BASTA WITH EXTRANGES LINGUAS TRY EUROPANTO

Posted on in Politica e lingue 5 vedi

BASTA WITH EXTRANGES LINGUAS TRY "EUROPANTO"

ROME, APRIL 23 (REUTERS) – FED UP WITH TRYING TO MASTER ONE OF THE EUROPEAN UNION’S 11 OFFICIAL LANGUAGES?
DON’T DESPAIR. THERE’S ALWAYS EUROPANTO. IT HAS NO RULES, NO AWKWARD GRAMMAR, NO TRICK SPELLINGS — IN FACT YOU SIMPLY MAKE IT UP OUT OF BITS AND PIECES OF THE LANGUAGES YOU ALREADY KNOW.
"EUROPANTO IS SPONTANEOUS, LIKE JAZZ," ITS CREATOR DIEGO MARANI TOLD REUTERS FROM BRUSSELS, WHERE HE WORKS AS A TRANSLATOR AT THE COUNCIL OF MINISTERS.
"ES MUCHO FACILE DI SPLICARE," MARANI DEMONSTRATED. "TU BASTA MIXARE ALLES WAT TU KNOW IN EXTRANGES LINGUAS."
MARANI SAID HE MADE UP THE LANGUAGE AS A JOKE, AND WROTE A SATIRICAL COLUMN IN EUROPANTO IN BELGIUM’S LE SOIR ILLUSTRE AND SWITZERLAND’S LE TEMPS. FAN MAIL POURED IN FROM ENTHUSIASTS DYING TO TRY THE NEW LINGUISTIC LEXICON FOR THEMSELVES.
"THE ONLY PEOPLE WHO WEREN’T SO HAPPY WERE THE SUPPORTERS OF ESPERANTO," MARANI SAID, REFERRING TO THE ENTIRELY REGULAR, ARTIFICIAL LANGUAGE INVENTED BY A POLISH PHILOLOGIST AND INTENDED AS A UNIVERSAL MEDIUM OF COMMUNICATION.
"I WAS BOMBARDED WITH VERY CRITICAL LETTERS. THEY SEE EUROPANTO AS A THREAT, BUT IT’S JUST A JOKE, A BIT OF FUN."
MARANI SAID HIS EXPERIMENT EMERGED OUT OF THE WAY NON-NATIVES SPOKE ENGLISH AND HOW SOME COUNTRIES, SUCH AS BELGIUM AND SWITZERLAND, ARE "ABSURDLY" SPLIT ALONG LINGUISTIC LINES.
"ENGLISH IS NOW THE UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE. EVEN THE AVERAGE EUROPEAN HAS A MINIMUM KNOWLEDGE," HE SAID.
"I SAID TO MYSELF, WHY JUST LIMIT OURSELVES TO SPEAKING TELEGRAPHIC ENGLISH? WHY NOT ENRICH IT WITH FOREIGN PHRASES? WE HAVE A WEALTH OF WORDS — LIKE CHAUFFEUR, COIFFEUR, BLITZKRIEG, WURSTEL, PIZZA — THAT EVERYBODY UNDERSTANDS."
HE NEVER EXPECTED IT TO CATCH ON, ALTHOUGH HE CHEERFULLY ADMITTED THAT IT WAS NOT WIDELY USED "AND NOR WILL IT EVER BE".
MARANI SAID HE BELIEVED ENGLISH WAS NOW WITNESSING THE KIND OF EVOLUTION LATIN WENT THROUGH IN THE MIDDLE AGES — ONLY MUCH MORE QUICKLY. IN FUTURE, HE EXPECTED WE WOULD BE SPEAKING ENGLISH "BUT NOT THE INTERNATIONAL ENGLISH WE SPEAK NOW".
HE RECKONED THAT IN YEARS TO COME, ESPECIALLY WITH THE EASTWARD ENLARGEMENT OF THE 15-NATION EUROPEAN UNION, EUROPEANS WOULD ALL END UP SPEAKING THEIR OWN LANGUAGE, PLUS ONE OR TWO OTHERS, AND ENGLISH "WHICH IS ALWAYS GOING TO BE WITH US".
BUT HE DID NOT EXPECT ANY LANGUAGE — EVEN ENGLISH — TO TAKE OVER. "THAT’S UNTHINKABLE. THE EU WAS CREATED TO ENSURE THAT ONE COUNTRY WOULD NOT IMPOSE ITSELF ON ANY OTHER," HE SAID.
23-04-98




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