Globe European

Posted on in Politica e lingue 13 vedi

Globe & European


From: Don HARLOW <­>


Precedence: list

Post prokrastoj longa respektive mallonga, mi finfine pretigis leterojn

al la Globe de Toronto kaj la European de Londono. La duan mi jam

telekopiis al ili; la unuan mi printis, kaj sendos morgaux. Jen la

tekstoj. Komentoj estos bonvenaj.


In your editorial "English Everywhere" (Aug. 15), you mention that it is

"a shame that only a handful of people in sandals" can understand the

Esperanto-language Bible. Aside from the fact that none of the handful

of people in my household who can understand the Esperanto Bible wears

sandals, it seems unlikely that, absent a market of people who can

understand the book, the British and Foreign Bible Society would have

kept it in print and on the market for more than half a century, or that

a competing Esperanto translation of the Gospels would recently have

been published in and marketed from Brazil.

As to the number of speakers of English, your figure of "one third of

the world’s population" seems a bit exaggerated. That would be almost

two billion people. The largest figure I have seen quoted previously was

1.4 billion, and that was obtained through the devious process of adding

up the populations of all countries whose governments use English as an

official language rather than counting actual speakers. In fact, half

that number came from India alone, where lack of knowledge of English is

far, far more common than knowledge of the language. "The World Almanac

and Book of Facts" figure of five hundred million seems considerably

more realistic.

As to the children of today’s go-getters "taking Chinese" … no. "Your"

children will be taking Chinese. But I suppose that will be "their"

problem, not yours.


It is interesting to see, in "The European" of 23-29 September, Dr. Karl

Steiner repeating the same arguments used over the past century to

promote Volapu"k, Esperanto, Ido, Occidental, Novial, Suma, and more

than a thousand other constructed languages in support of his idea to

create a new European language "Euro", while at the same time quoting

the "failure" of all the mentioned planned languages.

It would be interesting to see Dr. Steiner’s definition of "failure".

Esperanto, spoken a little over a century ago by not so much as one

person, is today used by some two million people around the world

(figure from "The World Almanac and Book of Facts", 1994 edition),

despite its lack of support from any government or major international

institutionthis during a century when even "natural" languages without

such support have tended to wither and die on the vine.

Perhaps, however, Dr. Steiner is depending on the support of the

political and economic apparat in Brussels to enforce learning of

"Euro". I wish him luck. He will need it.


Esperanto League for N.A. (800) 828-5944 Esperanto

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