There are many global organizations that use English as a lingua franca, while using local languages as well in national and local offices. It's possible to work entirely in English in many fields, and in many major cities where English is not an official language. Are there examples of global organizations that have adopted a language as a lingua franca, where there is no reasonable expectation that incoming staff will already speak that language? What has proven to be required in order to accomplish this? Are there any further pertinent factors that are peculiar to Esperanto?

  • Didn't TEJO or UEA hire a few people that didn't know Esperanto beforehand a while ago? Maybe someone from these organizations could share their experiences here...
    – marcus
    Oct 19, 2020 at 17:55

2 Answers 2


Even if you teach all of them Esperanto, there is still a chance they won't speak it. For example, the native language of the Philippines is not English, but most of the Schools encourage everyone to only speak English while they are on campus. However, in reality, this is rarely followed, despite the years of English classes throughout primary and secondary education. Even the faculty forget the English-speaking policy a lot of times while speaking with students. This is because they know the other person can speak a language you understand better, and it just naturally comes out, especially under pressure. Esperantists can probably avoid speaking English in their own gatherings because of their love for Esperanto. But you can't say the same with the new employees. For them, as long as you understand and get the point across, it's fine. And if the new employees are more proficient in their native language than Esperanto, they will fall back to speaking their native language.

However, all of this changes when you add a foreigner to the mix. Our meetings are in English if even one person is English-only and it feels natural to speak it in this case. But when the English-only person goes out of the meeting, it's too awkward and weird to continue speaking English and some will laugh at you and tease you if you even try, especially when they know you are very good at speaking the native language. We are not English language advocates, after all, we just want to communicate.

So guess is that an Esperanto speaking organization can exist if the native languages of each employee are mixed.


Esperanto Sube I think that one of the central problems would be exactly what you brought up: not many people speak Esperanto, so to expect the workers to speak it would be rather unreasonable. I see two potential workarounds:

  1. Spend resources on teaching all incoming workers the language;
  2. Push for a world where Esperanto is taught as a lingva franca before starting the company policy.

The first would be the quickest but also the more expensive. It also runs into the problem of Esperanto not being commonly spoken in the world would raise the question as to the purpose of using it as a lingva franca if, as you've mentioned, most people accept English in that regard.

The second would be a lot more justified in the latter regard, but it would take a lot longer and need a direct shift from relatively pure raŭmismo to pure finvenkismo. It could be a good idea for Esperantistoj to volunteer or paid, but the company would not have a very good outreach program unless it's announcements are constantly translated to other languages.

Mi pensas, ke unu el la centraj problemoj estus precize tio, kion vi menciis: ne multe da homoj estas E-istoj, do atendi ke la laboristoj parolu ĝin estus iomete malrazone. Mi vidas du eblajn solvojn:

  1. Elspezi rekursojn por instrui al ĉiuj eklaborantaj homoj la lingvon;
  2. Atendi la finan venkon antaŭ ol fari la korporacion.

La unua estus la pli rapida sed ankaŭ la pli multekosta. Ĝi ankaŭ kontraŭstaras la problemon de ke Esperanto ne estas kutime parolata tra la mondo do oni demandus sin kial oni uzas ĝin kiel lingvo francan se, kiel vi jam menciis, multaj homoj akceptas la anglan tiel.

La dua estus multe pli justa, pripensante la lastan aferon, sed ĝi bezonus multe pli longe kaj bezonus tujan ŝanĝon el preskaŭ pura raŭmismo al pura finvenkismo. Ĝi povus esti bona ideo, ke E-istoj memvoluliĝu aŭ estu pagotaj, sed ĝi ne havus bonajn publikajn rilatojn krom se ĝiaj anuncioj estas tradukotaj konstante al aliaj lingvoj.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.