English is the language here

Maybe? Linguists do love to experiment on small children.

I studied Esperanto years ago. Although its aim is to be second language ( I leave my mother tongue, you leave yours and we speak a common neutral second language), there are people who speak their children in esperanto so they are native bilinguals.

… That is curious and quite rare. A simple check at Esperanto - Wikipedia shows that even after 140 years less then 200k people speak Esperanto. Once, long ago when I was young and much more naive I really liked the idea of Esperanto, but now I see it highly unlikely that it will ever amount to more then a curiosity.

Some gathered data:

English has 400M (native) + 750M (L2) + 700M (foreign) = 1.8G people understanding it.
English language - Wikipedia

Spanish goes to around 700M in total, but it is much less spread among the “non native” speakers.
Spanish language - Wikipedia

Chinese is quoted as around 1.4G people
Chinese language - Wikipedia

With that, the number of people understanding English is larger then even Chinese and it is already the closest to a de facto standard we will probably ever have. Combined with the complications with “foreigners” with learning Chinese (speaking and reading / writing) it seems highly unlikely that Chinese will ever take over, unless the Chinese win world war three, but I hope they also realize in time that it is unwinnable.

My native language is Dutch, and I started reading English books when I was around 14 years old. I have always liked reading books, and even then I realized that when I started reading in English, I’d do two tings at once. Having a nice past time with the reading, and improving my English. A few years later I got interested in Electronics, There were Dutch study books about electronics, but databooks (real paper ones back then) were all in English, and later the Internet happened…

A similar thing was maybe once said about Greek or Latin. This languages where a de facto standards 2000 and a few 100 years ago.

No not true. What I understand from Greek language (Wikipedia) It’s not gone far beyond greece, but people around there wrote on clay tablets so it survived. Latin (Wikipedia) was wider spread, around the Mediterranian Sea and south part of Europe, but it did not even reach into Denmark.

Back then it was also hardly relevant. You had to be rich to have a horse and have the time to go riding on it (instead of growing your own food, over 50% of people were farmers back then). Books were also very rare and hand written. Maybe there were no books at all, just short documents and scrolls. Gutenberg is credited with inventing the printing press. But I think what he did is more like combining already existing techniques and making it practicable and cheap for mass production. Even back then people were standing on the shoulders of the giants before them. (He did need (and collect) a lot of money from investors to realize his Ideas, maybe I’ll read up on more of the details some day).

And with today’s global communication networks and volume of accessible documents and holidays on the other side of the dirt ball, compatibility is more important than change. It’s just like QWERTY versus Dvorak. Typing in Dvorak may be more efficient, but QWERTY (or AZERTY in Belgium) keyboards or close variants are spread worldwide, and changing just for the small efficiency boost is just not worth it for the vast majority of people, and people for who it is very important probably have completely different keyboards such as some form of a Chorded Keyboard (Wikipedia) in which multiple keys are depressed at the same time to form characters or even vowels that combine multiple letters. With such typing systems, typing can keep up or be faster then spoken language, and therefore Dvorak will always stay a niche application of keyboards.

I toyed with the idea of learning Esperanto for travel many years ago. Problem is you are unlikely to meet another speaker unless you make prior arrangements to meet. And I don’t like being constrained in my itinerary. It’s useless for daily communications. So instead I learnt a few Romance and Germanic languages. The second and subsequent are easier once you have learnt the first in a family. Haven’t got round to the Slavic family, not to mention the outliers like Hungarian, Finnish and Basque. Probably never will, vita brevis.

And of course translators are great. I used Google Lens to confirm that the Hungarian drink I was looking at buying was sugar free. :joy_cat: