Absolutely huge French - Interlingua dictionary now available

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Interlingua Logo

Nice work.

Interlingua's one of those languages that isn't my favourite but certainly has a very good external appeal (that is, to non-Auxlangers, Latinists, etc.) and so it's always nice to see developments on their end. Steve Rice from Auxlang is pretty much on the same page as me on this and he started an interesting thread last year that stated the following:

Let's open the windows and take a good look around at the real world.

To begin with, Eo has a fatal flaw. Not phonology, orthography, grammar or lexicon. And Sasxsek has it too. Every auxlang on this list does--though some are less affected. The flaw is that they are artificial. Eo is a fake language. Everyone Knows This. I've talked to people about it, and it's usually a fake language used by some fanatics who can't really understand each other in it, so at their conventions (kongresoj) they have to use English instead. I have tried to persuade these people otherwise. I might as well try to get a Nazi to kiss a Jew.

This is the great problem, and until it's solved, NOTHING else matters. All your dinking around with grammar and vocabulary is as relevant as hitting yourself in the face with a pie--and considerably less amusing. All that will happen is that people you approach will say, "Wow! It's a *multicultural* fake language. Too bad it's a fake."

How can the prejudice against artificial languages be overcome?
Second, leverage what you have. This means starting out with the evil euroclones, because nothing else will work, short of nuclear-based extortion. This is because you almost have to start with an at-sight language. Why? Remember what I said about popular views of Esperanto? "It doesn't work." This is related to everyone's fear of learning another language: I could never do that! Now, if you can't possibly learn a *real* language, you certainly couldn't manage a *fake* one. That's why at-sight is the easiest way--the thin end of the wedge. And it practically requires a "euroclone."

You see, if someone says Interlingua or Occidental is a fake language, you can show him a sample text. Okay, it's a fake language he can more or less understand. Yes, you say, but with a little study, he could understand it and use it actively, and he could reach others that way. If he can understand it at first sight, a lot of other people could too. Wouldn't that be cool? ("Coolness" is vitally important.) He could even communicate with people who don't know English! Why not try it online?

There are basically three responses:

1. "Well, that's interesting, but I have other things to do." Fair enough--and this will be a very common answer, no matter how diverse your design is. But at least you've demonstrated that an auxlang can work. With any luck, he has moved from cynicism or skeptism to mere apathy. If so, further movement is possible. Later on, he may be more open to the idea.

2. "Hey, that's cool! I'll try it!" And he does--for a few weeks or a month. Then
a new video game comes out, and he forgets about it. Again, very common. BUt if the language is all that easy, even a week or two will leave quite an impression. He may come back to it later, and his retention will probably surprise him. This is fairly positive.

3. "Hey, great! I could write novels, poetry, or even really cool comics in this language!" And he actually sticks with it and becomes a useful member of the community. He could even be a "Raumist" for the new language, but he will still contribute in some ways.

(In case you wonder, I'm not saying at-sight projects are the only way; they are just the easy way. They do have problems later on, though a moderate at-sight such as LFN could escape them. The point here is simply to overcome prejudice--and that is most easily done with an at-sight language. After the prejudice has been brought down, everything's open--and some of the natural advantages of schematic systems would become obvious.)

This is why I'm totally serious about trying to get Interlingua accepted as a working language by the EU. It could succeed in such a setting, and it would make conauxlangs respectable. It's also why the best thing Eists could do to hasten the Finvenko (or something like it) would be to support Interlingua now in a limited role. It has no chance of spreading to Asia, for the most part, and it would open the door for Eo by making auxlangs respectable. After all, if Interlingua ceases to be a fake language, Eo is even more credible. And other projects would also prosper.

So then, back to the subject. There's a new French-Interlingua dictionary and it's huge. Perfect for this "trying to get Interlingua accepted as a working language by the EU", because without a big enough French dictionary you really don't get any respect. Here's the official announcement and the download page from interlingua.com:

(English translation is mine)

Francese non solmente es un del grande linguas in le mundo. Illo anque es un del septe linguas que forma le fundamento de interlingua, le lingua auxiliar international.

French is not just one of the major languages of the world. It also is one of the seven languages that form the base of Interlingua, the international auxiliary language.

Tosto post le publication de interlingua per le International Auxiliary Language Association (IALA) in 1951 appareva le prime dictionario de interlingua pro francophonos. Alteres ha sequite. Ma illos ha omnes essite dictionarios limitate.

Soon after the publication of Interlingua by the International Auxiliary Language Association (IALA) in 1951 appeared the first dictionary of Interlingua for francophones. Others have followed. But they have all been dictionaries of limited scope.

Iste grande Dictionario Francese-Interlingua es le plus grande publicate usque hodie, e illo anque es inter le plus grande dictionarios de interlingua del toto. Con su circa 51.000 entratas, illo es un obra absolutemente necessari pro omne francophonos qui vole occupar se plus profundemente con interlingua in scripto e in conversation.

This large French-Interlingua Dictionary is the largest published up to now, and it also is one of the largest dictionaries of Interlingua of all. With its approximately 51,000 entries, it is a work absolutely necessary for all francophones who wish to involve themselves with Interlingua in further depth in writing and in conversation.

Le dictionario es le resultato de multe annos de labor per Piet Cleij, professor emerite de francese e vice-secretario del Union Mundial pro Interlingua (UMI). Piet Cleij ha laborate durante multe annos como lexicographo e ha publicate un longe serie de dictionarios, vocabularios thematic e listas con expressiones in interlingua. Ille es le co-fundator del Societate Interlingua-Nederland e prende parte in le labor del Commission Linguistic del UMI.

The dictionary is the result of many years of labour by Piet Cleij, professor emeritus of French and vice-secretary of the Union Mundial pro Interlingua (UMI). Piet Cliej has worked for many years as a lexicographer and has published a long series of dictionaries, thematic vocabularies and lists with expressions in Interlingua. He is the co-founder of the Interlingua Society in the Netherlands and takes part in the work of the Linguistic Commission of the UMI.

So once again congratulations on the huge dictionary and it's very nice to see this sudden piece of news. For a thread in Interlingua on the same topic, see this link.


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