Globe & European
From: Don HARLOW <email@example.com>
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
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.
Don HARLOW firstname.lastname@example.org
Esperanto League for N.A. email@example.com (800) 828-5944