Goal n. 0 for sustainable development: A human species’ common language.
HIGH-LEVEL POLITICAL FORUM ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
New York, United Nations building, 26 june – 8 july 2015
If “A life of dignity for all” is not just a slogan, but want become a concrete goal of the United Nations, is the United Nations which first have to change, finding the initial spirit that had the first League of Nations and then the same United Nations.
In a world of hatred and war no goal of development, sustainable or not, can be reached, because the word is: destroy the other, the next. If we won’t face the rising of nationalism in the world, if not of tribalism, in their more aggressive aspects; the rising of wars of religion or civilization where the murder of the other, “different”, is not only considered obvious but even right; even because of such movements of hate between whole masses of people, if not of peoples, are forced to get away, to flee to avoid being killed by weapons or poverty, thereby jeopardizing balances not stable to other States that are fighting against unemployment and welfare loss, thus causing more hate toward those immigrants; We know that it is counterproductive to give men the fish and that we must, instead, teach them to fish. But if you teach him to fish in our language and teach them also how to build a fish market, we also will be violent, because we force them to sell his fish in our market, the market where the manager is our director, one who speaks our language and think like us.
If you think about it is not very different when ICANN launches over 600 domain extensions all in English, from .shop to .catholic. It is not a clear desire to dominate the world, meanwhile, virtual, by the English-speaking world? .catholic, we have mentioned. Why, if the “fatherland” of Catholicism as the Pontiff, Pope Francis today, is in Rome, in Italy, it is not in Italian the extension, then, .cattolico?
So it is crucial to raise, and much, the level of love for humanity and run, run towards the peace because only peace will allow us to have a life of dignity for all. We have to run to the peace fulfilling it in the nonviolence of relations between states and people of different languages, cultures, patterns of thought and religions: the nonviolent language and not linguicide of the United Nations versus the United Persons.
The common language of human species, and not the mother tongue of some imposed upon other peoples, is a key resource to address both the economic and social dimensions of poverty and to provide innovative solutions and cross-cutting for complex, issues, from health to environment, from gender equality to the promotion of quality education for all.
To ensure peace, brotherhood and welfare of humanity, the predecessor organization of the United Nations, the League of Nations, which had as its official languages French, English and Spanish, saw at work during the first two Assemblies, delegates from Brazil, Belgium, Chile, China, Colombia, Czechoslovakia (now Czech Republic and Slovakia), Haiti, Italy, Japan, India, Persia (now Iran), Poland, Romania and South Africa to pursue resolutions that suggested to the League of Nations to recommend universally the teaching of Esperanto in schools as an international auxiliary language. In 1921 the Secretary of the League Inazō Nitobe made a proposal to accept Esperanto as the language of the League, while finding the veto of the French delegate Gabriel Hanotaux. The majority of member states were in favor of the adoption of the International Language (known as Esperanto) as a working language, but the veto of France (French was the language of diplomacy in those years) prevented the realization of this project, but, however, in 1922 League of Nations approved unanimously at its third General Assembly, the Report on Esperanto as an International Auxiliary Language, with also the support of Lord Robert Cecil, awarded with the Nobel Peace Prize in 1937.
On March 10, 2002 The Independent warned for the accelerated destruction of the ecosystem linguistic-cultural and the premature end of the linguistic and cultural biodiversity of the planet: “linguicide: the death of languages. Every two weeks one dies”, while the British linguist David Crystal in agreement with the Canadian linguist Krauss foresees a catastrophic destiny for the linguistic diversity of the planet within this century, with more than 90% of languages, and peoples, endangered.
UNESCO in its Atlas of the world’s languages in danger of extinction is more cautious, estimating that percentage to 50%, of which about 160 are endangered languages in the European continent.
Reason for the disappearance of so many languages in so little time is the conviction exercised so that individuals replace their language with another, substantially in this way: you present languages and cultures dominated as a minority, inadequate or disadvantaged thereby making them “invisible”.
The colonization of the conscience of the dominated substantially passes through three stages:
- EXALTATION of dominant groups / majority, defined as Group A: exaltation of its language, culture, laws, traditions, institutions, level of development, attention to human rights, etc.
- STIGMATISATION AND DEPRECIATION of minority groups / subordinate, as defined as Group B: their languages, cultures, laws, traditions, institutions, level of development, attention to human rights, et, in order to considered them non-civilized, primitive, non-modern, traditional, backward, unable to adapt to a technological, “democratic”, modern. Information.
- RATIONALISATION of relations between the two groups: in the economic sense, political, psychological, educational, sociological, linguistic, and so on. In order to consider the groups of type A, dominant, functional and useful for groups dominated Type B: the dominant group A “help”, “supports”, “civilized”, “modernization”, “teaches democracy”, “guarantees the rights”, “prevent conflicts”, “creates development”, “preserve peace in the world”, and so on.
In this context, some argue that English is a “lingua franca” unowned, that does not destroy the other languages, but the proof of facts, this opinion does not stand:
– first, because even if there was something like “English for International Communication”, English speakers should not spend a dime to learn it anyway;
– second, whether we like it or not, we have to fact that they are English mother-tongue speakers, holding a monopoly on the legitimate use of linguistic correction, as much as the state has a monopoly of legitimate force. English speakers are the ones who have the right to determine what is correct or incorrect in their language.
We must not deceive ourselves and the less we have to deceive anyone: English is not a common good!
Denial of equal opportunities and equal linguistic rights among world citizens that results from the economic point of view, in great benefits and resources that allow non-English speaking countries to those of native English speakers and can be summarized in six points:
- it gives citizens of the English-speaking countries a considerable market in terms of teaching equipment, language training, translation and interpretation into English, language proficiency in the preparation and audit of texts, and so on;
- native English speakers should never invest time or money to translate messages that transmit or wish to understand;
- native English speakers do not have a real need to learn other languages and this carry to the English-speaking countries, huge savings, starting with the costs of education;
- all financial and time resources that are not dedicated to the learning of foreign languages, can be invested in R&D and teaching/learning other disciplines;
- although the non-English speakers make a considerable effort to learn English, can never, unless exception, have such mastery level that can ensure their equality before the mother tongue:
- equality in the understanding,
- equality in case of public speaking
- equality in negotiations and conflicts.
- To this must be added the discrimination between citizens native and non-English speakers from the birth, in recruitment procedures.
As far as we know, there are no detailed studies of linguistic economy that tell us what is the amount the economic costs of international linguistic discrimination. At European level we have it, and it would be enough to make with it a projection for global to hypothesize the effects internationally. In the European Union Member States’ actions must be “conducted in accordance with the principle of an open market economy with free competition”, says economist Áron Lukács in “Economic Aspects of Language Inequality”, instead “the use of languages of the EU institutions seriously distorts the market and represents a major obstacle to free competition. In the short term encourages citizens and companies of some countries but creates major disadvantages for the citizens and businesses of the majority of EU member states.
In the long term, it is also an obstacle to economic development more efficient EU in its entirety.
Considering a series of items, Lukács arrive to an estimate of the costs that other Member States pay indirectly and hiddenly about 900 euro per capita per year to the UK, 400.587.597.900,00 Euro globally.
Another economist of language systems, the Swiss François Grin, in “L’Enseignement des langues étrangères vivantes comme politique publique” examines three “scenarios” of public policies of languages. The first, which concerns the “all English”, puts the light of unpublished figures. According to the author, the UK earns, as a net, at least 10 billion euro a year thanks to the current dominance of English. And, “if we take into account the multiplier effect of certain components of these sums, as the yield of the funds that the English-speaking countries may, with the location of their language, invest elsewhere, this total is from 17 billion euro to 18 per year”.
The second scenario, the multilingual one, does not greatly reduce the costs but inequalities between the speakers, while the third, the teaching of Esperanto is, according Grin, the most advantageous since it would result in a net savings for Europe whole (including the UK and Ireland), about 25 billion Euros per year. This is not surprising given the fact that Claude Piron, who was the trainer of translators at the United Nations, explained that the timing of professional learning Esperanto are 500 hours against 12,000 of English and teacher training has no need to provide for expenses in the countries of the native language because everyone can be anywhere in the world.
The picture is clear enough: to dominate the language of a people by another people, enables savings and offers gains far outweigh that does not take away the provinces and territories or crush with exploitation.
However the solution is just as clear and was started in 1922 by the organization even progenitor of the United Nations, the League of Nations. A Study, perhaps the most detailed done by an Italian Ministry, its conclusions affirm: “The Esperanto educates to peace building; contributes to the preservation of linguistic and cultural diversity of the European and world; allows transnational relations, cultural and commercial, in a common language, without discrimination; facilitates, taught as Linguistic Orientation, the study and learning of foreign national languages; avoids the predominance of one or two languages ”more” in the teaching of possible foreign languages;
enriches metalinguistic reflection also on the mother tongue; allows considerable savings of money and time, both in the preparation of teachers who work in the learners, with advantage also for other fields of study. “Today the Esperantistics presence is in 120 countries in the world, the Esperanto in 1993 was recognized as 114a language literature of the world from the PEN Club International, from 1994 to 2012 was one of the 60 languages in which the Pope gives his blessing “Urbi et Orbi” to Catholics around the world twice a year, in 2010 it became the 64th language translation of Google and, if you type “esperanto” in its search engine you will get 216 million results.
If the United Nations wants to focus their action Post-2015 in the sustainable development, integrating the dimensions of social, economic, environmental and cultural need to consider the human species as a whole and adopt a common language of the United Nations.