I don’t swear! I find that if I use up the swear words in day-to-day situations, I will have nothing to use in the critical moments when I actually need to let the steam out. Interestingly, when I do get those moments, I still do not really swear. But I need to know that such release vent exists.
So, I was relieved (if a bit surprised) to find that a competition was held on swearing words and expressions in Esperanto with prizes for top three places and that there were enough candidates offered to need the judges. It took 6 months, but the candidates and the winners are now available. No translation into any other language was provided, but most of the words and expressions are recognizable by anybody who can read Roman alphabet.
This is of course nowhere close to the Russian language, which has a whole shadow language of swearing, but it is probably sufficient for now.
When I speak to other people about Esperanto, they often ask whether there are any practical uses to knowing the language beyond the language itself.
I used to talk about Pasporta Servo, ability to listen to other countries’ radio and global community. Now I just go straight for the big guns.
I ask them whether they ever tried learning another language. Usually the answer is yes and usually the language was never learned well. Then I tell them about the studies showing that learning Esperanto as a first foreign language gave enough ‘language learning’ meta-knowledge that it allowed to learn the next language faster and more thoroughly. This usually gets their attention!
I don’t think I have convinced anyone to learn Esperanto yet, but my arguments are getting better every time. Maybe I should make a badge Learn two languages for the price of one. Ask me how. That might get some attention.
More information about these benefits is also available at Springboard to Languages website.
Most of the comments to this blog are – unfortunately – spam. WordPress’s Akismet filters them out and I periodically review and delete them all. I don’t know why I bother, but once I had a real comment black-listed, so I keep making the effort. It is also semi-interesting to see how the spam attacks changed over time from automatic to semi-manual looking efforts.
Today’s collection had a comment that gave me a double take. It went like this:
Which is obviously esperanto for ‘How are you’ and ‘See you later’ (though I prefer x notation myself in Gxis revido).
So, what happened there? I can see three options:
- Esperanto speaking spammer who decided to switch the ‘hello’ text upon seeing an Esperanto category in my blog
- Automatic software that looked for all blogs that mentioned Esperanto with hopes that the ‘less frequent’ language will not trigger spam filters
- Some sort of automatic spam algorithm picking out greetings based on the content of the blog; if that’s the case, the fact that somebody bothered adding Esperanto to their list is – in a perverse way – a cause to celebrate
I don’t think I will ever find out what happened, unless the original spammer comes back and comments on this post with the answer. Still, it is a food for thought.