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--- "Donald J. HARLOW" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Je 09.39 atm 2007.05.22, James CHANDLER skribis
> 
> >Shame I didnt think of any of that while I was
> still
> >an Idist...
> 
> What, have you already forgotten how to speak the
> language? If you 
> haven't you're _still_ an Idist, just not an overly
> enthusiastic one.

Dana already mentioned this, but I also get confused
by that a lot. My initial assumption when I came
across the word "Esperantist" (in English) was that it
was a proponent of the language. Which I think is
somewhat natural because -ist is commonly used with
ideologies in English, whereas it is not generally
used with speakers of languages. To me, the invented
word "Japanist" would imply a Japanophile, or perhaps
a scholar specializing in Japan, but not a speaker of
the language. In fact, I still tend to assume that an
Esperantist means "a believer in Esperanto" rather
than just "a speaker of Esperanto", even if people
tell me that is wrong. And I know that -ist is not
limited to ideology. A psychiatrist is a person who
uses psychiatry, not one who believes in it, so the
language usage is not wrong per se. It just confuses
me. 

Actually, I looked at a couple of pages in Wikipedia
and I didn't get a clear idea there either. The
English page on "Esperantist" said "a person who
participates in the diffusion," but the Declaration of
Boulogne page said it was defined simply as "a person
who uses Esperanto." The Japanese page on
"Esperantist" actually had a pretty good description
saying that the usage is not always clear. Sometimes
in Japanese it's translated with the suffix
"-shugisha", which means a person who believes in an
ideology. But in other places it's translated just as
speaker. 

Jens Wilkinson
Neo Patwa language: http://patwa.pbwiki.com


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