female workers. So in order to be PC, we're effectively calling men "she" and women "he". Toc-toc-toc. Prof Wrong (talk) 12:01, 12 August 2011 (UTC)

Klingon[edit]

...no other constructed language has approached the number of Esperanto speakers or has an extensive body of literature like Esperanto.
This is interesting. Those conlangs that might compete with Esperanto in popularity have been around for much shorter periods of time. The Klingon Dictionary has sold more than a quarter of a million copies, and Klingon as a language has only existed for about 15 years. I'd like to see how Klingon does over the next hundred years; maybe it will catch up to Esperanto. You never know... :D thefamouseccles 23:21, 12 May 2004 (UTC)

15 years after it was published (so by 1902), Esperanto was already in use internationally, and 3 years later the first World Congress was held. I somehow don't think Klingon will have anything equivalent in the next 3 years - at Klingon conferences few people speak anything but English. Just because 250,000 Star Trek fans might have the Klingon dictionary on their bookshelves doesn't mean that more than a handful of the most dedicated can as much as hold the simplest conversation in Klingon. The reason is straighforward: it was never designed to be a spoken language, but to represent the way an extra-terrestrial race might speak - in someone's imagination!

Compare conlangs with what Esperanto achieved at the same period in its development - rather than speculate about what they might do should they still be around at the age Esperanto is now. Don't forget that Esperanto wasn't the first conlang - there were hundreds before it, as well as hundreds since. Also, don't imagine that the reason Esperanto hasn't been universally adopted is because of some inherent deficiency, and that all we need to do to get it accepted is to "fix" it in some way - the painful truth is that any such language will face the same political obstacles as Esperanto no matter how it might be constructed. --Tiffer 23:22, 22 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I'd like to weigh in here, because the Esperantist viewpoint always seems to be to view Esperanto as a perfect language, and that therefore everyone should speak it, and the people fighting against them like the Idists, which Esperantists pretend don't even exist say that the reason there isn't universal adoption is because of some flaw in Esperanto which must be 'fixed', then it will be a perfect language adopted by everyone. Neither viewpoint is correct. There is no such thing as a perfect language. Esperanto may be easy to learn for some Europeans (not me personally, but some), but it's not easy to learn for non-Europeans. Not only this, but easiness to learn does not make a language perfect. If everyone in Europe spoke Esperanto as their native language they would be severely disadvantaged in learning any other language, since they would have no equivalent in their own language for complex grammar ideas. Then there's the culture consideration. Esperanto may have lots of books and such, but it possesses hardly any music in any style. Natural languages have vast bodies of beautiful music, but these languages are dying to give life to a culturally barren language like Esperanto. Also, if we really want to go down the road of simplicity, the presence of the useless verb 'to be' in Esperanto. It doesn't exist in some languages. Nor do articles, yet there is never ambiguity. There's also the relative poverty of roots, and the insanity of not having a different word for good and bad. Bad is 'good-bad', impossible is 'possible-bad', down is probably 'up-bad'. This may mean fewer roots to learn but it also means I'm stuck if I forget one because there's nothing else to lean on, and it makes it harder to convey slight differences in meaning. Zamenhof has turned his language into a religion that cannot be changed, and declared it the most simple, the best, etc. The flaws are, to me, clear, just as they are with every language under the sun. If Esperanto wishes to be treated as a language it should accept its flaws like a language.

expansion[edit]

I'll make a stab at addressing some of these issues over the next few days, as well as bringing up some new ones. Of course, I have my own biases, so I'd appreciate any feedback. kwami 01:30, 2005 Jun 2 (UTC)


Possibly exaggerated claims[edit]

The core grammar (fundamento) can be learned in less than one hour, the basic vocabulary (by English-speaking people) in 2 hours, and the pronunciation and spelling in half an hour.

The first claim is somewhat exaggerated, and I'm sure the second claim is extremely exaggerated... what number of roots are we estimating one can learn in two hours, and what sense of "learn" are we talking about? The pronunciation and spelling claim is probably about right, in some sense (which is still compatible with a native speaker of English occasionally writing "y" for "j" even though he "knows" that the latter is correct). I'd like to revise this, but I"m not sure what revised figures to put in place of these... anybody? --Jim Henry | Talk 19:05, 19 July 2005 (UTC)

The core grammar can be probably be learned in 10 minutes by a European polyglot, but a several hours is probably required for the average monolingual Usonian. Depends on what you mean by "basic". Throw out the participles and when you need to use the accusative, and "less than an hour" is probably about right. (Though there'd be no retention, of course.) Maybe "an hour or two"? Six 20-minute sessions should result in decent retention. If you're a European language speaker! A lot longer if you're Chinese.
I would consider "basic vocabulary" to mean the more common half of the Fundamento (~500 roots) plus derivitives. Even your European polyglot would have trouble doing that in two hours. However, from what I understand, you can teach Esperanto 15 minutes a day to monolingual Usonian third graders, and by the end of the school year they can correspond to penpals in China. I would consider that to be competence in basic vocabulary, though of course it doesn't tell us how quickly they would learn to speak it. kwami 00:58, 2005 July 20 (UTC)
  • Extremely exaggerated, I'd say too! I don't think I'd be able to learn 500 (or 1000 as stated on the page) roots in two hours. Two weeks, maybe. I dunno, even then I think that I'd be forgetting some I learned on the first days... Ailanto 00:27, 15 September 2005 (UTC)

I just took out the numbers entirely. 'A few hours' is probably as specific as it needs to be. Mithridates 02:21, 28 September 2005 (UTC)

Neutrality[edit]

The first article about neutrality or euro-centrism is surprisingly unneutral in nature itself. The vocabulary, spelling and phonology are indubitably European-derived, but it is difficult to argue the same with regards to the grammar and semantics, the grammar often being described as being closer to Chinese than to any European language (in terms of regularity of conjugation and so on), and the semantics, as in every living language, is determined by the population of speakers. But the most surprising claim is in regards to syntax, which in Esperanto is 99% free, with a few exceptions (e.g. the preposition immediately preceding the word it preposes, for obvious reasons).

The fact that these claims are mentioned isn't a problem in itself, but then the article would be more suited to a title such as "Criticisms of Esperanto" with a separate article entitled "Arguments for Esperanto". I don't however, think this is necessary, as any Wikipedia article is expected to be neutral and balanced.

The claims about the time needed to learn the language is exaggerated in most people's cases, although the specified time-frame is not impossible for some people (Tolstoi being a notable example). Sumthingweird 11:52, 30 October 2005 (UTC)

If you knew Chinese, you wouldn't think they were similar! Also, only Eo word order is free (as in Latin, Greek, Russian). Syntax is more than word order, however. It includes such things as relative clauses and other embedding. Eo syntax is completely European & IndoEuropean. The morphology is much more regular than any IndoEuropean language that I'm aware of, and because it's agglutinative it's been compared to Turkish or Hungarian. However, that's a very superficial similarity: they are completely different in the details. (Possessive pronouns are not suffixes, for example. Such differences are much greater than the difference between Eo and IndoEuropean morphology.) As for things determined by the culture of the speakers, it's true that you can be polite in Eo in the European fashion of saying 'please' and 'thank you', or in the African fashion of inquiring about one's family. But that's pragmatics. Semantics deals with the meanings and implications of words and phrases, and these are again completely European. I'm thinking of Japanese, which is full of concepts there are no equivalents for in Eo, whereas you can translate into Eo from French or Polish literally, word for word, without a problem. kwami 18:31, 30 October 2005 (UTC)

I still maintain my point - that the section on "neutrality" is not neutral in itself. I disagree with your interpretation on a few finer points, but I don't want to get bogged down in detail so I'll just point out an example: in Esperanto you can say please in the European so-called fascist way "bonvolu", or in a more introspective way "mi petas", or even the passive "se placxas al vi". Thankyou can be expressed "Dankon", "Mi dankas al vi", "Mi dankas vin", right down to "Vi estas gxentila" or "kia dankinda ago", most of which nuances are difficult to accurately translate into English. This last example was used by Claude Piron in his book "Le défi des langues". But more importantly, this article tends to talk about linguistic and non-PC elements of the language, which are useful enough to talk about later on. A section about neutrality should probably be about neutrality. The main point of Esperanto is that diplomatically, it is undeniably more neutral than English or any other national language. Whether or not you agree is a different point - a Wikipedia article should deal in facts, not opinion, and when discussing opinion, should express the range of opinions unless the article is entitled "Criticisms of..." which this article is not. This article is entitled "Esperanto as an international language" but only briefly discusses Esperanto as an international language. Sumthingweird 02:54, 1 November 2005 (UTC)

You're right about that - as it stands it is an article on criticism, rather than neutrality. Please feel free to rewrite it. Eo is neutral in the sense that you can say things however you like, and coin new words as you like, and as long as it makes sense, it's good Esperanto - something which isn't true of any ethnic language. This is important, and makes the language tremendously easier to learn than ethnic languages. And there is an element of this in the grammar: "blue" can be an adjective or a verb; the definite article is optional, as is the Slavic aspectual system; the verbal root far can be used as a preposition; and you can coin conditional participles. However, it should be born in mind that only Europeans consider Eo to be neutral grammatically or semantically: 'Neutral' only means neutral with respect to the various European languages. That's something that's too often forgotten in Eo marketing campaigns. Only citing Europeans and saying that anything that disagrees with this is POV is somewhat disingenuous. kwami 05:01, 1 November 2005 (UTC)

Yes, we seem to agree that it is near impossible to have a language which is neutral in all respects, especially linguistically. I suppose we are then discussing two different issues - the linguistic neutrality of an international language, and the diplomatic neutrality of an international language. Certainly English, Spanish, Russian, etc, are not neutral in the same respect as we would consider Esperanto to be neutral. Perhaps I have some kind of preconception as to what a section "Neutrality" in "Esperanto as an international language" should be about. Neutrality is, I'm sure most would agree, the point of an international conlang. As to its ease of use - that is a variable for people of different backgrounds. Sumthingweird 08:25, 1 November 2005 (UTC)

But the two are intertwined. Let's suppose Esperanto were made the international language of diplomacy, business, and higher education. Then Europeans, who find the language almost simplistic to learn, would have a marked advantage over Asians. A European and an Asian speaking Esperanto are not on equal footing. How is that 'neutral'? True, Asians could become functional in it much more quickly than they do today in English, but not as the near afterthought that Europeans find it. This 'neutrality' is a bit like racial "equality" in the USA: Legal equality is not terribly impressive when education, job opportunitities, salaries, access to the ballot box, and imprisonment rates (for the same offences) are all heavily biased towards whites. Esperanto is similarly biased heavily toward Europe. I love the language, but I also love not being pulled over by the police for DWB every time I get in my car: It doesn't make me think the thing is neutral. kwami 08:52, 1 November 2005 (UTC)

Lol. Well, you might think so, but apparently people in Asian countries don't necessarily agree with you. The bulk of the Esperanto-speaking population is in Eastern Asia. For many of them whom I've spoken to, they find Esperanto a lot easier to learn and a lot more immediately usable than, for example, English. Of course the only languages that are fully unbiased towards any group are the a priori languages, but none has so far become very popular because they do not base themselves on any other evolved language, and so rely on a lot of luck to be suitable for a speaking population. I suppose that the issue is then relative neutrality - Esperanto is easier to learn for some people than to others, but the discrepancy is to a much lesser extent than to any real alternative. So you see how we have different points of view. Both are valid, and we each make points that the other has not, but then of course a Wikipedia article should have facts about the subject, not merely opinions. Sumthingweird 04:20, 2 November 2005 (UTC)

As long as we stick to facts, then. I've had very different experiences with Asian Esperantists. Sure, the language is much easier than English, but that isn't saying much. Plenty of people I've met have expressed frustration at how illogical Esperanto is, with the only reason they can see for it being the comfort of European language speakers. kwami 05:37, 2 November 2005 (UTC)

about neutrality or euro-centrism

The word "neutral" means too many things. When Esperantists claim that Esperanto is neutral, they mean that the language is not supported by any government that has economical advantages in promoting it. Of course the vocabulary is mostly based on European languages (see http://remush.be/etimo/etimo.html), but if a non-European author feels it necessary, he can create a new word based on his language (see rule 15).

The new term can be accepted later on by the community of speakers, if there is no better alternative for it. Many such terms have been accepted. It is remarkable that Chinese authors prefer to use the internal possibilities of Esperanto when they need to construct a new term.

So I think that the title of the topic is wrong. It should be something like "Esperanto vocabulary was originally based on Hindo-European languages".

--Remush (talk) 18:55, 11 February 2010 (UTC)

Article needs different structure[edit]

As the argument is called "Esperanto as an international language", it shouldn't just be structured as a collection collection of criticisms to that role with some replies. Instead, there should first be a paragraph introducing why Esperanto is proposed as an international languages (i.e. the Esperantists' conception of the language problem and how Esperanto might solve it), and then the list of criticism can come after it (still with replies and possibly counter-reblies by critics). Unless someone disagrees with this, I will soon write a first version of the new introductary section. Marcoscramer 00:07, 2 November 2005 (UTC)

Go for it. This is one of the Eo articles I never got to myself - next on my list, actually, but I won't get to it anytime soon. kwami 00:15, 2 November 2005 (UTC)

Maybe the "criticisms" might be moved to a new article, such as Criticism of Esperanto? [[User:JonMoore|— —JonMoore 20:24, 29 May 2006 (UTC)]] 00:53, 2 November 2005 (UTC)

I disagree: Almost all of the criticism against Esperanto is criticism against its use as an international language (hardly anyone objects to their being people who do it as a hobby). So this criticism should stay here as well.
I have now written the first version of the new introductory section, and added a few bits to the section on criticisms. If other people feel that some of it is POV, please improve it! I made some effort not to make it too POV, but since I have strong feelings bout the subject, it might not be perfect. Marcoscramer 16:14, 3 November 2005 (UTC)

Good job. It's now a much better article. I copyedited about half of it, and took out some stuff I thought was fluff (much of which wasn't from you), but left the flow and the points you made intact - or at least I think I did! kwami 02:37, 4 November 2005 (UTC)

"non-European" morphology[edit]

Since the claim is often made that Eo morph is non-Indo-European, I was wondering if anyone could actually justify the claim. Otherwise I think it needs to be debunked. Stringing affixes together in Eo isn't much different than German; the primary differences are that the system is more regular in Eo (an artifact of its being constructed), and the invariability of its roots. But lots of roots in all Indo-European languages are invariable (Greek mous- "mouse" below is one example); the fact that Eo is nearly regular in this regard (except for words like 'panjo') is again an artifact of its being consciously designed.

The article states that "An agglutinative morphology means not just that complex concepts are expressed by adding multiple affixes to word roots, but that its grammatical inflections work the same way." But which grammatical inflections are we talking about? The verbs aren't agglutinative that way; we can't say that -s in indicative or -i is past, for example. The plural and accusative nouns and adjectives are very much like Classical Greek: mousa (Esperanto: muso), mousan (muson), mousai (mousoj), musās (musojn). That's it for the agglutinative inflections in Eo: the accusative plural is formed by plural+accusative rather than a separate suffix, as in Greek. Are we going to call Eo morphology "non-European" because of that one tidbit? Does it do anything to make Eo "neutral"?

kwami 10:43, 4 November 2005 (UTC)

When I learned Swahili, I was surprised to see how similar its morphology is to that of Esperanto: German (my mother tongue) doesn't resemble either of them much in its morphology. Let me illustrate that with a few examples:
Use of regular affixes (in eo and sw) vs. inflection in the root and varying affixes (in de):
German Esperanto Swahili
groß granda kubwa
Größe grandeco ukubwa
lang longa -refu
Länge longeco urefu
reich ricxa tajiri
Reichtum ricxeco utajiri
Kind infano mtoto
Kindheit infaneco utoto
(Eo and sw always use the affixes -eco and u- and don't change the root; German needs a number of different affixes and sometimes changes the root)
Conjugating verbs:
German Esperanto Swahili
ich sage mi diras ninasema
ich sagte mi diris nilisema
ich werde sagen mi diros nitasema
ich soll sagen mi diru niseme
ich würde sagen mi dirus ningesema
sagend dirante anayesema
(der gesagt hat) dirinta aliyesema
(der sagen wird) dironta atakayesema
(in eo and sw, there is an analogy between indicative and participles (in eo, the vowel stays, while s gets replaced by nt; in sw, the tense marker (na, li or ta/taka) stays, while "ye" is added); in German no such analogy exists; for some forms, German needs two words, while eo and sw always just need one)
I could think of many more examples in other parts of morphology (it would just take ages to write them all down). I take it that it must be possible to argue in similar ways with Turkish instead of Swahili, since it is often named as an example (I personally can't confirm this, though, as I don't know any Turkish). Marcoscramer 23:23, 4 November 2005 (UTC)

If you want to show how one language is different from another, then we could show how Eo parallels German but not Swahili in other aspects. What we're really talking about here is regularity. Swahili is a reasonably regular language; German is not. Perhaps that has something to do with agglutinativity, but I think it would be less misleading to say Eo is 'regular' than to say it's morphology isn't European, just because it's regular. Also, Esperanto syntax is closer to Romance than Germanic, so there's that. The German comparison isn't the best; but it shows that stringing morphemes together to form new words isn't alien to European languages. There is some regularity in the Eo verbal paradigm that is innovative. For instance, Eo has future participles, which don't exist in any Indo-European language that I've heard of, and which you could argue is paralleled in Swahili. But atakayesema is perhaps closer to li kiu diros than to dironta. Again, this is a product of regularity, and the Eo verbal system isn't agglutinative (the o doesn't just indicate future tense, but each participle is a separate morpheme; also, German sagte and gesagt have the same t which you migh claim marks past tense, so there is some parallel there). Most European languages are annoyingly irregular, and when we see nice regular Swahili or Turkish (actually rather irregular, but regular in many of the places where European languages are irregular, which tends to get noticed first), then they seem similar to mostly regular Esperanto. But nearly every element of Eo morphology and syntax can be found in the European languages Z was familiar with. kwami 01:16, 5 November 2005 (UTC)

It's not about regularity: A language can have vowel-shifts inside roots in a very regular fashion, and a language can also have a very irregular system of affixes. The main similarity between Eo and Sw is that both never change their roots, but use only affixes to derive new words from old ones, wheras German and English both use a mix of changing roots (vowel shifts) and adding affixes (an example for English if hot --> heat). Marcoscramer 13:34, 6 November 2005 (UTC)

Sure. (I think I mentioned that above as well.) But many if not all European languages have agglutinative alternates for such ablaut. And in English at least, slang words or extended meanings tend to use agglutinative morphology, indicating that it is the more productive. For example, in deriving a noun from hot (as in 'a hot babe'), you get hotness rather than heat; the past tense of hang (as from a gibbet) is hanged, not hung; the plural of mouse (the computer input device) is mouses, not mice. Regardless, the majority of nouns, adjectives, and verbs don't even have the option of ablaut: coldcold, redredness, electelected; catcats. German has all the same options. Now, Esperanto doesn't contain all the morphology of the European languages, but the morphology it does have is widespread in the European languages. Saying it's not European for this is like saying it's not European because it doesn't have gender, or because its cardinal numerals aren't inflected for number or case. A lot of the morphology has been dropped. Also, I believe most European creoles have invariable roots, though perhaps it's questionable to call them European. (What about Lingua franca?) kwami 22:33, 6 November 2005 (UTC)

Well, I certainly wouldn't doubt that all morphological characteristics can be traced to some characteristic in some European language. What is important however, is that the overall morphological system is quite un-European in that it uses no ablaut at all. Almost all European languages use ablaut quite a lot, whereas many non-European languages don't. Isn't that enough to say that Esperanto morphology is in some respect non-European? Marcoscramer 20:19, 9 November 2005 (UTC)

Yes, you're right, it is non-European in that sense. When you put it that way it's more convincing: Eo lacks something common to Indo-European languages (excepting creoles). However, if you say "Eo has non-European morphology", people will read it in the positive sense that Eo has morphological forms found otherwise only outside Europe. That's how I read it, and why I objected. If we can word this so it's not misleading, I wouldn't have any objections. Maybe something like the way you just did, that "Eo completely lacks the ablaut common to Indo-European languages" or some such. kwami 21:48, 9 November 2005 (UTC)

Okay, how about starting a list of elements of Esperanto grammar not found in western IE languages?

  • accusative plural compounded instead of portmanteau (-ojn vs. Greek ās)
  • future participles (-onto, -oto)
  • lack of ablaut/inflection of roots (except, marginally, for pet names)

Separate word endings for parts of speech is sometimes given as an example, but Russian has separate declensions for nouns, adjectives, adverbs, and verbs. The only essential difference is that Eo has a consistant ending for nominative singular nouns; in Russian this is the case for feminine and neuter nouns, but not for the masculine. kwami 02:03, 17 November 2005 (UTC)

I added a section to Esperanto grammar covering this. It would be interesting if you can come up with other examples. kwami 03:21, 17 November 2005 (UTC)
(For the record, it appears that some Eur. languages do have future participles, so we're left with just -jn and lack of ablaut/stem change as being "non-European". kwami 08:27, 2 November 2007 (UTC))
No future participles in European languages? Look no further than Latin, which even has separate future active and passive participles!
As for hang in the causative sense, it isn't regular because it is an extended meaning, but because its from Old English hangian, a causative and as such a weak verb, as opposed to hōn. In fact, it's the strong form hung which is innovated rather than inherited from Old English! --Florian Blaschke (talk) 16:18, 31 March 2013 (UTC)

Can we find a source?[edit]

Although a truly representative sampling of the world's thousands of languages would be unworkable, a derivation from, say, the Romance, Semitic, Indic, Bantu, and Chinese languages would strike many as being fairer than Esperanto-like solutions

I'm not saying I agree/disagree but it seems like somthing like this needs a sorce.Cameron Nedland 19:51, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

Criticisms?[edit]

I have no axe to grind either way on this, being a multi-lingual English speaker, completely unthreatened by the notion of Esperanto as an international language. This is simply from the point of view of a neutral observer.

From where I stand, the "Criticisms" section of the article appears to consist largely of defenses against such criticisms, rather than the criticisms themselves. This is not important in itself, but the article doesn't come across as totally neutral. This is understandable, since most people who would be moved to write on this page would be likely to be passionate esperantists, but it may be worth revising with that in mind.

Incidentally, I think Klingon has one thing going for it that Esperanto doesn't. Although many people may intellectually approve of the concept of an international language, in practice an international language doesn't have a great deal of utility (unless your employment or business causes you to deal with people from other countries frequently, which is a small segment of any population. So whilst we may like it in principle, in practice we have little or no reason to use it. By contrast, people use Klingon for a reason of itself - for entertainment value. Johno 14:50, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

I also find myself not impressed with the number of counter arguments to the criticisms on this page. It's as if every sentence after a criticism begins with a 'however' statement.

Elvish[edit]

The evlish language spoken by the Noldor, created by J.R.R. Tolkien for The Lord of the Rings and teh Silmarillion, has a fairly full dictionary, if you realise that many words are formed by combining otehr words, such as Mordor, meaning dark land. THi is somewhat similar to Eo. Sindarin also has a fairly full dictionary, if you read the books which use it, particulaary the appendecies. teh Silmarillion has a dictionary (using Latin script), and includes the rules of word formation, while Rings has a table showing the characters used. I would imagine that a large part of the reason that the language is not in greater use is because of the difficulty of writing eitehr Feanorian script or the Angethras Daeron, which are not to the best of my knowledge availabel in any standard charecter set. Unlike Klingon, all the elvish languages in Tolkien's works are based on Old English, and so it is not overly hard for a speaker of a Germanic language to learn, althogh it is hardeer to read than Eo. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 150.101.102.188 (talkcontribs) 03:48, 3 April 2007

Uh, 1. please sign your comments with ~~~~ so we know who and when; 2. your comment is for a text of the hypothetical article Comparison between Esperanto and Elvish; this talk page is about how to write about criticisms that have been presented against Esperanto, and suitable counterarguments against the criticisms; 3. if you are suggesting using Quenya instead of Esperanto – yes I've considered it, but the Quenya speakers are currently fewer than the Esperanto speakers, although this might change in the future. ... said: Rursus (bork²) 12:49, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
Huh? The Elvish languages are patently not based on Old English in any sense and not exactly familiar appearing to a speaker of any Germanic language. The structure is inspired by non-Germanic languages (Finnish in the case of Quenya, Welsh in the case of Sindarin), and the vocabulary is completely (or almost completely, perhaps) a priori in fact, giving the languages a very alien (exotic, not necessarily extraterrestrial) appearance and feel (at least from the point of view of most Europeans). --Florian Blaschke (talk) 16:23, 31 March 2013 (UTC)

Article title[edit]

On the 31st of July Kwamikagami changed the title of this article from Esperanto as an international language to Criticism of Esperanto mentioning the following as reason: "that's what this is; title is remnant of overly positive treatment". However, this article doesn't only contain criticism; the section "Why Esperanto?" explains the Esperantist view. After the renaming, that section would be out of place; but I think that the renaming was ill-conceived. Almost any criticism against Esperanto is against Esperanto as an international language; hardly anyone criticises those, who just treat Esperanto as a curious hobby. So I think we should rename the page back to Esperanto as an international language. At any rate, I don't think it was good that the renaming was done without asking on the talk page first. Marcoscramer (talk) 19:39, 8 August 2008 (UTC)

Well, it can be moved back easily enough, so no harm done. A few points, though:
  • "Criticism" can be pro or con, so I don't see how the "Why Esperanto" section is out of place here;
  • The old title doesn't tell the reader what the article is about (it only makes sense after you've read it);
  • Criticisms aren't just about Esperanto as an international language, but often about Esperanto as a language, so the old title was inappropriate with some of the material.
kwami (talk) 00:44, 9 August 2008 (UTC)
The old and new titles both have problems. The use of "Criticism" in titles should be avoided because, as noted in WP:CRIT, it is easily misunderstood since despite technically including positive evaluation it is most commonly taken to mean negative evaluation. WP:CRIT also mentions the standard idiom for this in Wikipedia, which is "Reception". Is everyone willing to accept "Reception of Esperanto"? I'm almost willing to be bold and just do this, but I did that once on an article title and it was a pain later when we all decided to do something else and the final move required an admin (because the consensus title was by then a redirect with more than one edit). Whatever we do here, once we've settled it we should rename the section Esperanto#Criticism to match. Pi zero (talk) 15:42, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
That would work, but is broader in scope. We'd need a large section on the positive reception and growth of the language for that to work, and would then be bumping into History of Esperanto. (Though that might be okay.) kwami (talk) 18:21, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

Any linguist criticism?[edit]

The article only treats criticisms of minor aspects of the language itself and otherwise mostly cultural secondary factors. I know that there is linguistic criticism out there, based on that correlatives have genitive and a diversity of cases, while nouns and adjectives illogically only have two, making the language unnecessarily babblative. Said: Rursus 15:31, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

I've never heard anyone criticize E-o as being too verbose because there is no nominal/adjectival genitive. Or is that not what you meant by "babblative"? I have heard someone complain that genitive relationships are expressed in three different ways for nouns (preposition "de"), pronouns (adjectival "-a"), and correlatives (genitive "-ies") and it would be more regular/consistent/quickly learnable if one morphological or syntactic means were used for all three, but I can't remember who or where, so can't cite a source for it.
There's already criticism in the article of specific aspects of E-o's morphology and syntax. What more do you want in the way of linguistic vs. cultural criticism? What exactly have you heard people criticize about the way genitives are expressed with different kinds of words, and can you cite sources for such criticisms? --Jim Henry (talk) 16:23, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
English has an oblique case in pronouns but not nouns, and French & Spanish have oblique & genitive in pronouns but not nouns, but I've never heard anyone complain about that either. kwami (talk) 16:58, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
English has also cases in question words (very close to correlatives, i guess) : Who - whom - whose... main "real" criticism is about diacritics on some letters and about plural/accusative in adjectives (rule easy to learn in 5 minutes you learn both). But this was not the question... "who" are the linguists who made this criticism? --Iosko (talk) 21:19, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

Neutral website?[edit]

The website 'Learn Not To Speak Esperanto: A detailed if not entirely accurate criticism' is clearly not neutral. The author of it says some real criticism, but his/her not neutral point of view it's not for a serious enciclopedia... should be removed. Just see that, to count the esperanto phonemes and to make them 34 s/he adds "ei ai oi ui eu au", but it's well known that the IPA considers j a phoneme, so aj is made by 2 phonemes. Vowels as the 'u' in english (and also french) word 'menu' cannot be written as menju, because the u is an unique vowel, non divisible; but s/he compares this 2 kind of phonemes. Every criticism is made from a non-neutral pov, that is not well hidden (for example, s/he sais that something sounds 'horribly' just because s/he doesn't like, and this is a real scientific point of view... ). I emailed him/her some years ago and s/he seemed to be really ignorant about many aspects of simply grammar of languages he mentioned (fortunately s/he didn't put my name in his list of faq, where he listed the part of the letters with esperantists he liked more, maybe because i am not famous and because s/he would be shamed for being so ignorant in some points of simple grammar, where s/he just replied: "this is not the correct name of it" instead to say, "you are right, i didn't know that, but i said to look very clever, hoping that you didn't know this topic"). I don't want to continue, Piron made a better list of errors of an old version of this site (and writing in a better english than mine, sorry for that), just I ask to people who know about, to check and see that this personal and POV website has no right to stay where it is. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 83.29.161.153 (talk) 22:34, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

Yes, 'Learn Not to Speak' is pretty much garbage. I've left it there because coverage of Esperanto often reads more like a fan club than a serious discussion. Do you have the Piron site you mentioned, or it is already in the article? If it's no longer up, we could link to an archive of it. kwami (talk) 20:44, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
I want to say something. The problem is this: according to wikipedia rules, a non NPOV website cannot be here. Do we want to respect this rule for all, or we do some arbitrary exceptions? I know it is not easy to find better criticism in English, but it's not adding all nonNPOV website that we solve the problem, else, we can also add all forums in internet. I tried to translate in internet this and i noticed that, even if the webmaster seems to be esperantist, he didn't avoid to talk about criticized aspects of the language and to admit that it could be different. --Iosko (talk) 18:34, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
So somebody should delete it, since it's not according with WP rules, and rules are clear about that. (To Kwami) Yes, it's already in the article, after that website. --83.10.65.84 (talk) 18:22, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
Yes I agree. It's not scientific, doesn't have a NPoV, it's just a personal website made to do propaganda against espo, etc. Keep it has no sense. I'm sorry, but we shouldn't even discuss about this, rules are rules and have to be respected. --Iosko (talk) 20:46, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
Done, both NNPOV website and reply (Piron articles are is still in the other link). --Iosko (talk) 10:27, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

Esperanto has failed...[edit]

Every time I read that I dislike it more and more. I don't think that is an accurate statement. It hasn't failed the hopes of it creator, that would suggest a time limit was set upon it being more widely spoken than English. No such time limit was set, therefore it has not failed, it has simply not yet reached the hopes of its creator. I'll change it soon if no one complains. Alan16 (talk) 15:56, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

It definitely did fail. One of the early problems was why bother learning a language that no-one speaks. To counter this, Zamenhof created a contract where people promised to learn Esperanto if he got a million such signatures. He never got past about half a million, so yes, he failed. But even if he hadn't, this is a very common criticism: Esperanto has failed because English, not Esperanto, is the international language. You hear that all the time, which is why so many of the justifications for Esperanto revolve around other things. kwami (talk) 20:40, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
It was nothing definitive, I have heard nowhere that the aim of Esperanto was to collect signatures. The target of 1 million was a sort of experiment (but i remember different, we should find some source, are you sure it was 1 million? they didn't have internet, where 1 000 000 letters [not 1 000 000 e-mails] could be stored?). Esperanto is property of the esperanto community, not Zamenhof's... do you mean that if in 10 years it will be ufficially adopted (I didn't say it will, just supposed), it failed just because of the not reached signatures? No time limit has been fixed, and the target is to be second language, not a number of signatures.--Iosko (talk) 18:34, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
Well, my memory of its history could be off (or my source could have been wrong), but Z did seem to have very high hopes, and was disappointed. "Failure", of course, is an value judgement, and so cannot be proved or disproved, but that is the point of the criticism: Eo is the official adjudicatory language of no nation, is not found in any national curriculum, is not used by the United Nations or similar organizations (Esp-ists make a big deal of Unesco recognizing Eo as helpful, but that seems like grasping for straws after the high hopes of the early days), etc., and this is reflected in so many Esp-ists abandoning the argument that Eo is useful as an international language in any expansive way. What we now hear instead are presentations of Eo for a niche market: Eo is helpful to the traveler or wannabe bilingual who's failed to learn a second language, or that it's a great head start for kids, who can go on to better learn other, more useful languages later in life. Hardly anyone anymore seriously proposes that Eo is notably useful as a language of international communication, compared to other languages. I mean, I love the language, and would prefer it over my native English as the world's IL, but its utility is very restricted. kwami (talk) 10:58, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
I understand what you mean. But sorry, I don't agree 100%, i explain you why. As you said, UN or similar organization didn't want to give a chance to Eo to fail (or to win). So it couldn't fail, just nobody wants to give an opportunity, because the strongest nations don't want... if you are good in soccer, but no team wants to let you show what u can do, how can u loose a match? Eo won all matches where it could play: used in a university, even if just in San Marino (there, nobody complains Eo), in conferences everybody understands, in scientific papers... If it would be used as international language, it would demonstrate again how it's not easy for it to fail. I think we should reflect also why it's not useful to learn Eo (it's not so useful, i know and you are right) before to say: it definitely failed. --Iosko (talk) 19:37, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
That's still failure. If my goal is to be the best president of my country in history, and I don't get elected, then I've failed to be the best president in history. Blaming the election doesn't change the fact that I won't be in the history books. kwami (talk) 21:42, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
I'd forgotten I'd raised this point. I have to agree with Iosko, the aim of Esperanto was not to collect a million signatures, but to instead become the second language. For all we know, a decade from now it could be the second language. So I think it is unfair to classify it as a failure. Would it perhaps be better to say that it has "not yet succeeded", as opposed to failed. I suppose it doesn't sound like much, but there is a huge difference. Alan16 (talk) 21:02, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
"Not yet succeeded" violates WP:Crystal ball. Sure, Eo could be a spectacular success in the future. But as of today it is not. No, it's aim was not to collect signatures. But Z had problems convincing people to learn the language, because they raised the objection of 'what's the point'--who would they speak this brand-new language with? One route would have been official recognition, but that never happened. So he (or someone in the movement) came up with the idea of the sign-up sheet. Eo isn't a failure because of the sign-up sheet, but the sign-up sheet was a very visible sign of its failure. Of course, "failure" is an opinion, not a fact, and depends on one's POV. Z intended Eo to become a universal second language. In that sense it's very difficult to argue it's been anything but a failure. You can see the effects of this in the Eo movement: people no longer speak of Eo as a universal second language, with the idea that we're working toward the day when it will be taught in schools around the world. You see that as the primary purpose of the movement in lit from the early and even mid 20th century, but by the late 20th century much of the Eo movement itself had given up trying to compete with English. That certainly seems like a failure to me. The Eo movement has now redefined the purpose of Eo. The propaedeutic studies are one manifestation of this, as is the Passport service: granted, we're not all going to learn Eo, but for those of us who have a difficult time with foreign languages, Eo can save us from loss of hope. In countries with low levels of foreign-language learning, Eo can provide children and schools with a tool to make it fun and easy. For those who want to travel and can't or don't want to use English, Eo provides an opportunity. That's the counter-argument to the criticism: Eo may have failed at some grandiose, overly ambitious goals, but has succeeded in a more modest niche. But the opinion that Eo has failed is widely shared (among those who are even aware that it still exists), and IMO is a valid criticism, since the original goal was so far-reaching. I love the language, and wish it the best, but our desires won't make it the official interlanguage of the UN. kwami (talk) 21:42, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
You misunderstood me. Your example with election should be good if esperanto had an election, but nobody wants to give a chance. Why did you change my example? I give more details of it. You are the best soccer player of your town, when you play in non official matches, your average is 3 goals per match. You go to the president of the local team, but the president of the local team tells you: "I'm not interested in you, I don't want to spend 5 minutes of my time to see how yu are good with a ball. There's an empty place in my team, but I can't choose you or anybody else, because the nephew of our rich major should have that place. Sorry, he's rich." You didn't loose, just you aren't rich. The nephew of the major will just be a bad player (99% sure). Hope this exaple is clearer.--Iosko (talk) 08:39, 9 March 2009 (UTC)
No, I understood. It doesn't matter. You failed to become a great soccer player because the coach picked someone else. It doesn't matter why he picked someone else: You will never be listed in the soccer Hall of Fame. Therefore, for all your innate skill, you have failed in your dream to become a great soccer player. You can complain to your grandchildren all you want that you would have been the world's greatest, except that someone stole your rightful place, but the rest of the world will not remember you. Same with Eo: it doesn't matter why Eo was not chosen as the world IL instead of English. What matters is that it wasn't. Q: Did Eo succeed in its ambition to be the world IL? A: No, it did not. Conclusion: It failed in its ambition. kwami (talk) 08:54, 9 March 2009 (UTC)

(outdent) I've proposed a change, addressing what seem to me to be three weaknesses of the section:

  • The criticism in the title had a different form than that of its sibling subsections of the article — for the most part, each sibling describes the topic of an objection, rather than quoting the objection;
  • the criticism in the title didn't actually occur in the body of the section — the body doesn't say that some people think Eo has failed, it says that some people think one's time would be better spent learning some other language; and
  • the first sentence came across as just a touch POV, exacerbated by the fact that it was closer to the title than anything else in the body of the section.

Pi zero (talk) 13:11, 9 March 2009 (UTC)

But also, you didn't fail, because you are still able to try in another team, or maybe in the future. So you still didn't succeed, but maybe you will reach your ambition, nobody can tell you failed, this i mean.--Iosko (talk) 17:39, 9 March 2009 (UTC)
I agree with the above two. It doesn't say it is failed, it says that it would be better learning another language. Also, the idea that it has failed suggests - as I've previously said - suggests that it now has no chance of become the IL. It suggests that its chance is over. Doens't mean it is though. Alan16 talk 12:09, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
Now that you mention it, exactly what is the criticism being addressed by this section? The opinion that "Esperanto has failed" seems gratuitously vague; and "one would do better learning a natural language instead" is the consequence of a criticism, not a criticism in itself. Perhaps the criticism here is that Esperanto cannot effectively serve its intended function as an International language because
Not enough people know Esperanto, and that's not going to change.
If that's the point of the section, we should be able to proceed from there to devise a version of the section that everyone will be comfortable with. Pi zero (talk) 15:36, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
I'd have to agree with Pi zero. I think (s)he sums it up well. Alan16 talk 16:36, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

This discussion is interesting to a non-native anglophone such as myself. Esperanto was born circa 1905, a time when English was not that widespread, so surely the goal of Esperanto was not to supplant English. Besides, this is such a typical anglophone statement "such and such has failed". Failed? Was there some kind of a competition? Such a capitalistic perception bias of things! What anglophones widely fail to understand is that there is fundamental difference between "usage" and "unicity". Esperanto was aiming at the former, not the latter. And when anglophones like to dream about their language being "international" and spoken everywhere, they forget that most humans do no speak English (or so little, like cabbies in China who know no more than "elo", "goobah", "tankyu", "pleez"), and most English speakers are NON native speakers. They know at least another language which they use in their daily life, English being used only when necessary. This is again usage, not unicity. The unicity of English only exists in a few countries, where no other language can seemingly coexist. That's why the anglophone vision of the world is doomed to disappear. This is a natural human phenomenon. The Romans dominated their world for nearly 3,000 years. They also liked to think of Latin as eternal. Yet, it vanished eventually. The French imposed their language onto the world (not the whole planet, of course, but the world of science, diplomacy, literature, etc...) for over 300 years. This eventually changed too. Hegemonic languages are doomed in the long run. Because people, although they may be in touch with the world around them, will continued to focus 90% of their activity locally, and thus will not need another language than that spoken in a 100 miles radius of their home. Moreover, 16% of humans are Chinese. They will not switch their millenary languages to English or to Esperanto. They may however eventually (although this is dubious) learn *some* English, but it will be no more than an object-language used only in very particular situations. They will continue to make love in their language, to nurse their children in their language, to read books and watch movies in their language, etc... The level of English has already severely depreciated over the past 50 years. Most international speakers speak a simple English with little vocabulary (just look at me). They do not view English as a literary language but rather as a necessary skill used only in very specific situations (mostly professional) and otherwise avoided to the benefit of another language. I'm a scientist. The science papers published in English all tend to some mediocre equilibrium with poor vocabulary, block sentences learned by heart and copied-pasted, etc... 75% of English speakers (aside from the native ones) learned English because they *had to* not because they *wanted to*. The same with Latin during its the predominance in Europe. Yet Latin disappeared, while Greek, which the Romans deemed as a moribund language doomed in the short term has survived Latin by nearly 2,000 years. Languages are not stock shares. Don't confuse "usage" and "unicity". The world is changing much faster than you imagine, and the anglophone world is already trailing behind. Colossuses with clay feet always end up in the bottom of the ocean. What will be left of English as we know it today in 100 years? Nobody can tell. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 77.58.147.83 (talk) 11:03, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

I could not agree more with the above! What the author forgets to mention is that English is a desperately difficult language if you want to speak it well and most moderately cultured native speakers have an undeserved advantage /'edge'/ over an ever so cultured non-native speakers, e.g. this writer. If the conversation is a mere exchange of niceties all is well but as soon as it comes to the brass-tacks .... zieh dich warm an, as the German says, or prepare for the worst. My English is good, yet even I have quite a few times been rudely abused by various native English speakers who did not like what I had said and who, for this reason, saw it fit to point out various infelicitities or imagined infelicities of my verbal expression... testimonies of my stupidity and wickedness, it was to be understood. Now this canNOT happen in Esperanto, where no one has the natural advantage of the native speaker over their exchange partners. And yes, this can happen in French or Chinese /the language that will replace English as a lingua franca before long/ or Spanish, but not to such a degree as in English. Now Esperanto, though well-made, has shortcomings and it could be reformed /I cannot judge Ido et Cie. as I don't know them at all/ or replaced altogether with a truly flawless planned language made from scratch... yet such languages are doomed to 'failure' as no political power is interested in them assuming the role of the language of international communication. What a pity, though, if you think of the years spent on learning such monsters of a language as English or (soon) Chinese, the wasted years you could have spent on doing physics or breeding pigeons or whatever your favourite occupation is -- after having learnt Esperanto /Ido, Volapuek, whaddever/ within few months.... (btw I've got nothing against English, I love it!).
As an aside: Greek has not outlived Latin. The difference between Ancient Greek and Modern Greek is about as great as that between Latin and a modern Romance language. It's a twist of history that it is called 'Greek', not 'Romaik' or something else. Or else, you can equally well say that Latin has not become extinct but lives on as Italian, French, Spanish etc. Both stories are true, in a sense.

78.49.229.237 (talk) Wojciech Żełaniec —Preceding undated comment added 13:01, 22 October 2015 (UTC)

Sexist?[edit]

Are you serious? Well, if you are, get some decent reasons and put them in the article. Alan16 (talk) 16:00, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

How about Riism? There are dozens of proposals to fix the 'sexism' of Esperanto. It's one of the most common criticisms. kwami (talk) 20:34, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
And how many of the "dozens of proposals" are written from a neutral view point? If it is anything like the rest of the sources in this article then that would be none. Alan16 (talk) 02:30, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
What does having a neutral POV have to do with anything? They are criticisms. They criticize. kwami (talk) 06:48, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
Yes, but like a lot of the article, they criticise without a basis for doing so. They criticise more because they can, than for any other real reason. Alan16 (talk) 08:49, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
I still don't see how that is relevant. "Sexism" (or whatever you want to call it) is one of the most common criticisms, at least from English speakers, who are struggling with the same thing in English and are often amazed that a planned language would suffer the same problem. kwami (talk) 08:54, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
My point is that, I have never heard of anyone calling any language sexist until this article. I also don't buy that it is sexist. Also, this: "because the generic form of nouns is used for males while a derived form is used for females, implying that masculinity is the default and femininity is the exception," I don't think is sexist. I think it is ludicrous that a people even think about calling a language sexist. The Romance languages are not sexist, and Esperanto is based on them and that is why, I imagine, it has the stuff with the nouns I quoted. I suppose you argue that Romance languages are sexist, but I disagree. Langauges were constructed during a time when men were regarded as superior, and it has stuck that way. That doesn't make it sexist. And, I'm not trying to start an argument, it is just that when i read that article I think it sounds really biased. Also, there is nothing wrong with criticism, but I think people take it less seriously when it is written in a way which sounds like it has been written in hatred rather than with a clear head. Alan16 (talk) 11:23, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
I don't know what to say. That's like saying that the article on Jesus shouldn't mention that some people think he's the Son of God, because you don't buy it, no-one you know believes it, and it sounds really biased. This is simply a collection of some of the more common criticisms. If you've never heard of complaints about sexist usage in English (with solutions like "s/he", singular "they", "flight attendant" for "stewardess", etc.), then I don't know where you've been. It may be silly, but it's still people's opinion, and that's all we're saying. kwami (talk) 11:36, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
Two quotes. Firstly: "Sometimes the objection is raised that Esperanto is sexist, because – according to a superficial analysis – all feminine forms are derived from masculine ones. At first sight there appears to be some truth in this, because words denoting persons can indeed always be converted to a feminine form by adding -in- to the basic form, e.g. laborist-in-o = (female) worker. Nevertheless, what differentiates Esperanto from many European languages, for example, is that it has no grammatical gender. Words have no gender unless the object they denote has natural gender (for example: "chair" is not feminine like it is in French or masculine like in German, but "mother" and "father" are feminine and masculine respectively.)" - This is from a Doctor of Literature
Secondly: "since Esperanto does not inflect adjectives for gender (as most of those languages do) it is in fact an "unsexed" (technically, gender-less) language." - This one (oddly enough) is from a femminist website.
What is interesting about these is that I found them when I did a quick search on Google for articles supporting your side of the fence. The only websites I could find supporting you were one blog, and some encyclopaedia called "Wikipedia". I know, I've never heard of it either!
Also, what you described is more like "political correctness gone mad". And I think you would find that it is more common for people to think that the idea of changing "stewardess" to "flight attendant" is just stupid. I think, my friend, that you are confusing common, with your own views. Alan16 (talk) 14:51, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
*sigh* That's a red herring. No-one is saying Eo has grammatical gender like Spanish or German. What it has is semantic gender, a somewhat messy system much like English. It's like lion/lioness or actor/actress. Lioness is feminine. Does that make lion masculine? No. Actress is feminine. Does that make actor masculine? Twenty years ago, yes. Today, it's ambiguous. We have the same thing in Eo. "Koko" may mean either chicken or rooster, and as Kalocsay & Waringhien discuss, there is no good way to disambiguate. If you say, "To a happy man, even a koko lays eggs", you mean "rooster", but to someone who is not familiar with the expression, it can be utterly confusing. Actually, the preferred solution is to call a rooster a "man-chicken". Problem is, there are chimeras in mythology, so now we can't call a minotaur a "man-bull", because that's now the word for "bull", but have to borrow extra root words for all these half-man, half-animal fantasies. Many people see this as a defect (including, evidently, Kalocsay & Waringhien). Neither masculine nor feminine derivation is regular in Eo, and E-ists pride themselves in the language lacking irregularities. If you look at the idos (including Ido itself), you'll find that a large number of them modify the gender system to something more regular or gender-neutral, and that this is part of their claim to superiority over Eo. Since Ido is the 3rd most popular AL, and gave Eo a run for its money in the 1920s, to claim this is PC gone mad doesn't quite cover it. (And even if it is, the effects of PC on language are worth discussing.) As for "flight attendant" being stupid, then why does everyone now say it? I think you're confusing stupid with things you don't agree with. (Personally, I say "stewardess" too, but that's irrelevant here.)
The polyglot who introduced me to Eo had his opinions on this. I later studied Eo with Don Harlow. He also talked about the gender issues, including his own proposed solutions. And he was head of ELNA. kwami (talk) 01:45, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
Right, well this could go on for a while, and I don't actually care that much about it. All I wanted was there to be some clause in the sexist criticism because it is a technically accurate. It may well be a "common criticism", but it is still false. I think deserves mentioning. Alan16 (talk) 08:53, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
No, opinions cannot be false. That's elementary logic. Saying Eo is sexist is an opinion. kwami (talk) 09:01, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
I'm not sure I agree with that, but either way, it is simply semantics. In the article chon the moon we could write that "The moon is made of cheese." If I have that opinion then it cannot be false? Hmmm, not sure I agree. Either way, whether it is "false" or not, it is still wrong, incorrect, inaccurate, not right. Phrase it how you want, but the statement "Esperanto is sexist" is incorrect. It may be an opinion, but it is not factually accurate, and this needs to be included, otherwise the page is misleading. In the page it mentions that it is a "common criticism", but it doesn't mention that although it may be common thought that it is sexist, it is not. You can add it to the article, and phrase it how you want, or I will. Either way it is going in the article. Alan16 (talk) 16:24, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
You don't seem to be clear on what an opinion is. If I say "the world is round", that's not an opinion. I'm proposing a hypothesis that can be proved or disproved. It may be true or false, or maybe somewhere in-between (not exactly round, but close). But if I say "the world is evil", that's simply my opinion of the world. There's nothing that you can prove or disprove about it, unless I'm lying about my opinions. It's meaningless to speak of such a statement as true or false. If I say "Esperanto is sexist", once again, you can argue about it ad infinitum, but there's nothing it in that can be proved or disproved. No matter what argument you come up with, all I have to say it, "Well, I think it's sexist." QED. That's all opinions are. But if I make a claim of fact such as "the moon is made of cheese", all you have to do is do a spectroscopic analysis of the moon, and voilà! no cheese. You can't do that with a claim of sexism, since there's no objective criterion as to what sexism is. kwami (talk) 22:48, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
About sexism you have some sources here and here yes, it's an opinion because in many languages the masculine is a little "more important" than feminine. Example, in English: "I don't know who made it, but he was very fast" (why not she, or it?). Also, in the above "Neutral webiste?" section, i am sure that nobody noticed that I wrote the following (I quote myself) " ... even if the webmaster seems to be esperantist, he didn't avoid to talk about criticized aspects ...": I noticed this now because i read it again... why did i write he? I don't know if the webmaster is a male, just maybe the word "master" reminds me a man. Zamenhof just thought that just a suffix (for feminine) was easier to learn than 2,(even simmetric) suffixes. Sexist is the speaker, not the language. But the language can be asimmetric, even if just for a minimal number of word. In esperanto, those word are both feminine (damo, matrono, primadono, ...) than masculine (tauxro, patro, ...), but the number of masculine are more, and there is not an ufficial suffix for masculine as for feminine. Or it wasn't, because now the -icxo suffix is experimentally used. --Iosko (talk) 19:01, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
They aren't my exact sources, but by the sound of it they sound the same. So, is that agreement with me? That a language is not sexist, it is in fact the speaker, and Esperanto is actually gender-less? And if so, would you agree that this needs to be included in the article, as it is misleading because it doesn't correct the criticism which is wrong? Alan16 (talk) 19:22, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
Esperanto has no grammatical gender, this is out of discussion. But it has a different way to address animals, according to the fact that they are male or female (people are also animals). This way is not simmetric, and some don't like this in Esperanto, so they do some criticism, and propose some reforms. Obviously a language cannot be sexist (or racist ... e.g. if an esperantist is racist, he will say racist things). But if you are saying that this asimmetry is not to be mentioned, I disagree, because this page is about criticism, and this topic (call it sexism, or gender asimmetry) generates criticism.--Iosko (talk) 20:04, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
I am saying, that this is a page of criticism, but if the criticism is wrong, then this should be mentioned. There is no argument that it is wrong. Alan16 (talk) 21:32, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
I'm confused. Now you don't want us to change anything? kwami (talk) 22:37, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
I'm leaving the option of change up to you. What I want is a sentence or two that states that although these are common criticisms, they are in fact inaccurate. That surely isn't too much to ask? One or two sentences. "Common criticism... blah blah blah... However, it is not factually accurate." something along those lines. How about this, do that, and I'll leave you alone? Alan16 (talk) 22:56, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
No, because you still don't understand what an opinion is. Please read that article, and then come back here. kwami (talk) 00:49, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
I still don't understand? I understand perfectly. Here is the situation. Person X has the opinion "Esperanto is sexist." All well and good. Person Y (ME) has the opinion and the technical knowledge that "Esperanto is not, in fact, sexist." My point? Person X may have an opinion, but Person X's opinion is wrong.
Another example, Person X has the opinion that "2 + 2 = 7". Person Y (ME) has the opinion and the knowledge that "2 + 2 = 4". Person X has an opinion. It is wrong technically wrong though.
And thinking on this, I have thought of something quite important. Wikipedia is an Encyclopaedia. It says so up in the top left there. An encyclopaedia is: " a work that contains information on all branches of knowledge"[1]. Knowledge is fact[2]. Therefore, as Wikipedia is an Encyclopaedia, and by definition Encyclopaedias contain knowledge, and by definition knowledge is fact, then opinions should not be expressed on Wikipedia, because they are not fact. You said so yourself. But that wasn't what I was about to say, but it is an interesting point, and I will need to look into it and see if there is a case for deleting this article.
What I was about to say was that whether it is an opinion or not, if it is wrong it should be stated, otherwise you are passing of an opinion as a fact. Hmmm, I need to look into what I said above. I'll find an administrator and ask. I think your opinions on this may be biased. No offence. Alan16 (talk) 01:21, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
"People who read an encyclopedia are not interested in words per se and their bare meanings, but in knowledge, information, facts about the items that the words identify." and "Avoid bias. Since this is an encyclopedia, after a fashion, it would be best if you represented your controversial views... in a fact-stating fashion, i.e., which attributes a particular opinion to a particular person or group, rather than asserting the opinion as fact."
Both are Rules from Wikipedia itself. Neither is done here. For the second, you could claim you have attributed it to: "Among English speakers". That doesn't cover it. You need to be more specific. At the moment it reads like fact. Which it is not. That breaks the rules. So I would say change or it needs to go. Alan16 (talk) 01:30, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
Referencing is a different matter. I agree that is needed. But you still have no clue as to what an opinion is. kwami (talk) 01:39, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
Right. Let us sort this out. Here is a simple question, and if you please, just a yes or no: Is an opinion a fact? Alan16 (talk) 01:43, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
Okay, well I'll answer for you. The answer is no. You have linked me to the article enough times and it clearly states that opinion is not a fact.
Next Q. Is "Esperanto is sexist" an opinion? Your Answer, yes. You have said it often enough above.
Next Q. Is Wikipedia an encyclopaedia? Your Answer, yes. Obviously (it wouldn't be you if you weren't slightly patronising.)
Next Q. Is an encyclopaedia defined as a place for knowledge? Your A, yes. Link to dictionary above.
Next Q. Is knowledge defined as fact? Your A, yes. Again, link above.
Fact isn't opinion. We've established that. Therefore the opinion "esperanto is sexist" should not be included in Wikipedia unless it is clearly stated that it is an opinion and not a fact. It is not. Therefore it needs to go/change. End Off. Those are the logical steps. And don't counter with with a link to the damn opinion page. I know what an opinion is. Alan16 (talk) 01:55, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
If you knew what an opinion was, you wouldn't keep making the nonsensical statement that an opinion is wrong. I also disagree with your simplistic equation of knowledge = facts. However, I agree that opinions need to be clearly presented as opinions. If you had done that, I would not have reverted you. I'm not going to bother myself, because it seems perfectly clear to me from the text that we're presenting opinions. kwami (talk) 02:07, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
In my opinion, if i understood what Alan says, we could just change the name of the criticism. We don't say that Esperanto is sexist (it's a language, not a person with his/her opinion about any topic, and a language can't be sexist). We just say that the gender formation is not simmetric, and this generates criticism. It seems more correct, I think. People can be sexist, racist, religious ... not languages. --Iosko (talk) 08:03, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
But people don't criticize the language for being unsymmetrical, they criticize it for being sexist. As for the word "sexist" being inapplicable to a language, again, that's a matter of opinion. One might argue (if one likes Worf) that the mind reflects the language being used, and therefore that speaking a "sexist" language may cause the speaker to be sexist. Or, one might argue that Eo is a language project, and therefore can be just as sexist, racist, etc. as any text. If you were to say that Mein Kampf isn't Antisemitic, only the author was, people might find that a bit disingenuous. When people say that English is sexist, no-one misunderstands them to mean that the language has a malevolent mind of its own, regardless of whether they agree or disagree with that opinion. kwami (talk) 08:39, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
I just meant that maybe people, when they say "sexist", just want to mean unsimmetric (buit they don't use the correct word), so unsimmetric should be more correct. The comparason with "Mein krampf" is not correct, because "mein krampf" was not a language to express all ideas, but just a collection of (racist) ideas. The comparison would be good whether somebody would say "German is racist". However, just my opinion, after i read this discussion, I think that change the name of the criticism would be more correct; but it's not so important for me how it's called (so, if we change is better, else no problems for me). --Iosko (talk) 09:04, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
Actually, people do say that parts of German are racist. There are lots of phrases that you won't hear on German television, because they're too closely associated with Hitler. You might say those phrases are hate speech, even though technically they're entirely innocent. That is a close parallel to what we're dealing with here. Yes, we can argue that those elements of Eo grammar are not sexist even if we buy the argument that we're talking about sexism. On the other hand, the complaint is about sexism, not about asymmetry. There are other parts of Eo grammar that are asymmetric, but practically no-one complains about them. (When's the last time you heard someone complain that the article isn't inflected for case and number, or rail on about the -aŭ words, or get frustrated because copular clauses do not have free word order?) The problem, according to this criticism, is that it is not possible to speak Eo in a gender-neutral way. The circumlocutions required are so awkward that this in itself fails gender neutrality. Maybe we could say "Esperanto is not gender neutral" instead of "Esperanto is sexist", but it seems like spin, and I fail to see the point. kwami (talk) 09:28, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
I meant German language, not german people. There are racist anywhere with no exception. You compared a language with a book, you should compare a language with a language. The complaints are about the difference of treatment of masculine and feminine (natural and not grammatical) gender, because feminine is often derived from masculine. Natural gender means that you can say in one word whether an animal is male or female. Grammar gender is like in many indo-european languages (and not only), in which every noun has a gender (ex., sea in italian is masculine, in french it's feminine). Other asimmetries (if there are) don't attract attention like this one, because this seems to discriminate women, so it's not merely grammar. --Iosko (talk) 11:49, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
Yes, I also meant the German language, not the people. I am comparing a language with a language. We're not arguing about grammatical gender. "this seems to discriminate women, so it's not merely grammar"--well, that's again an opinion, not a fact. It depends on what "merely grammar" means. kwami (talk) 20:19, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

It's my understanding of English usage that "langauge X is sexist" is an equivalent way of saying "language X tends to promote sexist thinking in people who speak it". Now, if someone truly believes that Sapir-Whorf has no validity at all, then that person must truly believe that it's impossible for a language to be sexist — and some people disagree with that opinion. As far as I can see (am I missing a passage somewhere?), the article never says that Eo is sexist, it says that some people think it's sexist, and indeed some people do think so (or did think so — is this changing, as the language does?).

It also seems that the use of the word "gender" in the article, and in other, related articles, may be causing confusion. "Gender" is apparently being used here in its general sense of "sex", not in its technical grammatical sense, which is unfortunate since a language is being discussed. It's my understanding that Eo does not have grammatical gender. That has exactly nothing to do with whether Eo is sexist (i.e., promotes sexist thinking) — to quote a choice observation from the conlang Wikibook, "none of Swahili's seven genders correspond to sex." Pi zero (talk) 13:03, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

"the article never says that Eo is sexist, it says that some people think it's sexist". I don't agree with that. The only indication in the "Gender" section that this is an opinion is the first few words: "Esperanto is frequently accused of being sexist". My problem with this is that it then supports the idea. This gives the suggestion that this opinion is accurate, when it is not. Imagine if you were reading that section for the first time. It basically says that Esperanto is sexist. You'd have read the article, and came away with the incorrect assumption that Esperanto is sexist. It is not. Alan16 (talk) 16:56, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
Alan, you still don't understand what an opinion is. Please read that article. When you say that an opinion is inaccurate or incorrect, you're demonstrating that you don't understand the basic concepts involved. kwami (talk) 20:19, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
You are saying two things here, and the strong interaction between them may, perhaps, be part of what has been inhibiting emergence of consensus from this thread. You say that (1) the discussion seems to endorse the criticism, and (2) the criticism is wrong. Now, if you said (1) without saying (2), there would seem to be a simple remedy, which would be to tweak the phrasing to make it clear that the criticism is not being endorsed. (I've actually just done that, with the one phrase that struck me, on rereading, as the most likely candidate to give an impression of endorsement.) However, in one's interpretation of what you mean by (1), one is made very uncomfortable by your assertion of (2). The trouble is that, taking "Eo is sexist" to mean "Using Eo tends to promote a sexist world view", your assertion that 'Eo is not sexist' is a beautiful example of something that can be said on a talk page but not in an article. If you could cite a reliable source for, say, a statistical study that claims to demonstrate that use of Eo does not promote a sexist world view (though I don't see how one could go about demonstrating that), then that study ought to be mentioned in the article, but even that sort of study would have to have become pretty much universally accepted before one could get away with endorsing its position in the article (and even then, of course, the 'sexist' criticism would still be worthy of note in the article, in the past tense, for its historical significance). Pi zero (talk) 18:26, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
I agree with the changes you made for (1). However, for (2) I disagree. You say that I need to cite a source showing the universal acceptance that Esperanto is sexist. However, I would say that it is more likely that you need to cite a source showing this common criticism. A quick search on google shows just how uncommon this criticism actually is. In fact, apart from Wikipedia there is very little else which calls it sexist in the explicit way the article implies that people do. Now as the language has supposedly evolved (I say supposedly because I don't know the history of the language so well) then it may be that the criticism became a lot less common before the internet gained prominence, which would explain why there is so little. Alan16 (talk) 19:24, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
We all agree that the article needs to be better sourced. If you agree that we only need to demonstrate that this is a common opinion, then I think the case is closed. We can just fact tag the relevant passages. However, if you think we need to take sides as to whether the opinion is "correct", then I cannot agree with you. It's our job to report; it's not our job to make judgements. kwami (talk) 20:19, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
True, we are not here to make judgements. But we don't need to. There is no ambiguity here. We don't need to make a judgement on which side of the fence to sit as on one side there are opinions, and on the other there are facts. For an encyclopaeida that should be an easy decision. And to clarify, what I think is that we need to state the opinions of the critics. But I also think we need to, if the critics are factual wrong, say so. And as a sort of side note, you made the statement repeatedly to me before that an opinion cannot be false. I have been doing some research (i.e. not reading only a badly written and un-referenced Wikipedia article) and among philosophers the idea that opinions cannot be false is basically non-existence. In philosophy (And that is what we are dealing with, this is a philosophical question) there are basically two ends to the scale, beliefs and knowledge. Beliefs are falsifiable, knowledge is not. By logic knowledge cannot be falsified. Opinions fall into the beliefs category so basically all philosophers will tell you that opinions can be falsified. Alan16 (talk) 20:56, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
Bullshit. You are still clueless as to what an opinion is. You apparently think it depends on whether you agree with it or not. If you can't bother to educate yourself, then I won't bother to discuss this with you further. I've added a second source: Multaj opinias, ke Esperanto diskriminacias virinojn, ĉar multaj vortoj estas baze viraj. He goes on to say that a language can't be sexist, only the speaker; that Eo is a product of its time, when men ruled society, and therefore retains and reflects the discrimination of that time, but does not create it; and that radical gender reforms would cause more problems than they would solve. But those are also opinions, not facts. I'm through here, but will watch the article and revert any more POV pushing you engage in. kwami (talk) 21:19, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

You realise that you linked me to an article where the sentence "an opinion cannot be falsified" has been removed? It appears that your definition of an opinion is not the definitive version you think it is. "You apparently think it depends on whether you agree with it or not." No. I never said that. You can have an opinion, whether I agree with it or not. It doesn't make the opinion a truth though. You can be bothered educating me? I don't think it is me who needs the educating, at least I have the ability to read and understand, and not just read and hear what I want to hear. "He goes on to say that a language can't be sexist, only the speaker; that Eo is a product of its time, when men ruled society, and therefore retains and reflects the discrimination of that time, but does not create it; and that radical gender reforms would cause more problems than they would solve. But those are also opinions, not facts." They are opinions, but he has based his on facts, as opposed to just ranting. Most experts will tell you that technically Esperanto is not sexist, only the speaker can make it sexist. The idea that because a speaker of Esperanto is sexist, therefore the language is sexist is illogical. A may prove B, but B doesn't have to prove A. Basic logic. The changes you've made are good. Now all you need to do is stop being a jackass when discussing things and we will be best of friends. We disagree about what an opinion is, and you are wrong about that. But that isn't going to keep me up at night. Alan16 (talk) 23:44, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

I'm glad the changes are acceptable. Thank you also for pointing out the omission in the opinion article. As far as us being friends, that would require us both to stop being jackasses. The article supported my statement when I said it, and actually it still does, if you care to read it in full (normative analysis, etc.) Basing an opinion (or POV) on facts does not make that opinion true. "Candidate X is better than candidate Y" is usually based on facts, but that doesn't make it true, or the converse false. The opinion that Eo is sexist is also based on facts. It's still nonsensical to say it's either true or false. Two people look at the same facts, and one comes to the opinion that it is sexist, and the other that it is not sexist. The fact that you personally find the latter argument more persuasive does not make it true. kwami (talk) 00:56, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
So the changes were good, and we should now probably go do something useful rather than filling a talk page with our bickering. Thanks for the changes and cheerio. Alan16 (talk) 08:51, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

Other (hopely) little problem[edit]

Good that the problem is solved, but I want to open another little one about the same section. About Italian, Spanish ... people who make criticism for -a -o endings. That's not true. It can be weird for them when they know the rule the first time, but after the first day(s), they just "metabolize" that, and don't demand to change it; they know that in a different language you can have different rules, it's normal. (I discussed recently about that with some Italian friends, both experantist and not.) About proper names, i read somewhere that the use of Johano/Johanino is not compulsory, because everyone is owner of his/her name and can choose whether or not writing it in esperanto for (if this form exists, of course). --Iosko (talk) 09:27, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

Go ahead and change the -o/-a stuff as you understand it. Or just delete it if you prefer. (I was trying to get criticisms from something other than English speakers, but the -o/-a comments I've heard have been rather minor.) I think the Catalan comment is interesting, but maybe we can fit it in somewhere else, such as the morphology article. As for the names, of course people may call themselves whatever they want. But that's rather beside the point: it is more pertinently an issue when translating literature. kwami (talk) 10:02, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
Ok done. --Iosko (talk) 10:24, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

Translating into Polish?[edit]

I'm trying to understand this passage (either as it currently reads, or as it was before it was changed):

Don Harlow has noted that the difference in language background only becomes apparent when translating into an ethnic language: Novels written by English and Polish authors, for example, are equally easy to read for both English and Polish native speakers. However, an English author's work will translate easily into Polish[<<<this used to say "English"], while a Polish author's work will prove much more difficult to translate into English. That is, Esperanto can accommodate either language more easily than they can accommodate each other, and this is partially due to the lack of culturally fixed ways of speaking.

Now, as it used to read, I thought this was saying that the Eo work of an English author would translate easily into English, but the Eo work of a Polish author would not translate easily into English. That made sense to me. Presumably, the Eo work of an English author would not translate easily into Polish, and the Eo work of a Polish author would translate easily into Polish. But when someone changed it to "Polish", and I undid that change, my revert was reverted. And it makes spectacularly no sense to me that in a discussion of Eo one would say that English translates into Polish more easily than Polish translates into English. So now I'm just thinking that the passage is fundamentally confusing. I can't find any corroborating evidence of Don Harlow making this particular point, though (not that I'm all that familiar with what source material is available). What was this passage intended to convey? --Pi zero (talk) 12:24, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

When I read it, I took it to be an example about translating ethnic languages. So it shows that it is easy to translate English into an ethnic language, but it is more difficult to do the reverse. If it means what you took it to mean then I think it has been seriously badly written. Alan16 (talk) 17:34, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
Also, I think it is trying to say that each language can be translated and re translated into and from English/Polish better than it can be translated between the two. Alan16 (talk) 17:36, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

Pi Zero had it. The old wording was correct. Harlow's point was that when an author writes in Esperanto, people from other language backgrounds have no trouble reading it, and won't notice a difference from an author of their own nationality. But they'll have difficulty translating it into their language. kwami (talk) 21:09, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

My mistake then. Apologies all. Alan16 (talk) 22:32, 5 March 2009 (UTC)


"However, while the English author's Esperanto work will translate readily into English, translating the Polish author's Esperanto work into English will prove much more difficult, and vice versa when translating from Esperanto into Polish. That is, Esperanto can accommodate either language more easily than they can accommodate each other, and this is partially due to the lack of culturally fixed ways of speaking." This passage should be ommited. It makes no sense in my eyes and contradicts my own experience in writing and translating literary texts. In contrast Kvami is right and clear, when writing: "When an author writes in Esperanto, people from other language backgrounds have no trouble reading it, and won't notice a difference from an author of their own nationality. But they'll have difficulty translating it into their language." kwami So why not use his text? Adriano Di Caprio (talk) 17:14, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

For clarity, I'd expand the last clause to "But they'll have greater difficulty translating it into their language than they would translating the Esperanto work of a Polish author." — kwami (talk) 20:27, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

Criticism?[edit]

Why does the Criticism of Esperanto article start off with why one should learn Esperanto? Is that not counter-intuitive? 64.191.211.55 (talk) 21:04, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

It doesn't. It starts off by the intended purpose of E. and by raising the issue whether E. fulfills the purpose. Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 16:34, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

What a joke[edit]

It's kind of funny (by which I mean sad and pathetic) that this article, which purports to discuss criticisms of Esperanto, reads more like a pamphlet written by an Esperantist to encourage more people to learn Esperanto. This article would be better titled "Rebuttals of criticisms of Esperanto", since the majority of it seems to be filled with apologetics and shining praise for the language. Neutrality means putting yourself in the shoes of those who disagree with you and really meaning it, not pretending to put yourself in their shoes and allowing yourself to be easily convinced by your own arguments. Also, as a side note, external links are not required to be NPOV (that's in response to the earlier discussion about Learn Not To Speak Espo) and never have been, although it might be a good idea to put certain links under a heading of "Anti-Esperanto views". We are required to be NPOV in the information we give, but we can certainly provide readers opportunities for further reading at sites that do not share our policies in that regard. Therefore, I have re-added the link. --ಠ_ಠ node.ue ಠ_ಠ (talk) 12:25, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

You're welcome to rewrite the article for better balance. However, although external links do not need to be NPOV, they should be factually correct. That blog is pathetic: it's not a one-sided critique, which would be fine, but a falsification of the language. I am therefore deleting it again. — kwami (talk) 20:56, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

points removed for lack of sourcing[edit]

Much of this should be fairly easy to reference. — kwami (talk) 21:30, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

However, for many Esperantists, this is precisely the point. Esperanto is intended to be an ethnically neutral auxiliary language. The lack of an inherent culture is one of the things that makes Esperanto so much easier to learn and to use than other languages: In an ethnic language like English or Chinese, the student has to learn innumerable arbitrary expressions. It's not enough to learn the grammar and vocabulary; many perfectly grammatical expressions are unacceptable because people simply don't speak that way. In Esperanto, such considerations are much less important. Speakers can say what they'd say in their native tongue, or whatever makes sense at the moment, and Esperantists from other language backgrounds aren't likely to notice the difference. Don Harlow has noted that the difference in language background only becomes apparent when translating into an ethnic language: Esperanto novels written by English and Polish authors, for example, are equally easy for both English and Polish native speakers to read. However, while the English author's Esperanto work will translate readily into English, translating the Polish author's Esperanto work into English will prove much more difficult, and vice versa when translating from Esperanto into Polish. That is, Esperanto can accommodate either language more easily than they can accommodate each other, and this is partially due to the lack of culturally fixed ways of speaking.
There are two common defenses to this: One is to admit that Esperanto is not neutral in the sense that everyone can learn it with equal effort, but that it is fairer than the current system, since everyone makes a step towards common ground, even if the steps are not equally sized. Critics reply that the steps required vary substantially, and that Esperanto merely substitutes European-language speakers for English speakers as the advantaged group.
Another response is to point out similarities of Esperanto to non-European languages. Esperanto's agglutinative derivational morphology in particular is said to make its grammar closer to many non-Indo-European languages, such as the Turkic and Bantu languages. However, Esperanto's inflectional morphology is just a more regular version of heavily affixing European languages such as German, and many difficulties of European grammar remain in Esperanto.
A defence against this is that despite Zamenhof having been an ardent supporter of the Russian language and also having had a good knowledge of Hebrew, there is practically no Slavic or Semitic vocabulary in Esperanto. He believed that, while including these languages might help people from the Russian Empire or the Middle East, it would only hinder the accessibility of Esperanto to the rest of the world. The Romance and Germanic languages, on the other hand, were (and are) learned in schools in many parts of the world, so he felt their vocabulary would do the most to make Esperanto as easy as possible to learn for the largest number of people across the world. The same can be said of any other language not represented in the vocabulary of Esperanto. With a "universal" vocabulary, every learner would recognize only a small portion of Esperanto and find the vast majority alien, making acquisition universally difficult; while with a Romance-Germanic vocabulary, educated people around the world find the majority of the vocabulary familiar. Zamenhof's primary concern was ease of acquisition rather than theoretical equality.
This approach also leads to the opposite criticism, that Esperanto isn't European enough, or at least not Western European enough. For example, the regular morphology and extensive use of affixes to build vocabulary from a small number of root words may make the language much easier to learn for the non-European, but trips up Europeans who, learning the Romance root words, expect the vocabulary to come as second nature. An example is the word registaro for "government". This is regularly derived from the verb regi "to rule", and so is easier to learn for non-Europeans than having to memorize a new root, but at first sight it can be perplexing to European-language speakers.
The writing system can be defended the same way. The Latin alphabet is the most widespread script in the world, and no one has actually proposed anything more universal. Indeed, the principal complaints about the orthography are the diacritics, which are unique to Esperanto, not the choice of the Latin alphabet as their base. The orthography also dispenses with Western European etymological spellings in favor of regularity, for example kv (originally kw) for Romance qu; this generates a similar debate.
The inflectional morphology is harder to defend. The obligatory use of verbal tense, for example, is seen as an unnecessary complication for speakers of many languages such as Chinese, who speak a language without grammatical tense. Although the case system allows a flexible word order, both it and adjectival agreement are widely condemned. However, even in syntax there is some flexibility. For example, the European pattern of describing something with esti "to be" plus an adjective is being gradually replaced by a verbal pattern of the East Asian type, so that is it becoming increasingly common to see verbal li sanas for adjectival li estas sana "he is well".

"Contradictory"[edit]

The text at present says that

There have been numerous objections to Esperanto over the years, many of them contradictory.

The WP article contradiction says

In classical logic, a contradiction consists of a logical incompatibility between two or more propositions. It occurs when the propositions, taken together, yield two conclusions which form the logical, usually opposite inversions of each other. Illustrating a general tendency in applied logic, Aristotle’s law of noncontradiction states that “One cannot say of something that it is and that it is not in the same respect and at the same time.”

By extension, outside of classical logic, one can speak of contradictions between actions when one presumes that their motives contradict each other.

The word contradiction to me implies error and/or fallacy. It is wording that appears to have been chosen as an attempt to undermine the criticisms, and as such is not NPoV. If you look through the history of this article, you'll see that there is a strong history of the article being actively pro-Esperanto rather than neutral.

The criticisms presented in this article start from different viewpoints. That some people want a euro-centric language and others want is a geographically neutral language is not "contradictory", in the same way that the existence of both vegetarians and meat-eaters in human society is not contradictory. These are merely subjective viewpoints.

Prof Wrong (talk) 22:46, 16 January 2011 (UTC)

Contradiction means saying incompatible things. That's exactly what this is: if vegetarians say that society should be vegetarian, and meat-eaters say it should be carnivorous, then they do contradict each other.
Sure, you can say that contradiction presumes their motives contradict each other, but then again you might not say that. What does that have to do with this article?
OED: Of a statement, action, etc.: To be contrary to in effect, character, etc.; to be directly opposed to; to go counter to, go against. That's exactly what we have here.
The criticisms obviously contradict each other; denial of that is simple sophistry. If you want to say they "conflict" because you have a personal problem with the word "contradict", fine, but there's no reason to delete the point.
(Of course, s.o. could with equal sophistry argue that they do not conflict because the critics are not actually doing battle, but like your argument that presumes that people do not understand the language they speak.)
kwami (talk) 02:03, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
There is no 'sophistry' in my argument, and there is no need for sophistry, as I'm not trying to hide anything. On the contrary, I am trying to make things clearer. Even if the term "contradictory" doesn't imply fallacy to you, you should at least recognise that it may do so to others. It is hardly fair to accuse other people of "not understanding" their own language simply because they use it slightly different to you.
I would suggest that both "conflict" and "contradictory" would be interpreted implicitly by a great number of English-speakers as indicating fallacy or invalidation of both viewpoints. If only one is valid, that would be fair enough, but in some cases, the criticisms are anything but mutually exclusive, as it could be argued by synthesis that Esperanto "falls between two stools". If someone says it's too Eurocentric to be an global auxiliary language, and another says it's not Eurocentric enough to be a European auxiliary language, there is no conflict or contradiction. (This is not something I would add to the article as synthesis is specifically disallowed - I make my argument here simply to point out the lack of mutual exclusivity means that claims of contradiction are in fact fallacious.)
I appreciate that you and many others like Esperanto, but bear in mind that one of the main functions of this page is to keep the critics of the language from the main Esperanto article. Let the criticism be aired freely here, and the critics will be more likely to leave your mainpage alone.
Prof Wrong (talk) 20:26, 23 July 2011 (UTC)
But they are, simply, contradictory. I'm sorry, but if one person says s.t. is true, and another says it's false, we have a contradiction. That's what the word means. — kwami (talk) 07:10, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
They are not contradictory:
Esperanto does not draw on a wide enough selection of the world's languages (to be truly international)
[Esperanto] should be more narrowly Western European (to be useful in Europe).
These can be simultaneously true, and you will actually find that there are people who hold precisely that opinion -- and I am one of them. Esperanto falls between two stools, and I agree with both these statements (except that the first statement is impossible to fulfill).
Prof Wrong (talk) 08:13, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
Sure, you can sometimes reconcile the contradictions philosophically, but you can't satisfy both camps. If criticism (a) is that Eo should be more European (to be useful in Europe) and (b) is that Eo should be more international (so as not to privilege Europe), Z could not have designed it differently so as to satisfy both. And in other cases I don't see how they can be reconciled even philosophically: That Eo is not culturally neutral enough, vs. it has no culture. That it is too promiscuous in accepting provincial vocabulary like computero, vs. that it is too strict in creating obscure compounds like registaro. These reflect fundamentally different conceptions as to what an ideal language would be, the Lojban camp and the Interlingua camp. Yes, Eo lies between them, which means it's criticized from both directions. That doesn't mean they aren't different directions. — kwami (talk) 08:34, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
Different directions does not imply contradiction. Prof Wrong (talk) 09:46, 12 August 2011 (UTC)
If two people saying the opposite thing aren't contradicting each other, what's your definition of "contradict"? — kwami (talk) 09:51, 12 August 2011 (UTC)
The first result on Google for "define:contradict" is Deny the truth of (a statement), esp. by asserting the opposite.' - this is what I understand "contradict" to mean, and I believe most English would share that understanding. Have a look at several dictionaries and you'll see that they all stress denial and opposition. Esperanto can be simultaneously "too Western European" and "not Western European enough" -- one does not "deny" the other. One person can hold both views -- there is no contradition. Prof Wrong (talk) 11:09, 12 August 2011 (UTC)
Besides, WP policy says to stick to the facts. The "contradictory" statement is synthesis of an argument, and is the sort of thing that led to the article getting an "essay-like" tag last year. Please don't try to build an argument -- this is not an essay. Prof Wrong (talk) 09:50, 12 August 2011 (UTC)
So it's okay to show that they contradict each other, but we can't say the obvious and use the word? Maybe we shouldn't use the word "criticism" either, as that's equally synthesis. Nor should we use words like "support" or "oppose". — kwami (talk) 09:55, 12 August 2011 (UTC)
1) Yes, give people the facts and let them draw their own conclusions. This is not an essay.
2) This is a document of negative opinions expressed towards Esperanto - there is no synthesis in calling it "criticism".Prof Wrong (talk) 11:09, 12 August 2011 (UTC)


Yes -- le

"Esperanto has failed."[edit]

This section violates WP:CRYSTAL by assuming that the status quo will continue unchanged. Its goal is to become an international auxiliary language; no specific deadline is specified anywhere. Therefore, while it certainly can't be said to have succeeded at this time, it can only be said to have failed if it never becomes widespread, an assumption which violates WP:CRYSTAL. --134.10.114.238 (talk) 22:20, 20 July 2011 (UTC)

It assumes nothing of the kind. You apparently don't understand the English perfect. Please read that article.
Besides, even if it did forecast the future, it's not us who would be doing so, but the critics. We merely report their opinions. — kwami (talk) 22:32, 20 July 2011 (UTC)

Other than the rebuttal, none of the material in that paragraph is sourced, so it must be removed. --134.10.113.198 (talk) 16:10, 21 July 2011 (UTC)

This sounds like WP:IDONTLIKEIT. I thought at first you didn't speak much English, but it turns out you do; I conclude from that you'll make spurious arguments to get your way. Why not try honesty? This is a common-enough criticism, and is actually true (as much as I like Esperanto), so if you want to help, you can dig up some refs. — kwami (talk) 16:35, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
Any unsourced material may be challenged and removed at any time. The burden is on you to provide sources if you want it to stay. --134.10.113.198 (talk) 16:47, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
That source is almost a century out of date. Provide something more recent or remove the section. --134.10.113.198 (talk) 19:44, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
18 years is "almost a century"? You're getting tiresome. Go troll somewhere else. — kwami (talk) 01:00, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
No, but 81 years certainly is. --134.10.113.198 (talk) 01:26, 23 July 2011 (UTC)

Edit[edit]

The paragraph "Esperanto has failed" is unsourced and should be removed. --134.10.113.198 (talk) 16:17, 21 July 2011 (UTC)

WP:IDONTLIKEIT, which is apparently your true motivation, is not an acceptable argument. Also, your latest attempt to censor WP would have violated 3RR. — kwami (talk) 16:36, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
Any unsourced material may be challenged and removed at any time. The burden is on you to provide sources if you want it to stay. --134.10.113.198 (talk) 16:47, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
Page is not longer protected at this time. Jnorton7558 (talk) 05:55, 24 July 2011 (UTC)

The sourcing argument is invalid, because criticism doesn't work that way. When a criticism is that big, sourcing becomes useless. Common sense would tell you that, so as Kwami said, you're biased motives are clear. Further, it's rather questionable for someone to bother feigning being big on keeping wikipedia strict... While not logging into a registered account to sign the comments with. (As someone with a history of comment and runs, I would know that that is a questionable motivation to allege for it. We hit and runner types aren't about strictness and order, not even when truly about correctness.)Dragopolska (talk) 07:48, 11 August 2011 (UTC)

4 Missed Criticisms[edit]

1. It says on the page about the language in general that the creator invented this language to stop fighting. Anyone with common sense knows that the language barrier is not the cause of the fighting, and people continue to fight the same fights after you remove the language barrier. If anything, removing the language barrier causes more fights, because with the barrier they can't directly duke it out in more ways than a drunken fist fight, so more people will be fighting more often. EDIT: Further, opening up communications more would cause more and more disagreements to surface as they get to know each other more, causing more and more fighting. It would become fighting, because there will be people who try to convert the other once they have greater communicative pathways to try it.Dragopolska (talk) 07:15, 11 August 2011 (UTC)

That could be added to the 'failed' section, or maybe we could add a 'naive' section. It's a common acknowledgement, so common it hardly counts as criticism any more, as it's accepted by all. — kwami (talk) 07:37, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
That response is just plain catty (and an obvious lie to save face).Dragopolska (talk) 07:54, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
Interesting thought -- there's probably been at least as many wars between people who speak the same language (or similar) languages as between people with different languages.
Unlike Kwami, I don't think it matters that most modern Esperantists don't subscribe to the "Esperanto is peace" argument if that was one of Zamenhof's express goals.
Prof Wrong (talk) 08:03, 11 August 2011 (UTC)

2. The only way thusfar proven to spread a language at great feats... Is Impirialism. Esperato is not the language of an empire (or anyone), so it can't achieve it's purpose. It is in the same boat as Klingon, which is the point the person who mentioned Klingon was not so subtly making. The Tolkien languages are also in this boat. No matter how many fans learn it, it will never be global. If any language is to become a voluntary second language in the near future... The one people themselves freely choose most between the ones at high commonality due to a history as a great empire... Is English. So, why learn an imaginary language no one needs when you can learn English?Dragopolska (talk) 07:15, 11 August 2011 (UTC)

That's an opinion on practicality, not a criticism of Eo. — kwami (talk) 07:37, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
It's a genuine fact and genuine criticism. You're calling facts "opinion" is suspect as to why you would do so.Dragopolska (talk) 08:11, 11 August 2011 (UTC)

3. Does the world really need a universal language? The groups who most need one already have one, whether that's English, Mandarin, Spanish, or etc.Dragopolska (talk) 07:15, 11 August 2011 (UTC)

I've never heard this. It's always been 'we don't need Eo cuz we already have an international lang, English'. — kwami (talk) 07:37, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
Because I just made this, and if I made it I guarantee others thought this before me, as I just learned about this language's existence tonight. Criticism pages aren't about the fame of who said, they're about genuine criticisms with solid grounds. This happens to be one, so it doesn't matter if you ever saw it before.Dragopolska (talk) 08:11, 11 August 2011 (UTC)

4. Talk of a universal language does not seem to sit well with professional translators, because it would put thousands-to-hundreds-of-thousands of people out of a job. The only time you'd need a translator then is when intentionally seeking to know what the other person/people didn't want you to know. They'd no longer be translators, they'd be spies.Dragopolska (talk) 07:20, 11 August 2011 (UTC)

Imaginative, but not a criticism I've ever heard. — kwami (talk) 07:37, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
I repeat, this is not about if you heard anyone else make it, it's a page for solid criticims, not just popular ones. This website isn't a popularity contest, it's an information site. And, in this case, I did not make this one up at all. There are actual translators realizing this when the subject is brought up.Dragopolska (talk) 08:11, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
You're making it rather clear, Kwami, that you think you own this wiki page, which is directly against Wikipedia policy.Dragopolska (talk) 08:11, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
Huh? You're welcome to edit the article. I thought you were asking for opinions. That's what this page is for. You know, a "discussion page", to discuss the article?
Also, you can't reference yourself for your edits. That would be against WP policy. — kwami (talk) 08:24, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
I've been biting my tongue about this for awhile, but after reading this latest discussion I had a good laugh to myself. Kwami, you keep telling users that they are "welcome to edit the article", but then you quickly delete things you disagree with. You never provided anything more than the most vague of reasons for removing the link to the Learn Not to Speak page (you claimed it was a falsification of the language without elaborating much). You also called it a blog, which it is not (see Blog; rather it is a personal webpage that's widely linked to and has been around for a few months shy of ten years). Although you may not personally agree with the page, POV external links are explicitly allowed in Wikipedia (including extremely POV links), so long as they are not presented as neutral presentations of the topic. The title of this article starts with "Criticism of...", I still fail to see a reason that one of the more well-known anti-Esperanto websites should not be linked to here, other than that you personally dislike the site. Indeed, I'm not sure external links that we explicitly label as editorials, or examples of a specific opinion even need to be entirely demonstrably factually correct or cite sources. --ಠ_ಠ node.ue ಠ_ಠ (talk) 16:36, 25 November 2011 (UTC)

"odd criticism" in Esperanto has failed"[edit]

I have just edited out the following from the section Esperanto has failed, refering to the idea that time spent on Esperanto is better spent on other languages.

This is perhaps an odd criticism, since no natural language could be learned in as short a time as Esperanto, but it is frequently offered nevertheless.

This is not a logically sound counter-criticism. No-one claims that (eg) Spanish is quicker to learn than Esperanto, but rather they make the value judgement that a modest amount of Spanish is of more practical use than full fluency in Esperanto. This position, whether you personally take it or not, must be recognised as valid -- you can't travel anywhere using only Esperanto, and to many people that is understandably important. Prof Wrong (talk) 17:50, 25 November 2011 (UTC)

Sources?[edit]

This article has around 12 main sections, and around 1600 words, making many, many claims about criticisms of Esperanto. Yet, only 6 citations? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 147.46.57.248 (talk) 02:15, 20 February 2013 (UTC)

True. But you could help out and stick in a few [citation needed] tags next to some of the unsupported claims. Prof Wrong (talk) 13:01, 20 February 2013 (UTC)
What's worse, only 2 of the 6 citations/references are about criticism of Esperanto, the others are just relating to the language itself. Almost every other sentence in the article can't have a citation needed tag, it'll look ridiculous (more so than it already does, anyway).--212.139.107.158 (talk) 15:57, 27 February 2013 (UTC)

So few references![edit]

This article is a complete joke. It has 6 references, only 2 of which even relate to criticism of the language, the other 4 are related to the composition/syntax of the language itself! The article desperately needs more references, or lots of it needs to be removed/rewritten. Ridiculous. --212.139.107.158 (talk) 15:56, 27 February 2013 (UTC)

From a strict WP perspective, this is true. However, all the highlighted viewpoints are held by many people. [citation needed]
The whole purpose of this page is to prevent edit-warring on the Esperanto article. Surely a handful of unsourced assertions here are worth bearing if it prevents arguments over on the main article...? Prof Wrong (talk) 15:43, 2 April 2013 (UTC)

Why even an article "Criticism of Esperanto"?[edit]

I wonder why Wikipedia has an article like this for Esperanto (and it should be divided in pro/cons sections by the way) and English does not. I wonder why even in the article "Esperanto" theres's a criticism part (and this one is linked to it) and in the English one there's not. I wonder if wikipedia is neutral enough here.

English is spoken by 30% of the world at some level, I think it would be more interesting for wikipedia users to write an article critizing English as a bridge language than an Esperanto one. English didn't originate in order to act as a interethnic language, it lacks lot of things many planned language as Esperanto do not. It's like criticizing a car for being artificial and watching all the world using british horses to travel to Paris and not critizing that. Here there's no mention that comparing with the criticism it could be done of the alternatives we had and still have (always "accepting" the strongest language of the time/half-century, Latin, French, English, Chinese later) the criticism of Esperanto is derisory/trivial for the same purpose acting as a "bridge language". I see a kind of hidden information... This mention should be in every single article "Criticism of X" created.

Here's another point: Is Esperanto sexist? I wouldn't say so so convinced, knowing "malina" is a common way to write "male" (derived from ina, feMALE, with the preffix for opposite mal-) in esperanto congress forms. Neither if kuzo and edzino has a female origin (kuzin' edzin') and is the opposite case. How could I add that point of view if there's no pro section? Is it fair for those who do want to defend their language and commonly know way more about it than those who criticize it?)

Is Esperanto opened to public criticism on Wikipedia because of it's planned origin (as Indonesian...) but English, Spanish, Indonesia (too nativized now) are not? (artificial too... words didn't grow form trees, you know?). I don't get why this http://speedydeletion.wikia.com/wiki/Grin_Report was speedydeleted for not being important enough and this one remains here... — Preceding unsigned comment added by Alekso92 (talkcontribs) 02:21, 24 September 2015 (UTC)

In general, Wikipedia don't like 'criticism' sections and articles, because it draws attention to a very neagtive viewpoint. Criticism - bad as well as good - should be included in the article, instead of staying seperated.--Momo Monitor (talk) 01:07, 4 April 2016 (UTC)

Sources[edit]

Since 2013 citations missed. No one added them. Now I delete every content with no citation. Of course I will try to find sources for all of it, but if I can't, I will delete it. --Momo Monitor (talk) 14:15, 12 April 2016 (UTC)

Merge[edit]

I've merged all content. How to delete this article? --Momo Monitor (talk) 14:39, 12 April 2016 (UTC)

It shouldn't be deleted proper. Instead, it should be redirected, which I've just did. --JorisvS (talk) 17:12, 14 April 2016 (UTC)