Bid to revive group to talk Esperanto

PUBLISHED: 16:00 16 June 2013

Weston Esperanto club.

Weston Esperanto club.

David Curtis.

A FORMER Weston teacher is looking to revive the language of Esperanto within the town by forming a new group, and hopes local schools will consider adding it in their curriculums.

David Curtis of St Jude’s Terrace, Milton, has been fluent in Esperanto for the past 40 years and was the leader of the Weston language group, until it disbanded seven years ago.

Esperanto is the most widely spoken constructed international language. Created 125 years ago, the dialect was created to be easy to learn and politically neutral to transcend nationality.

It is these qualities which 87-year-old David hopes to revive in the seaside town.

David, who previously taught at Bournville Primary School, said: “The grammar is absolutely regular and there are no exceptions. The pronunciation is phonetic and the spelling is straightforward, so there is nothing to cause trouble.

“It’s very thrilling to be able to communicate in a foreign language without forcing the other person to learn English.

“It’s such an asset and I do not want it to be wasted, I want it to keep going.”

The former Weston Esperanto group disbanded due to the age of elderly members who found it difficult to continue travelling.

But now David is hoping to gain enough interest to get the new club up and running in time for meetings in September.

He said: “The idea would be to lead them into activities that were enjoyed by the previous group. We could also link up with other Esperanto groups in other countries.”

David’s plan for the future is also to get schools interested in the language and hopes many will take up Springboard To Languages – a project which uses Esperanto as an easy introduction to the secondary-school study of foreign languages.

David added: “Esperanto has been held back both by prejudice and a lack of knowledge about the subject.

“But it has grown and evolved into a living language in more than 100 countries worldwide.”

If you speak Esperanto, or are interested in learning the language, email David via david.r.curtis@btopenworld.com

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