Italian children can write their own language in grade 1 while French children struggle for another five years

Monday, November 09, 2009

That's a quote from the late Claude Piron, who wrote the following:

a) Esperanto isn't any easier for a non-European than any other European language

Making this assertion shows a lack of awareness of what makes a language easy or difficult. In Switzerland, the Italian-language students write their own language correctly at the end of grade 1, while young Francophones still don't write correctly at the age of 12 to 13. Why? Because the orthography of Italian is simple and coherent while that of French contains an impressive number of arbitrary forms that must be learned with the word, without which one is not able to know how to pronounce it. The fewer the details there are to memorize, the faster one progresses.

I didn't find this quote on that page though, but rather on this page from Wikipedia in French that mentions Italian orthography from M. Piron without any particular reference to Esperanto. Adding quotes from prominent linguists/translators/etc. that also promote IALs is a good way to indirectly promote the language, so Novial supporters for example would be well advised to find some good quotes from Otto Jesperson on various aspects of linguistics, as each of them results in a link to his page, which mentions that he was the creator of a language called Novial. Everybody wins.


Anonymous said...

Even with a doctoral degree which I obtained in the USA, having written my dissertation in English, I find English spelling difficult. I have to write journal articles and pieces for the classes I teach at the university, and I am everso happy to have spell checker! And even then, I catch myself making mistakes. On top of that, there are several variations of English spelling, according to which country one lives in! I find Esperanto MUCH easier to write, even though I haven't written as much in Esperanto as in English.

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