Friday, 18 November 2016

Esperanto community in Second Life

In my First Life family, Esperanto used to be quite popular. My mother still remembers bits and pieces she learned as a teenager. And decades before that, my grandma took classes in the 1930s, before World War 2. If you don't know what I'm talking about, Esperanto is the most successful of numerous constructed languages, with tens of thousands of speakers worldwide (some say millions, but that estimate is probably too optimistic). It's had an interesting history, and if you want to learn more about it, click here.

As I've been doing some research on constructed languages lately, I was wondering if there was an Esperanto community in Second Life. And sure enough, not only is there a community, with social activities, courses and an inworld group, but their centre - Esperanto-Lando - is just north to my home in Second Norway, in Heim. It's a small world!

The view from SN train stop in Hejm
The big building contains a Lernejo (a school)...


...an information board where you can find out about membership fees and join the inworld group...


...and a Biblioteko (library), where you can click on books to get to individual websites with PDF files or receive notecards with reading material in Esperanto - from translations of Shakespeare's sonnets to original works in Esperanto by contemporary authors.


Outside, by the ocean, there is also a large area for parties and social events.


There wasn't anyone around at the time of my visit, and both contact persons were offline, but I plan to get in touch with them and ask a bit more about the events and the state of the Esperanto community in SL. It would be interesting to hear about it, at the time when many RL communities seem to be struggling (for example, after many decades of existence, the Esperanto association in my RL city disbanded, which happens a lot worldwide, as I hear).

Until the next blog post, vi povas kontakti min en Dua Vivo kaj viziti mian hejmon en Dua Norvegio.

Links:
Esperanto-Lando, inworld location SLurl
"Esperantujo en Dua Vivo" website
A film about Esperantists in SL