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July 14, 2003

The Aggressor Language

There was an interesting article in Saturday's Guardian newspaper on Esperanto and the violent reactions it has encountered during its 116-year history. Created as a language of peace and cooperation, it has been viewed as a threat in countries as varied as Japan and Saddam Hussein's Iraq. It was once dubbed the "Aggressor Language" and it's teachers have been persecuted and even, in 1930s Japan, killed. There is a dubious claim that "it's very big in China and Japan, because they find English too difficult." Esperanto is a very long way from replacing English as the international language, but the grammatical simplicity described in the article - new learners can be speaking the language in a matter of hours - certainly has its appeal. Read the full article.

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