ESPERANTO -- FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)

1. What is Esperanto?

  Esperanto is a language designed to facilitate communication among people of different lands and cultures. It was first published in 1887 by Dr. L. L. Zamenhof (1859-1917) under the pseudonym "Dr. Esperanto," meaning "one who hopes," and this is the name that stuck as the name of the language itself. Unlike national languages, Esperanto allows communication on an equal footing between people, with neither having the usual cultural advantage accruing to a native speaker.  Esperanto is also considerably easier to learn than national languages, since its design is far simpler and more regular than such languages.

Excerpts from the FAQ file

14  < < Simple  CONTENTS  Translate  Links  Events  Books  HOME  Scandal > >  Foot  16

2. How many people speak Esperanto?

  It is always difficult to measure the number of speakers of any language; it is rather like estimating the number of people who play chess.  Speakers of a second language vary widely in their competence and fluency.  The World Almanac, whose researchers actually conduct interviews with speakers, estimate about two million speakers worldwide.  This puts it on a par with "minority" languages like Icelandic and Estonian.  Of course, unlike these other languages, Esperanto is not the primary language for its speakers, although there are native speakers ("denaskaj parolantoj") of Esperanto who learned to speak it (along with the local language) from their parents.

3. What about textbooks?

  Among the newest American textbooks, probably the best is Richardson's Esperanto: Learning and Using the International Language.  It is available from ELNA and some libraries.  Joseph Conroy's Beginner's Esperanto is quite fun, and is readily available in many bookstores.

  Another book, the Esperanto entry in the "Teach Yourself ..." series of language primers, is a slightly stodgy but very useful introduction to the language.  The "Teach Yourself" book can sometimes be found in ordinary bookstores. There is also a "Teach Yourself" English/Esperanto two-way dictionary that is a very popular and handy reference.

  Another good, if a bit old-fashioned, textbook, Step by Step in Esperanto, has recently been reprinted and is available from ELNA.  Still another book recommended by more than one reader is Saluton! by Audry Childs-Mee.  This is entirely in Esperanto, with many pictures.  ELNA has recently published the Comprehensive English-Esperanto Dictionary which is profoundly useful for Esperantists at all levels.

ESPERANTO Green Star emblem

4. What is ELNA & what does it do?

  The Esperanto League for North America, Inc. is a non-profit organization whose primary purpose is to further education in, and dissemination of information about, the international auxiliary language Esperanto.  We have a bookstore with some 800 titles of books, ranging from instructional materials to poetry, from cookbooks to philosophy.  We also sell T-shirts, pins, postcards and the like.  Browse through our on-line catalog in the ELNA website: http://www.esperanto-usa.org

  ELNA members receive a discount on purchases.

  Members also receive two kinds of newsletters:

Esperanto-USA, a sixteen-page bulletin featuring news of the Esperanto movement in the U.S.A. and abroad; book reviews; articles about Esperanto's history, potential, linguistic theory &c.; lists of pen-pals.  About half in Esperanto, half in English.

ELNA Update,a four-page review of news about language problems in the world, with a focus on Esperanto as a solution. Entirely in English.

  Youth members also receive KTP! the newsletter of USEJ, the USona Esperantista Junularo.

  ELNA handles magazine subscriptions for the most important and popular Esperanto periodicals, which allows members to subscribe without having to pay the enormous banking charges associated with international payments.  ELNA also facilitates payments through the "Verda Banko" of UEA's giro-accounts.

  ELNA manages a ten-lesson free postal course in Esperanto.  At the end of the ten lessons, a student is able to read and write basic Esperanto, and with the help of a dictionary can read all but the most complex of texts. To receive the first lesson of the free course, send a request to: ELNA, P.O. Box 1129, El Cerrito CA 94530, United States of America. Or e-mail elna@esperanto-usa.org

  In order to sign up for the e-mail version of the ten-lesson free course, contact Marko RAUHAMAA Marko@iswest.net

  ELNA also offers a tape-and-workbook-based correspondence course.  Write for prices and details.

  If you would like to join ELNA, please fill out the following form and mail it to the above address with an appropriate check/cheque.

***********************

ELNA MEMBERSHIP FORM

Name: .............................................................................

Address: ..........................................................................

City: ................................................................................

Postal Code & Country: ...............................................................................

Phone: ...........................................................

Fax: ...............................................................

e-mail address: ............................................................

Amateur radio call: ......................................................

Birthdate: .....................................

  Please show the type of membership or support by an X in the appropriate brackets.  All memberships are on a calendar-year basis: Jan 1 - Dec 31. For items marked (*) we must have your birthdate.

  Note: Your address, telephone and fax numbers and computer network address will be published in the yearly membership list unless you indicate otherwise here:

Do NOT publish:   [ ] address    [ ] phone number    [ ] fax number    [ ] network address

Membership Categories

[ ] Individual.......... $30.00

[ ] Family.......... $45.00

[ ] Sustaining...... $60.00

[ ] Life (*)........ $600.00

[ ] Youth (*Under 27)..... $15.00

[ ] Limited Income.... $15.00

Other Forms of Support

[ ] Friend of Esperanto.... $10.00

[ ] Donation... $____________

Return this form with payment to:

Esperanto League for North America, P.O. Box 1129, El Cerrito CA 94530, United States of America.

***********************
If you need information not included above, please send a message to elna@esperanto-usa.org

  NATURE-LOVERS: Check out Pilger's dictionaries of names of mammals and of insects (in Linnaean order), or any of at least three dictionaries of computer terminology, at ftp.stack.urc.tue.nl:/pub/esperanto -- of the latter, if you have TeX and a laser printer, I recommend the latest version of Pokrovskij's book (1700+ definitions, with English and other equivalents, illustrated). -- Don Harlow

Don Harlow has an "Esperanto Access" linkpage at: http://www.webcom.com/~donh/esperanto.html


NEUTRAL LANGUAGE? Read about the danger of Eurocentrism at http://members.aol.com/~SylvanZ/gv17.htm

A political Esperanto Webpage is at: http://www.multiline.com.au/~georgist/skandalo.htm

Aspects of governments' attitudes to Esperanto, and some history of publications and radio broadcasts, may be found at: http://www.webcom.com/~donh/Esperanto/chap10.html

S@luton! the magazine of the Young British Esperantists, is at: http://www.gmrsystems.demon.co.uk/pauls/saluton/

The Virtual Esperanto-Library or Virtuala Esperanto-Biblioteko has many lists of handy Websites; click http://www.esperanto.net/veb/

Proverbs (rusa, pola, franca, kaj germana) by M.F. and L.L.Zamenhof are at: http://www.slav.helsinki.fi/tekst/proverbaro.html

And a Russian writer puts a viewpoint at: http://www.esperanto.mv.ru/Arkivoj/Lat1/Poezio/Juntarangxo.html

Enkodigxis per AOLPress/2.0™  kaj sendis al la TTT 24 Januaro 1999, laste reviziigxis 11 Novembro 2001
14  Supro ^ ^  < < Simpla  ENHAVO  Tradukoj  Kunigiloj  Okazajxoj  Libroj  HEJMO  Skandalo > >  16
DOKUMENTO 15: URL = http://www.multiline.com.au/~johnm/esperfaq.htm
With AltaVista™ one may translate about two A4 pages using English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, or Russian. Use Travlang for about 17 languages including Esperanto and Latin, but only one word at a time. For more Esperanto try the Richardson Vortaro.
Just World Campaign, 46 Cobine Way, Greenwood, WA, 6024, Australia. Tel [+61 8] (08) 9343 9532, Mobile 0408 054 319; john.massam@multiline.com.au