Various Esperanto slogans around the world Posted by Chuck Smith on Dec 26, 2011 in Uncategorized
If someone were to ask you to summarize what is Esperanto in a short phrase, what would you say? Many groups have tried to answer this question and I’ll present some of their ideas.
Probably the most famous slogan of all time is Esperanto: everyone’s second language. This is quite old back when everyone had the goal of everyone speaking Esperanto. My personal goal is for everyone to have heard of Esperanto and for them to respect it, thus one of the reasons I write this blog… and why I write it in English. This slogan has largely fell out of favor as many people like the Esperanto community as it is now, and most don’t feel that it still represents the community in general. I personally find it amusing that at one event, someone joked about a new slogan: Esperanto: everyone’s second international language, since English is often considered the de facto international language today. This was also referenced in TEJO’s April Fool’s Joke in 2003.
For quite a long time, Esperanto USA had the slogan Esperanto: the international language that works. I found this problematic, because I have often seen English as being an international language that works. I have to admit, it usually does not work as well as Esperanto, but I found the slogan to be a bit strange … and that it would appear strange to those who have successfully learned English as a foreign language to a high level.
I see now that their slogan appears to be Esperanto is both revolutionary and sensible. I definitely prefer this to the one above, but to me it doesn’t really have that zing that makes people want to learn more. It also doesn’t say what Esperanto is (a language), leaving people who’ve never heard of it before confused. However, the more I think about it, the more I like it.
Today, I heard about an interesting slogan of the German Esperanto Association: Esperanto: more than a language. Trevor Steele originally mentioned it in an article called Should we lose hope? The more I thought about it, the more I loved it. If someone hasn’t heard of it before, they now know it’s at least a language and they’ll be curious as to what more. If they believe Esperanto is dead, they’ll wonder “what more is there?” to which one could easily reply community, music, congresses, books, etc. In short, I find that it informs while creating interest.
What do you think? Which slogan(s) do you like best? Does your country use a different slogan which you find interesting? Would you propose something else? I’d love to hear your opinions in the comments!