Speaking Up for Esperanto!

Esperanto Demonstration前幾天,zonble在他的blog上提到了世界語(Esperanto)。剛好剛剛在馬尼拉應遞媒(Manila IMC)的newswire(這個Indymedia網站的設計有些奇怪,newswire的文章在主頁不會顯示,必須要點進右邊的「newswire」之後才會看到。由於沒有任何可供聯絡的e-mail,所以我留了個comment建議,希望有人可以看到)上看到這則消息,是Newsweek(在google上找了找才知道,原來Newsweek早已是/或本來就是NBC集團之下的,真是嚇人)的文章,貼上連結以記錄。

世界語創辦人柴門霍夫/ Founder of Esperanto, L.L.Zamenhof世界語,這個由波蘭眼科醫生柴門霍夫(L.L.Zamenhof)發明的帶有無比的理想主義與浪漫主義的語言,與馬克思主義一樣,都是十九世紀的產物。打破人類不同語言的鴻溝,建立易於學習、易於使用、易於溝通的世界共通語,促進人類的彼此瞭解與互信,達到消弭紛爭與衝突,從而促成世界和平的大同世界,就是世界語制訂之初的遠大理想。它的文法、字彙,比起許多印歐語系的其他語言來說,是相當簡單的。當然,它仍然是以幾種主要的西方語言為基礎再加以改造的,因此對東方人其實並不那麼簡單,但是掌握了文法要點與基本字彙,世界語其實比德文、法文、西班牙文都簡單得多。

貼一段東方世界語網站上的介紹:

拉·鲁·柴门霍夫为什么创造世界语?
世界语是拉·鲁·柴门霍夫创造的。那么,他为什么要创造世界语呢?

柴门霍夫出生在波兰比亚里斯托克小城。那时,这座小城是位于还有争议但已部分被沙皇俄国管辖的土地上。在那里生活着许多民族,这些民族间常常发生争斗。在这种环境中,他非常痛苦,因为民族语言的多种性给他带来的只是痛苦。语言问题已经深深地伤透了他的心。柴门霍夫曾在一封信中这样写道:“我出生和度过童年的这个地方给我以后的一切理想目标确定了方向。在比亚里斯托克居住的居民是由四种不同民族成分的人组成:俄罗斯人、波兰人、日尔曼人和希伯莱人。这些民族中的每个民族都讲着各自的民族语言,而且毫不友好地对待其他民族的人。善感的天性在这样的城市里比在任何地方都感到语言不同给人们带来的不幸,并且在每行一步时都确信:语言的多样性是使人类大家庭离散并使人类变成相互敌对的唯一的、或者至少是主要的原因。人们要把我教育成一个理想主义者,人们教育我:所有的人都是兄弟姐妹。可是在大街上或是在居住的院子里,一切一切使人感到"人类"是不存在的,有的只是具体的“俄罗斯人”、“波兰人”、“日曼尔人”、“希伯莱人”等等。这种感觉总是强烈地折磨着我的心灵,尽管可能有许多人笑话我这样一个小孩子居然会‘为世界感到痛苦’。因为那时对于我来说,好象那些‘大人们’都有某种万能的力量。我常常不停地对自已说:当我长大的时候,我一定要把这种丑恶赶走。”

就是因为这种原因,柴门霍夫试着创造一种世界上所有的人使用的语言。柴门霍夫提醒人们注意这一点,即学习一种外国语需要花费很多的时间、金钱和精力;而使用一种共同语不仅可以节约时间、金钱和精力,而且还能够用所有民族最优秀、最杰出的文化使全人类变得更加富有。人们只要学习两种语言:母语和国际语,那么就可以给人们节省出更多的时间,也可以用国际语在完全平等的基础上研究其他民族的文化知识。国际语不仅能使专家之间、商人之间的关系变得简单、直接,而且它还能消除不同语言的人们之间的陌生感觉。

世界語旗-Esperanto Flag

我一兩年前曾經一度興起學習世界語的念頭,還找了一堆世界語的網站,記得裡面有不少教學文件,但現在都找不到了。在Google上找得到許多關於世界語的網站,選出底下幾個供大家參考。永遠跟著美國走的台灣幾乎從未有人或組織提倡過世界語,倒是有提倡台文的朋友做了一些二者的比較。相反的,大陸則有不少世界語的相關資源。實在的說,世界語在中國地區的發展,一開始就帶有濃厚的左派、反國民黨色彩,因此台灣幾乎看不到什麼關於世界語的討論,也就不足為奇了(參考張鳴與世界語一文)。

以下是一些世界語的相關資訊:

Speaking Up for Esperanto印度獨立媒體中心對Newsweek上的文章轉貼)
Esperanto.net
Esperanto Access
Esperanto.org
中國世界語信息網
世界語 (Esperanto) 與 台語現代拼字文 (MLT/TMSS)
世界語-Wikipedia
中國世界語家庭網
東方世界語
香港青年世界語協會

關於馬尼拉應遞媒,請參考我在台灣外勞行動上寫過的從海外發聲的菲律賓應遞媒–網址後的故事

圖片說明
上:塔吉克的一次世界語遊行,但因該網頁說明資訊有限,年代不詳。取自http://www.traveltajikistan.com/homepages/firdaus/
中:世界語創辦人柴門霍夫(L.L.Zamenhof),取自Nederlandse Esperanto-Jongeren
下:飄揚的世界語旗幟,出處同上。

因為印度獨立媒體中心已經宣布關站了,為了保存資料,還是把Speaking Up for Esperanto全文貼出來:

Speaking Up for Esperanto
By Ginanne Brownell – republished by Proteo 08/08/2003 At 16:18

A lingo developed by a 19th-century idealist is back in fashion

Speaking Up for Esperanto
Speaking Up for Esperanto

NEWSWEEK INTERNATIONAL, Aug. 11 issue — Over the years, Esperanto enthusiasts have grown thick skins. Ever since a Polish Jew invented the language in 1887 in the hopes of fostering a cross-cultural community, cynics have mocked it as an idealistic cult for linguistic weirdos.

Yet for such an ambitious and unlikely idea — three quarters of the words are from Romance languages and the rest from Slavic, Greek and Germanic tongues — it has earned its share of notoriety. Saddam Hussein felt so threatened by it, he expelled Iraq’s only Esperanto teacher during his tyrannical regime. And billionaire benefactor George Soros owes his prosperity to the idea: he defected from Communist Hungary at the 1946 World Esperanto Congress in Switzerland.

To hear a growing number of enthusiasts tell it, the language’s most glorious day may actually lie ahead. Though numbers are hard to come by—and those available are hard to believe (the Universal Esperanto Society estimates 8 million speakers)—the language may be spreading in developing nations in Africa, Asia and South America.

“Because of the Internet, we have seen a vast improvement in the levels of competent speakers in places like China and Brazil”, says Humphrey Tonkin, a professor of English at the University of Hartford and the former president of the Universal Esperanto Association (UEA). Meanwhile, a small community of diehards has been lobbying to make it the official language of the European Union. Indeed, Esperanto seems perfect for a modern age, when global barriers are being torn down by free trade, immigration and the Internet—and where activists, hobbyists and intellectuals across the globe are communicating as never before.

The renewed enthusiasm for the language was on display last week in Goteborg, Sweden, the site of the 88th annual World Esperanto Congress. Some 1,800 members of the UEA—from places as varied as Japan, Israel, Nepal and Brazil—conversed in what sounds like a mixture of overenunciated Italian and softly spoken Polish. Organizers say attendance outstripped last year’s meeting by almost 20 percent. Meanwhile, the number of Esperanto home pages has jumped from 330 in 1998 to 788 in 2003.

So what’s the big appeal? Unlike that other global language, Esperanto puts everyone on a level playing field; native English speakers make up only 10 percent of the world population, but they expect everybody else to be as articulate as they are.

“Throughout Asia, for example, people are conscious of the language problem because they all speak different languages”, says John Wells, professor of phonetics at University College London. “Some are questioning whether they have to use English as their language for wider communication or whether there is some other possible solution.”

The majority of Esperanto speakers still live in Europe, where the language was invented by Ludovic Zamenhof, under the pseudonym Doktoro Esperanto (meaning “one who hopes”). Back in his time, people were drawn to Esperanto because it is five times easier to learn than English and 10 times simpler than Russian; Leo Tolstoy reportedly learned it in four hours.

But as the language’s popularity grew, so did fears —especially among tyrannical rulers. Hitler claimed it could be used by Jews “to dominate more easily.” Stalin, threatened by the idea of global communication, sent thousands of Esperanto speakers to Siberian gulags. Under nationalistic boycotts and harsh persecutions, gradually, the numbers of adherents began to drop off.

Nowadays, European Esperanto speakers tend to be older throwbacks to the Cold War era — though students in Poland and Hungary can still earn Ph.D.s in the language. Many believe the popularity of the language in the developing world is being fueled by growing resentment of English as the language of global commerce and political rhetoric.

“Bush and Blair have become Esperanto’s best friends,” jokes Probal Dasgupta, professor of linguistics at India’s University of Hyderabad. “Globalization has put a wind in our sails, making it possible for people to have interest in Esperanto as not only a language, but a social idea.”

Similar hopes have been voiced from the moment Zamenhof first came up with his egalitarian lingo. But in today’s rapidly shrinking world, the timing couldn’t be better.

With Dalia Martinez in London

© 2003 Newsweek, Inc.

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