Entrepreneur, founder of many start-ups (Planorama in 2009, a society of artificial intelligence, but also Yestransfer in 2018, a platform of money transfer), Vincent Jacques, 38 years, chair of the citizens ' Movement for esperanto for Europe. This association, founded last year, aims to promote this language at the continental level. Explanations.
the Point : The July 26, 1887, Eliezer Lewi (Ludwik) Zamenhof, a doctor born in Russia, published a book in Warsaw in which he promoted an international language destined to become that of the entire planet. Signed with the pseudonym Doktoro Esperanto (" doctor who hopes "), this book is the birth of a new language : esperanto. How many people speak it today ?
Born in Amiens, Vincent Jacques promotes today esperanto at the european level. © DR Vincent James : It has around 2 million speakers of esperanto in the world, including 100,000 in France. This language was invented by Zamenhof, therefore, adopts a matrix that is common to many languages : French, German, English, Spanish, latin, Greek and even a little Russian.
In the spirit of Zamenhof, this common language would enable the inhabitants of the world to better understand themselves and thus to cease to make war...
The project of Zamenhof is actually from an idea humanist. In his hometown, in a Poland occupied by Russia, several communities coexisted without understanding : the Jews (who spoke yiddish), Polish, German-and Russian-speaking people, the latter being advantaged by the official status of the Russian language. The other communities were the victims of discrimination, either in companies or administrations, because they are not fluent in the Russian language. Zamenhof has constructed a new language that does not belong to a particular nation, whose structure is simple enough that everyone can take ownership of it. This language is a trait of union between the individuals, it is easy to understand with minimal effort.
also Read esperanto, a language alive and well
How did you discover the language and how long did you learn esperanto ?
After studies in France (HEC and Sciences Po) and then the U.s. (at UCLA), I completed an internship in New York within the BNP Paribas group, in 2003. It was during this stay that I have put myself in esperanto. I learned on the Internet via an online platform. In two months, I had already acquired a good level. I was the first surprised of the ease with which I seize this language. It is extremely logical that this is why she is very pleasing to scientists.
How is born your idea of promoting esperanto as a european language ?
I began my career at Boston Consulting Group before becoming an entrepreneur. Strong supporter of the european construction, I've found with despite that the French kept losing ground in the european institutions. For the past twenty years, English has established itself everywhere as the language of exchange within the political bodies which govern the continent. If English is so important in Europe today, it is for a simple reason : the Eu has 24 official languages, not counting the regional languages. It's a lot ! However, only 5 % of the working documents within the instances are translated. Do this for all would be too expensive. However, it is very important that each country make its voice heard. Remember that 70 % of the French regulation finds its source in the decisions of the european Union.
esperanto provides a common denominator to all the peoples of europe
How esperanto can he fix things ?
As I indicated at the outset, the esperanto is a kind of language matrix. It provides a common denominator for all european peoples. Above all, it is a foreign language for everyone. Discussing in a second language puts everyone on an equal plane. A common language would strengthen a common culture. We have a common currency, but it is a bit short to create a sense of belonging. The language issue is sensitive and esperanto respects the diversity of the local dialects and, therefore, the sovereignty language. In many countries (and not only in Nigeria or Botswana), English is seen as a colonial language. His mastery more or less good creates a two-tier society. With esperanto, no problem !
This is the reason for which you are advocating for the learning of esperanto is done as early as primary school ?
Yes. Experiments have been conducted in CM1. The sooner we start, the more easily children learn then other languages. Esperanto could help the citizens of tomorrow to be all polyglots. We push for the introduction of esperanto as a language is optional at the college, and this, up to ibc.
You have founded in 2019 movement " Esperanto for Europe ", what is your goal ?
Our project may seem ambitious, but we hope that esperanto will become the 25th official language of the european Union (EU). By doing this, we want to give a new breath to the bodies of the EU in promoting esperanto. We have supported an experimental phase of learning of esperanto in five French schools. We are creating links with some thirty associations, but also of the academies. The world Association of esperanto (UEA) supports us in our approach. The issue is important. We want more equity between the member countries of the european Union, but we also want the preservation of the cultural and linguistic diversity at the level of the continent. My fear is that, under the blows of the English, the national languages become patois local.
The Brexit is, therefore, fallen to the pic ?
Yes. It has helped to put the issue on the table. But let's be clear, this is not because the Uk has left the european Union, it has ceased to trade on the English.
The epidemic of Covid-19 should not arrange your business...
Indeed. With the health situation, our movement has not been able to undertake a lot of actions these last few months (impossible to achieve what we had planned for the day of Europe 9 may, for example), but we are still the same combat and the same goals ! We know that we'll never get there in one day, we look ahead to the long-term.