Declaration of Giorgio Pagano, leader of Esperanto Radikala Asocio
«I’d like to start this delcaration of mine with a quote from Dante’s Convivio, which says “To the perpetual disgrace and humiliation of those contemptible men of Italy who praise the vernacular of others and disparage their own, I say that their impulse arises from five detestable causes. The first is blindness in discernment; the second, disingenuous excusing; the third, desire for glory; the fourth, reasoning prompted by envy; the fifth and last, baseness of mind, that is, pusillanimity. Each of these faults has so great a following that few are those who are free from them […] All of these together make up the detestable wretches of Italy who despise this precious vernacular, which, if it is base in anything, is base only insofar as it issues from the meretricious lips of these adulterers under whose guidance go the blind of whom I made mention in treating the first cause”.
I quotes Dante about Italian and others’ languages because it’s absurd that the recently named Ministry of Education Maria Chiara Carrozzawho supported the appeal of Azzone, dean of Politechnic of Milan against the sentence of Tar. She shows to have not read the 17 pages of the sentence, and geve to the public a misrepresented vision of language internationalization.
First of all, we must see the real facts. At the Polytechnic already exist degrees in English – especially Masters’ degrees – and they can be attented by both foreign (who aren’t required to know Italian) and Italian students.
The point here is to realize if Italian students have the right to study or not in Italian language in their own country. In this sense, it’s unbelivable that Ministry Carrozza said “Italian language is supposed to be already known when attending University”. But university courses aren’t supposed to teach a language, but to deliver knowledge. Moreover, it’s clear that English isn’t a passe-partout language, good in every country. An architect bond to work in South America need Spanish, one working in China, Chinese (and Northern countries know that, as they started to offer courses in this language).
The truth is, internationalization is a complex and stratified process. Italy can win it only aiming to appraising, updating and optimizing the teaching in our language – especially in those fields which traditionally “speaks” Italian, and which use technical lexicon in Italian, and everyone study that.
The real problem is that Italian deans, Ministries, journalists, students, intellectual and those who manage productivity, do not have the courage and the ability to pursue this road, preferring to enslave themselves to a linguistic neo-colonialism based on an anglo-american imprint, and pointing at this linguistic-cultural suicide as the supposed future. But our future are the United States of Europe and an equal federal language, which is Esperanto».