Tue, Jul 07, 2009 - Page 14 News List

Esperanto founder’s home city offers in-bus lessons 世界語發源都市提供公車廣告教學

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The Polish home city of the 19th century founder of Esperanto is teaching the artificial language with panels in local buses to honor the 150th anniversary of his birth, authorities said Thursday.

Bialystok council announced it was paying homage to Ludwik Zamenhof by replacing on-board advertising with teach-yourself Esperanto panels providing vocabulary and basic phrases, Poland’s PAP news agency reported.

The move in the northeastern city is part of preparations for an anniversary congress of Esperanto-speakers from around the globe, due to take place from July 25 to Aug. 1.

Zamenhof, who was Jewish, was born in Bialystok on Dec. 15, 1859.

At the time, the city was part of the Tsarist Russian empire, and the hub of an ethnically diverse region inhabited by speakers of Polish, Yiddish, Belarusian and Russian.

Zamenhof dreamed of a day when people would be able to communicate in a universal language free of political connotations and misunderstandings, fostering world peace.

In his spare time, the ophthalmologist Zamenhof devised the easy-to-learn tongue in 1887 from elements of Romance, Germanic and Slavic languages and a slice of Latin and Greek grammar.

The language’s name is derived from his writer’s pseudonym Esperanto, a reference to the word “hope”.

Zamenhof died in 1917 and was buried in Warsaw’s Jewish cemetery.

Around two million people worldwide are estimated to speak Esperanto.(AFP)

波蘭有關當局上週四表示,為了紀念十九世紀「世界語」創始人的一百五十歲冥誕,將在他家鄉的市公車上刊登該人工語言教學的廣告。

波蘭新聞社報導,比亞維斯托克市議會宣佈,為了向路德維克•柴門霍夫致敬,議會將把公車上的廣告換成世界語教學廣告,提供單字和簡單片語供民眾自學。

比亞維斯托克市(位於波蘭東北部)的這項措施,是為了全球世界語年度代表大會做準備,該大會預定七月二十五日到八月一日舉行。

猶太裔的柴門霍夫一八五九年十二月十五日出生於該市。

當時該市屬於帝俄的領土,是多元種族聚居的中心,居民或說波蘭語、意第緒語、白俄羅斯語或俄語。

柴門霍夫夢想有一天人們能以不具政治意涵、不會產生誤解的共通語言溝通,進而促進世界和平。

柴門霍夫的本業是眼科醫生,他利用閒暇之餘結合羅曼語、日爾曼語和斯拉夫語的句構,以及一點拉丁文和希臘文的文法,在一八八七年發明了這種簡單易學的語言。

這種語言以他的筆名「Esperanto」命名,這個字意指「希望」。

柴門霍夫於一九一七年逝世,葬在華沙的猶太公墓。

據估計,全球約有兩百萬人會說世界語。(法新社╱翻譯:袁星塵)

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