Saturday, November 29, 2008

5. Professor Mario Pei, from books to the web

In the 1960's and 1970's the easiest way to hear about Esperanto in English (in the USA) was through the works of Columbia University Professor Mario Pei. I was fortunate enough to meet him at his home in 1971. (Neil)
About Esperanto and International Language :"One language for the World and how to achieve it" http://miresperanto.narod.ru/biblioteko/pei.htm by Mario Pei (Univ. Columbia)
http://www.esperanto-chicago.org/jones/pei.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mario_Pei
Posted by Henri Masson on 11/28/2008 @ 01:37AM PST

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Miami Book Fair and Esperanto

I took the two hour trip by bus and three trains from Sunrise to Downtown Miami. (The last train isn't essential-The Metromover- I could have walked the half mile.) The Goal: to distribute 50 informational flyers on Esperanto at the 25th annual Miami Book Fair. This weekend is the Street Fair part of the week long series of lectures by well-known authors at Miami Dade College.
Upon arriving at 11:45 AM, students, perhaps highschoolers, perhaps college students, marched through the street-fair with bands.
The first booth that caught my eye was an author ofa part comedic book on the mixture of Spanish and English. Yes the book is called Spanglish by Bill something or other. I will look it up later.
I brought food and a dozen books and magazines to show, if possible, but I was hopeful that the Spiritists, mostly of Brazil, would let me store my stuff. They had a large booth. Roberto Cabraz (of Fortaleza) , spoke a sentence in Esperanto, told me he studied a few years ago and was out of touch. Three other Brazilians and a Peruvian were eager to talk in Portuguese. Fortunately for me they were not being overwhelmed by buyers so we got to know eachother. Eleuz, Almir, Aldrin (the Peruvian). Another female spiritist was also volunteering. One of my larger albums with pictures from a dozen Brazilian cities convinced them that I knew their native country like few natives. They were kind, attentive and liked me talking to them in Portuguese. The main question is will I understand them? So, so I think. (http://www.spiritist.com/) rcabraz@hotmail.com
Roberto was the last person I spoke to as well . He apparently works not far away and was there early and at the end. When I said obrigado his last word was dankon. thankyou in Esperanto.
He urged us to collaborate in the future, to get a lecture on Esperanto at his prayer house.
I had a dozen conversations varying in length from 5 minutes to half an hour.
I was a little surprised to get a great deal of attention from a Muslim group called Ahmediyyah. Nureddin Al Hadith of Washington, D.C. spoke about a Red Cross-like division of this Islamic group called Humanity First (http://www.humanityfirst.org/ ) . When I returned with the Koran in it's bilingual addition of Esperanto and Arabic I got into another lenghthy conversation with F. Zafar Suraleigh (zsuraleigh@gmail.com) .
The young lady at PEN International clarified that she has met Esperanto activists at PEN meetings in New York City. http://www.pen.org/
The english accented guy at the Nation Books exhibit said that another publisher (Bloomsbury he thought) with good relations to Nation informed them of a project to publish a history of Esperanto http://www.thenation.com/ . letters@thenation.com
Another booth that kept me busy for half and hour was the Florida Association of Writers. Although Gene Hull had never heard of Esperanto before, we shared our stories. He was a former horn player for Duke Ellington and tells about it in his book Hooked on the Horn. genehull@msn.com Paola, an author of Italian birth, showed her book about Balsamic Vinigrette. I was able to show both Italo Chiussi's translation of the Koran and Umberto Ecco's book In Seach of the Perfect Language, in its Esperanto version. A nearby author Virginia Nygard gave my her business card. nygardv@comcast.net
I learned of a movement called logosophy from a Brazilian women, named Magdalena. She emphasized that her library on the subject, at home, includes books in Esperanto. http://www.logosophy.info/ The website mentions books in Esperanto as well.
All of the above groups and individuals shared thoughts on what is important to them and listened attentively about Esperanto and accepted a 4 page informational flyer. Only a handful of people were less receptive to information on Esperanto. TO BE CONTINUED

Monday, November 10, 2008

Specialty Groups Promise to Learn Esperanto

In collaboration with Martin Schleiffer and others to find those simpathetic to Esperanto I will be looking for groups that already have some simpathy towards Esperanto. These might be Unitarians, Quakers, Bahais, Legion of Good Will, Rotary International and the International Radical Party. I may be seeking members of other organizations but this would be a good start. Some may say that I'm concentrating on groups with too many controversial viewpoints, however Esperanto for many is controversial.
Could we get 50,ooo people from these groups to make the declaration Zamenhof asked of a smaller number to declare their future readiness to learn the language if others do so as well. Sincerely, Neil

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

1.Getting friends to learn Esperanto

Recently, an Esperanto Friend, e-mailed that he wants Esperantists to get the UN to participate in a petition of sorts that would get people to learn Esperanto if, let's say, a certain number of people promised to learn the language. He may have said 50,000. It's not too important the number is negotiable. Whereas there may be a few million people who speak or read or do both in Esperanto the number, we only can have intelligent estimates, usually based on how many Teach Yourself Books or Dictionaries have been sold, distributed etc. Some estimate based on how many people join local groups or come to national conventions.
Martin Schlaefer is encouraging this petition idea. Wouldn't it be nice if 50,000 people would learn Esperanto simultaneously, probably on-line or some other method (courses, Teach Yourself Books etc) . Zamenhof had this idea early on.
I believe Esperanto is most effective when you study a few lessons, go somewhere where other people really want to talk in Esperanto, or better yet somewhere where nobody speaks English. Wishful Thinking! Neil

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I have lived 16 years in other countries, notably, Israel and Brazil, among another 30 countries.