Esperanto Trains Polyglots

Esperanto Demonstration | Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/karlmarx_75

Esperanto Demonstration | Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/karlmarx_75

Sinjoro Eng, Esperanto enthusiast explains why you should learn Esperanto.

Do you believe one can learn a language within 200 hours of studies?

If you think so, please read on. However, if you do not think so, please surf to the other pages of LoyarBurok.

If you are in the camp of Noam Chomsky to reject the constructed languages, you are also advised to leave this page, otherwise, your blood pressure might be shooting up within seconds.

Thank you for staying thus far and you are all welcome to discover a language which is recognised by UNESCO in 1954 but most Malaysians do not know about it.

Founder of Esperanto | Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/karlmarx_75

Founder of Esperanto | Credit: Flickr: karlmarx_75

Esperanto or Internacia Lingvo was invented 123 years ago, surviving many political pressures, as even now it is too. However, with the advancement of the modern technology, Esperanto has sprung to life and most of the people could use it almost daily when online.

Why Malaysia should introduce Esperanto?

Before I proceed, just a little experiment: if you speak Min Nan Hua (Hokkien), can you understand some sentences of Chao Zhou Hua (Teochew)?

Certainly, the answer is positive. This is called propaedeutic effect. It is one language which has some similarity to another. Esperanto has been termed to have this propaedeuctic effect since 1920. Much research has been done from the Northern Hemisphere to the Southern Hemisphere.

The British is currently conducting a four-year research on the propaedeutic effect of Esperanto.

Of course, the Australians are learning Esperanto for many years ago and The Australian Esperanto Movement is celebrating 100 years this year.

There are many info concerning Esperanto and my article in Chinese has appeared in malaysiakini.com.

Don’t worry, the links are mostly in English or Esperanto. Just click on it and enjoy the youtube songs or others which might interest you.

What interests me the most is that the Esperanto can help the autistic kids learn better. The research was done in Chicago.

If you know Dr Robert Philipson, you know what he is talking about the imperialism of language, and the French economist Dr Grin’s research will shock you.

It is almost similar to our country, isn’t it ?

The Chinese Esperanto radio has broadcasted for 45 years and the 96th Universal Esperanto Congress will be held in Denmark in July.

I am proud to say that Vietnam is organising the 97th Universal Esperanto Congress in 2012.

The economy value of Esperanto can be found here.

The Universal Esperanto Association is here.

The Prague manisfesto is here.

The Esperanto University is here.

Brazil has started teaching Esperanto nation wide since 2009.

Before I say adiaux, I would like to invite you to have a look of Claude Piron’s Facing the Challenges.

If you are in line with the concept of Esperanto should be a part of the language that we learn in Malaysia so that we can produce more polyglots and reduce the economy wastage, you can also join the ASEAN Esperanto forum.

Not every Malaysian is language talented but the current system of education is killing many talents especially in art, music and dancing areas. English is not all for us as it needs 2000 hours but Esperanto needs only 200 hours.

The kids in particular, in the rural areas, are going to be marginalised if we insist on using English, or the imperialist language as Dr Philipson calls it.

We need talents to speak and write more languages like Spanish, Italian, French, German, etc. but not only English.

From the E word, Sinjoro Eng learns equality and know why the children in Malaysia have no smiling faces. E word could reduce the barriers of inequality and produce more smiling faces in the country as he thinks. Researching into E word is hard work but he delightedly takes up that titled job PhD though he does not know where the next piece of meal is.


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After watching the 8 minutes short film of the late Dr Claude Piron on the chanllenge of language, Sinjoro ENG has himself revolutionised. Watch it and see whether the short film will touch you too. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_YHALnLV9XU

Posted on 22 February 2011. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0.

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9 Responses to Esperanto Trains Polyglots

  1. Amina

    I find your articles very interesting. As I'm also doing research in linguistics (English though!), it is so enlightening to read other people's views, particularly if they're different from mine. From the comments on your articles, it's clear that many people have had their world and mind expanded through Esperanto, so I think it would be great for our young ones to learn Esperanto,as an additional language. However, I noticed that most of those who are proponents of Esperanto on these pages have native, or near native, fluency in English. If your suggestion were to come to pass, young Malaysians in public schools (ie, those whose parents can't/won't send them to pricey private schools), will be diverting time from learning English to learning Esperanto. Their already poor English will be worse so they won't have much chance to have the international exposure in situations where they can use Esperanto.
    I'm sure you are aware how a lack of English proficiency can limit one's life these days, socially, academically and in terms of career achievements. It would not be fair to these already disadvantaged people. My personal feeling is that we should have English as the main medium of instruction in public schools, and give students a choice of a first (or heritage) language subject (for BM, Mandarin, Tamil, Iban, etc). Our youth (and future adults of Malaysia) need first to be able to communicate with each other and also to communicate well enough to do well at work and at university. They need to recognize that Manglish, while not inferior, is a variety suitable just for casual interaction and that they need to develop proficiency in Standard English. This will take several generations to actually happen since many parents and teachers ONLY speak Manglish; thus, many Malaysian youth are Native Speakers of Manglish and for many of them, it's their only language. I understand why you would be frustrated with this situation and give up on English; Esperanto proficiency seems markedly more achievable. But the value of a language is not really in how easy it is to learn it-B.M. is pretty easy to learn and people aren't lining up from around the world to use it. Granted, Esperanto is recognized by the UN and used on all continents but are people consciously learning it INSTEAD of English or IN ADDITION TO English? You said the UK and Australia have been teaching it for a while, but their main focus is still English. When the main economic powers of the world stop teaching their own youth English in favour of Esperanto, only then would it make sense for us to do the same.
    CL-Language death is inevitable. It has been happening since the beginning of human civilization. It happened even when mobility and international ties were virtually nil. Languages (or anything else for that matter) that are not relevant or useful will die and are unlikely to be revived. In my opinion, we should not worry about languages dying because that means that they are no longer serving their purpose and trying to artificially keep a language going will only be a disadvantage to the community concerned, unless they also have another more functional language in their linguistic repertoire. Our cultural identity is fluid and always changing, although in our lifetimes they appear as something fixed. Look back a couple of decades or hundreds of years and you'll see how much your own culture has changed. Languages too are fluid and humans will have to choose those languages that help them survive. If they cling to a language that is losing relevance without learning a more useful one, their own community will lose its relevance and cease to exist or be extremely marginalized. What can happen is, when the community has learned a useful language and can use it well, they will have the material resources to revive their linguistic heritage. This is what happens in some immigrant or minority communities. When one generation is relatively secure, they then start to educate their children in the heritage language. For example, several of my Indian friends only speak English but their children now attend Tamil classes. Even the Jews in Israel managed to revive Hebrew, a dead language, which I think is the only dead language that has been successfully revived. Survival first…this is part of the process of life. Even the tiniest microorganisms that cannot adapt cease to exist. So my argument in favour of intensifying English teaching is basically-We have to equip our children to survive in the world as it is (not as how it 'should' be). Only then will our children have any say in how the world should be.

  2. cl

    Sinjoro, I dunno where you live this but if you're in Malaysia, you'd hear people ranting that BM appears to be losing out to English in its home turf. BM now looks more like a dying language to me, thanks to bad habits like bahasa rojak. I've come across Malay parents and kids speaking in English among each other.

    We shouldn't quickly blame the bigger languages for gobbling up minority languages. It's just people who don't know how to juggle the languages they learn.

  3. Sinjoro Eng

    @CL, it looks like you are all the time concern about Bahasa Melayu, a language which is belonging to the Malay group. Certainly, English is an imperialism language and I would like to advise you to read more about the dying language.

    All languages are equal, include Bahasa Melayu. Do you think and want Bahasa Melayu to be strong as English and kill other minority languages in the world ?

  4. cl

    Language is among the most troublesome issues in Malaysia. It can be described as pitting Bahasa (or some mother tongue) and English against each other. I mean, Bahasa is seen as of low commercial value while English is seen as an imperialist influence. So it'd be good to know if introducing Esperanto can solve this problem, to help shed a good light on Bahasa for the English camp, and vice-versa.

  5. Do you think that it would be useful to translate and adapt "Talking to the Whole Wide World" into Malaysian, for the benefit of primary school children?

    This gives children a first, fluent foreign language and a chance to explore dozens of cultures around the world, before starting to learn other National languages more effectively than would otherwise be possible.

    "Talking to the Whole Wide World" equips even monolingual teachers to teach Esperanto to fluency. This includes much more than just telling students how it works- all sorts of guided discussions, games, songs, short texts (including jokes) and creative activities are included to keep children engaged with the language so that they practice speaking, listening, reading and writing and become fully bilingual.

    To make a start in Malaysia, the book can either be translated first (as in the French and Spanish versions) or tried out by English-speaking teachers (as in Indonesia and Vietnam)with translation to follow.

    What do you think?

  6. Neil

    Thousands of Esperanto speakers converse daily at Facebook and Ipernity Social Networking services.

    I have been hosted by Esperanto speakers in 34 countries.

    Esperanto is amazing for those who value international friendship as a stepping stone towards peace.

    Most people in Europe and the US, sadly are fascinated by power, force and war and learn former colonial, racist languages. Indeed half of my left-wing friends don't acknowledge how English usage favor the interests of the United States in its goals for domination.

    In the UN we will hear how we must help the billion people living off a dollar a day, how educating them in former colonial languaes will do it. On the other hand UNESCO cries again and again how half of all spoken languages (in third world countries) with be gone this century. (See a Youtube video "Langauges Matter" with Paulo Coelho and Unesco's head, Irina Bokova. It seems two-faced, since they only talk and do not significantly encourage the learning of lesser-spoke-languages.

  7. Many people do not realise how popular, as a living language, Esperanto is.

    The study course http://www.lernu.net is now receiving 120,000 hits per month.

    That can't be bad :)

  8. I would like to explain the Brazilian project to allow and promote (the optional) teaching of Esperanto in high schools. The law project was proposed by Senator Cristovam Buarque, one of think-tankers in the country, a former Minister of Education. He supports Esperanto as a mean of developing international friendship among students.

    The law project has already been approved by the Brazilian Senate (upper house) and it is to be discussed in the commission of the lower house of the Parlament.