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I have sometimes heard the name George Soros thrown around as a possible financier of different Esperanto projects. Is this only done as a joke, or does he actually have some involvement with Esperanto?

  • It's worth noting that the claims being true or being a joke aren't the only two options. There's lots and lots of conspiracy theories about George Soros and about what he allegedly does finance and/or influence, some spread as part of a political campaign, others maybe being run-away effects of the former. The Swiss journal "Das Magazin" has an article (in German) worth reading about the whole jumble. (Esperanto isn't mentioned in that, though.) – das-g Feb 23 at 22:31
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The father of George Soros, Tivadar Soros (in Esperanto: Teodoro Ŝvarc), was an active Esperanto speaker and writer. George learned Esperanto in his home as a child, but not as a native language. George used Esperanto in order to leave Hungary in 1947: He first participated in the Universala Kongreso in Switzerland, and then continued to Britain instead of returning to Hungary. After that, George stopped using Esperanto, and he is unfortunately not financing any Esperanto projects.

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His father was an Esperantist and, apparently, taught his son Esperanto during his childhood. Soros is often given as an example of native Esperanto speaker, although I am not 100% convinced it is true (if someone knows a source about this claim, I'd be glad to see it). Even if it is, Soros is not involved with Esperanto today. If you heard someone proposing that George Soros finance Esperanto activities, it was probably a joke.

  • I read somewhere (but have no link) that he is not a native speaker of Esperanto and that is just a misconception. – Lyubomir Vasilev Aug 24 '16 at 8:12
  • both have an element of truth: the line between native and non-native Esperanto speakers can be hard to make, because many pick it up at home passively before the magic limit of 6 years, but don't actively use it yet etc. – LaPingvino Aug 24 '16 at 10:11
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Also, see this interview with Humphrey Tonkin about George Soros and Esperanto:

The Billionaire Native Esperanto Speaker?

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