books about esperanto, Zamenhof, language projects etc
I am currently starting a project for school, comparing the language projects of modern Hebrew, and Esperanto, in terms of:
the experiences and backgrounds of Zamenhof and the main people behind modern Hebrew
the ideology of both languages
the success of each
and other things
I'd be grateful if anyone has recommendations for books, websites or other resources about esperanto, Zamenhof, and other language projects, or any recommendations you think may be useful - I'll also be posting a similar message in the Hebrew topic
thank you :)
(I attempted to previously post this discussion, but my internet stopped at some point, so I'm not sure if it has already uploaded - I'll delete one if it turns out there is a duplicate)
This is a great topic! I know I've read some comparisons online. This was 10 or 15 years ago.
Awesome; I couldn't seem to find when I looked - if possible can you send links?
I recommend Wikipedia as a point to start. You can look at the “Further Reading”, for, well, further reading. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constructed_language https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_constructed_languages https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Esperanto
I currently read a book about Zamenhof called “Life of Zamenhof”, which is the earliest biography about Zamenhof , but it is in Esperanto. It was translated to English but as far as I know it is not publicly available online. I can translate you some passages to English if you want.
The chapters of the book are: • The peoples in Lithuania • Child in Białystok • Pupil in Warsaw • Years at university • Doctor Esperanto idealistic prophet • Homaranism • Conversation at the Congress • Linguist • Author • Ethical philosopher • Human near death
Feel free to ask further questions about Esperanto and Zamenhof.
Thank you. As that book sounds like many of the chapters are going to be relevant, I'll probably buy the English translation (whilst I am learning esperanto, I'm sadly nowhere near translating level) - thank you for the offer though :)
Hi! I can highly recommend Arika Okrent's "In the Land of Invented Languages", that also has a short section on Hebrew and how the story of modern Hebrew compares to that of Esperanto.
Somewhere I read about a connection between Zamenhof and Ben Yehuda... maybe Z knew of him, or had made a comment about it. The other thing that springs to mind is that it has been said that part of the reason it was possible to "revive" Hebrew is that it was never fully dead. It was still in active use - although not by native speakers. Ben Yehuda, so the story goes, was fanatical when it came to his son's exposure to Hebrew. (As a parent of three native Esperanto speakers, I don't feel bad judging him this way.) I remember being shocked when I heard the stories.
The goal in reviving Hebrew was to make it the native language of a new generation.
The goal in establishing Esperanto was for it to be a universal second language, learnable by adults.
Zamenhof's children (most famously Lidja - about whom a book was written and is available in the mainstream bookstores) did go on to be involved with Esperanto. Ben Yehuda's son was a native speaker of Hebrew, but I have no idea what his adult life was like. That might be an interesting thing to look into.
Ben Yehuda's son tried to reform Hebrew and replace the native script with a Latin one and even started a periodical using the Latin script. However, from memory it was never that popular.
Hi Thank you - really useful comments, I'll look into some of the points more :) The aspect of how the children of both people were relevant to the process was something I was considering including, but I may not have enough space. In particular the unique experience of having isolated native speakers, which only happens with language projects like these. (side note-so awesome about your kids being native esperantists!) Also the destinction between the goals is interesting - can I quote that?
If you want to quote me, that's fine. My real name is easy enough to find. First name Thomas as it says on my profile. Last name starts with A and rhymes with Salamander.:-)
It's been interesting using Esperanto in the family. It certainly makes it easy to find someone to talk to.