2014: Archive

Happy Holidays from ESF!

In this beautiful season of year-end celebrations, we here at ESF and Lernu.net send our warmest greetings and wish you and your family a happy and hope-filled 2015. We also thank all of you who donated to ESF and Lernu.net for your generous and faithful support, and we thank the volunteers at Lernu for their devoted work. Of course, we invite you to support ESF and its projects in the future as well, with your gifts, your volunteering and your talents!

2014 was yet another good year for ESF. This month Lernu.net celebrated its twelfth anniversary. With more than 185,000 registered users, it is the largest Esperanto website and community, which allows Esperanto-speakers from all over the world, many of whom have no access to national Esperanto associations, clubs or courses, to not only learn Esperanto for free, but also connect with and befriend other Esperanto-speakers. In 2015 the foundation will reach a new milestone: 200,000 registered users of Lernu.net – and ESF is proud to be behind such a successful project. Also the well-known teaching website Edukado.net remains very active and creative: this month it celebrates its 13th anniversary, and in November it introduced an intercultural course for children, among many other activities.

In 2014 we launched the campaign “AMU Poznanon” to increase ESF’s support of Adam Mickiewicz University’s (Poznan, Poland) unique Interlinguistics Studies program. For every euro (dollar, real, yen, etc.) donated to this program, ESF will double the amount: so, if you donate 50 euros to the program, ESF will add another 50 euros, so that the total sum the Interlinguistics Program receives is 100 euros. Many people have already donated to the “AMU Poznanon” campaign, but we have not yet reached our goal of $2500 in donations. Give online at esperantic.org/amu and see your name on the list “Kiu amas Poznanon?” (“Who loves Poznan?”) https://esperantic.org/eo/poznano

Also, this year ESF welcomed onboard Dr. Asya Pereltsvaig, who will strengthen our ties with the academic community, and, in cooperation with the Universal Esperanto Association, we organized the first activist training seminar (Aktivula Maturigo – AMO) in North America (in British Columbia) which brought together activists not only from the U.S. And Canada, but also from Japan, China, Taiwan and Australia. 2014 was also the first time in its 40-year history that NASK (Nord-Amerika Somera Kursaro – the North American Summer Esperanto Institute) was held outside of the U.S., in Canada, and attracted a record number of participants.

All these activities would not be possible without the support of our donors and volunteers. Again, many thanks! Your support will be needed in the future as well, to help us continue our current projects, which are growing and expanding, and begin new worthwhile initiatives. You can donate once or monthly (monthly donations help us to better plan our activities) atesperantic.org/donacoj or through UEA-account (esfo-p). Thank you so much!

2014-12-19 13:36:17


“AMU Poznanon”: record-breaking interest in the Interlinguistic Studies program!

On September 20th a new group of 26 students from 14 countries started in the Interlinguistic Studies program at AMU (Adam Mickiewicz University), the sixth group of students entering the program since the program’s inception in 1998. Read more (in Esperanto) at http://www.amu.edu.pl/~interl/ and view photos from the September session herehttp://www.edukado.net/biblioteko/fotoj?al=59

In a move to increase financial support for this excellent program in 2015, in addition to the planned subsidy of $5000 to the program, ESF has launched a special fundraising program “AMU Poznanon” (a play on words on the abbreviation of the university’s name, AMU, which is also the imperative form of the verb “love” in Esperanto): for every euro (dollar, yen, real, etc.) given to Interlinguistic Studies in Poznan, ESF will match the gift, so that the overall amount raised may reach $5000! So, if you donate 10 euros through this campaign, ESF will give an additional 10 euros, and if you donate 100 euros, ESF will give an additional 100 euros to the program, etc. Thus, instead of the planned $5000 from ESF alone, the program can receive up to an additional $5000 through your donations doubled by ESF! Your donation through the “AMU Poznanon” campaign will help support this unique program with a total of $10 000 in 2015!

Articles featuring the program and the fundraising campaign were recently published in the October issue of Esperanto and inLa Riverego (in Esperanto, p. 33):

See who already “ loves” Poznan (a huge thanks to all those who have already donated!) and add your name to the list! You can donate online (esperantic.org/amu) or by UEA account: esfo-p (when donating through UEA, you must mention that the donation is for “AMU Poznanon”, and also notify the ESF Administrator of your gift, admin@esperantic.org) – in both cases your donation will be matched with an equal donation from ESF. Interlinguistic Studies hopes for your participation and your generosity… doubled!

2014-10-22 16:35:13


Interlinguistic Studies: Your Generosity Doubled!

For years now Esperantic Studies Foundation (ESF) has financially supported the Interlinguistic Studies Program at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland. This year ESF plans to give the program even more than usual, while encouraging others to do the same. With this goal in mind, ESF has launched the campaign “AMU Poznanon”, through which ESF will double your donations to the program.

“Love this university! It is unique, because it offers interlinguistic studies, something most countries cannot claim”, says Dr. Ilona Koutny, director of the Interlinguistic Studies Program and member of the Esperanto Academy, alluding to the abbreviation of Adam Mickiewicz University, AMU (which is also the imperative form of the verb “love” in Esperanto). Indeed, love and passion for Esperanto and interlinguistics is what binds together the group of over 20 students, from a wide range of professional backgrounds and age groups, who come to Poznań from countries across the globe: Sweden, Brazil, the U.S., Iran, Russia, Croatia and others.

In the prestigious Adam Mickiewicz University – the second largest university in Poland – the students have a unique opportunity to receive comprehensive education in planned languages and intercultural communication, comparable to philological studies in other languages: “ In interlinguistics we study national and ethnic languages, as well as international planned languages whose aim was to solve the problem of international communication. Of course, the studies focus on the most widespread planned language, Esperanto: its literature, linguistics, history and the many aspects of its practical usage”, says Dr. Koutny. This three-year multifaceted graduate interlinguistics program has been in operation since 1998, and for these 16 years it has helped to educate many activists and raise Esperanto’s profile as an academic discipline: “Only in this program are we able to educate our activists to such a level as one would expect from people in the 21st century who seek to change the world”, says World Esperanto Association president and ESF board member Mark Fettes, who has supported Dr. Koutny and her team from the beginning, even as he does somewhat regret that there are no other similar programs available elsewhere in the world.

In a move to increase financial support for this excellent program in 2015, in addition to the planned subsidy of $5000 to the program, ESF has launched a special fundraising program “AMU Poznanon”: for every euro (dollar, yen, real, etc.) given to Interlinguistic Studies in Poznan, ESF will match the gift, so that the overall amount raised may reach $5000! So, if you donate 10 euros through this campaign, ESF will give an additional 10 euros, and if you donate 100 euros, ESF will give an additional 100 euros to the program, etc. Thus, instead of the planned $5000 from ESF alone, the program can receive up to an additional $5000 through your donations doubled by ESF! Your donation through the “AMU Poznanon” campaign will help support this unique program with a total of $10 000 in 2015!

Though most of the work is done via distance learning, the students must nonetheless come to Poznan twice per year for on-site intensive sessions, one in February and one in September, and the money raised will help those students needing financial assistance pay their tuition and travel costs – indeed, for several students, Brazilians, for example, the distance is over ten thousand kilometers!

You can donate online (esperantic.org/amu) or by UEA account: esfo-p (when donating through UEA, you must mention that the donation is for “AMU Poznanon”, and also notify the ESF Administrator of your gift, adminesperantic.org) – in both cases your donation will be matched with an equal donation from ESF. Interlinguistic Studies hopes for your participation and your generosity… doubled!

Find out more about Interlinguistic Studies in Poznań at http://www.amu.edu.pl/~interl/

2014-09-02 01:11:53


ESF Award Recognizes Excellence in Language Learning Technologies

Among the goals of ESF is the promotion of language education, especially in inter-language and intercultural contexts.  Beginning in 2003, ESF initiated a collaboration with CALICO (Computer-Assisted Language Instruction Consortium) to recognize outstanding open-access, web-based resources in language education.  CALICO is one of the largest organizations in the world focused on the use of technologies of all kinds to promote and enhance language learning.

This collaboration led to the creation of an annual award, co-sponsored by CALICO, lernu!, and ESF, called the Esperanto “Access to Language Education” Award (ALE).  First presented in 2004, the ALE Award is presented each year to a website that exemplifies our shared goal of promoting widespread access to effective language learning.  From time to time, Focus Awards are presented to additional sites that merit special recognition.  Non-commercial (cost-free) websites, created and/or maintained by CALICO members, are eligible for this award.

ALE Awards have been granted to learning resources for languages with hundreds of millions of speakers, such as Spanish, Arabic, and Russian, as well as others with much smaller language communities, such as Aymara and Macedonian.  Websites have ranged from those representing a consortium of teachers from multiple universities to projects maintained by a single individual.  Some sites support the learning of multiple languages, while others focus on a single language.  Some offer predominantly student learning materials, while others focus on resources for teachers.  The common thread for the ALE Award is the recognition of exceptional language-learning resources.

Highlighting and promoting the projects of CALICO’s cutting edge researchers and educators has been a fruitful collaboration.

The 2014 recipient of the ALE Award is the Resource Center for Teachers of Russian.


https://calico.org/page.php?id=507#WebsiteAward (This URL will change sometime this fall, after the CALICO website overhaul)

2014-08-20 12:12:07


Article on the NY symposium in Language Magazine

In its May issue, Language Magazine published an article on the Language and Equality symposium  which was held at the end of April in New York. The symposium was organized under the auspices of the Center for Research and Documentation of World Language Problems (CED), the Working Group on Language at the UN (Language-UN), and the University of Hartford, and hosted by the Universal Esperanto Association, with funding from the Esperantic Studies Foundation.

You can read the article here (page 12).

2014-08-06 22:27:50


NASK 2014: continued growth

For the first time in its 40+ year history, NASK (Nord-Amerika Somera Kursaro de Esperanto – the North American Summer Esperanto Institute) set foot beyond the borders of the United States… and managed to draw 63 students from eight countries – the largest number of participants since the 1980s! This year’s success built on last year’s trend, when 43 students took part in NASK – at the time, the largest group of students in recent years.

To what factors can we attribute this growth? Certainly, there are several contributing factors, among which: overall appeal of the host city (Victoria, British Columbia, Canada), more effective outreach to users of lernu.net, an outstanding team of teachers, and a growing awareness about the NASK phenomenon in general, thanks to articles, videos and word-of-mouth testimony from former NASK students.

USUI Hiroyuki, instructor of the intermediate course at this year’s NASK, wrote about his NASK experience for El Popola Ĉinio (in Esperanto).

In addition, we here at Esperantic Studies Foundation would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a happy Esperanto Day (the anniversary of the publication of the “First Book” of Esperanto on July 26, 1887)!

Do you support high-quality Esperanto course programs such as NASK, and want NASK to grow and expand? If yes, please support NASK with a donation to ESF, participate in a future NASK and/or recommend NASK to your friends and club members! 

2014-07-26 01:47:23


ESF Strengthens Ties With Academic Community

In June, Esperantic Studies Foundation (ESF) welcomed Dr. Asya Pereltsvaig on board as a part-time staff member tasked with strengthening ties with the academic community.

Dr. Pereltsvaig will work on identifying scholars at North American universities who have some interest in esperantic studies and closely related areas, taking steps to increase that interest and encouraging networking among these scholars, and documenting what is known in various areas within esperantic studies and suggesting research questions that need to be pursued. ESF has taken tentative steps on all of these projects in the past, but this new position will allow the Foundation to approach them more systematically and with greater focus. Dr. Pereltsvaig’s rich academic background, including her own very impressive research career and her extensive contacts with scholars in many language-related fields, makes her ideally suited to assist ESF in these endeavors.

Asya Pereltsvaig is a lecturer in Linguistics at Stanford University, where she teaches courses in syntax, general and historical linguistics, and languages of the world. She received a Ph.D. in Linguistics from McGill University in 2002, and has taught at Yale, Cornell, and several European universities. Her research focuses on the syntax of Slavic, Semitic, and Turkic languages. She is the author of Copular Sentences in Russian. A Theory of Intra-Clausal Relations, published by Springer in 2007, and of numerous journal articles and book chapters.

More recently, Asya Pereltsvaig extended her interests to include geography, history, and genetics as pertaining to language groups around the world. Her most recent book, Languages of the World: An Introduction has been published by Cambridge University Press in 2012. She has also co-authored The Indo-European Controversy: Facts and Fallacies in Historical Linguisticswith Stanford geographer Martin W. Lewis, to be published by Cambridge University Press in 2014. Moreover, Asya Pereltsvaig also teaches linguistic courses at several continuing education institutions in the Bay Area and blogs atLanguagesOfTheWorld.info about the geography and diversity of human languages.

2014-07-06 14:59:23


New York Symposium on Language and Equality

The symposium was held April 29, 2014, at the Church Center, 777 United Nations Plaza, New York, under the auspices of the Center for Research and Documentation of World Language Problems (CED), the Working Group on Language at the UN (Language-UN), and the University of Hartford, and hosted by the Universal Esperanto Association, with funding from the Esperantic Studies Foundation.  UEA and CED have organized similar events in the past, most recently two years ago.  Among the 70 participants were NGO representatives, UN staff, academics, professional translators, members of UN missions, and others involved in language work.

The program was opened by H.E. Filippe Savadogo, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of La Francophonie at the United Nations, and by Mme. Françoise Cestac, former Assistant Secretary-General of the UN for Conference Services.  Humphrey Tonkin, of the University of Hartford and a former president of the Universal Esperanto Association, chaired the symposium.
The keynote address was given by Mark Fettes, of Simon Fraser University, Canada, current president of the Universal Esperanto Association, who stressed the importance of language as a factor in international affairs generally and sustainable development particularly.  He pointed out how little attention was given by the UN to language issues, leading to a tendency to operate from the top down rather than from the bottom up in much of its work.

A total of twelve additional papers were given by scholars and activists from six countries.

·         Lisa McEntee-Atalianis, of the University of London, addressed problems in the implementation of the official policy of multilingualism at the United Nations, with particular attention to the International Maritime Organisation.

·         Britta Schneider, of the Freie Universität Berlin, investigated the symbolic functions of language beyond issues of ethnicity, paying particular attention to popular uses of language, especially in popular music.

·         Terrence G. Wiley and M. Beatriz Arias, of the Center for Applied Linguistics (Washington, DC), examined the limitations placed on education as a human right by unequal language legislation and practice in the United States.

·         Esther Schor, of Princeton University, looked back at the founding of the Esperanto movement at the turn of the twentieth century in the light of the debate between liberal self-bearing rights and rights as inherent in communities.

·         Yael Peled, of the Université de Montréal and McGill University, examined “Parity in the Plural: Language and Complex Equality,” in which she interrogated both the term language and the term equality, exposing some of the misperceptions potentially inherent in both.

·         Daniel Ward, editor of the US periodical Language Magazine, discussed the problem of world language education in the English-speaking world, where language study has been declining in schools and colleges, especially in the United States.

·         Helder de Schutter, of the Katholieke Universiteit Leiden and Princeton University, explored the implications of a world in which ownership of English is moving to second-language speakers, whose unequal relationship to English presents potential injustices.

·         Rosemary Salomone, of St. John’s University, USA, addressed the implications of the growing tendency of institutions in non-English-speaking countries to offer education in English, particularly in graduate higher education.

·         Anshuman Pandey, of the University of Michigan, explored global computing standards for languages and writing systems, and the challenges associated with creating a level playing-field for users in all languages.

·         Eva Daussà, of the State University of New York, Buffalo, offered the example of Catalan as a large minority language within a broader state context, and the difficulties involved in establishing an equitable language policy that preserves and strengthens this minority.

·         Dipika Mukherjee, of Northwestern University, examined religious identity and language in Malaysia, pointing out that the relationship between language and religion is insufficiently addressed, and that Malaysia has seen a decline in English as a lingua franca.

·         Andrea Schalley and Susan Eisenchlas, of Griffith University, Australia, pointed out that in Australia a rise in multilingualism has been accompanied by a decline in the provisions for such multilingualism.

To close the event, Mark Fettes led the symposium in a discussion of a “language equality research agenda.”  One of the elements of such an agenda, according to some participants in the lively discussion, should be an exploration of the language situation at the UN itself.

2014-05-27 18:55:22


Take your Esperanto knowledge to the next level!

These days Esperantic Studies Foundation (ESF) is probably best known for its support of the Esperanto learning websiteLernu.net, through which thousands of people have already learned Esperanto. Nonetheless, since its founding an essential part of ESF’s core mission has been high-level and academic teaching and study of Esperanto. The most notable examples of this facet of ESF’s activities are NASK and the postgraduate program in interlinguistic studies at Adam Mickiewicz University.



If you already have a basic knowledge of Esperanto, participation in NASK (Nord-Amerika Somera Kursaro – North American Summer Esperanto Institute) is a great way to improve and perfect your command of the language. If you have ever considered participating in NASK, or are thinking about it now, this year’s NASK presents an ideal opportunity: you can study Esperanto amidst the beautiful surroundings of Victoria, British Columbia, together with over 60 other students from 10 different countries! Add your name to the list of participants – and help make this year’s NASK the biggest and best ever!

Register for NASK at http://nask.esperantic.org/


Interlinguistic Studies at UAM

If you, however, already have a solid command of Esperanto, is there an even higher level than NASK? There is, in fact! Since 1998 the polish University Adam Mickiewicz (UAM) in Poznan has offered its three year postgraduate program in interlinguistics and esperantology by distance learning: the student must attend intensive courses on campus at UAM in Poznan for only one week per semester, with work between sessions done online. The third year of the program allows for a specialisation: international and intercultural communication, interlinguistics, Esperanto linguistics and literature, translation and teaching.

So, if you want to have a solid foundation in esperantology, broad background knowdlege of international and intercultural communication, sound methodological preparation and official certification from a state university, then we welcome you to the first session of the interlinguistics studies program!

Register quickly, but by August 15th at the latest! Some scholarships are available.

For details see the program’s website at http://www.amu.edu.pl/~interl/ or contact program director Dr. Ilona Koutny directly:interlin@amu.edu.pl

2014-05-11 11:22:56


Symposium: Language and Equality

In cooperation with the Centre for Research and Documentation on World Language Problems and the University of Hartford, the Study Group on Language and the United Nations is organizing a symposium on language and equality on April 29th, 2014, at the Church Center (777 United Nations Plaza) in New York. Registration is $25 in advance, $30 at the door (no charge for UN and UN mission staff, and NGO representatives).

The symposium, chaired by former ESF President Dr. Humphrey Tonkin, will feature former ESF President and current UEA (Universal Esperanto Association) President Dr. Mark Fettes as keynote speaker and discussion facilitator, as well as an international roster of academic speakers, among whom ESF Advisory Board member Dr. Esther Schor.

Full program details: www.languageandtheun.org
2014-03-12 17:57:48


The University of Victoria (BC, Canada) welcomes NASK 2014

For the first time in its 45 year history, NASK (North American Summer Esperanto Institute) will occur outside the USA. The beautiful campus of the University of Victoria (British Columbia, Canada), situated on picturesque Gordon Head, will be the setting for the short, intensive courses of Esperanto. Only 20 minutes from Downtown Victoria, the airport and the ferry terminals, and within walking distance of nearby Gyro Park on the water, UVIC provides an ideal location.  Arrive on June 29th and depart on July 8th for eight days of learning, fun and exploring the city’s wonderful museums, varied restaurants and shopping, and historical buildings, all within walking distance or a short bus ride from the UVIC campus.

“Those who participate in NASK for the first time notice that its atmosphere is very special. The institute usually takes place in great places, and this year in Victoria is not an exception – it is amazingly beautiful”, noted Grant Goodall, ESF President. Because of its location, NASK organizers hope that this year participants will be even more international than usual: “Students from Asia, North and South America, Europe, and possibly Africa, will study with professors from three continents,” said Derek Roff, ESF Board member. “Renowned author and Esperanto activist István Ertl from Hungary/Europe will teach the advanced level. Usui Hiroyuki from Japan/China/Asia, current editor of the Esperanto section of El Popola Ĉinio, will advance the intermediary students, and Ĵenja Bondelid from U.S/North America, ex-student of NASK and specialist in education, dance and theater, will teach the post-basic students. If you’ve already taken a basic Esperanto course, you are ready to participate in the post-basic level. If not, you still have time! For example, you can take the Ana Pana course at www.lernu.net, recommends Lee Miller, NASK co-organizer.

It goes without saying that in addition to courses, the participants will also enjoy a rich entertainment program: trips, games, films… and abundant conversation: in contrast to large Esperanto events, such as UK, at NASK there is always time to get to know each other and share ideas and perspectives. Hoss Firooznia, responsible for extracurricular activities, encourages students to present short topics according to their interests or experience: “In 2013, for example, students conducted dance lessons, taught Go, showed films that they produced, talked about Buddhism, and more.”

The general fee for NASK 2014 (courses, lodging and breakfasts) is: $475 (U.S.) until April 1st, and $525 (U.S.) thereafter. It is recommended that students plan on spending around $200 (U.S.) for other meals (which can be purchased on campus or at several small eateries on campus or nearby).  Scholarships are available for full-time students and teachers, and also for residents of Latin America.

NASK students will reside in a one and two-bedroom residence hall with shared bathroom facilities designated by gender on each floor. It is a short walk to the dining hall and the class buildings. The residence hall contains a comfortable lounge on each of its three floors. The residence hall is equipped with pay operated laundry facilities in the basement and Internet is available in every room.

In addition, for those who wish to spend a few more days in beautiful Victoria after NASK, there will be three more oportunities to continue your Esperanto immersion experience: a post-NASK outing is planned, as well as a seminar sponsored by UEA (World Esperanto Association) and Esperantic Studies Foundation, and the joint convention of Esperanto-USA and the Canadian Esperanto Association will be held July 11-14 in nearby Sidney. (If you would like to participate in the joint convention, please make the necessary arrangements with Esperanto-USA: e-usa@esperanto.usa.org, www.esperanto-usa.org.)

Please contact Ellen M. Eddy, the administrator, for any questions: eddyellen@aol.com.

More information: http://nask.esperantic.org

Interview with Derek Roff: http://youtu.be/3Mddb4_jeB0


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