Sinjoro Eng talks about the inaugural Esperanto examination center in Malaysia and why we should start acknowledging the language as a legitimate one.
The title is not wrong. The editor of loyarburok.com did not see it wrongly either. Yes, it is the Esperanto examination center in Malaysia. The first in the country and also the only one in South East Asia. The Tsung Wah Old Students’ Association in Kuala Kangsar, Perak, have taken pains to lead the way to apply for a test center to supply Esperanto talents for the country. Meanwhile, San Min Independent School in Teluk Intan, Perak, has also formed an Esperanto Club.
This is not the biggest scoop for loyarburok.com. The Chinese dailies have already carried the story many months ago. It is a little unfortunate however that the story only appeared in the local and not the national edition of the newspaper. Therefore, many readers in the other parts of the country may not know what Esperanto is unless they have read loyarburok.com.
It must be mentioned that Nanyang Siang Pau did a special report two years ago. But I have observed that whenever English papers chose to carry a story on Esperanto, they usually focus on the cons of this international language, despite it being actually recognised by UNESCO and strongly recommended to member countries owing to its benefits. Only loyarburok.com so far has presented articles on Esperanto in an objective light.
To elaborate, an article by Dr. Lim Chin Lam challenging the use of Esperanto appeared in The Star on Friday April 22,2011, yet an article in the same paper entitled ‘Tintin Trivia’ made reference to the popularity of Tintin comics by mentioning the 50 languages in which they had been translated, including Esperanto. From this, you can see that Malaysians need to do more research before they pen anything about Esperanto.
With the examination centre, one can obtain an International Esperanto certificate in Malaysia. Good news, seeing that the Universal Esperanto Association (UEA) has been negotiating with the CEFR or KER in Esperanto for the possibility of taking the test on a worldwide scale. Now, years later in 2012, in conjunction with the 125th birthday of Esperanto, the CEFR has finally agreed to work with UEA resulting in the worldwide launch of the written test at the beginning of the year, with Brazilians boasting the highest number of test candidates.
The test is new to Malaysia with only 10 candidates so far. It is termed as the UEA-KER Worldwide Written Test (UEA-KER Tutmonda Skriba Ekzamenseion). With the availability of this test, Esperanto is now one of the 32 languages on which Europeans can be tested.
With BRICS coming up, Esperanto will soon become a major language in the commercial sector. If you know the history of Esperanto, BRIC economies comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, were strong supporters of the use of Esperanto in the past. The newly elected Internacia Komerco kaj Ekonomio Fakgrupo (IKEF, International Commerce and Economy Section) is Mr. Wang Tian-Yi of China. In fact, the 6th China Esperanto Commerce Meet will be held in November in Changsha, the capital city of Hunan province, China.
No doubt there are still those who continue to doubt the use and functionality of Esperanto. But as they say, the early bird catches the worm and right now, these birds are awake and ready to pocket the best worms. The choice is in your hands but as I see it, Esperanto could well replace English as the lingua franca of the world. Especially if you consider that (according to the BBC) 75% of the people in the world do not speak a word of English.
Today, Malaysia is already well-known around the world, especially among the Esperanto-speaking communities in Latin America and Europe. If there is one word of Esperanto that you should understand, it is Malajzio at the end of the short film below which is in French and Esperanto. The short film was made at on location at the testing center in France.
The pictures have been supplied by the Director of General Affairs of the Tsung Wah Old Students’ Association, Kuala Kangsar, Mr LOONG Soo-Pin.