A Universal Auxiliary Language

“Ninth, a universal language shall be adopted and be taught by all the schools and institutions of the world. A committee appointed by national bodies of learning shall select a suitable language to be used as a medium of international communication. All must acquire it. This is one of the great factors in the unification of man.”

Reference: `Abdu’l-Bahā’, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 182.

The definition of “A Universal Auxiliary Language” is a common language that all people must have to reach the goal of the Oneness of Humanity.

`Abdu’l-Bahā says:
The question of diversity of tongues is a very difficult one. There are more than eight hundred languages in the world, and no person could acquire them all. The races of mankind are not isolated as in former days. Now, in order to be in close relationship with all countries it is necessary to be able to speak their tongues. A universal language would make intercourse possible with every nation. Thus it would be needful to know two languages only, the mother tongue and the universal speech. The latter would enable a man to communicate with any and every man in the world!

Reference: `Abdu’l-Bahā, Paris Talks, pp. 155–156.

Is the Principle of a Universal Auxiliary Language New?

The problem of an Auxiliary language has existed ever since antiquity when people with different languages had engaged in trade with each other. Nicholas Olster’s Empires of the World: A Language History of the World, manifests great insight into this topic. Every empire would promote the language of their interest among the lands they conquered to communicate efficiently with the new peoples and citizens. Persian, Greek, Arabic, and English are just a few of the languages that had served this purpose throughout history. An auxiliary language has always been a necessity of communication and has been addressed by different methods worldwide.

In modern times, because of advances in communication and transport, a great interest has been shown in a universal auxiliary language. In the early nineteenth century, many such languages were created and were being promoted. One of the earliest of these languages was called Communicationssprache, and was created by Joseph Schipfer and published in 1839. Subsequently many other auxiliary languages were introduced the most important ones being Universalglot in 1868, Volapuk in 1879, and Esperanto in 1887. Except for Esperanto, which under very optimistic estimates has at most 2 million adherents, none of these languages gained popularity.

Thus, the need for an auxiliary language is neither a creation of Baha’is, nor a necessity that other groups had not thought of before

Courtesy: Twelve Principles – A Comprehensive Investigation on the Bahai Teachings


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