Where I step out to translate Esperanto . . .

Like a medieval schoolboy translating Latin aphorisms, I plan to translate out what I can of L. L. Zamenhof’s Deklaracio pri homaranismo (1913). (PDF download site). This will surely take some time, and I’d appreciate correction from more experienced Esperantists.

L. L. Zamenhof was the inventor of the Esperanto language, but he also speculated in religion. Originally called Hillelismo (Hillelism) for the Jewish sage Hillel, his thought developed into Homaranismo, which is sometimes translated — if unconvincingly — as humanism or humanitarianism.

There is frustratingly little written in English about Homaranismo, though I suspect it may have been intended to serve an “auxiliary religion” function as Esperanto would for a mother tongue. Keep what’s native, but rely on the auxiliary in common discourse across cultures. An interesting thought, and certainly rare in the West, if it is so.

3 Replies to “Where I step out to translate Esperanto . . .”

  1. This is an interesting and worthwhile project. I’d be happy to look at any drafts or offer views on challenging words. Incidentally, the word ‘homaranismo’ in nthe title popses problems. The word ‘humanism’ has already been taken, and in the minds of many people, ‘humanism’ has an anti-religious connotation.

  2. Thank you and I appreciate the offer.

    Since you probably found the page by keyword, you might not know that I am a Unitarian Universalist minister, though not of the Humanist variety, and so aware of the naming problem and connotations. I suspect LLZ was doing something different, and I’m interested in the prospect of auxiliary religion. That is, a non-nationalist one.

  3. And thank you for being too kind to comment on my earlier typing errors!

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