Thursday, February 01, 2007


[The following is an interesting and serious discussion on a blog at the webpage (ELNA) of the Esperanto Association of North America ( which I thuoght I should share with you. The English translation is by me, and you shouldn't hold the original writers responsible for my mistakes. -- Richard]

Doesn't the younger generation need local E-o clubs?

I took part yesterday in an internet discussion about young Esperantists. One typist from Madrid declared that although there are more young people in the Esperanto movement, there are fewer who take part in local clubs. He didn't present evidence of that, so I can only believe his words. He believes that the World Wide Web contibutes to this matter. In the past, people had to join local clubs in order to participate in the Esperanto movement. But now, through technology the skillful younger generation is able to learn the language online and also meet many esperantists from all over the world over the internet. Doesn't the young geneation need the local clubs?
By Dreah at 2007-01-23 21:14
Local clubs are good, serious, insufficient

Possibly I'm too "raumist" now, but Esperantists on the net certainly entered the community during the past years, likely not to the final battle, but surely to the strengthening of the movement. Over time, when other world languages are failing and ["klenas"?] themselves to English, Esperanto lives and actually brings together their children. Local groups are now chiefly children of the internet movement, and not the opposite. One learns by means of the internet, one develops himself by means of the internet, one finds new friends on the internet, and one organizas local groups, often, by means of the internet. Without local groups, Esperanto will remain merely a hobby language, like Klingon, but local groups are not prevalent in our land and will never be without an active net-movement.

I don't understand how some people confuse themselves about the unity of the "first life" and the "second life" of the internet dweller. Isn't he who writes letters or speaks across the screen to a friend in another chatroom, truly communicating? With Skype, videochat and virtual worlds as the Second Life, truly one is communicating more than a letter penpal, faster, cheaper, and without consideration of land frontiers. It is like an everyday Universal Congress.

We now understand, that the internet isn't merely a book to find information, but that it is truly easier to reach a meetingplace than a local coffehouse.
By gxeremio at Wed, 2007-01-24

First Life

In the last 50 years, membership in every social club in the United States has become less. Before it was "Odd Fellows," "Elks," etc. but almost everywhere the number of participants is dying. Robert Putnam wrote the book "Bowling Alone" to describe the matter.

Apparently there are many and diverse reasons. One apparently is television: many people possible prefer some kind of apparent participation with imaginary people behind the glass screen -- it is easier and more secure than truly facing some people.

Clifford Stoll wrote a book, "Silicon Snake Oil" about how one uses his strengths more to strengthen internet communication instead of the true community of their neighborhoods and same regions and portends the failure of the social lives in our communities. Robert Reich also wrote something of that in "The Work of Nations" that the new world economy means that our united economy partners will now be in other places more than in the past, when the whole community worked as one or two great factories: behold another force which tears our society apart.

Having said that, I find that young people in my city are lately more interested (than in the past year, at least) in the local group. After that amount of interest concerning the possibilities of the internet, I believe that people are beginning to find out that around them is the whole world they can explore. I was completely satisfied with that attitude. Get a First Life!

--Steven BREWER
By limako at Wed, 2007-01-24


At this time, local clubs are only one of many forums where Esperanto is used. Because of transportation and the internet, international communication is greatly increasing in history, and Esperanto is greatly fitting for that. In local clubs one usually converses the same national language already, and usually better than Esperanto, therefore conversation is somewhat unnatural and limited.

I can further imagine that young people are not much interested in passing time with old geezers. Kent Jones also believed that. So it is serious to arrange matters which directly challenge young people.

Local clubs nevertheless generally are urgently necessary, so that beginners are able to effectively learn the language and about the movement. Furthermore, in local clubs human strength becomes collected to arrange regional, national, and international conventions and to accept guests and guide newcomers.

By KriZe at Wed, 2007-01-24


Interesting Question

Changes which the internet has brought about, not only refer to the "young generation." I communicate with friends of all ages through Esperanto email --- I doubt whether I would do the same very often through letters or postcards.

To me, the internet fills a lack which local groups are not able to confront. Local groups do not meet every day, local groups by their very name are not international, local groups do not exist everywhere. I can imagine Esperantists, who learn well the language and participate in Esperantoland never abandoning the computer --- more often than I desire, I am one of that kind of Esperantists.

But everything here (at least, not by present technological means) are not taking the place of live contacts. It is often local groups which inform about the language and encourage beginners. I began learning Esperanto on the internet, did the postal course by email, but would not have continued learning if I could not see in the local group living peple conversing together by means of Esperanto.
By Tim Westover at Wed, 2007-01-24


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