bartlett scribeva:If I were to try to speak coherent sentences in Interlingua, I would probably make a complete fool of myself.
I wouldn't worry too much about this. I'm certainly not the most eloquent of speakers myself. Among other things, I have a tendency to stutter (especially) when I speak interlingua. Generally, interlingua conversations tend to be a little slower than conversations in your own language, because most people are "rusty" (because we don't tend to voice chat so much). A couple of days into a conference, the pace starts to pick up!
bartlett scribeva:Many people who have been interested in (constructed) international auxiliary languages probably (very highly probably) have familiarity with Esperanto, and possibly even some degree of expertise in it. Whether we like it or not, Esperanto is the "300 kilo gorilla in the room" of conIALs.
Very true. But I don't think we should view the Esperantists as our competitors. In fact I think more collaboration and interaction with them could be very helpful for us, as I'm sure many of them would be interested in Interlingua. Of course, from a traditional Esperanto standpoint this might not necessarily be viewed as a positive thing!
bartlett scribeva:Being something of a "dabbler" in languages (to some degree or other I have studied French, Latin, classical Greek, and various conIALs, and have some familiarity with linguistics in general), I find that I tend to mix them up in my mind in a sort of hash. If I try to write anything in Interlingua, an Esperanto word or phrase pops into mind. If I try to write anything in Esperanto, sometimes Interlingua intrudes.
I had the same experience when I studied Esperanto (this was after I was already pretty fluent in Interlingua). A lot of Esperanto words started popping up in my Interlingua. But when I started spending less time on Esperanto again, things were soon back to normal.
When I try to speak German, a lot of Interlingua words sneak in. (I learned it in school, and haven't really spoken it much for 20+ years.)
I think it's natural that the language you are focusing on at one particular time will tend to intrude on other languages you use less frequently. I think it's just a question of "tuning in" to the language (using it actively for a while), and the other language will stop rearing its head, so to speak.
Once you get to be more or less proficient in both languages, I doubt it would be a problem.
bartlett scribeva:I speculate that others interested in the auxiliary language issue may have similar experiences, although the degree to which it is significant will obviously differ from person to person. That is in part why I wrote that I would probably make a fool of myself if I tried actually to speak Interlingua at all, as much as I highly esteem the language.
I wouldn't worry too much about this either. In fact, even people who have been using Interlingua actively for many, many years have been known to inadvertently use an Esperanto word (I'm not naming names).
bartlett scribeva:I suppose that I ought to pick one or the other and stick with it, seting the other gently and humanely aside.
I certainly don't think you need to put either language permanently aside! Maybe just choose which one to focus on at any given period?
bartlett scribeva:Yes, there can be usable modern tools, although some of us "older folks" might have trouble with them. (I have never used Skype and do not even know how it works.)
Based on the fact that you have your own website and are using this forum (which some seem to find an impossible task!), I can't imagine you having any problems with Skype!
bartlett scribeva:Also, there could be the matter of highly varying levels of ability. For example, I can read Interlingua fairly well, but except for a few programs of Radio Interlingua, I have never heard it spoken. (I have all of them, but have only listened to a few.) Even then I had serious trouble understanding the speakers. (As an older person with deteriorating hearing, I occasionally have difficulty understanding my native spoken English.)
I understand. This is of course a problem.
Anyway, if you did want to try to become more proficient in oral Interlingua, a useful intermediary step would be text chatting. There used to be regular Interlingua chats in IRC, and we even had a chat installed here at one point (but it was lost in a crash).
By the way, I hope you don't feel I am pressuring you into speaking Interlingua. If you prefer to use it only in writing, I of course completely respect your decision. I just wanted to comment on some of your points.