Interlingua - History - Success, Decline, and Resurgence

Success, Decline, and Resurgence

An early practical application of Interlingua was the scientific newsletter Spectroscopia Molecular, published from 1952 to 1980. In 1954, Interlingua was used at the Second World Cardiological Congress in Washington, D.C. for both written summaries and oral interpretation. Within a few years, it found similar use at nine further medical congresses. Between the mid-1950s and the late 1970s, some thirty scientific and especially medical journals provided article summaries in Interlingua. Science Service, the publisher of Science Newsletter at the time, published a monthly column in Interlingua from the early 1950s until Gode's death in 1970. In 1967, the powerful International Organization for Standardization, which normalizes terminology, voted almost unanimously to adopt Interlingua as the basis for its dictionaries.

The IALA closed its doors in 1953 but was not formally dissolved until 1956 or later. Its role in promoting Interlingua was largely taken on by Science Service, which hired Gode as head of its newly formed Interlingua Division. Hugh E. Blair, Gode's close friend and colleague, became his assistant. A successor organization, the Interlingua Institute, was founded in 1970 to promote Interlingua in the US and Canada. The new institute supported the work of other linguistic organizations, made considerable scholarly contributions and produced Interlingua summaries for scholarly and medical publications. One of its largest achievements was two immense volumes on phytopathology produced by the American Phytopathological Society in 1976 and 1977.

Interlingua had attracted many former adherents of other international-language projects, notably Occidental and Ido. The former Occidentalist Ric Berger founded The Union Mundial pro Interlingua (UMI) in 1955, and by the late 1950s, interest in Interlingua in Europe had already begun to overtake that in North America.

Beginning in the 1980s UMI has held international conferences every two years (typical attendance at the earlier meetings was 50 to 100) and launched a publishing programme that eventually produced over 100 volumes. Other Interlingua-language works were published by university presses in Sweden and Italy, and in the 1990s, Brazil and Switzerland. Several Scandinavian schools undertook projects that used Interlingua as a means of teaching the international scientific and intellectual vocabulary.

In 2000, the Interlingua Institute was dissolved amid funding disputes with the UMI; the American Interlingua Society, established the following year, succeeded the institute and responded to new interest emerging in Mexico.

Read more about this topic:  Interlingua, History

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