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It might surprise some to learn that the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures has a long tradition of Esperanto studies. Although the department does not offer a degree programme in the language, the Buchanan Bequest, gifted to the University in 1930, supports a range of activities associated with Esperanto.

Esperanto is the planned language published by the Polish opthalmologist Ludoviko Zamenhof in 1887. Some fifty people from six countries took part in the second Esperanto masterclass held last month at the University’s Foresight Centre. The three-day masterclass comprised lectures and seminars on Esperanto grammar, culture, and literature, as well as sessions for beginners in the language.

Professor Duncan Charters discussing the challenges of translation

Professor Duncan Charters discussing the challenges of translation

Professor Duncan Charters, from Principia College, Illinois, spoke in English at a public lecture on the problems of translating Lorca and Cervantes. He quoted from a recent Esperanto translation of Don Quixote which, he said, was more nuanced than a comparable English version.

Dr Paul Gubbins, one of the organisers of the event and senior lecturer in journalism at Staffordshire University, highlighted the importance of research into Esperanto, and commended the University of Liverpool for its commitment to this endeavour.

The masterclass confirms that the University of Liverpool is the leading institution for Esperanto research in this country

As part of the masterclass, Professor Wim Jansen from the University of Amsterdam gave a lecture on Esperanto grammar. The next masterclass is planned for 2018.