On Friday 23 February 2001 23:44, Kevin Smith wrote:
> Brent Rowland wrote:
> >XML excels at being the esperanto of data formats.  In itself, it may or
> > may
>
> Ok. I've been waiting for an excuse to mention
> Esperanto, so I'll take this even though it's a
> stretch.
>
> I was wondering if Esperanto is popular enough in
> Japan that it might serve as an intermediate step
> in translating Ruby docs from Japanese to other
> languages.
>
> Are there Japanese folks who can write Esperanto
> better than English?
>
> Also, would it help make the information more
> accessible to people who don't speak English OR
> Japanese?
>

One of the reasons Esperanto did not really catch on was the fact that it was 
very oriented to the European branch of linguistics. Essentially, Esperanto 
(derived from espero or hope) combined vocabulary from Spanish, Italian , 
English, French, etc. I believe there was some German included but (and I 
will have to check this) the Asian languages were essentially ignored.

There was also Basic English, essentially a simplified and reduced English 
vocabulary, which also did not really catch on, possibly due to the 
"English-centric" nature or possibly from the fact that it (and for the most 
part Esperanto and other "universal language" attempts) for the most part 
addressed vocabulary and not construction, which is an equally significant 
aspect of language.

Best bet is for someone fluent in Japanese and functional in English to 
translate the documentation (ditto for other languages) and then native 
speakers of these other languages can do any polishing necessary.

Or, just say to hell with the docs and everyone become fluent in Ruby! :-)

Regards,

Kent Starr
elderburn / mindspring.com

PS a recent version of Open Source magazine had some interesting reading on 
code as literature. :-)