Peter Jackson column.Byline: By Peter Jackson
Last weekend saw Scarborough playing host to the 87th British Esperanto Congress.
Now that's a fact which probably doesn't resonate res·o·nate
v. res·o·nat·ed, res·o·nat·ing, res·o·nates
1. To exhibit or produce resonance or resonant effects.
2. much with you, but I must admit that any mention of the international language invented by the Pole LL Zamenhof in 1887 always makes me sit up.
That's because one of my primary school teachers, Mr Wellock, was an enthusiast and persuaded the headmaster to allow us weekly lessons.
This was surprising at a school which was not otherwise forward-looking. Most of the teachers ( apart from old Wellock, of course ( were mini-skirted Amazons who prided themselves on their ability to beat us.
Predictably, they left a greater impression on me than Esperanto, but I do recall, I hope correctly, that the Esperanto word for dog is hundo and that for milk lakto.
I was also left with the knowledge that Esperanto speakers are an idealistic i·de·al·is·tic
Of, relating to, or having the nature of an idealist or idealism.
ide·al·is bunch, firmly believing that their language is the key to international understanding and co-operation. It was, for instance, no surprise to me to learn that the 81st Congress, held in the Cumbrian town of Appleby, resulted in the naming of Esperanto Way, on a small industrial estate.
In her inaugural speech to the conference Dr Marjorie Boulton Marjorie Boulton (born 7 May 1924) is a British author and poet writing in both English and Esperanto. She is the author of Zamenhof: Creator of Esperanto, a biography of L. L. Zamenhof published in 1960 by Routledge & Kegan Paul of London. , the eminent Esperanto author, said she liked the term "way", for Esperanto is a way to international understanding.
The 89th International Esperanto Conference was in Beijing, or ( to revert briefly to the English language English language, member of the West Germanic group of the Germanic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages (see Germanic languages). Spoken by about 470 million people throughout the world, English is the official language of about 45 nations. ( Peking. There, Dr Lee Chong-Yeong, vice president of the Universal Esperanto Association, noted that the language problem in the UN is the status of English, which will result in the linguistic hegemony hegemony (hĭjĕm`ənē, hē–, hĕj`əmō'nē, hĕg`ə–), [Gr.,=leadership], dominance, originally of one Greek city-state over others, the term has been extended to refer to the dominance of one . He believed Esperanto might make a useful alternative.
Well, I don't want to discourage Dr Chong-Yeong, but it's just not going to happen is it? Esperanto is logical, high-minded, an all-round good thing. But for all kinds of reasons ( political, historical, cultural and linguistic ( it won't catch on.
Its continued existence should remind us, however, what a powerful thing language is and what a powerful weapon the English language is for business people in this country.
Let us hope its hegemony doesn't blind us to the need to learn foreign languages, among which, sadly, I don't include Esperanto.