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Title: International Language - Past, Present and Future: With Specimens of Esperanto and Grammar
Author: Clark, Walter J.
Language: English
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                         PAST, PRESENT & FUTURE

                      WITH SPECIMENS OF ESPERANTO
                              AND GRAMMAR

                             BY W. J. CLARK
                       M.A. OXON., PH.D. LEIPZIG

                          J. M. DENT & COMPANY

                               PRINTED BY
                     HAZELL, WATSON AND VINEY, LD.,
                         LONDON AND AYLESBURY.

       *       *       *       *       *


       An artificial language may be more regular, more perfect,
       and easier to learn than a natural one.—MAX MÜLLER.

The world is spinning fast down the grooves of change. The old disorder
changeth. Haply it is yielding place to new. The tongue is a little
member. It should no longer be allowed to divide the nations.

Two things stand out in the swift change. Science with all its works is
spreading to all lands. The East, led by Japan, is coming into line with
the West.

Standardization of life may fittingly be accompanied by standardization
of language. The effect may be twofold—Practical and Ideal.

      _Practical._    The World has a thousand tongues,
                           Science but one:
                      They'll climb up a thousand rungs
                           When Babel's done.

      _Ideal._        Mankind has a thousand tongues,
                           Friendship but one:
                      _Banzai!_ then from heart and lungs
                           For the Rising Sun.

                                                 W. J. C.

NOTE.—The following pages have had the advantage of being read in
MS. by Mr. H. Bolingbroke Mudie, and I am indebted to him for many
corrections and suggestions.

       *       *       *       *       *


NOTE.—To avoid repeating the cumbrous phrase "international auxiliary
language," the word _auxiliary_ is usually omitted. It must be clearly
understood that when "international" or "universal" language is spoken
of, _auxiliary_ is also implied.

                                 PART I


   CHAP.                                                            PAGE

     I. Introductory      .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .    1
    II. The Question of Principle—Economic Advantage of
           an International Language     .    .    .    .    .    .    4
   III. The Question of Practice—An International Language
           is Possible    .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .    8
    IV. The Question of Practice (_continued_)—An International
           Language is Easy    .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .   16
     V. The Question of Practice (_continued_)—The Introduction
           of an International Language would not cause
           Dislocation    .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .   24
    VI. International Action already taken for the Introduction
           of an Auxiliary Language      .    .    .    .    .    .   26
   VII. Can the International Language be Latin?   .    .    .    .   33
  VIII. Can the International Language be Greek?   .    .    .    .   35
    IX. Can the International Language be a Modern
           Language?      .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .   36
     X. Can the Evolution of an International Language be
           left to the Process of Natural Selection by Free
           Competition?   .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .   38
    XI. Objections to an International Language on Aesthetic
           Grounds   .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .   40
   XII. Will an International Language discourage the Study
           of Modern Languages, and thus be Detrimental to
           Culture?—Parallel with the Question of Compulsory
           Greek     .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .   46
  XIII. Objection to an International Language on the Ground
           that it will soon split up into Dialects     .    .    .   49
   XIV. Objection that the Present International Language
           (Esperanto) is too Dogmatic, and refuses to
           profit by Criticism      .    .    .    .    .    .    .   51
    XV. Summary of Objections to an International Language   .    .   53
   XVI. The Wider Cosmopolitanism—The Coming of Asia    .    .    .   57
  XVII. Importance of an International Language for the Blind     .   61
 XVIII. Ideal _v._ Practical   .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .   63
   XIX. Literary _v._ Commercial    .    .    .    .    .    .    .   65
    XX. Is an International Language a Crank's Hobby?   .    .    .   70
   XXI. What an International Language is not      .    .    .    .   73
  XXII. What an International Language is     .    .    .    .    .   73

                                PART II


   CHAP.                                                            PAGE

     I. Some Existing International Languages already in
           Partial Use    .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .   74
    II. Outline of History of the Idea of a Universal Language—List
           of Schemes proposed .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .   76
   III. The Earliest British Attempt     .    .    .    .    .    .   87
    IV. History of Volapük—a Warning     .    .    .    .    .    .   92
     V. History of Idiom Neutral    .    .    .    .    .    .    .   98
    VI. The Newest Languages: a Neo-Latin Group—Gropings
           towards a "Pan-European" Amalgamated
           Scheme    .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .  103
   VII. History of Esperanto   .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .  105
  VIII. Present State of Esperanto: (_a_) General; (_b_) in England  121
    IX. Lessons to be drawn from the Foregoing History  .    .    .  131

                                PART III

                          THE LANGUAGE ITSELF

   CHAP.                                                            PAGE

     I. Esperanto is scientifically constructed, and fulfils the
           Natural Tendency in Evolution of Language    .    .    .  135
    II. Esperanto from an Educational Point of View—It will
           aid the learning of other Languages and stimulate
           Intelligence   .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .  145
   III. Comparative Tables illustrating Labour saved in learning
           Esperanto as contrasted with other Languages:
           (_a_) Word-building; (_b_) Participles and Auxiliaries .  155
    IV. How Esperanto can be used as a Code Language to
           communicate with Persons who have never learnt it .    .  161

                                    PART IV


   CHAP.                                                            PAGE

        Note    .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .  165
     I. Pronunciation     .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .  166
    II. Specimens of Esperanto:
           1. Parolado    .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .  167
           2. La Marbordistoj  .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .  168
           3. Nesaĝa Gento: Alegorio     .    .    .    .    .    .  168
   III. Grammar      .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .  189
    IV. List of Affixes   .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .  191
     V. Table of Correlative Words  .    .    .    .    .    .    .  193
    VI. Vocabulary   .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .  194

                                   APPENDIX A

 Sample Problems (see Part III., chap, ii.) in Regular Language   .  200

                                   APPENDIX B

 Esperanto Hymn by Dr. Zamenhof     .    .    .    .    .    .    .  202

                                   APPENDIX C

 The Letter _c_ in Esperanto   .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .  204

       *       *       *       *       *

                                 PART I




In dealing with the problem of the introduction of an international
language, we are met on the threshold by two main questions:

   1. The question of principle.

   2. The question of practice.

By the question of principle is meant, Is it desirable to have a
universal language? do we wish for one? in short, is there a demand?

The question of practice includes the inquiries, Is such a language
possible? is it easy? would its introduction be fraught with prohibitive
difficulties? and the like.

It is clear that, however possible or easy it may be to do a thing,
there is no case for doing it unless it is wanted; therefore the
question of principle must be taken first. In the case before us
the question of principle involves many considerations—aesthetic,
political, social, even religious. These will be glanced at in their
proper place; but for our present purpose they are all subordinate
to the one great paramount consideration—the economic one. In the
world of affairs experience shows that, given a demand of any kind
whatever, as between an economical method of supplying that demand and a
non-economical method, in the long run the economical method will surely

If, then, it can be shown that there is a growing need for means of
international communication, and that a unilingual solution is more
economical than a multilingual one, there is good ground for thinking
that the unilingual method of transacting international affairs will
surely prevail. It then becomes a question of time and method: When will
men feel the pressure of the demand sufficiently strongly to set about
supplying it? and what means will they adopt?

The time and the method are by no means indifferent. Though a demand
(for what is possible) is sure, in the long run, to get itself supplied,
a long period of wasteful and needless groping may be avoided by a
clear-sighted and timely realization of the demand, and by consequent
organized co-operation in supplying it. Intelligent anticipation
sometimes helps events to occur. It is the object of this book to
call attention to the present state of affairs, and to emphasize the
fact that the time is now ripe for dealing with the question, and the
present moment propitious for solving the problem once for all in an
orderly way. The merest glance at the list of projects for a universal
language[1] and their dates will strengthen the conviction from an
historical point of view that the fulness of time is accomplished, while
the history of the rise and fall of _Volapük_ and of the extraordinary
rise of _Esperanto_, in spite of its precursor's failure, are exceedingly

   [1]See pp. 78-87. [Part II, Chapter II]

One language has been born, come to maturity, and died of dissension,
and the world stood by indifferent. Another is now in the first full
flush of youth and strength. After twenty-nine years of daily developing
cosmopolitanism—years that have witnessed the rising of a new star in
the East and an uninterrupted growth of interchange of ideas between
the nations of the earth, whether in politics, literature, or science,
without a single check to the ever-rising tide of internationalism—are
we again to let the favourable moment pass unused, just for want of
making up our minds? At present one language holds the field. It is
well organized; it has abundant enthusiastic partisans accustomed to
communicate and transact their common business in it, and only too
anxious to show the way to others. If it be not officially adopted and
put under the regulation of a duly constituted international authority,
it may wither away or split into factions as Volapük did.[1] Or it may
continue to grow and flourish, but others of its numerous rivals may
secure adherents and dispute its claim. This would be even worse. It is
far harder to rally a multitude of conflicting rivals in the same camp,
than it is to take over a well-organized, homogeneous, and efficient
volunteer force, legalize its position, and raise it to the status of a
regular army. In any case, if no concerted action be taken, the question
will remain in a state of chaos, and the lack of official organization
brings a great risk of overlapping, dissension, and creation of rival
interests, and generally produces a state of affairs calculated to
postpone indefinitely the supply of the demand. Competition that neither
tends to keep down the price nor to improve the quality of the thing
produced is mere dissipation of energy.

   [1]Esperanto itself is admirably organized (see p. 119) [Part II,
   Chapter VII], and there are no factions or symptoms of dissension.
   But Esperantists need official support and recognition.

In a word, the one thing needful at present is not a more highly
perfected language to adopt, but the adoption of the highly perfected
one we possess. By the admission of experts, no less than by the
practical experience of great numbers of persons in using it over a
number of years, it has been found adequate. Once found adequate, its
absolute utility merely depends upon universal adoption.

With utility in direct proportion to numbers of adherents, every recruit
augments its value—a thought which may well encourage waverers to make
the slight effort necessary to at any rate learn to read it.



As stated above, the question of principle will be treated here from
a purely economical point of view, since practical value, measured
by saving of time, money, and effort, must be the ultimate criterion
by which the success or failure of so far-reaching a reform as the
introduction of an international, auxiliary language will be decided.
The bearing of such a reform upon education, culture, race supremacy,
etc., is not without importance; but the discussion of these points must
be postponed as subsidiary.

Reduced to its simplest form, the economical argument is this:

(1) The volume of international intercourse is great and increasing.

(2) This intercourse is at present carried on in many different
languages of varying degrees of difficulty, but all relatively hard of
acquisition for those who do not know them as a mother-tongue. This is

(3) It is economically sounder to carry on international intercourse in
one easy language than in a large number of hard ones.

(4) Therefore in principle an easy international language is desirable.

Let us glance at these four points a little more in detail.

No. 1 surely needs no demonstration. Every year there is more
communication between men of different race and language. And it is not
business, in the narrow sense of the term, that is exclusively or even
chiefly affected by diversity of language. Besides the enormous bulk
of pleasure travel, international congresses are growing in number and
importance; municipal fraternization is the latest fashion, and many
a worthy alderman, touring at the ratepayers' expense, must wish that
he had some German in Berlin, or a little Italian in Milan. Indeed, it
is at these points of international contact that language is a real
bar, actually preventing much intercourse that would otherwise have
taken place, rather than in business, which is organized in view of the
difficulty. Then there is the whole realm of scientific and learned
literature—work of which the accessibility to all concerned is of the
first importance, but is often hindered because a translation into one
language does not pay, or, if made, only reaches a limited public. Such
bars to freedom of interchange cannot be reckoned in money; but modern
economics recognizes the personal and social factor, and any obstacle to
research is certainly a public loss.

But important as are these various spheres of action, an even wider
international contact of thought and feeling is springing up in our
days. Democracy, science, and universal education are producing
everywhere similarity of institutions, of industry, of the whole
organization of life. Similarity of life will breed community of
interests, and from this arises real converse—more give and take in the
things that matter, less purely superficial dealings of the guide-book
or conversation-manual type.

(2) "Business," meaning commerce, in so far as it is international,
may at present be carried on mainly in half a dozen of the principal
languages of Western Europe. Even so, their multiplicity is vexatious.
But outside the world of business other languages are entering the
field, and striving for equal rights. The tendency is all towards
self-assertion on the part of the nationalities that are beginning a
new era of national life and importance. The language difficulty in the
Austrian Empire reflects the growing self-consciousness of the Magyars.
Everywhere where young peoples are pushing their rights to take equal
rank among the nations of the world, the language question is put in
the forefront. The politicians of Ireland and Wales have realized the
importance of language in asserting nationality, but such engineered
language-agitation offers but a feeble reflex of the vitality of the
question in lands where the native language is as much in use for
all purposes as is English in England. These lands will fight harder
and harder against the claims to supremacy of a handful of Western
intruders. A famous foreign philologist,[1] in a report on the subject
presented to the Academy of Vienna, notes the increasing tendency of
Russian to take rank among the recognized languages for purposes of
polite learning. He is well placed to observe. With Russia knocking at
the door and Hungary waiting to storm the breach, what tongue may not
our descendants of the next century have to learn, under pain of losing
touch with important currents of thought? It is high time something
were done to standardize means of transmission. Owing to political
conditions, there are linguistically disintegrating forces at work,
which are at variance with the integrating forces of natural tendency.

   [1]Prof. Shuchardt

From an economical point of view, a considerable amount of time, effort,
and money must be unreproductively invested in overcoming the "language
difficulty." In money alone the amount must run into thousands of
pounds yearly. Among the unreproductive investments are—the employment
of foreign correspondence clerks, the time and money spent upon the
installation of educational plant for their production, the time and
money spent upon translations and interpreters for the proceedings
of international conferences and negotiations, the time devoted by
professors and other researchers (often nonlinguists in virtue of their
calling) to deciphering special treatises and learned periodicals in
languages not their own.[1]

   [1]These are some of the actual visible losses owing to the
   _presence_ of the language difficulty. No one can estimate the
   value of the losses entailed by the _absence_ of free intercourse
   due to removable linguistic barriers. Potential (but at present
   non-realized) extension of goodwill, swifter progress, and wider
   knowledge represent one side of their value; while consequent
   non-realized increase in volume of actual business represents their
   value in money. The negative statement of absence of results from
   intercourse that never took place affords no measure of positive
   results obtainable under a better system.

The tendency of those engaged in advancing material progress, which
consists in the subjection of nature to man's ends, is to adapt more and
more quickly their methods to changing conditions. Has the world yet
faced in a business-like spirit the problem of wiping out wastage on

Big industrial concerns scrap machinery while it is yet perfectly
capable of running and turning out good work, in order to replace it by
newer machinery, capable of turning out more work in the same time. Time
is money. Can the busy world afford a language difficulty?

(3) The proposition that it is economically sounder to carry on
international intercourse in one easy language than in a large number of
hard ones rests upon the principle that it does not pay to do a thing a
hard way, if the same results can be produced by an easy way.

The whole industrial revolution brought about by the invention of
machinery depended upon this principle. Since an artificial language,
like machinery, is a means invented by man of furthering his ends, there
seems to be no abuse of analogy in comparing them.

When it was found that machinery would turn out a hundred pieces of
cloth while the hand-loom turned out one, the hand-loom was doomed,
except in so far as it may serve other ends, antiquarian, aesthetic, or
artistic, which are not equally well served by machinery. Similarly,
to take another revolution which is going on in our own day through
a further application of machinery, when it is found that corn can
be reaped and threshed by machinery, that hay can be cut, made,
carried, and stacked by machinery, that man can travel the high road
by machinery, sooner or later machinery is bound to get the bulk of
the job, because it produces the same results at greater speed and
less cost. So, in the field of international intercourse, if an easy
artificial language can with equal efficiency and at less cost produce
the same results as a multiplicity of natural ones, in many lines
of human activity, and making all reserves in matters antiquarian,
aesthetic, and artistic, sooner or later the multiplicity will have to
go to the scrap-heap[1] as cumbrous and out of date. It may be a hundred
years; it may be fifty; it may be even twenty. Almost certainly the
irresistible trend of economic pressure will work its will and insist
that what has to be done shall be done in the most economical way.

   [1]But only, of course, in those lines in which an international
   auxiliary language can produce equally good results. This excludes
   home use, national literature, philology, scholarly study of national
   languages, etc.

So much, then, for the question of principle. In treating it, certain
large assumptions have been made; e.g. it is said above, "if an easy
artificial language can with equal efficiency... produce the same
results," etc. Here it is assumed that the artificial language is (1)
easy, and (2) that it is possible for it to produce the same results.
Again, however easy and possible, its introduction might cost more than
it saved. These are questions of fact, and are treated in the three
following chapters under the heading of "The Question of Practice."



The man who says a thing is impossible without troubling to find out
whether it has been done is merely "talking through his hat," to use
an Americanism, and we need not waste much time on him. Any one, who
maintains that it is impossible to transact the ordinary business of
life and write lucid treatises on scientific and other subjects in an
artificial language, is simply in the position of the French engineer,
who gave a full scientific demonstration of the fact that an engine
could not possibly travel by steam.

The plain fact is that not only one artificial language, but several,
already exist, which not only can express, but already have expressed
all the ideas current in social intercourse, business, and serious
exposition. It is only necessary to state the facts briefly.


Three congresses were held in all for the promotion of this language.
The third (Paris, 1889) was the most important. It was attended by
Volapükists from many different nations, who carried on all their
business in Volapük, and found no difficulty in understanding one
another. Besides this, there were a great many newspapers published in
Volapük, which treated of all kinds of subjects.

Secondly—_Idiom Neutral_, the lineal descendant of Volapük.

It is regulated by an international academy, which sends round circulars
and does all its business in Idiom Neutral.


Since the publication of the language in 1887 it has had a gradually
increasing number of adherents, who have used it for all ordinary
purposes of communication. A great number of newspapers and reviews of
all kinds are now published regularly in Esperanto in a great variety
of countries. I take up a chance number of the _Internacia Scienca
Revuo_, which happens to be on my table, and find the following subjects
among the contents of the month: "_Rôle_ of living beings in the general
physiology of the earth," "The carnivorous animals of Sweden," "The part
played by heredity in the etiology of chronic nephritis," "The migration
of the lemings," "Notices of books," "Notes and correspondence," etc.
In fact, the Review has all the appearance of an ordinary scientific
periodical, and the articles are as clearly expressed and as easy to
read as those in any similar review in a national language.

Even more convincing perhaps, for the uninitiated, is the evidence
afforded by the International Congresses of Esperantists. The first was
held at Boulogne in August 1905. It marked an epoch in the lives of
many of the participants, whose doubts as to the practical nature of an
artificial language there, for good and all, yielded to the logic of
facts; and it may well be that it will some day be rather an outstanding
landmark in the history of civilization. A brief description will,
therefore, not be out of place.

In the little seaport town on the north coast of France had come
together men and women of more than twenty different races. Some were
experts, some were beginners; but all save a very few must have been
alike in this, that they had learnt their Esperanto at home, and, as
far as oral use went, had only been able to speak it (if at all) with
members of their own national groups—that is, with compatriots who had
acquired the language under the same conditions as to pronunciation,
etc., as themselves. Experts and beginners, those who from practical
experience knew the great possibilities of the new tongue as a written
medium, no less than the neophytes and tentative experimenters who had
come to see whether the thing was worth taking seriously, they were now
to make the decisive trial—in the one case to test the faith that was
in them, in the other to set all doubt at rest in one sense or the other
for good and all.

The town theatre had been generously placed at the disposal of the
Congress, and the author of the language, Dr. Zamenhof, had left his
eye-patients at Warsaw and come to preside at the coming out of his
_kara lingvo_, now well on in her 'teens, and about to leave the
academic seclusion of scholastic use and emerge into the larger sphere
of social and practical activity.

On Saturday evening, August 5, at eight o'clock, the Boulogne Theatre
was packed with a cosmopolitan audience. The unique assembly was
pervaded by an indefinable feeling of expectancy; as in the lull before
the thunderstorm, there was the hush of excitement, the tense silence
charged with the premonition of some vast force about to be let loose
on the world. After a few preliminaries, there was a really dramatic
moment when Dr. Zamenhof stood up for the first time to address his
world-audience in the world-tongue. Would they understand him? Was their
hope about to be justified? or was it all a chimera, "such stuff as
dreams are made on"?

_Gesinjoroj_ (= Ladies and gentlemen)—the great audience
craned forward like one man, straining eyes and ears towards the
speaker,—_Kun granda plezuro mi akceptis la proponon..._ The
crowd drank in the words with an almost pathetic agony of anxiety.
Gradually, as the clear-cut sentences poured forth in a continuous
stream of perfect lucidity, and the audience realized that they were
all listening to and all understanding a really international speech
in a really international tongue—a tongue which secured to them, as
here in Boulogne so throughout the world, full comprehension and a
sense of comradeship and fellow-citizenship on equal terms with all
users of it—the anxiety gave way to a scene of wild enthusiasm. Men
shook hands with perfect strangers, and all cheered and cheered again.
Zamenhof finished with a solemn declamation of one of his hymns (given
as an appendix to this volume, with translation), embodying the lofty
ideal which has inspired him all through and sustained him through the
many difficulties he has had to face. When he came to the end, the fine
passage beginning with the words, _Ni inter popoloj la murojn detruos_
("we shall throw down the walls between the peoples"), and ending _amo
kaj vero ekregos sur tero_ ("love and truth shall begin their reign on
earth"), the whole concourse rose to their feet with prolonged cries of
"Vivu Zamenhof!"

No doubt this enthusiasm may sound rather forced and unreal to those
who have not attended a congress, and the cheers may ring hollow across
intervening time and space. Neither would it be good for this or any
movement to rely upon facile enthusiasm, as easily damped as aroused.
There is something far more than this in the international language

At the same time, it is impossible for any one who has not tried it to
realize the thrill—not a weak, sentimental thrill, but a reasonable
thrill, starting from objective fact and running down the marrow of
things—given by the first real contact with an international language
in an international setting. There really is a feeling as of a new power
born into the world.

Those who were present at the Geneva Congress, 1906, will not soon
forget the singing of the song "La Espero" at the solemn closing of
the week's proceedings. The organ rolled out the melody, and when the
gathered thousands that thronged the floor of the hall and packed the
galleries tier on tier to the ceiling took up the opening phrase—

                     En la mondon venis nova sento,
                     Tra la mondo iras forta voko,[1]

they meant every word of it. It was a fitting summary of the impressions
left by the events of the week, and what the lips uttered must have been
in the hearts and minds of all.

   [1]Into the world has come a new feeling,
   Through the world goes a mighty call.

As an ounce of personal experience is worth a pound of second-hand
recital, a brief statement may here be given of the way in which the
present writer came to take up Esperanto, and of the experiences which
soon led him to the conviction of its absolute practicability and

In October, 1905, having just returned from an absence of some years in
Canada and the Far East, he had his attention turned to Esperanto for
the first time by reading an account of the Congress of Boulogne. He had
no previous knowledge of, or leanings towards, a universal language; and
if he had thought about it at all, it was only to laugh at the idea as a
wild and visionary scheme. In short, his attitude was quite normal.

But here was a definite statement, professing to be one of positive
accomplished fact. One of two things: either the newspaper account
was not true; or else, the facts being as represented, here was a
new possibility to be reckoned with. The only course was to send for
the books and test the thing on its merits. Being somewhat used to
languages, he did not take long to see that this one was good enough in
itself. A letter, written in Esperanto, after a few days' study of the
grammar at odd times, with a halfpenny Esperanto-English key enclosed,
was fully understood by the addressee, though he was ignorant up till
then of the very existence of Esperanto. This experience has often been
since repeated; indeed, the correspondent will often write back after a
few days in Esperanto. Such letters have always been found intelligible,
though in no case did the correspondent know Esperanto previously. The
experiment is instructive and amusing, and can be tried by any one for
an expenditure of twopence for keys and a few hours for studying the
sixteen rules and their application. To many minds these are far simpler
and more easy to grasp for practical use than the rules for scoring at

After a month or two's playing with the language in spare time,
the writer further tested it, by sending out a flight of postcards
to various selected Esperantists' addresses in different parts of
the Russian Empire. The addressees ranged from St. Petersburg and
Helsingfors through Poland to the Caucasus and to far Siberia. In nearly
every case answers were received, and in some instances the initial
interchange of postcards led to an extremely interesting correspondence,
throwing much light on the disturbed state of things in the native
town or province of the correspondent. From a Tiflis doctor came a
graphic account of the state of affairs in the Caucasus; while a school
inspector from the depths of Eastern Siberia painted a vivid picture of
the effect of political unrest on the schools—lockouts and "malodorous
chemical obstructions" (_Anglice_—the schools were stunk out). Many
writers expressed themselves with great freedom, but feared their
letters would not pass the censor. Judging by the proportion of answers
received, the censorship was not at that time efficient. In no case was
there any difficulty in grasping the writer's meaning. All the answers
were in Esperanto.

This was fairly convincing, but still having doubts on the question of
pronunciation, the writer resolved to attend the Esperanto Congress
to be held at Geneva in August 1906. To this end he continued to read
Esperanto at odd minutes and took in an Esperanto gazette. About three
weeks before the congress he got a member of his family to read aloud to
him every day as far as possible a page or two of Esperanto, in order
to attune his ear. He never had an opportunity of speaking the language
before the congress, except once for a few minutes, when he travelled
some distance to attend a meeting of the nearest English group.

Thus equipped, he went through the Congress of Geneva, and found himself
able to follow most of the proceedings, and to converse freely, though
slowly, with people of the most diverse nationality. At an early sitting
of the congress he found himself next to a Russian from Kischineff,
who had been through the first great _pogrom_, and a most interesting
conversation ensued. Another day the neighbours were an Indian nawab
and an abbé from Madrid. Another time it was a Bulgarian. At the first
official banquet he sat next to a Finn, who rejoiced in the name of
Attila, and, but for the civilizing influence of a universal language,
might have been in the sunny south, like his namesake of the ancient
world, on a very different errand from his present peaceful one. Yet
here he was, rubbing elbows with Italians, as if there had never been
such things as Huns or a sack of Rome by northern barbarians.

During the meal a Frenchman, finding himself near us English and some
Germans, proposed a toast to the "entente cordiale taking in Germany,"
which was honoured with great enthusiasm. This is merely an instance of
the small ways in which such gatherings make for peace and good will.

With all these people it was perfectly easy to converse in the common
tongue, pronunciation and national idiom being no bar in practice.

And this experience was general throughout the duration of the congress.
Day by day sittings were held for the transaction of all kinds of
business and the discussion of the most varied subjects. It was
impressive to see people from half the countries of the world rise
from different corners of the hall and contribute their share to the
discussion in the most matter-of-fact way. Day by day the congressists
met in social functions, debates, lectures, and sectional groups
(chemical, medical, legal, etc.) for the regulation of matters touching
their special interests. Everything was done in Esperanto, and never
was there the slightest hitch or misunderstanding, or failure to give
adequate expression to opinions owing to defects of language. The
language difficulty was annihilated.

Perhaps one of the most striking demonstrations of this return to
pre-Babel conditions was the performance of a three-part comedy by a
Frenchman, a Russian, and a Spaniard. Such a thing would inevitably
have been grotesque in any national language; but here they met on
common neutral ground. No one's accent was "foreign," and none of the
spectators possessed that mother-tongue acquaintance with Esperanto that
would lead them to feel slight divergences shocking, or even noticeable
without extreme attention to the point. Other theatrical performances
were given at Geneva, as also at Boulogne, where a play of Molière
was performed in Esperanto by actors of eight nationalities with one
rehearsal, and with full success.

In the face of these facts it is idle to oppose a universal artificial
language on the score of impossibility or inadequacy. The theoretical
pronunciation difficulty completely crumbled away before the test of

The "war-at-any-price party," the whole-hoggers _à tous crins_ (the
juxtaposition of the two national idioms lends a certain realism, and
heightens the effect of each), are therefore driven back on their
second line of attack, if the Hibernianism may be excused. "Yes," they
say, "your language may be possible, but, after all, why not learn an
existing language, if you've got to learn one anyway?"

Now, quite apart from the obvious fact that the nations will never agree
to give the preference to the language of one of them to the prejudice
of the others, this argument involves the suggestion that an artificial
language is no easier to learn than a natural one. We thus come to the
question of ease as a qualification.


               THE QUESTION OF PRACTICE (_continued_)—AN

   [1]Readers who do not care about the reasons for this, but desire
   concrete proofs, may skip the next few pages and turn in to p. 20,
   par. 6.

People smile incredulously at the mention of an artificial language,
implying that no easy royal road can be found to language-learning of
any kind. But the odds are all the other way, and they are heavy odds.

The reason for this is quite simple, and may be briefly put as follows:

The object of language is to express thought and feeling. Every natural
language contains all kinds of complications and irregularities,
which are of no use whatever in attaining this object, but merely
exist because they happen to have grown. Their sole _raison d'être_
is historical. In fact, for a language without a history they are
_unnecessary_[1]. Therefore a universal language, whose only object is
to supply to every one the simplest possible means of expressing his
thoughts and feelings in a medium intelligible to every one else,
simply leaves them out. Now, it is precisely in these "unnecessary"
complications that a large proportion—certainly more than half—of
the difficulty of learning a foreign language consists. Therefore an
artificial language, by merely leaving them out, becomes certainly more
than twice as easy to learn as any natural language.

   [1]i.e. they do not assist in attaining its object as a language. One
   universal way of forming the plural, past tense, or comparative
   expresses plurality, past time, or comparison just as well as fifteen
   ways, and with a deal less trouble.

A little reflection will make this truth so absurdly obvious, that the
only wonder is, not that it is now beginning to be recognized, but that
any one could have ever derided it.

That the "unnecessary" difficulties of a natural language are more than
one-half of the whole is certainly an under-estimate; for some languages
the proportion would be more like 3:4 or 5:6. Compared with these, the
artificial language would be three times to five times as easy.

Take an illustration. Compare the work to be done by the learner of
(_a_) Latin, (_b_) Esperanto, in expressing past, present, and future

(_a_) Latin:

Present tense active is expressed by—

               6 endings in the 1st regular conjugation.
               6        "       2nd         "
               6        "       3rd         "
               6        "       4th         "

Total regular endings: 24.

To these must be added a vast number of quite different and varying
forms for irregular verbs.

(_b_) Esperanto:

Present tense active is expressed by—

                1 ending for every verb in the language.

Total regular and irregular endings: 1.

It is exactly the same for the past and future.

Total endings for the 3 tenses active:

(_a_) Latin: 72 regular forms, plus a very large number of irregular and
defective verbs.

(_b_) Esperanto: 3 forms.

Turning to the passive voice, we get—

(_a_) Latin: A complete set of different endings, some of them puzzling
in form and liable to confusion with other parts of the verb.

(_b_) Esperanto: No new endings at all. Merely the three-form regular
active conjugation of the verb _esti_ = to be, with a passive participle.
No confusion possible.

It is just the same with compound tenses, subjunctives, participles,
etc. Making all due allowances, it is quite safe to say that the Latin
verb is fifty times as hard as the Esperanto verb.

The proportion would be about the same in the case of substantives,
Latin having innumerable types.

Comparing modern languages with Esperanto, the proportion in favour of
the latter would not be so high as fifty to one in the inflection of
verbs and nouns, though even here it would be very great, allowing for
subjunctives, auxiliaries, irregularities, etc. But taking the whole
languages, it might well rise to ten to one.

For what are the chief difficulties in language-learning?

They are mainly either difficulties of phonetics, or of structure and

Difficulties of phonetics are:

(1) Multiplicity of sounds to be produced, including many sounds and
combinations that do not occur in the language of the learner.

(2) Variation of accent, and of sounds expressed by the same letter.

These difficulties are both eliminated in Esperanto.

(1) Relatively few sounds are adopted into the language, and only such
as are common to nearly all languages. For instance, there are only five
full vowels and three[1] diphthongs, which can be explained to every
speaker in terms of his own language. All the modified vowels, closed
"u's" and "e's," half tones, longs and shorts, open and closed vowels,
etc., which form the chief bugbear in correct pronunciation, and often
render the foreigner unintelligible—all these disappear.

   [1]Omitting the rare _eŭ_. _ej_ and _uj_ are merely simple vowels
   plus consonantal _j_ (= English _y_).

(2) There is no variation of accent or of sound expressed by the
same letter. The principle "one letter, one sound"[1] is adhered to
absolutely. Thus, having learned one simple rule for accent (always on
the last syllable but one), and the uniform sound corresponding to each
letter, no mistake is possible.

   [1]The converse—"one sound, one letter"—is also true, except that
   the same sound is expressed by _c_ and _ts_. (See Appendix C.)

Contrast this with English. Miss Soames gives twenty-one ways of writing
the same sound. Here they are:

[Transcriber's Note:
Letters originally printed in _italics_ are here CAPITALIZED for

            AtE           grEAt            fEIGn
            bAss          EH!              wEIGH
            pAIn          gAOl             AYE
            pAY           gAUgE            obEYEd
            dAHlia        champAGnE        wEIGHEd
            vEIn          campAIGn         trAIT
            thEY          strAIGHt         hALFpenny[1]

   [1]Prof. Skeat adds a twenty-second: Lord Reay!

(Compare eye, lie, high, etc.)

In Esperanto this sound is expressed only and always by "e." In fact,
the language is absolutely and entirely phonetic, as all real language
was once.

As regards difficulties of vocabulary, the same may be said as in
the case of the sounds. Esperanto only adopts the minimum of roots
essential, and these are simple, non-ambiguous, and as international
as possible. Owing to the device of word-building by means of a few
suffixes and prefixes with fixed meaning, the number of roots necessary
is very greatly less than in any natural language.[1]

   [1]Most of these roots are already known to educated people. For the
   young the learning of a certain number of words presents practically
   no difficulty; it is in the practical application of words learnt
   that they break down, and this failure is almost entirely due to
   "unnecessary" difficulties.

As for difficulties of structure, some of the chief ones are as follows:

_Multiplicity and complexity of inflections._ This does not exist in

_Irregularities and exceptions of all kinds._ None in Esperanto.

_Complications of orthography._ None in Esperanto.

_Different senses of same word, and different words used in same sense._
Esperanto—"one word, one meaning."

_Arbitrary and fluctuating idioms._ Esperanto—none. Common sense and
common grammar the only limitation to combination of words.

_Complexities of syntax._ (Think of the use of the subjunctive and
infinitive in all languages: _ού_ and _μή_ in Greek; indirect speech
in Latin; negatives, comparisons, etc., etc., in all languages.)
Esperanto—none. Common sense the only guide, and no ambiguity in
practice. The perfect limpidity of Esperanto, with no syntactical rules,
is a most instructive proof of the conventionality and arbitrariness of
the niceties of syntax in national languages. After all, the subjunctive
was made for man and not man for the subjunctive.

But readers will say: "It is all very well to show by a comparison of
forms that Esperanto _ought_ to be much easier than a natural language.
But we want facts."

Here are some.

In the last chapter it was mentioned that the present writer first took
up Esperanto in October 1905, worked at it at odd times, never spoke it
or heard it spoken save once, and was able to follow the proceedings
of the Congress of Geneva in August 1906, and talk to all foreigners.
From a long experience of smattering in many languages and learning a
few thoroughly, he is absolutely convinced that this would have been
impossible to him in any national language.

A lady who began Esperanto three weeks before the congress, and studied
it in a grammar by herself one hour each day, was able to talk in it
with all peoples on very simple subjects, and to follow a considerable
amount of the lectures, etc.

Amongst the British folk who attended the congress were many clerks
and commercial people, who had merely learnt Esperanto by attending a
class or a local group meeting once a week, often for not many months.
They had never been out of England before, nor learnt any other foreign
language. They would have been utterly at sea if they had attempted to
do what they did on a similar acquaintance with any foreign tongue.
But during the two days spent _en route_ in Paris, where the British
party was fêted and shown round by the French Esperantists, on the
journey to Geneva, which English and French made together, on lake
steamboats, at picnics and dinners, etc., etc., here they were, rattling
away with great ease and mutual entertainment. Many of these came
from the North of England, and it was a real eye-opener, over which
easy-going South-Englanders would do well to ponder, to see what results
could be produced by a little energy and application, building on no
previous linguistic training. The Northern accent was evidently a help
in pronouncing the full-sounding vowels of Esperanto.

One Englishman, who was talking away gaily with the French
_samideanoj_,[1] was an Esperantist of one year's standing. He had
happened to be at Boulogne in pursuit of a little combined French and
seasiding at the time of the first congress held there, 1905. One day
he got his tongue badly tied up in a cafe, and was helped out of his
linguistic difficulties with the waiter by certain compatriots, who wore
green stars in their buttonholes,[2] and sat at another table conversing
in an unknown lingo with a crowd of foreigners. He made inquiries, and
found it was Esperanto they were talking. He was so much struck by their
facility, and the practical way in which they had set his business to
rights in a minute (the waiter was an Esperantist trained _ad hoc_!),
that he decided to give up French and go in for Esperanto. This man
was a real learner of French, who had spent a long time on it, and
realized with disgust his impotence to wield it practically. To judge
by his conversation next year at Geneva, he had no such difficulty with
Esperanto. He was quite jubilant over the change.

   [1]Terse Esperanto word. = partisans of the same idea (i.e.

   [2]The Esperanto badge.

Such examples could be multiplied _ad infinitum_. No one who attended a
congress could fail to be convinced.

Scientific comparison of the respective difficulty of Esperanto and
other languages, based on properly collected and tabulated results,
does not seem to be yet obtainable. It is difficult to get high-class
schools, where language-teaching is a regular and important part of
the curriculum, to give an artificial language a fair trial. Properly
organized and carried-out tests are greatly to be desired. If and when
they are made, it will probably be found that Esperanto is not only very
easy of acquisition itself, but that it has a beneficial effect upon
other language-learning.[1]

   [1]See pp. 145-55 [Part III, Chapter I].

Meantime, the present writer has carried out one small experiment in a
good secondary school for girls, where French and German are regularly
spoken and taught for many hours in the week. The head-mistress
introduced Esperanto as a regular school subject at the beginning of
the Easter term, January 1907. At the end of term a test paper was
set, consisting of English sentences to be rendered into French and
Esperanto without any dictionary or other aid, and one short passage
of English prose to be rendered into both languages with any aid from
books that the pupils wished. The object was to determine how far a few
hours' teaching of Esperanto would produce results comparable with those
obtained in a language learnt for years.

The examinees ranged from fourteen to sixteen years. They had been
learning French from two to seven years, and had a daily French lesson,
besides speaking French on alternate days in the school. They had learnt
Esperanto for ten weeks, from one to one and a half hours per week.
_Taking the papers all through, the Esperanto results were nearly as
good as the French._

One last experiment may be mentioned. It was made under scientific
conditions on September 23, 1905. The subject was an adult, who had
learnt French and German for years at school, and had since taught
French to young boys, but was not a linguist by training or education,
having read mathematics at the university.

He had had no lessons in Esperanto, and had never studied the language,
his sole knowledge of it being derived from general conversation with
an enthusiast, who had just returned from the Geneva Congress. He
was disposed to laugh at Esperanto, but was persuaded to test its
possibilities as a language that can be written intelligibly by an
educated person merely from dictionary by a few rules.

He was given a page of carefully prepared English to translate into
Esperanto. The following written aids were given:

   1. Twenty-five crude roots (e.g. _lern-_ = to learn.)

   2. One suffix, with explanation of its use.

   3. A one-page complete grammar of the Esperanto language.

   4. An Esperanto-English and an English-Esperanto dictionary.

He produced a good page of perfectly intelligible Esperanto, quite
free from serious grammatical mistake. He admitted that he could not
translate the passage so well into French or German.

Such experiments go a good way towards proving the case for an
artificial language. More are urgently needed, especially of the last
two types. They serve to convince all those who come within range of the
experiment that an artificial language is a serious project, and may
confer great benefits at small cost. Any one can make them with a little
trouble, if he can secure a victim. A particularly interesting one is
to send a letter in Esperanto to some English or foreign correspondent,
enclosing a penny key. The letter will certainly be understood, and very
likely the answer will be in Esperanto.

Doubters as to the ease and efficacy of a universal language are not
asked to believe without trial. They are merely asked not to condemn or
be unfavourable until they have a right to an opinion on the subject.
And they are asked to _form_ an opinion by personally testing, or at any
rate by weighing actual facts. "A fair field and no favour."

The very best way of testing the thing is to study the language for a
few hours and attend a congress. The next congress is to be held in
Cambridge, England, in August 1907.

Nothing is more unscientific or unintelligent than to scoff at a thing,
while refusing to examine whether there is anything in it.



In Chapters II., III., and IV. it was sought to prove that a universal
language is desirable in principle, that it already exists and is
efficient, and that it is very easy. If these propositions are true,
the only valid argument against introducing it at once would be a
demonstration that its introduction is either impracticable or else
attended with such disadvantages as to outweigh the beneficial results.

Now, it is quite true that certain schemes tending towards international
uniformity of practice and, therefore, ultimately productive of saving
of labour are nevertheless such that their realization would cause an
almost prohibitive dislocation of present organization. A conspicuous
example is the proposed adoption of the decimal system in coinage and
weights and measures. So great is the loss of time and trouble (and
therefore of money) entailed by using an antiquated and cumbrous-system
instead of a simple and modern one that does the work as well, that the
big firm Kynochs some months ago introduced the decimal system, in spite
of the enormous difficulty of having to keep a double method going.
But hitherto, at any rate, the great disturbance to business that the
change would cause has prevented it from being generally made. Both
this matter and the curiously out-of-date[1] system of spelling modern
English present a fairly close analogy to the multilingual system of
international intercourse, as regards unprofitable expenditure of time
and trouble.

   [1]Out of date, because it has failed to keep pace with the change of
   pronunciation. Spelling, i.e. use of writing, was merely a device for
   representing to the eye the spoken sounds, so that failure to do this
   means getting out of date.

But where the analogy breaks down altogether is in the matter of
obstacles to reform.

Supposing that all the ministries of education in the world issued
orders, that as from January 1, 1909, an auxiliary language should be
taught in every government school; supposing that merchants took to
doing foreign business wholesale in an auxiliary language, or that men
of science took to issuing all their books and treatises in it; whose
business would be dislocated? What literature or books would become
obsolete? Who, except foreign correspondence clerks and interpreters,
would be a penny the worse? Surely a useful reform need not be delayed
or refused in the interests of interpreters and correspondence clerks.
Even these would only be eliminated gradually as the reform spread.
There would be absolutely no general confusion analogous to that
following on a sudden change to phonetic spelling or the metric system,
because nothing would be displaced.

Look at the precedents—the adoption of an international maritime code,
and of an international system of cataloguing which puts bibliography
on an equal footing all over the world by means of a common system
of classification. Did any confusion or dislocation follow on these
reforms? Quite the contrary. It was enough for England and France to
agree on the use of the maritime code, and the rest of the nations had
to come into line. It would be the same with the official recognition
by a group of powerful nations of an auxiliary language. As soon as the
world recognizes that it is a labour-saving device on a large scale, and
a matter of public convenience on the same plane as codes, telegraphy,
or shorthand, it will no doubt be introduced. But why wait until there
are rival schemes with large followings and vested interests—in short,
until the same obstacles arise to the choice of an international,
artificial, and neutral language, as now prevent the elevation of any
national language into a universal medium? The plea of impracticability
on the score of dislocation might then be valid. At present it is not.
To have an easy language that will carry you anywhere and enable you to
read anything, it is sufficient to wish for it. Only, as we Britons are
being taught to "think imperially," so must the nations learn in this
matter to _wish internationally_.



The main work of educating the public to "wish internationally," the
necessary precedent to official action, has naturally in the past been
done by the adherents of the various language-schemes themselves. An
outline of the most important of these movements is given in the second
part of this book.

But apart from these there is now an international organization that is
working for the adoption of an international auxiliary language, and a
brief account of it may be given here.

During the Paris Exhibition of 1900 a number of international congresses
and learned societies, which were holding meetings there, appointed
delegates for the consideration of the international language question.
These delegates met on January 17, 1901, and founded a "Delegation for
the Adoption of an International Auxiliary Language." They drew up the
following declaration, which has been approved by all subsequently
elected delegates:

       *       *       *       *       *



The undersigned, deputed by various Congresses and Societies to study
the question of an international auxiliary language, have agreed on the
following points:

(1) There is a necessity to choose and to spread the use of an
international language, designed not to replace national idioms in the
individual life of each people, but to serve in the written and oral
relations between persons whose mother-tongues are different.

(2) In order to fulfil its purpose usefully, an international language
must satisfy the following conditions:

   1st Condition: It must fulfil the needs of the ordinary intercourse
   of social life, of commercial communications, and of scientific and
   philosophic relations;

   2nd Condition: It must be easily acquired by every person of
   average elementary education, and especially by persons of European

   3rd Condition: It must not be one of the national languages.

(3) It is desirable to organize a general DELEGATION representing
all who realize the necessity, as well as the possibility, of an
international auxiliary language, and who are interested in its
employment. This Delegation will appoint a Committee of members who can
meet during a certain period of time. The purpose of this Committee is
defined in the following articles.

(4) The choice of the auxiliary language belongs in the first instance
to the _International Association of Academies_, or, in case of failure,
to the Committee mentioned in Art. 3.

(5) Consequently the first duty of the Committee will be to present to
the _International Association of Academies_, in the required forms, the
desires expressed by the constituent Societies and Congresses, and to
invite it respectfully to realize the project of an auxiliary language.

(6) It will be the duty of the Committee to create a Society for
propaganda, to spread the use of the auxiliary language which is chosen.

(7) The undersigned, being delegated by various Congresses and
Societies, decide to approach all learned bodies, and all societies of
business men and tourists, in order to obtain their adhesion to the
present project.

(8) Representatives of regularly constituted Societies which have
agreed to the present _Declaration_ will be admitted as members of the

       *       *       *       *       *

This declaration is the official programme of the Delegation. The most
important point of principle to note is Art. 2, 3rd Con.: "It must not
be one of the national languages."

As regards the methods of action prescribed, no attempt is to be made
to bring direct pressure to bear upon any government. It was rightly
felt that the adoption of a universal language is a matter for private
initiative. No government can properly take up the question, no Ministry
of Education can officially introduce an auxiliary language into the
schools under its control, until the principle has met with a certain
amount of general recognition. The result of a direct appeal to any
government or governments could only have been, in the most favourable
case, the appointment by the government appealed to of a commission to
investigate and report on the question. Such a commission would examine
experts and witnesses from representative bodies, such as academies,
institutes, philological and other learned societies. The best course of
action, therefore, for the promoters of an international language is to
apply direct to such bodies, to bring the question before them and try
to gain their support. This is what the Delegation has done.

Now, there already exists an international organization whose object
is to represent and focus the opinion of learned societies in all
countries. This is the International Association of Academies, formed in
1900 for the express purpose, according to its statutes, of promoting
"scientific enterprises of international interest." The delegates feel
that the adoption of an international language comes in the fullest
sense within the letter and spirit of this statute. It is, therefore,
to this Association that the choice of language is, in the first place,
left. (Art. 4.)

The Association meets triennially. At its first meeting (Paris 1901)
the question of international language was brought before it by General
Sébert, of the French Institute, but too late to be included among the
agenda of that meeting. The occasion was important as eliciting an
expression of opinion on the part of the signatories to General Sébert's
address. These included twenty-five members of the French Institute, one
of the most distinguished scientific bodies in the world.

At the second meeting of the Association (London 1904) the Delegation
did not officially present the question for discussion, but the
following paragraph appears in the report of the proceedings of the
Royal Society, which was the host (_London Royal Society_, 1904, C.
Section of Letters, Thursday, May 26, 1904, p. 33):

"In the course of the sitting, the chairman (Lord Reay, President of
the British Academy) submitted to the meeting whether the question of
the 'International Auxiliary Language' should be considered, though
not included in the agenda. From many quarters applications had been
made that the subject might be discussed in some form or other. Prof.
Goldziher and M. Perrot spoke against the suggested discussion,
the former maintaining that the matter was a general question of
international communication, and did not specifically affect scientific
interests; the latter announced that he had been commissioned by the
_Académie des Inscriptions_ to oppose the consideration of this subject.
The matter then dropped."

The third meeting of the Association of Academies was held at Vienna
at the end of May 1907, under the auspices of the Vienna Academy of
Science. The question was officially laid before it by the Delegation.
The Association declared, for formal reasons, that the question did not
fall within its competence.[1]

   [1]In the voting as to the inclusion of the question in the agenda,
   eight votes were cast in favour of international language, and twelve
   against. This considerable minority shows very encouraging progress
   in such a body, considering the newness of the scheme.

Up till now only two national academies have shown themselves favourable
to the scheme, those of Vienna and Copenhagen.

The Vienna Academy commissioned one of its most eminent members,
Prof. Schuchardt, to watch the movement on its behalf, and to keep it
informed on the subject. In 1904 he presented a report favourable to
an international language. He and Prof. Jespersen are amongst the most
famous philologists who support the movement.

It is not therefore anticipated that the Association of Academies will
take up the question; and the Delegation, thinking it desirable not to
wait indefinitely till it is converted, has proceeded to the election
of a committee, as provided in Art. 4 of the Declaration. It consists
of twelve members, with powers to add to their number. It will meet in
Paris, October 5, 1907. It is anticipated that the language chosen will
be Esperanto. None of the members of this international committee are
English, all the English savants invited having declined.

What may be the practical effect of the choice made by this Committee
remains to be seen. In France there is a permanent Parliamentary
Commission for the consideration of questions affecting public
education. This Commission has for some time had before it a proposal
for the introduction of Esperanto into the State schools of France,
signed by twelve members of Parliament and referred by the House to
the Commission. This year the proposal has been presented again in a
different form. The text of the scheme, which is much more practical
than the former one, is as follows:

"The study of the international language Esperanto will be included in
the curricula of those government schools in which modern languages are
already taught.

"This study will be optional, and candidates who offer for the various
examinations English, German, Italian, Spanish, or Arabic, will be
allowed to offer Esperanto as an additional subject.

"They will be entitled to the advantages enjoyed by candidates who offer
an additional language."

At present it is a very usual thing to offer an additional language, and
if this project passes, Esperanto will be on exactly the same footing as
other languages for this purpose. The project of recognizing Esperanto
as a principal language for examination was entirely impracticable. It
is far too easy, and would merely have become a "soft option" and a
refuge for the destitute.

It is said that a majority of the Commission are in favour of
introducing an auxiliary language into the schools, when one has been
chosen by the Delegation or by the Association of Academies. It is
therefore possible that in a year or two Esperanto may be officially
recognized in France; and if this is so, other nations will have to
examine the matter seriously.

Considering that the French are notoriously bad linguists and, above all
other peoples, devoted to the cult of their own language and literature,
it is somewhat remarkable that the cause of an artificial language
should have made more progress among them than elsewhere. It might have
been anticipated that the obstructionist outcry, raised so freely in all
countries by those who imagine that an insidious attack is being made on
taste, culture, and national language and literature, would have been
particularly loud in France. On the contrary, it is precisely in that
country that the movement has made most popular progress, and that it
numbers the most scientists, scholars, and distinguished men among its
adherents. Is it that history will one day have to record another case
of France leading Europe in the van of progress?

Encouraged by the number of distinguished signatures obtained in France
to their petition in 1901, the Delegation drew up a formula of assent
to their Declaration, which they circulate amongst (1) members of
academies, (2) members of universities, in all countries. They also
keep a list of societies of all kinds who have declared their adherence
to the scheme. The latest lists (February and March 1907) show 1,060
signatures of academicians and university members, and 273 societies.
In both cases the most influential backing is in France. Thus among the
signatures figure in Paris alone:

                10 professors of the College de France;
                 8      "     "   "  Faculty of Medicine;
                13      "     "   "  Faculty of Science;
                11      "     "   "  Faculty of Letters;
                12      "     "   "  École Normale;
                37  members   of the Academy of Science;

besides a host of other members of various learned bodies. Many of these
are members of that august body the Institut de France, and one is a
member of the Académie française—M. Lavisse.

It is the same in the other French Universities: Lyons University, 53
professors; Dijon, 34; Caen, 18; Besançon, 15; Grenoble, 26; Marseilles,
56, and so on.

Universities in other lands make a fair showing. America contributes
supporters from John Hopkins University, 20 professors; Boston Academy
of Arts and Sciences, 13 members; Harvard, 7 professors; Columbia
University, 23 professors; Washington Academy of Science, 19 members;
Columbus University, Ohio, 21 professors, etc. Dublin and Edinburgh both
contribute a few. England is represented by one entry: "Cambridge, 2
professors." Perhaps the Cambridge Congress will change this somewhat.
It will be strange if any one can actually witness a congress without
having his imagination to some extent stirred by the possibilities.

A noticeable feature of the action of the Delegation throughout has been
the scientific spirit in which it has gone to work, and its absolute
impartiality as to the language to be adopted. It has everywhere, in
its propaganda and circulars, spoken of "an international auxiliary
language," and has been careful not to prejudge in any way the question
as to which shall be adopted.

It may be news to many that there are several rival languages in the
field. Even the enthusiastic partisans of Esperanto are often completely
ignorant of the existence of competitors. It was partly with the object
of furnishing full information to the Delegates who are to make the
choice, that MM. Couturat and Leau composed their admirable _Histoire
de la langue universelle_. It contains a brief but scientific account
of each language mentioned, the leading principles of its construction,
and an excellent critique. The main principles are disengaged by the
authors with a masterly clearness and precision of analysis from the
mass of material before them. Though they are careful to express no
personal preference, and let fall nothing which might unfairly prejudice
the delegates in favour of any scheme, it is not difficult to judge, by
a comparison of the scientific critiques, which of the competing schemes
analysed most fully carries out the principles which experience now
shows to be essential to success for any artificial language.

The impression left is, that whether judged by the test of conformity to
necessary principles, or by the old maxim "possession is nine points of
the law," Esperanto has no serious rival.



There are some who fully admit the desirability of an international
language, but say that we have no need to invent one, as we have Latin.
This tends to be the argument of literary persons.[1] They back it up by
pointing out that Latin has already done duty in the Middle Ages as
a common medium, and therefore, they say, what it has once done with
success it can do again.

   [1]It has even cropped up again in the able articles in _The
   Times_ on the reformed pronunciation of Latin (April 1907).

It is hard to argue with such persons, because they have not grasped
the fact that the nature of international communication has undergone
a complete change, and that therefore there is no presumption that
the same medium will suffice for carrying it on. In the Middle Ages
the cosmopolitan public was almost entirely a learned one. The only
people who wanted to communicate with foreigners (except for a certain
amount of commerce) were scholars, and the only things they wanted to
communicate about were learned subjects, mostly of a philosophical
or literary nature, which Latin was adapted to express. The educated
public was extremely small, and foreign travel altogether beyond the
reach of all but the very few. The overwhelming mass of the people were
illiterate, and fast tied to their native spot by lack of pence, lack of
communications, and the general conditions of life.

Now that everybody can read and write and get about, and all the
conditions of life have changed, the cosmopolitan public, so far from
being confined to a handful of scholars and merchants, extends down
to and is largely made up of that terrible modern production, "the
man in the street." It is quite ridiculous to pretend that because
an Erasmus or a Casaubon could carry on literary controversies, with
amazing fluency and hard-hitting, in Ciceronian Latin, therefore "the
bald-headed man at the back of the omnibus" can give up the time
necessary to obtaining a control of Latin sufficient for the conduct of
his affairs, or for hobnobbing with his kind abroad.

It is waste of time to argue with those who do not realize that the
absolute essentials of any auxiliary language in these days are ease
of acquirement and accessibility to all. There are actually some
newspapers published in Latin and dealing with modern topics. As an
amusement for the learned they are all very well; but the portentous
periphrases to which they are reduced in describing tramway accidents
or motor-cars, the rank obscurity of the terms in which advertisements
of the most ordinary goods are veiled, ought to be enough to drive
their illusions out of the heads of the modern champions of Latin for
practical purposes. Let these persons take in the Roman _Vox Urbis_ for
a month or two, or get hold of a copy of the London _Alaudae_, and see
how they feel then.

A dim perception of the requirements of the modern world has inspired
the various schemes for a barbarized and simplified Latin. It is almost
incredible that the authors of such schemes cannot see that debased
Latin suffers from all the defects alleged against an artificial
language, plus quite prohibitory ones of its own, without attaining
the corresponding advantages. It is just as artificial as an entirely
new language, without being nearly so easy (especially to speak) or
adaptable to modern life. It sins against the cardinal principle that
an auxiliary language shall inflict no damage upon any natural one. In
short, it disgusts both parties (scholars and tradesmen), and satisfies
the requirements of neither. Those who want an easy language, within
the reach of the intelligent person with only an elementary school
groundwork of education, don't get it; and the scholarly party, who
treat any artificial language as a cheap commercial scheme, have their
teeth set on edge by unparalleled barbarisms, which must militate most
seriously against the correct use of classical Latin.

Such schemes are dead of their own dogginess.

Latin, pure or mongrel, won't do.



This chapter might be as short and dogmatic as Mark Twain's celebrated
chapter upon snakes in Ireland. It would be enough to merely answer
"No," but that the indefatigable Mr. Henderson, after running through
three artificial languages of his own, has come to the conclusion that
Greek is the thing. Certainly, as regards flexibility and power of
word-formation, Greek would be better than Latin on its own merits. But
it is too hard, and the scheme has nothing practical about it.



Jingoes are not wanting who say that it is unpatriotic of any Englishman
to be a party to the introduction of a neutral language, because English
is manifestly destined to be the language of the world.

Reader, did you ever indulge in the mild witticism of asking a foreigner
where the English are mentioned in the Bible? The answer, of course, is,
_The meek shall inherit the earth_. But if the foreigner is bigger than
you, don't tell him until you have got to a safe distance.

It is this attitude of self-assertion, coupled with the tacit assumption
that the others don't count much, that makes the English so detested
on the Continent. It is well reflected in the claim to have their own
language adopted as a common means of communication between all other

This claim is not put forward in any spirit of deliberate insolence,
or with the intention of ignoring other people's feelings; though the
very unconsciousness of any arrogance in such an attitude really renders
it more galling, on account of the tacit conclusion involved therein.
It is merely the outcome of ignorance and of that want of tact which
consists of inability to put oneself at the point of view of others.
The interests of English-speaking peoples are enormous, far greater
than those of any other group of nations united by a common bond of
speech. But it is a form of narrow provincial ignorance to refuse on
that account to recognize that, compared to the whole bulk of civilized
people, the English speakers are in a small minority, and that the
majority includes many high-spirited peoples with a strongly developed
sense of nationality, and destined to play a very important part in the
history of the world. Any sort of movement to have English or any other
national language adopted officially as a universal auxiliary language
would at once entail a boycott of the favoured language on the part
of a ring of other powerful nations, who could not afford to give a
rival the benefit of this augmented prestige. And it is precisely upon
universality of adoption that the great use of an international language
will depend.

To sum up: the ignorance of contemporary history and fact displayed in
the suggestion of giving the preference to any national language is only
equalled by its futility, for it _is_ futile, to put forward a scheme that
has no chance of even being discussed internationally as a matter of
practical politics.

A proof is that precisely the same objection to an auxiliary language
is raised in France—namely, that it is unpatriotic, because it would
displace French from that proud position.

The above remarks will be wholly misunderstood if they are taken to
imply any spirit of Little Englandism on the part of the writer.
On the contrary, he is ardently convinced of the mighty _rôle_ that
will be played among the nations by the British Empire, and has had
much good reason in going to and fro in the world to ponder on its
unique achievement in the past. When fully organized on some terms
of partnership as demanded by the growth of the Colonies, it will go
even farther in the future. But all this has nothing to do with an
international language. Howsoever mighty, the British Empire will not
swallow up the earth—at any rate, not in our time. And till it does, it
is not practical politics to expect other peoples to recognize English
as the international language as between themselves.

There are, in fact, two quite separate questions:

(1) Supposing it is possible for any national language to become the
international one, which has the best claims?

(2) Is it possible for any national language to be adopted as the
international one?

To question (1) the answer undoubtedly is "English." It is already the
language of the sea, and to a large extent the medium for transacting
business between Europeans and Asiatic races, or between the Asiatic
races themselves.[1] Moreover, except for its pronunciation and
spelling, it has intrinsically the best claim, as being the furthest
advanced along the common line of development of Aryan language.[2] But
the discussion of this question has no more than an academic interest,
because the answer to question (2) is, for political reasons, in the

   [1]Another argument is that based on the comparative numbers
   of people who speak the principal European languages as their
   mother-tongue. No accurate statistics exist, but an interesting
   estimate is quoted by Couturat and Leau (_Hist. de la langue
   universelle_), which puts English first with about 120,000,000,
   followed at a distance of 30,000,000 or 40,000,000 by Russian.

   [2]This is explained in Part III., chap. i., _q.v._



"You base your argument for an international language mainly on the
operation of economical laws. Be consistent, then; leave the matter
to Nature. By unlimited competition the best language is bound to be
evolved and come to the top in the struggle for life. Let the fittest
survive, and don't bother about Esperanto."

On a first hearing this sounds fairly plausible, yet it is honeycombed
with error.

In the first place, it proves too much. The same argument could be
adduced for the abandonment of effort of all kind whatever to improve
upon Nature and her processes. "You can walk and run and swim. Don't
bother to invent boats and bicycles, trains and aeroplanes, that will
bring you more into touch with other peoples. Let Nature evolve the best
form of international locomotion."

Again, Nature does not tend towards uniformity. She produces an infinity
of variety in the individual, and out of this variety she selects and
evolves certain prevailing types. But these types differ widely within
the limits of the world under varying conditions of environment. What
we are seeking to establish is world-wide uniformity, in spite of
difference of environment.

Again, the argument confuses a sub-characteristic with an organism. A
language is not an organism, but one of the characteristics of man.
After the lapse of countless ages there are grey horses and black, bay
and chestnut, presumably because greyness and blackness and the rest
are incidental characteristics of a horse. No one of them gives him a
greater advantage than the others in his struggle for life, or helps him
particularly to perform the functions of horsiness.

Just in the same way a man may be equally well equipped with all the
qualities that make for success, whether he speaks English or French,
Russian or Japanese. It cannot be shown that language materially helps
one people as against another, or even that the best race evolves the
best language.[1] Take the last mentioned. If there is one people on the
face of the globe who rejoice in an impossible language, it is the
Japanese. In the early days of foreign intercourse a good Jesuit father
reported that the Japanese were courteous and polite to strangers, but
their language was plainly the invention of the devil. To a modern mind
the language may have outlived its putative father, but its reputation
has not improved, so far as ease is concerned. Yet who will say that it
has impaired national efficiency?

   [1]Greece went down before Rome. Which was the better race, meaning
   by "better" the more capable of imposing its language and manners on
   the world? Yet who doubts that Greek was the better language?

The fact is, that for purposes of transaction of ordinary affairs by
those who speak it as a mother tongue, one language is about as good as
another. Whether it survives or spreads depends, not upon its intrinsic
qualities as a language, but upon the success of the race that speaks
it.[1] There is, therefore, no presumption that the best or the most
suitable or the easiest language will spread over the world by its own
merits, or even that any easy or regular language will be evolved.
Printing and education have altogether arrested the natural process of
evolution of language on the lips of men. This is one justification for
the application of new artificial reforms to language and spelling,
which tend no longer to move naturally with the times as heretofore.

   [1]A curious phenomenon of our day suggests a possible partial
   exception. In Switzerland French is steadily encroaching and bearing
   back German. Is this owing to the intrinsic qualities of French
   language and civilization? Materially, the Germans have the greater
   expansive power.

As regards free competition between rival artificial languages, the
same considerations hold good. The worse might prevail just as easily
as the better, because the determining factor is not the nature of the
language, but the influence and general capacity of the rival backers.
Of course a very bad or hard artificial language would not prevail
against an easy one. But beyond a certain point of ease a universal
language cannot go (ease meaning the ease of all), and that limit has
probably been about reached now. Between future schemes there will be
such a mere fractional difference in respect of ease, that competition
becomes altogether beside the point. The thing is to take an easy one
and stick to it.



One of the commonest arguments that advocates of a universal language
have to face runs something like this:

"Yes, there really does seem to be something in what you say—your
language may save time and money and grease the wheels of business;
but, after all, we are not all business men, nor are we all out after
dollars. Just think what a dull, drab uniformity your scheme would
lay over the lands like a pall. By the artificial removal of natural
barriers you are aiding and abetting the vulgarization of the world.
You are doing what in you lies to eliminate the racy, the local, the
picturesque. The tongues of men are as stately trees, set deep in the
black, mouldering soil of the past, and rich with its secular decay. The
leaves are the words of the people, old yet ever new, and the flowers
are the nation's poems, drawing their life from the thousand tiny roots
that twist and twine unseen about the lives and struggles of bygone
men. You are calling to us to come forth from the cool seclusion of
these trees' shade, to leave their delights and toil in the glare of the
world at raising a mushroom growth on a dull, featureless plain that
reaches everywhither. Modern Macbeths, sophisticated by your modernity
and adding perverted instinct to crime, you are murdering not sleep,
but dreams—dreams that haunt about the mouldering lodges of the past,
and soften the contact with reality by lending their own colouring
atmosphere. You are hammering the last nail into the coffin of the old
leisurely past, the past that raised the cathedrals, to which taste and
feeling were of supreme moment, and when man put something of himself
into his every work."

The man must be indeed dull of soul who cannot join in a dirge for the
beauty of the vanishing past. Turn where we may now, we find the same
railways, the same trams, music-halls, coats and trousers. The mad rush
of modernity with its levelling tendency really is killing off what is
quaint, out of the way, and racy of the soil. But why visit the sins
of modernity upon an international language? The last sentence of the
indictment itself suggests the line of defence. "You are hammering the
last nail into the coffin of the old, leisurely past...."

Quite so, you _are_.

The universal ability to use an auxiliary language on occasion rounds
off and completes the levelling process. But the old leisurely past
will not be any the less dead, or any the less effectually buried, if
one nail is not driven home in the coffin. The slayer is modernity at
large, made up of science, steam, democracy, universal education, and
many other things—but especially universal education. And the verdict
can be, at the most, justifiable, or at any rate inevitable, pasticide.
You cannot eat your cake and have it; you cannot kill off all the bad
things and keep all the good ones. With sterilization goes purification,
pasticide may be accompanied by pasteurization. At any rate, "the old
order changeth," and you've got to let it change.

The whole history of the "progress" of the world, meaning often material
progress, is eloquent of the lesson that it is vain to set artificial
limits to advancing invention. The substitution of cheap mechanical
processes of manufacture for hand-work involved untold misery to many,
and incidentally led to the partial disappearance of a type of character
which the world could ill afford to lose, and which we would give much
to be able to bring back. The old semi-artist-craftsman, with hand and
eye really trained up to something like their highest level of capacity,
with knowledge not wide, but deep, and all gained from experience, and
not from books or technical education—this type of character is a loss.
Many, with the gravest reason, are dissatisfied with the type which has
already largely replaced it, and which will replace it for good or evil,
but ever more swiftly and surely. But no well-judging person proposes
on that account to forgo the material advantages conferred upon mankind
by the invention of machinery. If the world rejects, on sentimental
grounds, the labour-saving invention of international language, it will
be flying in the face of economic history, and it will not appreciably
retard the disappearance of the picturesque.

There is another type of argument which may also be classed as
aesthetic, but which differs somewhat from the one just discussed. It
emanates chiefly from literary men and scholars, and may be presented as

"Language is precious, and worthy of study, inasmuch as it enshrines
the imperishable monuments of the thought and genius of the race on
whose lips it was born. The study of the words and forms in which a
nation clothed its thoughts throws many a ray of light on phases of the
evolution of the race itself, which would otherwise have remained dark.
The history of a language and literature is in some measure an epitome
of the history of a people. We miss all these points of interest in your
artificial language, and we shall, therefore, refuse to study it, and
hereby commit it to the devil."

This is a particularly humiliating type of answer to receive, because
it implies that one is an ass. In truth the man who should invent an
artificial language and invite the world to study it for itself would
be a fool, and a very swell-headed fool at that. It seems in vain to
point this out to persons who use the above argument; or to explain to
them that they would be aided in their study of languages that do repay
study by the introduction of an easy international language, because
many commentaries, etc., would become accessible to them, which are not
so now, or only at the expense of deciphering some difficult language in
which the commentary is written, the commentary itself being in no sense
literature, and its form a matter of complete indifference.

Back comes the old answer in one form or another, every variation
tainted with the heresy that the language is to be studied as a language
for itself.

Perhaps the least tedious way of giving an idea of this kind of
opposition, and the way in which it may be met, is to give some extracts
from a scholar's letter, and the writer's answer. The letter is fairly

      "MY DEAR ——,

         "Many thanks for your long letter on Esperanto....
   According to the books, Esperanto can be learnt quickly by any
   one. This means that they will forget it quite as rapidly; for
   what is easily acquired is soon forgotten.... In my humble
   opinion, an Englishman who knows French and German would do
   much better to devote any extra time at his disposal to the
   study of his own language, which, I repeat, is one of the most
   delicate mediums of communication now in existence. It has
   taken centuries to construct, while Esperanto was apparently
   created in a few hours. One is God's handiwork, and the other
   a man's toy. Personally, any living language interests me more
   than Esperanto. I am sorry I am such a heretic, but I fear my
   love for the English language carries me away....

                                                         "Yours ever,

The points that rankle are artificiality and lack of a history.


      "MY DEAR ——,

         "I really can't put it any more plainly, so I must just repeat
   it: we are not trying to introduce a language that has any interest
   for anybody in itself. An international language is a labour-saving
   device. The question is, Is it an efficient one? If so, it must
   surely be adopted. The world wants to be saved labour. It never pays
   permanently to do things a longer way, if the shorter one produces
   equally good results. No one has yet proved, or, in my opinion,
   advanced any decent argument tending to show, that the results
   produced by a universal language will not be just as good _for many
   purposes_[1] as those produced by national languages. That the results
   are more economically produced surely does not admit of doubt.

      [1]And those very important ones, relatively to man's whole field
      of activity.

      'Personally, any living language interests me more than
   Esperanto.' Of course it does. So it does me, and most sensible
   people. But what the digamma does it matter to Esperanto whether we
   are interested in it or not? It is not there to interest us. The
   question is, Does it, or not, save us or others unprofitable labour
   on a large scale? Neither you nor most sane persons are probably
   particularly interested in shorthand or Morse codes or any signalling
   systems. Yet they bear up.

      "Do try to see that we think there is a certain felt want, amongst
   countless numbers of persons, which is much more efficiently and
   economically met by a neutral, easy, international language,
   than by any national one. That is the position you have got to
   controvert, if you are seriously to weaken the argument in favour of
   an international language. If you say that it is not a want felt by
   many people, I can only say, at the risk of being dogmatic, that you
   are wrong. I happen to know that it is.[1] The question then is, Is
   there an easy way of meeting that want? And the equally certain and
   well-grounded answer is, There is....

      [1]I have before me a list of 119 societies, representing many
      different lines of work and play and many nations, who had already
      in 1903 given in their adhesion to a scheme for an international
      language. Technical terms alone (in all departments of study) want
      standardizing, and an international language affords the best
      means. The number of societies is now (1907) over 270.

      "As to your argument that what is easy is more easily
   forgotten—it is true. But I think you must see that, neither in
   practice nor in principle, does it or should it make for choosing the
   harder way of arriving at a given result. Chance the forgetting, if
   necessary re-learning as required, and use the time and effort saved
   for some more remunerative purpose.

      "'One is God's handiwork, the other a man's toy.' I should have
   said the first was man's lip-work, but I see what you mean. It is
   God working through his creature's natural development. The same
   is equally true of all man's 'toys.' Man moulded his language in
   pursuance of his ends under God. Under the same guidance he moulded
   the steam engine, the typewriter, shorthand, the semaphore, and all
   kinds of signals. What are the philosophical _differentia_ that make
   Esperanto a toy, and natural language God's handiwork? Apparently
   the fact that Esperanto is 'artificial,' i.e. consciously produced
   by art. If this is the criterion, beware lest you damn man's works
   wholesale. If this is not the criterion, what is?

      "'An Englishman who knows French and German would do much better
   to devote any extra time at his disposal to the study of his own
   language.' Yes—if his object is to qualify as an artist in language.
   No—if his object is to save time and trouble in communicating with
   foreigners. You must compare like with like. It is unscientific
   and a confusion of thought to change the subject-matter of a
   man's employment of his time on grounds other than those fairly
   intercomparable. You have dictated as to how a man should employ
   his time by changing his object in employing his time. This makes
   the whole discussion irrelevant, in so far as it deals with the
   comparative advantage of studying one language or the other.

      "Time's up! I have missed my after-lunch walk, and I expect only
   hardened your heart.


And I had!



There is a broad, twofold distinction in the aims with which the study
of foreign languages is organized and undertaken.

It serves: first, purely utilitarian ends, and is a means; secondly, the
purposes of culture, and is an end in itself.

An international auxiliary language aims at supplanting the first type
of study completely, and, as it claims, with profit to the students. The
second type it hopes to leave wholly intact, and disclaims any attempt
to interfere with it in any way. How far is this possible?

The answer depends mainly upon the efficiency of the alternative offered
by the new-comer in each case as a possible substitute.

Firstly, if it is true that a great portion of the human race,
especially in the big polyglot empires and the smaller states of Europe,
are groaning under the incubus of the language difficulty, and have to
spend years on the study of mere words before they can fit themselves
for an active career, then the abolition of this heavy handicap on
due preparation for each man's proper business in life will liberate
much time for more profitable studies. It is certain that the majority
of mankind are non-linguistic by nature and inclination rather than
linguistic—i.e. that the best chance of developing their natural
capacities to the utmost and making them useful and agreeable members of
society does not lie in making all alike swallow an overdose of foreign
languages during the acquisitive years of youth. By doing so, vast waste
is caused, taking the world round. As to the attainment of the object
of this first type of language study, not only is it as efficiently
secured by a single universal language, but far more so. _Ex hypothesi_
the object is utilitarian; the language is a means. Well, a universal
language is a better means than a national one—first, because, being
universal, it is a means to more; secondly, because, being easy and
one, it is a means that more people can grasp and employ. In fact, it
is in this field an efficient substitute; it saves much, without losing

For the second type of language-study, on the other hand, where the
end is culture and the language is studied for itself and in no wise
as an indifferent means, a universal artificial language offers no
substitute at all. This end is not on its programme. Why, then, should
any language-study that is organized in view of culture be given up on
its account?

It may, of course, be said that the time given to it by those who pursue
culture in language will be taken from the time devoted to more worthy
linguistic study, and will therefore prejudice the learning of other
languages. This is a point of technical pedagogics or psychology. There
is very good reason, from the standpoint of these sciences, to believe
that a study of a simple _type-tongue_ would, on the contrary, pay for
itself in increased facility in learning other languages. But this is
more fully discussed in the chapter for teachers (see pp. 145-55) [Part
III, Chapter I].

The question, however, is not in reality quite so simple as this.
There is no water-tight partition between utilitarian and cultural
language-study. They act and react upon each other. There really is some
ground for anxiety, lest the provision of facilities for learning an
easy artificial language at your door may prevent people from going out
of their way to learn national ones, which would have awakened scholarly
instincts in them. The cause of culture would thus sustain some real

The question is another phase—a wider and lower-grade phase—of the
great compulsory Greek question at Oxford and Cambridge. It affects the
masses, whereas the Greek controversy affects the few at the top; but
otherwise the issue at stake is essentially the same.

In both cases the bedrock of the problem is this, Can we afford to put
the many through a grind, which is on the whole unprofitable to them and
does not attain its object of conferring culture, in order to uphold
the traditional system in the interests of the few? In neither case do
the reformers desire to suppress the study of the old culture-giving
language; rather it is hoped that the interests of scholarly and liberal
learning will benefit by being freed from the dead weight of grammar
grinders, whose mechanical performance and monkey antics are merely a
dodge to catch a copper from the examiners.

When Greek is no longer bolstered up by the protection of compulsion,
some of the present bounty-fed (i.e. compulsion-fed) facilities for its
study will no doubt disappear from the schools which are at present
forced to provide them. With them will be lost some recruits who would
have been led by the facilities to study Greek, and would have studied
it to their profit. On the other hand, the university will be open to
numbers of students who are at present shut out by the Greek tariff.
Another barrier against modernity will go down, and democracy make
another step out of the proverbial gutter towards the university.

Similarly, the possession of a universally understood medium of
communication will in some cases deter people from making the effort to
study real language, with all the treasures of original literature to
which it is the key.

            "Tis true, 'tis pity; and pity 'tis, 'tis true.

But—and this is the great point—it will open the cosmopolitan outlook
to countless thousands who could never hope to grapple successfully with
even one national language. This cannot be a small gain.

It all comes back to this—you cannot eat your cake and have it too.
_Il faut souffrir pour être belle._ The international language has the
defects of its qualities. But then its qualities are great, and the
world is their sphere of utility.



This is a particularly unfortunate objection, because it displays a
radical ignorance of the history of language, and of the conditions
under which it develops.

In the first place, the whole tendency of language in the modern world
is towards disappearance of local dialects, and their absorption into
a uniform literary language. The dialects of England are almost dead
before the onset of universal education, and the great work of Dr.
Wright was only just in time to rescue them from oblivion. Even one
generation hence it will be impossible to collect much of the local
speech recorded in his dictionary. It is the same in Germany and
everywhere, though, of course, all countries are not equally advanced
in this respect. A standard form of words and grammar is fixed by print
for the literary language, and when every one can read and write, it is
all up with national evolution of language, such as has produced all
national languages. A gradual change of the phonetic value given to the
written symbols there may be. This has been pre-eminently the case in
England, though even this will now be arrested by universal education.
But a change of forms or of grammar can only be indefinitely slight
and gradual. When it takes place, it reflects a common advance of the
literary language, and not local or dialectical variation (though the
common advance may have originally spread from one locality).

In the second place, dialects are variations that spring up under the
stress of local circumstance in the familiar every-day unconscious use
of a common mother tongue among people of the same race and inhabiting
the same district. Now, these are the very circumstances in which an
auxiliary international language never can, and never will, be used. The
only exception is the case of people meeting together for the conscious
practice of the language or using it in jest.

There are no occasions when an international language would be naturally
used when any variation from standard usage would not be a distinct
disadvantage as tending to unintelligibility. In short, a neutral
language consciously learned as a means of communication with strangers
is not on an equal footing with, or exposed to the same influences as, a
mother tongue used by people every day under like conditions.

A cardinal point of difference is well illustrated by Esperanto. The
whole foundation of the language, vocabulary, grammar, and everything
else, is contained in one small book of a few pages, called _Fundamento
de Esperanto_. No change can be made in this except by a competent
elected international authority. Of course, no text-books or grammars
will be authorized for the use of any nation that are not in accordance
with the _Fundamento_. People will make mistakes, of course, just as
they make mistakes in any foreign language, and they can help themselves
out with any words from other languages, just as they do now when their
French or German fails them. But the standard is always there, simple
and short, to correct any aberration, and there is no room for any
alterations in form or structure to creep in.



It is true that Esperantists refuse to make any change in their language
at present, and this is found irritating by some able critics, who
wrongly imagine that this attitude amounts to a claim of perfection for
Esperanto. The matter may be easily put right.

The inadmissibility of change (even for the better) is purely a matter
of policy and dictated by practical considerations. Esperantists
make no claim to infallibility; they want to see their language
universally adopted, and they want to see it as perfect as possible.
Actual and bitter experience shows that the international language
which admits change is lost. Universal acceptance and present change
are incompatible. Esperantists, therefore, bow to the inevitable and
deliberately choose to concentrate for the present on acceptance.
General acceptance, indeed, while it imposes upon the present body of
Esperantists self-restraint in abstaining from change, is in reality
the essential condition of profitable future amendment. When an
international language has attained the degree of dissemination already
enjoyed by Esperanto, the only safe kind of change that can be made
is _a posteriori_, not _a priori_. When Esperanto has been officially
adopted and comes into wide use, actual experience and consensus of
usage amongst its leading writers will indicate the modifications that
are ripe for official adoption. The competent international official
authority will then from time to time duly register such changes, and
they will become officially part of the language.

Till then, any change can only cause confusion and alienate support.
No one is going to spend time learning a language which is one thing
to-day and another thing to-morrow. When the time comes for change,
the authority will only proceed cautiously one step at a time, and its
decrees will only set the seal upon that which actual use has hit off.

This, then, is the explanation of the famous adjective "netuŝebla,"
applied by Dr. Zamenhof to his language, and so much resented in certain
quarters. Surely not only is this degree of dogmatism amply justified
by practical considerations, but it would amount to positive imprudence
on the part of Esperantists to act otherwise. If the inventor of the
language can show sufficient self-restraint, after long years spent in
touching and retouching his language, to hold his hand at a given point
(and he has declared that self-restraint is necessary), surely others
need not be hurt at their suggestions not being adopted, even though
they may in some cases be real improvements.

The following extracts, translated from the Preface to _Fundamento
de Esperanto_ (the written basic law of Esperanto), should set the
question in the right light. It will be seen that Dr. Zamenhof expressly
contemplates the "gradual perfection" (_perfektigado_) of his language,
and by no means lays claim to finality or infallibility.

"Having the character of _fundament_, the three works reprinted in this
volume must be above all inviolable (_netuŝeblaj_).... The fundament
must remain inviolable _even with its errors...._ Having once lost
its strict inviolability, the work would lose its exceptional and
necessary character of dogmatic fundamentality; and the user, finding
one translation in one edition, and another in another, would have
no security that I should not make another change to-morrow, and his
confidence and support would be lost.

"To any one who shows me an expression that is not good in the
Fundamental book, I shall calmly reply: Yes, it is an error; but it must
remain inviolable, for it belongs to the fundamental document, in which
no one has the right to make any change.... I showed, _in principle_,
how the strict inviolability of the _Fundamento_ will always preserve
the unity of our language, without however preventing the language
not only from becoming richer, but even from constantly becoming more
perfect. But _in practice_ we (for causes already many times explained)
must naturally be very cautious in the process of 'perfecting' the
language: (_a_) we must not do this light-heartedly, but only in case of
absolute necessity; (_b_) it can only be done (after mature judgment) by
some central institution, having indisputable authority for the whole
Esperanto world, and not by any private persons....

"Until the time when a central authoritative institution shall decide
to _augment_ (never to _change_) the existing fundament by rendering
official new words or rules, everything good, which is not to be found
in the _Fundamento de Esperanto_, is to be regarded not as compulsory,
but only as recommended."



An attempt has been made in the preceding chapters to deal with the
more important and obvious arguments put forward by those who will hear
nothing of an international language. The objections are, however, so
numerous, cover such a wide field, and in some cases are so mutually
destructive, that it may be instructive to present them in an orderly

            For there we have them all "at one fell swoop,"
               Instead of being scattered through the pages;
            They stand forth marshalled in a handsome troop,
               To meet the ingenuous youth of future ages.


Let us hope that they will die of exposure, like the famous appendix
pilloried by Byron, and that the ingenuous one will be able to regard
them as literary curiosities.

If the business of an argument is to be unanswerable, the place of
honour certainly belongs to the religious argument. Any one who really
believes that an international language is an impious attempt to reverse
the judgment of Babel will continue firm in his faith, though one speak
with the tongues of men and of angels.

Here, then, are the objections, classified according to content.


I. _Religious_.

It is doomed to confusion, because it reverses the judgment of Babel.

II. _Aesthetic and sentimental_.

(1) It is a cheap commercial scheme, unworthy of the attention of

(2) It vulgarizes the world and tends to dull uniformity.

(3) It weakens patriotism by diluting national spirit with

(4) It has no history, no link with the past.

(5) It is artificial, which is a sin in itself.

III. _Political_.

(1) It is against English [Frenchmen read "French"] interests, as
diverting prestige from the national tongue.

(2) It is socialistic and even anarchical in tendency, and will
facilitate the operations of the international disturbers of society.

IV. _Literary and linguistic_.

(1) Lacking history and associations, it is unpoetical and unsuited to
render the finer shades of thought and feeling. It will, therefore,
degrade and distort the monuments of national literatures which may be
translated into it.

(2) It may even discourage authors, ambitious of a wide public, from
writing in their own tongue. Original works in the artificial language
can never have the fine savour of a master's use of his mother tongue.

(3) Its precisely formal and logical vocabulary and construction
debauches the literary sense for the niceties of expression. Therefore,
even if not used as a substitute for the mother tongue, its concurrent
use, which will be thrust on everybody, will weaken the best work in
native idioms.

(4) It will split up into dialects.

(5) Pronunciation will vary so as to be unintelligible.

(6) It is too dogmatic, and refuses to profit by criticism.

V. _Educational and cultural_.

(1) It will prejudice the study of modern languages.

(2) It will provide a "soft option" for examinees.

VI. _Personal and particular_.

It is prejudicial to the vested interests of modern language teachers,
foreign correspondence clerks, interpreters, multilingual waiters and
hotel porters.

VII. _Technical_.

This heading includes the criticisms in detail of various schemes—e.g.
it is urged against Esperanto that its accent is monotonous; that its
accusative case is unnecessary; that its principle of word-formation
from roots is not strictly logical; that its vocabulary is too Romance;
that its vocabulary is not Romance enough; and so forth.

VIII. _Popular_.

(1) It is a wild idea put forth by a set of cranks, who would be better
occupied in something else.

(2) It is impossible.

(3) It is too hard: life isn't long enough.

(4) It is not hard enough: lessons will be too quickly done, and will
not sink into the mind.

(5) It will oust all other languages, and thus destroy each nation's
birthright and heritage.

(6) It will not come in in our time, so the question is of no interest
except to our grandchildren.

(7) It is doomed to failure—look at Volapük!

(8) There are quite enough languages already.

(9) You have to learn three or four languages in order to understand

(10) You cannot know it without learning it.

(11) You have to wear a green star.

Pains have been taken to make this list exhaustive. If any reader can
think of another objection, he is requested to communicate with the

Most of the serious arguments have been already dealt with, so that not
many words need be said here. As regards No. VII. (Technical), this is
not the place to deal with actual criticisms of the language (Esperanto)
that holds the field. The reader will not be in a position to judge of
them till he has learnt it. Suffice it to say that they can all be met,
and some of the points criticised as vices are, in reality, virtues in
an artificial language.

As for Nos. II. and IV. (Sentimental and Literary), most of these
objections are due to the old heresy of the literary man, that an
artificial language claims to compete with natural languages _as a
language_. Once realize that it is primarily a labour-saving device,
and therefore to be judged like any other modern invention such as
telegraphy or shorthand, and most of these objections fall to the

A good many of the objections cannot be taken seriously (though they
have all been seriously made), or refute themselves or each other. No.
VIII. (10) sounds like a fake, but this was the criticism of a scholar
and linguist who had been persuaded to look at Esperanto. He complained
that though he, knowing Latin, French, Italian, German, and English,
could read it without ever having learnt it, ordinary Englishmen could
not. It is usual to judge an invention by efficiency compared to cost,
but if an appliance is to be condemned because it needs some trouble to
master it, then not many inventions will survive.

No. VIII. (9) is of course a mistake. It is like saying that you must
practice looping the loop or circus-riding in order to keep your balance
on a bicycle. The greater, of course, includes the less; but it is
better in both cases to begin with the less. It is much more reasonable
to reverse the argument and say: If you begin by learning Esperanto,
you will possess a valuable aid towards learning three or four national

No. VIII. (5) is absurd. It is the hardest thing in the world to
extirpate a national language; and all the forces of organized
repression (e.g. in unhappy Poland) are finding the task too much for
them. What inducement have the common people, who form the bulk of the
population in every land, to substitute in their home intercourse for
their own language one that they have to learn, if at all, artificially
at school? Only those who have much international intercourse will ever
become really at home in international language—i.e. sufficiently at
home to make it possible to use it indifferently as a substitute for
their mother-tongue; and people who engage in prolonged and continuous
international intercourse, though numerous, will always be in a



In the civilized West, where pleasure, business, and science are daily
forging new ties of common interests between the nations, those engaged
in such pursuits have clearly much to gain from the simplification of
their pursuits by a common language. But let us look ahead a little
further still. It may well be that the outstanding feature of the
twentieth century in history will be the coming into line of the peoples
of Asia with their pioneer brethren of the West. Look where you will,
everywhere the symptoms are plain for those who can read them. Japan has
led the way. China is following, and will not be far behind; eventually,
as the Japanese themselves foresee, she will probably outstrip Japan, if
not the world. There seems to be no ground, ethnological or otherwise,
for thinking that the lagging behind of Asia in modern civilization
corresponds to a real inferiority of powers, mental or physical, in the
individual Asiatic. Experience shows that under suitable conditions the
Asiatic can efficiently handle all the white man's tools and weapons;
the complete coming up to date is largely a matter of organization,
education, and the possession of a few really able men at the head of
affairs. Given these, progress may be astonishingly quick. Europeans do
not yet seem to have grasped at all adequately the real significance of
the last fifty years of Japanese history. Do they really think that the
Chinaman is inferior to the Japanese? If so, let them ask any residents
in the Far East. Can it be maintained that a generation ago the peasant
of Eastern Europe was ahead of the country Chinaman? But the last few
years have shown how swiftly modern civilization spreads, both in Europe
and America, from the comparatively small group of nations which in the
main have worked it out to the others, till lately considered backward
and semi-barbarous. And this is the case not merely with the material
products of civilization, the railway and the telegraph, but also as
regards its divers manifestations in all that concerns the life of the
people—constitutional government with growth of representative, elected
authorities and democracy; universal education with universal power of
reading and consequent birth of a cheap press; rise of industry and
consequent growth of towns; universal military service and discipline,
now in force in most lands; rise of a moneyed and leisured class and
consequent growth of sport, and of all kinds of clubs and societies for
promoting various interests, social, sporting, political, religious,
educational, philanthropic, and so forth. In fact, the more the material
side of life is "modernized," the more closely do the citizens of all
lands approximate to one another in their interests and activities,
which ultimately rest upon and grow out of their material conditions.
Meantime wealth and consequently foreign travel everywhere increase,
fresh facilities of communication are constantly provided, men from
different countries are more and more thrown together, and all this
makes for the further strengthening of mutual interests and the growth
of fresh ones in common.

Now if (1) under the stress of "modernization" life is already becoming
so similar in the lands of the West, and if (2) the Asiatic is not
fundamentally inferior in mental and physical endowments, then it
follows as a certainty that the Asiatic world will, under the same
stress, enter the comity of nations, and approximate to the world-type
of interest and activity. It is only a question of time. In economic
history nothing is more certain than that science, organization,
cheapness, and efficiency must ultimately prevail over sporadic,
unorganized local effort based on tradition and not on scientific
exploitation of natural advantages. Thus the East will adopt the
material civilization of the West; and through the same organization
of industrial and commercial life and generally similar economic
conditions, the same type of moneyed class will grow up, with the same
range of interests on the intellectual and social side, diverse indeed,
but in their very diversity conforming more and more to the world-type.

Concurrently with this new tendency to uniformity proceeds the weakening
of the two most powerful disintegrating influences of primitive
humanity—religion and tradition. In the earlier stages of society
these are the two most powerful agents for binding together into groups
men already associated by the ties of locality and common ancestry,
and fettering them in the cast-iron bonds of custom and ceremonial
observance. While the members of each group are thus held together by
the ideas which appeal most profoundly to unsophisticated mankind, the
various groups are automatically and by the same process held apart by
the full force of those ideas. Thus are produced castes, with their
deadening opposition to all progress; and thus arise crusades, wars of
religion and persecutions. Religion and tradition are then at once the
mightiest integrants within each single community, and the mightiest
disintegrants as between different communities.

But this narrow and dissevering spirit of caste dies back before the
spread of knowledge. The tendency to regard a man as unclean or a
barbarian, simply because he does not believe or behave as one's own
people, is merely a product of isolation and ignorance, and disappears
with education and the general opening up of a country. The inquisitor
can no longer boast of "strained relations"—strained physically on the
rack, owing to differences of religious opinion. The state of things
which made it possible for sepoys to revolt because rifle bullets were
greased with the fat of a sacred animal, or for yellow men to tear
up railway tracks because the magic desecrated the tombs of their
ancestors, is rapidly passing away, as Orientals realize the profits to
be made from scientific methods.

Thus the levelling influence is at work, and the checks upon it are
diminishing. The end can be but one. There will be a greater and greater
similarity of life and occupation the world over, and more and more
actual and potential international intercourse.

Now, the further we move in this direction, the greater will be the
impatience of vexatious restraints upon the freedom of intercourse;
and of these restraints the difference of language is one of the most
vexatious, because it is one of the easiest to remove. If we devote
millions of pounds to annihilating the barriers of space, can we not
devote a few months to the comparatively modest effort necessary to
annihilate the barriers of language?

A real cosmopolitanism, in the etymological sense of the word, _world_
(and not merely European) citizenship, will shift the _onus probandi_
from the supporters of an international language to its opponents.
It will say to them, "It is admitted that you have much intercourse
with other peoples; it is admitted that diversity of language is an
obstacle in this intercourse; this obstacle is increasing rather than
diminishing as fresh subjects raise their claims upon the few years of
education, and the old leisurely type of linguistic education fails
more and more to train the bulk of the people for life's business,
and as the ranks of the civilized are swelled by fresh peoples for
whom it is harder and harder to learn even one Indo-Germanic tongue,
let alone several; it is proved that this obstacle can be removed
at the cost of a few months' study: this study is not only the most
directly remunerative study in the world, comparing results with cost,
but it is an admirable mental discipline and a direct help towards
further real linguistic culture-giving studies for those who are fit
to undertake them. Show cause, then, why you prefer to suffer under
an unnecessary obstacle, rather than avail yourselves of this means
of removing it." It is easier for the Indo-Germanic peoples to learn
each other's languages—e.g. for an Englishman to learn Swedish or
Russian—than it is for a speaker of one of any of the other families of
languages to learn any Indo-Germanic tongue; so that some idea may be
formed of the magnitude of the task imposed upon the newer converts to
Western civilization by the Indo-Germanic world, in making them learn
one or more of its national languages. At the same time, it is but just
that the peoples who have paid the piper of progress should call the
common lingual tune. Therefore, what more fitting than that they should
provide an essence of their allied languages, reduced to its simplest
and clearest form? This they would offer to the rest of the world to
be taken over as part of the general progress in civilization which it
has to adopt; and this it is which is provided in the international
language, Esperanto.



Now that higher education for the blind is being extended in every
country, owing to the more humanitarian feeling of the present age
that these afflicted members of the community ought to be given a fair
chance, the problem of supplying them with books is beginning to be
felt. The process of producing books for the blind on the Braille system
is, of course, far more costly than ordinary printing, and at the same
time the editions must be necessarily more or less limited. Many an
educated blind person is therefore cruelly circumscribed in the range
of literature open to him by the mere physical obstacle of the lack of
books. This difficulty is accentuated by the fact that three kinds of
Braille type are in use—French, English, and American.

Now, suppose it is desired to make the works of some good author
accessible to the blind—we will say the works of Milton. A separate
edition has to be done into Braille for the English, another separate
translation for the French, and so on for the blind of each country.
In many cases where translations of a work do not already exist, as in
the case of a modern author, the mere cost of translation into some
one language may not pay, much less then the preparation of a special
Braille edition for the limited blind public of that country. But if one
Braille edition is prepared for the blind of the world in the universal
auxiliary language, a far greater range of literature is at once brought
within their grasp.

Already there is abundant evidence of the keen appreciation of Esperanto
on the part of the blind, and one striking proof is the fact that the
distinguished French scientist and doctor, Dr. Javal, who himself became
blind during the latter part of his life, was, until his death in March
1907, one of the foremost partisans and benefactors of Esperanto. By
his liberality much has been rendered possible that could not otherwise
have been accomplished. There are many other devoted workers in the same
field, among them Prof. Cart and Mme. Fauvart-Bastoul in France, and Mr.
Rhodes, of Keighley, and Mr. Adams, of Hastings, in England. A special
fund is being raised to enable blind Esperantists from various countries
to attend the Congress at Cambridge in August 1907, and the cause is one
well worthy of assistance by all who are interested in the welfare of
the blind. The day when a universal language is practically recognised
will be one of the greatest in their annals.

A perfectly phonetic language, as is Esperanto, is peculiarly suited
to the needs of the blind. Its long, full vowels, slow, harmonious
intonation, few and simple sounds, and regular construction make it very
easy to learn through the ear, and to reproduce on any phonetic system
of notation; and as a matter of fact, blind people are found to enjoy
it much. For a blind man to come to an international congress and be
able to compare notes with his fellow-blind from all over the world must
be a lifting of the veil between him and the outer world, coming next
to receiving his sight. To witness this spectacle alone might almost
convince a waverer as to the utility of the common language.


                          IDEAL _v._ PRACTICAL

From the early days of the Esperanto movement there has flowed within it
a sort of double current. There is the warm and genial Gulf Stream of
Idealism, that raises the temperature on every shore to which it sets,
and calls forth a luxuriant growth of friendly sentiment. This tends to
the enriching of life. There is also the cooler current of practicality,
with a steady drive towards material profit. At present the tide is
flowing free, and, taken at the flood, may lead on to fortune; the two
currents pursue their way harmoniously within it, without clashing, and
sometimes mingling their waters to their mutual benefit.

But as the movement is sometimes dismissed contemptuously as a pacifist
fad or an unattainable ideal of universal brotherhood, it is as well
to set the matter in its true light. It is true that the inventor of
Esperanto, Dr. Zamenhof, of Warsaw, is an idealist in the best sense of
the word, and that his language was directly inspired by his ardent wish
to remove one cause of misunderstanding in his distracted country. He
has persistently refused to make any profit out of it, and declined to
accept a sum which some enthusiasts collected as a testimonial to his
disinterested work.

It is equally true that Esperanto seems to possess a rather strange
power of evoking enthusiasm. Meetings of Esperantists are invariably
characterized by great cordiality and good-fellowship, and at the
international congresses so far these feelings have at times risen
to fever heat. It is easy to make fun of this by saying that the
conjunction of Sirius, the fever-shedding constellation of the ancients,
with the green star[1] in the dog days of August, when the congresses
are held, induces hot fits. Those who have drunk enthusiastic toasts
in common, and have rubbed shoulders and compared notes with various
foreigners, and gone home having made perhaps lifelong interesting
friendships which bring them in touch with other lands, will not
undervalue the brotherhood aspect of the common language.

   [1]Badge of the Esperantists.

On the other hand, the united Esperantists at their first international
meeting expressly and formally dissociated their project from any
connection with political, sentimental, or peace-making schemes. They
did this by drawing up and promulgating a "Deklaracio," adopted by the
Esperantist world, wherein it is declared that Esperanto is a language,
and a language only.[1] It is not a league or a society or agency for
promoting any object whatsoever other than its own dissemination as a
means of communication. Like other tongues, Esperanto may be used for
any purpose whatsoever, and it is declared that a man is equally an
Esperantist whether he uses the language to save life or to kill, to
further his own selfish ends or to labour in any altruistic cause.[2]

   [1]For text of this Declaration, see Part II., chap. vii., p. 115.

   [2]The non-sectarian nature of Esperanto is shown by the fact that
   the first two services in the language were held on the same day
   in Geneva according to the Roman Catholic and Protestant rites.
   The latter was conducted by an English clergyman, whose striking
   sermon on unity, in spite of diversity, evidently impressed his
   international congregation. The Vatican has officially expressed
   its favour towards Esperanto, and the Archbishop of Canterbury has
   sanctioned an Esperanto form of the Anglican service, which will
   be used in London and Cambridge this summer. Cordial goodwill was
   expressed towards the Vatican, on receipt of its message at Geneva,
   by speakers who avowed themselves agnostics, but welcomed any advance
   towards abolition of barriers.

The practical nature of the scheme which Esperantists are labouring to
induce the world to adopt is thus sufficiently clearly defined. Dr.
Zamenhof himself, speaking at the Geneva Congress with all the vivid
poignancy attaching to the words of a man fresh from the butcheries
at that moment rife in the Russian Empire,[1] declared that neither
he nor other Esperantists were _naifs_ enough to believe that the
adoption of their language would put an end to such scenes. But he had
_seen_ men at each other's throats, beating each other's brains out with
bludgeons—men who had no personal enmity and had never seen each other
before, but were let loose on each other by pure race prejudice. He _did_
claim that mutual incomprehensibility amongst men who thus dwell side by
side and should be taking part in a common civic life was one powerful
influence in keeping up cliques and divisions, and artificially holding
asunder those whom common interests should be joining together. It is
hard to refuse credence to this power of language, thus moderately

   [1]There were bad massacres about that time in Warsaw, where Dr.
   Zamenhof lives. During the Congress news came of the assassination
   of one of the chief civic officials of Warsaw.


                        LITERARY _v._ COMMERCIAL

Another vexed question is whether it is advisable to run an
international language on a literary or a commercial ticket.
On this rock Volapük split—

                                   A brave vessel,
           That had no doubt some noble creature in her,
           Dashed all to pieces;[1]

and there was no Prospero to conjure away the tempest and send everybody
safe home to port to speak Volapük happily ever afterwards. The moral
is, that it is no good to make exaggerated claims for a universal
language. To attempt to set it on a fully equal footing with national
languages as a literary medium is to court disaster.

   [1]Shakespeare, _The Tempest_.

The truth seems to be about this. As a potential means of international
communication, Esperanto is unsurpassed, and a long way ahead of any
national language. As a literary language, it is far better than Chinook
or Pidgin, far worse than English or Greek.

A language, no more than a man, can serve two masters. By attempting to
combine within itself this double function an international language
would cease to attain either object. The reason is simple.

Its legitimate and proper sphere demands of it as the first essential
that it should be easy and universally accessible. This means that the
words are to be few, and must have but one clearly marked sense each.
There are to be no idioms or set phrases, no words that depend upon
their context or upon allusion for their full sense.

On the other hand, among the essentials of a literary language are the
exact opposites of all these characteristics. The vocabulary must be
full and plenteous, and there should be a rich variety of synonyms;
there should be delicate half-tones and _nuances_; the words should be
not mere counters or symbols of fixed value, determinable in each case
by a rapid use of the dictionary alone, but must have an atmosphere,
a something dependent upon history, usage, and allusion, by virtue of
which the whole phrase, in the finer styles of writing, amounts to more
than the sum of the individual meanings of the words which it contains,
becoming a separate entity with an individual flavour of its own. To
attempt to create this atmosphere in an artificial language is not
only futile, but would introduce just the difficulties, redundancies,
and complications which it is its chief object to avoid. Take a single
instance, Macbeth's—

                         Nay, this my hand would rather
                The multitudinous seas incarnadine,
                Making the green one red.

Here the effect is produced by the contrast between the stately march of
the long Latin words of thundrous sound, and the short, sharp English. A
labour-saving language has no business with such words as "incarnadine"
or "multitudinous." In translating such a passage it will reproduce the
sense faithfully and clearly, if necessary by the combination of simple
roots; but the bouquet of the original will vanish in the process. This
is inevitable, and it is even so far an advantage that it removes all
ground from the argument that a universal language will kill scholarly
language-learning. It will be just as necessary as ever to read works of
fine literature in the original, in order to enjoy their full savour;
and the translation into the common tongue will not prejudice such
reading of originals more than, or indeed so much as, translations into
various mother-tongues.

Again, take the whole question of the imitative use of language. In
national literatures many a passage, poetry or prose, is heightened
in effect by assonance, alliteration, a certain movement or rhythm of
phrase. Subtle suggestion slides in sound through the ear and falls
with mellowing cadence into the heart. Soothed senses murmur their own
music to the mind; the lullaby lilt of the lay swells full the linked
sweetness of the song.

The How plays fostering round the What. Down the liquid stream of
lingual melody the dirge drifts dying—dying it echoes back into a
ghostly after-life, as the yet throbbing sense wakes the drowsed mind
once more. The Swan-song floats double—song and shadow; and in the
blend—half sensuous, half of thought—man's nature tastes fruition.

Now, this verbal artistry, whereby the words set themselves in tune to
the thoughts, postulates a varied vocabulary, a rich storehouse wherein
a man may linger and choose among the gems of sound and sense till he
find the fitting stone and fashion it to one of those—

                                     jewels five-words long,
            That on the stretched forefinger of all Time
            Sparkle for ever.

But the word-store of an international tongue must not be a golden
treasury of art, a repository of "bigotry and virtue." On its orderly
rows of shelves must be immediately accessible the right word for the
right place: no superfluity, no disorder, no circumambient margin for
effect. Homocea-like, it "touches the spot," and having deadened the
ache of incomprehensibility, has done its task. "No flowers."

Naturally some peoples will feel themselves more cramped in a new
artificial language than others. French, incomparably neat and clear
within its limits, but possessing the narrowest "margin for effect,"
is less alien in its genius from Esperanto than is English, with its
twofold harmony, its potentiality (too rarely exploited) of Romance
clarity, and its double portion of Germanic vigour and feeling. Yet all
languages must probably witness the obliteration of some finer native
shades in the international tongue.

But we must not go to the opposite extreme, and deny to the universal
language all power of rendering serious thought. Just how far it
can go, and where its inherent limitations begin, is a matter of
individual taste and judgment. There are Esperanto translations—and
good ones—of _Hamlet_, _The Tempest_, _Julius Caesar_, the _Aeneid_ of
Virgil, parts of Molière and Homer, besides a goodly variety of other
literature. These translations do succeed in giving a very fair idea of
the originals, as any one can test for himself with a little trouble,
but, as pointed out, they must come something short in beauty and
variety of expression.

There is even a certain style in Esperanto itself in the hands of a good
writer, of which the dominant notes are simplicity and directness—two
qualities not at all to be despised. Further, the unlimited power of
word-building and of forming terse compounds gives the language an
individuality of its own. It contains many expressive self-explanatory
words whose meaning can only be conveyed by a periphrasis in most
languages,[1] and this causes it to take on the manner and feel of a
_living_ tongue, and makes it something far more than a mere copy or
barren extract of storied speech.

   [1]e.g. _samideano_ = partisan of the same cause or idea. _vivipova
   lingvo_ = language capable of independent vigorous existence.

Technically, the fulness of its participial system, rivalled by Greek
alone, and the absence of all defective verbs, lend to it a very great
flexibility; and containing, as it does, a variety of specially neat
devices borrowed from various tongues, it is in a sense neater than any
of them.

One great test of its capacity for literary expression remains to be
made. This is an adequate translation of the Bible. A religious society,
famed for the variety of its translations of the Scriptures into every
conceivable language, when approached on the subject, replied that
Esperanto was not a language. But Esperantists will not "let it go
at that." Besides Dr. Zamenhof's own _Predikanto_ (Ecclesiastes), an
experiment has been made by two Germans, who published a translation
of St. Matthew's Gospel. It is not a success, and further experiments
have just been made by Prof. Macloskie, of Princeton, U.S.A., and by E.
Metcalfe, M.A. (Oxon), I cannot say with what result, not having seen

   [1]Cf. also now the "Ordo de Diservo" (special Anglican Church
   service), selected and translated from Prayer Book and Bible for
   use in England by the Rev. J. C. Rust (obtainable from the British
   Esperanto Association, 13, Arundel Street, Strand, price _7d._).

From one point of view, the directness and simplicity of the Bible would
seem to lend themselves to an Esperanto dress; but there are certain
great difficulties, such as technical expressions, archaic diction, and
phrases hallowed by association. A meeting of those interested in this
great work will take place at Cambridge during the Congress (August
1907). Experimenters in this field will there be brought together from
all countries, the subject will be thoroughly discussed, and substantial
progress may be hoped for.

In the field of rendering scientific literature and current workaday
prose, whose matter is of more moment than its form, Esperanto has
already won its spurs. Its perfect lucidity makes it particularly
suitable for this form of writing.

The conclusion then is, that Esperanto is neither wholly commercial nor
yet literary in the full sense in which a grown language is literary;
but it does do what it professes to do, and it is all the better for not
professing the impossible.



The apostle of a universal language is made to feel pretty plainly that
he is regarded as a crank. He may console himself with the usual defence
that a crank is that which makes revolutions; but for all that, it is
chilling to be met with a certain smile.

Let us analyse that smile. It varies in intensity, ranging from the
scathing sneer damnatory to the gentle dimple deprecatory. But in any
case it belongs to the category of the smile that won't come off. I know
that grin—it comes from Cheshire.

What, then, do we mean when we smile at a crank? Firstly and generally
that we think his ideal impracticable. But it has been shown that an
international language is not impracticable. This alone ought to go far
towards removing it from the list of cranks' hobbies.

Secondly, we often mean that the ideal in question is opposed to common
sense—e.g. when we smile at a man who lives on protein biscuits or
walks about without a hat. We do not impugn the feasibility of his diet
or apparel, but we think he is going out of his way to be peculiar
without reaping adequate advantage by his departure from customary

The test of "crankiness," then, lies in the adequacy of the advantage
reaped. A man who learns and uses Esperanto may at present depart as
widely from ordinary usage as a patron of Eustace Miles's restaurant
or a member of the hatless brigade; but is it true that the advantage
thereby accruing is equally disputable or matter of opinion? Is it not,
on the contrary, fairly certain that the use of an auxiliary language,
if universal, would open up for many regions from which exclusion is now
felt as a hindrance?

Take the case of a doctor, scientist, scholar, researcher in any branch
of knowledge, who desires to keep abreast of the advance of knowledge in
his particular line. He may have to wait for years before a translation
of some work he wishes to read is published in a tongue he knows, and in
any case all the periodical literature of every nation, except the one
or two whose languages he may learn, will be closed to him. The output
of learned work is increasing very fast in all civilized countries, and
therefore results are recorded in an increasing number of languages in
monographs, reports, transactions, and the specialist press. A move
is being made in the right direction by the proposal to print the
publications of the Brussels International Bibliographical Institute in

Take a few examples of the hampering effect upon scholarly work of the
language difficulty as it already exists. The diffusion of learning
will, ironically enough, increase the difficulty.[1] The late Prof.
Todhunter, of Cambridge, was driven to learning Russian for mathematical
purposes. He managed to learn enough to enable him to read mathematical
treatises; but how many mathematicians or scientists (or classical
scholars, for that matter) could do as much? And of how much profit was
the learning of Russian, _quâ_ Russian, to Prof. Todhunter? It only took
up time which could have been better spent, as there cannot be anything
very uplifting or cultivating in the language of mathematical Russian.

   [1]By multiplying the languages used.

Prof. Max Müller proposed that all serious scientific work should be
published in one of the six languages following—English, French,
German, Italian, Spanish, and Latin. But why should other nations have
to produce in these languages? and why should serious students have to
be prepared to read six languages?

All this was many years ago. The balance of culture has since then been
gradually but steadily shifting in favour of other peoples. The present
writer had occasion to make a special study of Byron's influence on the
Continent. It turned out that one of the biggest and most important
works upon the subject was written in Polish. It has therefore remained
inaccessible. This is only an illustration of a difficulty that faces
many workers.

Thirdly, there is a good large portion of the British public that
regards as a crank anything not British or that does not benefit
themselves personally. It really _is_ hard for an Englishman, Frenchman,
or German, brought up among a homogeneous people of old civilization,
to realize the extent of the incubus under which the smaller nations
of Europe and the polyglot empires further east are groaning. Imagine
yourself an educated Swiss, Dutchman, or a member of any of the thirty
or forty nationalities that make up the Austrian or Russian Empires.
How would you like to have to learn three or four foreign languages for
practical purposes before you could hope to take much of a position in
life? Can any one assert that the kind of grind required, with its heavy
taxation of the memory, is in most cases really educative or confers

Think it out. What do you really mean when you jeer at an Esperantist?



An international language is not an attempt to replace or damage in any
way any existing language or literature.



An international language is an attempt to save the greatest amount of
labour and open the widest fields of thought and action to the greatest

                                PART II




Though the idea of an artificially constructed language to meet the
needs of speakers of various tongues seems for some reason to contain
something absurd or repellent to the mind of Western Europeans, there
have, as a matter of fact, been various attempts made at different times
and places to overcome the obvious difficulty in the obvious way; and
all have met with a large measure of success.

The usual method of procedure has been quite rough and ready. Words
or forms have been taken from a variety of languages, and simply
mixed up together, without any scientific attempt at co-ordination or
simplification. The resulting international languages have varied in
their degree of artificiality, and in the proportions in which they were
consciously or semi-consciously compiled, or else adopted their elements
ready-made, without conscious adaptation, from existing tongues. But
their production, widespread and continuous use, and great practical
utility, showed that they arose in response to a felt want. The wonder
is that the world should have grown so old without supplying this want
in a more systematic way.

Every one has heard of the _lingua franca_ of the Levant. In India the
master-language that carries a man through among a hundred different
tribes is Hindustanee, or Urdu. At the outset it represented a new need
of an imperial race. It had its origin during the latter half of the
sixteenth century under Akbar, and was born of the sudden extension
of conquest and affairs brought about by the great ruler. Round him
gathered a cosmopolitan crowd of courtiers, soldiers, vassal princes,
and followers of all kinds, and wider dealings than the ordinary local
petty affairs received a great stimulus. Urdu is a good example of a
mix-up language, with a pure Aryan framework developed out of a dialect
of the old Hindi. In fact, it is to India very much what Esperanto might
be to Europe, only it is more empirical, and not so consciously and
scientifically worked out.

Somewhat analogous to Urdu, in that it is a literary language used
by the educated classes for intercommunication throughout a polygot
empire, is the Mandarin Chinese. If China is not "polygot" in the strict
technical sense of the term, she is so in fact, since the dialects used
in different provinces are mutually incomprehensible for the speakers of
them. Mandarin is the official master-language.

Rather of the nature of _patois_ are Pidgin-English, Chinook, and
Benguela, the language used throughout the tribes of the Congo. Yet
business of great importance and involving large sums of money is, or
has been, transacted in them, and they are used over a wide area.

Pidgin consists of a medley of words, largely English, but with a
considerable admixture from other tongues, combined in the framework
of Chinese construction. It is current in ports all over the East,
and is by no means confined to China. The principle is that roots,
chiefly monosyllabic, are used in their crude form without inflection
or agglutination, the mere juxtaposition (without any change of form)
showing whether they are verbs, adjectives, etc. This is the Chinese
contribution to the language.

Chinook is the key-language to dealings with the huge number of
different tribes of American Indians. It contains a large admixture of
French words, and was to a great extent artificially put together by the
Hudson Bay Company's officials, for the purposes of their business.

Quite apart from these various more or less consciously constructed
mixed languages, there is a much larger artificial element in many
national languages than is commonly realized. Take modern Hungarian,
Greek, or even Italian. Literary Italian, as we know it, is largely an
artificial construction for literary purposes, made by Dante and others,
on the basis of a vigorous and naturally supple dialect. With modern
Greek this is even more strikingly the case. As a national language
it is almost purely the work of a few scholars, who in modern times
arbitrarily and artificially revived and modified the ancient Greek.

There seems, then, to be absolutely no foundation in experience for
opposing a universal language on the score of artificiality.



                        List of Schemes proposed

The story of Babel in the Old Testament reflects the popular feeling
that confusion of tongues is a hindrance and a curse. Similarly in the
New Testament the Pentecostal gift of tongues is a direct gift of God.
But apparently it was not till about 300 years ago that philosophers
began to think seriously about a world-language.

The earliest attempts were based upon the mediaeval idea that man might
attain to a perfect knowledge of the universe. The whole sum of things
might, it was thought, be brought by division and subdivision within
an orderly scheme of classification. To any conceivable idea or thing
capable of being represented by human speech might therefore be attached
a corresponding word, like a label, on a perfectly regular and logical
system. Words would thus be self-explanatory to any person who had
grasped the system, and would serve as an index or key to the things
they represented. Language thus became a branch of philosophy as the men
of the time conceived it, or at all events a useful handmaid. Thus arose
the idea of a "philosophical language."

A very simple illustration will serve to show what is meant. Go into
a big library and look up any work in the catalogue. You will find
a reference number—say, 04582.g. 35,c. If you learnt the system of
classification of that library, the reference number would explain to
you where to find that particular book out of any number of millions.
The fact of the number beginning with a "0" would at once place the book
in a certain main division, and so on with the other numbers, till "g"
in that series gave you a fairly small subdivision. Within that, "35"
gives you the number of the case, and "c" the shelf within the case. The
book is soon run to earth.

Just so a word in a philosophical language. Suppose the word is _brabo_.
The final _o_ shows it to be a noun. The monosyllabic root shows it to
be concrete. The initial _b_ shows it to be in the animal category. The
subsequent letters give subdivisions of the animal kingdom, till the
word is narrowed down by its form to membership of one small class of
animals. The other members of the class will be denoted by an ordered
sequence of words in which only the letter denoting the individual is
changed. Thus, if _brabo_ means "dog," _braco_ may be "cat," and so on:
_brado_, _brafo_, _brago_... etc., according to the classification
set up.

Words, then, are reduced to mere formulae; and grammar, inflections,
etc., are similarly laid out on purely logical, systematic lines,
without taking any account of existing languages and their structure.
To languages of this type the historians of the universal language have
given the name of _a priori_ languages.

Directly opposed to these is the other group of artificial languages,
called _a posteriori_. These are wholly based on the principle of
borrowing from existing language: their artificiality consists in
choice of words and in regularization and simplification of vocabulary
and grammar. They avoid, as far as possible, any elements of arbitrary
invention, and confine themselves to adapting and making easier what
usage has already sanctioned.

Between the two main types come the _mixed languages_, partaking of the
nature of each.

The following list is taken from the _Histoire de la langue
universelle_, by MM. Couturat and Leau:

                         I. A PRIORI LANGUAGES

1. The philosopher Descartes, in a letter of 1629, forecasts a system
(realized in our days by Zamenhof) of a regular universal grammar: words
to be formed with fixed roots and affixes, and to be in every case
immediately decipherable from the dictionary alone. He rejects this
scheme as fit "for vulgar minds," and proceeds to sketch the outline
of all subsequent "philosophic" languages. Thus the great thinker
anticipates both types of universal language.

2. Sir Thomas Urquhart, 1653—_Logopandekteision_ (see next chapter).

3. Dalgarno, 1661—_Ars Signorum_. Dalgarno was a Scotchman born at
Aberdeen in 1626. His language is founded on the classification of
ideas. Of these there are seventeen main classes, represented by
seventeen letters. Each letter is the initial of all the words in its

4. Wilkins, 1668—_An Essay towards a Real Character and a Philosophical
Language_. Wilkins was Bishop of Chester, and first secretary and one
of the founders of the Royal Society. Present members please note. His
system is a development of Dalgarno's.

5. Leibnitz, 1646-1716. Leibnitz thought over this matter all his life,
and there are various passages on it scattered through his works,
though no one treatise is devoted to it. He held that the systems of
his predecessors were not philosophical enough. He dreamed of a logic
of thought applicable to all ideas. All complex ideas are compounds of
simple ideas, as non-primary numbers are of primary numbers. Numbers
can be compounded _ad infinitum._ So if numbers are translated into
pronouncible words, these words can be combined so as to represent every
possible idea.

6. Delormel, 1795 (An III)—_Projet d'une langue universelle_. Delormel
was inspired by the humanitarian ideas of the French Revolution. He
wished to bring mankind together in fraternity. His system rests on a
logical classification of ideas on a decimal basis.

7. Jean François Sudre, 1817—_Langue musicale universelle_. Sudre was a
schoolmaster, born in 1787. His language is founded on the seven notes
of the scale, and he calls it Solresol.

8. Grosselin, 1836—_Systeme de langue universelle_. A language
composed of 1500 words, called "roots," with 100 suffixes, or modifying

9. Vidal, 1844—_Langue universelle et analytique_. A curious
combination of letters and numbers.

10. Letellier, 1852-1855—_Cours complet de langue universelle_, and
many subsequent publications. Letellier was a former schoolmaster and
school inspector. His system is founded on the "theory of language,"
which is that the word ought to represent by its component letters an
analysis of the idea it conveys.

11. Abbé Bonifacio Sotos Ochando, 1852, Madrid. The abbé had been
a deputy to the Spanish Cortes, Spanish master to Louis Philippe's
children, a university professor, and director of a polytechnic
college in Madrid, etc. His language is a logical one, intended for
international scientific use, and chiefly for writing. He does not think
a spoken language for all purposes possible.

12. _Societé Internationale de linguistique_. First report dated 1856.
The object of the society was to carry out a radical reform of French
orthography, and to prepare the way for a universal language—"the need
of which is beginning to be generally felt." In the report the idea of
adopting one of the most widely spoken national languages is considered
and rejected. The previous projects are reviewed, and that of Sotos
Ochando is recommended as the best. The _a posteriori_ principle is
rejected and the _a priori_ deliberately adopted. This is excusable,
owing to the fact that most projects hitherto had been _a priori_. The
philosopher Charles Renouvier gave proof of remarkable prescience by
condemning the _a priori_ theory in an article in _La Revue_, 1855, in
which he forecasts the _a posteriori_ plan.

13. Dyer, 1875—_Lingwalumina; or, the Language of Light_.

14. Reinaux, 1877.

15. Maldent, 1877—_La langue naturelle_. The author was a civil

16. Nicolas, 1900—_Spokil_. The author is a ship's doctor and former
partisan of Volapük.

17. Hilbe, 1901—_Die Zablensprache_, Based on numbers which are
translated by vowels.

18. Dietrich, 1902—_Völkerverkehrssprache_.

19. Mannus Talundberg, 1904—_Perio, eine auf Logik und Gedachtnisskunst
aufgebaute Weltsprache_.

                          II. MIXED LANGUAGES

These are chiefly Volapük and its derivates.

1. August Theodor von Grimm, state councillor of the Russian Empire,
worked out a "programme for the formation of a universal language,"
which contains some _a priori_ elements, as well as nearly all the
principles which subsequent authors of _a posteriori_ languages have
realized. This Grimm is not to be confused with the famous philologist
Jacob von Grimm, though he wrote about the same time.

2. Schleyer, 1879—_Volapük_. (See below.)

3. Verheggen, 1886—_Nal Bino_.

4. Menet, 1886—_Langue universelle_. An imitation of Volapük.

5. Bauer, 1886—_Spelin_. A development of Volapük with more words taken
from neutral languages.

6. St. de Max, 1887—_Bopal_. An imitation of Volapük.

7. Dormoy, 1887—_Balta_. A simplification of Volapük.

8. Fieweger, 1893—_Dil_. An exaggeration of Volapük for good and ill.

9. Guardiola, 1893—_Orba_. A fantastic language.

10. W. von Arnim, 1896—_Veltparl_. A derivative of Volapük.

11. Marchand, 1898—_Dilpok_. Simplified Volapük.

12. Bollack, 1899—_La langue bleue_. Aims merely at commercial and
common use. Ingenious, but too difficult for the memory.

                      III. A POSTERIORI LANGUAGES

1. Faiguet, 1765—_Langue nouvelle_. Faiguet was treasurer of France. He
published his project, which is a scheme for simplifying grammar, in the
famous eighteenth-century encyclopaedia of Diderot and d'Alembert.

2. Schipfer, 1839—_Communicationssprache_. This scheme has an
historical interest for two reasons. First, the fact that it is founded
on French reflects the feeling of the time that French was, as he
says, "already to a certain extent a universal language." The point of
interest is to compare the date when the projects began to be founded on
English. In 1879 Volapük took English for the base. Secondly, Schipfer's
scheme reflects the new consciousness of wider possibilities that were
coming into the world with the development of means of communication by
rail and steamboat. The author recommends the utility of his project by
referring to "the new way of travelling."

3. De Rudelle, 1858—_Pantos-Dimon-Glossa._ De Rudelle was a
modern-language master in France and afterwards at the London
Polytechnic. His language is based on ten natural languages, especially
Greek, Latin, and the modern derivatives of Latin, with grammatical
hints from English, German, and Russian. It is remarkable for having
been the first to embody several principles of the first importance,
which have since been more fully carried out in other schemes, and are
now seen to be indispensable. Among these are: (1) distinction of the
parts of speech by a fixed form for each; (2) suppression of separate
verbal forms for each person; (3) formation of derivatives by means of
suffixes with fixed meanings.

4. Pirro, 1868—_Universalsprache_. Based upon five languages—French,
German, English, Italian, and Spanish—and containing a large proportion
of words from the Latin.

5. Ferrari, 1877—_Monoglottica_ (?).

6. Volk and Fuchs, 1883—_Weltsprache_. Founded on Latin.

7. Cesare Meriggi, 1884—_Blaia Zimondal_.

8. Courtonne, 1885—_Langue Internationale néo-Latine_. Based on the
modern Romance languages, and therefore not sufficiently international.
A peculiarity is that all roots are monosyllabic. The history of this
attempt illustrates the weight of inertia against which any such project
has to struggle. It was presented to the Scientific Society of Nice,
which drew up a report and sent it to all the learned societies of
Romance-speaking countries. Answers were received from three towns—Pau,
Sens, and Nimes. It was then proposed to convene an international
neo-Latin congress; but it is not surprising to hear that nothing came
of it.

9. Steiner, 1885—_Pasilingua_. A counterblast to Volapük. The author
aims at copying the methods of naturally formed international languages
like the "lingua franca" or Pidgin-English. Based on English, French,
and German; but the English vocabulary forms the groundwork.

10. Eichhorn, 1887—_Weltsprache_. Based on Latin. A leading principle
is that each part of speech ought to be recognizable by its form. Thus
nouns have two syllables; adjectives, three; pronouns, one; verbal
roots, one syllable beginning and ending with a consonant; and so on.

11. Zamenhof, 1887—_Esperanto_. (See below.)

12. Bernhard, 1888—_Lingua franca nuova_. A kind of bastard Italian.

13. Lauda, 1888—_Kosmos_. Draws all its vocabulary from Latin.

14. Henderson, 1888—_Lingua_. Latin vocabulary with modern grammar.

15. Henderson, 1902—_Latinesce_. A simpler and more practical
adaptation of Latin by the same author—_e.g._ the present infinitive form
does duty for several finite tenses, and words are used in their modern

16. Hoinix (pseudonym for the same indefatigable Mr. Henderson),
1889—_Anglo-franca_. A mixture of French and English. Both this and the
barbarized Latin schemes are fairly easy and certainly simpler than the
real languages, but they are shocking to the ear, and produce the effect
of mutilation of language.

17. Stempel, 1889—_Myrana_. Based on Latin with admixture of other

18. Stempel, 1894—_Communia_. A simplification of No. 17, with a new

19. Rosa, 1890—_Nov Latin_. A set of rules for using the Latin
dictionary in a certain way as a key to produce something that can be
similarly deciphered.

20. Julius Lott, 1890—_Mundolingue_. Founded on Latin. Lott started an
international society for a universal language, proposing to build up
his language by collaboration of savants thus brought together.

21. Marini, 1891—_Méthode rapide, facile et certaine pour construire un
idiome universel_.

22. Liptay, 1892—_Langue catholique_. Based on the theory than an
international language already exists (in the words common to many
languages), and has only to be discovered.

23. Mill, 1893—_Anti-Volapük_. A simple universal grammar to be applied
to the vocabulary of each national language.

24. Braakman, 1894—_Der Wereldtaal "El Mundolinco," Gramatico del
Mundolinco pro li de Hollando Factore_ (Noordwijk).

25. Albert Hoessrich (date?)—_Talnovos, Monatsschrift für die
Einführung und Verbreitung der allgemeinen Verkehrssprache_ "_Tal_"
(Sonneberg, Thuringen).

26. Heintzeler, 1895—_Universala_. Heintzeler compares the twelve chief
artificial languages already proposed, and shows that they have much in
common. He suggests a commission to work out a system on an eclectic

27. Beermann, 1895—_Novilatin_. Latin brought up to date by comparison
with six chief modern languages.

28. _Le Linguist_, 1896-7. A monthly review conducted by a band of
philologists. It contains many discussions of the principles which
should underly an international language, and suggestions, but no
complete scheme.

29. Puchner, 1897—_Nuove Roman_. Based largely on Spanish, which the
author considers the best of the Romance tongues.

30. Nilson—_La vest-europish central-dialekt_ (1890); _Lasonebr, un
transitional lingvo_ (1897); _Il dialekt Centralia, un compromiss
entr il lingu universal de Akademi international e la vest-europish
central-dialekt_ (1899).

31. Kürschner, 1900—_Lingua Komun_. The author was an Esperantist,
but found Esperanto not scientific enough. It is almost incredible
that a man who knew Esperanto should invent a language with several
conjugations of the verb, but this is what Kürschner has done.

32. International Academy of Universal Language, 1902—_Idiom Neutral_.
(See below.)

33. Elias Molee, 1902—_Tutonish; or, Anglo-German Union Tongue_.
_Tutonish; a Teutonic International Language_ (1904).

34. Molenaar—_Panroman, skiz de un ling internazional_ (in _Die
Religion der Menschheit_, March 1903); _Esperanto oder Panroman? Das
Weltsprache-problem und seine einfachste Lösung_ (1906); _Universal
Ling-Panroman_ (in _Menschheitsziele_, 1906); _Gramatik de Universal_
(Leipzig, Puttmann, 1906).

35. Peano—_De Latino sine flexione_ (in _Revue de Mathématique_, vol.
viii., Turin, 1903); _Il Latino quale lingua ausiliare internazionale_
(in _Atti della R. Accademia delle Scienze di Torino_ 1904);
_Vocabulario de Latino Internationale comparato cum Anglo, Franco,
Germano, Hispano, Italo, Russo, Graeco, et Sanscrito_ (Turin, 1904). See
also the _Formulario mathematico_, vol. v. (Turin, 1906).

36. Hummler, 1904—_Mundelingua_ (Saulgau).

37. Victor Hely, 1905—_Esquisse d'une grammaire de la langue
Internationale, 1st part: Les mots et la syntaxe_ (Langres).

38. Max Wald, 1906—_Pankel (Weltsprache), die leichteste und kürzeste
Sprache für den internationalen Verkehr. Grammatik und Wörterbuch mit
Aufgabe der Wortquelle_ (Gross-Beeren).

39. Greenwood, 1906—_Ekselsiore, the New Universal Language for All
Nations: a Simplified, Improved Esperanto_ (London, Miller & Gill);
_Ulla, t ulo lingua ä otrs_ (The Ulla Society, Bridlington, 1906).

40. Trischen, 1907—_Mondlingvo, provisorische Aufstellung einer
internationalen Verkehrssprache_ (Pierson, Dresden).


                      THE EARLIEST BRITISH ATTEMPT

A perusal of the foregoing list shows that in the early days of the
search for an international language the British were well to the fore.
Of the British pioneers in this field the first two were Scots—a fact
which accords well with the traditional enterprise north of the Tweed,
and readiness to look abroad, beyond their own noses, or, in this case,
beyond their own tongues. It is likewise remarkable that the British
have almost dropped out of the running in recent times, as far as
origination is concerned. Is this fact also typical, a small symptom
of Jeshurun's general fatness? Does it reflect a lesser degree of
nimbleness in moving with the spirit of the times?

Anyhow, in this case the Briton's content with what he has got at home
is well grounded. He certainly possesses a first-class language. As a
curious example of the quaint use of it by a scholar and clever man in
the middle of the seventeenth century, the following account of Sir
Thomas Urquhart's book may be of some interest.

Sir Thomas is well known as the translator of Rabelais; and evidently
something of the curious erudition, polyglotism, and quaintness of
conceit of his author stuck to the translator. This book is the rarest
of his tracts, all of which are uncommon, and has been hardly more than
mentioned by name by the previous writers on the subject.

The title-page runs:

       *       *       *       *       *



                    Neaudethaumata    Chryseomystes
                    Chrestasebeia     Neleodicastes
                    Cleronomaporia    Philoponauxesis

             By SIR THOMAS URQUHART, of Cromartie, Knight,

     Now lately contrived and published both for his own Utilitie,
                and that of all Pregnant and Ingenious Spirits.


              Printed and are to be sold by GILES CALVERT
               at the Black Spread-Eagle at the West-end
                  of Paul's, and by RICHARD TOMLINS at
                the Sun and Bible near Pye Corner. 1653.

       *       *       *       *       *

In a note at the end of the book he apologizes for haste, saying that
the copy was "given out to two several printers, one alone not being
fully able to hold his quill a-going."

The book opens with:

                  "The Epistle Dedicatory to Nobody."

The first paragraph runs:


         "My non-supponent Lord, and Soveraign Master of contradictions
   in adjected terms, that unto you I have presumed to tender the
   dedicacie of this introduction, will not seem strange to those, that
   know how your concurrence did further me to the accomplishment of
   that new Language, into the frontispiece whereof it is permitted."

After some preliminary remarks, he says:

      "Now to the end the Reader may be more enamoured of the Language,
   wherein I am to publish a grammar and lexicon, I will here set down
   some few qualities and advantages peculiar to itself, and which no
   Language else (although all other concurred with it) is able to reach

There follow sixty-six "qualities and advantages," which contain the
only definite information about the language, for the promised grammar
and lexicon never appeared. A few may be quoted as typical of the
inducements held out to "pregnant and ingenious spirits," to the end
they "may be more enamoured of the Language." The good Sir Thomas was
plainly an optimist.

      "... Sixthly, in the cases of all the declinable parts of
   speech, it surpasseth all other languages whatsoever: for whilst
   others have but five or six at most, it hath ten, besides the

      "... Eighthly, every word capable of number is better provided
   therewith in this language, then [_sic_] by any other: for instead of
   two or three numbers which others have, this affordeth you four; to
   wit, the singular, dual, plural, and redual.

      "... Tenthly, in this tongue there are eleven genders; wherein
   likewise it exceedeth all other languages.

      "... Eleventhly, Verbs, Mongrels, Participles, and Hybrids
   have all of them ten tenses, besides the present: which number no
   language else is able to attain to.

      "... Thirteenthly, in lieu of six moods, which other languages
   have at most, this one enjoyeth seven in its conjugable words."

Sir Thomas evidently believed in giving his clients plenty for their
money. He is lavish of "Verbs, Mongrels, Participles, and Hybrids,"
truly a tempting menagerie. He promises, however, a time-reduction on
learning a quantity:

      "... Seven and fiftiethly, the greatest wonder of all is that
   of all the languages in the world it is easiest to learn; a boy of
   ten years old being able to attain to the knowledge thereof in three
   months' space; because there are in it many facilitations for the
   memory, which no other language hath but itself."

Seventeenth-century boys of tender years must have had a good stomach
for "Mongrels and Hybrids," and such-like dainties of the grammatical
_menu_; but even if they could swallow a mongrel, it is hard to believe
that they would not have strained at ten cases in three months. It might
be called "casual labour," but it would certainly have been "three
months' hard."

After these examples of grammatical generosity, it is not surprising to

      "... Fifteenthly, in this language the Verbs and Participles
   have four voices, although it was never heard that ever any other
   language had above three."

Note that the former colleagues of the "Verbs and Participles," the
"Mongrels and Hybrids," are here dropped out of the category. Perhaps
it is as well, seeing the number of voices attributed to each. A
four-voiced mongrel would have gone one better than the triple-headed
hell-hound Cerberus, and created quite a special Hades of its own for
schoolboys, to say nothing of light sleepers.

Under "five and twentiethly" we learn that "there is no Hexameter,
Elegiack, Saphick, Asclepiad, lambick, or any other kind of Latin or
Greek verse, but I will afford you another in this language of the same
sort"; which leads up to:

      "... Six and twentiethly, as it trotteth easily with metrical
   feet, so at the end of the career of each line, hath it dexterity,
   after the manner of our English and other vernaculary tongues,
   to stop with the closure of a rhyme; in the framing whereof, the
   well-versed in that language shall have so little labour, that for
   every word therein he shall be able to furnish at least five hundred
   several monosyllables of the same termination with it."

A remarkable opportunity for every man to become his own poet!

      "... Four and thirtiethly, in this language also words
   expressive of herbs represent unto us with what degree of cold,
   moisture, heat, or dryness they are qualified, together with some
   other property distinguishing them from other herbs."

In this crops out the idea that haunted the minds of mediaeval
speculators on the subject: that language could play a more important
part than it had hitherto done; that a word, while conveying an idea,
could at the same time in some way describe or symbolize the attributes
of the thing named. Imagine the charge of thought that could be rammed
into a phrase in such a language. Imagine too, you who remember the
cold shudder of your childhood, when you heard the elders discussing a
prospective dose—intensified by all the horrors of imagination when
the discussion was veiled in the "decent obscurity" of French—imagine
the grim realism of a language containing _words expressive of
herbs_,—and expressive to that extent!

There seems, indeed, to have been something rather cold-blooded about
this language:

      "... Eight and thirtiethly, in the contexture of nouns,
   pronouns, and preposital articles united together, it administreth
   many wonderful varieties of Laconick expressions, as in the Grammar
   thereof shall more at large be made known unto you."

But, after all, it had a human side:

      "... Three and fourtiethly, as its interjections are more
   numerous, so are they more emphatical in their respective expression
   of passions, than that part of speech is in any other language

      "... Eight and fourtiethly, of all languages this is the most
   compendious in complement, and consequently fittest for Courtiers and

Sir Thomas seems to have been a bit of a man of the world too.

      "... Fiftiethly, no language in matter of Prayer and Ejaculations
   to Almighty God is able, for conciseness of expression to compare with
   it; and therefore, of all other, the most fit for the use of Churchmen
   and spirits inclined to devotion."

This "therefore," with its direct deduction from "conciseness of
expression," recalls the lady patroness who chose her incumbents for
being fast over prayers. She said she could always pick out a parson who
read service daily by his time for the Sunday service.

Sir Thomas is perhaps over-sanguine to a modern taste when he concludes:

      "Besides the sixty and six advantages above all other languages,
   I might have couched thrice as many more of no less consideration
   than the aforesaid, but that these same will suffice to sharpen
   the longing of the generous Reader after the intrinsecal and most
   researched secrets of the new Grammar and Lexicon which I am to


                     HISTORY OF VOLAPÜK—A WARNING

Volapük is the invention of a "white night." Those who know their _Alice
in Wonderland_ will perhaps involuntarily conjure up the picture of the
kindly and fantastic White Knight, riding about on a horse covered with
mousetraps and other strange caparisons, which he introduced to all and
sundry with the unfailing remark, "It's my own invention." Scoffers
will not be slow to find in Volapük and the White Knight's inventions a
common characteristic—their fantasticness. Perhaps there really is some
analogy in the fact that both inventors had to mount their hobby-horses
and ride errant through sundry lands, thrusting their creations on
an unwilling world. But the particular kind of white night of which
Volapük was born is the _nuit blanche_, literally = "white night," but
idiomatically = "night of insomnia."

On the night of March 31, 1879, the good Roman Catholic Bishop Schleyer,
curé of Litzelstetten, near Constance, could not get to sleep. From
his over-active brain, charged with a knowledge of more than fifty
languages, sprang the world-speech, as Athene sprang fully armed from
the brain of Zeus. At any rate, this is the legend of the origin of

As for the name, an Englishman will hardly appreciate the fact that
the word "Volapük" is derived from the two English words "world" and
"speech." This transformation of "world" into _vol_ and "speech" into
_pük_ is a good illustration of the manner in which Volapük is based on
English, and suggests at once a criticism of that all-important point in
an artificial language, the vocabulary. It is too arbitrary.

Published in 1880, Volapük spread first in South Germany, and then in
France, where its chief apostle was M. Kerckhoffs, modern-language
master in the principal school of commerce in Paris. He founded a
society for its propagation, which soon numbered among its members
several well-known men of science and letters. The great Magasins du
Printemps—a sort of French Whiteley's, and familiar to all who have
shopped in Paris—started a class, attended by over a hundred of its
employees; and altogether fourteen different classes were opened in
Paris, and the pupils were of a good stamp.

Progress was extraordinarily rapid in other European countries, and
by 1889, only nine years after the publication of Volapük, there were
283 Volapük societies, distributed throughout Europe, America, and
the British Colonies. Instruction books were published in twenty-five
languages, including Volapük itself; numerous newspapers, in and about
Volapük, sprang up all over the world; the number of Volapükists was
estimated at a million. This extraordinarily rapid success is very
striking, and seems to afford proof that there is a widely felt want for
an international language. Three Volapük congresses were held, of which
the third, held in Paris in 1889, with proceedings entirely in Volapük,
was the most important.

The rapid decline of Volapük is even more instructive than its
sensational rise. The congress of Paris marked its zenith: hopes ran
high, and success seemed assured. Within two years it was practically
dead. No more congresses were held, the partisans dwindled away, the
local clubs dissolved, the newspapers failed, and the whole movement
came to an end. There only remained a new academy founded by Bishop
Schleyer, and here and there a group of the faithful.[1]

   [1]A Volapük journal still appears in Graz, Stiria—_Volapükabled
   lezenodik_. The editor has just (March 1907) retired, and the veteran
   Bishop Schleyer, now seventy-five years old, is taking up the
   editorship again.

The chief reason of this failure was internal dissension. First arose
the question of principle: Should Volapük aim at being a literary
language, capable of expressing all the finer shades of thought and
feeling? or should it confine itself to being a practical means of
business communication?

Bishop Schleyer claimed for his invention an equal rank among the
literary languages of the world. The practical party, headed by M.
Kerckhoffs, wished to keep it utilitarian and practical. With the
object of increasing its utility, they proposed certain changes in the
language; and thus there arose, in the second place, differences of
opinion as to fundamental points of structure, such as the nature and
origin of the roots to be adopted. Vital questions were thus reopened,
and the whole language was thrown back into the melting-pot.

The first congress was held at Friedrichshafen in August 1884, and was
attended almost exclusively by Germans. The second congress, Munich,
August 1887, brought together over 200 Volapükists from different
countries. A professor of geology from Halle University was elected
president, and an International Academy of Volapük was founded.

Then the trouble began. M. Kerckhoffs was unanimously elected director
of the academy, and Bishop Schleyer was made grand-master (_cifal_)
for life. Questions arose as to the duties of the academy and the
respective powers of the inventor of the language and the academicians.
M. Kerckhoffs was all along the guiding spirit on the side of the
academy. He was in the main supported by the Volapük world, though there
seems to have been some tendency, at any rate at first, on the part of
the Germans to back the bishop. It is impossible to go into details of
the points at issue. Suffice it to say, that eventually the director
of the academy carried a resolution giving the inventor three votes to
every one of ordinary members in all academy divisions, but refusing him
the right of veto, which he claimed. The bishop replied by a threat to
depose M. Kerckhoffs from the directorship, which of course he could not
make good. The constitution of the academy was only binding inasmuch as
it had been drawn up and adopted by the constituent members, and it gave
no such powers to the inventor.

So here was a very pretty quarrel as to the ownership of Volapük.
The bishop said it belonged to him, as he had invented it: he was
its father. The academy said it belonged to the public, who had a
right to amend it in the common interest. This child, which had newly
opened its eyes and smiled upon the world, and upon which the world
was then smiling back—was it a son domiciled in its father's house
and fully _in patria potestate_? or a ward in the guardianship of its
chief promoters? or an orphan foundling, to be boarded out on the
scattered-home system at the public expense, and to be brought up to be
useful to the community at large? A vexed question of paternity; and the
worst of it was, there was no international court competent to try the

Meantime the congress of 1889 at Paris came on. Volapük was booming
everywhere. Left to itself, it flourished like a green bay-tree. This
meeting was to set an official seal upon its success; and governments,
convinced by this thing done openly in the _ville lumière_, would accept
the _fait accompli_ and introduce it into their schools.

Thirteen countries sent representatives, including Turkey and China.
The great Kerckhoffs was elected president. The proceedings were in
Volapük. The foundling's future was canvassed in terms of himself by
a cosmopolitan board of guardians, who did not yet know what he was.
Rather a Gilbertian situation. Trying a higher flight, we may say, in
Platonic phrase, that Volapük seemed to be about midway between being
and not-being. It is a far cry from Gilbert _viâ_ Plato to Mr. Kipling,
but perhaps Volapük, at this juncture, may be most aptly described as
a "sort of a giddy harumphrodite," if not "a devil an' a ostrich an' a
orphan-child in one."

Business done: The congress discusses.

The congress passed a resolution that there should be drawn up "a simple
normal grammar, from which all useless rules should be excluded," and
proceeded to adopt a final constitution for the Volapük Academy.

Article 15 says: "The decisions of the academy must be at once submitted
to the inventor. If the inventor has not within thirty days protested
against the decisions, they are valid. Decisions not approved by the
inventor are referred back to the academy, and are valid if carried by a
two-thirds majority."

The bishop held out for his right of absolute veto, as his episcopal
fellows and their colleagues are doing "in another place" in England.
The conflict presents some analogy with other graver constitutional
matters, involving discussion of the respective merits of absolute and
suspensive veto, and may therefore have some interest at present, apart
from its great importance in any scheme for an international language.

The upshot was that dissensions broke out within the academy. The
director, unable to carry a complete scheme of reformed grammar,
resigned (1891), and the academy, whose business it was to arrange the
next congress and keep the movement going, never convened a fourth
congress. Several academicians set to work on new artificial languages
of their own; and what was left of the Academy of Volapük, under a new
director, M. Rosenberger, a St. Petersburg railway engineer, elected
1893, subsequently turned its attention to working out a new language,
to which was given the name Idiom Neutral (see next chapter).

       *       *       *       *       *

It is interesting to note that, when Volapük was nearing its high-water
mark, the American Philosophical Society appointed a committee (October
1887) to inquire into its scientific value.

This committee reported in November 1887. The report states that the
creation of an international language is in conformity with the general
tendency of modern civilization, and is not merely desirable, but
_will certainly be realized._ It goes on to reject Volapük as the
solution of the problem, as being on the whole retrogade in tendency.
It is too arbitrary in construction, and not international enough in
vocabulary; nor does it correspond to the general trend of development
of language, which is away from a synthetic grammar (inflection by means
of terminations, as in Latin and Greek) and towards an analytic one
(inflection by termination replaced by prepositions and auxiliaries).

But the committee was so fully convinced of the importance of an
international language, that it proposed to the Philosophical Society
that it should invite all the learned societies of the world to
co-operate in the production of a universal language. A resolution
embodying this recommendation was adopted by the society, and the
invitations were sent out. About twenty societies accepted—among them
the University of Edinburgh. The Scots again!

The London Philological Society commissioned Mr. Ellis to investigate
the subject, and upon his report declined to co-operate. Mr. Ellis was
a believer in Volapük, and furthermore did not agree with the American
Philosophical Society's conclusion that an international language ought
to be founded on an Indo-Germanic (Aryan) basis. In this Mr. Ellis was
almost certainly wrong, as subsequent experience is tending to show. The
Japanese, among others, are taking up Esperanto with enthusiasm, find
it easy, and make no difficulty about its Aryan basis. But, apart from
linguistic considerations, Mr. Ellis's practical reasoning was certainly
sound. It was to this effect: The main thing is to adopt a language
that is already in wide use and shown to be adequate. Alterations bring
dissension; by sticking to what we have already got, imperfections and
all, strife is avoided, and the thing is at once reduced to practice.

This was a wise counsel, and applies to-day with double force to the
present holder of the field, Esperanto, which is besides, in the opinion
of experts, a better language than Volapük, and far easier to acquire.

However, on the question of technical merits, the American Philosophical
Society was probably right, as against the London Philological Society
represented by Mr. Ellis. And the proof is that Volapük died—primarily,
indeed, of dissensions among its partisans, but of dissensions
superinduced on inherent defects of principle. That this is true may
be seen from the subsequent history of the Volapük movement. This is
briefly narrated in the next chapter, under the name of Idiom Neutral.


                        HISTORY OF IDIOM NEUTRAL

We saw above that M. Kerckhoffs was succeeded in the directorship of the
Volapük Academy, 1893, by M. Rosenberger, of St. Petersburg. During his
term of office the academy continued its work of amending and improving
the language. The method of procedure was as follows: The director
elaborated proposals, which he embodied in circulars and sent round from
time to time to his fellow-academicians. They voted "Yes" or "No," so
that the language, when finished, was approved by them all, and was the
joint product of the academy; but it was, in its new form, to a great
extent, the work of the director. At the end of his term of office it
was practically complete. It had undergone a complete transformation,
and was now called Idiom Neutral.

In 1898 M. Rosenberger was succeeded by Rev. A.F. Holmes, of Macedon,
New York State. The members of the academy vary from time to time, and
include (or have included since 1898) natives of America, Belgium,
Denmark, England, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, and Russia.

Dictionaries of Idiom Neutral have been published in English (in
America), German, and Dutch; but the language hardly seems to be in
use except among the members of the academy. These do not meet, but
carry on their business by means of circulars, drawn up, of course, in
Neutral. There are at present only four groups of Neutralists—those of
St. Petersburg, Nuremberg, Brussels, and San Antonio, Texas. The famous
linguistic club of Nuremberg is remarkable for having gone through the
evolution from Volapük to Idiom Neutral _viâ_ Esperanto! Besides these
four groups, there are isolated Neutralists in certain towns in Great
Britain. The academy seems still to have some points to settle, and the
work of propaganda has hardly yet begun.

A paper published in Brussels, under the name of _Idei International_,
seems to represent the ideas of scattered Neutralists, and of some
partisans of other schemes based on Romance vocabulary. These languages
resemble each other greatly, and some sanguine spirits dream that they
may be fused together into the ultimate international language. A
few even hope for an amalgamation with Esperanto, through the medium
of a reformed type of Esperanto, which approximates more nearly
to these newer schemes, its vocabulary being, like theirs, almost
entirely Romance. A series of modifications was published tentatively
by Dr. Zamenhof himself in 1894, but was suppressed from practical
considerations, having regard to the fate that overtook Volapük, when
once it fell into the hands of reformers. The so-called reforms never
represented the real ideas of Zamenhof, and were rather in the nature
of reluctant concessions to the weaker brethren. They were never

The reader may be interested to compare for himself specimens of
Volapük, Idiom Neutral (its lineal descendant), and Esperanto. This
Esperanto is the only one in use, most Esperantists having never even
heard of the reform project, which was at once dropped, before the
language had entered upon its present cosmopolitan extension. The
following versions of the Lord's Prayer are taken from MM. Couturat and
Leau's _History_, as are the facts in the above narratives, with the
exception of the latest details:


O Fat obas, kel binol in süls, paisaludomöz nem ola! Kömomöd monargän
ola! Jenomöz vil olik, äs in sül, i su tal! Bodi obsik vädeliki givolös
obes adelo! E pardolös obes debis obsik, äs id obs aipardobs debeles
obas. E no obis nindukolös in tentadi; sod aidalivolös obis de bad.

                            IDIOM NEUTRAL[1]

Nostr patr kel es in sieli! Ke votr nom es sanktifiked; ke votr regnia
veni; ke votr volu es fasied, kuale in siel, tale et su ter. Dona
sidiurne a noi nostr pan omnidiurnik; e pardona (a) noi nostr debiti,
kuale et noi pardon a nostr debtatori; e no induka noi in tentasion, ma
librifika noi da it mal.

   [1]There are two forms of Idiom Neutral,—one called "pure,"
   authorized by the academy; the other used in the paper _Idei


Patro nia, kiu estas en la ĉielo, sankta estu via nomo; venu regeco
via; estu volo via, kiel en la ĉielo, tiel ankaŭ sur la tero. Panon
nian ĉiutagan donu al ni hodiaŭ; kaj pardonu al ni ŝuldojn niajn,
kiel ni ankaŭ pardonas al niaj ŝuldantoj; kaj ne konduku nin en
tenton, sed liberigu nin de la malbono.

Comparing Volapük with Idiom Neutral, even this brief specimen is
enough to show the main line of improvement. The framers of the latter
had realized the fact that the vocabulary is the first and paramount
consideration for an artificial language. It is hopeless to expect
people to learn strings of words of arbitrary formation and like
nothing they ever saw. Accordingly Idiom Neutral borrows its vocabulary
from natural speech, and thereby abandons a regularity which may be
theoretically more perfect, but which by arbitrary disfigurement of
familiar words overreaches itself, and does more harm than good.

It is very instructive to note that a body of international language
specialists were brought little by little to adopt an almost exclusively
Romance vocabulary, and this in spite of the fact that they started from
Volapük, whose vocabulary is constructed on quite other lines. In other
points their language suffers from being too exclusively inspired by
Volapükist principles, so that their recognition of the necessity of an
_a posteriori_ vocabulary is the more convincing.

Given, then, that vocabulary is to be borrowed and not created anew,
it is obvious that the principle of borrowing must be _maximum of
internationality of roots_—i.e. those words will be adopted by
preference which are already common to the greatest number of chief
languages. Now, by far the greater number of such international words
(which are far more numerous than was thought before a special study was
made of the subject) are Romance, being of Latin origin. This is the
justification of the prevalence of the Romance element in any modern
artificial language. It has been frequently made a reproach against
Esperanto that it is a Romance language; but the unanimous verdict of
the competent linguists who composed the academy for the emendation of
Volapük may be taken as final. They threshed the question out once for
all, and their conclusion derives added force from the fact that it is
the result of conversion.

But it may be doubted whether they have not gone rather far in this
direction and overshot the mark.

Comparing Idiom Neutral with Esperanto, it will be found that the
latter admits a larger proportion of non-Romance words. While fully
recognizing and doing justice to the accepted principle of selection,
maximum of internationality, Esperanto sometimes gives the preference to
a non-Romance word in order to avoid ambiguity and secure a perfectly
distinct root from which to form derivatives incapable of confusion
with others.[1] There is always a good reason for the choice; but it is
easier to appreciate this after learning the language.

   [1]It is obvious, too, that English, Germans, and Slavs will be more
   attracted to a language which borrows some of its features from their
   own tongues, than to an entirely Romance language. This relatively
   wider international appeal is another advantage of Esperanto.

But a mere comparison of the brief texts given above will bring out
another point in favour of Esperanto—its full vocalic endings. On the
other hand, many words in Idiom Neutral present a mutilated appearance
to the eye, and, what is a much greater sin in an international
language, offer grave difficulties of pronunciation to speakers of
many nations. Words ending with a double consonant are very frequent,
e.g. _nostr patr_; and these will be unpronounceable for many nations,
e.g. for an Italian or a Japanese. Euphony is one of the strongest
of the many strong points of Esperanto. In it the principle of
maximum of internationality has been applied to _sounds_ as well as
_forms_, and there are very few sounds that will be a stumbling-block
to any considerable number of speakers. Some of its modern rivals
seem to forget that a language is to be spoken as well as written.
When a language is unfamiliar to the listener, he is greatly aided
in understanding it if the vowel-sounds are long and full and the
pronunciation slow, almost drawling. Esperanto fulfils these requisites
in a marked degree. It is far easier to dwell upon two-syllabled words
with full vocalic endings like _patro nia_ than upon awkward words like
_nostr patr_.

Yet another advantage of Esperanto is illustrated in the same texts.
Owing to its system of inflexion and the possession of an objective
case, it is extremely flexible, and can put the words in almost any
order, without obscuring the sense. Thus, in the translation of the
_Pater Noster_, the Esperanto text follows the Latin _word for word
and in the same order_. It is obvious that this flexibility confers
great advantages for purposes of faithful and spirited translation.



A perusal of the list of schemes proposed (pp. 76-87 [Part II, Chapter
II]) shows that the last few years have produced quite a crop of
artificial languages. Now that the main principles necessary to success
are coming to be recognized, the points of difference between the rival
schemes are narrowing down, and, as mentioned in the last chapter, there
is a family likeness between many of the newer projects. The chief of
these are: Idiom Neutral; Pan-Roman or Universal, by Dr. Molenaar;
Latino sine flexione, by Prof. Peano; Mundolingue; Nuove-Roman; and
Lingua Komun.

These have been grouped together by certain adversaries as "Neo-Roman";
but their partisans seem to prefer the collective term "Neo-Latin."
There are more or less vague hopes that out of them may be evolved a
final form of international language, for which the names _Pan-European_
and _Union-Ling_ have been suggested. Dr. Molenaar has declared his
willingness to keep to his original title, Pan-Roman, for his own
language, if the composite one should prefer to be called _Universal_.
Prof. Peano says, in the course of an article (written in his own
language, of course), "any fresh solution in the future can only differ
from Idiom Neutral, as two medical or mathematical treatises dealing
with the same subject."

The only definite scheme for common action put forth up to now
seems to be that proposed by Dr. Molenaar. In January 1907 he sent
round a circular written in French, in which he makes the following

All authors and notable partisans of Neo-Latin universal languages shall
meet in a special academy, which will elaborate a compromise-language.

As regards the programme, the three fundamental principles shall be:

               1. Internationality and comprehensibility.
               2. Simplicity and regularity.
               3. Homogeneity and euphony.

Of these principles, No. 1 is to take precedence of No. 2, and No. 2 of
No. 3.

The order of discussion is to be:

                               I. GRAMMAR

                     (_a_) Alphabet.
                     (_b_) Articles (necessary or not?).
                     (_c_) Declension.
                     (_d_) Plural (_-s_ or _-i_?).
                     (_e_) Adjective (invariable or not?).
                     (_f_) Adverb, etc.

                             II. VOCABULARY

The number of collaborators is to be limited to about twenty, and the
chairman is to be a non-partisan.

       *       *       *       *       *

Such, in outline, is the proposal of Dr. Molenaar. An obvious criticism
is that it falls back into the old mistake of putting grammar before

From a practical point of view such a composite scheme is not likely
to meet with acceptance. It will be very hard for authors of languages
to be impartial and sacrifice their favourite devices to the common
opinion. M. Bollack, author of the _Langue bleue_, has already refused
the chairmanship. He does not see the use of founding a fresh academy,
and thinks Dr. Molenaar would do better to join forces with the

There exists indeed already an "Akademi International de Lingu
Universal," which has produced Idiom Neutral, and of which Mr. Holmes
is still director, now in his second term (see preceding chapter).
This academy is said to be too one-sided in its composition, and not
scientific. But it is hard to see how it will abdicate in favour of a
new one.

Meantime, the victorious Esperantists, at present in possession of the
field, poke fun at these new-fangled schemes. A parody in Esperanto
verse, entitled _Lingvo de Molenaar_, and sung to the tune of the
American song _Riding down from Bangor_, narrates the fickleness of
Pan-Roman and how it changed into Universal. It is said that a group of
Continental Esperantists, at a convivial sitting, burnt the apostate
Idiom Neutral in effigy by making a bonfire of Neutral literature. On
the other side amenities are not wanting. It is now the fashion to sling
mud at a rival language by calling it "arbitrary" and "fantastic"; and
these epithets are freely applied to Esperanto. Strong in their cause,
the Esperantists are peacefully preparing the Congress of Cambridge.


                          HISTORY OF ESPERANTO

Happy is the nation that has no history,—still happier the
international language; for a policy of "pacific penetration" offers few
picturesque incidents to furnish forth a readable narrative. In the case
of Esperanto there have been no splits or factions; no narrow ring of
oligarchs has cornered the language for its own purposes, or insisted
upon its aristocratic and non-popular side in the supposed interests of
culture or literary taste; consequently there has been no secession of
the _plebs_. In the early days of Esperanto there was indeed an attempt
to found an Esperanto league; but when it was seen that the league did
little beyond suggest alterations, it was wisely dissolved in 1894.
Since then Esperanto has been run purely on its merits as a language,
and has expressly dissociated itself from any political, pacifist, or
other propaganda. Its story is one of quiet progress—at first very
slow, but within the last five years wonderfully rapid, and still
accelerating. The most sensational episode in this peaceful advance
was the prohibition of the principal Esperantist organ by the Russian
censorship, so that there is little to do, save record one or two
leading facts and dates.

The inventor of Esperanto is a Polish doctor, Ludwig Lazarus Zamenhof,
now living in Warsaw. He was born in 1859 at Bielostock, a town which
has lately become notorious as the scene of one of the terrible
Russian _pogroms_, or interracial butcheries. This tragedy was only
the culmination of a chronic state of misunderstanding, which long
ago so impressed the young Zamenhof that, when still quite a boy, he
resolved to labour for the removal of one cause of it by facilitating
mutual intercourse. He has practically devoted his life first to the
elaboration of his language, and of later years to the vast amount of
business that its extension involves. And it has been a labour of love.
Zamenhof is an idealist. His action, in all that concerns Esperanto,
has been characterized throughout by a generosity and self-effacement
that well correspond to the humanitarian nature of the inspiration that
produced it. He has renounced all personal rights in and control of the
Esperanto language, and kept studiously in the background till the first
International Congress two years ago forced him into the open, when he
emerged from his retirement to take his rightful place before the eyes
of the peoples whom his invention had brought together.

But he is not merely an idealist: he is a practical idealist. This is
shown by his self-restraint and practical wisdom in guiding events.
One of the symptoms of "catching Esperanto" is a desire to introduce
improvements. This morbid propensity to jejune amateur tinkering, a kind
of measles of the mind (_morbus linguificus_[1]) attacks the immature in
years or judgment. A riper acquaintance with the history and practical
aims of international language purges it from the system. We have all
been through it. For the inventor of Esperanto, accustomed for so many
years to retouch, modify, and revise, it must require no ordinary
degree of self-control to keep his hands off, and leave the fate of
his offspring to others. It grew with his growth, developing with his
experience, and he best knows where the shoe pinches and what might yet
be done. But he has the fate of Volapük before his eyes. He knows that,
having wrought speech for the people, he must leave it to the people, if
he wishes them to use and keep using it.

   [1]An expressive (homoeopathic) name for this malady may be coined
   in Esperanto: _malsano lingvotrudema_ = officious or intrusive
   disease, consisting in an itch for coining language.

Contrast the uncompromising attitude of the inventor of Volapük, Bishop
Schleyer. It will be remembered how he let Volapük run upon the rocks
rather than relinquish the helm. He has been nicknamed "the Volapükist
Pope"—and indeed he made the great and fatal bull of believing in his
own infallibility. Zamenhof has never pretended to this. When he first
published his language, he made no claim to finality on its behalf. He
called for criticisms, and contemplated completing and modifying his
scheme in accordance with them. He even offered to make over this task
to a duly constituted academy, if people would come forward and throw
themselves into the work. Again, some years later, in a pamphlet, _Choix
d'une langue Internationale_, he proposed a scheme for obtaining a
competent impartial verdict, and declared his willingness to submit to
it. At one time he thought of something in the nature of a plebiscite.
Later, his renunciation of the last vestige of control, in giving
up the _aprobo_, or official sanction of books; his attitude at the
international congresses; his refusal to accept the presidency; his
reluctance to name or influence the selection of the members of the
body charged with the control of the language; his declaration that
his own works have no legislative power, but are merely those of an
Esperantist; finally, his sane conception of the scope and method of
future development of the language to meet new needs, and of the limits
within which it is possible—all this bespeaks the man who has a clear
idea of what he is aiming at, and a shrewd grasp of the conditions
necessary to ensure success.

The word Esperanto is the present participle of the verb _esperi_—"to
hope," used substantially. It was under the pseudonym of Dr. Esperanto
that Zamenhof published his scheme in 1887 at Warsaw, and the name
has stuck to the language. Before publication it had been cast and
recast many times in the mind of its author, and it is curious to
note that in the course of its evolution he had himself been through
the principal stages exhibited in the history of artificial language
projects for the last three hundred years. That is to say, he began with
the idea of an _a priori_ language with made-up words and arbitrary
grammar, and gradually advanced to the conception of an _a posteriori_
language, borrowing its vocabulary from the roots common to several
existing languages and presenting in its grammar a simplification of
Indo-European grammar.

He began to learn English at a comparatively advanced stage of his
education, and the simplicity of its grammar and syntax was a revelation
to him. It had a powerful influence in helping him to frame his grammar,
which underwent a new transformation. Specimens of the language as
Zamenhof used to speak it with his school and student friends show
a wide divergence from its present form. He seems to have had cruel
disappointments, and was disillusioned by the falling away of youthful
comrades who had promised to fight the battles of the language they
practised with enthusiasm at school. During long years of depression
work at the language seems to have been almost his one resource. Its
absolute simplicity is deceptive as to the immense labour it must have
cost a single man to work it out. This is only fully to be appreciated
by one who has some knowledge of former attempts. Zamenhof himself
admits that, if he had known earlier of the existence of Volapük, he
would never have had the courage to continue his task, though he was
conscious of the superiority of his own solution. When, after long
hesitation, he made up his mind to try his luck and give his language to
the world, Volapük was strong, but already involved in internal strife.

Zamenhof's book appeared first in Russian, and the same year (1887)
French and German editions appeared at Warsaw. The first instruction
book in English appeared in the following year. The only name on the
title-page is "St. J.," and it passed quite unnoticed.

Progress was at first very slow. The first Esperanto society was founded
in St. Petersburg, 1892, under the name of _La Espero_. As early as
1889 the pioneer Esperanto newspaper, _La Esperantisto_[1] conducted
chiefly by Russians and circulated mainly in Russia, began to appear
in Nuremberg, where there was already a distinguished Volapük club,
afterwards converted to Esperanto. Since then Nuremberg has continued
to be a centre of light in the movement for an international language.
The other pioneer newspapers were _L'Espirantiste_, founded in 1898 at
Epernay by the Marquis de Beaufront, and _La Lumo_ of Montreal.

   [1]Afterwards prohibited in Russia, owing to the collaboration of
   Count Tolstoi, and transferred to Upsala under the name _Lingvo
   Internacia_. Since 1902 it has been published in Paris.

In Germany in the early days of Esperanto the great apostles were
Einstein and Trompeter, and it was owing to the liberality of the latter
that the Nuremberg venture was rendered possible.

Somewhat later began in France the activity of the greatest and most
fervent of all the apostles of Esperanto, the Marquis de Beaufront.
By an extraordinary coincidence he had ready for the press a grammar
and complete dictionary of a language of his own, named _Adjuvanto_.
When he became acquainted with Esperanto, he recognized that it was
in certain points superior to his own language, though the two were
remarkably similar. He suppressed his own scheme altogether, and threw
himself heart and soul into the work of spreading Esperanto. In a series
of grammars, commentaries, and dictionaries he expounded the language
and made it accessible to numbers who, without his energy and zeal,
would never have been interested in it. Among other well-known French
leaders are General Sebert, of the French Institute, M. Boirac, Rector
of the Dijon University, and M. Gaston Moch, editor of the _Indépendance

In England the pioneer was Mr. Joseph Rhodes, who, with Mr. Ellis,
founded the first English group at Keighley in November 1902.[1]
Just a year later appeared the first English Esperanto journal, _The
Esperantist_, edited by Mr. H. Bolingbroke Mudie, London. Since 1905 it
has been incorporated with _The British Esperantist_, the official organ
of the British Esperanto Association. The association was founded in
October 1904.

   [1]The foundation of the London Esperanto Club took place at
   practically the same time, and the club became the headquarters of
   the movement in Great Britain.

The first international congress was held at Boulogne in August 1905. It
was organized almost entirely by the president of the local group, M.
Michaux, a leading barrister and brilliant lecturer and propagandist. It
was an immense success, and inaugurated a series of annual congresses,
which are doing great work in disseminating the idea of international
language. The second was held in Geneva, August 1906; and the third will
be held at Cambridge, August 10-17, 1907. It is unnecessary to describe
the congresses here, as an account has been given in an early chapter
(see pp. 9-12 and 14-15 [Part I, Chapter III]).

Within the last three or four years Esperanto has spread all over
the world, and fresh societies and newspapers are springing up on
every side. Since the convincing demonstration afforded by the Geneva
Congress, Switzerland is beginning to take the movement seriously. Many
classes and lectures have been held, and the university is also now
lending its aid. In the present year (1907) an International Esperantist
Scientific Office has been founded in Geneva, with M. René de Saussure
as director, and amongst the members of the auxiliary committee are
seventeen professors and eight privat-docents (lecturers) of the Geneva

Its object is to secure the recognition of Esperanto for scientific
purposes, and to practically facilitate its use. To this end the office
carries on the work of collecting technical vocabularies of Esperanto,
with the aid of all scientists whose assistance it may receive. This is
perhaps the most practical step yet taken towards the standardization of
technical terms, which is so badly needed in all branches of science.
A universal language offers the best solution of the vexed question,
because it starts with a clean sheet. Once a term has been admitted, by
the competent committee for a particular branch of science, into the
technical Esperanto vocabulary of that science, it becomes universal,
because it has no pre-existent rivals; and its universal recognition
in the auxiliary language will react upon writers' usage in their own

The Geneva office will also aid in editing scientific Esperantist
reviews; and the chief existing one, the _Internacia Scienca Revuo_,
will henceforth be published in Geneva instead of in Paris, as hitherto.

The two principal objects of the Esperantist Scientific Association are:

1. Scientists should always use Esperanto during their international

2. Scientific periodicals should accept articles written in Esperanto
(as they now do in the case of English, French, German, and Italian),
and should publish in Esperanto a brief summary of every article written
in a national language.

A few weeks after the Geneva Congress there was a controversy on the
subject of Esperanto between two of the best known and most widely
read Swiss and French newspapers—the Paris _Figaro_ and the _Journal
de Geneve_. The respective champions were the Comte d'Haussonville,
of the Académie Française, and M. de Saussure, a member of a highly
distinguished Swiss scientific family; and the matter caused a good deal
of interest on the Continent. France was, in this case, reactionary and
_ancien régime_: the smaller Republic backed Esperanto and progress.
M. de Saussure brought forward facts, and the count served up the old
arguments about Esperanto being unpatriotic and the prejudice it would
inflict upon literature. The whole thing was a good illustration of a
fact that is already becoming prominent in the history of the auxiliary
language movement—the scientists are much more favourable than the
literary men. As regards educational reform, the conservative attitude
of the classicists is well known, though there are many exceptions,
especially among real teachers. But it is somewhat remarkable that, when
the proposed reform deals with language, those whose business it is to
know about languages should not take the trouble to examine the scheme
properly, before giving an opinion one way or the other.

As this question of the attitude of literary men has, and will have,
a vital bearing upon the prospects of international language, and
consequently upon its history, this is perhaps the place to remove a
misunderstanding. A distinguished literary man objected to the foregoing
passage as a stricture upon men of letters. His point was: "_Of course_
literary men care less for Esperanto than scientific men do: it _must_
be so, because they _need_ it less." Now this is quite true: there
is little doubt that to-day science is, perhaps inevitably, more
cosmopolitan than letters, whatever people may say about "the world-wide
republic of letters." But it does not meet the point. Esperantists do
not _complain_ because men of letters are not interested in Esperanto.
They have their own interests and occupations, and nobody would be so
absurd as to make it a grievance that they will not submit to have
thrust upon them a language for which they have no taste or use. What
Esperantists do very strongly object to is that some literary men lend
the weight of their name and position to irresponsible criticism. Let
them take or leave Esperanto as seems good to them. Their _responsible_
opinions, _based upon due study of the question_, are always eagerly
welcomed. But do not let them misrepresent Esperanto to the public,
thereby unfairly prejudicing its judgment. Such action is unworthy of
serious men. When a man puts forward criticisms of Esperanto based
upon elementary errors of fact, or complains that Esperantists will
not listen to reason because they ignore proposals for change, which
have long ago been threshed out and found wanting, or are obviously
unpractical, he is merely showing that he has not studied the question.
A fair analogy would be the case of a chemist or engineer who had
recently begun to dabble in Greek in his spare moments, and who should
undertake to emend the text of Sophocles. His suggestions would show
that he knew no Greek, that he had never heard of Sir Richard Jebb, and
that he was ignorant of all the results of scientific textual criticism.
But here comes in the difference. Such a critic would be laughed out of
court, and told to mind his own business, or else learn Greek before he
undertook to emend it. But as international language is a novelty to
most people, it is thought that any one can make, mend, or criticise
it. It is not, like Greek, yet recognized as a serious subject, and
therefore irresponsible criticism is too apt to be taken at its face
value, merely on the _ipse dixit_ of the critic, especially if he
happens to be an influential man in some other line. Nobody bothers
about his qualifications in international language; nobody either knows
or cares whether he has any claim to be heard on the subject at all.

The fact is that international language now has a considerable history
behind it. A large amount of experience has been amassed, and is now
available for any one who is willing and competent to go into the
question. But, in order to do fruitful work in this field, it is just
as necessary as in any other to be properly equipped, and to know where
others have left off, before you begin.

At the first international congress at Boulogne the history of Esperanto
was well summed up in a thoughtful speech by Dr. Bein, of Poland,
himself a considerable Esperantist author, using the _nom de guerre_
"Kabe." He pointed out that we are still in the first or propaganda
stage of international language, in which it is necessary to hold
congresses, and the language is treated as an end in itself. There
is good hope that the second stage may soon be reached, in which the
language may be sufficiently recognized to take its proper place as a

Meantime, the first stage of Esperanto has been marked by three phases
or periods—the Russian period, the French period, and the international
period. Each has left its mark upon the language.

The Russian period is associated with the names of Kofman, Grabowski,
Silesnjov, Gernet, Zinovjev, and many other writers of considerable
literary power. Being the pioneers, they had to prove the capabilities
of the language to the world, and in doing so they took off some of the
rough of the world's indifference and scepticism. The language benefited
by the fact that the first authors were Slavs. The simplicity of the
Slav syntax, the logical arrangement of the sentences, the perfectly
free and natural order of the words, passed unconsciously from their
native language to the new one in the hands of these writers, and have
been imitated by their successors.

The French period is associated chiefly with the name of M. de
Beaufront. In Russia, side by side with the good points named above,
certain less desirable Slavisms were creeping in; also there were
hitherto no scientific dictionaries or explanation of syntax. As Dr.
Bein says, de Beaufront may be called "the codifier of Esperanto." A
goodly band of French writers now took the language in hand, and by
their natural power of expression and exposition, which seems inborn in
a Frenchman, and by their national passion for lucidity, they have no
doubt strengthened the impulse of Esperanto towards clear-cut, vigorous

Possibly theorizing has been overdone in France; for, after all, the
strong point of Esperanto syntax is that there is none to speak of,
common sense being the guide. It is a pity to set up rules where none
are necessary, or to do anything that can produce an impression in
the minds of the uninitiated that learning Esperanto means anything
approaching the memory drudgery necessary in grasping the rules and
constructions of national languages.

The third period began soon after the turn of the century, and is still
in full force. Take up any chance number of any Esperanto gazette out
of the numbers that are published all over the world; you will hardly
be able to draw any conclusion as to the nationality of the writer of
the article you light upon, save perhaps for an occasional turn of an
unpractised hand. Esperanto now has its style; it is—lucidity based
upon common sense and the rudiments of a minimized grammar.

This chapter would not be complete without some account of the
_constitution_ of Esperanto, and the means which have been adopted to
safeguard the purity of the language. It will be well to quote in full
the Declaration adopted at Boulogne, in which its aim is set forth, and
which forms, as it were, its written constitution. For the convenience
of readers the Esperanto text and English translation are printed in
parallel columns.

       *       *       *       *       *

            DEKLARACIO                           DECLARATION

Ĉar pri la esenco de Esperantismo     Because many have a very false
multaj havas tre malveran             idea of the nature of Esperanto,
ideon, tial ni subskribintoj,         therefore we, the undersigned,
reprezentantoj de la Esperantismo     representing the cause of
en diversaj landoj de la mondo,       Esperanto in different countries
kunvenintaj al la Internacia          of the world, having met together
Kongreso Esperantista en              at the International Esperanto
Boulogne-sur-Mer, trovis necesa,      Congress in Boulogne-sur-Mer,
laŭ la propono de la aŭtoro           have thought it necessary, at the
de la lingvo Esperanto, doni la       suggestion of the author of the
sekvantan klarigon:                   Esperanto language, to give the
                                      following explanation:

1. La Esperantismo estas penado       1. Esperanto in its essence
disvastigi en la tuta mondo           is an attempt to diffuse over
la uzadon de lingvo neŭtrale          the whole world a language
homa, kiu, "ne entrudante sin         belonging to mankind without
en la internan vivon de la            distinction, which, "not intruding
popoloj kaj neniom celante            upon the internal life of the
elpuŝi la ekzistantajn lingvojn       peoples and in nowise aiming to
naciajn," donus al la homoj           drive out the existing national
de malsamaj nacioj la eblon           languages," should give to
kompreniĝadi inter si, kiu            men of different nations the
povus servi kiel paciga lingvo        possibility of becoming mutually
de publikaj institucioj en tiuj       comprehensible, which might serve
landoj kie diversaj nacioj batalas    as a peace-making language for
inter si pri la lingvo, kaj en        public institutions in those
kiu povus esti publikigataj tiuj      lands where different nations are
verkoj kiuj havas egalan intereson    involved in strife about their
por ĉiuj popoloj.                     language, and in which might
                                      be published those works which
                                      possess an equal interest for all

Ĉiu alia ideo aŭ espero kiun tiu      Any other idea or hope which this
aŭ alia Esperantisto ligas kun la     or that Esperantist associates
Esperantismo estos lia afero pure     with Esperanto will be his purely
privata, por kiu la Esperantismo      personal business, for which
ne respondas.                         Esperanto is not responsible.

2. Ĉar en la nuna tempo neniu         2. Because at the present time no
esploranto en la tuta mondo           one who looks out over the whole
jam dubas pri tio, ke lingvo          world any longer doubts that
internacia povas esti nur lingvo      an international language can
arta, kaj ĉar, el ĉiuj multegaj       only be an artificial one, and
provoj faritaj en la daŭro de         because, of all the very numerous
la lastaj du centjaroj, ĉiuj          attempts made in the course of
prezentas nur teoriajn projektojn,    the last two hundred years,
kaj lingvo efektive finita,           all offer merely theoretical
ĉiuflanke elprovita, perfekte         solutions, and only one single
vivipova, kaj en ĉiuj rilatoj         language, Esperanto, has shown
pleje taŭga montriĝis nur unu         itself to be in practice complete,
sola lingvo, Esperanto, tial          fully tested on every side,
la amikoj de la ideo de lingvo        perfectly capable of living use,
internacia, konsciante ke teoria      and in every respect completely
disputado kondukos al nenio kaj       adequate, therefore the friends
ke la celo povas esti atingita        of the idea of international
nur per laborado praktika, jam de     language, recognizing that
longe ĉiuj grupiĝis ĉirkaŭ            theoretical discussion will lead
la sola lingvo, Esperanto, kaj        to nothing and that the end can
laboras por ĝia disvastigado kaj      only be attained by practical
riĉigado de ĝia literaturo.           and continuous effort, have long
                                      grouped themselves around one
                                      single language, Esperanto, and
                                      are labouring to disseminate it
                                      and to enrich its literature.

3. Ĉar la aŭtoro de la lingvo         3. Because the author of the
Esperanto tuj en la komenco           Esperanto language from the very
rifuzis, unu fojon por ĉiam,          beginning refused, once for all,
ĉiujn personajn rajtojn kaj           all personal rights and privileges
privilegiojn rilate tiun lingvon,     connected with that language,
tial Esperanto estas "nenies          therefore Esperanto is "the
propraĵo," nek en rilato              property of no one," either from a
materiala, nek en rilato morala.      material or moral point of view.

Materiala mastro de tiu ĉi lingvo     Materially speaking, the whole
estas la tuta mondo, kaj ĉiu          world is master of this language,
deziranto povas eldonadi en aŭ        and any one who wishes can
pri tiu ĉi lingvo ĉiajn verkojn       publish in or about this language
kiajn li deziras, kaj uzadi la        works of any kind he wishes, and
lingvon por ĉiaj eblaj celoj          go on using the language for
kiel spiritaj mastroj de tiu ĉi       any possible object; from an
lingvo estos ĉiam rigardataj          intellectual point of view those
tiuj personoj kiuj de la mondo        persons will always be regarded as
Esperantista estos konfesataj kiel    masters of this language who shall
la plej bonaj kaj la plej talentaj    be recognized by the Esperantist
verkistoj de tiu ĉi lingvo.           world as the best and most gifted
                                      writers in this language.

4. Esperanto havas neniun personan    4. Esperanto has no personal
leĝdonanton kaj dependas de neniu     law-giver and depends upon
aparta homo. Ĉiuj opinioj kaj         no particular person. All
verkoj de la kreinto de Esperanto     opinions and works of the creator
havas, simile al la opinioj kaj       of Esperanto have, like the
verkoj de ĉiu alia Esperantisto,      opinions and works of any other
karakteron absolute privatan kaj      Esperantist, an absolutely private
por neniu devigan. La sola, unu       character, and are binding upon
fojon por ĉiam deviga por ĉiuj        nobody. The sole foundation of
Esperantistoj, fundamento de la       the Esperanto language, which is
lingvo Esperanto estas la verketo     once for all binding upon all
_Fundamento de Esperanto_, en         Esperantists, is the little work
kiu neniu havas la rajton fari        _Fundamento de Esperanto_, in
ŝanĝon. Se iu dekliniĝas de la        which no one has the right to make
reguloj kaj modeloj donitaj en        any change. If any one departs
la dirita verko, li neniam povas      from the rules and models given
pravigi sin per la vortoj "tiel       in the said work, he can never
deziras aŭ konsilas la aŭtoro         justify himself with the words
de Esperanto." Ĉiun ideon, kiu        "such is the wish or advice of
ne povas esti oportune esprimata      the author of Esperanto." In the
per tiu materialo kiu troviĝas        case of any idea which cannot be
en la _Fundamento de Esperanto_,      conveniently expressed by means of
ĉiu havas la rajton esprimi en        that material which is contained
tia maniero kiun li trovas la         in the _Fundamento de Esperanto_,
plej ĝusta, tiel same kiel estas      every Esperantist has the right to
farate en ĉiu alia lingvo. Sed        express it in such manner as he
pro plena unueco de la lingvo,        considers most fitting, just as is
al ĉiuj Esperantistoj estas           done in the case of every other
rekomendate imitadi kiel eble plej    language. But for the sake of
multe tiun stilon kiu troviĝas        perfect unity in the language, it
en la verkoj de la kreinto de         is recommended to all Esperantists
Esperanto, kiu la plej multe          to constantly imitate as far as
laboris por kaj en Esperanto, kaj     possible that style which is found
la plej bone konas ĝian spiriton.     in the works of the creator of
                                      Esperanto, who laboured the most
                                      abundantly for and in Esperanto,
                                      and who is best acquainted with
                                      the spirit of it.

5. Esperantisto estas nomata          5. The name of Esperantist is
ĉiu persono kiu scias kaj uzas        given to every person who knows
la lingvon Esperanto, tute egale      and uses the Esperanto language,
por kiaj celoj li ĝin uzas.           no matter for what ends he uses
Apartenado al ia aktiva societo       it. Membership of some active
Esperantista por ĉiu Esperantisto     Esperanto society is to be
estas rekomendinda, sed ne deviga.    recommended for every Esperantist,
                                      but this is not compulsory.

       *       *       *       *       *

By the wise provision of Article 4, that the entire grammar and
framework of Esperanto, as contained within one small book of a few
pages, is absolutely unchangeable, the future of the language is
secured. The _Fundamento_ also contains enough root words to express all
ordinary ideas. Henceforth the worst thing that can happen to Esperanto
by way of adulteration is that some authors may use too many foreign
words. The only practical check upon this, of course, is the penalty of
becoming incomprehensible. But as men are on the whole reasonable, and
as the only object of writing in Esperanto presumably is to appeal to
an Esperantist international public, this check should be sufficient to
prevent the use of any word that usage is not tending to consecrate.
A certain latitude of expansion must be allowed to every language, to
enable it to move with the times; but beyond this, surely few would
have any interest in foisting into their discourse words which their
hearers or readers would not be likely to understand, and those few
would probably belong to the class who do the same thing in using their
mother-tongue. No special legislation is needed to meet their case.

For a few years (1901-1905) the publishing house of Hachette had the
monopoly of official Esperanto publications, and no work published
elsewhere could find place in the "Kolekto Esperanto aprobita de D-ro
Zamenhof." But at the first congress Zamenhof announced that he had
given up even this control, and Esperanto is now a free language.

The official authority, which deals with all matters relating to the
language itself, is the _Lingvo Komitato_ (Language Committee). It was
instituted at the first congress, and consists of persons appointed for
their special competence in linguistic matters. The original members
numbered ninety-nine, and represented the following twenty-eight
countries: Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chili, Denmark,
Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Holland, Hungary,
Iceland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Norway, Persia, Peru, Poland, Portugal,
Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United States.

This committee decides upon its own organization and procedure.
In practice it selects from among the points submitted to it by
Esperantists those worthy of consideration, and propounds them to its
members by means of circulars. It then appoints a competent person or
small committee to report upon the answers received. Decisions are made
upon the result of the voting in the members' replies to the circulars,
as analyzed and tabulated in the report. The functions of the committee
do not include the making of any alteration whatever in the Esperanto
part of the _Fundamento de Esperanto_, which is equally sacrosanct for
it and for all Esperantists. But there is much to be done in correcting
certain faulty translations of the fundamental Esperanto roots into
national languages, in defining their exact meaning and giving their
authorized equivalent in fresh languages, into which they were not
originally translated. Also the constantly growing output of grammars
and instruction books of all kinds in every country, to say nothing of
dictionaries, which are very important, has to be carefully watched, in
order that errors may be pointed out and corrected before they have time
to take root.

Thus the Lingva Komitato is in no sense an academy or legislative body,
having for object to change or improve the language; it is the duly
constituted and widely representative authority, which watches the
spread and development of the language, maintaining its purity, and
helping with judicious guidance.

From this sketch it ought to be clear that Esperanto is no wild-cat
scheme of enthusiasts or faddists, but a wisely organized attempt to
wipe out the world's linguistic arrears. Its aim is to bring progress in
oral and written communication into line with the progress of material
means of communication and of science.



                            (_a_) _General_

The first question usually asked is, "How many Esperantists are there?"
The answer is, "Nobody knows." The most diverse estimates have been
made, but none are based on any reliable method of computation. In the
_Histoire de la langue universelle_, which appeared in 1903 and is
written throughout in an impartial and scientific spirit, 50,000 was
tentatively given as a fairly safe estimate. That was before the days
of the international congresses, and since then the cause has been
advancing by leaps and bounds. Not a month passes without its crop of
new clubs and classes, and the pace is becoming fast and furious.

A marked change has been noticeable of late in the press of the leading
countries. It is becoming a rare thing now to see Esperanto treated as
a form of madness, and the days of contemptuous silence are passing
away. Esperanto doings are now fairly, fully, and accurately reported.
The tone of criticism is sometimes favourable, sometimes patronizing,
sometimes hostile; but it is generally serious. It is coming to be
recognized that Esperanto is a force to be reckoned with; it cannot be
laughed off. One or two rivals, indeed, are getting a little noisy.
They are mostly one-man (not to say one-horse) shows, and they do not
like to see Esperanto going ahead like steam. High on the mountain-side
they sit in cold isolation, and gaze over the rich fertile plains of
Esperanto, rapidly becoming populous as the immigrants rush in and stake
out their claims in the fair "no-man's land."[1] And it makes them feel
bad, these others! "Jeshurun waxed fat," they cry; "pride goes before a
fall, remember Volapük!" The Esperantists remember Volapük, close their
ranks, and sweep on.

   [1]_Nenies propraĵo._ Esp. Deklaracio, Art. 3 (see p. 117 [Part II,
   Chapter VIII]).

Another good criterion besides the press is the sale of books. Large
editions are going off everywhere, especially, it would seem, in
America, where the folk have a habit, once they have struck a business
proposition, of running it for all it is worth. "Let her go! give
her hell!" is the word, and "the boys" are just now getting next to
Esperanto to beat the band.

The British Esperanto Association's accounts show a very steady increase
in the sale of literature. Considering that it sells books at trade
prices, that hardly any of them are priced at more than a few pence, and
none above a shilling or two, the sums realized from sale of books in
some months are astonishing, and represent a large and increasing spread
of interest among the public. Owing to the low prices, the profit on
books is of course not great; but, such as it is, it all goes to help
the cause. The association is now registered as a non-profit-making
society under the law of 1867, with no share capital and no dividends.

As regards official recognition, good progress is being made in England
(see below); but if the language is anywhere adopted universally in
government schools, it will certainly be first in France. (For an
account of the present state of this question, which is at present
before the French Permanent Educational Commission, see Part I.,
chap. vi., p. 30). Dr. Zamenhof has been decorated by the French
Government, and Esperanto is already taught in many French schools. For
purposes of education France is divided into districts, called _ressorts
d'Académie_, within each of which there is a complete educational ladder
from the primary schools to the university which is the culmination
of each. The official head of an important district is Rector Boirac,
head of the Dijon University. He is one of the most distinguished of
the Esperantists, and is the leading spirit at the congresses and on
the Lingva Komitato. He has done much for Esperanto in the schools of
his district, and under the guidance of men of his calibre Esperanto is
making serious progress in France. (For lists of university professors
favourable to an international language, see p. 32 [Part I, Chapter

In Germany one of the foremost men of science of his time, Prof.
Ostwald, of Leipzig, is an ardent advocate of the international
language. He recently was lent for a time to Harvard University, U.S.A.,
and while there gave a great impetus to the study of Esperanto. He
also spoke in its favour at Aberdeen last year, on the occasion of the
opening of the new University buildings.

Apropos of the interchange between different countries of professors
and other teachers, which has to some extent been already tried between
America and Germany, it is curious to note the attitude of Prof. Hermann
Diels, Rector of the Berlin University. He is a great supporter of
the extension of this interchange, which also has the approbation of
the Kaiser, who attended formally the inaugural lecture of one of the
American professors, to mark his approbation. Prof. Diels commented on
the fact that diversity of language was a grave obstacle; but though
he seems before to have been a champion of popularized Latin, he now
declares himself strongly against any artificial language,[1] and
advocates the use of English, French, and German. This is a modified
form of the old Max Müller proposal, that all serious scientific work
should be published in one of six languages. It does not seem a very
convincing attitude to take up, because it ignores the facts: (1) that
the actual trend of the world is the other way—towards inclusion
of fresh national languages among the _Kultursprachen_, not towards
accentuation of the predominance of these three; (2) that the increase
of specialization and new studies at universities is leaving less and
less time for mastering several difficult languages merely as means to
other branches of study. Why should everybody have to learn English,
French, and German?

   [1]Herr Diels quaintly finds that Esperanto has only one gender—the
   feminine! Surely an ultra-Shavian obsession of femininity. It is
   perhaps some distinction to out-Shaw Bernard Shaw in any line.

For the rest, Esperanto is now beginning to take hold in Germany.
The Germans have, as a general rule, open minds for this kind of
problem, and are trained to take objective views in linguistic matters
on the scientific merits of the case. The reason why they have been
somewhat backward hitherto in the Esperanto movement is no doubt their
disappointment at the failure of Volapük, which they had done much to
promote. But now that, in spite of this special drawback, the first
steps have been made, and clubs and papers are beginning to spring up
again, everything points to powerful co-operation from Germany in the

In Switzerland progress has been enormous since the Geneva Congress
of 1906. Many clubs and classes are already formed or in process of
formation, and university men are supporting the movement. In one
respect the Swiss are now in the van of the Esperantist world: they have
just started a newspaper, _Esperanto_, the prospectus of which declares
that it will no longer treat the language as an end in itself, or make
propaganda; it will run on the lines of an ordinary weekly, merely using
Esperanto as a means, inasmuch as it is the language of the paper.

The well-known Swiss veteran philosopher Ernst Naville wrote to the
Geneva Congress that for thirty years he had regarded the introduction
of an international language as a necessity, owing to the advance of
civilization, and the day of realization of this object would be one of
the greatest dates of history.

It is impossible to go through all the countries of Europe in detail.
It is probable that the greatest numbers of Esperantists are still to
be found among the Slav peoples. The language first took root in their
midst, and was spread far and wide by a distinguished group of Slav

Outside Europe, Esperanto is making great strides in the British Empire,
Japan, and America. There are now Esperantist clubs in various parts of
India, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, in Malta, Singapore, etc. Dr.
Pollen, C.I.E., President of the British Esperanto Association, has
just been touring in India, in the interests of the language. Among
many satisfactory results is the guarantee of handsome sums towards
the guarantee fund of the coming Cambridge Congress by several native
rulers, among others the Mir of Khairpur, the Raja of Lunawada, the
Nawab of Radhanpur, and the Diwan of Palanpur.

In New Zealand, an enterprising pioneer country in many departments, the
Prime Minister, Sir Joseph Ward, is favourable. Not long ago he made a
speech advocating the introduction of Esperanto into the public schools
of the colony.

In America big Esperantist societies and classes have sprung up with
amazing rapidity during the last year. Several universities now hold
Esperanto classes; the Boston Massachusetts Institute of Technology has
more than 100 students in its Esperanto class, and, among schools, the
famous Latin School of Roxbury has led the way with over fifty pupils
under Prof. Lowell. The press is devoting a large amount of attention
to Esperanto, and many journals of good standing are favourable. _The
North American Review_ has taken up the language. It printed articles in
December and January by Dr. Zamenhof and Prof. Macloskie of Princeton,
and followed them up by courses of lessons. It supplies Esperanto
literature to its readers at cost price, and reports that evidences of
interest "have been many and multiply daily."

Among university supporters are Profs. Huntington and Morse of Harvard,
Prof. Viles, Ohio State University, Prof. Borgerhoff, Western Reserve
University, Prof. Macloskie of Princeton, etc. On the other hand, Prof.
Hugo Munsterberg of Harvard is attacking Esperanto. His is a good
example of the literary man's uninformed criticism of the universal
language project, because it is based upon an old criticism by a German
professor (Prof. Hamel) of the defunct Volapük. Why Esperanto should be
condemned for the sins of Volapük is not obvious.

One other useful aspect of Esperanto remains to be mentioned—the
establishment of consulships to give linguistic and other assistance.
Many towns have already their Esperanto consuls, and in a few years
there ought to be a haven of refuge for Esperantists abroad nearly

The following list of principal Esperanto organs will give some idea
of the diffusion of the language. The list makes no pretence of being

Principal general reviews:

_Internacia Scienca Revuo_.

_La Revuo_ (which enjoys the constant collaboration of Dr. Zamenhof).

_Tra la Mondo_. (This review has recently held, by the collaboration of
its readers, an international inquiry into education in all countries.
The report is appearing in the February number and following. This is a
good example of the sort of international work which can be done for and
by readers in every corner of the globe.)

Other organs:

_The British Esperantist_.

_Lingvo Internacia_ (the _doyen_ of Esperanto journals).

_L' Espérantiste_ (France).

_Germana Esperantisto_.

_Eĥo_ (Germany).

_Svisa Espero_.

_Esperanto_ (Switzerland).

_Juna Esperantisto_ (Switzerland).

_Esperanto_ (Hungary).

_Helpa Lingvo_ (Denmark).

_La Suno Hispana_ (Spain).

_Idealo_ (Sicily).

_La Alĝera Stelo_ (Algiers: has recently ceased to appear).

_La Belga Sonorilo_ (Belgium).

_Ruslanda Esperantisto_ (Russia).

_Pola Esperantisto_ (Poland).

_Bulgara Esperantisto_ (Bulgaria).

_Lorena Esperantisto_.

_Esperantisten_ (Sweden).

_Časopis Českych Esperantista_ (Bohemia).

_L'Amerika Esperantisto_ (central American organ, supported by groups in
New York, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Seattle, Los Angeles).

_La Lumo_ (Montreal).

_Antaŭen Esperantistoj_ (Peru).

_Brazila Revuo Esperantista_ (Brazil).

_La Japana Esperantisto_ (Japan).

_La Pioniro_ (India).

_Espero Katolika_.

_Foto Revuo_.

_Socia Revuo_.

_Unua Paŝo_.

_Espero Pacifista_.

_Eksport Ĵurnalo_.

_Esperanta Ligilo_ (for the blind—in Braille).

_The New International Review_ (Oxford) recently presented a four-page
Esperanto supplement to its subscribers for some months.

             (_b_) _Present State of Esperanto in England_

The most practical way of spreading Esperanto is to get it taught in the
schools, so it will be best to state first what has been done so far in
this matter.

Esperanto has been officially accepted by the local educational
authorities in London, Liverpool, Manchester, and other provincial
towns; that is to say, it has been recognized as a subject to be taught
in evening classes, if there is sufficient demand. At present there
are classes under the London County Council at the following schools:
Queen's Road, Dalston (Commercial Centre); Blackheath Road (Commercial
Centre); Plough Road, Clapham Junction (Commercial Centre); Rutland
Street, Mile End (Commercial Centre); Myrdle Street, Commercial Road;
and Hugh Myddleton School, Clerkenwell. Other classes held in London are
at the Northern Polytechnic, Holloway Road; St. Bride's Institute, Bride
Lane; City of London College, White Street; Co-operative Institute,
Plumstead; Working Men's College, St. Pancras; Stepney Library, Mile End
Road; and a large class for teachers is held at the Cusack Institute,

At Keighley, Yorks, the Board of Education has recognized the language
as a grant-earning subject. Various local authorities give facilities,
some paying the teacher, others supplying a room. Among these are
Kingston-on-Thames (Technical Institute), Rochdale, Ipswich (Technical
School), Grimsby, etc.

It does not appear that Esperanto is yet taught in any public elementary
school; educational officials, inspectors, etc., have yet to learn
about the language. Many private schools now teach it, and at least one
private girls' school of the best type teaches it as a regular subject,
alongside French and German. It has been impossible to get any return
or figures as to the extent to which it has penetrated into private
and proprietary schools. The Northern Institute of Languages, perhaps
the most important commercial school in the North of England, held an
Esperanto class with sixty-three students.

Two large examining bodies—the London Chamber of Commerce and the
Examination Board of the National Union of Teachers—have included
Esperanto in their subjects for commercial certificates. At the London
Chamber of Commerce examination in May 1906 the candidates were as

                                        Entries.  Passes.

         Teacher's diploma  .    .    .    6         1
         Senior   .    .    .    .    .   15        15
         Junior   .    .    .    .    .  109        67
                                         ———       ———
                                         130        83

There is now a Teachers' Section of the British Esperanto Association
with an Education Committee, which is carrying on active work in
promoting Esperanto in the schools.

At an official reception of French teachers in London last year by
the Board of Education, Mr. Lough, speaking on behalf of the Board,
made a sympathetic reference to Esperanto. The incident is amusingly
told in Esperanto by M. Boirac, Rector of Dijon University and a noted
Esperantist, who was amongst the French professors. Not understanding
English, he was growing rather sleepy during a long speech, when the
word "Esperanto" gave him a sudden shock. He thought the English
official was poking fun at him, but was relieved to hear that the
allusion had been sympathetic.

At this year's meeting of the Modern Language Society at Durham, the
Warden of Durham University, Dean Kitchin, in welcoming the society to
the town and university, gave considerable prominence in his speech to
Esperanto, remarking that, to judge by its rapid growth and the sanity
of its reformed grammar, one might easily believe that it will win
general use.[1] Such references in high places illustrate the tendency
to admit that there may be something in this international language

   [1]He continued: "To me it seems that Esperanto in vocabulary and
   grammar is a miracle of simplicity."

There are now (May 1907) seventy local Esperanto societies in Great
Britain on the list of societies affiliated to the British Esperanto
Association, and often several new ones are formed in a month. The
first were Keighley and London, founded 1902. Seven more were formed in
1903; and since the beginning of 1906 no less than thirty-six. Besides
the members of these there are a great many learners in classes and
individual Esperantists who belong to no affiliated group. Every month
one reads lists of lectures given in the most diverse places, very often
with the note that a local club or class resulted, or that a large sale
of Esperanto literature took place. Sometimes the immediate number of
converts is surprising: e.g. on April 22, 1907, after a lecture on
Esperanto at the Technical College, Darlington, seventy-eight students
entered their names for a week's course of lessons to be held in the
college three times a day.

There are now Esperanto consuls in the following towns: Bradford,
Chester, Edinburgh, Harrogate, Hull, Hunslet, Keighley, Leeds,
Liverpool, Nottingham, Oakworth, Plymouth, Rhos, Southampton, and St.
Helens. Birmingham has within the last few months taken up the cause
with its usual energy, and now has a large class.

In England the universities have been slow to show interest in
Esperanto; but now that Cambridge has been selected as the seat of the
Congress in 1907, the university is granting every facility, as also
is the town council, in use of rooms and the like, and some professors
and other members of the university are cordially co-operating. Last
October Prof. Skeat, one of the fathers of English philology, took the
chair at a preliminary meeting, and made a speech very favourable to
Esperanto. He said, "I think Esperanto is a very good movement, and I
hope it will succeed." The subject of Esperanto is being well put before
the teachers of Cambridgeshire, and the railway companies all over the
country and abroad are granting special fares for the congress.[1] It
is probable that the overwhelming demonstration of the possibilities of
this international language will open the eyes of many who have hitherto
been indifferent, and that the movement will enter on a new phase of
expansion in England, and through the example of England, which is
closely watched abroad, in the world at large.

   [1]It is a striking fact that six weeks before the opening of the
   congress 700 members have already secured their tickets.



The extent to which more or less artificial languages are already
used in various parts of the world for the transaction of interracial
business, and the persistent preoccupation of thinkers with the idea
for the last 200 years, culminating in the production of a great
number of schemes in our own times, show that there _is_ a demand for
an international language, more perfect than has yet been available
and universally valid. The list of languages proposed (see Part II.,
chap. ii.) by no means represents all that has been written and thought
upon the subject. Many more have proposed solutions of the question,
beginning with such men as Becher (1661), Kirchner (1665), Porele
(1667), Upperdorf (1679), Müller (1681), Lobkowitz (1687), Besuier
(1684), Solbrig (1725), Taboltzafo (1772), and continuing down to the
present day. The striking success of Volapük and Esperanto in gaining,
within a few years of publication, many thousands of ardent supporters
has also been a revelation. It has proved most conclusively that there
is a demand. If so many people in all lands have been willing to give
up time and money to learning and promoting a language from which they
could not expect to reap anything like full benefit for many years,
what must be its value when ripened to yield full profits, i.e. when
universally adopted?

There are two main obstacles to universal adoption. The first is common
to all projects of reform—the force of inertia. It is hard to win
practical support for a new thing, even when assent is freely given in
theory to its utility. The second is peculiar to Esperanto, and consists
in the discrediting of the cause of international language through the
failure of Volapük. Good examples of its operation are afforded by the
slowness of Germany to recognize Esperanto, and by the criticism of
Prof. Münsterberg (formerly of Freiburg, Germany) in America, based
as it is on an old German criticism of Volapük, and transferred at
second-hand to Esperanto.

Hence every effort should be made to induce critics of Esperanto to
examine the language before pronouncing judgment—to criticise the real
thing, instead of some bogy of their imagination.

One bogy which has caused much misdirected criticism is raised by
misunderstanding of the word "universal" in the phrase _universal
language_. It is necessary to insist upon the fact that "universal"
means universally adopted and everywhere current _as an auxiliary_ to
the mother-tongue for purposes of international communication. It does
not mean a universal language for home consumption as a substitute for
national language. In Baconian language, this bogy may be called an
"idol of the market-place," since it rests upon confusion of terms.

Pursuing the Baconian classification of error, we may call the literary
man's nightmare of the invasion of literature by the universal language
an "idol of the theatre." The lesson of experience is, that it is
well not to alienate the powerful literary interest justly concerned
in upholding the dignity and purity of national speech by making
extravagant claims on behalf of the auxiliary language. It is capable
of conveying _matter_ or _content_ in any department of human activity
with great nicety; but where it is a question of reproducing by
actual translation the _form_ or _manner_ of some masterpiece of national
literature, it will not, by nature of its very virtues, give a full idea
of the rich play of varied synonymic in the original.

The great practical lesson of Volapük is, that alteration brings
dissension, and dissension brings death. A universal language must
be in essentials, like Esperanto, inviolable. If ever the time comes
for modification in any essential point, it will be after official
international recognition in the schools. Gradual reforms could then,
if necessary, be introduced by authority, as in the case of the recent
French "Tolérations," or the German reforms in orthography.

So long as the world is divided among rival great powers, no national
language can be recognized as universal by them all. It is therefore
a choice between an artificial language or nothing. As regards the
structure of the artificial language itself, history shows clearly
that it must be _a posteriori_, not _a priori_. It must select its
constituent roots and its spoken sounds on the principle of maximum of
internationality, and its grammar must be a simplification of natural
existing grammar. On the other hand, a recent tendency to brand as
"arbitrary" and _a priori_ everything that makes for regularity, if it
is not directly borrowed, is to be resisted. It is possible to overdo
even the best of rules by slavish and unintelligent application. Thus it
is urged by extremists that some of the neatest labour-saving devices of
Esperanto are arbitrary, and therefore to be condemned.

   Take the Esperanto suffix _-in-_, which denotes the feminine.
     "   "     "      prefix _mal-_    "      "     "  opposite.
     "   "     "      suffix _-ig-_    "      "  causative action.

Given the roots _bov-_ (ox); _fort-_ (strong); _grand-_ (big): Esperanto
forms _bovino_ (cow); _malforta_ (weak); _grandigi_ (to augment);
_malgrandigi_ (to diminish).

These words are arbitrary, because not borrowed from national language.
Let the public decide for itself whether it prefers a language which
insists (in order not to be "arbitrary") upon borrowing fresh roots
to express these ideas. Let any one who has learnt Latin, French, and
German try how long it takes him to think of the masculine of _vacca_,
_vache_, _Kuh_; the opposite of _fortis_, _fort_, _stark_; the Latin,
French, and German ways of expressing "to make big" and "to make small."
The issue is hardly doubtful.

Again, the languages upon whose vocabulary and grammar the international
language is to be based must be Aryan (Indo-European). This is a
practical point. The non-European peoples will consent to learn
"simplified Aryan" just as they are adopting Aryan civilization; but the
converse is not true. The Europeans will go without an international
language rather than learn one based to some extent upon Japanese or
Mongolian. The only prescription for securing a large field is—greatest
ease for greatest number, with a handicap in favour of Europeans, to
induce them to enter.

                                PART III




All national languages are full of redundant and overlapping grammatical
devices for expressing what could be equally well expressed by a single
uniform device. They bristle with irregularities and exceptions. Their
forms and phrases are largely the result of chance and partial survival,
arbitrary usage, and false analogy. It is obvious that a perfectly
regular artificial language is far easier to learn. But the point to be
insisted on here is, that artificial simplification of language is no
fantastic craze, but merely a perfect realization of a natural tendency,
which the history of language shows to exist.

At first sight this may seem to conflict with what was said in Part I.,
chap. x. But there is no real inconsistency. As pointed out there, there
is no reason to think that Nature, left to herself, would ever produce a
universal language, or that a simpler language would win, in a struggle
with more complex ones, on account of its simplicity. But this does not
prevent there being a real natural tendency to simplification—though in
natural languages this tendency is constantly thwarted, and can never
produce its full effect.

How, then, is this tendency to simplification shown in the history of
Aryan (Indo-European) languages? For it must be emphasized that for the
purposes of this discussion history of language means history of Aryan

The Aryan group of languages includes Sanskrit and its descendants in
the East, Greek, Latin, all modern Romance languages (French, Italian,
Spanish, etc.), all Germanic languages (English, German, Scandinavian,
etc.), all Slav languages (Russian, Polish, etc.)—in fact, all the
principal languages of Europe, except Hungarian, Basque, and Finnish.
The main tendency of this group of languages has been, technically
speaking, to become analytic instead of synthetic—that is, to abandon
complex systems of inflection by means of case and verbal endings,
and to substitute prepositions and auxiliaries. Thus, taking Latin as
the type of old synthetic Aryan language, its declension of nouns and
conjugation of verbs present an enormously greater complexity of forms
than are employed by English, the most advanced of the modern analytical
languages, to express the same grammatical relations. For example:

   Nom. mensă  = a table.          mensae   = tables.
   Acc. mensam = a table.          mensas   = tables.
   Gen. mensae = of a table        mensarum = of tables.
   Dat. mensae = to or for a       mensis   = to or for tables.
   Abl. mensā  = by, with, or      mensis   = by, with, or from
                 from a table.                tables.

By the time you have learnt these various Latin case endings (_-ă_,
_-am_, _-ae_, _-ae_, _-ā_; _-ae_, _-as_, _-arum_, _-is_, _-is_), you
have only learnt one out of many types of declension. Passing on to
the second Latin type or declension, e.g. _dominus_ = master, you
have to learn a whole fresh set of case endings (_-us_, _-um_, _-i_,
_-o_, _-o_; _-i_, _-os_, _-orum_, _-is_, _-is_) to express the same
grammatical relations; whereas in English you apply the same set of
prepositions to the word "master" without change, except for a uniform
_-s_ in the plural. As there are a great many types of Latin noun, the
simplification in English, effected by using invariable prepositions
without inflection, is very great. It is just the same with the verb.
Take the English regular verb "to love": the four forms _love_, _loves_,
_loving_, _loved_, about exhaust the number of forms to be learned
(omitting the second person singular, which is practically dead); the
rest is done by auxiliaries, which are the same for each verb. Latin, on
the other hand, possesses very numerous forms of the verb, and the whole
set of numerous forms varies for each type of verb. In the aggregate the
simplification in English is enormous. This process of simplification
is common to all the modern Aryan languages, but they have not all made
equal progress in carrying it out.

Now, it is a remarkable fact, and a very suggestive one for those who
seek to trace the connexion between the course of a nation's language
and its history, that the degree of progress made by the languages of
Europe along their common line of evolution does on the whole, as a
matter of historical fact, correspond with the respective degree of
material, social, and economic advancement attained by the nations
that use them. Take this question of case endings. Russia has retained
a high degree of inflection in her language, having seven cases with
distinct endings. These seven cases are common to the Slav languages
in general; two of them (Sorbish and Slovenish) have, like Gothic and
Greek, a dual number, a feature which has long passed away from the
languages of Western Europe. Again, the Slav tongues decline many more
of the numerals than most Aryan languages. Germany, which, until the
recent formation of the German Empire, was undoubtedly a century slow by
West European time, still has four cases; or, in view of the moribund
dative, should we rather say three and a half? France and England manage
their affairs in a universal nominative[1] (if one can give any name
to a universal case), as far as nouns, adjectives, and articles are
concerned. Their pronouns offer the sole survival of declension by case
endings. Here France, the runner-up, is a trifle slow in the possession
of a real, live dative case of the pronoun (acc. _le_, _la_, _les_;
dat. _lui_, _leur_). England wins by a neck with one universal oblique
case (_him_, _her_, _them_). This insidious suggestion is not meant
to endanger the _entente cordiale_; even perfidious Albion would not
convict the French nation of arrested development on the side-issue of
pronominal atavism. Mark Twain says he paid double for a German dog,
because he bought it in the dative case; but no nation need be damned
for a dative. We have no use for the _coup de Jarnac_.

   [1]Though historically, of course, the Low Latin universal case, from
   which many French, and therefore English, words are derived, was the

But consider the article. Here, if anywhere, is a test of the power
of a language to move with the times. For some reason or other (the
real underlying causes of these changes in language needs are obscure)
modern life has need of the article, though the highly civilized Romans
did very well without it. So strong is this need that, in the middle
ages, when Latin was used as an international language by the learned,
a definite article (_hic_ or τó) was foisted into the language. How
is it with the modern world? The Slavs have remained in this matter at
the point of view of the ancient world. They are articleless. Germany
has a cumbrous three-gender, four-case article; France rejoices in a
two-gender, one-case article with a distinct form for the plural. The
ripe product of tendency, the infant heir of the eloquent ages, to whose
birth the law of Aryan evolution groaned and travailed until but now,
the most useful, if not the "mightiest," monosyllable "ever moulded
by the lips of man," the "the," one and indeclinable, was born in the
Anglo-Saxon mouth, and sublimed to its unique simplicity by Anglo-Saxon

The general law of progress in language could be illustrated equally
well from the history of genders as exhibited in various languages.
We are here only dealing with Aryan languages, but, merely by way of
illustration, it may be mentioned that a primitive African language
offers seven "genders," or grammatical categories requiring the same
kind of concords as genders. In Europe we pass westward from the three
genders of Germany, curving through feminine and masculine France
(_place aux dames!_) to monogendric Britain. Only linguistic arbitrary
gender is here referred to; this has nothing to do with suffragettes or

Again, take agreement of adjectives. In the ancient world, whether
Greek, Latin, Gothic, or Anglo-Saxon, adjectives had to follow nouns
through all the mazes of case and number inflection, and had also to
agree in gender. In this matter German has gone ahead of French, in that
its adjectives do not submit to change of form in order to indicate
agreement, when they are used predicatively (e.g. "ein gut_er_ Mann";
"der gut_e_ Mann"; but "der Mann ist gut"). But English has distanced
the field, and was alone in at the death of the old concords, which
moistened our childhood's dry Latin _with_ tears.

Whatever test be applied, the common tendency towards simplification,
from synthesis to analysis, is there; and in its every manifestation
English has gone farthest among the great literary languages. It
is necessary to add this qualification—"among the great literary
languages"—because, in this process of simplification, English has a
very curious rival, and possibly a superior, in the _Taal_ of South
Africa. The curious thing is that a local dialect should have shown
itself so progressive, seeing that the distinctive note of most dialects
is conservatism, their chief characteristics being local survivals.[1]
It is probable that the advanced degree of simplification attained by
the Taal is the result of deliberate and conscious adaptation of their
language by the original settlers to the needs of the natives. Just
as Englishmen speak Pidgin-English to coolies in the East, so the old
trekkers must have removed irregularities and concords from their Dutch,
so that the Kaffirs could understand it. If this is so, it is another
illustration of the essential feature that an international language
must possess. Even the Boer farmers, under the stress of practical
necessity, grasped the need of simplification.

   [1]Of course a difference must be expected between a dialect spoken
   by a miscellaneous set of settlers in a foreign land and one in use
   as an indigenous growth from father to son. But the _habitants_,
   as the French settlers in Quebec are called, who, like the Boers, are
   mainly a pastoral and primitive people, have retained an antiquated
   form of French, with no simplification.

The natural tendency towards elimination of exceptions is also strongly
marked in the speech of the uneducated. Miss Loane, who has had
life-long experience of nursing work among the poorest classes in
England, tabulates (_The Queen's Poor_, p. 112) the points in which
at the present day the language of the poor differs from that of the
middle and upper classes. Under the heading of grammar she singles
out specially superabundance of negatives, and then proceeds: "Other
grammatical errors. These are nearly all on the lines of simplification.
It is correct to say 'myself, herself, yourself, ourselves.' Very well:
let us complete the list with 'hisself' and 'theirselves.' Most verbs
are regular: why not all? Let us say 'comed' and 'goed,' 'seed' and
'bringed' and 'teached.'" Miss Loane probably exaggerates with her
"nearly all." For instance, as regards the uneducated form of the past
tense of "to come," surely "come" is a commoner form than "comed."
Similarly the illiterate for "I did" is "I done," not "I doed," which
would be the regular simplification. But the natural tendency is
certainly there, and it is strong.

Precisely the same tendency is observable in the present development
of literary languages. They have all inherited many irregular verbal
conjugations from the past as part of their national property, and
these, by the nature of the case, comprise most of the commonest
words in the language, because the most used is the most subject to
abbreviation and modification. But these irregular types of inflection
have long been dead, in the sense that they are fossilized survivals,
incapable of propagating their kind. When a new word is admitted into
the language, it is conjugated regularly. Thus, though we still say "I
go—I went; I run—I ran," because we cannot help ourselves, when we are
free to choose we say, "I cycle—I cycled; I wire—I wired"; just as the
French say "télégraphier," and not "télégraphir," -oir, or -re.

Considering the strength of this stream of natural tendency, it seems a
most natural thing to start again, for international purposes, with a
form of simplified Aryan language, and, being free from the dead hand of
the past, to set up the simplest forms of conjugation, etc., and make
every word in the language conform to them.

Indeed, this question of artificial simplification of language has of
late years emerged from the scholar's study and become a matter of
practical politics, even as regards the leading national languages.
Within the last few years there have been official edicts in France and
Germany, embodying reforms either in spelling or grammar, with the sole
object of simplifying. The latest attempt at linguistic jerrymandering
has been the somewhat autocratic document of President Roosevelt. He
has found that there are limits to what the American people will stand
even from him, and it seems likely to remain a dead letter. But there is
not the smallest doubt that the English language is heavily handicapped
by its eccentric vowel pronunciation and its spelling that has failed
to keep pace with the development of the language. The same is true,
though in a lesser degree, of the spelling and pronunciation of French.
Since the whole theory of spelling—and, until a few hundred years
ago, its practice too—consisted in nothing else but an attempt to
represent simply and accurately the spoken word, most unprejudiced
people would admit that simplification is in principle advisable. But
the practical difficulties in the way of simplification of a national
language are almost prohibitive. It is hard to see that there are any
such obstacles in the way of the adoption of a simple and perfectly
phonetic international artificial language. We dislike change because it
is change, and new things because they are new. We go on suffering from
a movable Easter, which most practically inconveniences great numbers of
people and interests, and seems to benefit no one at all, simply because
it is no one's business to change it. If once the public could be got
to examine seriously the case for an artificial international language,
they could hardly fail to recognize what an easy, simple, and _natural_
thing it is, and how soon it would pay off all capital sunk in its
universal adoption, and be pure profit.


This seems the best place to deal with a criticism of Esperanto which
has an air of plausibility. It is urged that Esperanto does not carry
the process of simplification far enough, and that in two important
points it shows a retrograde tendency to revert to a more primitive
stage of language, already left behind by the most advanced natural
languages. These points are:

            (1) The possession of an accusative case.
            (2) The agreement of adjectives.

Now, it must be borne in mind that the business of a universal language
is, not to adhere pedantically to any philological theory, not to make
a fetish of principle, not to strive after any theoretical perfection
in the observance of certain laws of construction, but—simply to be
easy. The principle of simplification is an admirable one, because it
furthers this end, and for this reason only. The moment it ceases to
do so, it must give way before a higher canon, which demands that an
international language shall offer the greatest ease, combined with
efficiency, for the greatest number. The fact that a scientific study
of language reveals a strong natural tendency towards simplification,
and that this tendency has in certain languages assumed certain forms,
is not in itself a proof that an artificial language is bound to follow
the historical lines of evolution in every detail. It will follow them
just so far as, and no farther than, they conduce to its paramount
end—greatest ease for greatest number, plus maximum of efficiency.
In constructing an international language, the question then becomes,
in each case that comes up for decision: How far does the proposed
simplification conduce to ease without sacrificing efficiency? Does
the cost of retention (reckoned in terms of sacrifice of ease) of
the unsimplified form outweigh the advantages (reckoned in terms of
efficiency) it confers, and which would be lost if it was simplified out
of existence? Let us then examine briefly the two points criticised,
remembering that the main function of the argument from history of
language is, not to deduce therefrom hard-and-fast rules for the
construction of international language, but to remove the unreasoning
prejudice of numerous objectors, who cannot pardon the international
language for being "artificial," i.e. consciously simplified.

                      (1) _The Accusative Case_

This is formed in Esperanto by adding the letter _-n_. This one form is
universal for nouns, adjectives, and pronouns singular and plural. Ex.:

   Nom. _bona patro_ (good father), plural, _bonaj patroj_.
   Acc. _bonan patron_                "     _bonajn patrojn_.

Suppose one were to suppress this _-n_.

(_a_) Cost of retention of unsimplified form: Remembering to add this

(_b_) Advantages of retention: The flexibility of the language is
enormously increased; the words can be put in any order without
obscuring or changing the sense. Ex.:
  _La patro amas sian filon_ = the father loves his son.
  _Sian filon amas la patro_ (in English "his son loves the father"
                                           has a different sense).
  _Amas la patro sian filon_ (= the father _loves_ his son, but...).
  _La patro sian filon amas_.
  _Sian filon la patro amas_ (= it is his son that the father loves).

In every case the Esperanto sentence is perfectly clear, the meaning
is the same, but great scope is afforded for emphasis and shades of
gradation. Further, every nation is enabled to arrange the words as
suits it best, without becoming less intelligible to other nations.
Readers of Greek and Latin know the enormous advantage of free word
order. For purposes of rendering the spirit and swing of national works
of literature in Esperanto, and for facilitating the writing of verse,
the accusative is a priceless boon. Is the price too high?

N.B.—Those people who are most apt to omit the _-n_ of the accusative,
having no accusative in their own language, generally make their meaning
perfectly clear without it, because they are accustomed to indicate the
objective case by the order in which they place their words. They make
a mistake of Esperanto by omitting the _-n_, but they are understood,
which is the essential.

                  (2) _The Agreement of Adjectives_

Adjectives in Esperanto agree with their substantives in number and
case. Ex.: _bona patro_, _bonan patron_, _bonaj patroj_, _bonajn

Suppose one were to suppress agreement of adjectives.

(_a_) Cost of retention of agreement: Remembering to add _-j_ for the
plural and _-n_ for the accusative.

(_b_) Advantages of retention: Greater clearness; conformity with the
usage of the majority of languages; euphony.

Esperanto has wisely adopted full, vocalic, syllabic endings for words.
Contrast Esp. _bon-o_ with French _bon_, Eng. _good_, Germ. _gut_. By
this means Esperanto is not only rendered slower, more harmonious, and
easier of comprehension; it is also able to denote the parts of speech
clearly to eye and ear by their form. Thus final _-o_ bespeaks a noun;
_-a_, an adjective; _-e_, an adverb; _-i_, an infinitive, etc.

Now, since all adjectives end in syllabic _-a_, it is much harder
to keep them uninflected than if they ended with a consonant like
the Eng. "good." To talk about _bona patroj_ would not only seem a
hideous barbarism to all Latin peoples, whose languages Esperanto most
resembles, but it would also offend the bulk of Northerners. After a
very little practice it is really easier to say _bonaj patroj_ than
_bona patroj_. The assimilation of termination tempts the ear and

The grammar is also simplified. For if adjectives agreeing with nouns
and pronouns expressed were invariable, it would probably be necessary
to introduce special rules to meet the case of adjectives standing as
nouns, or where the qualified word was suppressed.

Again, is the price too high compared to the advantages?



(1) Esperanto takes a natural place at the beginning of the sequence of
languages, upon which is founded the scheme of language-teaching in the
Reform Schools of Germany, and in some of the more progressive English

The principle involved in this scheme is that of orderly progression
from the easier to the more difficult. Only one foreign language is
begun at a time. The easiest language in the school curriculum is
begun first. Enough hours per week are devoted to this language to
allow of decent progress being made. When the pupils have a fair grip
of the elements of one language, another is begun. The bulk of the
school language-teaching hours are now devoted to the new language, and
sufficient weekly hours are given to the language already learnt to
avoid backsliding at least. Thus in a German school of the new type the
linguistic hours are devoted in the lowest classes to the mother-tongue.
When the pupils have some idea what language means, and have acquired
some notion of grammar, they are given a school year or two of French.
After this Latin is begun in the upper part of the school, and Greek at
a corresponding interval after Latin.

Now, it is one of the commonest complaints of teachers in our secondary
schools that they have to begin teaching Latin or French to boys who
have no knowledge whatever of grammar. Fancy the hopelessness of trying
to teach an English boy the construction of a Latin or French sentence
when he does not know what a relative or demonstrative pronoun means!
This is the fate of so many a master that quite a number of them resign
themselves to giving up a good part of their French or Latin hour to
endeavouring to imbue their flock with some notions of grammar in
general. They naturally try to appeal to their boys through the medium
of their own language. But those who have incautiously upset their class
from the frying-pan of _qui_, _quae_, _quod_, into the fire of English
demonstrative and relative pronouns get a foretaste of the fire that
dieth not. _Facilis descensus Averni._ Happy if they do not lose heart,
and step downward from the fire to ashes—reinforced with sackcloth.

"I contend that that 'that' that that gentleman said was right." This
is the "abstract and brief chronicle" of their woes—sometimes, indeed,
the epitaph of their pedagogical career, if they are too sickened of
the Sisiphean task of trying to teach grammar on insufficient basis.
And this use, or abuse, of the hardworked word "that" is only an
extreme case which illustrates the difficulty of teaching grammar to
babes, through the medium of a language honeycombed with synonyms,
homonyms, exceptions, and other pitfalls (can you be honeycombed with a
pitfall?)—a language which seems to take a perverse delight in breaking
all its own rules and generally scoring off the beginner. And for the
dull beginner, what language does not seem to conform to this type?
Answer: Esperanto.

In other words, it would seem that, for the grinding of grammar and the
advancement of sound learning in the initial stage, there is nothing
like an absolutely uniform and regular language,[1] a _type tongue_,
something that corresponds in the linguistic hierarchy to Euclid or
the first rules of arithmetic in the mathematical, something clear,
consistent, self-evident, and of universal application.

   [1]Cf. Sir Oliver Lodge: "It would certainly appear that for this
   purpose [i.e. educative language-learning for children] the fully
   inflected ancient languages are best and most satisfactory; if
   they were still more complete and regular, like Esperanto, they
   would be better still to begin with" (_School Teaching and School
   Reform_, p. 21: chapter on Curricula and Methods).

Take our sentence again: "I contend that that 'that' that that gentleman
said was right." If our beginner has imbibed his first notions of
grammar through the medium of a type language, in which a noun is
always a noun, and is stamped as such by its form (this, by the way,
is an enormous aid in making the thing clear to children); in which an
adjective is always an adjective, and is stamped as such by its form;
and so on through all the other parts of speech,—when the teacher
comes to analyse the sentence given, he will be able to explain it by
reference to the known forms of the regular key-language. He will point
out that of the "thats": the first is the Esperanto _ke_ (which is
final, because _ke_ never means anything else); the second is _tiu_ (at
once revealed by its form to be a demonstrative), the fourth _kiu_, and
so on. As for the third "that," which _is_ rather hard for a child to
grasp, he will be able to make it into a noun in form by merely adding
_-o_ to the Esperanto equivalent for any "that" required. He will not
be doing violence to the language; for Esperanto consists of roots,
which habitually do duty as noun, verb, adjective, etc., according
to the termination added. Those who know the value of the concrete
and tangible in dealing with children will grasp the significance of
the new possibilities that are thus for the first time opened up to

To sum up: Natural languages are all hard, and the beginner can never
go far enough to get a rule fixed soundly in his mind without meeting
exceptions which puzzle and confuse him. Esperanto is as clear, logical,
and consistent as arithmetic, and, like arithmetic, depends more upon
intelligence than upon memory work. If Esperanto were adopted as the
first foreign language to be taught in schools, and all grammatical
teaching were postponed until Esperanto had been begun, and then given
entirely through the medium of Esperanto until a sound notion of
grammatical rules and categories had been instilled, it would probably
be found that the subsequent task of learning natural languages would
be facilitated and abridged. From the very start it would be possible
to prevent certain common errors and confusions, that tend to become
engrained in juvenile minds by the fluctuating or contradictory usage of
their own language, to their great let and hindrance in the subsequent
stages of language-learning. The skeleton outline of grammatical
theory with concrete examples afforded by Esperanto would shield
against vitiating initial mistakes, in much the same way as the use of
a scientific phonetic alphabet, when a foreign language is presented
for the first time to the English beginner in written form, shields
him against carrying over his native mixed vowel system to languages
which use the same letters as English, but give quite a different value
to them. In both cases[1] the essentials of the new instrument of
learning are the same—that it be of universal application, that it be
sufficiently different from the mother-tongue or alphabet to prevent
confusion by association of ideas, that each of the new forms or letters
convey only one idea or sound respectively, and that this idea or sound
be always and only conveyed by that form or letter.

   [1]i.e. scientific regular type grammar and scientific regular
   phonetic alphabet.

(2) From a psychological point of view Esperanto would be a rewarding
subject of study for children.

The above remarks on sequence of languages show that, by placing
Esperanto first in the language curriculum, justice is done to the
psychological maxim: from the easier to the harder, from the regular
to the exceptional. It may further be argued (_a_) that Esperanto is
educative in the real sense of the word, i.e. suitable for drawing
out and developing the reasoning powers; (_b_) that it would act as
a stimulus, and by its ease set a higher standard of attainment in

(_a_) Amidst all the discussion of "educationists" about methods,
curricula, sequence of studies, and the rest, one fundamental fact
continues to face the teacher when he gets down to business; and
that is, that he has got to make the taught think for themselves.
In proportion as his teaching makes them contribute their share of
effort will it be fruitful. This is, of course, the merest truism,
sometimes dignified in the current pedagogical slang by the name of
"self-activity," or the like. But whatever new bottles the theorists,
and their extreme left wing the faddists, may choose to serve up our
old wine in, the fact is there: children have got to be made to use
their own brains. The eternal question that faces the teacher is, how to
provide problems that children really can work out by using their own
brains. The trouble about history, geography, English literature, and
such subjects is that the subject-matter of the problems they offer for
solution lies beyond the experience of the young, and to a large extent
beyond their reasoning powers. In teaching all such subjects there is
accordingly the perpetual danger that the real work done may degenerate
into mere memory work, or parrot-like cramming of notes or dates.

The same difficulty is encountered in science teaching. Heuristic
methods have been devised to meet the difficulty. Though they are no
doubt psychologically sound, they tend to be very slow in results; hence
the common jibe that a boy may learn as much by them in five years as he
could learn out of a shilling text-book in a term.

The old argument that "mental gymnastics" are best supplied by Latin
is sound to the extent that Latin really does furnish a perpetual
series of small problems that have to be solved by the aid of grammar
and dictionary, but which do involve real mental effort, since mere
mechanical looking out of words does not suffice for their elucidation.
But for various reasons, such as the remoteness of the ancient world
in time, place, modes of thought, etc., Latin tends to be too hard and
not interesting enough for the average boy. He gets discouraged, and
develops a habit of only working enough to keep out of trouble with the
school authorities, and is apt to leave school with an unintelligent
attitude towards intellectual things in general. This is the result of
early drudging at a subject in which progress is very slow, and which
by its nature is uncongenial. The great desideratum is a linguistic
subject which shall at once inculcate a feeling for language (German
_Sprachgefühl_), and yet be easy enough to admit of rapid progress.
Nothing keeps alive the quickening zest that makes learning fruitful
like the consciousness of making rapid progress.

Hitherto arithmetic and Euclid have been the ideal subjects for
providing the kind of problem required—one that can be worked out
with certainty by the aid of rule and use of brain, without calling
for knowledge or experience that the child cannot have. The facts
are self-evident, and follow from principles, without involving any
extraneous acquaintance with life or literature, and no deadening
memory work is required. If only there were some analogous subject on
the literary side, to give a general grip of principles, uncomplicated
by any arbitrary element, what a boon it would be! and what a sound
preparation for real and more advanced linguistic study for those who
showed aptitude for this line! Arithmetic and Euclid both really depend
upon common sense; but partly owing to their abstract nature, and partly
because they are always classed as "mathematics," they seem to contain
something repellent to many literary or linguistic types of mind.

With the invention of a perfectly regular and logically constructed
language, a concrete embodiment of the chief principles of language
structure, we have offered us for the first time the hitherto missing
linguistic equivalent of arithmetic or Euclid. In a regular language,
just because everything goes by rule, problems can be set and worked
out analogous to sums in arithmetic and riders in Euclid. Given the
necessary roots and rules, the learner can manufacture the necessary
vocabulary and produce the answer with the same logical inevitability;
and he has to use his brains to apply his rules, instead of merely
copying words out of a dictionary, or depending upon his memory for

In this way all that part of language-study which tends to be dead
weight in teaching the young is got rid of in one fell swoop, and
this though the language taught and learnt is a highly developed
instrument for reading, writing, speaking, and literary expression.
This dead weight includes most of the unintelligent memorizing, all
exceptions, all complicated systems of declension and conjugation,
all irregular comparison of adjectives and adverbs, all syntactical
subtleties (cf. the sequence of tenses, oratio obliqua, the syntax of
subordinate clauses, in Latin; and the famous conditional sentences,
with the no less notorious _ού_ and _μή_ in Greek), all conflicting and
illogical uses of auxiliaries (cf. _etre_ and _avoir_ in French, and
_sein_ and _haben_ in German), besides a host of other old enemies.
Some of these things of course are not wholly memory work, especially
the syntax, which involves a real feeling for language. But these
would be much better postponed until one easy foreign language has
been learnt thoroughly. Every multilinguist knows that each foreign
language is easier to learn than the last. With a perfectly regular
artificial language you can make so much progress in a short time that
you can use it freely for practical purposes. Yet it does not come of
itself, like the mother-tongue. _This free manipulation of a consciously
acquired language is the very best training for forming a feeling for
language_—far better than weary stumbling over the baby stages of a hard
language. When you can read, write, and speak one very easy artificial
language, which you have had to learn as a foreign one, then is the time
when you can profitably tackle the difficulties of natural language,
appreciating the niceties of syntax, and realizing, by comparison with
your normal key-language, in what points natural languages are merely
arbitrary and have to be learnt by heart. Those who have early conquered
the grammar and syntax of any foreign language, but have had to put in
years of hard (largely memory) work before they could write or speak,
e.g., Latin Latin, French French, or German German, will realize the
saving effected, when they are told that Esperanto has no idiom, no
arbitrary usage. The combination of words is not governed, as in natural
languages, by tradition (which tradition has to be assimilated in the
sweat of the brow), but is free, the only limits being common sense,
common grammar, and lucidity.

To those who do not know Esperanto it may seem a dark saying that
language riders can be worked out in the same way as geometrical
ones. To understand this some knowledge of the language is necessary
(for sample problems see Appendix A, p. 200). But for the sake of
making the argument intelligible it may here be stated that one of the
labour-saving, vocabulary-saving devices of Esperanto is the employment
of a number of suffixes with fixed meaning, that can be added to any
root. Thus:

         The suffix _-ej-_ denotes place.
           "   "    _-il-_    "    instrument.
           "   "    _-ig-_    "    causation.
          Final _-o_ denotes a noun.

Given this and the root _san-_ (cf. Lat. _sanus_), containing the
idea of health, form words for "to heal" (_san-ig-i_ = to cause to be
well); "medicine" (_san-ig-il-o_ = instrument of healing); "hospital"
(_san-ig-ej-o_ = place of healing), etc.

This is merely an example. The combinations and permutations are
infinite; they give a healthy knowledge of word-building, and can be
used in putting whole pages of carefully prepared idiomatic English into
Esperanto. Practical experience shows that, given the necessary crude
roots, the necessary suffixes, and a one-page grammar of the Esperanto
language, an intelligent person can produce in Esperanto a translation
of a page of idiomatic English, not Ollendorfian phrases, _without having
learnt Esperanto_.

(_b_) Experience also shows that the intelligent one thoroughly enjoys
himself while doing so; and having done so, experiences a thrill of
exhilaration almost amounting to awe at having made a better translation
into a language he has never learnt than he could make into a national
language that he has learnt for years, e.g. Latin, French, or German.

And what is exhilaration in the dry tree may be sustained working
keenness in the green. The stimulus to the young mind of progress swift
and sure is immense. A child who has learnt to read, write, and speak
Esperanto in six months, as is very possible within the natural limits
of power of expression imposed by his age, not only has a sound working
knowledge of grammatical categories and forms, which will stand him
in good stead in subsequent language-learning; he has also a quite
different attitude of mind—_une tout autre mentalité_, to use recent
jargon—towards foreign languages. His only experience of learning one
has been that he did so with the object and result of being able to
read, write, and speak it within a reasonable time. "By so much the
greater and more resounding the slump into actuality," you will say,
"when he comes to grapple with his next." Perhaps. But even so, the
habit of acquiring fresh words and forms for immediate use must surely
tell—not to mention that he will incidentally have acquired a very
useful Romance vocabulary, and a wholly admirable French lucidity of

(3) And this question of lucidity brings us to the third great
educational advantage of Esperanto. Its opponents—without having
ever learnt it to see—have urged that its preciseness will debauch
the literary sense. Surely the exact opposite is the fact. _Le style
c'est l'homme_, and the essence of true style is that a man should give
accurate expression to his thoughts. The French wit, satirizing vapid
fine writing, said that language was given to man to enable him to
conceal his thought. There is no more potent instrument for obscuring
or concealing thought than the ready-made phrase. Take up many a
piece of journalese or other slipshod writing, and note how often the
conventional phrase or word slips from under the pen, meaning nothing
in particular. The very conventionality disguises from writer and
reader the confusion or absolute lack of idea it serves to cloak. Both
are lulled by the familiar sound of the set phrase or word and glide
easily over them. On the other hand, in using a language in which you
construct a good deal of your vocabulary according to logical rule
_tout en marchant_, it is impossible to avoid thinking, at each moment,
exactly what you do mean. Where there is no idiom, no arbitrary usage,
no ready-made phrase, there is also far less danger of yielding to a
fatal facility.

Take an instance or two. In the Prayer Book occurs the phrase "Fulfil,
O Lord, our desires and petitions." At Sunday lunch a mixed party of
people, after attending morning service, were asked how they would
render into Esperanto the word "desires." They nearly all plumped for
_deziraĵo_. Now, the Esperanto root for "desire" is _dezir-_. By adding
_-o_ it becomes a noun = the act of desiring, a desire. By adding the
suffix _-aĵ_, and then _-o_, it becomes concrete = a desire- (i.e.
desired) thing, a desire. A reference to the dictionary showed that the
English word "desire" has both these meanings, but none of these people
had a sufficiently accurate idea of the use of language to realize this.
It was only when a gentleman passed his plate for a second helping of
beef, and was asked which he expected to be fulfilled—the beef, or his
aspiration for beef—that he, under the stimulus of hunger, adopted the
rendering _dezir-o_, thereby saving at once his bacon and his additional

It is not of course necessary for people to define pedantically to
themselves the meaning of every word they use, but surely it must
conduce to clear thinking to use a language in which you are perpetually
called upon, if you are writing seriously, to make just the mental
effort necessary to think what you do mean.

Again, consider the use of prepositions. This is, in nearly all national
languages, extremely fluctuating and arbitrary. Take a few English
phrases showing the use of the prepositions "at" and "with." "At seven
o'clock"; "at any price"; "at all times"; "at the worst"; "let it go
at that"; "I should say at a guess," etc. "Come with me"; "write with
a pen"; "he came with a rush"; "things are different with us"; "with a
twinkle in his eye"; "with God all things are possible," etc. Try to
turn these phrases into any language you think you know; the odds are
that you will find yourself "up against it pretty badly." The fact is,
that prepositions are very frequently used on no logical plan, not at
all according to any fixed or universal meaning; all that can be said
about them in a given phrase is that they are used there because they
are used. To remember their equivalents in other languages hard memory
work and much phrase-learning is necessary. In Esperanto all that is
necessary is: first, to become clear as to the exact meaning; secondly,
to pick the preposition that conveys it. There is no doubt, as the
Esperanto prepositions are fixed in sense, on the "one word one meaning"
plan. The point is, that there is no memory searching, often so utterly
vain, for there are few people indeed who can write a few pages of the
most familiar foreign languages without getting their prepositions all
wrong, and having "foreigner" stamped large all across their efforts.
In Esperanto, provided you have a clear mind and know your grammar,
_you are right_. No arbitrary usage defeats your efforts and makes
discouraging jargon of your literary attempts.

This training in clear thought, the first requisite for all good
writing, is surely sound practical pedagogics. By the time you can give
up conscious word-building in Esperanto, and use words and phrases by
rote, you have done enough bracing thinking to teach you caution in the
use of the ready-made phrase and horror of the vague word.

Fools make phrases, and wise men shun them. Here is a phrase-free
language: need we shun it?



                          (_a_) WORD-BUILDING

The following tables are meant to give some idea of the number and
variety of different ideas that can be expressed by a single Esperanto
root, with the addition of affixes (prefixes and suffixes). By reading
the English, French, and German columns downwards, the reader will see
how many different roots and periphrases these languages employ in order
to express the same ideas.

As the affixes have fixed meanings, they only have to be learnt once
for all, and many of them (e.g. _-ist_, _-in_, _re-_) are already
familiar. When once acquired, they can be used in unending permutation
and combination with different roots and each other. The tables below
are by no means exhaustive of what can be done with the roots _san-_
and _lern-_. They are merely illustrative. By referring to the full
table of affixes in Part IV, Chapter IV, the reader can go on forming
new compounds _ad libitum_: e.g. san-o, san-a, san-e, san-i, saneco,
sanilo, sanulo, malsane, malsani, saneti, malsaneti, sanadi, eksani,
eksaniĝi, saninda, sanindi, sanindulo, sanaĵo, sanaĵero, sanilo,
sanigilo, sanigilejo, sanigilujo, sanigilisto, malsanemeco, remalsano,
remalsanigo, sanila, malsanulino, sanistinedzo, sanilingo, sanigestro,
sanigestrino, sanigema, sanega, sanigega, gesanantoj, saniĝontoj,
sanigistido, sanigejano... and so on (kaj tiel plu).

       *       *       *       *       *

AFFIX                ESPERANTO           ENGLISH

                     san-a               healthy
mal- (opposite)      mal-san-a           ill
ne (not)             ne-san-a            unwell
-ig (causative)      san-ig-i            to heal
                     san-ig-a            salutary
re- (again)          re-san-ig-a         restorative
-iĝ (becoming)       san-iĝ-i            to be convalescent
                     re-san-iĝ-a         getting well again
-ig                  mal-san-ig-a        sickening (transitive)
-iĝ                  mal-san-iĝ-a        sickening (intransitive)
-ist (agent)         san-ig-ist-o        doctor
-ej (place)          san-ig-ej-o         hospital
-ul (characteristic) mal-san-ul-o        invalid
-ebl (possibility)   (mal)-san-ig-ebl-a  (in)curable
-ar (collective)     mal-san-ul-ar-o     hospital inmates
ge- (both sexes)     ge-mal-san-ul-ar-o  all the men and women patients
-in (feminine)       san-ig-ist-in-o     a lady doctor
-edz (married)       san-ig-ist-edz-in-o a doctor's wife

AFFIX                ESPERANTO           FRENCH

                     san-a               bien portant
mal- (opposite)      mal-san-a           malade
ne (not)             ne-san-a            (un peu) souffrant
-ig (causative)      san-ig-i            guérir
                     san-ig-a            salutaire
re- (again)          re-san-ig-a         restaurant
-iĝ (becoming)       san-iĝ-i            etre convalescent
                     re-san-iĝ-a         en train de se rétablir
-ig                  mal-san-ig-a        écoeurant (qui rend malade)
-iĝ                  mal-san-iĝ-a        languissant
-ist (agent)         san-ig-ist-o        médecin
-ej (place)          san-ig-ej-o         hôpital
-ul (characteristic) mal-san-ul-o        un malade
-ebl (possibility)   (mal)-san-ig-ebl-a  (in)curable
-ar (collective)     mal-san-ul-ar-o     ensemble des malades
ge- (both sexes)     ge-mal-san-ul-ar-o  les malades hommes et femmes
-in (feminine)       san-ig-ist-in-o     un médecin femme
-edz (married)       san-ig-ist-edz-in-o une femme de médecin

AFFIX                ESPERANTO           GERMAN

                     san-a               gesund
mal- (opposite)      mal-san-a           krank
ne (not)             ne-san-a            unwohl
-ig (causative)      san-ig-i            heilen
                     san-ig-a            heilsam
re- (again)          re-san-ig-a         wiederherstellend
-iĝ (becoming)       san-iĝ-i            sich erholen
                     re-san-iĝ-a         genesend
-ig                  mal-san-ig-a        ekelhaft (krank machend)
-iĝ                  mal-san-iĝ-a        siechend
-ist (agent)         san-ig-ist-o        Arzt
-ej (place)          san-ig-ej-o         Krankenhaus
-ul (characteristic) mal-san-ul-o        ein Kranker
-ebl (possibility)   (mal)-san-ig-ebl-a  (un)heilbar
-ar (collective)     mal-san-ul-ar-o     Gesamtheit der Kranken
ge- (both sexes)     ge-mal-san-ul-ar-o  die Kranken beider Geschlechter
-in (feminine)       san-ig-ist-in-o     Arztin
-edz (married)       san-ig-ist-edz-in-o Frau des Arztes

       *       *       *       *       *

AFFIX               ESPERANTO                 ENGLISH

                    lern-i                    to learn
-ig (causative)     lern-ig-i                 to teach
                    lern-ig-a                 educative
-ej (place)         lernej-o                  school
-ant (pres. part.)  lern-ant-o                pupil
ge- (of both sexes) ge-lern-ant-oj            pupils of both sexes
-ar (collective)    lern-ant-ar-o             class
-an (appertaining)  lern-ej-an-o              schoolboy
-in (feminine)      lern-ej-an-in-o           schoolgirl
-estr (chief)       lern-ej-estr-o            headmaster
-ist (agent)        lern-ej-ist-o             schoolmaster
                    lern-ej-ist-in-o          schoolmistress
-aĵo (concrete)     lern-aĵ-o (learnt-stuff)  subject
                    lern-aĵ-ar-o              curriculum
-em (inclination)   lern-em-a                 studious
mal- (opposite)     mal-lern-em-a             idle
-ig (causative)     lern-em-ig-i              to stimulate
                    lern-ig-o                 instruction
                    lern-ig-aĵ-o              instruction
                                                 (teaching given)

AFFIX               ESPERANTO                 FRENCH

                    lern-i                    apprendre
-ig (causative)     lern-ig-i                 enseigner
                    lern-ig-a                 éducateur
-ej (place)         lernej-o                  école
-ant (pres. part.)  lern-ant-o                élève
ge- (of both sexes) ge-lern-ant-oj            élèves des deux sexes
-ar (collective)    lern-ant-ar-o             classe
-an (appertaining)  lern-ej-an-o              écolier
-in (feminine)      lern-ej-an-in-o           ecolière
-estr (chief)       lern-ej-estr-o            proviseur
-ist (agent)        lern-ej-ist-o             instituteur (professeur)
                    lern-ej-ist-in-o          institutrice
-aĵo (concrete)     lern-aĵ-o (learnt-stuff)  matière d'enseignement
                    lern-aĵ-ar-o              ensemble des matièress
-em (inclination)   lern-em-a                 appliqué
mal- (opposite)     mal-lern-em-a             paresseux
-ig (causative)     lern-em-ig-i              mettre en train
                    lern-ig-o                 instruction
                    lern-ig-aĵ-o              enseignement

AFFIX               ESPERANTO                 GERMAN

                    lern-i                    lernen
-ig (causative)     lern-ig-i                 lehren
                    lern-ig-a                 erzieherisch
-ej (place)         lernej-o                  Schule
-ant (pres. part.)  lern-ant-o                Schüler
ge- (of both sexes) ge-lern-ant-oj            Schüler and Schülerinnen
-ar (collective)    lern-ant-ar-o             Klasse
-an (appertaining)  lern-ej-an-o              Schulknabe
-in (feminine)      lern-ej-an-in-o           Schulmädchen
-estr (chief)       lern-ej-estr-o            Direktor
-ist (agent)        lern-ej-ist-o             Lehrer
                    lern-ej-ist-in-o          Lehrerin
-aĵo (concrete)     lern-aĵ-o (learnt-stuff)  Lehrstoff
                    lern-aĵ-ar-o              (Studien)- Laufbahn
-em (inclination)   lern-em-a                 fleissig
mal- (opposite)     mal-lern-em-a             faul
-ig (causative)     lern-em-ig-i              anregen
                    lern-ig-o                 das Unterrichten
                    lern-ig-aĵ-o              Unterricht

       *       *       *       *       *

                   (_b_) PARTICIPLES AND AUXILIARIES

The following table illustrates the perfect simplicity and terseness of
the Esperanto verb.

Every tense, active and passive, is formed with never more than two
words. Every shade of meaning (continued, potential, etc., action) is
expressed by these two words, of which one is the single auxiliary
_esti_ (itself conjugated regularly). The double auxiliary—"to be" and
"to have"—which infests most modern languages, with all its train of
confusing and often illogical distinctions (cf. French _je suis allé_,
but _j'ai couru_), disappears. Contrast the simplicity of _amota_ with
the cumbersome periphrasis _about to be loved_; or the perfect ease and
clearness of _vi estus amita_ with the treble-barrelled German _Sie
würden geliebt worden sein_.

This simplicity of the Esperanto verb is entirely due to its full
participial system. There are six participles, present, past, and future
active and passive, each complete in one word. The only natural Aryan
language (of those commonly studied) that compares with Esperanto in
this respect is Greek; and it is precisely the fulness of the Greek
participial system that lends to the language a great part of that
flexibility which all ages have agreed in admiring in it pre-eminently.
Take a page of Plato or any other Greek author, and count the number
of participles and note their use. They will be found more numerous
and more delicately effective than in other languages. Esperanto can
do all this; and it can do it without any of the complexity of form
and irregularity that makes the learning of Greek verbs such a hard
task. Bearing in mind the three characteristic vowels of the three
tenses—present _-a_, past _-i_, future _-o_ (common to finite tenses
and participles)—the proverbial schoolboy, and the dullest at that,
could hardly make the learning of the Esperanto participles last him
half an hour.

It would be easy to go on filling page after page with the
simplifications effected by Esperanto, but these will not fail to strike
the learner after a very brief acquaintance with the language. But
attention ought to be drawn to one more particularly clever device—the
form of asking questions. An Esperanto statement is converted into a
question without any inversion of subject and verb or any change at
all, except the addition of the interrogative particle _ĉu_. In this
Esperanto agrees with Japanese. But whereas Japanese adds its particle
_ka_ at the end of the sentence, the Esperanto _ĉu_ stands first in its
clause. Thus when, speaking Esperanto, you wish to ask a question, you
begin by shouting out _ĉu_, an admirably distinctive monosyllable which
cannot be confused with any other word in the language. By this means
you get your interlocutor prepared and attending, and you can then frame
your question at leisure.

Contrast Esperanto and English in the ease with which they respectively
convert a statement into a question.

   English: You went—did you go?

   Esperanto: Vi iris—ĉu vi iris?

This particle may be considered the equivalent of the initial mark of
interrogation used in Spanish, and serves to remove all complications in
connexion with word order.

       *       *       *       *       *


amanta                  loving
aminta                  having loved
amonta                  about to love
amata                   being loved
amita                   (having been) loved
amota                   about to be loved
mi estas aminta         I have loved
vi estis aminta         you had loved
li estas amanta         he is loving
ŝi estis amata          she was being loved
ni estos amintaj        we shall have loved
vi estas amataj         you are loved
ili estas amitaj        they have been loved
mi estus aminta         I should have loved
vi estus amita          you would have been loved
li estas foririnta      he has gone away
ili estus foririntaj    they would have gone away

ESPERANTO               FRENCH

amanta                  aimant
aminta                  ayant aimé
amonta                  devant aimer
amata                   étant aimé
amita                   (ayant été) aimé
amota                   devant être aimé
mi estas aminta         j'ai aimé
vi estis aminta         vous aviez aimé
li estas amanta         il est aimant
ŝi estis amata          elle était en train d'être aimée
ni estos amintaj        nous aurons aimé
vi estas amataj         vous êtes aimés
ili estas amitaj        ils ont été aimés
mi estus aminta         j'aurais aimé
vi estus amita          vous auriez été aimé
li estas foririnta      il s'en est allé
ili estus foririntaj    il s'en seraient allés

ESPERANTO               GERMAN

amanta                  liebend
aminta                  der geliebt hat
amonta                  der lieben wird
amata                   der geliebt wird
amita                   der geliebt worden ist
amota                   der geliebt werden soll
mi estas aminta         ich habe geliebt
vi estis aminta         Sie hatten geliebt
li estas amanta         er ist liebend
ŝi estis amata          sie war im Zuge geliebt zu werden
ni estos amintaj        wir werden geliebt haben
vi estas amataj         Sie werden geliebt
ili estas amitaj        sie sind geliebt worden
mi estus aminta         ich würde geliebt haben
vi estus amita          Sie würden geliebt worden sein
li estas foririnta      er ist fortgegangen
ili estus foririntaj    sie würden fortgegangen sein

       *       *       *       *       *

This chapter on labour-saving may fitly conclude with an estimate
of the amount of mere memorizing work to be done in Esperanto.
Since this is almost _nil_ for grammar, syntax, and idiom, and
since there are no irregularities or exceptions, the memory work
is, broadly speaking, reduced to learning the affixes, the table
of correlatives, and a certain number of new roots. This number is
astonishingly small. Here is an estimate made by Prof. Macloskie,
of Princeton, U.S.A.:

   Number of roots new to an English boy without Latin, about 600*
     "       "       "        "       "    with    "      "   300
     "       "       "           a college teacher        "   100

      *i.e. about one-third of the whole number in the _Fundamento_.



Technically speaking, Esperanto combines the characteristics of an
inflected language with those of an agglutinative one. This means that
the syllables used as inflexions (_-o_, _-a_, _-e_, _-as_, _-is_, _-os_,
_-ant-_, _-int-_, _-ont-_, etc.), being invariable and of universal
application, can also be regarded as separate words. And as separate
words they all figure in the dictionary, under their initial letters.
Thus anything written in Esperanto can be deciphered by the simple
process of looking out words and parts of words in the dictionary. For
examples, see pieces 1 and 2 in the specimens of Esperanto, pp. 167-8
[Part IV, Chapter II], and read the Note at the beginning of Part IV. As
the Esperanto dictionary only consists of a few pages, it can be easily
carried in the pocket-book or waistcoat pocket.

Thus, while to the educated person of Aryan speech Esperanto presents
the natural appearance of an ordinary inflected language, one who
belongs by speech to another lingual family, or any one who has never
heard of Esperanto, can regard every inflected word as a compound of
invariable elements. By turning over very few pages he can determine
the meaning and use of each element, and therefore, by putting them
together, he can arrive at the sense of the compound word, e.g.
_lav'ist'in'o_. Look out _lav-_, and you find "wash"; look out _-ist_,
and you find it expresses the person who does an action; look out _-in_,
and you find it expresses the feminine; look out _-o_, and you find it
denotes a noun. Put the whole together, and you get "female who does
washing, laundress."

Suppose you are going on an ocean voyage, and you expect to be shut up
for weeks in a ship with persons of many nationalities. You take with
you keys to Esperanto, price one halfpenny each, in various languages.
You wish to tackle a Russian. Write your Esperanto sentence clearly
and put the paper in his hand. At the same time hand him a Russian key
to Esperanto, pointing to the following paragraph (in Russian) on the

"Everything written in the international language can be translated by
the help of this vocabulary. If several words together express but a
single idea, they are written in one word, but separated by apostrophes;
e.g. _frat'in'o_, though a single idea, is yet composed of three words,
which must be looked for separately in the vocabulary."

After he has got over his shock of surprise, your Russian, if a man of
ordinary education, will make out your sentence in a very short time by
using the key.

As an example Dr. Zamenhof gives the following sentence: "Mi ne
sci'as kie mi las'is la baston'o'n: Ĉu vi ĝi'n ne vid'is?" With the
vocabulary this sentence will work out as follows:

      Mi           mi = I                            I
      ne           ne = not                          not
      sci'as       sci = know
                   as = sign of present tense        do know
      kie          kie = where                       where
      mi           mi = I                            I
      las'is       las = leave
                   is = sign of past tense           have left
      la           la = the                          the
      baston'o'n   baston = stick
                   o = sign of a noun
                   n = sign of objective case        stick
      ĉu           ĉu = whether, sign of question    whether
      vi           vi = you                          you
      ĝi'n         ĝi = it
                   n = sign of objective case        it
      ne           ne = not                          not
      vid'is       vid = leave
                   is = sign of past tense           have seen

It is obvious that no natural language can be used in the same way as a
code to be deciphered with a small key.

      German                         French

      Ich        I                    je       I
      weiss      white                ne       not
      nicht      not                  sais     ?
      wo         where                pas      step
      ich        I                    où       where
      den        ?                    j'ai     ?
      Stock      stick                laissé   ?
      gelassen   dispassionate        la       the
      habe:      property:            canne:   reed:
      haben      to have              ne       not
      Sie        she, they, you,      l'avez   ?
      ihn        ?                    vous     you
      nicht      not                  pas      step
      gesehen    ?                    vu ?     ?

If your Russian wishes to reply, hand him a Russian-Esperanto
vocabulary, pointing to the following paragraph on the outside:

"To express anything by means of this vocabulary, in the international
language, look for the words required in the vocabulary itself; and for
the terminations necessary to distinguish the grammatical forms, look in
the grammatical appendix, under the respective headings of the parts of
speech which you desire to express."

The whole of the grammatical structure is explained in a few lines in
this appendix, so the grammar can be looked out as easily as the root

                                PART IV



The best way of learning Esperanto is to begin at once to read the
language. Do not trouble to learn the grammar and list of suffixes by
themselves first. All this can be picked up easily in the course of

In the following specimens the first two pieces are marked for
beginners. Each part of a word marked off by hyphens is to be looked out
separately in the vocabulary. By the time the beginner has read these
two pieces carefully in this way he will know the grammar, and have a
fair idea of the structure of the language and the use of affixes.

In order to save time in looking out words, and so quicken the process
of learning, the English translation of the third piece is given
in parallel columns. Therefore in this piece only the principal
words, which might be unfamiliar to English readers, are given in the
vocabulary. Word-formation and some points of grammar are explained in
the notes.

To get a practical grasp of Esperanto, cover the left-hand (Esperanto)
column with a piece of paper after reading it, and re-translate the
English into Esperanto, using the notes. After half an hour per day of
such exercise for two or three weeks, an ordinary educated person will
know Esperanto pretty well.

N.B.—It is very important to acquire a correct pronunciation at the
start. Study the pronunciation rules, and practise reading aloud before
beginning to translate. _Read slowly._




There are no long and short, open and closed, vowels: just five simple,
full-sounding vowels, always pronounced the same. English people must be
particularly careful to make them sufficiently full.

  _a_ as _a_  in Engl.  "father."
  _e_ "  _ey_ "  "      "they."
  _i_ "  _ee_ "  "      "eel."
  _o_ "  _o_  "  "      "hole," inclining to _o_ in Engl. "more."
                        (English speakers find it hard to pronounce
                        a true _o_.)
  _u_ "  _oo_ "  "      "moon."

In short, the vowels are as in Italian.


  _aj_   as  _eye_   in Engl. "eye."
  _oj_   "   _oy_    "   "    "boy."
  _aŭ_   "   _ow_    "   "    "cow."
  (_eŭ_  "  _e...w_  "   "    "g_e_t _w_et": this sound does not
                              often occur.)


These are pronounced as in English, except the following:

  _c_  as _ts_ in Engl.   "bits."
  _ĉ_  "  _ch_ "   "      "church."
  _g_  "  _g_  "   "      "give."
  _ĝ_  "  _g_  "   "      "gentle."
  _ĥ_  "  _ch_ "  Scotch  "loch," or German "ich."
  _j_  "  _y_  "  Engl.   "yes."
  _ĵ_  "  _s_  "   "      "pleasure."
  _ŝ_  "  _sh_ "   "      "shilling."
  _ŭ_  "  _w_  "   "      "cow" (only occurs in the diphthongs
                          _aŭ_ and _eŭ_).


Always upon the last syllable but one.


The first few lines of piece I in the following specimens may be thus
figured for English readers:

Gayseenyóroy—mee noon déeros ahl vee káylkine vórtoyn Ayspayráhntay.
Mee kraydahs kay vee ówdos, kay Ayspayráhnto áystahs tray fahtséelah ki
baylsónah léengvo.

N.B.—The precise sound of _e_ is between _a_ in "b_a_le" and _e_ in


                         SPECIMENS OF ESPERANTO

                             1. PAROL-AD-O

Ge-sinjor-o-j—mi nun dir-os al vi kelk-a-j-n vort-o-j-n Esperant-e. Mi
kred-as ke vi aŭd-os, ke Esperant-o est-as tre facil-a kaj bel-son-a
lingv-o. Ver-e, ĝi est-as tiel facil-a, sonor-a kaj simpl-a, ke oni
tut-e ne hav-as mal-facil-ec-o-n por lern-i ĝi-n. La lern-ant-o-j
pov-as ordinar-e kompren-i, leg-i, skrib-i kaj parol-i ĝin en tre
mal-long-a temp-o. La fakt-o ke Esperant-o en-hav-as tre mal-mult-a-j-n,
vokal-a-j-n son-o-j-n, kaj ke la vokal-o-j est-as ĉiu-j long-a-j kaj
plen-son-a-j, est-ig-as ĝin mult-e pli facil-a ol la ali-a-j lingv-o-j,
ĉiu por aŭ-d-i, ĉiu por el-parol-i.

Mi kred-as ke mal-long-a lern-ad-o est-os sufiĉ-a por vi-n
kompren-ig-i, ke la hom-o-j de ĉiu-j naci-o-j pov-as inter-parol-i
Esperant-e sen mal-facil-ec-o.

Mi ne de-ten-os vi-n pli long-e. Fin-ant-e, mi las-os kun vi du
fraz-et-o-j-n: unu-e, por la ideal-ist-o-j, kiu-j cel-as unu frat-ec-o-n
inter la popol-o-j de ĉiu land-o, la Esperant-a-n deviz-o-n—"Dum ni
spir-as ni esper-as": du-e, por la hom-o-j praktik-a-j la praktik-a-n
konsil-o-n—"Lern-u Esperant-o-n."

                  2. LA MAR-BORD-IST-O-J: ALEGORI-ET-O

Ĉirkaŭ grand-a mez-ter-a mar-o viv-is mult-a-j popol-o-j. Ili hav-is
mult-a-n inter-a-n komerc-o-n. Ĉar la mar-o est-is oft-e mal-trankvil-a
kaj ili hav-is nur mal-grand-a-j-n ŝip-o-j-n, ili vetur-is laŭ-long-e
la mar-bord-o, neniam perd-ant-e la ter-o-n el la vid-o.

Cert-a hom-o el-pens-is ŝip-o-n, kiu ir-is per vapor-o. Li dir-is al la
mar-bord-ist-o-j: "Jen, ni met-u ni-a-n mon-o-n kun-e, kaj ni konstru-u
grand-a-j-n vapor-ŝip-o-j-n. Tiel ni vetur-os rekt-e trans la mar-o unu
al ali-a-n; kaj ni far-os pli da komerc-o en mal-pli da temp-o." Sed la
mar-bord-ist-o-j pli am-is ĉirkaŭ-ir-i en mal-grand-a-j ŝip-o-j, kiel
ili kutim-is. La el-pens-int-o ne hav-is sufiĉ-e da mon-o por konstru-i
grand-a-n vapor-ŝip-o-n, kiu tre mult-e en-hav-os kaj tre rapid-e
vojaĝ-os; tial li dev-is vetur-ad-i en si-a mez-grand-a vapor-ŝip-o,
kiu tamen almenaŭ rekt-e ir-is ĉie-n. Sed la mar-bord-ist-o-j
daŭr-ig-is rem-i kaj vel-i ĉirkaŭ-e.

       3. NESAĜA GENTO:                     AN UNWISE[1] RACE:
           ALEGORIO                              AN ALLEGORY

Malproksime, en nekonata lando,       Far[2] away, in an unknown[3]
vivis sovaĝa gento. Ili loĝis en      land, there lived a savage race,
la mezo de vasta ebenaĵo, izolata     They dwelt in the midst of a
de la ekstera mondo. Unuflanken       vast plain,[4] cut off from the
homo dek tagojn vojaĝante venus       outer[5] world. Towards one
al montegaro: aliflanke staris        side[6] a man journeying[7] ten
granda lago kaj senlimaj marĉoj.      days[8] would come to a big
Tiel oni vivadis trankvile laŭ        mountain-range[9]; on the other
patra kutimo, tute senzorga pri       side stood a great lake and
la ago kaj faro de aliaj homgentoj    boundless[10] swamps. Thus[11]
transmontanaj. En somero estis        they lived[12] quietly after
varmege, kaj ĉiu vintro ŝajnis        the manner of their fathers,
pli malvarma ol la antaŭa; sed        caring nothing[13] for the way
la tero estis fruktodona, ĝi          of life[14] of other men beyond
donis al ili sufiĉe da greno          the hills. In summer it was
por manĝi, kaj la riveroj kaj         very hot,[15] and every winter
riveretoj plene provizis puran        seemed colder than the last;
trinkaĵon.                            but the earth was fertile, it
                                      gave them enough corn[16] to
                                      eat, and the streams and rivers
                                      furnished abundance of pure water
                                      to drink.[17]

   [1]Unwise. Wise = _saĝa_; _ne_ = not. [2]Far. Near = _proksim-e_
   (_e_ = adverbial ending). To be near = _proksimi_. _Mal-_ is a
   prefix denoting the opposite. [3]Unknown. To know = _koni_. Pres.
   part. pass. _-at-_ Negative = _ne_. (_bona_ = good; _malbona_ =
   bad; _nebona_ = not good.) [4]Plain. Flat = _eben-a_. _aĵ_ is
   a suffix denoting something made from or possessing the quality
   of. [5]Outer. Outside (preposition) = _ekster_. _a_ denotes an
   adjective. [6]Towards one side. Side = _flank-o_. _e_ denotes an
   adverb; _flanke_ = "sidely," i.e. at the side, _n_ denotes motion
   towards. [7]Journeying. This participial phrase qualifies the verb,
   _venus_, like an adverb. In Esperanto the participle therefore takes
   an _e_ which denotes an adverb. [8]Ten days, i.e. for the duration
   of ten days. Duration of time is put in the accusative case. [9]Big
   mountain-range. Mountain = _mont-o_. _eg_ is a suffix denoting
   bigness; _ar_ is a suffix denoting a collection. [10]Boundless. Limit
   = _lim-o_. Without = _sen_. [11]Thus. See p. 193 [Part IV, Chapter V]
   for correlatives. [12]They lived. To live = _viv-i_. _ad_ is a suffix
   denoting continued action. [13]Caring nothing. Care = _zorg-o_.
   _Sen_ = without. _a_ denotes an adjective. [14]Way of life. Lit. the
   acting and doing. [15]It was very hot. In such impersonal uses of
   the adjective, the adverbial form is used. [16]Enough corn, _da_ is
   used after words of quantity. _Sufiĉan grenon_ would also be right.
   [17]Water to drink. Lit. drink-stuff, or drink-thing.

Tiel ili vivadis ne malfeliĉe,        Thus they lived not unhappily,
kaj ilia vivo estis la vivo           and their life was the life of
de la prapatroj, ĉar ili ne           their forefathers, for they knew
sciis kiel ĝin plibonigi.             not how to better[1] it. But
Sed mankis en ilia lando unu          in their land one thing[2] was
aĵo, kaj pro tiu ĉi manko             lacking; and for[3] lack of this
ili multe suferis: en la tuta         they suffered greatly: there
lando ĉeestis nenia ŝirmilo,          was[4] no shelter[5] in all the
ĉu kontraŭ la suno en somero,         land, whether against the sun in
ĉu por forteni la vintrajn            summer, or to keep off[6] the
ventojn. Ĉiuflanke la tero estis      winter winds. On every side the
plata; kaj kvankam la greno           ground was flat; and although corn
kaj ĉiuspecaj legomoj kreskis         and all kinds of[7] vegetables
bone, arboj estis nekonataj. Eĉ       grew well, trees were unknown.
la malproksima montaro staris         Even the distant mountains stood
tutnuda; kaj kiam la ventoj           all bare; and when the winds blew
blovis forte el ĝiaj neĝoj, la        strong from amidst their[8] snows,
mizeruloj tremetis pro malvarmeco,    the poor folk shivered for cold,
kaj ne povis eĉ en siaj dometoj       and could not get comfortable[9]
komfortiĝi, ĉar la penetranta         even in their cottages, for the
enfluo de malvarma aero stele         penetrating draught of the cold
eniris ĝis la familian kamenon.       air crept[10] right in to the
                                      family fireside.

   [1]Better. Good = _bon-a_; better = _pli bona_; suf. _-ig_ is
   causative. [2]One thing. The concrete suffix _-aĵ_ by itself may be
   used to express "thing." Of course it takes the substantival ending
   _o_. [3]For lack. Esperanto is absolutely precise in the use of
   prepositions according to sense. No idiom. In this it differs from
   all other languages. Here "for" means "by reason of." [4]There was.
   _Est-i_ = to be; _ĉe_ = at; _ĉeesti_ = to be present. [5]Shelter.
   To shelter = _ŝirm-i_; _il_ is a suffix expressing instrument.
   [6]Keep off. To hold = _ten-i_; away = _for_. [7]All kinds of.
   Kind = _spec-o_; all = _ĉiu_. _a_ is adjectival ending. [8]Their
   snows. Whose snows? The mountains'. Therefore _ĝiaj_, referring
   to _montaro_. If "their" referred to "winds," it would be _siaj_.
   [9]Get comfortable. Comfort(able) = _komfort-o_; suf. _iĝ_ denotes
   becoming. [10]Crept in. To steal = _ŝtel-i_; _-e_ makes it an

Nu okazis ke certa knabo, pensema     Now, it happened that a certain
preter siaj jaroj, komencis           boy, thoughtful[1] beyond his
pripensi tiun ĉi mizeran staton.      years, began to think over this
Li vivis kun sia vidvina patrino,     wretched state of things. He
kiu havis du infanetojn krom          lived with his[2] widowed mother,
Namezo (tiel nomiĝis la knabo).       who had two little children
Ili estis tre malriĉaj, kaj devis     besides Namezo (this was the lad's
senĉese labori por nutri sin          name[3]). They were very poor,
mem kaj la infanojn. La vidvino       and were obliged to work hard
ne havis pli ol kvardek jarojn,       without stopping to get food for
sed Namezo rimarkis ke vespere,       themselves and the children. The
post la taga laboro, ŝi ŝajnis        widow was not more than forty, but
tute lacega, kaj kelkajn jarojn       Namezo noticed that of an evening,
post la morto de sia edzo ŝi          after the day's work, she seemed
ekmaljuniĝis. Ofte la knabo diris     quite tired out,[4] and a few
al ŝi, ke ŝi devus pli ripozi,        years[5] after her husband's death
sed ĉiumatene post la nokto ŝi        she grew old all at once.[6] Often
havis mienon tiel same lacegan        the boy told her she ought to take
kiel vespere; kaj ŝi plendis ke       more rest, but every morning[7]
la trablovaj ventoj suferigis sin     she had the same worn-out look as
nokte per reŭmatismaj doloroj,        in the evening; and she complained
kaj somere ŝi ne povis dormi pro      that the winds blowing through of
varmeco. Tiam la knabo turnis         a night plagued[8] her with[9]
la okulojn ekster sia hejmo kaj       rheumatic pains, and in summer
rigardis ĉirkaŭen. Li vidis ke        she could not sleep because of
ĉiuflanke estis tiel same: la         the heat. Then the boy turned his
geviroj frue maljuniĝis kaj multe     eyes outwards from his home and
suferis. Li pensis, "Baldaŭ estos     looked around him. He saw that on
al mi ankaŭ simile; la juneco         every side it was the same[10]:
estas mallonga kaj labora, kaj la     men and women[11] grew old early
vivo estas longa kaj ĉagrena."        and suffered much. He thought,
Fine li malgajadis.                   "Soon it will be the same with me;
                                      youth[12] is short and full of
                                      work, and life is long and full of
                                      trouble." At last he became gloomy

   [1]Thoughtful. To think = _pens-i_; suf. _-em_ denotes propensity.
   [2]With his widowed mother, i.e. his own = _sia_. [3]This was
   his name. To name = _nom-i_; with suf. _-iĝ_ = to get named,
   to be called. [4]Tired out. Tired = _lac-a_; suf. _-eg_ denotes
   intensity. [5]A few years. Accusative of time. [6]She grew old all
   at once. Young = _jun-a_; old = _maljuna_; suf. _-iĝ_ denotes
   becoming; prefix _ek-_ denotes beginning, or sudden action. [7]Every
   morning = _ĉiumatene_. "The whole morning" would be _la tutan
   matenon_. [8]Plagued. To suffer = _sufer-i_; suf. _-ig_ is causative;
   _suferigi_ = to cause to suffer. [9]With... pains. Think of the
   sense. "With" = by means of. [10]It was the same. Impersonal: use
   the adverbial form in _-e._ [11]Men and women. Pref. _ge-_ denotes
   both sexes. [12]Youth. Young = _juna_; suf. _-ec_ denotes abstract.
   [13]Became gloomy altogether. Gay = _gaj-a_; gloomy = _malgaja_; suf.
   _-ad_ denotes continuance.

Vintro forpasis, somero alvenis.      Winter passed away, summer came
Unu nokton la knabo estis kuŝanta     on. One night the boy was lying
en sia lito: li estis laboreginta     in his bed: he had been working
en la kampoj, kaj estis tre laca,     hard[1] in the fields, and was
sed ju pli li penis ekdormi,          very tired, but the more he
des pli li obstine vekiĝadis.         tried to go to sleep[2] the
La tutan fajran tagon la suno         wider awake he grew. All through
estis malsupren brilinta sur la       the long fiery day the sun had
tegmenton de la dometo, tiel ke la    been beating down[3] on the roof
kuŝejo nun similis fornon. Namezo     of the cottage, so that the
pensis kaj turniĝis, returniĝis       sleeping-place[4] was now like an
kaj repensis; la samaj pensoj,        oven. Namezo thought and tossed,
ĉiam ronde revenantaj, iĝis           tossed and thought again; the same
turmento. Fine li ekdormetis, sed     thoughts, always coming round in
la konfuzigaj pensoj, ĉiam la         a circle, became[5] a torture.
pensoj, ruladis eĉ en lia dormo       At length he fell into a light
senkompate tra lia cerbo.             sleep,[6] but the distracting[7]
                                      thoughts, always the thoughts,
                                      kept rolling[8] through his brain
                                      pitilessly, even in his sleep.

Subite ekfalis sur lin granda         All at once a great peace fell
paco. Li ŝajnis stari sur monta       upon him. He seemed to be standing
pinto. Laceco kaj zorgo ne estis      on a mountain-peak. Weariness[9]
plu. Ĉirkaŭe vasta soleco. Li         and care were no more. Around
kaj la monto—krom tio ekzistis        vast solitude. He and the
nenio, kaj li estis kontenta.         mountain—there was nought else,
                                      and he was glad.

Al li, tiel lukse enspiranta la       While he thus breathed in the
freŝan aeron, alvenis fluge           fresh air with delight, a white
blanka birdo. Ĝi aperis, li ne        bird came flying.[10] It appeared,
sciis kiel, el la ĉirkaŭanta          he knew not how, out of the
soleco, kaj metiĝis apud li sur       surrounding solitude,[11] and came
la montan pinton. Ĝi komencis         and perched[12] beside him on the
paroli, kaj en lia sonĝo tio ĉi       mountain-top. It began to speak,
neniel lin surprizis.                 and in his dream this[13] in no
                                      way[14] astonished him.

   [1]He had been working hard. Pluperfect, lit. he was having worked.
   Suf. _-eg_ denotes intensity. [2]To go to sleep. To sleep = _dorm-i_;
   pref. _ek-_ denotes beginning. [3]Down. Above = _supr-e_; below =
   _malsupre_; _n_ denotes motion. [4]Sleeping-place. To lie = _kuŝi_;
   suf. _-ej_ denotes place. [5]Became. Suf. _-iĝ_ denotes becoming;
   here used as a separate verb. [6]Fell into a light sleep. To sleep
   = _dorm-i_; suf. _-et_ denotes light sleep; pref. _ek-_ denotes
   beginning. [7]Distracting. Confused = _konfuz-a_; suf. _-ig_ denotes
   causation, confusion-causing. [8]Kept rolling. To roll = _rul-i_;
   suf. _-ad_ denotes continuance. [9]Weariness. Tired = _lac-a_; suf.
   _-ec_ denotes abstract. [10]Came flying. To fly = _flug-i_; root
   _flug-_ with adverbial ending _-e_ = flyingly. [11]Solitude. Alone =
   _sol-a_; suf. _-ec_ denotes abstract. [12]Came and perched. The idea
   of motion is conveyed by the accusative (_-n_) _pinton_. [13]This.
   Use neuter form in _-o_, because it stands alone. "This dream" = _tiu
   ĉi sonĝo_. [14]In no way. See table of correlatives, p. 193 [Part
   IV, Chapter V].

"Homa knabo," diris la birdo,         "Mortal[1] boy," said the bird,
faligante en lian manon semon         dropping[2] a seed into his hand
el sia beko, "prenu tiun ĉi           from its beak, "take this seed:
semon: metu ĝin en la teron:          put it in the ground: care for
prizorgu ĝin, flegu ĝin, kaj          it, tend it, and keep tending it.
flegadu ĝin. Post tempo plenigota     In the fulness of time there will
leviĝos el tiu ĉi semo kreskaĵo       rise[3] from this seed such[5] a
tia, kian la viaj ĝis nun ne          growth[4] as[5] your people[6]
vidis. La aliaj homoj nomas ĝin       never yet saw. Other peoples call
_arbon_. Ĝi estos granda; kaj en      it a _tree_. It will be big; and
la venontaj jaroj, se oni deve        in future[7] years, if it is duly
ĝin flegos, naskiĝos el ĝi            tended, there will spring from it
arbaroj, kiuj estos ŝirmilo por       groves,[8] which will give shelter
la homaro, kaj por multaj aliaj       to men and women, and will be
celoj utilos. Sed flegi ĝin oni       useful for many other ends. But
devos, ĉar sen homa penado nenio      tended it must be, for without
al homoj prosperas."                  man's striving nothing turns out
                                      well for men."

Namezo volis respondi, sed dum        Namezo was about to reply, but
li levis la manon por rigardi la      as he raised his hand to look at
semon, estis al li kvazaŭ li          the seed, he seemed to turn[9]
turniĝis, la kapo malsupren: la       head downwards: the mountain
monto malaperis, kaj li               disappeared,[10] and he
falis... falis... falis....           fell... fell... fell....

   [1]Mortal. Man = _hom-o_; ending _-a_ makes it an adj. [2]Dropping.
   To fall = _fal-i_; suf. _-ig_ denotes causing to fall. [3]Rise. To
   raise = _lev-i_; suf. _-iĝ_ makes it intransitive. [4]A growth.
   To grow = _kreski_; "grow-thing" — _kresk-aĵ-o_. [5]Such...as.
   _Tia...kia_ (= Latin _talis...qualis)._ See table of correlatives,
   p. 193 [Part IV, Chapter V]. [6]Your people. You = _vi_; _-a_ makes
   it an adj. [7]Future. Future participle active of _ven-i_ = about
   to come. [8]Groves. Tree = _arb-o_; suf. _-ar_ denotes a collection
   of trees. [9]To turn. _Turn-i_ is transitive; suf. _-iĝ_ makes it
   intransitive. [10]Disappeared. To appear = _aper-i_; pref. _mal-_
   denotes opposite.

Tiam li estis denove veka en la       Then he was awake again in the
forna dometo, sed li ne povis sin     oven-like[1] hut, but he could
malhelpi, rigardi sian manon, por     not refrain[2] from[3] looking at
vidi ĉu la semo enestis. Semo         his hand, to see if the seed was
neestis: kaj la pensoj rekomencis     in it. There was no seed; and the
ruladi tra lia cerbo—tamen ne plu     thoughts began to roll through
la antaŭaj turmentigaj pensoj,        his brain again—yet no longer
sed novaj esperplenaj pensoj, ĉar     the old[4] worrying thoughts,
li kredis, pasie kredis, ke estas     but new thoughts full of hope,
ja ia veraĵo en lia sonĝo.            for he believed, passionately
                                      believed, that there was indeed
                                      some truth[5] in his dream.

Kaj nun la morgaŭa tago               And now the new day began to dawn.
eklumiĝis. Li leviĝis kaj iris        He got up and went about his work,
al sia laboro, kaj tiun ĉi tagon      and this day and many succeeding
kaj multajn sekvantajn tagojn li      days he went on working as usual,
laboradis kiel kutime, parolante      speaking to no one about his dream
al neniu pri la sema sonĝo.           of the seed.

Sed kiam la tempo de rikolto          But when harvest-time was over,
forpasis, li aĉetis dudektagan        he bought food[6] enough for
nutraĵon kaj donis al la patrino      twenty days and gave his mother
sian restan ŝparaĵon el la            the rest[7] of his harvest-tide
rikolta tempo (ĉar vi scias,          savings[8] (for you know that
ke en la sezono de rikolto bona       in the harvest season a good
laboristo gajnas pli ol alitempe),    workman[9] earns more than at
dirante ke li devos vojaĝi, kaj       other times), saying that he
forestos dudek tagojn. La patrino     must[10] go on a journey, and
miregis, ĉar neniam antaŭe li         would[10] be away for twenty days.
estis lasinta ŝin eĉ unu tagon;       His mother wondered greatly, for
sed li estis bona filo, kaj ŝi        he had never left[11] her before
kontraŭstaris lin en nenio.           even for a single day; but he was
                                      a good son to her, and she did not
                                      thwart him in anything.

   [1]Oven-like. Oven = _forn-o_; ending _-a_ makes it an adjective.
   [2]Refrain. To help = _help-i_; to hinder = _malhelpi_; to hinder
   himself = _malhelpi sin._ [3]Refrain from looking. In Esperanto use
   the simplest construction possible, _as long as it is clear_. The
   simple infinitive _rigardi_ is clear after _malhelpi sin._ [4]The
   old thoughts. Before = _antaŭ_; ending _-a_ makes it an adjective.
   [5]Truth. Think of the sense. Here truth = "true-thing," so use
   suf. _-aĵ_. "Truth" = abstract virtue = _vereco_. [6]Food. To feed
   = _nutr-i_; suf. _-aĵ_ denotes stuff. [7]The rest of. The rest =
   _rest-o_; ending _-a_ makes it an adjective = remaining. [8]Savings.
   To save up = _ŝpar-i_; _ŝpar-aĵ-o_ = save-thing (i.e. sav_ed_
   thing). [9]Workman. To work = _labor-i_; suf. _-ist_ denotes the
   agent. [10]He _must_ go... and _would_ be away. Esperanto syntax
   is perfectly simple. Just use the tense which the speaker would use,
   here the future; or any tense, so long as the meaning is clear.
   [11]He had left. Pluperfect = "he was having left," _esti_ with past
   part. _active_. _Li estis lasita_ would mean "he had been left."

Li forvojaĝis do, kaj post kvin       So he journeyed forth, and in five
tagoj li ekvidis malproksime sur      days he began to see far off on
la horizonto blankan nubon, kiu       the horizon a white cloud, which
dum la morgaŭa tago montriĝis         turned out[1] in the course of the
kiel monta pinto. Namezo salutis      next day to be a mountain-peak.
ĝin, kaj de tiu momento, sen ia       Namezo saluted it, and from that
dubo, direktis sian iron tra la       moment, without any doubt, bent
ebenaĵo ĉiam al ĝi.                   his course[2] across the plain
                                      constantly towards it.

Kiam li alvenis piedon de             When he came to the foot[3] of
la montoj, la deka tago jam           the mountains, the tenth[4] day
finiĝis. Efektive li estis grave      was already drawing to an end.
trompiĝinta pri la distanco.          Indeed, Namezo had been greatly
Neniam antaŭe li vidis monton,        mistaken[5] in the distance. He
kaj tial, kiam li ekvidis la          had never seen a mountain before,
pinton meze de la vojaĝo, li          and so, when he caught sight of
kredis ke li ĵus alvenas, kaj         the peak half-way, he thought
marŝis pli malrapide. Tri tagojn      he was just getting there, and
li pensis ĉiumatene, "Mi estos        walked slower. For three days he
hodiaŭ vespere ĉe la montpiedo;       thought every morning, "I shall
morgaŭ mi suprenrampos ĝis la         be at the foot of the mountains
pinton." Sed nun li sciis, ke li      this evening; to-morrow I'll
estas malfrua. Li formanĝis jam       climb[6] to the top." But now
la duonon de sia provizaĵo, kaj       he knew that he was late.[7] He
dum la lastaj mejloj li ekvidis       had already eaten up half[8] of
ke lia pinto estas parto de vasta     his provisions,[9] and for the
senlima montegaro, ke ĝi ankoraŭ      last few miles he was beginning
malproksimas kaj li tute ne tiel      to see that his peak was part
facile supreniros. Li kalkulis ke     of a boundless mountain-range,
almenaŭ oktaga nutraĵo estos          that it was still far off and
necesa por reiri hejmen de la         he would by no means get up so
piedo de la montaro, kaj tiom         easily. He calculated that at
li tie enterigis por la returna       least eight days' food would be
vojaĝo. Sekve restis nur dutaga       needed to get home from the foot
manĝaĵo por la suprena kaj            of the mountain-range, and he
malsuprena montiro.                   buried[10] that amount[11] there
                                      for the return journey. Thus only
                                      two days' provision was left for
                                      the ascent and descent of the

   [1]Turned out to be. To show = _montr-i_; with suf. _-iĝ,
   montriĝ-i_ = to show itself, to become shown. [2]His course. To go
   = _ir-i_; ending _-o_ makes it a substantive = a going. [3]To the
   foot. Motion; use the _-n_ case. [4]Tenth. Ten = _dek_; to form the
   ordinal numbers add _-a_ to the cardinal. [5]Mistaken. To deceive
   = _tromp-i_; suf. _-iĝ_ makes it intransitive. [6]Climb. _Supr-a,
   -e, -en_ = upper, above, upwards. [7]Late. Early = _fru-a_; pref.
   _mal_- denotes opposite. [8]Half. Two = _du_; suf. _-on_ denotes
   fractions. cf. _kvarono_ = quarter. [9]Provisions. Provide-stuff
   (i.e. provid_ed_ stuff). [10]Buried. Earth = _ter-o_; in = _en_; suf.
   _-ig_ denotes causing to be. [11]That amount. _Tiom_. See the table
   of correlatives, p. 193 [Part IV, Chapter V].

Tre frue do li ekiris la dekunuan     Very early, then, on the
tagon, kaj penadis ĉiutage            eleventh[1] day he set out, and
supren. Vespere li vidis ke li        toiled the whole day upwards.
ankoraŭ havas plenan tagvojaĝon       In the evening he saw that he
ĝis la pinton, kaj tiel li devos      still had a full day's journey
tre ŝpareme uzi sian restan           to the top, and so he must be
provizaĵon. La dekdua tago estis      very sparing[2] in the use of his
tre doloriga. La monto fariĝis        remaining stores. The twelfth day
kruta; li devis rapidi; kaj li        was very painful.[3] The mountain
terure malsatis pro ekmankanta        grew[4] steep; he had to press on;
manĝaĵo. Malgraŭ ĉio li               and he was terribly hungry,[5]
alvenis montpinton je la noktiĝo.     as the food was beginning to
La subita ekscito, kune kun la        give out. In spite of all, he
laceco kaj malsato, estis tro: en     reached the top at nightfall.[6]
la momenta de sukceso li falis en     The sudden excitement, with his
sveno sur la teron.                   weariness and hunger, was too
                                      much: in the moment of success he
                                      fell to the ground in a swoon.

Jen, dum li kuŝis senkonscie,         And lo! as he lay unconscious,
aperis la duan fojon la sama          there appeared to him for the
vidaĵo. Birdo blanka alflugis,        second time the same vision.[7]
metis en lian manon semon, kaj        A white bird flew up, put a seed
diris la samajn vortojn. Denove       into his hand, and said the same
li levis la manon, kaj denove li      words. Again he raised his hand,
ŝajnis renversiĝi, kaj falis...       and again he seemed to turn over,
falis... falis....                    and fell... fell... fell....

Rekonsciiĝinte, li trovis sin         When he came to himself,[8] he
kuŝanta trankvile apud la loko        was lying quietly in the very
mem, kie li enterigis sian            place where he had buried his
returnan provizaĵon antaŭ la          food for the home journey before
supreniro. Li kuŝis sur dolĉa         the ascent. He was lying on soft
herbo, kaj sentis sin korpe tute      grass, and his body felt free from
mallacigata, kaj granda paco          its tiredness,[9] and in his soul
regis en lia animo. Tuj kiam li       reigned a great peace. As soon as
malfermis la okulojn, li rigardis     he opened[10] his eyes, he looked
en sian manon, kaj tiun ĉi fojon      in his hand, and this time the
la semo enestis.                      seed was there.

   [1]Eleven = _dek-unu_; add _-a_ to make the ordinal. 20 = _dudek_.
   [2]Sparing. To save = _ŝpar-i_; suf. _-em_ denotes propensity.
   [3]Painful. Pain = _dolor-o_; suf. _-ig_ denotes causation; ending
   _-a_ makes it an adjective. [4]Grew. To make = _far-i_; suf. _-iĝ_
   denotes becoming made, growing. [5]Hungry. Satisfied = _sat-a_;
   pref. _mal-_ denotes the opposite. To be hungry = _mal-sat-i_.
   [6]Nightfall. Night = _nokt-o_; suf. _-iĝ_ denotes becoming.
   [7]Vision. See(n)-thing; _vid-i_ = to see; with suffix _-aĵ_.
   [8]When he came to himself. Conscious = _konsci-a_; prefix _re-_
   denotes back again; suffix _-iĝ_ denotes becoming. [9]Free from
   tiredness. Tired = _lac-a_; _mal-_ denotes opposite; _-ig_ denotes
   causing to be. [10]Opened. To shut = _ferm-i_; to open = _malfermi_.

Longa, labora kaj preskaŭ             A long, laborious descent from
sennutra malsupreniro de la           the mountain-top almost without
montpinto jam ne necesis, kaj la      food was now no longer needful,
hejmvojaĝo trans la ebenaĵo           and on the home journey across
prosperis, tiel ke Namezo staris      the plain all went well, so that
baldaŭ ree en la patrina dometo.      Namezo soon stood again in his
La vilaĝanoj kunvenis amase kaj       mother's[1] cottage. The villagers
multe demandis pri lia vojaĝo,        flocked in crowds[2] and asked
ĉar neniu el ili estis iam tiel       many questions about his journey,
malproksimen foririnta de la          for none of them had ever been
hejmo. Namezo ĉion rakontis,          so far from home. Namezo told
kaj montris la semon kiun li          them everything, and showed the
devos planti. La najbaroj komence     seed which he was to plant. At
kredis, ke li volas mirigi ilin,      first the neighbours thought he
kiel la vojaĝistoj amas fari, kaj     was trying to astonish[3] them,
ili ridis pri liaj rakontaĵoj.        as travellers are wont to do,
Sed, kiam ili vidis ke li estis       and they laughed at his tales.
serioza, ili ekkoleriĝis kaj          But when they saw that he was in
volis forpreni lian semon kaj         earnest, they got in a rage,[4]
detrui ĝin. "'_Arbo_' estas           and wanted to take away his seed
sensencaĵo," ili diris; "ne           and destroy it. "A '_tree_' is
povas ekzisti alia kreskaĵo,          foolishness,"[5] they said; "no
krom la rikoltoj kaj la legomoj       other plant can exist, except the
kiujn ni kaj niaj patroj jam          crops and vegetables that we and
ĉiam kreskigis. Estas neeble          our fathers have always grown.
ke io alia kresku kaj iĝu pli         It is impossible for anything
granda." Kaj unuj diris ke li         else to grow and become[6] bigger
estas vana sonĝisto, kaj aliaj        than they." And some said that he
ke li frenezas. Sed lia patrino       was an idle dreamer, and others
kuraĝigis lin.                        that he was mad. But his mother
                                      encouraged him.

   [1]Mother's. Father = _patr-o_; suf. _-in_ denotes feminine; ending
   _-a_ makes it an adjective. [2]In crowds. Crowd = _amas-o_; ending
   _-e_ makes it an adverb. [3]Astonish. To wonder = _mir-i_; suf. _-ig_
   makes it transitive. [4]Got in a rage. Anger = _koler-o_; pref. _ek-_
   denotes beginning; suf. _-iĝ_ denotes becoming. [5]Foolishness.
   Sense = _senc-o_; without = _sen_; suf. _-aĵ_ = without-sense-stuff.
   [6]Become. Suf. _-iĝ_ is here used alone as a verb = to become.

Kaj Namezo timis por sia semo, kaj    And Namezo feared for his seed,
pripensis kiel li povos savi ĝin      and thought how he could save it
de la najbaroj kiam ĝi ekkreskos.     from the neighbours when it began
Kaj li eliris el la vilaĝo nokte,     to grow up. And he went out of the
kaj plantis ĝin malproksime de        village by night, and planted it
ĉiuj domoj, apud rivereto en          far away from all the houses, by
malleviĝo de la tero, kie oni         a little stream in a hollow[1] of
ĝin ne vidos ĝis ĝi estos tre         the ground, where it would not be
granda. Kaj komence li iris tien      seen till it grew very big. And at
nur nokte; sed, ĉar li ne parolis     first he went there only by night;
plu pri sia semo, la vilaĝanoj        but, as he said no more about his
forgesis la aferon, tiel ke li        seed, the villagers forgot the
povis eliri el la vilaĝo vespere      matter, so that he could go out of
post sia taglaboro kiam li volis,     the village in the evenings after
kaj neniu zorgis pri tio, kien        his day's work whenever he liked,
li iras. Sed li ne kuraĝis ĝin        and nobody troubled about where
transplanti apud sian dometon,        he was going.[2] But he did not
timante ke oni difektu ĝin aŭ         dare to transplant it to his own
ŝerce aŭ malice, kaj sekve            cottage, fearing that they would
restis por li la granda laborado      damage it in jest or malice, and
iri, kiam li estis jam laca,          so the hard work remained for him
malproksimen por flegi ĝin.           of going a long way to look after
                                      it, when he was already tired.

   [1]A hollow. To raise = _lev-i_; suf _-iĝ_ makes it intransitive;
   pref. _mal-_ denotes the opposite; ending _-o_ makes it a noun.
   [2]Where he was going. "Where" here = "whither," therefore add _-n_,
   which denotes motion.

Jaroj forpasadis: Namezo              Years passed away: Namezo grew
grandiĝis, sed lia kreskaĵo           up,[1] but his plant would not
ne volis grandiĝi. Multfoje           grow up too. Many a time he
li malesperis, vidante ke ĝi          despaired,[2] seeing that it
kvazaŭ ne kreskadis plu, aŭ           seemed as though it had given up
ke ĝi en somero havis velkan          growing, or that it had a faded
mienon. Multajn vintrojn ĝi           look in summer. Many winters it
preskaŭ mortis per frosto. Sed        nearly died of the frosts. But he
li persistis, kaj ĉiuokaze li         persevered, and in every case[3]
provis ian novan flegon, ĉar          he tried some new treatment,
neniam antaŭe en la tuta lando        for never before in the whole
oni kreskigis tielan plantaĵon.       land had any one grown[4] such a
Iatempe li metis sterkon: tiam li     plant. At one time he would put
subdrenis la teron, ĉirkaŭhakis       on manure; then he tried draining
la branĉetojn, aŭ ŝirmis la           the ground, pruning the shoots,
burĝonojn kontraŭ la ventoj.          or protecting the buds against
Ree, vidante ke malgraŭ ĉio la        the winds. Again, seeing that
arbeto ne prosperis, li pretigis      in spite of all the little tree
novan teraĵon kaj transplantis        did not flourish, he prepared[5]
ĝin, antaŭe enpluginte alispecan      a new soil-bed and transplanted
teron. Li eksperimentis per seka,     it, having first ploughed in
poste per malseka, subtero:           a different kind of earth. He
unuvorte, li senĉese penadis,         experimented with dry, and then
diversigante konstante la             with damp, sub-soil: in short, he
kondiĉojn ĝis li ĝuste trafos.        toiled ceaselessly, constantly
Fine, kiam li jam de longe estis      varying[6] the conditions till he
plenaĝa, lia deziro plenumiĝis:       should hit off the right thing.
tie, apud la rivereto staris          At last, when he had long come to
granda belkreska _arbo_.              be a grown man,[7] his desire was
                                      fulfilled:[8] there beside the
                                      stream stood a fine big _tree_.

   [1]Grew up. Big = _grand-a_; suf. _-iĝ_ denotes becoming.
   [2]Despaired. To hope = _esper-i_; pref. _mal-_ denotes opposite.
   [3]In every case. To happen = _okaz-i_; any or all = _ĉiu_;
   ending _-e_ makes it adverbial = "any-happening-ly," i.e. whatever
   happened. [4]Grown. To grow (intrans.) = _kresk-i_; suf. _-ig_ makes
   it transitive. [5]Prepared. Ready = _pret-a_; suf. _-ig_ = to make
   ready. [6]Varying. Diverse = _divers-a_; suf. _-ig_ = to render
   diverse. [7]A grown man. Age = _aĝ-o_; full = _plen-a_; ending _-a_
   denotes adj. [8]Was fulfilled. To fulfil = _plenum-i_; _-iĝ_ denotes

En somero, kiam la folioj estis       In summer, when it was in full
plenaj, li kondukis tien kelkajn      leaf, he took his friends there,
amikojn, kaj ili ĝojis sidantaj       and they rejoiced sitting in the
vespere sub la freŝa ombro. En        cool shade at evening. In autumn
aŭtuno ili kolektis la semujojn,      they collected the pods,[1] took
portis ilin en la vilaĝon, kaj        them to the village, and tried to
penis decidigi la vilaĝanojn          get the villagers to plant the
planti la semaron apud siaj           seed by their homes, to give them
dometoj, por havi ŝirmilon. Sed       shelter. But the villagers would
la vilaĝanoj ne volis.                not have them.

Unu diris, "Arbo estas neebla."*      One said, "A tree is

Kaj Namezo respondis, "Arbo           And Namezo answered, "A tree
ekzistas. Venu kun mi, kaj mi         exists. Come with me, and I will
vidigos vin."                         show[3] you."

Sed li diris, "Arbo estas neebla."    But he said, "A tree is

   *For this and the following objections of the villagers, compare
   Part I., chap. xv., pp. 54-6.

   [1]Pods. Seed = _sem-o_; suf. _-uj_ denotes that which contains.
   [2]Impossible. Suf. _-ebl_ denotes possibility, and can, like all
   suffixes, be used by itself. _Ne-ebl-a_ = not possible. [3]Show.
   To see = _vid-i_; with suf. _-ig_ = to cause to see.

Ree Namezo diris, "Se vi nur tiom     Again Namezo said, "If you will
da peno faros, kiom necesas por       only take as much trouble[1] as
eliri el la vilaĝo, mi montros        is necessary to go out of the
al vi arbon, sub kiu miaj amikoj      village, I will show you a tree,
kaj mi ŝirmiĝas ĉiuvespere.           under which my friends and I take
Venu nur kaj provu se ĝi plaĉos       shelter every evening. Only just
ankaŭ al vi."                         come and try whether it pleases
                                      you also."

Sed li diris, "Mi ne volas eliri.     But he said, "I will not go out. A
Arbo estas neebla."                   tree is impossible."

Alia diris, "Mi vidis vian arbon,     Another said, "I have seen your
kaj mi trovas ĝin tute senutila."     tree, and I consider it perfectly

Kaj Namezo respondis, "Kial?"         And Namezo answered, "Why?"

Kaj li diris, "Niaj patroj ne         And he said, "Our fathers had no
havis arbon."                         trees."

Namezo diris, "Niaj patroj suferis    Namezo said, "Our fathers suffered
pro manko de ŝirmado."                from want of shelter."

Kaj li diris, "Tial mi ankaŭ          And he said, "Therefore I too will
suferos."                             suffer."

Alia diris, "Ni havas ja sufiĉe       Another said, "We have enough
da kreskaĵoj. Niaj rikoltoj kaj       plants. Our crops and vegetables
legomoj provizas nutraĵon, kaj la     provide food, and our gay flowers
belaj floroj ĉarmas la okulon.        charm the eye. Another growing
Alia kreskaĵo estus superflua."       thing would be superfluous."

   [1]Trouble. To try = _pen-i_; ending _-o_ makes it a substantive =
   trying, effort.

Kaj Namezo respondis, "Bone. Niaj     And Namezo answered, "Good. The
ĝisnunaj kreskaĵoj plenumas la        plants we have already[1] fulfil
ĉefajn bezonojn de la homaro.         the chief needs of mankind.
Manĝo kaj certa ornamo estas          Food and some ornament are
necesaĵoj por la homa naturo,         necessities[2] for human nature,
kaj por tiuj ĉi uzoj ni havas         and for these uses we have the
rikoltojn kaj florojn. Sed la vivo    crops and flowers. But life would
estus pli plezura se ni estus pli     be pleasanter if we were better
bone ŝirmataj. Tiun ĉi apartan        sheltered. This special service[3]
servon prezentas la arboj, kaj ni     is done by the trees, and we can
povos ĝui ĝin sen fordoni la          enjoy it without foregoing the
profiton de floro kaj rikolto. Ne,    advantage of flower and crop.
plue, niaj rikoltoj, ŝirmataj         Nay, more, our crops, sheltered
de la montaj ventoj, pli facile       from the winds that blow from the
maturiĝos: tiel ni havos pli da       mountains, will ripen[4] more
tempo por la plezurigaj laboroj,      easily: thus we shall have more
kaj la floroj estos ankoraŭ pli       time for the work that brings
belaj."                               pleasure,[5] and the flowers will
                                      be even more lovely."

Kaj li diris, "Tagmeze, kiam la       And he said, "At noon,[6] when the
suno brilas, mi kuŝas inter           sun shines warm, I lie amidst the
la altstaranta greno. Tiu ĉi          deep standing corn. This shelter
ŝirmilo sufiĉas. Ni havas             is enough. We have plants enough.
sufiĉe da kreskaĵoj. Arbo             A tree is not a plant; it is a
ne estas kreskaĵo; ĝi estas           monster. Go to the devil!"
monstro. Iru diablon!"

Kaj Namezo iris al la diablo,         And Namezo went to the devil,
ĉar li estis preta iri kien ajn,      for he was ready to go anywhere,
plivole ol daŭrigi paroli kun la      rather than continue to talk to
vilaĝanoj.                            the villagers.

Li diris, "Via diabla Moŝto, la       He said, "Your devilish Majesty,
vilaĝanoj naŭzadas min, kaj mi        the villagers make me sick,[7] and
estas laca je mia vivo. Faru el mi    I am tired of[8] my life. Do with
kion vi volas."                       me as you will."

   [1]The plants we have already. Lit. our till-now plants.
   [2]necessities. Necessary = _neces-a_: with suf. _-aĵ_ = necessary
   things. [3]Service. To serve = _serv-i_; ending _-o_ makes it
   a substantive. [4]Ripen. Ripe = _matur-a_; suf. _-iĝ_ denotes
   becoming. [5]Work that brings pleasure. Pleasure = _plezur-o_;
   suf. _-ig_ denotes causing to be. [6]Noon. Day = _tag-o_; middle =
   _mez-o_; ending _-e_ is adverbial. [7]Make me sick. To make sick =
   _naŭz-i_; _-ad_ denotes continuation. [8]Tired of. The preposition
   _je_ is used when no other preposition exactly fits.

Respondis la diablo, "Mi ne           The devil made answer, "I
povas ion fari por vi, mizerulo!      can do nothing for you, poor
La vilaĝanoj estas venkintaj          wretch![1] The villagers have
min; kaj mi retiras min de la         beaten me; and I am retiring from
aferoj. Neniam, eĉ en miaj plej       business. Never, even in my most
eltrovemaj tagoj, mi elpensis         ingenious[2] days, did I invent
tiel mortigan turmenton por           such a deadly[3] torment for a
progresema homo, kiel sukcesi en      progressive man, as to succeed in
la produkto de profitiga uzilo,       producing a beneficial[4] device,
kaj tiam devi penadi, por igi         and then have to keep striving to
siajn kunulojn alpreni ĝin.           get his fellows[5] to adopt it.
Reiru al la vilaĝanoj kaj donu        Go back again to the villagers,
al ili miajn respektplenajn           and give them my respectful
komplimentojn."                       compliments."

Pezakore, Namezo reiris hejmen,       Heavy at heart, Namezo went home
kaj envoje li renkontis               again, and on the way he fell
vilaĝanaron portantan hakilojn.       in with a band of villagers[6]
Li demandis kial ili portas           carrying axes.[7] He asked why
hakilojn.                             they were carrying axes.

"Por dehaki la arbon," respondis      "To cut down the tree," replied
la grupestro; "ni timas ke ĝi         the leader of the band[8]; "we are
etendiĝos sur la tutan landon.        afraid that it will spread and
Se oni prenos la fruktetojn kaj       fill the whole land. If the people
plantos ilin apud sia loĝejo, la      take the fruits and plant them at
arboj entrudos sin en la kampojn      their own homes,[9] trees will
kaj en la florbedojn, kaj elpuŝos     encroach upon the fields and upon
la aliajn kreskaĵojn."                the flower-beds, and will drive
                                      out the other plants."

   [1]Wretch. Misery = _miser-o_; suf. _-ul_ denotes having the quality
   of. [2]Ingenious. To find = _trov-i_; out = _el_; suf. _-em_ denotes
   propensity or aptitude. [3]Deadly. To die = _mort-i_; suf. _-ig_
   denotes to cause to die. [4]Beneficial. Profit-causing; suf. _-ig_.
   [5]Fellows. With = _kun_; suf. _-ul_ denotes state or quality. [6]A
   band of villagers. Suf. _-ar_ denotes a collection. [7]Axes. To hew
   = _hak-i_; suf. _-il_ denotes instrument. [8]Leader of the band.
   Band = _grup-o_; suf. _-estr_ enotes chief of. [9]Homes. To dwell =
   _loĝ-i_; suf. _-ej_ denotes place.

"Sed vi tute ne devos planti          "But you must not plant the trees
la arbojn en la kampoj kaj            in the fields and flower-beds,"
florbedoj," diris Namezo. La arboj    said Namezo. "Trees have a
havas utilon diferencan de la         different use from other plants,
aliaj kreskaĵoj kaj oni plantos       and they will be planted in quite
ilin en aparta loko. Se okaze arbo    separate places. If by chance a
altrudos sin inter la rikoltojn,      tree pushes itself in amongst the
oni elradikos ĝin tuj, antaŭ ol       crops, it will be rooted out at
ĝi grandiĝos."                        once, before it gets big."

"Ne, arbo estas danĝera," kriis       "No, trees are dangerous," cried
la hakilistoj; kaj Namezo devis       the men with the axes;[1] and
alvoki siajn amikojn por defendi      Namezo had to call up his friends
la arbon.                             to defend the tree.

Poste Namezo iris hejmen kaj          After this Namezo went home and
enfermis sin en sia dometo. Lia       shut himself up in his cottage.
patrino estis jam de longe morta,     His mother was by this time
kaj la gefratoj jam edziĝis, kaj      long dead, and his brother and
li vivadis sole. Sed li nun ne        sister[2] were now married,[3]
povis eĉ resti sola. Venis la         and he lived all alone. But now
saĝuloj de la vilaĝo, kaj ili         he could not even remain alone.
kriadis tra la fenestro, "Arbo        The wise men of the village came
estas bona ideo, sed vi kreskigis     along, and they kept shouting
vian arbon malprave. Lasu nin do      through the window, "Trees are a
flegi ĝin laŭ nia bontrovo,           good idea, but you have grown your
kaj ni baldaŭ plibonigos ĝin,         tree the wrong way. So let us look
tiel ke ĝi estos vere alpreninda      after it as we see fit, and we'll
arbo."                                soon improve[4] it, so that it
                                      shall be a tree really fit for us
                                      to take to."[5]

   [1]The men with the axes. To hew = _hak-i_; _-il_ denotes instrument;
   _-ist_ denotes agent. [2]Brother and sister. Prefix _ge-_ denotes
   both sexes. [3]Were married. Husband (wife) = _edz_ (_in_) _-o_;
   suffix _-iĝ_ denotes becoming. [4]Improve. Good = _bon-a_; more
   = _pli_; _-ig_ denotes causation. [5]Fit to take to. To take =
   _pren-i_; to = _al_; _-ind_ denotes worthy.

Kaj al ili Namezo respondis           And to these Namezo answered
nenion. Li sciis ke li estis          nothing. He knew that he had given
doninta grandan parton de sia         a great part of his life to making
vivo por eksperimenti kaj estis       experiment and had produced a
produktinta belkreskan arbon, dum     well-grown tree, while the clever
la lertuloj nun estis vidantaj        men were now seeing a tree for
arbon je la unua fojo, kaj tute       the first time, and were wholly
malsciis la malfacilecojn kiujn       ignorant of the difficulties that
oni devas venki, kaj eĉ ne            had to be overcome, and did not
komprenis la demandon kiun ili        even understand the question they
entreprenis solvi. Sed li sciis       were undertaking to solve. But
ankaŭ ke tiela konsidero estas        he also knew that to clever men
por lertuloj malpli ol nenio.         such a consideration is less than
Estis malutile argumenti kun          nothing. It was no good to argue
ili, ĉar ili ne sciis ke ili ne       with them, for they did not know
scias, kaj tio ĉi estas plej          that they did not know, and this
malfacila lerni. Tial li lasis        is the hardest thing to learn. So
ilin paroladi, kaj flegis sian        he let them keep on talking, and
arbon kiel antaŭe. "Ĉar,"             tended his tree as before. "For,"
li diris al si mem, "kiam la          said he to himself, "when the tree
arbo estos disvastiĝinta kaj          has spread and multiplied after
multobliĝinta laŭspece tra            its kind throughout the land, from
la lando, per la grada sperto         many men's gradual experience
de multaj homoj fariĝos arba          there will arise a science of
scienco, kaj tial ni fine ellernos    trees, and thus we shall in the
la plej bonan flegmanieron."          end find out the best way of
Ankaŭ li pensis, "la diablo estis     tending them." Also he thought,
prava: la diablo estas lertulo."      "The devil was right: the devil is
                                      a clever man."

Iom poste alvenis en la vilaĝon       Now, some time after there arrived
homoj el aliaj lokoj, kunportantaj    in the village men from other
diversajn semojn. Ĉiu el ili          places, bringing with them various
laŭdis sian propran semon,            seeds. Each of them praised his
dirante ke li estas kreskiginta       own seed, telling how he had grown
belan arbon el tia semo, kaj          a fine tree from such seed, and
postulante ke la vilaĝanoj plantu     urging the villagers to plant his
nur liajn semojn. Tiam iuj diris,     seeds only. Then certain of them
"Ni metu ĉiujn la diversajn           said, "Let us put all the divers
semojn kunen, kaj ni kreskigu el      seeds together, and let us grow
ili unu bonan arbon." Kaj tiuj        from them one good tree." And
ĉi petis Namezon ke li neniigu        these begged Namezo to destroy[1]
sian arbon kaj pistu ĝiajn semojn     his own tree and pound its seeds
kaj almiksu ilin en la kunmetatan     and stir them into the compound
semaĵon, por ke unu bona arbo         seedstuff, that one good tree
elkresku.                             might grow out of it.

Tiel ili babiladis kaj bataladis      Thus they babbled and kept
inter si; kaj ili ĉirkaŭ iradis       quarrelling among themselves;
en la vilaĝo, montrante modelojn      and they went round about in the
de siaj arboj kaj pruvante, ĉiu       village showing models of their
ke la sia estas la plej bona. Kaj     trees and proving each that his
fine la vilaĝanoj enuiĝis kaj         own was the best. And at last
denove volis dehaki ĉiun kaj          the villagers grew weary of it,
ĉies arbon.                           and wanted again to hew down
                                      every tree, no matter to whom it

   [1]Destroy. Nothing = _neni-o_; suf. _-ig_ denotes causation. [2]No
   matter to whom it belonged. Lit. every one's.

Sed Namezo kaj liaj amikoj havis      But Namezo and his friends had
jam du aŭ tri grandajn arbojn,        by this time two or three big
kaj ĝis nun prosperis al ili          trees, and up to this day they
defendi ilin kontraŭ la atakoj de     have succeeded in defending them
la vilaĝanoj. Kaj ĉiam, kiam la       against the villagers' attacks.
vetero estas varmega, ili sidas       And always, when the weather is
sub la arboj vespere kaj ĝuas         very hot, they sit under their
la freŝecon. Tamen ili havas          trees in the evening and enjoy the
nur duonan profiton el ili, ĉar       coolness. Yet have they only half
la vilaĝanoj malpermesas planti       profit by them, for the villagers
ian arbon en la vilaĝo, kaj tial      forbid them to plant any tree
la arbanoj devas ĉiufoje marŝi        in the village, and so the tree
malproksimen kaj aparte viziti        people have to walk a long way
siajn arbojn, anstataŭ havi ilin      each time and have to make special
apud siaj pordoj.                     visits to their trees, instead of
                                      having them at their doors.

Kaj la plej granda parto de la        And the greater part of the
vilaĝanoj, malgraŭ ke oni povas       villagers, though the trees are
facile piediri al la arboj, diras     within a walk, still say, "Trees
ankoraŭ, "Arbo estas neebla."         are impossible."

Kaj la diablo ridas.                  And the devil laughs.



1. There is one definite article, _la_, invariable. There is no
indefinite article.

2. Nouns always end in _-o_. Ex. _patro_ = father.

3. Adjectives always end in _-a_. Ex. _patra_ = paternal.

4. The plural of nouns, adjectives, participles, and pronouns (except
only the personal pronouns) ends in _j_. Ex. _patroj_ = fathers; _bonaj
patroj_ = good fathers.

5. The accusative (objective) case always ends in _-n_. Ex. _Mi amas
mian bonan patron_ = I love my good father. _Ni amas niajn bonajn
patrojn_ = we love our good fathers.

6. Adverbs always end in _-e_. Ex. _bone_ = well; _patre_ = paternally.
(There are a few non-derived adverbs without the ending _-e_, as _jam,
ankaŭ, tiel, kiel_).

7. The personal pronouns are:

               mi = I       ŝi = she      ni = we
               vi = you     ĝi = it       vi = you
               li = he      oni = one     ili = they

Also a reflexive pronoun, _si_, which always refers to the subject of
its own clause.

All these pronouns form the accusative case by adding _-n_.

8. The verb has no separate ending for person or number.

The present ends in _-as_. Ex. _mi amas_ = I love.

The past ends in _-is_. Ex. _vi amis_ = you loved.

The future ends in _-os_. Ex. _li amos_ = he will love.

The conditional ends in _-us_. Ex. _ni amus_ = we should love.

The imperative ends in _-u_. Ex. _amu_ = love! _ni amu_ = let us love.
This form also serves for subjunctive. Ex. _Dio ordonas ke ni amu unu
la alian_ = God commands us to love one another.

The infinitive ends in _-i_. Ex. _ami_ = to love.

There are three active participles.

The present participle active is formed by _-ant_. Ex. _amanta_ =
loving; _amanto_ = a lover.

The past participle active is formed by _-int_. Ex. _aminta_ = having
loved; _la skribinto_ = the author (lit. the man who has written).

The future participle active is formed by _-ont_. Ex. _amonta_ = being
about to love.

There are three passive participles.

The present participle passive is formed by _-at_. Ex. _amata_ = being

The past participle passive is formed by _-it_. Ex. _amita_ = having
been loved.

The future participle passive is formed by _-ot_. Ex. _amota_ = being
about to be loved.

All compound tenses, as well as the passive voice, are formed by the
verb _esti_ (to be) with a participle. Compound tenses are employed only
when the simple forms are inadequate. Ex. _mi estas aminta_ = I have
loved (lit. I am having loved); _vi estis aminta_ = you had loved (lit.
you were having loved); _ili estas amataj_ = they are loved; _ŝi estas
amita_ = she has been loved; _ni estis amitaj_ = we had been loved; _ili
estos amintaj_ = they will have loved; _ŝi estus aminta_ = she would
have loved; _mi estus amita_ = I should have been loved.


                            LIST OF AFFIXES

                             I. _Prefixes_

_bo-_ denotes relation by marriage: _bopatro_ = father-in-law.

_dis-_ denotes dissemination, division: _dismeti_ = to put apart, about,
in pieces.

_ek-_ denotes sudden action or beginning: _ekdormi_ = to fall asleep;
_ekiri_ = to start.

_ge-_ denotes both sexes: _gepatroj_ = parents; _geviroj_ = men and

_mal-_ denotes the opposite: _bona_ = good; _malbona_ = bad.

_re-_ denotes back, again: _repagi_ = to repay; _rekomenci_ = to begin

                             II. _Suffixes_

_-ad_ denotes continuation: _penadi_ = to keep striving, to make
continued effort.

_-aĵ_ denotes something concrete, made of the material, or possessing
the qualities of the root to which it is attached: _bovo_ = ox;
_bovaĵo_ = beef; _okazi_ = to happen; _okazaĵoj_ = happenings, events.
(For English speakers a good rule is to add "thing" or "stuff" to the
English word; _propra_ = one's own, _propraĵo_ = own-thing, property;
_vidindaĵoj_ = see-worthy-things, notable sights. N.B.: _-aĵ_ added
to transitive verbal stems generally has a passive sense: _tondi_ =
to clip, _tondaĵo_ = clipped-thing, clippings; whereas _tondilo_ =
clipping-thing, shears.) See Zamenhof's explanation of -aĵ, _La Revuo_,
Vol. I., No. 8 (April), pp. 374-5.

_-an_ denotes an inhabitant, member, or partisan: _urbano_ = a
town-dweller; _Kristano_ = a Christian.

_-ar_ denotes a collection: _vortaro_ = a dictionary; _arbaro_ = a
forest; _homaro_ = mankind.

_-ĉj_ denotes masculine affectionate diminutives: _paĉjo_ = daddy;
_Arĉjo_ = Archie.

_-ebl_ denotes possibility: _kredebla_ = credible.

_-ec_ denotes abstract quality: _boneco_ = goodness.

_-eg_ denotes great size or intensity: _grandega_ = enormous;
_varmega_ = intensely hot.

_-ej_ denotes place: _lernejo_ = a learn-place, a school.

_-em_ denotes propensity to: _lernema_ = studious; _kredema_ =

_-er_ denotes one out of many, or a unit of a mass: _sablero_ = a grain
of sand; _fajrero_ = a spark.

_-estr_ denotes a chief or leader: _lernejestro_ = a head master.

_-et_ denotes diminution: _infaneto_ = a little child; _varmeta_ =

_-id_ denotes the young of, descendant of: _bovido_ = a calf.

_-ig_ denotes causation: _bonigi_, _plibonigi_ = to make good, to
improve; _mortigi_ = to kill; _venigi_ = to cause to come, to send for.

_-iĝ_ denotes becoming, and has a passive signification: _saniĝi_,
_resaniĝi_ = to get well (again); _paliĝi_ = to grow pale;
_troviĝi_ = to be found, occur.

_-il_ denotes an instrument: _razilo_ = a razor.

_-in_ denotes feminine: _patrino_ = mother; _bovino_ = cow.

_-ind_ denotes worthiness: _laŭdinda_ = laudable, praiseworthy.

_-ing_ denotes a holder: _kandelingo_ = a candlestick; _glavingo_ =

_-ist_ denotes profession or occupation; _maristo_ = a sailor;
_bonfaristo_ = a benefactor.

_-nj_ denotes feminine affectionate diminutives: _Manjo_ = Polly;
_patrinjo_ (or _panjo_) = mamma.

_-uj_ denotes containing or producing: _inkujo_ = inkpot; _Anglujo_ =

_-ul_ denotes characteristic: _timulo_ = a coward: _avarulo_ = a miser.

[The suffix _-aĉ_ (not in the _Fundamento_) is coming into use as a
pejorative (= Italian _-accio_): _ridi_ = to laugh; _ridaĉi_ = to grin,


                       TABLE OF CORRELATIVE WORDS

           TIVE.      AND INTER-

PERSON*      tiu        kiu       neniu          ĉiu            iu
             that       who,      no one       every, all,     some,
                       which                   every one      some one

THING*       tio        kio       nenio          ĉio            io
            that       what,     nothing       everything    something
            (thing)     which

QUALITY      tia        kia       nenia         ĉia             ia
           that kind  what kind    no,       each, every     any, some
             of a       of a     no kind of    kind of        kind of

TIME        tiam       kiam       neniam        ĉiam          iam
            then        when       never        always      ever, at
                                                            some time

PLACE        tie        kie       nenie         ĉie            ie
            there      where     nowhere      everywhere     somewhere

MANNER      tiel       kiel       neniel        ĉiel          iel
           thus, so     how      in no way    in every way  in some way,

MOTIVE      tial       kial       nenial        ĉial          ial
          therefore     why       for no       for all      for some
                                  reason       reasons       reasons

QUANTITY    tiom       kiom       neniom        ĉiom          iom
          so/as much  how much     none       the whole     somewhat,
          so/as many  how many                  amount      a certain

POSSESSION  ties       kies       nenies        ĉies          ies
           of that    whose,     nobody's      everybody's   somebody's
                     of which

In the demonstrative column, to express "this" instead of "that,"
add _ĉi_.

*N.B.—_Tiu_, _kiu_, etc., are used in agreement with a noun expressed,
even when it does not represent a person.

Ex. _Tiu libro, kiun mi legis_ = that book which I read. _Tiuj ĉi
floroj_ = these flowers.

_Tio_, _kio_, etc., are used when there is no noun, so that they stand

Ex. _Tio estas vera_ = that is true; _kion vi diris?_ = what did you
say? _Tio ĉi estas pli granda ol tio_ = this is bigger than that.

N.B.—In memorizing the above, it is well to remember that _t_ =
demonstrative, _k_ = relative-interrogative, _ĉ_ = distributive, _i_ =
indefinite, _nen_ = negative.



 = A =

-a = termination of adjectives.
aĉet-i = to buy.
-ad = suffix denoting continued action.
aer-o = air.
ag-i = to act.
-aĵ = suffix denoting concrete substance.
ajn = (what)ever; _kiu ajn_, whoever.
al = to.
ali-a = other.
almenaŭ = at least.
alt-a = high.
am-i = to love.
amas-o = crowd, mass.
ankaŭ = also.
ankoraŭ = still.
anstataŭ = instead of.
-ant = present participle active.
antaŭ = before (time and place).
apart-a = special.
apud = at.
-ar = suffix denoting a collection.
arb-o = tree.
-as = ending of present tense.
aŭd-i = to hear.

 = B =

baldaŭ = soon.
bed-o = flower bed.
bel-a = fine, beautiful.
bezon-o = need.
blank-a = white.
bon-a = good.
bord-o = edge, shore.
bril-i = to shine.
burĝon-o = bud.

 = C =

cel-o = object, aim.
cerb-o = brain.
cert-a = certain.

 = Ĉ =

ĉagren-o = trouble.
ĉar = for, because.
ĉe = at.
ĉes-i = to cease.
ĉi = added to demonstrative _tiu_, expresses nearer connexion:
   _tiu_ = that; _tiu ĉi_ = this.
ĉiam = always.
ĉie = everywhere.
ĉirkaŭ = around.
ĉiu = all, each, every.
ĉu = interrogative particle.

 = D =

da = used after words of quantity: Ex. _multe da vino_, much wine.
daŭr-i = to last, continue.
de = of, from, by (with passive).
des = comparative particle; _ju...des_, the...the:
   Ex. _ju pli des pli bone_, the more the better.
dev-i = to owe, to be obliged to.
deviz-o = device, motto.
difekt-i = to spoil.
dir-i = to say.
dom-o = house.
don-i = to give.
du = two.
dub-i = to doubt.
dum = whilst.

 = E =

-e = ending of adverbs.
eben-a = flat, level.
-ebl = suffix denoting possibility.
-ec = suffix denoting abstract quality: _bon-ec-o_, goodness.
eĉ = even.
edz-(in)-o = husband (wife).
-eg = suffix denoting great size.
-ej = suffix denoting place.
ek- = prefix denoting beginning.
ekster = outside.
el = out of.
-em = suffix denoting propensity.
en = in.
entrepren-i = to undertake.
enu-i = to weary, bore.
esper-i = to hope.
Esperant-o = Esperanto.
est-i = to be.
-et = suffix denoting little.
etend-i = to stretch.

 = F =

facil-a = easy.
fajr-o = fire.
fakt-o = fact.
far-i = to do.
fenestr-o = window.
ferm-i = to shut.
fil-o = son.
fin-o = end.
flank-o = side.
fleg-i = tend.
flu-i = flow.
flug-i = to fly.
foj-o = time; _du fojoj_, twice.
foli-o = leaf.
for = away.
forn-o = oven.
frat-o = brother.
fraz-o = sentence.
frenez-o = madness.
fru-a = early.
frukt-o = fruit.

 = G =

ge- = prefix denoting both sexes.
gent-o = race, tribe.
grand-a = big, great.

 = Ĝ =

ĝi = it.
ĝis = until.
ĝoj-o = joy.
ĝu-i = to enjoy.

 = H =

hav-i = to have.
hejm-o = home.
hodiaŭ = to-day.
hom-o = man (mortal; no distinction of sex).

 = I =

-i = ending of infinitive.
ideal-o = ideal.
-ig = suffix denoting causation.
-iĝ = suffix denoting becoming.
-il = suffix denoting instrument.
ili = they.
-int = past participle active.
inter = between, among.
ir-i = to go.
-is = ending of past tense.
-ist = suffix denoting agent.
iu = some one.

 = J =

-j = ending of plural.
jam = already.
jar-o = year.
jen = here is, here are (French _voici_).
ju = comparative particle. See _des_.
jun-a = young.

 = Ĵ =

ĵus = just now.

 = K =

kaj = and.
kamen-o = fireplace.
kamp-o = field.
kap-o = head.
ke = that (conjunction).
kelk-a = some.
kiam = when.
kiel = how, as.
kiu = who, which.
knab-o = boy.
komerc-o = commerce.
kompat-o = sympathy, pity.
kompren-i = to understand.
kon-i = to know.
konsil-i = to counsel.
konstru-i = to build.
kontraŭ = against.
kred-i = to believe.
kresk-i = to grow.
krom = besides.
krut-a = steep.
kun = with.
kuŝ-i = to lie.
kutim-i = to be accustomed.
kvankam = although.
kvar = four.
kvazaŭ = as if.
kvin = five.

 = L =

la = the.
lac-a = tired.
lag-o = lake.
land-o = land.
lang-o = tongue.
las-i = to let, leave.
laŭ = according to.
leg-i = to read.
legom-o = vegetable.
lern-i = to learn.
lert-a = clever.
lev-i = to raise.
li = he.
lim-o = limit.
lingv-o = language.
lit-o = bed.
long-a = long.
lum-o = light.

 = M =

mal- = prefix denoting the opposite.
malgraŭ = in spite of.
manĝ-i = to eat.
mank-i = to be wanting.
mar-o = sea.
marĉ-o = swamp.
maten-o = morning.
mem = self.
met-i = to put.
mez-o = middle.
mi = I.
mien-o = look, air, gait.
mir-i = to wonder.
mon-o = money.
mond-o = world.
montr-i = to show.
morgaŭ = to-morrow.
Moŝt-o = term of respect: your Highness, Worship, Honour.
mult-a = much, many.

 = N =

-n = ending of accusative: also denotes motion towards
   and duration of time.
naci-o = nation.
nask-i = to beget.
ne = no, not.
neĝ-o = snow.
neniam = never.
neniu = no one.
ni = we.
nom-o = name.
nov-a = new.
nub-o = cloud.
nun = now.
nur = only.
nutr-i = to feed.

 = O =

-o = ending of nouns.
oft-e = often.
ok = eight.
okaz-i = to happen.
okul-o = eye.
ol = than.
-on = suffix denoting fraction.
oni = one, people (indef pron.).
-ont = future participle active.
orel-o = ear.
-os = ending of future.

 = P =

pac-o = peace.
parol-i = to speak.
pen-i = to try.
pens-i = to think.
per = by means of.
perd-i = to lose.
pez-a = heavy.
pied-o = foot.
pint-o = point, peak.
pist-i = to pound.
plaĉ-i = to please.
plat-a = flat.
plej = most.
plen-a = full.
plend-i = to complain.
plenum-i = to fulfill.
pli = more.
plu = more, further, farther.
plug-i = to plough.
popol-o = people, race.
por = for.
pord-o = door.
post = after, behind (time and place).
pov-i = to be able.
pra = original, great-(grandfather).
prav-a = right.
pren-i = to take.
preskaŭ = almost.
pret-a = ready.
preter = beyond, by.
pri = about, concerning.
pro = on account of.

 = R =

rakont-i = to narrate.
ramp-i = to crawl, climb.
rapid-a = quick.
rekt-a = straight.
rem-i = to row.
renkont-i = to meet.
renvers-i = to upset, overthrow.
rikolt-o = crop.

 = S =

sat-a = satisfied, full, replete.
sci-i = to know.
sed = but.
sek-a = dry.
sekv-i = to follow.
sem-o = seed.
sen = without.
sent-i = to feel.
si = self, relexive pronoun.
sid-i = to sit.
sinjor-o = sir, Mr., gentleman.
skrib-i = to write.
sol-a = alone, only.
son-o = sound.
sonĝ-o = dream.
sonor-a = sonorous.
spec-o = kind, sort.
spert-o = experience.
spir-i = to breathe.
star-i = to stand.
sterk-o = manure.
subit-a = sudden.
sufiĉ-a = sufficient.
supr-a = upper, superior.
sven-i = to swoon.

 = Ŝ =

ŝajn-i = to seem.
ŝerc-i = to joke.
ŝip-o = ship.
ŝirm-i = to shelter.
ŝpar-i = to save up, economize.
ŝtel-i = to steal.

 = T =

tag-o = day.
tamen = yet, nevertheless.
tegment-o = roof.
temp-o = time.
ten-i = to hold, keep.
ter-o = earth.
tial = therefore.
tiel = thus, so.
tiom = so much, so many.
tiu = that.
tra = through.
traf-i = to hit the mark.
trans = across.
tre = very.
trem-i = to tremble.
tro = too much.
tromp-i = to deceive.
trov-i = to find.
trud-i = to shove, thrust.
tuj = immediately.
tut-a = all.

 = U =

-u = ending of imperative subjunctive.
-uj = suffix denoting "holder".
-ul = suffix denoting characteristic.
unu = one.

 = V =

vapor-o = steam.
vek-i = to wake (trans.).
vel-o = sail.
velk-a = faded.
ven-i = to come.
venk-i = to conquer.
vent-o = wind.
ver-a = true.
vesper-o = evening.
vetur-i = to travel by vehicle (train, carriage, boat, etc.).
vi = you.
vid-i = to see.
vidv-(in)-o = widow(er).
vir-(in)-o = man (woman).
viv-i = to live.
voj-o = way.
vojaĝ-o = voyage, journey.
vokal-o = vowel.
vol-i = to wish.
vom-i = to vomit, be sick.
vort-o = word.

 = Z =

zorg-o = care.

                               APPENDIX A


Word-building can be made quite an amusing game for children. For
instance, give them the suffixes _-ej_ (denoting place) and _-il_
(denoting instrument), and set them to form words for "school,"
"church," "factory," "knife," "warming-pan," etc. (_lernejo_,
_preĝejo_, _fabrikejo_, _tranĉito_, _varmigilo_).

But since the language is perfectly regular in form and construction,
and the learner can therefore argue from case to case, it is a useful
instrument for instilling clear ideas of grammatical categories. Thus
give the roots—

           viv-i = to live   san-a = healthy   hom-o = man
           long-a = long     saĝ-a = wise      Di-o = God
                             don-i = to give

and set such sentences as the following to be worked out—

"He lives long"; "A long life is a gift of God"; "It is wise to live
healthily"; "God is divine, man is human"; "Human life is short," etc.

The same roots constantly recur with an _-o_, _-a_, or _-e_ tacked on;
and the practice in sorting out the endings, and attaching them like
labels to nouns, adjectives, verbs, and adverbs, soon marks off the
corresponding ideas clearly in the learner's mind.

Analogous to simple sums and conducive to clear thinking are such
sentences as the following, for rather more advanced pupils:


      raz-i = to shave    serv-i = to serve      san-a = healthy
      akr-a = sharp       mort-i = to die        ven-i = to come
      uz-i = to use       hak-i = to hew         kun = with
                          sent-i = to feel

and the table of affixes (pp. 191-2 [Part IV, Chapter IV]).

Translate—"Constant use had blunted his razor"; "He had his servant
shaved"; "He killed his companion with an axe"; "Let us send for the

More advanced exercise (on the same roots):

Translate—"O Death, where is thy sting?" "Community of service brings
together men subject to death, and dulls the perception of their common
mortality. Willing service dissipates the weariness of the server; the
deadliness of disease is mitigated, and the place of sickness becomes a
place of health."

By referring to the table of affixes, the use of which has of course
been explained, the learner can work out the answers as follows:

Uz-ad-o estis mal-akr-ig-int-a lian raz-il-on. Li raz-ig-is sian
serv-ant-(_or_ ist)on. Li mort-ig-is sian kun-ul-on per hak-il-o.
Ni ven-ig-u la san-ig-ist-on.

More advanced:

Ho Morto, kie estas via akr-ec-o? Kun-servo (_or_ kuneco de servo)
kun-ig-as la mort-em-(ul)-ojn, kaj mal-akr-ig-as la sent-on de ilia
kun-a mort-em-ec-o. Serv-em-ec-o dis-ig-as la el-uz-it-ec-on de la
serv-ant-o; la mort-ig-ec-o de la mal-san-ec-o mal-akr-iĝ-as, kaj la
mal-san-ej-o iĝas san-ej-o.

No national language could be used in this way for building sentences
according to rules, and such exercises should give a practical grip
of clear use of language. The student is obliged to analyse the exact
meaning of every word of the English sentence, and this necessity
inculcates a nice discrimination in the use of words. At the same time
the necessary word-building depends upon clear-headed and logical
application of rule. There is no memory work, but the mind is kept on
the stretch, and the exercise is wholesome as combating confusion of
thought and slovenliness of expression.

                               APPENDIX B

                     ESPERANTO HYMN BY DR. ZAMENHOF

                               LA ESPERO

                     En la mondon venis nova sento,
                     Tra la mondo iras forta voko;
                     Per flugiloj de facila vento
                     Nun de loko flugu ĝi al loko.
                       Ne al glavo sangon soifanta
                       Ĝi la homan tiras familion:
                       Al la mond' eterne militanta
                       Ĝi promesas sanktan harmonion.
                     Sub la sankta signo de l'espero
                     Kolektiĝas pacaj batalantoj,
                     Kaj rapide kreskas la afero
                     Per laboro de la esperantoj.
                       Forte staras muroj de miljaroj
                       Inter la popoloj dividitaj;
                       Sed dissaltos la obstinaj baroj,
                       Per la sankta amo disbatitaj.
                     Sub neŭtrala lingva fundamento,
                     Komprenante unu la alian,
                     La popoloj faros en konsento
                     Unu grandan rondon familian.
                       Nia diligenta kolegaro
                       En laboro paca ne laciĝos,
                       Ĝis la bela sonĝo de l'homaro
                       Por eterna ben' efektiviĝos.

                          LITERAL TRANSLATION


                  Into the world has come a new feeling,
                  Through the world goes a mighty call;
                  On light wind-wings
                  Now may it fly from place to place.
                    Not to the sword thirsting for blood
                    Does it draw the human family:
                    To the world eternally at war
                    It promises holy harmony.
                  Beneath the holy banner of hope
                  Throng the soldiers of peace,
                  And swiftly spreads the Cause
                  Through the labour of the hopeful.
                    Strong stand the walls of a thousand years
                    Between the sundered peoples;
                    But the stubborn bars shall leap apart,
                    Battered to pieces by holy love.
                  On the fair foundation of common speech,
                  Understanding one another,
                  The peoples in concord shall make up
                  One great family circle.
                    Our busy band of comrades
                    Shall never weary in the work of peace,
                    Till humanity's grand dream
                    Shall become the truth of eternal blessing.

                               APPENDIX C

                      THE LETTER _C_ IN ESPERANTO

_c_ = _ts_ in English "bits."

This has given rise to much criticism. The same sound is also expressed
by the letters _ts_. Why depart from the Esperanto principle, "one
sound, one letter," and have two symbols (_c_ and _ts_) for the same

A standing difficulty of an international language is: What equivalent
shall be adopted for the _c_ of national languages? The difficulty
arises owing to the diversity of value and history of the _c_ in diverse
tongues. Philologists, who know the history of the Latin hard _c_ and
its various descendants in modern languages, will appreciate this.

(1) Shall _c_ be adopted in the international language, or omitted?
If it is omitted, many useful words, which it is desirable to adopt
and which are ordinarily spelt with a _c_, will have to be arbitrarily
deformed, and this deformation may amount to actual obscuring of their
sense. E.g. _cento_ = hundred; _centro_ = centre; _cerbo_ = brain;
_certa_ = certain; _cirkonstanco_ = circumstance; _civila_ = civil, etc.
Such works would become almost unrecognizable for many in the forms
kento, sento, tsento, etc.

(2) If, then, _c"_is retained, what value is to be given to it? The
hard and soft sounds of the English _c_ (as in English "cat," "civil")
are already represented by _k_ and _s_. Neither of these letters can
be dispensed with in the international language; and it is undesirable
to confuse orthographically or phonetically _c_-roots with _s_- or
_k_-roots. Therefore another value must be found for the symbol _c_.
The choice is practically narrowed down to the Italian soft _c_ = _ch_,
as in English "church," and the German[1] _c_ = _ts_ in English "bits."
Now _ch_ is a useful and distinctive sound, and has been adopted in
Esperanto with a symbol of its own: ĉ. Therefore _ts_ remains.

   [1]Also late Latin and early Norman French.

(3) Why not then abolish _c_ and write _ts_ instead? For answer, see
No. (1) above. It is a worse evil to introduce such monstrosities as
_tsento_, _tsivila_, etc., than to allow two symbols for the same sound,
_ts_ and _c_. International language has to appeal to the eye as well as
to the ear.

This matter of the _c_ is only one more instance of the wisdom of Dr.
Zamenhof in refusing to make a fetish of slavish adherence to rule.
Practical common-sense is a safer guide than theory in attaining the
desired goal—ease (of eye, ear, tongue, and pen) for greatest number.
In practice no confusion arises between _c_ and _ts_.

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