1911 newspaper - "Ido, universal language, is making progress"

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Here's the second major newspaper article I've found so far on Ido from the early 20th century. This one is from 1911 so just a bit over three years after Ido first came into existence, and you can see that it's a tad more Esperanto-looking than the current version, but besides that there's almost no difference between it and the Ido of today. There's actually just about as much difference between the English of then and now, with (now unacceptable) terms like Chinaman and Hottentot being used.

SAN ANTONIO LIGHT, January 8, 1911.


Prof. Bernard Mackensen, of the High School, Is a Master of the New Tongue.


When It Is Perfected Hottentot and the Chinaman May Converse at Their Ease.

"I became interested in the problem of an international language in 1887, and after nearly a quarter of a century of study and investigation, I have more faith in it than ever before," said Bernard Mackensen, head of the biological department of the San Antonio high school, and a member of the Academy of the Society for the Propagation of Ido, a modified and simplified form of Esperanto. Of this body Dr. Louis Couturat, formerly professor in the University of Toulouse, is secretary, and Dr. Jaspersen (note: should be Jespersen), a noted philologist of the University of Copenhagen, is president.

Seen in his class room Mr. Mackenson was russounded on every hand by zoological and botanical specimens of all kinds so dear to the scientific heart, and when asked about the international language of which he is a deep student, he talked as interestingly and as lovingly as though he were explaining one of his favorite specimens to some one who was interested enough to inquire.

"Ido," said Prof. Mackensen, "is simplified Esperanto, and was invented by L. de Beaufront, one of the foster fathers of Esperanto. It is an artificial language constructed on the principle of the maximum of internationality, of roots. That is the aim in selecting the roots is to choose such roots as are understood by the greatest number of peoples. The same plan is carried out in the addition of prefixes and suffixes and there is an immense possibility of increasing the vocabulary by forming logical and self explanatory derivatives and compounds from the roots and affixes. In this respect the German is very rich, but in this even German is hampered by usage. In this respect an international language such as Ido is not hampered.

"Practical experience has shown that such an artificial language is highly practicable. Progreso, the organ of the International Union for the Promotion of Simplified Esperanto, contains many dissertations on learned subjects, every word of which is written in Ido. The object of an international language is to serve as a means of communication in business, travel, diplomacy and science between all peoples of different mother tongues." Here Prof. Mackensen exhibited a great number of cards that he had received from various students of Ido scattered all over the world on which were written messages in the international language. There were cards from West Australia, Germany, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria, Russia and South America, and each bore a message written in the international language.

"In Ido," said Prof. Mackensen, "Idioms are avoided as far as possible, and the structure is so simple that some people learn to read and write it in a few days. The main thing is to know the general principles of grammar.

"The question of an international language has been before the public for more than thirty years, and during that time has passed through several phases, among which have been Volapuk, Esperanto and finally Ido. Volapuk and Esperanto were each the invention of a single individual. Their authors had little to guide them, as scholars had then hardly touched the problem. Years of discussion then followed and finally an international committee interested in the question met in Paris in 1907, which called upon scholars to submit projects for an international language. One of these submitted a plan without giving his name. This project was found to be simplified Esperanto, and was adopted with some modifications by the committee. It developed that the author was L. de Beaufront, one of the foster fathers of Esperanto.

"Less than three years ago an international union for the promotion of Ido was organized. This has created an academy which directs the development of the language, adding to its vocabulary and amplifying and perfecting it. There is also an executive committee, which attends to the business matters and propaganda. Eleven periodicals are already published in the language, and there is rapidly developing a large number of adherents."

In San Antonio there is a group organized for the study of Ido, of which H. A. Moos is president, E. G. Le Stourgeon, vice-president, and B. Muckensen, secretary.

1--Ante kelka tempo, ulu dicis a me, ke kelki en ica urbo esas interesata pri la lingua internaciona. -- Some time ago, some man told me that some people in this city were (--are) interested in the international language.

2--Nur malmulti savas, ke esas kelka planti, qui kaptas e digestas insekti. -- (But) few people know that there are a few (some) plants that catch and digest insects.

3--La mendikisto ricevis nur malmulta helpo; nome, pano e poke karno. -- The beggar received only little help; namely, some bread and a little meat.

4--Kad vu ne povas donar ad li poke de vua lakto? -- Can't you give him some of your milk?

5--Il poke dubas la korekteso di mea aserto, ke la steli esas suni. -- He doubts a little the correctness of my assertion that the stars are suns.

6--Quante plu profunda la dormo, tante min distingebla la sonji. -- The deeper the sleep, the less distinct the dreams.

7--Se esas tiposkribilo en la kontoro, tante plu bone. -- If there is a typewriter in the office, so much the better.

8--Dum minuto, nulu audesis. -- For minute, not a (--even one) sound was heard.

9--Kande li venos (por) vizitar me? -- When will he come to see me?

10--Ni exekutos (sequos) vua deziri segun posibleso (tam multe kam esas posibla). -- We will carry out your wishes as far as possible.

11--Kordyo di serpento, tute separita de la korpo, duras kontraktar pos dek o dekdu hori. -- The heart of a serpent, separated entirely from the body, will still contract at the end of ten or twelve hours.


Bill Chapman said...

It was interesting to see here that Ido "was invented by L. de Beaufront". Was its author not really Couturat?

Bill Chapman said...

It was interesting to see here that Ido "was invented by L. de Beaufront". Was its author not really Couturat?

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