Many organisations, religious and secular, have long since found that if people of goodwill, representing various nations, meet together to discuss some matter of common interest, a spirit of friendship is developed. In such circumstances, individuals frequently discover to their suprise that foreigners are, at heart, very like themselves. Consequently, one of the best methods of advancing the idea of World-Peace is to organise such opportunities for international friendship.
Unfortunately, the language difficulty then becomes prominent. It must be obvious to all that humanity would benefit enormously if, by common consent, one language were taught throughout the world as the International Language, to be understood by everyone in addition to their own tongue.
This is why the Esperanto movement exists and grows.
Esperanto, the simple language compiled by Dr. Zamenhof, of Warsaw, and first published in 1887, is the second language for people of all countries, by which they may easily communicate with one another. It is a neutral language, belonging to all nations alike, and therefore accepted by all without national prejudice. It is spreading far and wide. Its ability to meet all requirements has been triumphantly proved since 1905, by a series of great International Congresses at which Esperanto was the only language used. At the 26th, held in Stockholm, August 1934, more than 2,000 people were present, from more than 30 countries. The impressions of those present at such gatherings have been well summed up as follows: -
“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 interest. 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.”
The time required to learn Esperanto is a mere fraction of that which is necessary for any national language. It can be learnt in a few weeks or months (according to the time devoted to study) by anyone of ordinary intelligence. It is spoken and written in the same straight-forward, natural way by people of all nationalities. Esperanto correspondents can easily be obtained in all parts of the world.
The Jubilee of Esperanto will occur in 1937, and to celebrate this a Competition for begineers, with attractive CASH PRIZES, has been arranged. Full particulars of both Esperanto and the Competition will be sent on receipt of the following coupon, and 2d. in stamps for postage.
To THE BRITISH ESPERANTO ASSOCIATION, Inc.,
142, High Holborn, London, W.C.1.
Please send me information about Esperanto, and the Jubilee Competition.
All text taken from a 1930s leaflet entitled “World Peace – Dream or Possibility?” found in a Bristol junk shop a few years ago. The guy who sold it me mentioned a woman in Westbury-on-Trym who still spoke Esperanto. I have no idea how many people speak it now, or spoke it then.