Re: Esperanto (estis: [OT] Close to latin)

From: William Overington (
Date: Wed Jan 03 2001 - 06:35:54 EST

>Esperanto surely can _aim at being lingua franca_, however I doubt that it
>succeed in this aim. It has its merits, however, and will survive as the
>communication language of its own tribe.

I am interested in Esperanto and such activities as original songwriting in
the language. Some sculptors say that a sculpture is already in the rock
and the sculptor simply cuts away the surrounding rock. In a similar manner
a song or a poem can be creatively imagined as already in the language, due
to rhymes that exist in the language that do not exist in some other

For example, I wrote a song directly in Esperanto where the word to which I
rhymed was the Esperanto word paco (sounds similarly to the parc- in the
English word parcel and the o in the English word ore) which means peace.
In Esperanto, boaco and erinaco rhyme with paco, whereas in English the
respective equivalent words reindeer, hedgehog and peace do not rhyme. So
my song written directly in Esperanto has imagery of when it snows imagining
the antlers of a reindeer and imagery of respecting the life of a hedgehog,
which imagery would simply not have occurred to me if I had been writing in
English. Indeed, in addition the fact that Esperanto nouns take an -n
ending in the accusative case in the singular means that the imagery I chose
was the antlers OF a reindeer and the life OF a hedgehog rather than "if one
imagines a reindeer" as to imagine a reindeer would mean using the word
boacon rather than boaco and boacon would not have rhymed with paco. So the
inflection rules of the language also played a large part in shaping the
imagery used. I found this quite a fascinating process.

I am intrigued to know if the words for reindeer and hedgehog rhyme in any
other language or languages or does the rhyming of boaco and erinaco produce
a rhyme pairing that is unique to Esperanto?

I feel that one very useful and practical usage of Esperanto within the
European Union and indeed elsewhere would be for signs in public places to
be in dual language format of the local langauge and Esperanto. For
example, a direction sign to a railway station or to an exit or to a cinema
or to a pharmacy. In that way, people travelling throughout Europe and
indeed elsewhere would know the meaning of the signs from their own country
and would be able to have convenient directions when in another country
where they had little knowledge of the local language.

William Overington

3 January 2001

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