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How Esperanto Can Change the World

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Imagine. Imagine that you could learn a foreign language quickly! Imagine that you could actually communicate in it... ...with everybody around the world. About everything. What language is this? It's called "Esperanto". And how does it sound? Here is a sample: "Mia nomo estas Giri." Mi lojas en Hai-der-a-baad-o. Hai-der-a-baad-o estas la chef-urbo de Andhrapradesho. Andhrapradesho estas en suda Baraato -- "Bhaarat" Baraato estas graanda laando en la kontinento Azio. I'm sure all of you understood all of this without a problem. I'm sure all of you also noticed lots of "o-sounding" names. "nomo", "urbo", "chefurbo", "Barato" -- and so on. In this language all nouns -- all nouns -- end in -o. All adjectives end in -a. "Granda", "blua" -- all adjectives end in -a. It's a regular language. It's meant for ease of learning. And it has been made simple by one more thing which many of you... ... who have tried to learn Hindi, for example, will appreciate. There is no grammatical gender. In Hindi, the dog's head is masculine, but its tail is feminine. kutte kaa sar aur kutte kii dum mei.n kitne log maare jaate hai.n! Not here; not in Esperanto. This kind of simplification has resulted in massive, quick learning. What else? Look at the word-formation strategies that this uses. Like Sanskrit; a bit like Sanskrit -- root-words and suffixes. The horse, the word for horse is "chevalo". Noun. Ends in -o. "Chevalino" is the feminine - mare. "Chevalido" is the baby - foal or colt. "Chevalidino" is the female baby. "Chevaleyo", stable, place of horse. "Chevala": -a ending, adjective, horse-like or equine. Eight words formed with one root -- "cheval" -- and a few suffixes. Not like English where you have to know horse, stallion, mare, foal, colt... ...filly, stable, horse-like and equine to claim that you know the word-family for horse. This is an astonishing achievement... ...because it cuts down learning time by an enormous amount. You end up being able to do much more with your time with the language. This is important for other reasons as well. It makes your task of learning Esperanto as easy as mine. The American spends six months learning it... The Brazilian spends six months learning it. That's it. It's a much more fair distribution of work. Otherwise I end up spending 15 000 hours learning English. And don't do a good job of it. And who started this brilliant ideal? This man. Zamenhof. 1859... and 1917, he dies. He spent 20 years working out various... ...beta versions, I guess one could call them... ...of Esperanto. Because he thought that there should be a rational, easy way to design... a language for world communication. And he himself knew Polish, Russian and German fluently.... ...and several other languages, including Hebrew, Greek, and Latin. Out of these he culled... he put together this model called Esperanto. How many people speak it? Well, there is no worldwide census. Reliably. But a million perhaps. The World Esperanto Association... located in Rotterdam, in The Netherlands. Its current President, incidentally, is an Indian... ...Probal Dasgupta: my teacher, my mentor. About 200 families exist all over the world... ...where the couples have met using Esperanto. And so, it is one of the family's languages. Quebecois French man... ...meeting a Croatian woman... an Esperanto-meeting in Israel. Starting a family in Budapest. Yeah. It's one more way... experience the world. This is not all. The community is interestingly diverse. About a 150 to 200 books are published every year. The Esperanto Wikipedia is suprisingly effective. One lakh 40 thousand articles. The 96th World Congress... 96th, mind you... ...the 96th World Congress is in Copenhagen. Where would you learn it? Well, this is the place to go to. You have Esperanto courses in 28 languages there. I invite you there, and we shall meet there. Thank you for your attention.

Video Details

Duration: 4 minutes and 52 seconds
Year: 2011
Country: India
Language: English
Genre: None
Views: 267
Posted by: agrao on Jun 22, 2011

Five-minute description of Esperanto and its power to transform how we communicate.

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