Las Adventures Des Inspector Cabillot

Matthew Reynolds writes:

Marani’s ability to see humour in his longing for a universal language has flowered in his creation of Europanto, a jovial, pan-European tongue which began in his office and spread to columns in Swiss and other newspapers, some of which have been collected inLas Adventures des Inspector Cabillot. This book does not need to be translated: Europanto is ‘der jazz des linguas. Keine study necessite, just improviste, und tu shal siempre fluente esse in diese most amusingante lingua.’ Take a framework of English word order, varied with the occasional Germanic inversion, and chuck in whatever vocabulary occurs to you from French, German, Spanish, Italian and occasionally Latin. Don’t worry too much about inflections. Europanto is more capacious than Miles Kington’s Franglais, and less exacting than Esperanto.

(LRB 8 November 2012)

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