The University of Western Ontario
Will Esperanto replace English as an international language? With the widespread use of the English in scientific and technological fields, it can be difficult for Esperanto to take the position of English. Johnson (2016) stated that English is useful because it is easy to understand, which has also been neutral, utilitarian. The article “Why English Should Not Be The International Language Of The World,” written by Robert Nielsen and published on his blog in 2015, illustrates English as an international language have caused some issues, and proposes several options for selection to solve these, which include believing English can figure itself out, boosting polyglotism, and encouraging Esperanto to be an international language. The third one seems reasonable, but there remain some unfairness to some extent.
In “Why English Should Not Be The International Language Of The World,” Nielson (2015) states that English as a world language has caused many problems, and then provides three choices for promoting fairness and resolving these problems. Nielson begins by using his own experience that learning a language is painful to non-native speakers. After traveling through Europe, he realized that it is unfair to non-English speakers where English is the key access to “elite club.” He then points out that English globalization would make us lose diversity and narrow our mind. For example, enormous American bias in economics, healthcare debate, and gun debate. Therefore, Neilson suggests three options in order to solve the current problems, stating that the first option does not make sense as the unwillingness of native speakers to learn other languages leads to unfairness to the rest of the world; for the second one, if people launch other languages such as Spanish, German, and French to delay the trend of English, there will be still unjust for minority languages, and he also states that promoting polyglotism is a long term strategy; the third one may ensure the equality because of almost no native speaker to Esperanto in the world, and people can continue to use their own language to prevent losing cultural identity. Neilson concludes that maybe Esperanto use will solve the problems resulted from the English globalization and ensure equality.
Nielsen suggests the fairest option is to promote Esperanto to be international language because for Esperanto, “There is no cultural baggage or legacy of colonialism; it was never spread at the point of a sword or gun. As there are almost no native speakers, everyone is on an equal level playing field.” That means Esperanto has nothing to go with history or culture, but English has. Hence, it can be much easier to learn than English, and no one needs to sustain a cultural tolerance. Besides, "it would be the equivalent of replacing aristocracy (where the luck of birth enjoys some with enormous privileges) with democracy (where all have an equal chance)" (Nielsen, 2016)....