International Language Created by Chinese

by David Curtis


It was in December 2002, in England, having campaigned for Esperanto for almost thirty years, that I first read, on Internet, that Mondlango had been launched in China. Its two main features strongly attracted me: it was based upon English and Esperanto; and it had no diacritical marks. English is obviously the most popular international language, but it is very difficult to learn. Esperanto is relatively easy to learn, but is largely ignored by the international community. Esperanto is hampered by its diacritical marks, whereas English has none and is therefore easily typed for e-mail.

I was also attracted by another factor. China has the world's biggest population, and Esperanto-enthusiasts have always yearned for the development of Esperanto to reach the stage of critical mass, whereby a situation suddenly changes because of pressure. The teaching of English in China is a very expensive drain upon the resources of the Chinese government to improve the lives of its citizens: yet there seemed, until last year, no alternative. I was the only member from Britain at the First Asian Esperanto Congress, held in August, 1996, in Shanghai. Because of the many discussions I had there with Asians from many different countries, I learned that there was a great desire to be free from linguistic imperialism in the form of the necessity to learn English. As Esperanto-speakers, my fellow-members of the Congress and I hoped that the Zamenhof's aim, of providing the world with a neutral second language, would soon be achieved.

Since that Congress, "El Popola Cxinio", the world's most popular Esperanto magazine, has ceased publication, and Monato is in difficulties. Whatever popularity Esperanto has enjoyed is now on the wane. In Europe, even the looming problem of communication between the 25 countries of the European Union does not offer Esperanto-speakers any hope. In a personal letter to me, published in "Heroldo" last December, Neil Kinnock, the European Commissioner responsible for language-diversity, declined to accept that Esperanto should be taught in the schools of member-states. To me, such teaching would obviously solve the problem of communication, but there is no likelihood of it happening.

So, when I read that Mondlango had been launched in China, I could see that there was a real possibility of reaching Zamenhof's great goal, though not entirely because of his admirable invention. The power of American wealth and the former British Empire could be overcome if huge numbers of Chinese learned the new language and insisted upon using it internationally.


译文:

中国人创造的国际语

 

2002年12月,在英国,当我为世界语(Esperanto)事业奋斗了将近三十年之后,我在互联网上第一次得知,大同语(Mondlango)已经在中国问世了。它的两个特点强烈吸引了我:它是以英语和世界语为基础的,而且它没有怪字符。英语显然是国际上最流行的语言,但英语很难学。世界语比较容易学,但国际社会普遍忽视它。世界语的字母有几个怪字符,阻碍了它的发展;而英语没有怪字符,因此很容易在电子邮件中使用。

  我也为另一个因素所吸引:中国是世界上人口最多的国家,热心的世界语者一直渴望能在中国推广世界语,使世界语者的人数达到可观的规模。然而形势突然变化了,这是由于以下的压力:英语教学耗费了中国巨大的人力和财力资源,但这似乎又别无选择。1996年8月,我作为英国的唯一代表参加了在上海举行的第一届亚太地区世界语大会,与许多亚洲人士进行了讨论,使我了解到许多亚洲国家都渴望能从英语的霸权压力下解放出来。作为世界语者,我和我在英国国会的一些议员同事,都希望柴门霍夫(世界语创始人)的理想---全世界使用一种中立的第二语言---能够尽快实现。

  在那次大会之后,《中国报道》这份最受欢迎的世界语版的杂志停刊了,世界语的《月刊》也面临着困难。即使世界语过去受到欢迎,现在也已经衰退了。甚至在欧洲,虽然欧盟25个成员国遇到很多语言障碍,也不给世界语任何希望。欧盟委员会负责语言事务的官员金诺克在给我的一封信中(这封信后来发表在2002年12月的《先驱》杂志上),拒绝了在欧盟国家的学校里教授世界语的提议。如果这个提议获得通过,将能解决欧盟的语言问题。但看来这项提议没有任何希望获得通过。

  因此,当我得知大同语已在中国问世,我预见到这将真正有可能实现柴门霍夫的伟大目标,虽然并不是完全因为他那令人敬佩的发明。如果有大量的中国人学习大同语,并且坚持在国际上使用它,那么就可以压倒美国和前大英帝国的财富和势力。