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The San Francisco Sunday Call
SAN FRANCISCO PROVE ESPERANTO PERFECT Kenneth D. Medcraft THE figurative lessening of the world's size through their lan guage Is the Jream of the Es perantists. That they are ac complishing their object by drawing together In close communion widely separated ar.d radically different coun tries has been demonstrated in San Frar.cisco by Frank C. Drew and the late \V. J. Treadwell. With "the- true California spirit they took " occasion while aiding in the spread and de velopment of Esperanto to advertise their state, until now people in Tur key to whom the word California once suggested but the vaguest of ideas know of It as a tangible and beautiful reality. Its fame has spread, to Inuia through this universal language, its charms having been conveyed •by the medium of Esperanto to people who •would never have read extensively of the state either in their own or the English language. The term California es here used includes also San Fran cisco — and to tell the truth it Is San Francisco that has received great est benefit of this advertising. A de ecrlptlon of the Portola festivities, for Instance, went to people of alien tongues In all corners of the world — all of them received It in Esperanto. And the San Franciscans who car ried on this voluminous correspondence benefited through learning things that could have been learned in no other way than through extraordinary lin gual ability of the manners, customs and political conditions in other coun tries. One who did not know the lan guage might spend many months in Turkey, for instance, and not sain political knowledge that has been con veyed In letters received in San Fran cisco through the correspondence sys tem developed and carried on by Drew and TreadwelL Each day, during the recent troubles in Turkey, one or the other of these gentlemen received a letter from correspondents In that country. One Turk wrote fifteen let ters in one month giving, detailed ac counts of all that was g^ng on — im partial accounts, too, fully explaining the movements and principles 'of both parties. It was like receiving news papers from that country, where papers are scarce, and would mean nothing to the man who couldnot read the language In which they. ..were printed. '?**'"i' Then, from Spain came long descrip tions of the troubles that were oc curring there. Ferrar. the educator who was executed by the Spanish authorities, was an EsperantisC^which made accounts of his trial and ( death doubly Interesting. How many of us can read Greek,', the language in which Sappho-. sang, in which Pindar wrote Immortal : verse— the language of Homer's eplis^and of Aristophanes' comedies? And how long would it take the average man to learn it — or the Greek so to learn our lan guage that he would, be able to carry on an interesting correspondence with a San Franciscan? Greek "is only for the exceptionally well educated— but Esperanto, quickly learned, has served as a means of communication between San Franciscans and Athenians who otherwise would never have heard f of each other. Each writer felt; a closer bond of union with his distant* corre • . .: r\u25a0 \u25a0 .- . - ' . means joff the New Universal Langiia|p, frank G^Drcw jeand His FHends Garry on a Voluminous Correspondences S #Wth Men of Every Tongue in Every Quarter of the Earth spondent, not to speak of the informa tion gained by this means. In nearly all cases the writers endeavor to set forth facts not generally known, and to send picture postals depicting inti mate conditions, domestic or political, of their countries. Many of the pho tographs are taken by the authors of the postal text, which gives both an added sentimental value. Friendships, little less strong than personal ones, are formed through this correspondence. " One card translated to me by Mr. Drew concludes with; "blessing you, my dear- Esperantist; and hoping that the country in which you re-side will never witness such cat astrophes." A most interesting story Is contained in one pictured postal and the com munication on it. The card, which Is from a French student of Esperanto, shows a man standing on the porch of a rude log cabin. Surrounding the porch are trees which have been carved into grotesque forms and faces. . The writer explains the photograph, which he took himself. It seems that, at some distance from civilization, this French man, who occupies this cottage, is. liv ing the life of a hermit, and has em ployed his spare time in carving the surrounding trees into the likenesses of human beings. Asked why he had. spent so much -time in this work, he replied that he had grown tired of his solitary existence, and had carved the faces for company's cake? This Is -a story in Itself — yet what story may lay behind it of disappointed hopes, of the loss of loved ones, perhaps of* the treachery of friends, of an affsfir^of the heart? There are many possibilities suggested by this grotesque postal, which- Is reproduced above. A Cabby Esperantist In Paris there is a taxicab driver who speaks and writes Esperanto, and that he is an active propagandist is demonstrated by a postal card received by Mr. Treadwell which pictures the taxicab with a green' star, the emblem of Esperanto, on the side of the vehicle. A grewsome "card, yet one which is entertainingly unique, Is that repro duced on this. page, showing the "Tow er of Silence" at Bombay. The tower where the silent dead are laid, accord- Ing to the rites of a certain cult in India, is inclosed by a. high stone walL Within its borders the bodies are de posited in the open air, burial .being forbidden by the rules of this particu lar cult. And on the wall huge vul tures, drowsy with their feast, sit wait ing for the next that dies. The Es peranto text fully explains the picture. , A photograph of the chateau of Bul lion, which f was built for the purpose of imprisoning unhappy royal prisoners In France in 3535, and which has been pne of the interesting" landmarks of Europe, is* reproduced on a postal card with the information that it Is to be converted. into a^hotel for. tourists.*^*" From Paris comes a picture pdstal of the.- illumination;- of the city.. It was taken at some away by the sender of the postal, who is very proud of his work. From; the same source came many pictures of the aero plane flights. One published' 1 above shows' M.' Bleriot in his argosy . -of the air.. •:\u25a0: ";\u25a0,;/, \u25a0 -,;•/.; ;J v;; '; # Itiis noticeable that in "the collec tion-are few, dull,* uninteresting rards, <?ach correspondent endeavoring to send unique ones. t The text Is never form»« and selflom ; contains stereotyped phrases ;\u25a0\u25a0* it. generally reflects the en thusiasm of the Esperantist who sends it — and there are few Esperantists who are. not enthusiasts. When .Drew and Treadwell began their' Esperanto correspondence they were Pksp^tics as to the value of the language, but they determined to make a practical test. They went at it thor oughly at the expenditure of much time ah<i" labor and considerable money, and became 'enthusiasts.' They were pleased not only .with the pleasure they got out of .the correspondence, but at the advertising they were able to give the stato. And 'what is more, Drew feels confident that as a result of this cor respondence San Francisco will be chosen in 1915, the year of the Panama- Pacific exposition, as the place for the Esperanto • congress of all nations to be held that year. Esperantists who hjive taken a prominent part in con gresses of the past; have been com municated with,' and the idea, of meet ing in San Francisco in l?ls.has been received and indorsed with enthusiasm. \u25a0But with all their enthusiasm' over the ' language Drew and 4 Treadwell never forgot the work of advertising the state. They went at this part of their self-appointed task in a thor ough manner, keeping close track of all inquiries sent as to. the advantage of the state and sending all the in formation- they could collect. What strikes -one forcibly in "reading these Synopsis of the Esperanto Grammar NOUNS, : or names, end" in o : domo— a house (article a is not used) ;to form plural,; add j : la domoj— the houses ; to form accusative case,yaddln:^domojn [pronounce -ovn];' i - , £ ADJECTIVES, words denoting £iW: or quality,: end in a: blanka dofho^a white house ; they take accusative and plural signs., to agree with noun. VERBS, or words expressing action, -'end thus:. _ indefinite 'faction; i— - ami, to • love. Indicative: ; amas— Joes - love, amis— r-did. 'love,' amos— rvill love. Conditional; us: amus— md)) or might love: .Imperative^-: v: Amu \-~~Lovc ! PARTICIPLES: amanta^/ovmg,; atminta--^/iav«ng loved, arnonta^— -about to love; amata-— being loved, : amita^/iaving been^loved, amota— about to be loved. There are /no; exceptions or irregular..forms. \u25a0./.. . , ' , % ADVERBS, words ' expressing manner, end in c : bele— beautifully PERSONAL PRONOUNS:; Mi /. vi \?ou, li lie, slshe^&At, ni n>e,'ili. they, si' self or selves^ oni one, Z/iepj'Cas in r "they; say"). To form possessives, add ad jective ending : mia, lia-^rmj;, '. his ; (objective) case, 'add n :f miri,» Jin-j— me, Jum: ViV: '^.i^-^,.« C; - V.,;\u25a0•-)V '\u0084 ;\u25a0•-') |short affixes, the use of • which greatly; reduces: the ; nurnßer of : wordsl For; example,;adding the suffix -in gives :us ; th% \ feminine ; , patro, ; patrino^-;' i'aihpr^f- mother. V^a\-i : .)- the -I opposite :;:/apida,- ; malfapida-^/as^;vsl f on>. Eg> denotes increased degree: bona.lbonega^T-gooJ, excellent. " \u25a0 Etc., etc. Esperanto postals . and hearing them translated is that they are well ex pressed, clear, concise, and correct as to grammar. It Is a contention of Es perantists that users of the language are, as a rule, people of more than ordinary, intelligence and education, and that thus they are enabled to pick up the new language quickly and with correctness. But aside from that Esperanto is more easily learned than any other language and has fewer mis leading complications. Esperantis.ts continually season their conversation : with enthusiastic claims concerning their language. \ A World Influence "Esperanto has made Us influence felt C throughout the civilized 'world," they say. t "Its influence has # been felt in 1 , the, commercial, scientific and sqcial life of every nation. It has accom plishW much and, will become a great power in the establishing;" of universal peace/ by hot only affording a common tongue but by bringing men together in closer harmony. In five years it will have become absolutely indispensable among men of, every language and be lief. Esperanto, just born, will be act ively mature' in the near future." . . In substantiation of the assertion that their language is practical. Esper antists 'call attention to the fact that standard , literary, works such as the bible, * and the writings of Shakespeare, Dickens, Byron, Scott and many others. \u25a0as well as books by writers in , French, German and Italian, have; been translated Into Esperanto and printed. There are over three hundred well: circulated Esper anto magazines, the majority of which are technical and scientific. These constitute a. great and growing educa tional factor.. Dr. Li. Zamenhof is the creator of Es peranto, and thousands of postal cards bearing his. picture are .printed In all countries. From the portrait of Dr. Zamenhof reproduced on this page it will be. seen that; he wears the* emblem of the language, in his coat lapel. Dr!. Zamenhof ; is "the idol of the Es perantists, who maintain that his name will go. down in 'history as that of one of the very .greatest men of .the world. Born in aXlittle^suburb of Warsaw,* Poland, in ' '\u25a0\u25a0•• 1559," L ~ Zamenhof. became troubled and perplexed whiles still .a, boy" by the hatred and .prejudice " that existed all around him between people ' of different races and tongues. In his tiny village were Jews, Russians, Poles and Germans, and they were al-' ways at war i among ' themselves. Zamenhof reached' the conclusion that • one of i the principal reasons for their enmity and their quarrels was the: dlf-, ference of theirspeech.as they, had no common ground-o n: which Mo" meet, no method, of ascertaining * each- 'other's real thoughts arid feelings. .7; •^ It was this belief that led him to set "out ' on : the", manufacture- of .a new tongue easlly ! learned by all. His pro- : jected .universal language was the sub ject of ridicule, V and "was -referred to; as impractical.* He -was reminded .of * the failure! of • scores -of \u25a0 others', who , had .worked toward*the;same end. But he'; persisted, ; and ; withj success, de-, spi te all i obstacles and ridicule." Laugh": ter- has* given "place to -admiration, scofflngJhas i been -succeeded; b y'- grate r ful recognition .of theiservice he - has done 'mankind./ Asan instance of this it might be'mentioned' that W." J. Spill manj" of jthe department of ; the interior, r has^recently^addressed! a^ letter to Dr. Zamenhof .^teHingi him how .^Esperanto has materially aided American tour ists while abroad. . "The international exchange of mer chandise, ideas, news v and -literatura has established undeniable need for an international medium of speaking, .writing " and ' printing," is the argu ment of the Esperantist. , "Every new Invention or publication emphasizes this necessity. The urgency of the de mand, has engaged the talents of han dredsoorf r linguists, all of whom have failed wlthUhe exception of Dr. Zamen hof. i He -did not really invent a nnl- versal : language, but discovered It al- "..* ready 'existing.^.He merely adapted it and arVanged it f^or 1 everyday use. and namedv-it 'Esperanto,* which means "One; who '\u25a0\u25a0 hopes/.-" r /'Esperanto is easy," says Mr. Drew. "The^ words j themselves are all closely identified v with the, roots from \ which the English Is taken. The extreme sim plicity of its grammar, the phonetic spelling and the fact that there -. are no exceptions to the few and very! defi nite VrulesJ; of Its construction and that all : . words"; of more than "one syllable are 'accented on the syllable before the ;la»t; makes, it not at all difficult to^ learn. -Careful study for three months would - enable a student to comprehend the language, \u25a0 while - - study ! for six months would render one proficient.** Mr. Drew Relieves that the originator of the Idea is .deserving of a placa among: the great men of the age. "It Is the work of a genius." says he. "Tha idea had its conception in Doctor Zem enhor* mind because of his environ ment, lie is a student of value to the world. He has worked in the face of enormous cdds with persistency and brilliancy shown by few men." Asked what had attracted him to spend the time studying befora the language was at all sure of an even meager foothold. Drew said: "I first took up the study as a mental recreation. After a short period, how ever. I commenced to see Its merits." It grew on me. Since that time I have had the strongest evidence in my own correspondence and in the publishing of the various and numerous maga- i!ne.s,an,i papers of its al-jolute adapta bility and utility. "Esperanto has not taken a very strong hold on .Americans as yet. I predict that In two years' time, how ever, there will be any nrruber of Americans who will be seriuus Eaper antists. Even at this time I hear o5 local men talcing it rp. There are prob ably 20 student* of the language living In this vicinity. It will receive great impetus after 'La Sqsa," the sl.ttii. 4t "Washington next August. I believe that our efforts- will be successful in hold ing the next congress on the Pacific coast during 1315. at the. time of the Panama exposition. We have had as surances from the leaders that they will do their utmost to have the con gress held here at that time. "Aside from accomplishing satisfac torily my original Intention of estab lishing for myself whether or ttfot Es peranto is practical. I have been com pensated amply for my work. I have been enabled to come in close contact with the people of other countries. I have learned facts that I would other wtas never have known. I have learned to mor» thoroughly appreciate history because ot-my having been In communi cation with these students. "The effect of this promiscuous cor respondence Is obvious. As the use of the«language grows It will broaden the minds of the people. I have been ex tremely fortunate in having enjoyed it as I have. It teaches us to sympathize with others not as fortunately located as we are. It teaches us to appreciate our own form of government and mode of living. Above all. we learn that we are not always right and others always \u25a0wrong, either In political, religious or I social life. It gives us an insight into the lives' of millions and makes us gen erally 'broad gauge." • ~I desire to Impress upon you the fact that Esperanto Is not expected to su persede or displace any language. It is the hope of its stndents that it will become an auxiliary to the languages now spoken. "Of course, I shall not try to predict the result of Its adoption, but I feel safe In saying that It will revolutionize modes and methods as extensively as the greatest inventions have done. It will provide a medium of expression for authors and teachers. When Esper anto takes- its position among the lan guages, as it will In time, scholars will, give .their work to Esperanto, so that r the works will reach all people. They "will reach millions where they reached but hundreds before. I believe sincerely that Esperanto wlll.be used everywhere within the next ouaxter of a century."