- Education and Science
Is Obama a Secret Esperanto Speaker?
Some strange writers at the web have "accused" him of this.
It would honour him if he were guilty.
But I doubt very much that he is.
If I go to the web site of the White House and search for "esperanto", I get the answer:
"Did you mean?
(The placing of the question mark is theirs, not mine. Perhaps young Obama has not studied quite as diligently as he has asked today's youth to do - at least not interpunction?)
They say he is bought by George Soros, whose father was an Esperantist, and who himself once managed to escape to the West through an Esperanto congress; but even if Obama is bought (which I don't know if he is, or by whom, or if ever there has been a president who wasn't), this doesn't say anything about his present interests, or even about Soros'. As far as I know, none of these two gentleman has supported Esperanto in any way after coming into riches.
By the way: Esperanto is not the same thing as Español; see
At least once, Esperanto was discussed by the US Congress.
In 1914, House or Representatives, 63rd Congress, 2nd Session.
The document can be read at
It's interesting to see how times they are a-changin'. Prof. A. Christen, who presented Esperanto at the occasion, was keen to emphasize the commercial values of the language, but said that "personally I should not want an international language for poetry".
It has gone the other way around. The use of Esperanto in commerce is still very limited (it does exist, but in a small scale; Mr Soros certainly didn't get his millions by using it), but Esperanto poetry (as well as prose fiction) has prospered, and at least three Esperanto poets have been nominated for the Nobel Prize of Literature.
(But, coming to think about what other people have been nominated to Nobel Prizes, and even got it, that is perhaps not very much to boast about...)
Well, this session was held March 17th, 1914. Two months later came the shot in Sarajevo, and then World War I, and the idea of international brotherhood was tuned down for a while, and afterwards the world was not the same.
Still, Esperanto survived two world wars and the rise of television, and is now strengthened by Internet.
Which probably isn't used in quite the way its pioneers thought either.