See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
******************************************* NOTE: A newer FAQ on this subject now exists. This FAQ will be removed from the rtfm.mit.edu archive shortly. The new FAQ can be found at ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet/news.answers/esperanto/faq/ as well as wherever you found this file online. The new FAQ's headers include From: Yves Bellefeuille <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: soc.culture.esperanto FAQ (Oftaj demandoj) Part 1/2 Archive-name: esperanto/faq/part1 - Pamela Greene, one of the *.answers moderators **************************************** Frequently Asked Questions for soc.culture.esperanto, email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org (monthly posting) This posting attempts to answer the most common questions from those new to the newsgroup (or mailing list), or to the language itself. Because the majority of readers are in the United States, it is somewhat biased towards those readers, but it may be useful for anglophone readers in other countries. The opinions expressed are those of the author. If there is some information you feel should be added or changed, send mail to the author (email@example.com) 1. What is Esperanto? 2. How many people speak Esperanto? 3. Where do I find classes, textbooks, etc.? 4. How do you type Esperanto's circumflexed letters? 5. How can I display those circumflexed letters on a (Sun/Mac/PC)? 6. What about other `artificial' languages like Loglan, Ido, etc.? 7. How come Esperanto doesn't have <favorite word or feature>? 8. Is there any Esperanto material available online? 9. In what language should people post to this newsgroup/list? 10. Are there other bulletin boards, online services, etc? 11. What are PIV, PV, PAG, and UEA? What are IRKs? ---------------------------------------------------------------- 1. What is Esperanto? Esperanto is a language designed to facilitate communication among people of different lands and cultures. It was first published in 1887 by Dr. L. L. Zamenhof (1859-1917) under the pseudonym `Dr. Esperanto', meaning `one who hopes', and this is the name that stuck as the name of the language itself. Unlike national languages, Esperanto allows communication on an equal footing between people, with neither having the usual cultural advantage accruing to a native speaker. Esperanto is also considerably easier to learn than national languages, since its design is far simpler and more regular than such languages. 2. How many people speak Esperanto? It is always difficult to measure the number of speakers of any language; it is rather like estimating the number of people who play chess. Speakers of a second language vary widely in their competence and fluency. The World Almanac, whose researchers actually conduct interviews with speakers, estimate about two million speakers worldwide. This puts it on a par with `minority' languages like Icelandic and Estonian. Of course, unlike these other languages, Esperanto is not the primary language for its speakers, although there _are_ native speakers (`denaskaj parolantoj') of Esperanto who learned to speak it (along with the local language) from their parents. 3. Where do I find classes, textbooks, etc? For U.S. residents, the Esperanto League for North America is the best and most reliable source for Esperanto materials. They offer a free basic correspondence course (about which we will say more later), and may be offering a more detailed and advanced paid correspondence course. They have an extensive catalogue of books, including texts, reference, fiction, poetry, and cassette tapes. Their address is Esperanto League of North America Box 1129 El Cerrito, CA 94530 A free information packet can be obtained from ELNA by calling their toll-free information number: 1-800-828-5944 or by sending electronic mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org (be sure to include your paper-mail address!) A more immediate source of texts, especially for those with access to a university, is your local library. The quality of the books, of course, will vary widely, but most of the texts, even the older ones, will provide a reasonable general introduction to the language. One exception, mentioned here only because it was surplused to _many_ libraries around the US, is the US Army's `Esperanto: The Aggressor Language', which is more of a curiosity than a useful textbook. The problem with most old texts is that they are...well...old! Their presentations can seem very bland and old-fashioned, and their `cultural' information about the Esperanto community will often be hopelessly out of date. The newest American textbook, and probably the best, is Richardson's `Esperanto: Learning and Using the International Language'. It is available from ELNA and perhaps some libraries. Another book, the Esperanto entry in the `Teach Yourself ...' series of language primers, is a slightly stodgy but very useful introduction to the language. The `Teach Yourself' book can sometimes be found in ordinary bookstores. There is also a `Teach Yourself' English/Esperanto two-way dictionary that is a very popular and handy reference. Another good, if a bit old-fashioned, textbook, Step by Step in Esperanto, has recently been reprinted and is available from ELNA. Still another book recommended by more than one participant is `Saluton!' by Audry Childs-Mee. This is entirely in Esperanto, with many pictures. Macintosh owners with HyperCard and MacinTalk can take advantage of an introductory HyperCard course on Esperanto. This is available from ELNA for a nominal media charge, or can be downloaded from the Sumex Info-Mac server. Swedish and Dutch versions of this course have appeared in their respective countries. *** *** If you know of other texts that should be mentioned here, *** please let me know *** Each summer, San Francisco State University and ELNA offer a three-week curriculum of Esperanto courses, in which one may participate at beginning, intermediate, or advanced levels, and earn three semester credits. It is widely considered to be one of the best opportunities to learn to speak Esperanto `like a native', and draws students and faculty from around the world. In recent years, a one-week summer course has been offered at the University of Hartford, with such excellent teachers as author Spomenka Stimec, Normand Fleury of Montreal, Boris Kolker, William Orr (the introductory classes just rave about him), Duncan Charters, and J. C. Wells (currently President of UEA and author of the famous dictionary). Also assisting are the President of the university and ex-president of UEA, Humphrey Tonkin, and his wife, Dr. Jane Edwards. The 1995 instructor will be Joseph F. Conroy, author of _Beginner's Esperanto_, and the dates will be 10-15 July, 1995. Contact: Ms. Hilda Grossman Office of Summer Programs University of Hartford 200 Bloomfield Avenue West Hartford CT 06117 (800) 234-4412 aux (203) 768-4401 for details. A one-week course in Detroit is planned for 7-11 August 1995. Sherry A. Wells P.O. Box 1338 Royal Oak MI 48068 (810) 543-5297 for details. *** *** Further info, like details on Chaux-de-Fonds (sp?) activities *** and similar international learning opportunities, are *** requested *** For those with relatively little time, a free Postal Correspondence Course is available. You mail in each of ten lessons, and a grader corrects your exercises and sends you the next lesson. Send a self-addressed stamped envelope to Esperanto Information Center 410 Darrell Road Hillsborough, CA 94010 415 342-1796 In Australia: Australia Esperanto-Asocio, GPO Box 313, Sunnybank, Queensland 4109. Junulara Auxstralia Grupo Esperantista, 17 Renowden St., Cheltenham, Victoria 3192. Book service: PO Box 230, Matraville, NSW 2036. Correspondence Course: J. Moore, 7 Pelican St., Emu Park, Queensland 4702. In Canada: Kanada Esperanto-Asocio (English course) P.O.Box 2159, Sidney, BC V8L 3S6 Esperanto-Societo Kebekia (French course) 6358-A, rue de Bordeaux, Montreal, QC H2G 2R8 Book Service 6358-A, rue de Bordeaux, Montreal, QC H2G 2R8 In New Zealand: New Zealand Esperanto Association (also correspondence course) PO Box 41-172, St Lukes, Auckland In Britain: British Esperanto Association, 140 Holland Park Avenue, Londonw W11 In France: UFE (Union Francaise pour l'Esperanto) and its youth section JEFO (Junulara Esperantista Franca Organizo) 4 bis, rue de la Cerisaie 75004 PARIS In The Netherlands: Instrua Servo de Esperanto Nederland; write to: S-ro L. STAGHOUWER, Julianalaan 25 NL-9781 ED BEDUM Telef. 05900.14015 (post la 18a horo) **** **** If you think YOUR country should be listed here, let me know... **** The Free Correspondence Course is also available online as the Free Esperanto Course. Information is posted regularly to this group. The Correspondence Course is now conducted in English, French, German, and Chinese versions. As of April 1995, the contacts are: - English: Marko RAUHAMAA, <Marko.Rauhamaa@tekelec.com> - French: Mark RISON, <email@example.com> - German: Steffen PIETSCH, <firstname.lastname@example.org> - Chinese: ZHONG Qiyao <email@example.com> 4. How do you type Esperanto's circumflexed letters? Esperanto has five circumflexed consonants (c, g, h, j, and s can all be circumflexed) and an accented vowel (u with breve). The Fundamento, which forms the official basis for the language, suggests that printers that lack a circumflex can use `h' (ch, gh, hh, etc.). This is, however, not a completely satisfactory solution for computers, and introduces unnecessary lexical ambiguity. Two solutions are now in current use: The European Computer Manufacturer's Association Standard ECMA-94 contains four 8-bit Latin alphabets to cover a variety of European languages. Latin alphabet 3 covers Esperanto (as well as nine other European languages). This alphabet also forms the basis for the international standard coding ISO 8859-3 (LATIN-3). This eight-bit coding is probably the best `canonical' representation for the storage of Esperanto text, although it is inconvenient for sorting applications (this is a common technical difficulty for almost all languages). A more immediate problem is that the unextended Internet mail protocol is currently only able to transmit 7-bit ASCII. Finally, it may be inconvenient to generate the eight-bit codes on particular input devices. Various `ASCIIzations' of the accented letters are popular. Some people type a circumflex before the accented letter; others type it afterwards. Some use a `<' sign instead. Some use the Fundamentan formula with following `h'. Others follow with a `~' (tilde) to facilitate alphabetization. The best ASCIIzation is probably to use following `x', which has several advantages: the `x' is not part of the Esperanto alphabet and so the digraphs like `cx' can automatically be translated to Latin-3 codes or other representations; `x' is alphabetic, so various editing and text-processing programs treat `accented' words as single units; since `x' is near the end of the alphabet, sorting algorithms are quite reliable when applied to words coded in this way. Finally, combinations like `sx' are rare in English, so automatic conversion of mixed Esperanto/English text is fairly reliable. Widespread use of this convention on the networks facilitates the use of standard programs to convert or display the accented characters, at least until 8-bit mail transmission becomes commonplace. It should be emphasized that no ASCII solution will satisfy everyone, and there is no way to dictate one solution that everyone must follow. Esperanto's circumflexed characters are covered by the incipient `wide character' standards (Unicode and ISO 10646), so Esperantists will not be left out if and when those standards are widely adopted and implemented. Unicode is a widely endorsed 16-bit character encoding. The Latin-3 encodings (in hexadecimal) are as follows: a6 ac b6 bc c6 d8 dd de e6 f8 fd fe ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ u ^ ^ ^ u ^ H J h j C G U S c g u s 5. How do I display those characters on a (Mac, PC, etc.) `Dumb' terminals generally cannot overstrike accents with arbitrary characters, and so cannot display the Esperanto characters. Most modern equipment uses `softer' display technology and can display the Esperanto characters given proper software. On the Macintosh, one can prepare and display text with an Esperanto `font'; such fonts usually match the accented characters to convenient (USA) keyboard equivalents, rather than to standard binary codes. A couple of such fonts (Imagewriter resolution) are available on ELNA's HyperCard disk, and Esperanto versions of Helvetica and Times (in Type 3 PostScript) are also obtainable through ELNA and via anonymous FTP from ftp.stack.urc.tue.nl. The Macintosh actually has extensive support for setting up `internationalized' environments for virtually any language (including names of days and months, collating sequences, and dead-key input of accented characters), but there is no complete Esperanto setup freely available at present. * * INFORMATION SOLICITED ON OTHER MACINTOSH FONTS * WordPerfect 5.1 allows the display of Esperanto characters when the 512-character screen is selected from the Setup menu. To type an accented character, type control-v, the charactrs.doc table number, comma, the character code, and RETURN. The Esperanto codes are all in table 1, with the following values: ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ - - C:100 c:101 G:122 g:123 H:126 h:127 J:140 j:141 S:180 s:181 U:188 u:189 so that you type <CTRL-V>1,100<RETURN> to get circumflexed C. You can set up a `keyboard file' to assign these combinations to keys. (Thanks to Cleve Lendon and Michael Johnson for this information) In Word Perfect 5.1, you can also type <CTRL_V> followed by the character and the accent mark; thus <Ctrl-V>C^ gives C-circumflex. Two problems are: the lowercase circumflexed j looks lousy in most fonts and there is no breve on the keyboard, so u-breve cannot be done this way. (thanks to D. Gary Grady for this information) Two programs, `vidi' and `montru', which can display some of the common Esperanto ASCIIzations as accented characters on PCs with graphics boards, are available via anonymous FTP (see below). On Unix (and other) systems running X11, it is possible to create a text font using the ISO 8859-3 encoding. With such a font in your server's font repertoire, an `xterm' window (with terminal modes set for 8-bit output) can display Esperanto text using standard Unix commands such as `cat'. An ISO 8859-3 font is included in the contributed software portion of Release 5 of X11. The Esperanto versions of Helvetica and Times for the Mac might be usable with a suitably equipped X11 server -- since they are Adobe Type 1 fonts -- but this has yet to be verified. GNU Emacs Version 19 is able to deal with arbitrary X11 keyboard inputs and output fonts. It can be obtained from the usual GNU sources (e.g. prep.ai.mit.edu). There is also a version of GNU Emacs, known as MULE, that is able to handle several non-ASCII encodings, including Latin alphabets 1 thru 9 (except 8) and several Asian languages. It comes with X11 fonts for all these alphabets, including ISO 8859-3. Sources are in several places; try sh.wide.ad.jp in /JAPAN/mule/ In any of these cases, a certain amount of data massaging may be necessary to convert some particular representation of Esperanto text (see Question 4) to an appropriate form. Text processing languages like TeX and Troff permit the arbitrary placement of diacriticals on characters and so make the preparation of good-looking Esperanto documents quite easy. TeX's Computer Modern fonts are particularly good for this, because they include an undotted `j' character. Note that the hyphenation algorithms used by TeX and Troff are not intended for Esperanto and may produce unpleasant results. TeX is available, often as free software, for a variety of computers. 6. What about other `artificial' languages like Loglan, Ido, etc.? People create languages for a variety of purposes. J.R.R. Tolkien's languages of Sindarin and Quenya, for example, were created partly as a recreation, and partly to fulfill a literary purpose. Many languages have been created as international languages; only Esperanto has continued to grow and prosper after the death of its originator. Many of the people who have attempted to promulgate international languages more `perfect' (i.e., more `international', more `logical', or whatever) than Esperanto have failed to understand that -- given a certain minimum standard of internationality, aesthetic quality, and ease of learning -- further tinkering not only fails to substantially improve the product, but interferes with the establishment of a large community of speakers. A language like, say, Interlingua might be (by some individual's criteria) `better' than Esperanto, but in order for it to be worth uprooting the established world of Esperanto and creating an equivalently widespread world community of Interlingua speakers, it would have to be visibly and profoundly an improvement over Esperanto of prodigious proportions. No international language project has yet produced such an obviously ideal language. In the network community, one of the best known planned language projects is James Cooke Brown's Loglan (and its revised offshoot Lojban). While some enthusiasts do see Loglan and Lojban as competitors to Esperanto, the languages were conceived not as a tool to facilitate better communication, but as a linguistic experiment, to test the Whorf hypothesis that a language shapes (or limits) the thoughts of its speakers. They are thus deliberately designed to bear little resemblance to existing human languages. While Loglan and Lojban are unlikely (and, by design, perhaps unsuited) to succeed as international languages, both are interesting projects in their own right. The address to write for Loglan information is The Loglan Institute 3009 Peters Way San Diego, CA, 92117 U.S.A. [ (619) 270-1691 ] firstname.lastname@example.org For Lojban, contact Bob LeChevalier, President The Logical Language Group, Inc. 2904 Beau Lane Fairfax VA 22031-1303 U.S.A [ (703) 385-0273 (day/evenings) } email@example.com To subscribe to a LOJBAN mailing list, send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org consisting of the body line (not subject): subscribe lojban Your Real Name Lojban information can be found via anonymous FTP at ftp.cs.yale.edu in the /pub/lojban directory. Those interested in the Mark Okrand's `Klingon' language can join a mailing list; contact tlhIngan-Holemail@example.com to be added or to get information. There is a general `constructed language' mailing list; send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org consisting of the body line (not subject): subscribe conlang Your Real Name to subscribe. Finally, fans of Tolkien's language creations can join a Tolkien-language mailing list. Contact email@example.com for information. (UK readers invert the address appropriately) As for our own Esperanto newsgroup, many readers are interested in other planned languages, and discussion of these can often be informative and interesting. But politeness dictates that `Esperanto-bashing' in an Esperanto forum is inappropriate and should be avoided. 7. How come Esperanto doesn't have <favorite word or feature>? Although Esperanto is a planned language, it has developed well beyond the point at which some authoritative person or group can dictate language practice, however great the temptation may be to `tinker' with the language. For example, many people are critical of the presence of a feminine suffix and absence of a corresponding masculine suffix, and have suggested masculine suffixes (-icx, -un, -ucx, -ab), neutral pronouns (sxli, ri), and/or re-interpretations of familiar words such as redefining `frato' (brother) to mean `sibling'. But there is no single individual or committee that will simply decree changes such as these before they achieve general use. Just as with any other language, the only way for such novelties to attain acceptability is for them to be used in correspondence, literature, and conversation by a growing number of people. So, if you see a genuine lack in the language's existing stock of roots and affixes, by all means use a new coinage (and ALWAYS with suitable explanation, since you are not using standard Esperanto) and see if it catches on. Be warned that such neologisms are often controversial and will meet with criticisms (in proportion to the extent to which they break with the `Fundamento' or to which they are redundant to the existing language). 8. Is there any Esperanto material available online? Note: This information is not exhaustive. Check Martin Weichert's `Yellow Pages' (Flavaj Pagxoj; see below) for more complete and up-to-date information. There used to be a Planned Languages Server at columbia.edu , but it is, apparently, no longer available. An Anonymous FTP archive has been set up at ftp.stack.urc.tue.nl (188.8.131.52) in /pub/esperanto ; non-Internet users can retrieve material via email: send the following message to firstname.lastname@example.org: connect ftp.stack.urc.tue.nl reply YOUR_EMAIL_ADDRESS_HERE dir pub/esperanto get pub/esperanto/UPLOAD-INFO.ALSXUTO-INFO get pub/esperanto/READ-ME.LEGU-MIN quit (binary files require more work; send `help' to ftpmail for info) Another (older?) copy of this material can be found buried at src.doc.ic.ac.uk, in /media/literary/collections/Online-Book-Initiative/Esperanto An FTP archive has been set up by ELNA at ftp.netcom.com in /pub/elna . An experimental FTP archive with material from the Akademio Internacia de la Sciencoj and a rough version of a glossary of mathematical terminology may be found at cfgauss.uni-math.gwdg.de (directory ILo). Contact: Hoso HOLDGR"UN <email@example.com> The FTP archives, as well as some other materials, are available through Gopher via the gopher server at otax.tky.hut.fi (184.108.40.206) port 70 (Helsinki University of Technology). WWW (xmosaic) users can find an Esperanto section in an _experimental_ WWW server under URL http://www_tios.cs.utwente.nl/esperanto/ Xmosaic users can get there by typing the URL given above in the `Open' dialog box. Some libraries have on-line listings of their Esperanto holdings. On Internet, try: University of California (450 titles): telnet melvyl.ucop.edu (220.127.116.11) Katholieke Universiteit Nijmegen (234 titles): telnet kunlb1.ubn.kun.nl (18.104.22.168) Universitaet des Saarlandes (>1000 titles): telnet unisb.rz.uni-sb.de (22.214.171.124) .a logon ub,ub (this site is also available via Gopher) Derk Ederveen <firstname.lastname@example.org> maintains a list of network addresses of Esperanto speakers and organizations. Please contact him if you speak Esperanto but do not yet appear on the list. The list is available from most Esperanto archives and is updated monthly. Also, see the next section's information about the Esperanto Lingva Servo, and about the `Flavaj Pagxoj'. 9. In what language should people post to this newsgroup/list? This is left up to the judgement of the sender, based on his or her language expertise, the nature of the material, and the time available for composing the message. Several of our readers are not native speakers of English; for some, it is easier to read and write Esperanto than English. On the other hand, many of our readers have only the most basic exposure to Esperanto (and wish to learn more). The best solution would be to post bilingually in English and Esperanto (if you know Esperanto), but of course that requires composing the posting two times. Messages involving details of Esperanto culture (such as a recent thread involving some of the personalities of the early Esperanto movement) can probably be entirely in Esperanto without losing much of the intended audience. Similarly, messages likely to be of interest to people who are just learning about Esperanto should be posted in English (at least). Note, however, that as the Internet itself becomes more internationalized, the assumption that your reader will understand English is becoming less reliable. Beginners in the language should not be afraid to attempt to post in Esperanto; people are happy to correct language mistakes in a positive and friendly way (not as `grammar flames') and a forum like this can be a good way to get language practice. No, this is not strong enough. Beginners are ESPECIALLY ENCOURAGED to post in Esperanto whenever possible. Of course, if you are uncertain of your Esperanto ability, you should include an English version of your text so that, if you make a serious language blunder, people can determine what you were *trying* to say. One service that might be of use is the Language Service (La Lingva Servo), a group of volunteers who will correct the grammar of short Esperanto postings. Information on the Lingva Servo, with the current list of volunteers, is posted monthly to this group. If you are cross-posting articles to other newsgroups, please do NOT post in Esperanto, unless English (or the usual language of that newsgroup) is also included, preferably as the primary language. Aside from being rude, such postings have tended to create a lot of unwanted crossposted response traffic, usually of an anti-Esperantan inflammatory nature. Similarly, while it may sometimes be appropriate to mention Esperanto in other newsgroups, continued discussion of Esperanto in inappropriate groups like comp.lang.c will generate more heat than light, and should be avoided. 10. Are there other bulletin boards, online services, etc? The Internet mailing list mail.esperanto contains about 70 individual entries. Whenever someone sends mail to `esperanto-l@netcom.COM', that mail is forwarded to everyone on the list. People on other networks that can receive Internet mail (e.g. on CompuServe or GENIE) can subscribe to the mailing list. Mailing list members may subscribe on a `digest' basis, receiving batches of ten or so messages at a time, with shorter headers. All correspondence related to mailing list subscriptions (including UNsubscribe requests) should be sent to: esperanto-l-request@netcom.COM ================================================================ ================================================================ NOTE! The administration of this mailing list has been recently transferred to netcom.com ; the old address (at rand.ORG) will continue to function indefinitely, but if you have the old address in any files, you should update the information. Note that the new name is esperanto-l, not esperanto, as the old one was. ================================================================ ================================================================ The newsgroup soc.culture.esperanto is distributed on many Internet and USENET sites and has an estimated readership of several thousand. Every message sent to the mail.esperanto list is forwarded to soc.culture.esperanto, and every article from soc.culture.esperanto is normally forwarded to the mailing list. Thus, if you are reading the newsgroup, you do not need to be on the mailing list. However, note that the newsgroup is theoretically an `Internet-only' group, and that many messages, including all those forwarded from the mailing list, are tagged with a `Distribution: inet' header line, and may not be distributed to every site. Incidentally, the link between the newsgroup and mailing list means that mailing list members will sometimes see strange messages having nothing to do with Esperanto, caused when some lackwit cross-posts a message to all the soc.* newsgroups. These people do not read the newsgroup anyway, so replies sent to the mailing list (rather than the original sender) will not reach them. WARNING: The network community is very large, and is growing rapidly. There are many foolish, rude, or inexperienced people who will post articles to the network. Some of them are, unfortunately, interested in Esperanto. Do not favor them with your attention. Duncan Thompson (email@example.com) coordinates an Esperanto penpal service. He posts a monthly announcement describing the service to soc.culture.esperanto (or send him mail for details). Martin Weichert <firstname.lastname@example.org> maintains the Esperanto "Yellow Pages" ("Flavaj Pagxoj"), a list of Esperanto-related material and services available on the net. Please contact him if you have anything to offer to the net esperantists that does not yet appear on the list. The Yellow Pages (in Esperanto) is available from most Esperanto archives and is updated regularly. ESPER-L@TREARN is a BITNET-based mailing list; every message sent to soc.culture.esperanto is forwarded to ESPER-L, but not the reverse. (So that ESPER-Lers should post, when possible, to esperanto-l@netcom.COM) ESPER-L is managed by an automated mailing list server; to get added, send a message like SUBSCRIBE ESPERANTO your name to email@example.com; to unsubscribe, send SIGNOFF ESPERANTO to the server (trearn.bitnet), NOT to the mailing list, newsgroup, nor Netcom address. CompuServe Information Service (CIS) has an Esperanto board in its Foreign Languages Education Forum; CIS subscribers can type /GO FLEFO for further information. For those Internet sites providing the Internet Relay Chat (IRC) service, Esperanto conversation takes place regularly on Tuesdays at 1500-1700 GMT (UT) on the channel `#Esperanto'. Contact Axel Belinfante <firstname.lastname@example.org> or Wim Slootmans <email@example.com> for further information. GEnie has some discussion of Esperanto in the Public Affairs Roundtable board, Category 15 -- International Affairs, Topic 29. GEnie users can receive Internet mail. America Online seems to have about a dozen members whose list of interests include `Esperanto', but no Esperanto forum exists. AOL users can receive Internet mail and so can subscribe to the mailing list. Some Bulletin Board Systems (BBSes) provide Esperanto services. Devoted to Esperanto: ESPERANTO BBS (416)731-2667 Thornhill, Ontario (near Toronto) Have Esperanto sections: MICRODOT BBS (812)944-3907 New Albany, Indiana (near Evansville) (part of the WWIV network of BBS systems. WWIV systems may subscribe to the Esperanto group `La Samideanoj') BULTENEJO SALUTON! +31-53-326886 Enschede, The Netherlands Dutch/Esperanto. Sysop reachable via Fidonet 2:283/323 (Wim Koolhoven: Internet address firstname.lastname@example.org) Flandra Esperanto-Ligo +32 32 34 12 60 ((03) 234 12 16 in Belgium) Available from 7:00pm - 7:00am; send to the F.E.L. (email@example.com) for a free brochure before connecting. Users must be validated by the Sysop before they can upload/download or leave multiple messages. Satronics TBBS (215)464-3563 (8 bits, No parity, 1 Stop bit, 1200-2400 bps) This line connects to 5 lines in a rotary hunt system. 215-698-1905 (8-N-1 9600+ V.32, v.42bis modems) single line. Satronics TBBS is a non-commercial, community-supported BBS. Alto Astral BBS +55(11)816-8384 Brazil 28800 baud 2 lines 1200-0800 UT-3 "7a konferenco estas por esperanto kaj diskutado en la internacia lingvo. ... Gxi estas cxfe dedicxita al Nova Erao, astrologio kaj alternativa vivo" firstname.lastname@example.org (Adonis Saliba) *** *** Surely there are more? *** The Channel 1 BBS in Cambridge, MA (USA) (617-354-7077) apparently allows selection of prompts in about twenty languages, including Esperanto. For whatever it's worth. An international FidoNet `echo' ESPERANTO exists in Germany, reachable from at least Spain, Italy, Slovenia, the Netherlands, and Portugal; ask your FidoNet sysop to subscribe to the this service. For more information, you can contact Mario Mueller <email@example.com> (FidoNet 2:241/200.9) In France, the Minitel system has an Esperanto service: try 36.15 ESPERANTO for information. 36.14 PING is an online chat and mailbox service in four languages (French, Esperanto, Italian, and English). 36.14 RIBOUREL is `300 pages about/in Esperanto' In Slovenia, Boris HERMAN is sysop for the Center BBS (FidoNet 2:380/125 (??)). His current address is unknown; last known address was firstname.lastname@example.org . The Italian Radical political party has an Internet-accessible bulletin board (agora.stm.it, currently 126.96.36.199) that appears to support seven languages including Esperanto. An Internet-accessible BBS has been set up in Russia: DEMOS BBS: telnet 188.8.131.52 (fantom.demos.su) Log in with username bbs Contact: Ivan Popov (email@example.com) There is also an FTP directory /esperanto at surplus.demos.su Note that Internet connections to these sites are not always reliable. 11. What are PIV, PV, PAG, and UEA? What are IRC/IRKs? As with other groups, there are some common acronyms that come up from time to time here: PIV: Plena Ilustrita Vortaro, a very complete Esperanto dictionary (i.e., it is entirely in Esperanto) containing not only the officially recognized words, but many more that are in general (and not so general) use. Some of its entries are dubious, but it is a highly useful reference work. PIV is now quite expensive and hard to obtain. PV: Plena Vortaro. PIV's little brother, so to speak; it contains fewer unofficial roots. PAG: Plena Analiza Gramatiko, an analysis of Esperanto grammar. It is not authoritative, and many people will disagree with some of its conclusions, but it is the most detailed reference work to date on Esperanto grammar. UEA: Universala Esperanto Asocio, the international Esperanto organization. They publish a monthly magazine cleverly titled `Esperanto', produce a `Jarlibro' (yearbook) containing information on national and special-interest Esperanto organizations and contacts, and sponsor the Universala Kongreso (the annual international Esperanto convention). The UEA now has an email address: <firstname.lastname@example.org> IRK International Reply Coupons (Internaciaj Respond-Kuponoj) These are the international version of the `Self-Addressed Stamped Envelope'. You buy them in your local post office and send them to your correspondent, who takes them to his or her local post office and can exchange them for local first-class postage to send you a reply. They are also occasionally used as a kind of informal international currency for small purchases. The English abbreviation IRC (International Reply Coupon) should not be confused with the Internet Relay Chat (IRC) facility described earlier.