1. What is your first language? (i.e. ‘native’ language, mother tongue - if it is a language other than Esperanto)
My mother tongue is English, up to the age of 5 I spoke dialect and learnt English at school
2. What other languages do you speak?
I speak Hebrew, German, Dutch, Esperanto fairly fluently. Basic Welsh, and a working knowledge of Korean
3. When did you learn Esperanto?
44 years ago
4. Why did you learn Esperanto? (this can be any reason)
‘I was interested in the concept of a language without national overtones.
5. When do you use Esperanto? (e.g. in everyday situations, or on special occasions only?)
I write a lot in Esperanto to esperantists around the world. I read daily and listen to podcasts, mainly Kern.punkto
6. How fluent are you in Esperanto? (as fluent as in your first language?)
i can speak read and write with no problem. Though to speak I often need a few hours to get into the swing of the language
7. What role can Esperanto play in today’s world? (e.g. as an international language, or as a 'neutral' language)
if people realised it is possible to learn Esperanto within a short period of time and be able to communicate better than a person who has studied a language for a few years then inter European communications would improve 100%+ within 6 months.
i once worked a 7 night stretch with a friend who spoke fairly good Latin. She agreed she would try Esperanto for the week we were on duty together. At the end of the week we were using Esperanto 90% of the time.
8. What do you think of the claim that the only real international language is English, instead of Esperanto?
having lived in Sittard and having been told everyone spoke Engels, I soon learned “speak Dutch or die” not everyone speaks English and when they do it’s often impossible to work out what they are trying to say. I’m fairly well travelled and have found that few people actually have a good command of English apart from those who have used it continually in their employment.
I’m looking forward to your replies.
Frank van Splunder PhD
Linguapolis / University of Antwerp