Esperanto en la hispana intercivitana militoEsperanto in the Spanish Civil War


Kvankam Esperanto historie estas “neŭtrala” lingvo kiu ne apartenas al iu aparta lando aŭ grupo, oni ja multflanke jam uzas la lingvon por temoj politikaj, religiaj, ideologiaj, ktp. Kiel vivanta lingvo, Esperanto estas perilo por ĉiaj homaj komunikiĝoj. Nesurprize, tiuj komunikiĝoj ofte koncernas politikon, religion, kaj aliajn disputatajn ideojn.

Parolinte pri la kanto de JoMo kiu populariĝis dum la intercivitana milito en Hispanujo, jen afiŝo en Esperanto el tiu periodo. Ĝin eldonis la respublikana registaro de Katalunio en 1937 kiel parto de kampanjo varbi eksterlandajn volontulojn al defendo de la hispana respubliko. Multaj iris al Hispanujo por raporti pri la milito aŭ eĉ batali flanke de la respublikanoj. Inter la partoprenantoj estis famuloj kiel George Orwell kaj Ernest Hemingway. Kompreneble, ankaŭ partoprenis esperantistoj. La kataluna registaro eĉ eldonis semajnan gazeton en Esperanto dum la milito.

La supra afiŝo montras du pugnojn kiuj ponardas Hispanujon el la faŝismaj reĝimoj en Germanujo kaj Italujo — aludante al la interveno de germanaj kaj italaj trupoj kontraŭ la hispanaj respublikanoj, ekzemple en la fifama aera bombado de la urbo Gerniko. La afiŝo tekstas: “Kion vi faras por eviti tion? Geesperantistoj el la tuta mondo agu energie kontraŭ la internacia faŝismo!”

Although Esperanto has historically been a “neutral” language belonging to no particular country or group, it has indeed been used for a wide variety of political, religious, and ideological purposes. As a living language, Esperanto is a vehicle for all sorts of human communication. Not surprisingly, those communications often deal with politics, religion, and other controversial ideas.

Speaking of the song by JoMo which was popularized during the Spanish Civil War, here’s a poster in Esperanto from that period. It was published in 1937 by the Republican government of Catalonia as part of a program to recruit foreign volunteers in defense of the Spanish Republic. Many traveled to Spain to report on the war and even fight for the Republicans. Participants included famous names like George Orwell and Ernest Hemingway. Naturally, Esperantists participated as well. The Catalonian government even published a weekly bulletin in Esperanto during the war.

The poster above shows two fists stabbing at Spain from the the fascist regimes in Germany and Italy — alluding to to the involvement of German and Italian troops fighting against the Republican forces, for example in the infamous aerial bombardment of the city of Guernica. The text reads: “What are you doing to stop this? Esperantists from around the world, take determined action against international fascism!”

Al la barikadoj!To the barricades!

Ĉi-semajne ni paŭzis por aŭskulti la kanton Al la barikadoj de Jean-Marc Leclercq, pli bone konata al liaj admirantoj per la mallongigo “JoMo”. La kanton li adaptis de hispanlingva himno A las Barricadas — kiu mem estis adaptiĝo de la Pola revolucia himno Warszawianka.

JoMo famas pro sia multlingva kantado. Al la barikadoj prezentas la saman tekston en la hispana, Esperanto, kaj la franca, tiel ke oni povas frandi la lirikecon de ĉiuj tri lingvoj.

La akompana folio montras la trilingvan tekston, kune kun anglalingva traduko.

In class this week we paused to listen to Al la barikadoj by Jean-Marc Leclercq, better known to his fans as “JoMo”. The song is an Esperanto adaptation of the 1930s-era Spanish revolutionary hymn A las Barricadas — itself an adaptation of the Polish revolutionary song Warszawianka .

JoMo is famous for singing in multiple languages; Al la barikadoj presents the same text sung in Spanish, Esperanto, and French, allowing you to sample the lyrical qualities of all three.

The accompanying handout contains the trilingual lyrics along with an English translation.

Class notes and homework, Feb 21


Chapters 4 and 5 of the textbook introduce some very important features of Esperanto grammar: the plural ending -j, adjective-noun agreement, and the accusative ending -n — which marks the direct object of a sentence and gives Esperanto its flexible word order. Full details are in this week’s grammar handout.


  • Read pages 20-27 in the textbook and study the accompanying grammar handout.
  • On page 23, answer the questions (in the Respondu section), based on what you learn from the story (La familio) on page 22.
  • Write a paragraph or two using the vocabulary you’ve learned so far. You could describe the various members of your family, for example. Or where you live. Kie vi loĝas? Ĉu vi loĝas en arbo? (Feel free to make up details, if you like.) Kio estas en via domo? Ĉu vi havas hundon? Katon? Ĉevalon?! Kian ĉevalon vi havas?
  • Try translating the story on page 26 (En la ĉambro) into English.

Send your answers via email to hoss at lodestone dot org or bring them to class next week.

Class notes and homework, Feb 14

Feliĉan tagon de Valenteno! (Happy Valentine’s Day!)

In class

We covered up to chapter 3 in the Marček textbook. (The books are still on order, so if you didn’t get a photocopy of chapter 3 in class, just ask for a PDF copy by email.)

Some of the new words (like kia) showed up in the first part of Mazi that we watched. We also saw a music video by the Finnish group Dolchamar. If you liked Junaj idealistoj (below), you can find many more of their songs on Youtube, and some of their albums are available via iTunes.


  • Read pages 15-19 in the textbook and study the accompanying grammar handout.
  • Answer the questions in the section labeled Respondu on page 19. Use complete sentences.
  • Translate the text in the section Legu (also on page 19) into English.
  • Translate the following (admittedly silly) text into Esperanto:
    What is that? That’s an animal. What kind of animal is it? It’s a small cat. And that’s a horse. A horse is an animal, too. (Hint: “Also a horse is an animal.”) But a book is not an animal. A book is an object. Is an apple an object? Yes, but it is also a fruit. Who are you? I’m Mazi. Big Mazi. What are you? Are you a human? Where is Peter? Peter is sitting on the floor. What’s he like? He’s handsome. Where is Maria? She’s standing. Yes, but what is she standing on? (Hint: “…on what is she standing?”) She’s standing on the ugly chair. Is that it? Yes, that’s it, next to the table.

Send your answers via email to hoss at lodestone dot org or bring them to class next week.

Class notes and homework, Feb 7

In class

We started with some introductory phrases of greeting, thanks, and farewell, and then watched those phrases used in the first part of Mazi en Gondolando:

We also covered most of chapters 1 and 2 in the Marček textbook, Esperanto by direct method.


  • Read pages 7-14 in the textbook and study the grammar handout. (Since the text is on order, I’ll send links to PDF versions of the first four chapters via the class email list.) Pay special attention to pages 12-13, which cover material we didn’t get to in class.
  • On page 14, find the sections labeled Respondu and Kompletigu. Answer (in Esperanto!) the questions in the former, and fill in the blanks in the latter.
  • You should have enough material now to begin your journal. Each day, try to record at least five new words and/or features of the grammar that you’ve encountered, along with a brief explanation in English. Also write down any questions you have, so you’ll remember to ask about them in class!

Seminario pri la Literaturo de EsperantoSeminar on the Literature of Esperanto

Koincide kun la 39a Konferenco de Literaturo kaj Kulturo de la Universitato de Louisville, okazos speciala seminario pri la literaturo de Esperanto la 26an kaj 27an de februaro. Inter la prelegantoj estos eldonisto Ulrich Becker, lingvisto Duncan Charters, kritikisto Humphrey Tonkin kaj novelisto Tim Westover.

Por informo, vidu la anoncon pri la seminario.

Coinciding with the 39th Conference of Literature and Culture at the University of Louisville, there will be a special seminar on the literature of Esperanto on February 26-27th. Among the speakers are publisher Ulrich Becker, linguist Duncan Charters, literary critic Humphrey Tonkin and author Tim Westover.

For more information, see the seminar announcement.

Join the USEJ Skype chat!


The young Esperantists of USA (USEJ) hold weekly skype meetups. All levels welcome—they start out in English and then switch to Esperanto so beginners can participate as well as advanced speakers. It’s a good opportunity to meet others from across the nation who speak (or are learning) the language, practice the language (that will be more relevant a bit later on), and get any questions you may have answered. To join in, just add “usonaej” (Usono= ‘United States’, ej stands for Esperantista Junularo= ‘Esperantist youth’) to your friend list. This week they’ll be chatting at 9pm (EST) on Wednesday, February 2.

Class notes, Jan 31

Esperanto estas…

In class we watched parts 2 and 3 of Esperanto estas…, a short film made by Esperanto speakers from around the world to introduce the language to students. If you liked what you saw, you may also want to check out part 4 (below), which presents interviews with various speakers. Hint: at the bottom right of each videos you’ll find a “CC” button for enabling English-language captions.


  • Read the article handout by Esther Schor, “Crocodiling in Esperanto on the streets of Hanoi”.
  • Study the handout on the Esperanto alphabet and spend some time practicing the sounds.
  • Sign up for a free account at the learning site, and check out the alphabet page. It has sound files so you can compare your own pronunciation against a model.
  • Spend a few minutes sampling one of the recent programs from Radio Verda, one of the podcasts we briefly listened to in class. While you won’t understand what you’re hearing at this point, try to get a feel for the sounds and natural rhythm of the language. Does it remind you of any other languages you’ve heard?