When Esperanto was first published, it was spoken only by the creator, Dr. L.L. Zamenhof, and a few of his colleagues. Dr. Zamenhof hoped that Esperanto could become a second language shared by people all over the world, but of course, why is anybody going to learn a language which, at that time, was spoken by less than a handful of people? So the riddle goes, "I will learn Esperanto when the rest of the world learns Esperanto." Naturally, this means that there are lots of people who in principle are willing to give it a try, but in practice never get started. In response to this riddle, Dr. Zamenhof launched a campaign to collect promises to learn Esperanto.
Accordingly, anybody who in principle supported the realization of an easily learned and spoken international auxiliary language but wasn't prepared to be a pioneer in the effort could mail a slip of paper to Dr. Zamenhof with his or her contact information and a promise to learn Esperanto if it would be publicly shown that a meaningful number of other people would also make the same promise. In this way, nobody would feel as if he or she were laboring in solitude, and each would also know that he or she were now a part of a larger community working toward peaceful cooperation in their own communities.
In the spirit of Dr. Zamenhof's original campaign to collect promises from would-be learners of Esperanto all over the world, NOEL is collecting from residents in towns and cities all across northern Ontario promises to participate in a 10-lesson correspondence course in the international language Esperanto when it will be publicly shown that a number of other people, judged by the promisor to be sufficient, have also made the same promise.
In order to publicly show how many people have promised to learn the basics of Esperanto, a record is available which displays each promisor's first and last initials, the name of the street on which he or she resides, and how many other identical promises are necessary before he or she will start the first lesson. The public list of promises to learn Esperanto is available here. When a promisor's threshold has been satisfied, he or she will be contacted and invited to receive the first of 10 lessons to learn the basics of the language. Students will be paired with an experienced speaker who will grade the promisor's lessons and offer help and guidance in the learning process.
Additionally, all promisors are invited to participate in a bi-weekly speaking group just for beginners to practice! The speaking group meets every first and third Sunday morning from 8am-9am EST / Toronto. Check the latest announcements for the date of the next meeting and links to join.
If you believe in the hope of a shared international language
to encourage communication and understanding all over the world,