EAB News 2002-11-21: EAB NetNews Bulletin

EAB NetNews - November 2002


E A B N E T N E W S No 13 (21 Nov 2002)


*** Keeping you up-to-date about Esperanto, for people in the UK ***


1. FREE COMPUTERS FOR (ESPERANTO) EDUCATION
2. SPONSOR A CHILD
3. EU THINK TANK PUBLISHES VISION FOR FUTURE LANGUAGE POLICY
4. LIBERTE, EGALITE, FRANCAIS
5. WEIRD AND WONDERFUL WAYS OF WESTMINSTER
6. A FOOTSIE PUTDOWN
7. LANGUAGE SURVEYS
8. INTERGALACTIC LANGUAGE - AND NOW IT'S ON THE WEB
9. THREE BRITS INTERPRET FOR COUNCIL OF EUROPE SEMINAR
10. WHAT'S ON
11. ACTION AND REACTION


1. FREE COMPUTERS FOR (ESPERANTO) EDUCATION

A Rotary-supported project, Free Computers for Education, is now looking to help schools which teach Esperanto, particularly in developing countries. The charity encourages industry to provide them with second-hand computers, which would otherwise be dumped in landfill sites, refurbishes them, and provides them to schools where they could be made good use of. Because of the 'thin client' technology that they use, they are able to make them more reliable than second-hand stand-alone PC's normally would be.

Grahame Leon Smith, who runs the charity, is now planning to target schools where Esperanto is taught. He has reached an agreement with a Brazilian school in Alto Paraiso to provide them with 15 refurbished PCs. The school, Bona Espero, is in two parts. The main part is a home for disadvantaged children, set up to offer a good home and education for the children, and to provide them with a humanitarian outlook. Esperanto plays an important part in their lives, and they are regularly visited by helpers from all over the world, who can contribute to the children's interest and education. The older children go to the Bona Espero school in the town, where they join other children in Alto Paraiso. I understand that about half of the teachers in Alto Paraiso were educated at Bona Espero.

Grahame is planning to extend the scheme to Africa. "We've aleady provided free computers to various schools in Africa", Grahame told NetNews, "and we can now set up an Esperanto operation as part of our African project". Free Computers for Education works through local Rotary clubs. Bona Espero and their local Rotary club are already working together in other ways, and this connection should make it easier to persuade an airline to provide free transport of the computers from the UK to Brazil. The African project has already supported schools in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Tanzania.

The cost of refurbishing the computers comes from donations. Grahame now wishes to set up an Esperanto fund. Refurbishing the computers costs fifty pounds each, and donations can now be accepted over the web on a secure server by credit card. Details of how to sponsor the activity, or how to help in other ways, are given in their website http://www.free-computers.org/ under 'Sponsor us, please!' - but indicate somewhere in the form the word 'Esperanto'.


2. SPONSOR A CHILD

An Italian charity, which promotes social and economic development in Tanzania, has announced a plan to sponsor a child's schooling for a year. The child would receive, as part of the sponsorship, an Esperanto textbook in Swahili, and a booklet in Swahili about Esperanto.

The organisation is called Changamano, which is Swahili for 'solidarity'. Changamano aims also to promote a culture of solidarity and co-operation, "in particular, in our country [Italy], where 'immigration' and 'criminality' are constantly equated", says their website.

The children are selected by a group which includes the head teacher, parent representatives, the village head, and a local Esperantist. Changamano is working in co-operation with the Universal Esperanto Association, who will accept the sponsorship payments on their behalf.

The village receiving the sponsorship is Nyamuswa, in Mara, Tanzania. Sponsorship for one year's primary education is 50 euros, and this will cover everything necessary, such as registration, school uniform, writing books, exercise books and writing implements. The sponsor will be kept informed on the child's progress.

Changamano's website is at http://www.changamano.org/, and there's a link to 'Esperanto' in the left-hand column of the entry page, where details of Esperanto sponsorship are given. The rest of the site is in Italian, but you can get to the page with further details and pictures, by selecting 'Progetti' and then 'Progetto n. 2 - Adozione di un bambino'.


3. EU THINK TANK PUBLISHES VISION FOR FUTURE LANGUAGE POLICY

The European Convention european-convention.eu.int - a think tank set up by the European Commission to "propose clear and consensual answers to basic questions" concerning the future of the EU - has now published its thinking in the form of a Preliminary draft Constitutional Treaty http://european-convention.eu.int/docs/sessplen/00369.en2.pdf.

Article 5 briefly sets out the rights attaching to European citizenship, and this includes the "right of petition, right to write to, and obtain a reply from, the European institutions in one's own language".

The Convention's website contains a forum on the Preliminary draft Constitutional Treaty http://europa.eu.int/futurum/forum/Public/MessageList.cfm?&Thread_ID=26, where members of the public may contribute with ideas and comments.

There doesn't seem to be anything on language policy within the European institutions, and how their constitutional policy is to be accomplished. If taken literally, it would mean that these language rights would be extended to those whose own language is not an official language of the EU. This could, of course, include Welsh and Esperanto.

The European Convention was inaugurated on Feb 28 this year, and is due to report back to the European Council some time in 2003 (their last scheduled meeting is April 25). So we're now more than half way through the deliberations, with no signs of any detailed thinking on language issues.

An alternative way to make representation may be to turn up at the town hall in Tours on November 23, to hear the chairman of the European Convention, Mr Valery Giscard d'Estaing. The English language version of the Convention's website, under 'Agenda', gives the details: "Le Pr\xc3\xa9sident prononcera, dans les salons de l'H\xc3\xb4tel de Ville de Tours, une allocution sur le th\xc3\xa8me "l'Europe face \xc3\xa0 son avenir".


4. LIBERTE, EGALITE, FRANCAIS

The chairman of the European Convention, M. Valery Giscard d'Estaing, took questions from the public in an online Internet chat on October 28. The chatlines were open in all eleven official languages of the EU, with simultaneous interpretation.

In the English channel, the first question on language issues came in 16 mins into the debate, when Respro asked: "M. President VGD: Will the convention choose a COMMON, SIMPLE, NEUTRAL SECOND language for all USE citizens as the USA did in 1776? If not, you can forget your USE!". USE, by the way, is the proposed United States of Europe. He was asked to repeat the question, but Respro seemed to have dozed off for eight minutes. I found him browsing around on the other language channels. M. Le President hadn't yet responded to any of the questions on the English channel, and people were wondering whether he was there at all.

The second version of the question came up: "Here my Q again M; Moderator: Will the Convention choose a common language, which must be SIMPLE (not English, French or German, none of the 11/21 ), NEUTRAL (not linked to any specific culture or ethnic group) and it MUST be the SECOND tongue of all USE citizens? Cfr USE 1776."

Two minutes later the first reply on the English channel arrived (the other questioners weren't all prodding in other language channels, I presume): "To Respro: The citizens of Europe are very keen on keeping their languages. It is a right we must respect. However, we should promote the practical use of a smaller number of working languages in order to have direct dialogue and not to have to rely always on translations." Point taken: he doesn't like translations. But was this just the conventional wisdom, or was it the wisdom of the Convention? Unfortunately, no-one seemed to twig that this was actually M. Le President speaking. The interpreters had got so bored that they'd been joining in on the chat to pass the time away.

In the mean time, the participants chatted amongst themselves, with the frustration level gradually rising. Respro plugged away at Esperanto, whilst others pushed Latin and English.

Then 47 minutes in, intereter Conv_EN1 commented "there are SO MANY questions coming in, but hardly any in English!!!". "Is M Valery GISCARD D'eSTAING IN THE CHAT?", asked PeterCosm. "Well yes, he is - have a question for him??????", replied the interpreter. "By the way, where is Giscard d'Estaing? Haven't seentoo many replies yet", commented Sivah. "Mr President. Monsier - yoohoo", called Cathy. "The time is almost 9... When are you going to be here the next time?", cynically asked nicco_zzz. And so it went on. "[Think] of us here sitting idly by waiting for some replies so we can translate them...", added the interpreter.

"I was wondering whether we could skip for a while this whole language issue and go a little further...", suggested Angelos, 57 minutes into the debate, adding a couple of minutes later, "I'm afraid the Mr Chairman is chatting with the french room and we all, in the other rooms, are chatting with the moderators...". "I'm just joining in your discussion because I'm bored. No work is coming my way", replied the interpreter. "Conv_EM1, what is your work then?", asked Silvah. "I'm one of the interpreters into English for this chat. But since we're not getting any replies to translate, we're not doing a great deal...", came the reply.

"Already an hour has been wasted an how many answers have we gotten to relevant questions? 1? 2?", comlained RobertB, " Conv_2: Why is the president ignoring us?? There seems to be LOTS of activity in the French room but I don't understand French". "Mr. President: I thought that this chat room was meant for all EU citizens and not only for the Frenh!", protested Master.

Then one hour and three minutes into the chat, Elmo put it into words: "In this Chat We can see the disadvantages(chaos!!) of not having a common second language in the Eu".

By this time, the language question had taken over completely. Those who wanted to ask about other issues of the future of the EU just couldn't avoid it. "I have both chat rooms in front of me..", said Angellos, "the difference is impressing...". "Angellos: indeed it is. Please, could some interpreter who speaks French ask the president what the heck is going on here??", pleaded RobertB. "We are arguing and talking among ourselves, The President is talking to the ...french", observed Elmo.

Then came the great revelation. One hour and twenty-eight minutes into the debate, M. Le President had spoken. A statement on the European Convention's thinking on the EU language issues, after eight months of deliberation on the future of Europe, with the imminent increase in the number of official languages about to jump from eleven to over twenty http://scic.cec.eu.int/scicnews/2002/020130/news14.htm. What conclusions had they reached so far? How were they to implement language equality in practice? What did they think of the idea of an easily learned and culturally neutral second language?

"To Respro:", stated M. Le President, "The Convention has not debated the language issue".

"Mr. President in view of the large number of people interest in the language issue, will the convention study it now?", asked Elmo. "Than it is high time they address this burnig problem! Politicians seem either not to understand the importance of the issue, or they seem to be scared to propose a sound log term solution", said Respro.

No-one quite knew when the chat ended. Respro concluded with: "That's all folks. VGD went home. It's past 21:30 in Brussels", and HezbollaH said a gentle "Thank you mister president for sparing your time".

There'll be a chance to question Romano Prodi on enlargement and the future of the EU on November 27. This time you can put questions in advance (like, now), so that the session can get started with a pre-prepared compilation. Have a look at the Europa Chat pages http://europa.eu.int/comm/chat/. This also gives the full transcripts of the European Convention chat, in all 11 languages. If you wish to read just the bits relating to language issues, have a look at the NetNews archive site (http://esperanto.org/uk/eabnetnews. The chat is also covered in The Guardian http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,3604,822868,00.html, but I can't find where in the chat anyone said "Esperanto is ridiculous". I think that bit's in the journalist's imagination. This article is now doing the rounds, in translation, in the EU press.


5. WEIRD AND WONDERFUL WAYS OF WESTMINSTER

MPs must have thought they were listening to a perfect case for the introduction of Esperanto as a common language for the EU on November 6, when Gosport MP Peter Viggers http://www.peterviggers.co.uk/ launched into his ten minute rule bill, under the title "Single European Language".

His proposal was "That leave be given to bring in a Bill to require the Secretary of State to make proposals to the European Council for the establishment of one language as the official language of the European Union; to provide for the development of a single European language; and to establish a date by which the language will become the official language of the United Kingdom".

"My starting point is a concern about language differences in the European Union, which are a barrier to communication and trade", he explained. "There are 11 recognised languages and, currently, the rules of the EU say that any citizen has the right to communicate with any European institution in any recognised language and to receive a reply in the same language. As the Commission has said, linguistic diversity is an essential aspect of the common cultural heritage; in other words, 'We agree to differ'", he continued.

Mr Viggers then went into the combinatorial arithmetic of language translation: "The formula for calculating the number of language combinations within the EU is 'n squared minus n' where 'n' is the number of languages in question. If we have 11 languages, that is '11 squared minus 11', making 110 language combinations in the EU at the moment. The addition of one extra language would take the number of language combinations from 110 to 132".

"The EU spends about 150 million pounds on translation and interpretation", he explained, "it has about 1,200 full-time interpreters, 600 support staff and about 2,000 contract staff. Their work is to translate about 1.25 million pages that go in the 40-truck convoy that makes its way monthly from Strasbourg to Brussels to Lŭembourg".

"As the EU expands, as is planned, and if the number of official languages goes, as is expected, from 11 to 23, the number of language combinations would increase from 110 to 506... We cannot go on like this. For some of the smaller countries, the number of recognised interpreters is quite small". Mr Viggers ruled out the national languages, since it is a principle of the EU that all languages are equal, and also that the chances of persuading the French to give up French as the second de facto drafting language in the EU must be assessed realistically as zero.

"We must look for a European solution", he suggested, "and here we have a precedent to guide us. The EU faced up to a similar problem with its currencies. Instead of choosing the strongest and most widely used currency, the deutschmark - as one would have thought was natural - it chose to create something new and artificial called the euro. Following that precedent, it would be logical to ...". But then things started to get a bit weird, when he continued with: "... create a European language, which I call Eural".

He proposed that before "joining the Eural", we would have to produce five tests to decide how and when we join (as with the euro). "We would, of course, need a Minister to decide who should administer the five tests, and who would be better than the Deputy Prime Minister, who speaks in virtual Eural already?" He then quoted a long obfuscated explanation by John Prescott, trying to explain how clear things were. And then another: "The Green Belt is a Labour achievement, and we mean to build on it". By this stage there was raptuous laughter, as he produced more quotations.

Then at last he came clean: "My plea, of course, is for greater use of English". I thought at first he might have been maneouvering John Prescott in line for a Plain English Campaign Foot in Mouth Award http://www.plainenglish.co.uk/footinmouth.html. Pity they don't do a Tongue in Cheek Award, too. The bill passed its first reading, and was granted leave for a second reading the following day - in the full knowledge, of course, that the following day was to be the last day of the parliamentary session.

The BBC published a sober report http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/2412795.stm, though Sunday night's Westminster Week (Radio 4) did go off at a tangent on how many years it would take a committee to decide on enough words in Eural for it to be useful. But if Westminster has such difficulty with English, what about Brussels and Strassbourg? Whether the speech was tongue in cheek, foot in mouth, or hand in hand with the Plain English Campaign, doesn't really matter; no-one seems to have got their heads together to ask "And why shouldn't it be Esperanto"? (Text of speech: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200102/cmhansrd/cm021106/ debtext/21106-09.htm#21106-09_head0)


6. A FOOTSIE PUTDOWN

The Financial Times on Monday reported on the 6th National Congress of the ruling Communist Party in China - at least on the the fact that the Congress web site had appeared in Esperanto.

"[A language] accorded equal status with English, French, German, Japanese Russian and German, Spanish and Arabic is Esperanto, allowing Esperanto speaking followers of Chinese politics (who cannot manage, say, English) to appreciate "Jiang Zemin's Three Represents Theory" and "Socialism with Chinese characteristics".

"When China eventually exports its revolution overseas, it is certainly going to be thorough."

Esperanto is obviously not in the footsie's top 10. Do I detect a subtle hint that they should all manage English anyway? Perhaps it's not too surprising that the Council of Europe's Year of Languages doesn't seem to have exactly enthused the readers of our newspapers; whilst the FT and others poke fun at those who make the effort in language learning, the teaching profession, as well as the UK government, are trying hard to encourage sensible language learning in our schools. What's said about Esperanto often applies to other foreign languages, too.

Maybe they'd have been more sympathetic if they'd been reporting the Vatican's Esperanto pages at http://www.radiovaticana.com/esperanto/proesperanto.htm - they are celebrating 25 years of Vatican Radio in Esperanto - or the Pope's annual message in Esperanto, or the Council of Europe's series of bilingual seminars in English and Esperanto http://eycb.coe.int/eycbwwwroot/hre/eng/study_sessions_at_the_EYC.asp#YEAR 2002, or UNESCO's speech in Esperanto at the World Esperanto Congress this August.

China has used Esperanto for communicating with the world for many years. What a pity the FT didn't set their browsers to 'eo' and try the China Report site at http://www.chinareport.com.cn/, or perhaps check up on Chinese International Radio at http://esperanto.cri.com.cn/. In 2004 The World Esperanto Congress will be held in Peking - no doubt with a web site in Esperanto, too (and I wonder whether they'll do an Esperanto website for the Olympics in 2008 as well). I know that Esperanto congresses are welcomed by tourist authorities; I had dealings with the people in Brighton before the World Congress there in 1989.

I can't help wondering what the knock-on effect would be throughout Asia if China were to start teaching Esperanto in all its schools. Or the EU in Europe, for that matter.


7. LANGUAGE SURVEYS

A survey of Esperanto in colleges and universities has been produced by Germain Pirlot in Ostend, Belgium.

The full list may be requested from gepir.aproatpandora.be, and it should have just appeared at the NetNews archive website as well. But here is a summary: Austria 3; Belgium 1; Bulgaria 1; Chech Republic 2; China 2; France 1; Germany 3; Spain 2; Hungary 2; Israel 1; Japan 5; Korea 1; Lithuania 2; Netherlands 1; Poland 3; Russia 2; USA 4. In all, 35 institutions in 17 countries. Germain will welcome any updates. So will NetNews, too, so please cc them to eabnetnewsatesperanto.org as well.

Also, there are still just a few days left in which to take part in the Language Advantage 'Languages at Work' survey http://www.languageadvantage.com/surveys/worksurvey02.htm. "Please get as many of your family, friends and colleagues to complete this survey as possible!", says their website, "Please ask someone from another company, another country, another culture, speaking another language". These language surveys are potentially useful. A list of previous surveys http://www.languageadvantage.com/surveys/index.htm includes Languages by Email (9% of companies can't respond to an email in a foreign language), Europeans and Languages (Over 70% of Europeans consider that everyone should know a foreign language but 74% of Europeans cannot speak a second foreign language), and a Languagepoll on 'What will be the world language of the 21st century?' (Spanish may just overtake English as the next world language).


8. INTERGALACTIC LANGUAGE - AND NOW IT'S ON THE WEB

Harry Harrison, the science fiction writer, has given permission for the Esperanto translation of his book 'A Stainless Steel Rat is Born' to be published in full on the web. The novel can now be read in Esperanto at http://www.esperanto.org/Ondo/Rato01.htm.

The book first appeared in English in 1985, and in Esperanto in 1996. There was particular interest in translating this book into Esperanto, because of the role that Esperanto plays in the story as an easily learned intergalactic language. The Esperanto translation was reviewed in the Ondo magazine, viewable at http://www.esperanto.org/Ondo/R-harri2.htm.

Harrry Harrison's website http://www.harryharrison.com/ contains a page about his Esperanto interests (click on: Chapters | Esperanto). His talk 'The Stainless Steel Rat Speaks Esperanto!', given at the 45th World Science Fiction Convention in Brighton in 1987, must be about the most amusing introduction to the language that I've come across.

The website also states: "At science fiction conventions and in his novels - particularly the Stainless Steel Rat series, where Esperanto is literally the universal language - Harrison has continued to promote Esperanto. His efforts were recognised in 1985 when he was elected honorary patron of the Universal Esperanto Association, an honour he shared with only eight others - linguists, scientists, and the president of the Swedish parliament".

For anyone who's interested, there's an email list - join by sending an email to harryharrison-subscribeategroups.com.


9. THREE BRITS INTERPRET FOR COUNCIL OF EUROPE SEMINAR

The Council of Europe (http://www.coe.int - not the EU) employed three British Esperanto speakers for a week, to interpret between English and Esperanto at a seminar in Strasbourg last month.

The event was a seminar at the Council's European Youth Centre, run jointly by the Council of Europe and TEJO http://www.tejo.org/, the youth section of the Universal Esperanto Association. It was attented by about 35 young people, two thirds of whom were Esperanto speakers, and one third speakers of English from various European youth organisations. The topic was "Human Rights under Everyday Exploration" http://www.tejo.org/angla/seminarioj/hr2002.jsp.

The programme included work groups, role play, a trip to the European Court of Human Rights (in French, with interpretation into English, when they visited), two lectures (one from a representative of the Council of Europe), and a language festival, in which participants presented their own (or other) languages. One person talked about Toki Pona, http://www.tokipona.org, perhaps not entirely seriously, but an interesting project never-the-less!

The three interpreters were Edmund Grimley Evans, who lives in Cambridge, and is president of the Esperanto Association of Britain, Rick Newsum, who has just moved from Japan to Korea to teach English there, and Rolf Fantom, who is on a year's work experience with the RAF, before returning to his sound technology course at Salford.

"The group gelled very well", commented Rolf, "It's good for making contact with people who are likely to be sympathetic to Esperanto: young people in international organisations. The aim isn't to teach Esperanto. It's essentially using Esperanto for discussing important topics, rather than using it for its own sake." With that, he dashed off to pick up a bottle of Rumanian wine from a participant of last year's 'Rainbow of Languages' seminar, now studying international relations in London - and still impressed by Esperanto".


10. WHAT'S ON

December 15 is traditionally Zamenhof Day, when local clubs do anything from reviewing Zamenhof's literary output, to having a pre-Chrismas party. If you're interested in parties, you might like to know that Language Advantage is holding another party for language nerds, in January at the Bar Madrid in London http://www.languageadvantage.com/party/index.htm. They also suggest a variety of language gifts http://www.languageadvantage.com/, which may come in handy for the festive season. We normally spend the festive season in Germany at the Internacia Festivalo http://www.internacia-festivalo.de/. The venue looks rather interesting - click on 'La ejo'! We won't manage it this year, though, despite the 'ejo' and two pianos: Helen will still be convalescing following an operation last week (OK so far). The event has become so popular, that another one has sprung up near Berlin. It's the Novjara Renkontiĝo http://www.esperantoland.org/eo/nr.html. For young people, the parallel Internacia Seminario is in Trier http://stud.upb.de/~e48220/is-eo.htm.

At the Wedgwood College in Barlaston, the year will kick off with the 'Ni Festivalu' weekend, with an emphasis on theatre. On March 1 there's an Esperanto Day - a practice day for beginners and experienced speakers of Esperanto. In May is the AGM weekend of the Workers' Esperanto Movement (SATEB), with discussions on social and political issues, and an introductory Esperanto course for beginners. In August there's the 43rd Esperanto Summer School, for advanced speakers. There's no beginners' course, though. Not yet, anyway. A good overview is given at http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/PGubbins/barlasto.htm. The college's website is at http://www.staffordshire.gov.uk/wedgwoodcollege/index.htm.

The British Esperanto Congress and the Scottish Congress will be in Glasgow in May - see the EAB website http://www.esperanto.org.uk. If you're planning your summer holidays now, and you're impatient, there are Summer Esperanto Courses in January (guess where). These and many others are given in the Plena Kalendaro de Esperanto-Eventoj http://www.eventoj.hu/2002-os.htm, published by the news service Eventoj.


11. ACTION AND REACTION

The last issue of NetNews seems to have been fairly successful in provoking reactions. Within hours of NetNews 12 being released, Dermod Quirke, in Halifax, phoned in to say that he'd been working on a macro system for using accented letters with Word for Windows, and that John Wells had devoleped this further for use with the International Phonetic Alphabet. John then wrote in giving some details. More about this in a future issue.

Then from Bill Simcock I received: "Grateful for No 12 - full of interest. Re film to be shown in US next Sunday. Have made a few phone calls; finally contacted "Sci Fi" Company in London. They buy some of their material from the US Co and seemed interested. Have logged my interest in showing Incubus, but clearly more "pushing" is required. The telephone number is 0207 5353500."

Following Bee Wickens' approach to Language Advantage, Elizabeth Stanley wrote from Gloucestershire: "I too have had an encouraging response from languageadvantage.com, whom I contacted after seeing your article in Netnews". I'm now trying to find a few moments to think what we can do in putting a sensible contribution together for their website.

Elizabeth then volunteered some information on her school Esperanto group: "Things seem to be connecting up well for me at the moment - club has ten pupils and we're writing lots of letters. Can't remember whether I mentioned to you that I got invited to speak at a summer school - I even got paid!!! - anyway, one girl borrowed a book and has just returned it via her brother who started at my school this term - I think she's keen to continue so we can stay in touch via pupil post.

"We have school open days and open evening this week so I have put up a small display on the noticeboard outside my classroom - you can never tell who's going to read noticeboards around the school, we get all sorts of visitors."

The letter from UEA president Renato Corsetti to David Blunkett was reported in European Voice http://www.european-voice.com/. This is a subscription-only review, published by The Economist, and is an influential publication. Its circulation of 15 600 includes "everyone involved in European Union policy making, those who seek to influence the decision-making process from outside, and those whose work is directly affected by decisions taken in Brussels", their website says.

A follow up letter from David Curtiss in Weston-super-Mare was published, in which he supported the idea of encouraging Esperanto in the UK. "Learning it", he wrote, "would encourage youngsters to respond to the European Union's pleas for its citizens to learn at least two foreign languages".

A letter also appeared from Claude Piron, in Switzerland, writing as a "psychotherapist, specialising in intercultural problems". He took David Blunkettt to task on his idea that not speaking English at home would lead to skizophrenic rifts. He didn't happen to know that David Blunkett is blind, when he drew an unfortunate parallel with languages and sight. I'm sure people will forgive him though!

The press release was also published by the European Network Against Racism http://www.enar-eu.org/en/brnews/docs/esperanto_blunkett.shtml.

I mentioned ZEO's in the last NetNews - that's Zamenhof/Esperanto Objects, like street names, monuments, cafe's etc. Roy McCoy, of the UEA office in Rotterdam suggested looking at the book "Monumente pri Esperanto" p. 6, and p. 30-31, where there are 13 listed for the UK. I don't possess Hugo Rollinger's book, but I did find a list on the Internet at http://ikki.pl/esperant/zeo/britio/index.htm. Any more rolling in?

Joyce Bunting wrote: "Alan (my husand) has often remarked on a sign visible from aircraft landing and departing Heathrow Airport, which simply reads ESPERANTO. We stopped off on our way to Heathrow some time ago, and there appears to be an ESPERANTO CAFE attached to a posh hotel on the northern approach. We couldn't go in at that time. Alan can't remember the name of the hotel but thinks it's opposite the NOVOTEL . A local, or regular traveller, might be able to help. If the name comes to him or the road name, I'll let you know."

And I've just found it! "Bright and invigorating, the Esperanto Health & Life Club offers an indoor heated swimming pool, children's pool, sauna, plunge pool and whirlpool, beauty therapy room, solarium and gymnasium", says the web site for the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Heathrow http://www.hotel-uk.com/uk-hotels/heathrow/crowneplaza-hotel-heathrow.html. You can even win a free stay there if you can say how many stars the hotel has http://www.companydigest.co.uk/digest/0801/0801p70.htm. Could be tricky, that one!

--


EAB NETNEWS - a newsletter from Esperanto Association of Britain
Wedgwood Memorial College, Barlaston, Stoke-on-Trent, ST12 9DE
Tel: 01782 372 141 Fax: 01782 372 393
Website: http://www.esperanto.org.uk
Editor: Ian Fantom, eabnetnewsatesperanto.org, tel: 01635 38592

[Return to EAB news bulletins list]
[Return to EAB NetNews (archive)]
[EAB Homepage]