The Wind of Google in the Flag of Esperanto

 The 15th of December, 2009, Google used its so-called doodle - a picture replacing one of the letters in its logotype - to honour the initiator of Esperanto, LL Zamenhof, who was born exactly 150 years before that date:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/12/15/l-l-zamenhof-google-logo_n_392299.html

There were several reactions.

1. Some Esperanto organizations got more incoming e-mails than usually, from people curious about the thing.

2. Google got quite a lot of comments:

http://doodlewatch.com/2009/12/14/150th-birthday-of-ludovic-lazarus-zamenhof-the-inventor-of-esperanto/#comments

3. The Google-Doodle was promptly hacked:

http://news.idg.no/cw/art.cfm?id=95B23F19-1A64-6A71-CE48C0EAC8E2380B

People who clicked at the doodle to get some information about Esperanto and/or Zamenhof were instead taken to other sites - commercial at best, destructive at worst.

4. Some yanks of the extreme right wing reacted negatively.

And confusedly.

Extreme right-wingers don't always check up facts.

Among the milder ones, there were those who thought Google should have chosen a doodle about the US Bill of Rights instead of Esperanto -

http://dscriber.com/home/793-golden-globes-nominations-francis-bean-cobain-pics-and-googles-green-flag.html

http://bungalowbillscw.blogspot.com/2009/12/ll-zamenhof-googles-green-flag-mistake.html

Well, the Bill of Rights are 218 years this year, which is not quite as round a number as the 150 years since Zamenhofs birth.

Besides, the Bill of Rights is a US affair, while Esperanto is a world-wide one; but many yanks think the US is the world.

Also, it might be remembered that the Bill of Rights, same as the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution, was written and signed by slave-owners. It was, essentially, a document not about human rights but about paleface rights; if your skin was black or red, you were not meant to enjoy them.

After all, the USA was founded by European-Americans on the stolen territory of the American-Americans, i. e. the Indians.

Zamenhof had a different attitude. As far as I know, he flatly refused to make any difference between people on the ground of their ethnic or biological background. There are som famous word of his from the first Universal Congress of Esperanto, that there met "not Frenchmen with Englishmen, not Russians with Poles, but people with people".

So there is a moral difference.

But some sites were worse.

For example American Thinker, a publication whose name is an insult against those yanks who do think. They really get things mixed up.

At

http://tinyurl.com/ya5vkmp

they write:

The leading exponent today of Esperanto is George Soros, carrying on the work of his father, Tivadar Soros.

Not quite true. As far as I know. Soros is an Ex-Esperantist. He used the language when young, and managed to cross the iron curtain and settle in the West through an Esperanto congress in Britain; but I don't think he has done anything for the Esperanto movement since then, and he certainly isn't some kind of exponent" of Esperanto, still less the "leading" one.

Sloppish research.

AT goes on:

Esperanto is a utopian invention, intended to usher in an era of world government.

Utopian invention? Well, many of the first Esperantists were utopians, and many still are, but by no means not all. Esperanto has survived the death of many Utopias.

And usher in an era of world government? There may have been, and may still be, some Esperantists who wished for a world government, but I don't think they were many. Esperantists disagree wildly among themselves about political matters, and already the first Universal Congress of Esperanto, in France in 1905, declared that the language is not owned by anybody, and that it may be used for any purpose. Some Esperantists are Anarchists, and don't want any government at all, certainly not a global one. There are even people who use Esperanto for nationalistic purposes, to spread propaganda about their own country, and in order not to have to use the language of a stronger power.

But for the moment, that may not be necessary for yankee chauvinists.

A really funny assertion of AT:s is:

The Esperanto flag is the Soviet Flag in green rather than red.

For their information, the Esperanto flag was decided upon at the congress in 1905. The Russian revolution came twelve years later, in 1917, and the Soviet flag wasn't launched until 1923, almost two decades after the Esperanto one.

So in order to copy the Soviet flag, the early Esperantists would have had to use a time machine. (Well, H. G. Wells was still alive, so perhaps they did...)

Another mad web-site -

http://no-pasaran.blogspot.com/2009/12/allo-coucou-we-make-revolution-today.html

- is writing among other things:

Today would be the 150th birthday of the inventor of Esperanto, an language promoted by the former Marxist-Leninist communist states where hardly a soul learned it, and present day Marxists, who for the same reasons think that it makes sense to homogenize humanity into a single servile monoculture speaking an indistinct babble aggregated entirely of European languages. A lot like EU legislative proceedings if you ask me.

Another case of sloppish research.

In some Communist countries there were quite a few souls who learned it, at least after Stalin's death - he forbade the language. There were strong Esperanto movements in e. g. Poland and Bulgaria, China and Cuba. On the other hand, Esperanto was prohibited - if not in theory at least in practice - in e. g. Rumania, Albania and North Corea.

Most Marxists today are not very much interested in the language.

And to homogenize humanity into a single servile monoculture speaking an indistinct babble - as yet, I have never met an Esperantist who wanted that, and I have met a lot.

Those who do want it tend to stick to US English, I think.

As a matter of fact, every single Esperantist is at least bilingual, and many are very much interested in the study of several languages.

Most yanks and Englishmen are not.

But I find it stimulating to read that kind of rubbish. With such enemies, I don't need so many friends.

Comments 6 comments

vrajavala profile image

vrajavala 6 years ago from Port St. Lucie

They would have to start very young with toddlers to teach this. also, there are some languages that are highly specific. For example there are so many words fro the different typs of snow in Intuit.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 6 years ago

Interesting.


roland 6 years ago

Bravo ! excellent article ! et mordant à souhait envers ceux qui méritent qu'on les morde !

oui comme vous dites discrètement: "So there is a moral difference."


KaGu:- 6 years ago

Kelkaj e? povas uzi tri lingvojn :-)

Några kan till och med anväda tre språk :-)

Some are so skilled that they in fact are able to use three langugaes. :-)

To me Esperanto is a time and money saver, not a blabbering lannguage :_)


Joe 6 years ago

"Another case of sloppy research"?

I lived in the DDR. My research was first hand.


WriteAngled profile image

WriteAngled 5 years ago from Treorci, Cymru

Bone vidi, ke Eo trovas subtenanton tie-cxi. Mi estis longtempe kabeanta, sed provas iomete reverdigxi - Krys U (tiame!).

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