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I have to admit that it took me longer to reach a given level of competence in Interlingua than to reach the same level in Esperanto. Despite the claims of other Esperantists, I find Esperanto to be an ugly language (though useful); Interlingua is almost beautiful, in contrast (failing to be beautiful, perhaps, only because the individual character of each Romance language has been washed out of it). Where Esperanto is equally useful in speaking, listening, reading and writing, Interlingua is "asymmetric"--it has far more potential usefulness spoken than listened to, read or written. I have spoken it to Italians, Brazilians and (with a heavy French accent) Quebecois, and they all understood me (they were very amused, but they understood me), though, of course, when they answered me in Italian, Portuguese or French, I couldn't understand them.
I stumbled on it the Internet one day and it was so cool because I could understand it. Not everyday you discover you know another language! If you know a Romantic language (in my case, limited Spanish) then you know Interlingua. It was designed with that goal in mind. -- Eean

See also : Anarres

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