Lack of an acceptable universal language

Other Names:
Lack of an international language
Lack of universal artificial language
Linguistic parochialism of artificial languages
No language, including artificial or auxiliary languages, has achieved universal acceptance, thus exacerbating the problems and costs of communication, especially in international exchanges.
There are several obstacles to any artificial language:< (a) Semantic differences: Words do not have meanings that can be neatly broken down into components or that are exactly equivalent to each other. Speakers of different languages may translate their mother tongue words into an artificial language, but this does not necessarily mean that they understand each other any better. The figurative, idiomatic and connotative uses of words will differ.

(b) Linguistic bias: Most efforts to produce an artificial language are based on western Indo-European languages and this is a barrier to speakers of other language groups. Many such languages exhibit linguistic parochialism.

(c) Identity: One of the chief functions of language is to express cultural identity. Universal languages do not articulate and respect differences in identity.

Many who are sympathetic to the idea of a universal language are discouraged by the fervour of advocates of particular candidates, whether English or Esperanto, and the social, cultural and political implications of any choice.

Several hundred attempts at designing artificial languages have been recorded. Most recent attempts include: Volapuk, Esperanto, Idio Neutral, Latino Sine Flexione, Ido, Occidental, Novial, Intefglossa, Interlingua, and Glosa, of which the most widely known is Esperanto.
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 10: Reduced InequalityGOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions
Problem Type:
F: Fuzzy exceptional problems
Date of last update
01.01.2000 – 00:00 CET