Esperanto Language Blog

The World’s Most Expressive Language Posted by on Mar 25, 2009 in Esperanto Language

Some critics of Esperanto have scoffed at the idea that a man-made language could possibly convey feeling, emotion, or “soul.” Perhaps they think that vortoj can only mean something if they have evolved out of centuries of human usage; if their linguistic roots express a rich tradition of language and the culture that uses it.

[vorto = word. See “vortaro” (dictionary) and “vortolisto” (word-list).]

Granted, Esperanto has no definitive “culture” behind it, since it has no official country of origin. However, I contend that no language on Earth can be more expressive than Esperanto. Our favorite second language can indicate a huge amount of spirito without being too confusing for readers or listeners.

Recall that Esperanto codes its words. All nouns end in -o, all adjectives end in -a, adverbs end in -e, and all infinitive verbs end in -i. Due to this system, any root word can become all parts of speech simply by changing the end letter. I suspect any poetoj in the audience are beginning to see what I mean!

(poeto = poet. What could poeti and poeta and poete mean, then?)

In English, it would be absurd to say that the sky “blues,” even though Russian essentially says the same. Similarly, a Russian speaker might think that something cannot “be blue.” Yet Esperanto assimilates both of these perfectly:

La cxielo bluas. La cxielo estas blua.

(cxielo = sky. blu- = blue.)

In what other language could you effortlessly mold a word to suit any purpose? Think of how much more you can convey by changing the way you conventionally envision a word!

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  1. Eugene Carmelo:

    Yes, I agree that Esperanto is quite expressive. But any language could be equally expressive as Esperanto. Expressiveness is just a matter of maneuvering words within the limit of the language’s grammar to convey emotion and soul.

    Anyway, the Ilocano language, the natural lingua franca of Northern Luzon, Philippines, can express the sky “blues” too. Here it goes: Umasul diay tangatang. or Bumalbag diay tangatang.

    Analyzing the sentence.
    -um- is a verbal affix
    asul or balbag means blue
    diay is a definite absolutive case marker
    tangatang means sky.

    Compare the sentence above with this: Agbalbalin nga asul diay tangatang.
    agbalbalin means is becoming
    nga connects the words agbalbalin and asul
    asul means blue
    diay is the case marker
    tangatang means sky.

  2. Aleks:

    Hi, I’m not sure that Esperanto is the best according th this point of vieuw, simply because it’s not proved.

    But we can assume that Esperanto is the *second* language that permit *the most rapidly* to access a level of knowledge that permit to express a great variety of thing *with a minimum effort*. Even this can be questionnable, because other constructed languages can claim to be also like this or even more efficient.


  3. Brad:

    I like Esperanto, but could you not make the same arguments with other agglutinative languages (agglutinative = very regular grammar shaped by affixes)?

  4. Commentor:

    In Chinese, you can also say “the sky blues” and “the sky is blue”. You can use “blue” as noun, verb, adjective or adverb because parts of speech aren’t defined. You can connect characters to get metaphors of which Chinese has innumerous.