Lúnasa 2005     Iris na Gaeilge          uimh 9

Table of contents

REVIEW

Risteárd Ó Glaisne - Esperanto, Teanga Idirnáisiúnta


Risteárd Ó Glaisne, who died in 2003, wrote 27 biographies in the Irish language. They ranged from a life of Rev.Ian Paisley to one of Cardinal Tomás Ó Fiaích. Ó Glaisne was a Co. Cork Methodist. It could be said that he was the voice of Protestantism in the Irish language movement today. A copy of his last book was sent to 'Iris na Gaeilge" for review. It is Esperanto, Teanga Idirnáisiúnta.

Esperanto is a language which was invented by Dr.Zamenhof, a Polish Jew, in 1887. Its aim was — and still is— to foster better understandimg between all peoples It is neutral, logical and auxiliary. It can be learned quickly, because there are no irrigularities in its grammar. It can be put to practical use for worldwide communication after six months study. It has a large literature and over four million speakers.

Esperanto is not meant to replace the national languages. On the contrary, it attempts to preserve them. It is meant to be a simple, neutral, auxiliary language that everyone would learn for conversation with other nationals and linguistic groups.The national languages would be retained, and even strenghtened, in this way, it is believed.

Some of the big languages, like English, Spanish, Russian, Chinese are regarded as killer-languages today, according to the London Evening Standard, in 2003. They displace and destroy countless smaller and more ancient languages. Esperantists claim that many billions of taxpayers money could be spared in the EU if Esperanto were to be used there instead of the 10 current languages and the vast army of translators and interpreters. Translations in the E.U. headquarters amount to £756 millions annually now.

Risteárd O Glaisne's book gives details of the history and characteristics of Esperanto. It also gives a sound course in the language for study. It is in paperback, has 242 pages, it is written in clear, simple Irish and costs £5.50.

It is published by Coscéim; 91, Bhinn Eadair, Páirc na bhFianna, Binn Eadair, BáC.13. Esperanto, teanga idirnáisiúnta can be ordered at most booksellers.