Esperanto
Author: David Poulson


Boulogne and Betrayal

Author: David Poulson
Published on:August 21, 1998

The suppression of Zamenhof's journal La Esperantisto in early 1895 was certainly a setback. The first versions of the book The International Language appeared in Russian and Polish and three-quarters of the journal's first subscribers lived within the Russian Empire. Fortunately, Tsarist censorship occurred too late to prevent support for Esperanto from growing in the rest of the world. In December 1895 a new journal appeared.

Lingvo Internacia, as it was called, was published by the Esperanto Club of Uppsala, in Sweden, and edited by Paul Nylen. For almost twenty years it remained the principal journal for Esperantists throughout the world. "The world?" Well, yes. Eleven years after the appearance of the first issue of Lingvo Internacia, Esperanto groups had been founded in the following countries.

1. Countries with national Esperanto associations.

Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, Chile, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Holland, Italy, Mexico, Rumania, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, the USA.

2. Countries with local Esperanto clubs only

Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Cuba, Japan, New Zealand, North Africa, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela.

Esperantists has also begun to wear a badge in the form of a five-pointed green star - to identify themselves as Esperanto speakers. Why a green star? Because the very word Esperanto is derived from the word for hope and both the star and the colour green are symbols of hope. The five points of the star represent the five continents, so the green star of Esperantists is a visual statement expressing the hope that Esperanto will be spoken throughout the world. As indeed it now is.

(Note. That doesn't mean spoken by everybody in the world: an impossible dream.)

In August 1905, in the French town of Boulogne-sur-Mer, the first International Esperanto Conference was held. Six hundred and eighty eight people from twenty different countries attended and only one language was spoken: Esperanto. Zamenhof had been asked to give the opening speech and, as he had never spoken in public before, he was very nervous addressing such a large crowd on such an important, historic occasion. But Zamenhof understood the fundamental significance of what had happened, just as he had always understood "la interna ideo" of Esperanto. As he spoke, he grew in confidence and said:

"Often people of different nationalities meet and understand one another but what a difference between their understanding and ours! There are only a few of those who meet understand one another - those who have the means to devote much time and money to the learning of foreign languages - and all the others take part in the meeting physically, but not mentally; but in our meeting everyone understands everyone else, everyone understands who wants to understand, and neither poverty nor lack of time can make anyone deaf to what we say....

.... In our meeting there are no strong nations and weak nations, none with privileges or without, nobody is humiliated or embarrassed. We all stand on a neutral base with fully equal rights. We all feel like members of one nation, like members of one family, and for the first time in human history we, members of very different nationalities, stand one beside the other not as foreigners, not as competitors, but as brothers, who, not forcing one language on others, understand one another, do not suspect one another because of the darkness that divides, love one another and clasp hands sincerely as one human being to another.

Let us be fully conscious of the full importance of this day, for today, within the hospitable walls of Boulogne-sur-Mer have met not French and English, not Russians and Poles, but men and men."

The first International Conference was a great success and proved the first of many. For many Esperantists, La Internacia Kongreso is the highlight of the year...a holiday and a celebration they attend whenever they can. A second conference followed in Geneva, in 1906, and a third in 1907. But after that one, which took place in the English university town of Cambridge, the emerging Esperanto movement was hit by another crisis.

In France, a person of great energy but dubious morality who called himself the "Marquis" Louis de Beaufront, and whom Zamenhof had, up until then, regarded as one of his strongest supporters, caused a great deal of dissension, bad-feeling and confusion.

He ceased to support Esperanto and, instead, launched a new project of his own. A radically altered version of Esperanto which he called "Ido," after the pseudonym of its author. In a letter to the journal of French Esperantists, de Beaufront indicated that he himself was Ido, but there are grounds for believing that this claim was not true.

(If you wish to learn more about Ido, click: here, but read with an open mind. Some of the information presented on this page differs from other sources.)

The word "ido" means, approximately, "off-spring." For example, "katido" = "kitten," and "leonido" = "a lion cub." (As you can deduce, it's very easy in Esperanto to find the eqivalents of these words: piglet, chick, lamb, puppy, calf, and so on.)

However, back in 1907, many Esperantists must have thought that a better description for de Beaufront was PerfIDulO - "The Treacherous One."

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PRI TUTKOMUNA LINGVO
PRI RUSA LINGVO
PRI ANGLA LINGVO
PRI ALIAJ NACIAJ LINGVOJ
BATALO DE LINGVOJ
ARTIKOLOJ PRI ESPERANTO
"" PRI "KONKURENTOJ" DE ESPERANTO
LECIONOJ DE ESPERANTO
.KONSULTOJ DE E-INSTRUISTOJ
ESPERANTOLOGIO KAJ INTERLINGVISTIKO
TRADUKO DE MALSIMPLAJ FRAZOJ
TRADUKOJ DE DIVERSAJ VERKOJ
FRAZEOLOGIO DE ESPERANTO
, . VERKOJ DE ZAMENHOF KAJ PRI LI
, PROKSIMAJ MOVADOJ
ELSTARAJ PERSONOJ KAJ ESPERANTO
PRI ELSTARAJ ESPERANTISTOJ
. EL HISTORIO DE RUSIA E-MOVADO
KION ONI SKRIBAS PRI ESPERANTO
ESPERANTO EN LITERATURO
. KIAL E-MOVADO NE PROGRESAS
HUMURO PRI KAJ EN ESPERANTO
- ESPERANTO POR INFANOJ
DIVERSAJHOJ
INTERESAJHOJ
PERSONAJHOJ
/ DEMANDARO / RESPONDARO
UTILAJ LIGILOJ
IN ENGLISHPAGHOJ EN ANGLA LINGVO
PAGHOJ TUTE EN ESPERANTO
NIA BIBLIOTEKO


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