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Speak a Little Volapük ? June 13, 2015

Posted by anagasto in language.
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Volapük was invented by Johann Martin Schleyer, a Catholic priest. In a dream God told him to create an international language, and so he did.

A 19th century school  painted by Albert Anker in public domain at Wikimedia.

According to Wiki, about 100 years ago there were an estimated 283 clubs, 25 periodicals and 316 textbooks. Today there are an estimated 20-30 Volapük speakers in the world.

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Sumolsöd stäni blodäla!

Dikodi valik hetobs;

Tönöls jüli baladäla ***

*** Volapük hymn calling for a single language as part of a sense of global brotherhood and peace : Volapüke kosyubobs, Vokobsöz ko datuval „Menade bal, püki bal!“

tn_265

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There was a lot of praise for it when it first hit the news more than 100 years ago .

voici volapük sans blague

“Si jamais une langue universelle a quelque chance de s’imposer au monde commercial, c’est assurément celle-là”

“If ever an artificial language were to become standard in the business world, it would surely be Volapük,” said the French , probably hoping it would not be English instead.

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300px-Brueghel-tower-of-babel

The Tower of Babel in public domain according to Wikimedia http://tinyurl.com/pkn4ql7


And ever so helpful the Germans joined in : “Wir erfahren, daß an leitenden Stellen in Deutschland der weltsprachlichen Bewegung mit Ernst und Teilnahme gefolgt wird.”

“We take due note that among opinion leaders the movement to create a world language is seen with empathic seriousness.”

The idea was simply to prevent English from becoming the global language.

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The term “Volapük” is also used in slang Danish and Russian to mean “nonsense” and “gibberish”.

In Esperanto, a rival constructed language, the expression “Tio estas volapukajo por mi” is sometimes used to mean “I can’t understand this” or “this is nonsense”.

Drawings by Raphael Wuensch

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Comments»

1. retroactively - July 29, 2010

Esperanto is simply one more example of Eurocentrism gone nuts. It isn’t international at all.

2. Bill Chapman - July 29, 2010

Sorry, Retroactively, I disagree. Esperanto has some European vocabulary, it is true, but it’s structure, with the use of affixes to alter the meaning of roots, is closer to Turkish. Indeed, Esperanto has been accused of not being European enough.

I’ve just returned from the 95th World Esperanto Congress held in Cuba. The language was used there with equal ease by, for example, Japanese, Bolivians, Brazilians and others. I have used Esperanto in Africa with people whose mother tongues are far from European. They have no difficulty at all with this planned language.

It’s time for you to learn Esperanto and start using it.

retroactively - July 30, 2010

I would rather learn Spanish or Russian. I think I could master Spanish, but Russian looks forbidding and is less useful in the short run. Esperanto is a dead end, a cul de sac.

3. Brian Barker - July 31, 2010

If Esperanto is a cul de sac, why are so many people interested !

I just googled the word Esperanto and receive 50 million hits.

No one interested ? Please get real. Also see http://www.ikso.net

cantueso - August 9, 2010

Your message landed in the spam collector.

Listen. The day I meet somebody who speaks Esperanto I will send you a bottle of the best Duero wine.

Esperanto is for English speakers who cannot think of something better to do.

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Speak a Little Volapük ? | C A P T A I N S


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