OTTO JESPERSEN

Comparative Texts

THE COMPARATIVE TEXTS give specimens of the chief auxiliary language systems of demonstrated usefulness. 1-6 are taken from IALA's Comparative Texts (Comparative Studies, series A, part VI, division 1). The original text is taken from a book by Prof. W. Ostwald Die Forderung des Tages ("The demand of the day"), Leipzig, 1910. IALA has carried on a number of different comparative linguistic studies under the direction of the Committee for Agreement.

A comparison of the various systems will bear out Jespersen's contention that they all have an unmistakable "family likeness."

[Note by the transcriber: The following texts were prepared by the IALA, and reproduced faithfully in Jacob's book. They provide a useful basis for comparison between the various interlanguages represented. However, whilst preparing the texts for the web, I found a number of errors and phrases which I would have translated differently. I have therefore, for the sake of accuracy, taken the unusual step of altering the texts in a few places. I have limited this to places where the translation is clearly wrong, and would therefore give a misleading impression. It should also be noted that the Ido text differs very slightly from current common usage, and that the Novial text represents, in general, the Orthographic language of 1934 onwards. JC]

1. ENGLISH2. ESPERANTO
The idea of a world literature, which Herder and Goethe conceived essentially from the point of view of art, has now gained even greater importance from the point of view of science. For, of the things that mankind possesses in common, nothing is so truly universal and international as science. Now all communication and propogation of science uses the means supplied by language, and so the internationality of science irresistably demands the internationality of language. If we consider that today numerous scientific works, particularly textbooks, are translated into twelve or more foreign languages, then we understand what an immense quantity of labour could be saved, if everywhere on the globe books could be as generally understood as, for example, musical notes or tables of logarithms. La ideo pri mondliteraturo, kiun Herder kaj Goethe konceptis chefe el la vidpunkto de la arto, akiris nun el la vidpunkto de la scienco multe pli gravan signifon. Char el la komunaj posedajhoj de la homaro, neniu estas tiel vere ghenerala kaj internacia kiel la scienco. Sed chiu komunikado kaj disvastigado de la scienco uzas la helpilon de la lingvo kaj tial la internacieco de la scienco nerezisteble postulas la internaciecon de la lingvo. Se ni konsideras, ke nuntempe kelkaj sciencaj verkoj, precipe lernolibroj, estas tradukitaj en dek du au pli da fremdaj lingvoj, tiam ni komprenas, kiom granda kvanto da laboro povus esti shparata, se libroj chie en la mondo povus esti tiel ghenerale komprenataj kiel ekzemple la muziknotoj au logaritmaj tabeloj.

As accents were unobtainable, the accented letter is followed by an `h' in this text.

3. IDO4. NOVIAL
La ideo pri mondo-literaturo, quan Herder e Goethe konceptis esence del vidpunto dil arto, ganis nun del vidpunto dil cienco mem plu granda importo. Nam del kozi, quin la homaro posedas komune, nula es tam vere universala ed internaciona kam la cienco. Or, omna komunikado e propogado dil cienco uzas la moyeno dil linguo, do la internacioneso dil cienco postulas nerezisteble la internacioneso dil linguo. Se ni konsideras, ke cadie sat multa ciencala verki, specale lernolibri, tradukesas aden dekedu o plu multa stranjera lingui, ni komprenas, qua enorma quanteso de laboro povus sparesar, se libri omnaloke sur la terglobo povus komprenesar tam generale, kam exemple muzikal noti o logaritmala tabeli. Li idee pri monde-literature, kel Herder e Goethe koncepted esentialim fro li vidpunctu del arte, ha nun ganat mem multim plu grand importanteso fro li vidpunctu del scientie. Den ek li coses kel li homaro posese comunim, nuli es tam verim general e international kam li scientie. Or omni comunico e mediatione del scientie usa li moyene del lingue, dunke li internationaleso del scientie demanda nonresistablim li internationaleso del lingue. Si nus considera ke disdi pluri sciential verkes, particularim lernolibres, es traductet en dekdu e plu multi stranjeri lingues, tand nus comprenda qui imensi quanteso de laboro povud bli sparat, si libres povud omnilok sur li globe bli comprendat tam generalim kam exemplim musical notes o tabeles de logaritmes.
5. OCCIDENTAL6. LATINO SINE FLEXIONE (INTERLINGUA)
Li idé pri mund-literature, quel Herder e Goethe hat conceptet esentialmen ex li vidpunctu del arte, ha nu gan'at ancor mult plu grand importantie ex li vidpunctu del scientie. Nam de omni comun possedages del homanité niun es tam vermen general e international, quam scientie. Ma omni comunication e transmediation del scientie usa li medie del lingue. Do li internationalità del scientie ínresistibilmen postula li internationalità del lingue. Si noi considera, que hodie pluri sciential ovres, specialmen libres de aprension, trova se traductet in decidu o plu foren lingues, tande noi comprende quel immens quantità de labor on vell economisar, si on vell posser comprender libres partú sur li glob sam generalmen quam por exemples notes e tabelles de logaritmes. Idea de literatura mundiale, que Herder et Goethe habe intellecto præcipue ex puncto de visu de arte, habe hodie acquisito, ex puncto de visu de scientia, sensu etiam majore. Nam, de commune possesiones de genere humano, nihil es tam generale et internationale quam scientia. Sed omne communicatione et propogatione de scientia ute auxilio de lingua, et ita internationalitate de scientia postula in modo irresistibile internationalitate de lingua. Si nos considera, que hodie plure opere scientifico, in particulare tractatus, es translato in duodecim vel plus lingua extero, tunc nos cognosce quale immane mole de labore pote es præservato, si libros, ubicumque in terra, pote es æqualiter intellecto in generale, sicut per exemplo notas musicale aut tabulas de logarithmos.

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