https://www.duolingo.com/rhythmixed

Anniversary of Sofia Zamenhof's Death

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I'm not sure if this exactly relevant, but given the tribute paid to Sofia Zamenhof within the Esperanto course here, I thought that remembering Sofia's death date would be significant. I went searching for more information on our lovely Sofia today and found a couple of sources that list her death date as September 12, 1942 (others say August 1942). It is still September 12 for me right now, though it may be the 13th for others. Despite the dispute over her actual death date, I feel that we should all take a moment to memorialize Sofia, 76 years after her death.

Sofia Zamenhof was born on December 13, 1889 in Warsaw, Poland to Ludwig L. Zamenhof, founder of the Esperanto movement, and Klara Zamenhof. She had an older brother Adam, and a younger sister, Lidia. Sofia was a graduate of the University of Lausanne. She was deported from Warsaw ghetto to Treblinka concentration camp where she was gassed, presumably upon arrival.

Sofia Zamenhof in 1906 Image from Bildarchiv Austria via Wikimedia Commons

*A note: I'm not sure how accurate my data is here because I've collected it from various wiki pages and encyclopedias.

5 months ago

10 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7
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Language is heavy with history and intention. I don't know much about the history of Esperanto. I just looked some things up after reading your post and learned this bit:

Dr Ludwik Zamenhof (1859-1917)....He was born 150 years ago in Bialystok, Poland, occupied by Russia at the time. Back then, Bialystok was an industrial centre with notable national and cultural diversity. Communication skills in this milieu were highly valued, since language barriers increased the risk of persecution of ethnic and religious minorities. Source PDF: Language and Medicine in the Zamenhof Family.

Dr. Zamenhof created what he envisioned to be a universal language after growing up in a place where hateful people used language barriers as a justification (and I'm guessing as opportunity) for ethnic and religious-based violence. And now I learn that Sofia Zamenhof died in a concentration camp, the target of ethnic violence. I had no idea. :(

I am curious, what were some of the sentences featuring Dr. Sophia Zamenhof?

PS Will you please cite sources? (Not that I'm questioning your veracity, that is not my inspiration for asking. Merely, it helps others to read further into the subject and also gives credit where due.) Thanks :)

5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RobertoKin9

I think it mostly manifests as "Sofia" being one of the names used quite a bit in example sentences.

5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ISpeakAlien
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That might also be why Adamo (her older brother) is another name in the Esperanto courses.

5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/joefeyzullah
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IDK if this is a fitting topic but i wish there was duolingo when i had visited zamenhof's house.

5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/salivanto
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My first guess is that the problem with the dates has to do with Julian vs Gregorian calendar. Many dates about the Zamenhof family are listed on the Gregorian calendar. According to a conversion website I checked, September 12 Gregorian was August 30.

5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RhettButtlord
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the picture wouldnt load for me yesterday but today it does, thanks. Why is adam changed to adamo but sofia is not sofio? google translate thinks it should be sofio sometimes

5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PhilipDai

It is because Sofia already ends with a vowel. Adam doesn't, so they just tacked on another o.

5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RhettButtlord
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this makes sense thank you

5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RobertoKin9

It's the difference between half-Esperantizing (merely representing the name in Esperanto letters) and fully Esperantizing names (including giving it an -o ending.) It is popular to half-Esperantize female names ending in -a, since some people (mostly from Romance language backgrounds) find it strange to call a woman "Mario," "Julio," "Aleksandro," "Sofio," etc.

Half-esperantizing does create some problems, because derivations of the name become less obvious. This is more of an issue for cities and such (if the city is Altlandsberg, are the inhabitants Altlandsberg-anoj? Whereas if the city is Altlandsbergo, it's obvious that the inhabitants will be altlandsberganoj.) However, there are still cases where you might want to turn a woman's name into an adjective (the same way we describe kartezia koordinato "Cartesian coordinates" from the name of Renee Descartes) and in those cases it's not obvious what you're supposed to do if the form already finishes with an -a.

5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RhettButtlord
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thanks I knew it sounded funny but now it sounds funny both ways when I think about it

5 months ago
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