Monday, January 31, 2011

If You Can't Beat 'Em, Join 'Em

I should apologize for the last post. I won't, but I thought I should mention that I know I should. Conspiracy theories generally trigger my gag reflex, and "English is an International Conspiracy" is no exception.

But in any case, I'm about to quote myself, which demonstrates how authoritative this blog is: I don't quote just anyone, you know!
Our target demographic is relatively small, educated, and (incidentally) westernized.

Or more specifically, these people know at least some English. Shouldn't we use that?

Some auxlangs do--they have a fair amount of English vocabulary. But even then there's generally a negative attitude: Watch out, folks! It's English, so get out your hazmat suits!

Not a good sign.

More sincere efforts generally involve making English easier to learn by starting with a simplified version: Basic English, Globish, and various types of spelling reform.

But none of this addresses the fundamental problems of mastering English--the synonyms ("big" or "large"?), the idiomatic use of prepositions (not just an English issue), hard-to-pronounce words (e.g., "world"), and so on. They also further entrench the superiority of native speakers, with only the hope that their number will continue to grow and perhaps your children will be among them.

In the spirit of "If you can't beat 'em, get a bigger club," I'm proposing an alternative. I won't even explain what follows except to say that the consonants are essentially English and the vowels the usual five found in most auxlangs. Read it out and follow the sound, not the spelling. (I've updated this so many times I hope it's truly current, but at least it'll give you some idea of what I'm up to.)

1. Da total at bifo hav wan lanwij plas da seim wad.

2. Taim dat da pipal du bigin go istan, dem notis da flat-ples in da Shinar lan; plas dem go risaidin da ples.

3. Dem tok ta ichada "Kamon! Wi mek da brik plas du kukin dem in faya!" Dem du yusin da brik insted rok plas da tari insted brik glu.

4. Dem tok ta ichada, "Kamon! Wi mek da siti plas da tawa, wich hav da hed in skai! Wi mek big wi neim gol wi no leita get skata tru da total at!"

5. Yawe go daun gol si da siti plas da tawa, wich da pipal mek.

6. Yawe tok, "Si! Dem bi wan pipal, plas dem hav wan lanwij, plas dem bi ebal du da hia tin! Foloen dis, ziro tin, wich dem du trai, bi tumach no-isi!

7. "Kamon! Wi go daun plas wi mek konfusin dem lanwij gol dem no du andastan ichada!"

8. Yawe du skata dem tru da total at, plas dem no kipon mek da siti.

9. Foloen dis, da ples get neim Babel, bikos Yawe mek konfusin da lanwij av da total at, plas auta dea ples Yawe du skata da pipal tru da total at.

I'll try to explain all this next time.

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