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148708.  Mon Feb 19, 2007 5:43 am Reply with quote

Gaazy wrote:
I forgot to mention that 'w driphlyg' (for www) is pronounced 'oo-driphlig', giving it three syllables as compared to the six required for the English pronunciation - or indeed nine, if you consider 'double u' to have three syllables.

I always say “W” instead of “WWW” because the “abbreviation longer than the full name” thing annoys me so much. It hasn’t caught on, though. I suspect people just think I’m afflicted with some sort of anti-stammer.

But from now on, I’m going to call it “Ooh-ooh-ooh (the funky gibbon)”.

148721.  Mon Feb 19, 2007 6:15 am Reply with quote

MatC wrote:
I always thought Denzil was a Welsh name?

It's Cornish, from the surname Denzell, originally a placename.

Cornish started to diverge from Welsh towards the end of the 7th century AD and the earliest known examples of written Cornish date from the end of the 9th century AD.

Z is a very common letter in Cornish, and also in Breton, the other language in the P-Celtic trio, but the letter isn't found in the Welsh alphabet - moreover the sound isn't part of the language either, which means, especially in North Wales, you will hear people,when speaking English, pronouncing all their zeds as esses (There'ss a sebra in the soo).

149933.  Wed Feb 21, 2007 11:47 am Reply with quote

You can read news for trades unionists in Esperanto here

156274.  Tue Mar 13, 2007 3:59 pm Reply with quote

Question: What's the point of learning Esperanto?

Forfeit: There's no point.

Answer: It's extremely useful if you want to learn another language.

If you learn Esperanto first, it makes learning other languages easier. In one of many studies on the subject, students who studied Esperanto for one year then French for three learned the language significantly quicker than those who studied French for four years.

Amekejo - almost an Esperanto state

After the Napoleonic war there was a neutral wedge of Europe to which Prussia and The Netherlands could not agree ownership due to an important zinc mine. After the Aachen Border Treaty, part of this wedge (the part with the zinc mine) was declared neutral territory, under the name Neutral Moresnet. In 1830, the Belgian revolution meant that swathes of southern Netherlands were ceded to this new country, but the Netherlands never officially transferred the governmental rights over Neutral Moresnet to Belgium. So effectively we had an area belonging to three countries.

Things continued as normal until 1886 when the zinc mine was exhausted and it became likely that the area’s neutrality would soon end. A GP called Dr. Wilhelm Molly moved to the area in 1863. He soon became a popular member of society due to his cheap rates and his work on eliminating cholera. In 1906 Molly met a French professor Gustave Roy and they decided to start an Esperanto State in the area called Amekejo (place of good friendship). In 1908 a great propaganda push began, a national anthem was composed, stamps were printed, a coat of arms and a flag were designed; many national newspapers reported that Amekejo had been founded.

The beginning of the end for Amekejo was WWI, the Germans invaded Belgium and the Prussians attempted to annex the territory. At the end of the war, the area was formally awarded to Belgium.

Hitler denounced Esperanto in Mein Kampf as a tool of Jewish world domination, and outlawed all Esperanto organizations.

156386.  Wed Mar 14, 2007 6:01 am Reply with quote

I suppose the obvious bit of general ignorance about Esperanto is - what was it invented for? In my experience, most people think it was intended to be an international language (which is why they think it’s a daft, idealistic idea), whereas in fact it’s meant to be a universal auxiliary language (which by contrast is an extremely practical, useful and easily achievable idea). Bet we’d catch a couple of panellists with that.

156394.  Wed Mar 14, 2007 6:25 am Reply with quote

Another use for Esp - getting a free holiday:

“The 2005 list of the Pasporta Servo, a service run by UEA's youth section, contains addresses of 1364 hosts in 89 countries providing free overnight accommodation to Esperanto-speaking travellers.”

156434.  Wed Mar 14, 2007 7:42 am Reply with quote

Esperanto also has another present-day use - the one it was invented for! Although the language-learning thing has come to overshadow it, the fact is that, for many generations now, there have been fluctuating numbers of people around the world who communicate in Esperanto, thus only needing one foreign langue each instead of needing to learn each of each others languages separately.

Radio originally gave the language a boost (it was especially big in the 1930s, before Hitler, Stalin and the CIA all took turns to take a hammer to it). Today, the internet seems to be having a similar (but potentially much greater) effect. After all, these days millions of us e-chat on a daily basis with people on two or three different continents, and think nothing of it ... provided they all speak enough English.

There are thought to be only around a thousand “native speakers” of Esperanto today; that is, people for whom Esp is their first language.

“The Universal Esperanto Association (UEA), whose membership forms the most active part of the Esperanto community, has national affiliates in 62 countries and individual members in almost twice that number. Numbers of textbooks sold and membership of local societies put the number of people with some knowledge of the language in the hundreds of thousands and possibly millions. There are Esperanto speakers all over the world, with notable concentrations in countries as diverse as China, Japan, Brazil, Iran, Madagascar, Bulgaria and Cuba.”

“More than a hundred international conferences and meetings are held each year in Esperanto - without translators or interpreters.”


156437.  Wed Mar 14, 2007 7:49 am Reply with quote

George Soros’ dad originally published his memoirs in Esperanto; they have since been translated into English.

156443.  Wed Mar 14, 2007 8:05 am Reply with quote

The more I look into it, the more I realise that there is an enormous amount of Esp going on ... I knew it was still alive, I didn’t realise it was quite so thriving. Anyway, we should be very careful not to give credence in the show to lazy misconceptions about its demise.

“Popular composers and performers, including Britain's Elvis Costello and the USA's Michael Jackson, have recorded in Esperanto, written scores inspired by the language, or used it in their promotional materials.”

“Several tracks from the all-Esperanto Warner Music album Esperanto, launched in Spain in November 1996, placed high on the Spanish pop charts.”

And I’m sure there’s fun to be had with this: “Music in Esperanto can be found on-line, including several sites devoted to Esperanto karaoke.”


156446.  Wed Mar 14, 2007 8:19 am Reply with quote

Numbers of textbooks sold and membership of local societies put the number of people with some knowledge of the language in the hundreds of thousands and possibly millions.

The problem is, that even with these figures, it's still pretty useless as a communication tool in my opinion. Unless you happen to stumble across an esperanto congress, you're pretty unlikely to find another esperanto speaker if you were, say, driving across Umbria.

If the language was invented so that one didn't need to learn a second language, then it's failed, because in 99.9% of situations, a foreigner still wont understand you unless you learn their language. OR SPEAK VERY LOUD AND S L O W L Y

156450.  Wed Mar 14, 2007 8:27 am Reply with quote

Yes, except that I’ve just invented this new thing called “the internet,” which - if I can only get it into production - would allow people in different countries to contact each other for the purpose of making travel arrangements. Early experiments suggest this might be an even more reliable method of contacting other esperantists than wandering around Umbria, or even Cumbria.

156455.  Wed Mar 14, 2007 8:33 am Reply with quote

OK, but if I randomly bump into a german on, there's still a pretty unlikely chance that (s)he speaks esperanto.

If esperanto was just a way of getting a small group of like-minded individuals together, then great (though I think we have klingon for that) but was it not supposed to be a universal thing to bring together mankind?

156458.  Wed Mar 14, 2007 8:48 am Reply with quote

Ah, I see what you mean - yes, it's intended to be taught in schools as the first foreign language. But you're confusing the campaign for a thing (such as general suffrage) with the effects of the completed thing (such as parliamentary democracy). You can't reasonably judge the success of the latter during the former.

156481.  Wed Mar 14, 2007 9:38 am Reply with quote

There's a very long history of telecommunications technology wiping out small languages, even ones that evolved naturally and were at one time quite widespread.

1181289.  Tue Mar 08, 2016 10:54 am Reply with quote

A viewer named D. Dobson MD, from Naperville IL, writes to offer a friendly correction: the Esperantist state mentioned above should be Amikejo.


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