2013: Archive

Year-end greetings from ESF

In the closing moments of the year we tend to pause and look back, reflect upon the events of the year. Therefore, looking back over ESF’s activity in 2013, we wish to share a few notable events:

Changes in the ESF Board

New president

Having served just over one year as ESF president, Mark Fettes was called to take on another important role in the Esperanto movement, when he was elected president of UEA (World Esperanto Association) during the World Esperanto Convention in Reykjavik (summer 2013). Mark subsequently stepped down from ESF’s top leadership position, but will nonetheless continue to contribute his wisdom and experience as member of the ESF Board.

As new president the ESF Board elected Dr. Grant Goodall, who had served as vice president up to that time. Grant is a professor of linguistics and director of the language program of the University of California, San Diego

Welcoming a new Board member, saying goodbye to an old Board member

En 2013 the ESF Board named Charles (Chuck) Mays as its newest member. Long time ESF supporter, Chuck was one of the main organizers of NASK (North American Summer Esperanto Institute) and the U.S. Esperanto convention in Raleigh NC in 2013. An electrical engineer by profession, Chuck brings to ESF his years of experience and knowledge in project management.

At the same time, ESF lost one of its seasoned Board members, Dr. Bonnie Fonseca-Greber, who had to step down for family reasons. ESF heartily thanks Bonnie for her years of service as Board member, and at the same time we look forward to future collaboration with her, as she will now serve as a member of the Advisory Board.

NASK in Canada!

For the first time in its 40+ year history, the North American Summer Esperanto Institute (NASK) will be held outside the U.S. From June 30th to July 7th 2014, NASK will be held in Victoria, British Colombia, Canada. Full details will be announced soon! http://lodestone.org/nask/

Year-end fundraising campaign

Since December 1, 2013, ESF has received approx. $5000 (US) in donations. A huge thank you to everyone who has donated! Your support is essential for the continued success of ESF initiatives like lernu.net, edukado.net and NASK!

However, if you have not yet donated to ESF, it’s not too late to add your name to the list of ESF supporters – go tohttp://esperantic.org/en/donations/online to donate today!

With best wishes for a happy, healthy and peaceful 2014,

The Esperantic Studies Foundation Team

2013-12-31 16:39:40

 

Get involved in ESF’s work!

Dear friends,

We were delighted to see some of you at the World Esperanto congress in Reykjavik, and yet others at the Esperanto-USA convention in Raleigh, where our Board of Directors also held its annual meeting. Those of you who were there will recall that ESF is increasing its efforts to tell the Esperanto community about its work, and to invite you to become personally involved in some way. This letter is another step in those efforts.

Much of ESF’s work takes place beyond the usual borders of the Esperanto movement, in our efforts to influence the scholarly community and help shape public opinion on languages and language equality. Some of our projects, however, are of direct practical benefit to the community of Esperanto speakers, such as:

  • Lernu.net. Much more than an Esperanto learning website, lernu! is a community of over 150,000 registered users from 200 countries. Just recently, the project received UEA’s Premio Deguchi for its contributions to intercultural understanding worldwide.
  • Edukado.net. A resource-rich website and 3000+ member community for Esperanto teachers and learners – a project that is the envy of many larger language teaching communities.
  • Tekstaro.com. A 4-million-word corpus of written Esperanto that can help you to find out how a certain word or phrase is used in Esperanto literature from Zamenhof’s time to the present day.
  • NASK (esperantic.org/en/nask). North America’s premier Esperanto learning experience, held each summer since 1969.

As an active supporter and speaker of Esperanto, we invite you to:

  • Become a regular user/learner/participant in these projects;
  • Spread the word about them in your groups and on social media;
  • Stay in the loop by subscribing to ESF’s news at esperantic.org;
  • Advertise your own Esperanto events and meetings through lernu! or Edukado;
  • Volunteer – e.g. as a tutor or translator at lernu.net, or as a provider of materials and information at edukado.net or for the Lernu’s Mediateko.

Last but not least, please support ESF with your donations! Our past and present donors are an integral part of ESF’s success. As one of our donors, Francisko Lorrain from Canada, wrote: “Among current Esperanto organizations, I think that ESF is the one that, through its various continuous, professional-quality projects, has most concretely and energetically contributed to spreading Esperanto in recent years”. We rely on your financial support to continue this work.

If you haven’t donated to ESF yet, we ask you to consider a donation this year. If you already donate to ESF, please consider also making a monthly contribution. You may donate online: esperantic.org/donacoj (either one time or monthly). You can also leave a legacy through planned giving (you may contact Wally Du Temple, , 1-250-656-1767, for details).

Many thanks for your interest and support. Together, let’s continue to work for the advancement of Esperanto in our evolving world.

Amike kaj dankeme,

Mark Fettes
Outgoing President
Esperantic Studies Foundation

 

CANADIAN BEQUEST EXPANDS ESF’S RESOURCES

Canadian Esperantist Brian Kaneen, who passed away January 12th, 2012, left ESF a bequest of over a half a million Canadian dollars.

“I’m so happy that my fellow Vancouverite Brian had such faith in our work,” remarked outgoing ESF president Mark Fettes. “It seems that he was impressed both by the success of lernu.net and by the investments ESF has made in the study of linguistic justice. His generous gift will help us to expand our work, especially in that second area of activity.”

Kaneen, an associate professor of German, was active in the Canadian Esperanto movement, i.a. as a teacher and secretary of the Vancouver Esperanto club. A modest person with a modest lifestyle, he always pleaded for greater awareness and engagement in language policy issues. This stance had roots in his firsthand experience of language death as a youth on the Isle of Man; another bequest he made was to create a scholarship for Manx youth who wish to study a Celtic language.

For various administrative reasons the main part of the bequest could only be transferred to ESF at the end of August, 2013. The foundation’s capital now totals just under three million U.S. dollars.

If you would like to follow Brian Kaneen’s example by including ESF in your will (or through another form of planned giving), please contact our donations advisor, Wallace G. Du Temple: wallydutempletelus.net

2013-09-27 13:46:34

 

Your last chance to buy The Universal Language for half price!

There are only two weeks left to buy a DVD of The Universal Language – a film by an Academy award nominated director Sam Green, whose special offer (get two DVD’s for the price of one, $20),  expires on October 1st). Buy one DVD for your own collection and give another one to your library, school or a friend!

This 30 minute documentary, which premiered at the 2011 Sundance Festival and was well received by the audience, presents the history and present of the Esperanto movement from a non-Esperantist’s point of view. It charts the history of the language and at the same time presents a portrait of the present-day Esperanto movement, in which the director skillfully intertwines interviews conducted during recent World Esperanto Congresses with gems of never before seen archival footage of Zamenhof and the early Esperanto movement. “He speaks the truth eloquently”, wrote Renato Corsetti about Sam Green in a review (http://www.esperanto.qc.ca/files/riverego/Riverego112.pdf). “He manages to artistically present things that would sound boring if I were to present them with bullet points. That is why I find that the film The Universal Language presents the truth about Esperanto in a very attractive way”, notes Corsetti.

“I don’t have complaints about the content”, writes Corsetti. – “That’s what the Esperanto world is like, full of Japanese jugglers, smiling young people, somewhat strange older people, Hungarians living in Japan and Swedes with overly long beards, etc.” Alongside these more cinematographic parts there are serious contributions of well-known Esperantists, such as Humphrey Tonkin, Arika Okrent, and Renato Corsetti himself, that explain the idealistic bases of Esperanto and the Esperanto movement. In addition, Green deserves praise for his research that found the only existing film of Zamenhof, where he is shown bowing before the public, as well as many other charming historical documents. Corsetti finds that The Universal Language can convince people to learn Esperanto better than any promotional materials that the Esperantists have produced and continue to produce: “It’s realistic (for example, about the role of English) but it invites people to join the ranks of those working to make the world a better place for the sake of making the world a better place”. The film convinces people about the value of Esperanto without boring them, concludes Corsetti.

You may watch an excerpt from the film (in English, with Esperanto subtitles) at http://youtu.be/HL7QtDt4tlI

The DVD is available at www.esperantodocumentary.com. Subtitles are available in Bulgarian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Esperanto, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Korean, Maltese, Portugese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish.

DVD’s extra features: “Leo Sakaguchi – Native Speaker,” “Yokohama Portraits – extended mix,” and “Summer Night by Kalman Kalocsay.”

2013-09-17 17:13:35

 

Nitobe Symposium 2013: English-Medium Instruction in Non-English-Speaking Universities

The spread of English as a language of instruction in countries across the world was the topic of this year’s Nitobe Symposium, held in Reykjavik, Iceland, July 18-20, 2013.  Recent years have seen a marked increase in the number of courses and programs, particularly at the master’s level, taught entirely or partially in English – a response to the increasing international mobility of students and the growing interest of universities in international rankings, which pit universities of many types across the world in competition for resources, particularly research funding, and national and international prestige.

The symposium, hosted by the Center for Research and Documentation on World Language Problems, brought together an invited group of 40 higher education experts from a diverse group of 23 countries, ranging from the United States, Canada, Ireland, and the United Kingdom, to China, Japan, Chile, Mexico, Cyprus, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, and India.  The Nordic countries (Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and Iceland) were particularly strongly represented.  A forthcoming volume, English in Nordic Universities: Ideology and Practice, edited by Anna Kristina Hultgren, Frans Gregersen, and Jacob Thøgersen, to be published by John Benjamins, Amsterdam, was the immediate inspiration for the symposium.

Keynote addresses were given by Rainer Enrique Hamel (Mexico), Michele Gazzola (Germany/Italy), and F. Xavier Vila (Catalonia, Spain).

“While the use of a single language in higher education obviously benefits the international flow of information, it privileges certain people and disadvantages others, and it is often driven not so much by academic excellence as by academic prestige,” commented Humphrey Tonkin (USA), one of the organizers of the symposium. “It also erodes the ability of national and local scientific cultures to relate to their local populations, including young people,” he added.  There is an urgent need to find other, multilingual solutions, he suggested.

The symposium, held at the Icelandic National Museum, was funded by the USA-based Esperantic Studies Foundation, with additional support from John Benjamins Publishers.  The symposium took place under the auspices of the Árni Magnusson Institute for Icelandic Studies, the Icelandic Language Council, and the Vigdis Finnbogadóttir Institute for Foreign Languages. Ari Páll Kristinsson, of the Árni Magnusson Institute, handled local organization.

The Nitobe Seminars are named for Nitobe Inazo (1862-1933), a Japanese diplomat of the 1920s who pioneered the search for international linguistic understanding.

2013-08-02 19:35:33

 

The Universal Language: a film that will convince non-Esperantists about the value of Esperanto

Special offer! For a limited time, buy one DVD and get one free!

How to spread the word about Esperanto among non-Esperantists, especially among libraries, universities and schools, without sounding too much like a publicist? Here is one option: with a film by Academy Award nominated director Sam Green The Universal Language (produced with financial support from ESF). This 30 minute documentary, which premiered at the 2011 Sundance Festival and was well received by the audience, presents the history and present of the Esperanto movement from a non-Esperantist’s point of view. And now for a limited time you can buy one DVD ($20) and get a second one for free, so you may have one DVD for your own collection and donate another to a local library, school or university! The film is in English, but it has subtitles in 19 languages, including Esperanto.

The Universal Language charts the history of the language and at the same time presents a portrait of the present-day Esperanto movement, in which the director skillfully intertwines interviews conducted during recent World Esperanto Congresses with gems of never before seen archival footage of Zamenhof and the early Esperanto movement. “He speaks the truth eloquently”, wrote Renato Corsetti about Sam Green in a recent review (La Riverego 112,http://www.esperanto.qc.ca/files/riverego/Riverego112.pdf). “He manages to artistically present things that would sound boring if I were to present them with bullet points. That is why I find that the film The Universal Language presents the truth about Esperanto in a very attractive way”, notes Corsetti.

“I don’t have complaints about the content”, writes Renato. – “That’s what the Esperanto world is like, full of Japanese jugglers, smiling young people, somewhat strange older people, Hungarians living in Japan and Swedes with overly long beards, etc.” Alongside these more cinematographic parts there are serious contributions of well-known Esperantists, such as Humphrey Tonkin, Arika Okrent, and Renato Corsetti himself, that explain the idealistic bases of Esperanto and the Esperanto movement. In addition, Sam deserves praise for his research that found the only existing film of Zamenhof, where he is shown bowing before the public, as well as many other charming historical documents. Corsetti finds that The Universal Language can convince people to learn Esperanto better than any promotional materials that the Esperantists have produced and continue to produce: “It’s realistic (for example, about the role of English) but it invites people to join the ranks of those working to make the world a better place for the sake of making the world a better place”. The film convinces people about the value of Esperanto without boring them, concludes Corsetti.

You may watch an excerpt from the film (in English, with Esperanto subtitles) at http://youtu.be/HL7QtDt4tlI

The DVD is available at www.esperantodocumentary.com. Subtitles are available in Bulgarian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Esperanto, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Korean, Maltese, Portugese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish.

DVD’s extra features: “Leo Sakaguchi – Native Speaker,” “Yokohama Portraits – extended mix,” and “Summer Night by Kalman Kalocsay.”

2013-07-24 20:18:34

 

2012: Year of development for ESF

Even if not particularly apparent to an outside observer, the past year was nonetheless something of a watershed for the Foundation, writes ESF president Mark Fettes, in the organization’s recently published annual report. The full version of the report is available at http://esperantic.org/dosieroj/file/president_2012.pdf.

According to Fettes, 2012 brought increasing focus and clarity to ESF’s ongoing transformation from an organization relying almost exclusively on investment income to fund external projects, to one actively engaged in outreach, fundraising, and the development of its own long-term projects and user communities. He concludes that it requires a more pro-active approache to the  recruitment and training of new Board members and volunteers: “The old ESF could be run effectively by quite a small group of people, primarily from academia; the new ESF requires a wide range of skills, backgrounds and aptitudes”.

Among many successes from the previous year Fettes mentions:

– The ongoing development of Lernu.net, the world’s largest Esperanto website with over 145,000 registered users and up to two million weekly page views. Throughout 2012 the Lernu team put much effort towards the launch of the new Lernu, with a new course calibrated to the Common European Reference Framework for languages, prepared by an international team of writers, teachers and illustrators. The new site will also host an extensive multimedia library, as well as Lernu reference grammar, Wennergren’s Detala Gramatiko, translated into three dozen languages.

– Continuing growth of Edukado.net, aimed primarily at teachers of Esperanto. With almost 1.3 million page views in 2012 and over 750 downloadable materials, in april 2013 it reached the threashold of 3000 active users from over 100 countries. The online course for teachers, RITE, celebrated its first successful year, and this spring the website launched a new educational game.

– Significant progress of various research projects sponsored by ESF, such as Springboard to Languages, a British project of elementary school Esperanto instruction that published a 78 page booklet presenting the theories and evidence behind the claim of the propaedeutic value of Esperanto; the project WikiTrans that delivers high quality translation of the complete English language Wikipedia into Esperanto, thus facilitating and speeding up the work on the Esperanto Wikipedia; the successful defense of the doctoral thesis on Esperanto by French researcher and historian Christian Lavarenne at the University of Paris, with the topic “Esperanto: Origins of its internal idea together with a few of its expressions and manifestations (aid or hindrance to the spread of the language?)”.

Those and other accomplishments convinced more than 200 people to donate to ESF in 2012. This help is very welcome and needed, emphasizes Fettes, but there exist other greatly valued ways of cooperating with ESF, such as teaching or translating for Lernu, organizing and directing research, etc. In order to better and more creatively respond to those challenges, ESF added a number of new advisors to the Advisory Board during the last year (for more info, go tohttp://esperantic.org/en/communications/news?n=107).

Please visit ESF’s website, esperantic.org, to learn more about our projects and opportunities to collaborate. To support ESF, please visit esperantic.org/donacoj.

2013-07-01 20:08:33

 

 

Four new faces on ESF’s Advisory Board

Over the past few months, four very capable individuals from greatly varied backgrounds joined ESF’s Advisory Board. This diversity of fields and talents reflects ESF’s gradual evolution from mainly a North American academic research foundation towards an organization that addresses a global public through its educational and informational projects.

Arika Okrent, Ph.D.

Arika Okrent is the author of the widely acclaimed book In the Land of Invented Languages (Spiegel & Grau, 2009), which vividly recounts the history and present state of various planned languages, Esperanto included. She holds a PhD in psycholinguistics from the University of Chicago.

Sebastian Tonkin

As director of advertising products and strategy for Boingo Wireless, Sebastian Tonkin is responsible for the development of the company’s advertising service products and sponsorship campaigns for the global internet service company. Prior to joining Boingo, Sebastian co-founded and served as CEO of Cloud Nine Media, having served as a product marketing manager at Google, and having co-authored a book on using Google Analytics for marketing.

Allan Simon

Now retired after a long carrier in computing, Allan Simon lives in Calgary, Canada, though he grew up in Austria where his family has deep roots in the Esperanto movement. For many years he served as secretary of the Carson Educational Foundation, and he also served as vice-president and treasurer of the Canadian Esperanto Association. In 2013 he was elected to the board of the worldwide German language association Schlaraffia, where he heads the North American section.

Martin Schäffer

Formerly a public employee in Germany, Martin Schäffer currently resides in Mexico, where he works full time for Esperanto, especially in regards to finance, administration and publicity. He is particularly involved with the role of foundations in the Esperanto movement, as board member of the German Esperanto foundation FAME and as founder of his own foundation “Fondaĵo Mondo”, among others. He is also an active committee member of the World Esperanto Association.

Read more about ESF’s Advisory Board at http://esperantic.org/en/people/advboard

2013-06-18 21:50:50

 

RISKO: a new educational game at Edukado.net

Recently www.edukado.net, the educational website supported by Esperantic Studies Foundation (ESF) aimed at Esperanto teachers, launched a new internet quiz game called RISKO (“risk”). As the name suggests, it is not sufficient to just know Esperanto language, history and culture, but also strategy and luck are needed.

Each day the players receive a maximum of three questions (which vary at random) about Esperanto: one each on the language, culture and movement. Only those who correctly answer at least one of the first two questions may choose to either stop there, or continue playing with the chance to double their points or lose them all. If the player correctly answers the third question, his or her points will be doubled – but if the player answers incorrectly, he or she will lose all points scored that day!

Points accumulate throughout the month, and at the end of the month the winners can choose from among several prizes. There is an additional prize for the winner for the whole year. Prizes are provided mainly by the Edukado.net Foundation, however many associations, publishers and authors have offered their works as well.

RISKO has already aroused great interest: the game’s popularity has greatly increased traffic at edukado.net, and has increased the number of the site’s users. In fact, soon after an announcement about the game went out to lernu.net users, the number of registered edukado.net users shot past 3000!

The game was designed by Katalin Kovats, editor of edukado.net, and the 1200 questions were written and entered by her and her Danish colleague Rude Andersen. The questions are often not easy: quotes, paring of authors with their works, dates and events, word definitions, song recognition, mispronounced phonemes, etc.

The principal aim of this game, however, is not just amusement with interesting prizes, but is rather an educational activity. Indeed, at the end of each day every player (who chooses this service) receives an email message detailing his or her scored points and the incorrectly answered questions of the day (but without the answer). The player must then research the answer to the question in order to answer correctly if the question comes up again.

RISKO will be an ongoing game, for months and years to come, and the editor hopes for large scale participation. The game may be accessed at www.edukado.net (section “ludoj”).

2013-05-07 17:36:39

 

Nitobe Symposium to be held in Reykjavik: a Symposium on 

Languages and Internationalization in Higher Education: Ideologies, Practices, Alternatives

Reykjavik, Iceland, July 18-20, 2013

The Center for Research and Documentation on World Language Problems (Rotterdam, Netherlands), the sponsor of the journal Language Problems and Language Planning, organizes occasional invited international symposia on aspects of international language use and language policy.  These events (known as Nitobe Symposia, after the well-known Japanese diplomat associated with the League of Nations in the 1920s) have been held in Prague (1996), Berlin (1999), Beijing (2004), Vilnius (2005), and Tokyo (2007).  The Tokyo symposium was held at Sophia University on the topic “Towards Equitable Language Policy in Asia.”

We plan to hold a Nitobe Symposium in Reykjavik in July 2013 on the topic

“Languages and Internationalization in Higher Education: Ideologies, Practices, Alternatives”

The Symposium will consist of papers, presentations and panel discussions by experts from across the world, with particular emphasis on the Nordic countries and on languages of instruction in higher education.  The topic will be linked to the coming publication of the book edited by Anna Kristina Hultgren, Frans Gregersen, and Jacob Thøgersen, English in Nordic Universities: Ideology and Practice, to be published in the series Studies in World Language Problems, probably in early 2014, by the publisher John Benjamins, Amsterdam.

The symposium will begin on the evening of Thursday, July 18, and end in the early afternoon of Saturday, July 20, 2013.

The symposium is taking place under the auspices of the Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies, and financial  support has been received from the Esperantic Studies Foundation (ESF) and from John Benjamins Publishing Company.

The symposium organizing committee consists of ESF president Mark Fettes (Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada), Frans Gregersen (University of Copenhagen), Anna Kristina Hultgren (Open University, UK), Ari Páll Kristinsson (University of Iceland), Jacob Thøgersen (University of Copenhagen), and Humphrey Tonkin (University of Hartford).

Participation in the symposium is by invitation.  Please contact Humphrey Tonkin at tonkinhartford.edu for further information.

2013-02-15 21:29:59

 

István Ertl to teach at NASK 2013!

The North American Summer Esperanto Institute (NASK – Nord-Amerika Somera Kursaro) – one of the world’s best and the longest-running North American Esperanto courses (with over a 40 year history!)– welcomes you this year in North Carolina! One of the most important programs supported by Esperantic Studies Foundation (ESF),  NASK is a unique educational event that attracts a broad range of students and professional instructors from around the world.
As in the past two years, this year NASK will again be presenting a short session, this time in the heart of beautiful Raleigh, North Carolina’s capital city. Arrive on June 26th and depart on July 5th—for eight days of learning, fun and exploring the city’s wonderful museums, varied restaurants and shopping, and various seats of government, all within walking distance of the Peace University campus.

The international team consisting of István Ertl (Hungary), Derek Roff (U.S.), and Lee Miller (U.S.) will provide three levels of instruction. Hoss Firooznia will serve as an assisting teacher and will organize extracurricular activities. This year students can remain after NASK in order to participate in the Esperanto-USA convention July 5-8th (same classroom building and residence hall). If you would like to participate in the Esperanto-USA convention, please be sure to make the necessary arrangements at www.esperanto-usa.org.

The general fee for NASK 2013 (courses, lodging and meals) is: $725 USD until March 22nd, and $775 USD thereafter (there are special prices for the locals!). Housing is in two-person dorm rooms with bathroom shared with one other dorm room. For a single dorm room, add $180 USD. Scholarships are available for full-time students and teachers, and also for residents of Latin America.

Please contact Ellen M. Eddy, the administrator (EDDYELLENaol.com). For more information, please visithttp://esperanto.org/nask/.

2013-01-13 16:33:56

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