by Oscar Mifsud
Well, to begin with, the in-thing nowadays is, unification and oneness. The trend is to have ONE system of measurement, currency etc., etc.. This is helping to bring peoples together and to ward off conflicts and wars between nations. So far nearly all attempts to unify have had very good results in recent years. But the change that is needed most urgently has so far been neglected for rather selfish reasons. What is needed most, is better communication, and for this to happen there is no better way than to have a common language for all. A world-language is the key to most of our global problems.
Someone might point out that there is English. Everybody is learning English all over the world! Be that as it may, the fact remains that no particular native language belonging to any particular nation or country, is ideal for a world-language; for the simple reason, to name just one for the moment, that they all have their difficulties which it would be preposterous to expect them to remove for the convenience of others. Take English, since there is a global craze for it. True, It is not only useful but it has now become necessary. However, meaning no offence to anyone, everything about it is full of difficulties and irregularities. When I ask my students to suggest the qualities of a suitable world language, they come up with things like: it must be easy to learn; it should be 100% phonetic; should have no fancy letters and accents on letters; should have easy spelling; no double consonants; no exceptions; easy conjugation of verbs; have an economic way of word-building to cut down on the strain on memory; easy grammar, etc... Now we all know that no existing national language has ALL these fine attributes to qualify it for a world language. English, it must be admitted, has absolutely none - not even one of these. The vowels alone give you a headache with regards to reading and writing. Pronunciation in general drives you crazy [ bed, bedevil ]; the spelling drives you mad [ belie, believe, receive, piece, peace, cat, kitten ]; and the grammar ?.Oh boy!
All this, very unfortunately, makes English most unsuitable for foreigners to learn quickly. I say very unfortunately, because we do need English and I am not in any way suggesting that people should not learn English at all. What I am on about is that besides English one could/should study a common language ,a world-language. And here I imagine someone saying: that there is Esperanto. But although it has been in use for over one century, it hasn't somehow caught on; not to a large extent anyway. It has all those fine characteristics mentioned above except one, because it has accented letters.It may be argued that any new language must necessarily be artificial. So what? All man-made things are artificial by definition, Are we then to reject them on that account? What would we do without electricity, machines, vehicles and so many other things?Esperanto is just one such artificial language which has been proved to solve many language problems. Unfortunately, like most things on this earth, it is not perfectly smooth and without blemish. It has some though very few warts? such as letters with accents, and the non-use of some familiar letters like q,w,x,and y; and the introduction of some letters in used but with an added accent on them. These unfortunate defects have antagonized many, who nevertheless fully agree that there should be an easy world-language. The coming of the computer has made things worse mostly because of the accented letters. Requests by many to remove them have fallen on deaf ears, and Esperanto has begun to lose ground especially with people using Internet. I am a keen Esperantist, and had the accents been removed and w, x and y introduced in its alphabet I would have been satisfied; but something even better has happened.
A new world language, Mondlango (also known as Ulango) was born in China in July 2002. Its author/s, very wisely in my opinion, based it on Esperanto, removed all accents on letters and introduced the missing letters mentioned above. He/they went one better. Admitting the increasing popularity of English, they substituted English roots (phonetically) for the established Esperanto ones in many cases. This very wise step should, I think, satisfy everybody; because, in Mondlango we have exactly what we want: A very easy common language, 100% phonetic, employing no double consonants, streamlined grammar, no exceptions, no accents on letters, and, most important, very similar to spoken English.
Naturally, Mondlango, being in its babyhood, is far from perfect and the least we can do is to give it a sporting chance to mature, prove itself and reach adulthood. This it can and will do because unlike Esperanto it is not cast in bronze and never to change. It will evolve and mature in due course to the delight of those who adopt it. That is WHY, without abandoning Esperanto completely, I have chosen to switch to:Mondlango.