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Ido: a reform of Esperanto?

by kannouteki_neko, May 22, 2005

Messages: 16

Language: English

kannouteki_neko (User's profile) May 22, 2005, 12:51:55 AM

I wish more people conversed on this forum, I can't seem to find any others either, its a shame. Anyway:

Anyone have any thoughts on the use of Ido versus Esperanto?

The constructed language of Ido is supposed to be a reformed version of Esperanto, greatly simplifying even further the language, by eliminating some of the semi-complex grammar structures of Esperanto. I'm intrigued by this and wonder why, if Esperanto was to proveed to truly being a "simple, international language, easy to learn", why do people continue to press upon it complex grammar.

Such as objects.. for instance: La knabo vidas la hundon (The boy sees the dog). The object (dog) ends in an 'n' because it is a direct object.. why not eliminate this? All it does is confuse people really, although the idea of direct objects may seem simple to some, to others grammar is complex to learn and picking out the direct object is not always easy in order to end it in 'n'. So I don't see why the 'n' isn't pretty much eliminated from the language. I understand that the idea is to identify the object so that the word order can be mixed up (La hundon vidas la knabo, is the same translation as the sentence above because you can still pick out the direct object), but this in itself is pretty complex, and not universal within the language itself. It causes people to have to search sentences for the proper meaning.

In fact, the majority of languages stress a word order that you can't just mix up at your own leisure. It seems far more constructive to simply say "the language will proceed with "subject, verb, object" and that is how you will know what is what. The words cannot be re-arranged." This way there are no special endings required and no word orders to listen for.  Some people brag that Esperanto is free from word order, but still others say that a language *should* have a word structure and becomes less complex when there is only one possible form of a sentence that everyone must use. This seems logical.. instead of everyone putting a sentence together however the heck they want and letting other people try to listen for the proper endings to denote the parts of speach, many think it makes far more sense to just have a set word order that can never be changed and can never be misinterpretted.

Ido also changes small things such aas pluralized endings (from adding a "j" which sounds like an english 'y' to begin with, to replacing the final letter with a simple "i".. for instance, in Esperanto, Libro is book and Libroj is books. In Ido, Libro is book, and Libri is books. It could be considered a more simple sound actually by many.) In this case, the infinitive of the verb in Ido is actually -ar (havar) instead of -i in Esperanto (havi) since the 'i' is a pluralized ending in Ido.

I believe Ido also eliminates the need for any accentation like Esperanto contains. It would seem easier to have no accents which inflict a new "sound" on the same letter, s compared to sx, than simply to use 's' and 'sh'.

And at the same time, this is actually a large debate in the world about the ability to gain an international language: the fact that although some consider Esperanto, or Ido, to be "the simplest language to learn", the fact remains that every single person in the world may not see it this way. For some, accentation is complicated, for others its natural. Its all subjective.

Ido is also considered to be a higher form of Esperanto in that esperanto is an ugly looking and sounding language. 

Anyway, in concludion. Ido and Esperanto have a huge vocabulary in common, except that Ido claims to be an even easier language to learn and a better candidate for a worldwide language.

I'm wondering what people think about this? If anyone here has heard of Ido, what made them choose to support Esperanto over Ido? What kind of differences do people see between the two languages? At the end of the day, if there is to ever be a truly universal language sprung from one of these, either Esperanto must die or Ido must die. What makes anyone think that the more complex language (Esperanto being slightly more complex than Ido) would survive? Either that or the two languages would have to be merged into one perhaps.

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piteredfan (User's profile) May 22, 2005, 1:17:04 AM

I've not attempted to learn Ido, but one difference I noticed from Esperanto was in the question of gender the -ino ending. Ido is more politically correct, in that there is a masculine ending as well as a feminine one, but that's one more suffix to learn.

Peter Redfarn

kannouteki_neko (User's profile) May 22, 2005, 1:39:58 AM


I love Esperanto except as of late not too far into my new lease on studying the language, I've found some *extremely* complex grammar structures that I've been racking my brain to remember, and I had wondered if the same complexities exist in Ido as well, mainly the problems with a large number of affixes. For instance, goes through quite a number of them, such as participle suffixes and what not.

Here's another site:

I think many people who are drawn into Esperanto under the pretense that it is a super easy language to learn are eventually turned off by the fact that there is actually a lot still to remember, and several complex grammar forms to get into for a full grasp of the language, unless you want to be talking in simple sentences all your life (I see the cat. The cat ran. I chased the cat. The end... brings me back to early grade school)

I had wondered if anyone had any extensive experiences with Ido, if the grammar concepts are the same and if as many affixes exist as in Esperanto.

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Machjo (User's profile) May 22, 2005, 1:34:36 PM

I had chosen to elarn Esperanto for chiefly pragmatic reasons.  Certainly the most attractive language in the world today for apragmatist would probably English, whereas most of us who should choose to elarn Esperanto must have at least some idealist streak somewhere deep down inside.  But if we should look at it along a spectrum, it would seem to me that Ido is even furthur down the idealistic line.  I believe in the principle of a universal auxiliary language (perhaps that's my idalistic side revealing itself), but don't necessarily support any particular language for the task, and so chose to learn Esperanto in the belief that it had the best chance, all things considered, to prove to the world that such a language can work.  Once that's done, then we could start looking at which language would be best (I suppose that's my pragmatist nature talking).  So in the end, I concluded that if I had to choose either Esperanto or Ido (after all, learning Chinese, Arabic and Persian don't leave me much time left to be learning much else), I chose Esperanto.  Though I can certainly understand why some people, if they do have more free time than I do, would want to learn other planned languages.

kannouteki_neko (User's profile) May 22, 2005, 6:21:44 PM

Good points, I had a similar pattern of thinking when I came into Esperanto.

And don't get me wrong, I'm no slacker; I'm not afraid of learning a language that may be a complex one, and of course Esperanto is far far from the complexities of many languages and is definately "easy" on the comparitive scale to native languages if not to other conlangs. As you, I'm learning several other languages as well (French and Vietnamese among them) which doesn't leave me much time and I chose Esperanto as the auxiliary language I wanted to learn because I did think it had the best shot at succeeding after taking in all the factors.

I sometimes wonder though if in the end languages like Esperanto and Ido will end up combining their structures down the road for a common purpose since they both stem from a similar source, but only time will tell about that.

And of course, all languages I believe have their challenges, including conlangs. While esperanto professes "no irregular verbs", there are many affixes to memorize which are designed to expand Esperanto's vocabulary. Another language may be able to profess "not as many affixes" even though they have some irregular verbs.. French for instance has a finite number of irregular verbs, and once you learn the irregulars then the rest are all regular. English has a horrifying amount of irregular verbs, although a native english speaker may not even realize that. In vietnamese, the verb often never changes but other parts of the language are extremely complex.

So there are pros and cons to everything I suppose. No matter what languages we choose to learn we could in theory spend ages comparing all the languages to one another in structure, vocabulary, grammar, etc. Although I wonder what this means for conlangs in the end.. I think that if any conlang would make it into the truly international spotlight that it would be nothing less than scrutinized to the end to deem it worth of international promotion.

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kannouteki_neko (User's profile) May 23, 2005, 9:42:47 PM

Good points ridulo.gif

I'm basically just bringing up general objetions people may be able to say when they compare the two languages, it helps me figure out what to tell other people when they ask me the same thing (and I have been asked already). Its too bad there wasn't a bigger more active forum out there somewhere to discuss the language in depth, I would love to see more debates about the issues because by debating we really get to see how Esperanto stands up against critique and we can strengthen our own resolve to learning and promoting the language, because there is a *lot* of criticism about the language out there and sometimes its hard to know how to respond.

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kannouteki_neko (User's profile) May 24, 2005, 1:09:38 AM

I live in Canada and I agree with your assessment that English is simply just rediculous. Anyone learning English as a second language knows how terrible this language really is, native English speakers don't always realize it.

And I know what you mean about tonal languages. I married into a Vietnamese family, and Vietnamese being a tonal language, wow is it ever a challenge to learn if you don't grow up speaking it, I can never get the tonal adjustments right.

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Eujensc (User's profile) May 24, 2005, 8:45:04 PM

To justify the use of -n endings:

Independently of a learner's prior known languages, marking the accusative part of a sentence with 'n' makes things easier to understand. In English and most European languages, the subject and object are differentiated by their positions in a sentence relative to the verb. In Esperanto, they are differentiated by the presence of 'n'.

This feature exists in some national languages. In Japanese, the direct object is marked by the superceding particle "wo". "Hundo" in Japanese is "Inu", and "Hundon" is "Inu wo".

The reason this system makes grammar easier is because it eliminates the need to use complicated restructing techniques in order to reorganise a sentence.

Esperanto: "Mi amas vin." English: "I love you."

Esperanto: "Vin mi amas." English: "It is you who I love."

Esperanto: "Vin amas mi." English: "You are loved by me." (very ugly sentence)

Furthermore, it helps clarify additional clauses.

Esperanto: "Mi amas vin, ne tiu viro." English: "I love you, not that man." (That man does not love you)

Esperanto: "Mi amas vin, ne tiun viron." English: "I love you, not that man." (I do not love that man)

I don't know much about Ido, but this aspect of grammar is one which places me firmly in favour of Esperanto. Using word order constraints not only makes the language harder but also drags it further back towards its European roots instead of making it accessible to the world.

mgayoub (User's profile) May 28, 2005, 6:17:28 PM

A $tense infinite? Interesting...

pinto (User's profile) June 1, 2005, 10:29:27 PM

"While I'm on the subject, if you had enough money, could you buy a permanant chunk of the US away and make it your own country?(Say for....300 billion dollars) "

Well, you can purchase *land* thats *for sale* ridulo.gif hehe. But I know thats not what you mean. As far as I know, purchasing a huge chunk of the United States or Canada or what have you, can't be done. Best you can do with your 300 billion is to buy up people's houses and land in an entire area and make it your own area, but I do not believe you could make it your own country. It would require nothing less than an act of God on that one, I can't see the US of all places allowing a piece of their United States to go out and form their own country, heh.

In Canada, this is exactly what Quebec is trying to do.. or has tried to do twice in the past anyway. They want to separate from the union of canadian provinces and become an independent land of their own. To do this, they need a clear majority vote in a referendum. There have been two such referendums so far and there was *just* under 50% of the province who voted in favor of seperation. Thus they cannot seperate.

If they ever succeed in a referendum? Then they have the option to seperate, but it would be a LONG hard road to complete independence. They could no longer share Canadian money, social institutions (medical, social, educational, etc.), etc etc etc.. they would be building a whole new system of their own from the ground up. That ain't easy.

I'm not sure what the United States' policy is if any state wanted to seperate from the union. The president would have to recognize a referendum vote I'm assuming.. and I just don't see that happening okulumo.gif

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