Saturday, December 19, 2009

liking Mondlango

Since writing L.L. Zamenhof: Who He Was, Why He's on Google and Homaranismo and conlangs, I've gotten a bit obsessed about language as a way to world peace. I always thought Esperanto was cool, but its time had passed. I'm not so sure of that now, but I think Mondlango should be the focus of all fans of a worldwide second language, and its time is now. Here's why:

1. The world is in transition between two world languages, English and Chinese. Both are very hard for non-native speakers to learn (and not all that easy for native speakers who believe there is a "correct" form of their language). This is a perfect time to push for an alternative that's far, far easier to learn than either.

2. Mondlango was created primarily by Chinese thinkers who built on Esperanto (a primarily European conlang) while recognizing the importance and usefulness of English in the world today. It is the most international conlang that I know of.

The "official"* Mondlango site is a good place to start your googling.

* From here:
Strictly speaking, in the realm of Monda, there are founders and followers, but there is no creator. Most vocabularies in Monda are not arbitrarily created, but are derived from the Indo-European language family (especially from English ). Zamenhof , being the author of Esperanto, was also the vanguard of Monda. Monda was born in July 2002. The major founder of Monda is HeYafu, the other founders are Wangli, Qijiaqin, Luoxinxing, Arbsemo, Kulturo, Chenruihua , Zangyuhai, Niyundong, Zhaozhonghua, Oscar Mifsud , David Curtis , Dominique Kuster , Matthew Martin, J Duke and Daniel Carrera.

The language challenge -- facing up to reality


  1. Oh, MANNNN! Another thing to become intrigued about!

  2. Another variation of Ido?
    BTW what happened to Ido?

  3. Remush, I assume you're being ironic, and I have read a little about the bad blood between supporters of Esperanto and Ido, but I think Mondlango is a much smarter proposal than Ido. It's not a tweak of Esperanto. It's a major offshoot that addresses all the criticisms (that I've seen) of Esperanto.

    But I haven't chosen sides yet, even though I'm leaning toward Mondlango. That there are a much larger number of Esperanto speakers is a serious argument for Esperanto.

    And it does appear that Ido still has its supporters, too.

  4. Remush, I may've found the better answer to your question at Wikipedia: "Interlingua had attracted many former adherents of other international-language projects, notably Occidental and Ido."

  5. Brian, I added that video to my most recent post on conlangs. Thanks!

    I suspect that having to choose between English and Esperanto will give us a Chinese pidgin as the global language, but I could be wrong.

  6. Bill, English never made it as a world language really--5% of the world speaks it, and another 5% can understand a little, I believe. And it's going to fade as Chinese and Spanish grow. So the question is whether we should try to come up with the most practical replacement or accept whatever comes along.

    Also, the point isn't for a world language to replace all others. It's to have a trade/scholar/tourist language, what Latin once was, but what Latin can no longer be.

    But I do keep coming up against the fact that humans like what they know and just don't have the geek love of what would save time and money.

    So I may be letting this little obsession die soon.

  7. Dang. I forget where I saw the 5% figure. Probably on one of the conlang pages, which have numbers all over the place. I'll stick with 17.5% for now.

    Yeah, English is the trade etc. language of the day. But as the Spanish and Chinese markets grow, that'll change.

    The one I wonder about is air travel, 'cause switching that will be a major pain.

    Off to do some research now.