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Approaches to multilingualism of Esperanto speakers

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Esperanta titolo: Aliroj al multlingvismo de Esperanto-parolantoj
28 July 2016, Nitra, Slovakia. Perspective of language communication in the European Union. Panel: Multilingualism, Linguistic Democracy and Social Justice.

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Approaches to multilingualism of Esperanto speakers

  1. 1. Mobility and Inclusion in Multilingual Europe Approaches to multilingualism of EO speakers Aliroj al multlingvismo de Esperanto­parolantoj Federico Gobbo ⟨Amsterdamo / Milano-Bicocca / Torino⟩ ⟨F.Gobbo@uva.nl⟩ 28 July 2016, Nitra, Slovakia Perspective of language communication in the European Union panel Multilingualism, Linguistic Democracy and Social Justice 1 (cc) 2016 F Gobbo
  2. 2. The Esperanto community, democracy and multilingualism After the fall of the USSR and the invention of the World Wide Web in the 1990s, the Esperanto Movement was forced to rethink about its own place in a fast-changing world, where English definitely becomes the dominant language on a global level. The Manifesto signed at Prague in 1996 sets the new ideological horizon for the Esperanto Movement. After 20 years, what became commonsensical of the Prague Manifesto in the Esperanto community? 2 (cc) 2016 F Gobbo
  3. 3. The Prague Manifest in a nutshell 1. Democracy: language inequality entails inequality of communication at all levels; 2. Transnational education: the education of any ethnic language is linked to a specific worldview; 3. Pedagogical efficiency: the difficulty of the ethnic languages always will present obstacles to many students; 4. Multilingualism: in the Esperanto community all members are at least bilingual, often multilingual; 5. Linguistic rights: The unequal distribution of power between languages is a recipe for permanent language insecurity; 6. Linguistic diversity: every language, like every living thing, is inherently valuable and worthy of protection and support. 7. Human Emancipation: Esperanto is enables every human to participate as an individual in the human community, with secure roots in their local culture and linguistic identity, while not being limited by it. 3 (cc) 2016 F Gobbo
  4. 4. A sociolinguistic research: results Me and my former student Irene Caligaris at the University of Torino did a sociolinguistic research of the awareness of linguistic diversity as well as the actual practice of multilingualism of daily life in Esperanto speakers, through two surveys and semi-structured interviews. They were held in Italy in 2014. 93 Esperantists participated. The main results are: ■ Esperantists forster Multilingualism, and sustain Linguistic rights in general (points 4 and 5); ■ Esperantists are well aware of Linguistic diversity, and in particular of regional and minority languages; sometimes Esperanto is considered a quasi-minority language as well (point 6); ■ The culture of respect and openness of the Esperanto community is seen as a viable vehicle for Human emancipation (point 7) 4 (cc) 2016 F Gobbo
  5. 5. Remarks for the discussion ■ Esperantists still lack a clear view on how language inequality hinders Democracy (point 1); ■ The idea of Transnational education is important only for Esperantists who are teachers or professionally involved in education, not for any of them (point 2); ■ The fact that in general our education systems are pedagogically inefficient (point 3) is known, but considered a “necessary evil”; In conclusion: up to now, there is no clear, shared view on the connection between languages, power, and social justice in the Esperanto common sense but on the other hand multilingualism and linguistic diversity are strongly considered necessary for democracy. 5 (cc) 2016 F Gobbo
  6. 6. Acknowledgement of funding MIME – Mobility and Inclusion in Multilingual Europe The research leading to these results has received fund- ing from the European Community’s Seventh Frame- work Programme under grant agreement No. 613344 (Project MIME). UEA – Universala Esperanto-Asocio (Rotterdam, NL) One of the authors’ is appointed as holder of the Spe- cial Chair in Interlinguistics and Esperanto at the Uni- versity of Amsterdam on behalf of UEA. The content and opinions expressed here are the author’s ones and they do not necessarily reflect the opinions of UEA. 6 (cc) 2016 F Gobbo
  7. 7. Thanks! Dankon! Ďakujem! Questions? Comments? Demandoj? Komentoj?  ⟨F.Gobbo@uva.nl⟩  @goberiko  federico.gobbo  +FedericoGobbo  http:/federicogobbo.name/pub/ 7 (cc) 2016 F Gobbo

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