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Can you help answer my esperanto survey?

Saluton as this is duolingo and is a learning site to speak esperanto from english I will be writing this in english.

Are you sick and tired of quoting to your friends that "there are around 1000 to 2-3 million people who are esperantists"? Well I have!

I have created a survey for all esperantists to do. For duolingo users it may contain some scary vocab but fear not, your e-dictionary is your friend. ( http://en.lernu.net/index.php )

I say this because I want your help. Yes! your help!

Answering these questions will tell us what kind of person becomes an esperantists? (are they mostly male? female? are they young? old? Are they more likely to own an android phone or an iphone (or black berry)

If you want to help be a part of this, Click Here!


September 21, 2015



Your statistics are backwards; you need to ask random people and see what fraction of them speak Esperanto.


I see, i get what you mean, we won't get how many people speak esperanto. but we will still other information.


Mi pensas, ke mi jam faris ĝin ĉe Reddit - tamen, bonan ŝancon!


mi postis gxin en multe da lokoj. Dankon por via respondo!


So what if you get 1.347 answers? Does that mean that there are 1.347 Esperanto speakers out there?


And does it mean that all Esperanto speakers own Internet-capable computers?


I did think about this and I argued to myself that it is more likely that an esperantist has access to the internet because of all the resources to learn esperanto. In fact, It may even be a prerequisite, I have no way to test it at the moment.

But I do urge/ask that if you know some esperantists who does not use computer to help him answer a survey. The more people we get, the better it will be, the "lesswrong" it will be. So if you can spread it around to your friends it would be great. Thanks!


Statistics is a funny thing. While I cannot say for certain that there are 1347 esperantists out there. It may be a greater indication of how many esperantists are active within the esperanto community. (I have posted this survey practically everywhere!)

But that's not all, It is said that esperanto is an equal language, but there's never been any publicly available statistics to confirm that.


Yes I've seen that you posted this in several forums. But these forums (you may call it everywhere) are not the Esperanto movement. Believe me, the great majority of Esperanto speakers will never see anything about your survey. The Esperanto movement is far to complex, that you could reach it by a couple of postings on some forums for beginners.

You say, that there is no statistics available. You know why? Because a study which will get beyond the rough estimations would cost millions. If it was that easy to make such a study, there would be thousands of them.


I agree! you're right, if you know better places for me to post I will do that. let me know. The more places i do post the more likely we'll have a much complete picture as i hope to post the results in a month.

fair enough about the second paragraph. I don't think it should be that way and I'm helping change that. :) I'm serious, if you can help me reach more people, let me know. Dankon!


> There is no bad result.

Yes there is. The bad result is the misleading result. For example that the Esperanto speakers are below 50 based in parts of the world with good internet access, smartphone owners, mostly male.

That's the kind of people you are reaching by your online survey, so that's what the Esperanto movement will look like to you. Like the blind man touching an elephants tusk.

And that's really a bad result. Totally misleading.


A quick search shows me from here (at least for america)http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/04/01/chapter-one-a-portrait-of-smartphone-ownership/ that the number of males to females who own a smart phone is almost the same (66% to 63%). I would prefer more citations on the assumptions you presented. If you like you can email me here jackellice@gmail.com :)

I ask, that we be patient until the results come in and compare it not with our assumption but on other information that has been collected. Thank you for letting me know your concerns on this.

It helps me understand what I should consider when eventually analysing the results. I think results can only be misleading if analysed on it's own. I plan not to do that.


One way would be to get the word out to local Esperanto clubs. For example, in Hamburg there are several people who would probably not see a post on an Internet forum but could be notified through an announcement in the weekly club meeting (presuming they attend that day) or a notice inserted in the quarterly member newsletter - which may also reach those who, though infirmity, lack of interest or whatever do not regularly attend meetings but do still pay their membership dues and so receive the newsletter. (On honest-to-goodness paper through the post.)

So you'd "only" have to identify all local Esperanto clubs and notify the local leader, asking them to distribute this information.

The yearly UEA yearbook may help you with this, though I believe that the Hamburg group only appears because it pays a yearly charge to "advertise" its presence in the yearbook, so there may be hundreds of local groups that are not listed in the UEA yearbook. But contacting the country's representative can help.

This is a lot more work than just posting it electronically on a dozen forums, of course, and may not be cheap if you have to make phone calls or send out postal mail (for groups that do not have electronic contact options).

So it depends on how serious you are about reaching the maximum possible number of Esperantists.

(And even this method will only reach those who are actually organised in or affiliated with some group or other, and not just learning Esperanto by themselves, perhaps corresponding with pen-pals in other countries but not otherwise formally organised.)

I'm guessing you're not particular serious and just want to do the most you can with minimum effort, but perhaps you're more tenacious than my jaded old self gives you credit for.

Bonan ŝancon!


Alright that's a good idea, I'll send an email to the UEA

Unfortunately I'm only to sticking to an online survey. It's relatively easy to do with the close to 2 billion smart phones (not including PCs) in ther market.I do indeed want to do the most I can with what's easily accessible because what we have is quite a bit.

If I can't reach a thousand esperantist online.. well even then that's tells me something interesting about esperantists online. There is no bad result^^ but together we can help it become more accurate. :)

do you know any more organizations should contact? send me an email at jackellice@gmail.com. I think this comment branch is near it's limit.


Sure there are many female smartphone users, that's not the point. The point is that internet forum users are mostly male.


I filled it out. It's a cool idea. But to echo what others have been posting, I know a ton of Esperantists who will definitely not see this post--neither here, nor on reddit, etc. There are lots of older people who just don't use the internet in this way, and lots of people of all ages for whom Esperanto is a normal part of everyday life, but not so much of an internet hobby. Also, while this is admittedly very rare nowadays, I know for a fact that there are Esperantists who have very limited internet access, if any. Still, good luck!


Which why i ask that if you and others can tell/ask people who are esperantists about this. The relative success of this survey is partially dependent on whether those surveyed spread it to others. These two places aren't the only places i have posted. I'm looking for more places if you know some.


Could you please explain the school naming system? "Altlernejo" translates into "college" in English, but for me college is just a type of school in the USA. What requirements a school needs to fulfil to be the "altlernejo" as opposed to the "lernejo"? Does it need to teach a specialized job? (If so - does a fully manual job count, or does it need to be a technical school, or an after-majority-exams school?) Does it need to end with an exam that's considered a part of reaching majority or is it a school after that sort of exam? Is it counted in the number of years spent learning? How to tell a difference between "lernejo" and "alterlernejo" in the countries that aren't the USA?

Thank you for including "alia" for gender, BTW.

Edit: and what should a tradukisto put for a profession? Because if you are speaking of poli-lingual people, it might just be important ; ). (No, I'm not a translator - but I expect that some Esperantists are, especially if they live in multi-lingual areas.)


Hi! Thank you for these questions. They've given me pause for thought. After a little time considering I have come up with these responses. Do note, I plan to write an evaluation of this enketo and release the data to the public so you can tear at it yourself.

Altlernjo refers to tertiary education that do not fall under the purview of a university education like a technical or junior college. These institutes tend to award diplomas as opposed to degrees. Lernejo refers to secondary education (having finished majority exams) I think I see where the confusion is here and will do better in future.

You're welcome, although I would like to point out that as stated the question with the option for "alia" refers to sex at birth and not gender identity. This was a deliberate choice. It has not been easy to decide how to ask this question.

Looking over the options, You have stumped me on that one! :p I believe It depends on what type of translator you are. If you're a translator for the court, or if you're offering it as a service or if you work for the govenrnment. I would classify a translator as either a socia scienco, oficejo, administrado, militistaro kaj sekurecaj servoj, or juraj profesioj. In future survey I think I would do better to address this.

All in all the survey is halway complete. I have received almost a hundred respondants. If you are an esperantists or have not done the survey bonvolu helpi mi, dankon!

if you have any questions about how or why it was chosen that way, don't hesitate to ask.


Thank you for explanation about the schools. (They are as confusing as translating the names of meals between the languages - the words just don't match each other outright.)

I've pointed out the matter of being a translator, because I imagine it might be relevant to eventual Esperantists census. It's just about as important as a question whether one is an artist, in this case - because the former speaks of person's language background and the latter is relevant to potentially creating art in Esperanto.

Sex identified at birth - really? I can't imagine a scenario in which it would be more relevant to this census than gender identity. (I imagine the latter could be a potentially interesting piece of data in the statistics.) I actually don't see why it'd be relevant to language acquisition at all, unless you are checking whether in some countries children are taught languages by sex - but in this case the questionnaire would be constructed differently and available in several languages. I don't think it's that relevant in Esperanto - it's a language mostly first-learned as a hobby, not in school. So, could you explain why you've chosen that question? (It's still good that there's the "alia" option.)


Sure thanks for that.

Sex refers to a biological classification that relies on what chromosomes you have (XY, YY, YYX!, etc), how those chromosomes are effectively expressed through the pathways (Do they have a penis or vagina? okay do they have a penis or vagina that functions? okay. Do they have breast tissue etc) It is something that is determined at birth and rooted in your body's biology.

It was the concrete foundation that I hoped to base my question on.

gender identity refers to the gender you a person most identify with and that's a lot trickier to measure and understand without knowing the trends for cis-gender and trans-gender individuals. Furthermore there are people who don't follow the traditional binanry genders and identify as a third gender.

I've even seen gender identity referred to as spectrum and can change over time. personally I'm a fan of using this categorization detailed here http://lesswrong.com/lw/nn/neural_categories/

All of this results in a huge mess that we're not ready to completely answer in a manner that will be easily understood is a short survey. I simply was unable to construct a question that would be true to this and understandable for the average responder. But I think I can do better now. :(

What I hoped we could gain from this question is whether there's a bias in which sex learns the language.

I hope that helps :)

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