Skeptic: It has never been done before. All previous attempts to establish an
artificial language have failed.
Peoplese: With this attitude, no progress will be
made. Before the first one, an arrowhead
had never been attached to a stick, a land vehicle would not move unless pushed
or pulled by a mammal, a rocket had never soft-landed on our moon, and people
could not talk and see each other while on opposite sides of the planet.
Skeptic: Historically, international languages are
spread by economic and military powerhouses.
England colonized territories around the globe, and now USA is the top
dog. So now English is the default
Peoplese: True, historically lingua francas have been
spread by powerful nations such as England, Spain, France, and Portugal. But
thanks to the transportation and communications revolutions, we live in a
transformed, much more unified world. In
hundreds of ways, the old models no longer apply. These days, there is no reason to believe
that the next lingua franca might originate from the ethnicity producing the
most entertaining movies.
Skeptic: Someday the economic powerhouse will be
China. So we can expect the next
international language to be Chinese.
Peoplese: No, because Chinese, as a tonal language with
relative few sounds (thus many synonyms), and no alphabet (thus scant relation
between sound and print, which therefore must be memorized separately), is much
too difficult for non۔native Chinese speakers to learn, except for the relatively
few students who are linguistically talented or exceptionally dedicated.
Skeptic: Although English has thousands of exceptions
to general rules (“told” instead of telled”), and it’s spelling differs
substantial from it’s sounds (“ate” and “eight” are pronounced identically),
spell-correction software solves the problem by automatically correcting
spelling on the devices on which we typewrite.
Peoplese: Yes, but some two billion children are
currently trying to learn these weird spellings. To learn good (but still far from perfect)
English requires, for most people, at least nine years. To learn perfect Peoplese requires, for most
people, two years. Learn the Peoplese’ general
rules, memorize its root words, learn its 120 or so fixed-meaning suffixes and
prefixes, and you are good to go.
Peoplese has no irregular spellings, and only four irregular verbs.
Skeptic: Translation software is constantly
improving. We can speak into a device in
our language, and the output will be in the language we select. Thus, two people who don’t speak the same
language can communicate. So why spend
enormous time and money learning another language?
Peoplese. True, people who don’t speak the same
language can communicate, as long as both are in proximity of an expensive
pre-programmed electronic device. Handy
for office workers and, to a lesser extent, telephone callers. Possible for travelers arranging necessities
such as transportation, shelter, even ordering food. For business transactions, this is a
functional option. But not at all the
same as being able to communicate with others in a common language – as all
foreign travelers know.
Skeptic: English is already the default international
language, with which billions of peoples (to one extent or another) are able to
communicate. We don’t need another
Peoplese: Peoplese is 100% comprehensible to English
speakers. And English speakers can
continue to speak English, which is generally comprehensible to Peoplese
speakers. (A Peoplese speaker may,
however, need to ask an English speaker what she means by “sold”, if the
English speaker did not use the Peoplese word “sell۔d”.)
Skeptic: A constructed (artificial) language is
arbitrary. Every linguist will have a
different opinion. Who is to say that a
word should be this, and not that?
Peoplese: Excellent point. The issue is legitimization. Who are the arbitrartors of any language? – the
writers of literature in that language. Not
the linguists and philologists – they are mere analysts. Not the dictionary compilers; lexicographer par
excellence Noah Webster attempt۔d to reform English spelling, by replace۔ing
for example “although” with “altho”, but he failed. Peoplese is legitimized in hundreds of
fiction stories written exclusively in Peoplese.