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Je 04.18 atm 2004.01.22, Thomas ALEXANDER skribis

>     On one hand, I'm curious how wide spread some of
>the beliefs I mentioned are.  Are there people, for
>example, at a typical Interlingua gathering who
>believe that "in Sweden, only 5 people speak
>Esperanto fluently because it is so difficult" or is
>this an exception?

I would tend to doubt this, at least at meetings such as the biennial world
conference (such as the one in Bulgaria that you mention elsewhere),
because I suspect that there are more than 5 people who participate who
themselves can speak Esperanto -- if not fluently, at least well enough to
communicate in.

This somehow reminds me of the occurrence reported in "Eventoj" a few years
ago. Brazil held a national Interlingua conference, and members of the
local Esperanto group decided to attend and see what was going on. Turned
out they outnumbered the legitimate conference participants. Presumably,
Brazilian Interlinguans don't believe that "there are only five fluent
speakers of Esperanto in Sweden" ...

Myths such as "Esperanto violates its own rules -- there are words that end
in -O that aren't nouns" are also easily believable, even among those who
speak Esperanto, if they use the rules but have never really thought about
what they _say_. (On that one, presumably Gopsill, who claimed to be
competent in Esperanto, knew better, but it certainly served his purposes
to promulgate this misinformation.)

>We Esperanto speakers simply are not
>impressed by conventions of 50 people.  We take them
>for granted.  ISE/Okemo in Vermont and REF (the
>Renkontigxo de Esperantistaj Familioj) are two that
>I like to go to myself.

When it's held here in Northern California, TKEK (All California Esperanto
Conference) usually turns out anywhere from 50 to 80 people.

>     (As a side note, that same radio broadcast of
>Pola Radio which you mentioned here recently was
>recently described in INTERLNG as a "hijack" of an
>Esperanto news program for Interlinguan purposes.
>This is mildly amusing to me since it was *in*
>Esperanto, and said, among other things that the
>Interlingua community is "not comparable" to that of
>Esperanto.  The main pro-interlingua message is that
>Interlingua isn't completely dead.)

I would class that as "accurate" but not necessarily "pro-Interlingua".
Still, Esperantists too have a tendency to look for the positive aspects of
essentially negative messages about Esperanto. E.g. James Fallows's article
back at the end of 1986 in "The Atlantic (Monthly?)", which left me with a
bad taste in my mouth but which many of my acquaintances praised to the
skies as being good advertising. (Side note: in a private communication,
Fallows suggested that at least one of the problems with the article
appeared at the editorial desk, not at the writer's typewriter.)


-- Don HARLOW
http://www.webcom.com/~donh/don/don.html
Opinions (in English): http://www.harlows.org/don/opinions/
Esperanto (in English): http://www.harlows.org/don/esperanto/
Literaturo (Esperante): http://donh.best.vwh.net/Esperanto/Literaturo