Wednesday, March 30, 2016

From 1% to 100% of the World's City Populations Know that Esperanto is an International Language

Long time and new Esperanto speakers answered the question: What percent  of your city, under the age 40, knows that Esperanto is a language or an international language?  I optimistically said that 10% of young New Yorkers know what the word is. Most people offered personal opinions and a few remembered more formal surveys of past decades. Most said 1%.  I found the 1% answer very disappointing, and probably true.  Most people from English-speaking countries/cities, Scandinavia, Spanish-speaking countries, Brazilian cities agreed 1% is their reality. From Berlin to Moscow answers were more uplifting and varied from 20 to 100% (of note in the birth-city of Esperanto, Bialystok, Poland). My non-scientific opinon says that the percentage of people with minimal knowledge about Esperanto is falling in the internet-era, while our numbers of speakers distributions goes up in new towns and cities with the help of the on-line courses like Lernu and Duolingo. As the percentage falls it is less likely that big NGO's or other international organizations will  take Esperanto seriously. Are we doomed to stagnate?


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