The English language has been expanding its reach since…I’m no expert, but certainly long before those Mayflower men hit an American rock. Recently, English has made inroads in post-Soviet Russian. In Estonia meanwhile, everyone’s so busy learning English that they have forgotten that they are right next to Mother Russia. Then there’s Sol Steinmetz, a man of many tongues. Several decades ago, he was a boy of many tongues: he learned Hungarian, then Yiddish, then Spanish, then English. He still speaks all those other languages – and a couple more – but he feels most comfortable speaking English.
There are, of course, global rivals to English – Chinese, Spanish, French – but Esperanto is most assuredly not such a rival. Now there’s a new Esperanto for the text messaging generation. Someone in our newsroom said it should be called Textperanto. Alas, no: its name is NOL. That’s this week’s podcast. Listen to it here.