Usona Esperantisto № 2022:2 (mar–apr)

Are you promoting Esperanto effectively?

Lasta ĝisdatigo: 2022-04-09

From Chuck Mays and the E-USA Promotion Committee.


Are you promoting Esperanto effectively? Most people are not. A few questions to help you evaluate yourself:

  • Have you studied how to effectively promote something? Most likely you have not, since few of us have. If you have, wonderful!

  • Do you use well-known and mostly false or unsupportable “facts” about Esperanto such as:

    • “Esperanto only has 16 rules of grammar.” If this were true, why are there books with hundreds of pages that explain the rules of Esperanto grammar!

    • “Esperanto is the easiest language in the world to learn.” Hmmm! For whom? Esperanto, like any language requires time, practice, and a lot of effort to learn.

    • “There are between 1–2 million speakers.” Can this number be verified? No, it cannot, and it is not credible to state the number of speakers since the number is not knowable.

    • “Esperanto is the language of peace.” Really? Based on what?

I need to be truthful and admit that I have used these “facts” (and others) to promote Esperanto, and without much to show for it.

  • Have you read the very good book Esperanto Sen Mitoj by Sikosek? Probably not. It is worth reading and a free PDF sample is available from the publisher. Warning: the entire book is 300 pages long!

  • Do people have a tendency to push back because Esperanto seems too good to be true?

  • Are you happy with the results of your promotion activities?

  • Have you had training on how to effectively promote Esperanto? An on-line mini-course by Esperanto-USA would be very helpful to solve this need. Let your regional helper know that you are interested in a course on how to effectively promote Esperanto.

It is a common tendency to paint Esperanto in the best light. However, it can be counterproductive to oversimplify and to state facts that are not true or that cannot be verified. This can put you in the position of defending Esperanto and the other person defending why they don’t obviously want to learn it. Good promotion gives real facts and information allowing the recipient to make up their own mind. If we all strive to do better promotion, then we will see results.

As an example, the Esperanto group in the Triangle area of North Carolina recently met in a park and displayed a banner “Esperanto Spoken Here.” This was true. We spoke our beautiful language, enjoyed each other’s company and our banner promoted Esperanto. Only one person showed interest, but that is a start.

Need feedback on your elevator speech, brochure, or promotional materials? Contact me at at the email address below, and I and the promotion committee will give you our honest thoughts and ideas for improvements.

Happy promoting!