Language policy in the FAR

The Federation of Asteroid Republics, usually known as the FAR, was originally an association of independent communities of space settlers – also referred to as “free settlers” by Lagrangian governments. And each individual community had its own language, depending on the ethnolinguistic composition of its population – popular languages in the FAR were English, Spanish and Dutch.

However, with the establishment of the federation there was a need for a common working language. Soon the framers of the constitution settled on an international auxiliary language as official language, but did not agree on which one. The three main options were Esperanto, Interlingua and Novial. None of which enjoyed a clear majority, nevertheless the supporters of the latter two were able through a clever voting strategy to eliminate Esperanto in an early stage.

Esperantists were furious, but were unable to do anything about it. Meanwhile the battle between the proponents of Interlingua and Novial became a fierce one. Eventually it was decided that both languages should receive an official status, but Novial would become the primary language. This because the supporters of Novial slightly outnumbered those who favored Interlingua.

Despite this compromise Novial soon became the dominant language in the country and in 2076 a constitutional amendment was passed which terminated the official use of the other language, though it was still a required subject at schools – until the 2091. Due to the rapid decline of Interlingua and the fact that outside the FAR Novial is rarely used, Novial has become associated with that country and its culture. And “Novialist” soon became an Elysian slang term to refer to FAR citizens and anarchists in general.

Nowadays most Novial literature is produced in the FAR, which is actively promoted by the authorities. Interlingua on the other hand is strongly discouraged, though not prohibited, whereas Esperanto is actively suppressed. This language is outlawed at schools and the public use of Esperanto is punished with fines.

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