Collector page

Note to promise collectors: The questions on this page will often allow you to collect contact information from someone promising to learn Esperanto. Your job is to read the questions and listen to the answers. Become familiar with the instructions in brackets and use them to learn about the person you are talking to. Attentively listen to, and remember what they tell you. Where appropriate, insert pieces of what they tell you in the discussion (see question 5 instructions). Acknowledge differing viewpoints but don’t get sidetracked. Keep the conversation going to the next question.

Get started by saying something like “I’m collecting information for a project that I am working on. Could I ask you a few questions?”

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How much, if anything, do you know about Esperanto? -------------------- (If "nothing" - LEAD INTO NEXT QUESTION: e.g. "That's the most common answer. ....") -------- (If not "nothing" - ask for clarification about what they know. Listen....) ---------- {LEAD INTO NEXT QUESTION: "Then you know that .....)
Esperanto is a language. Do you speak another language fluently?  -------------------- (If yes - ask which language and how they learned it. Listen....) -------- (If no - ask if they have ever tried to learn another language. Which language(s)? How did they try to learn? How long did they study it? Listen, REMEMBER WHAT THEY TELL YOU! (*Q5)....)
Most people who study another language don’t become fluent without an extended period of immersion where they are surrounded by the language. Esperanto is quite different. It started as a planned language that was very carefully designed to be as easy as possible to learn. Have you ever been in a situation where you couldn’t communicate because of a language barrier? -------------------- (If yes - ask for an example. Listen.....) -------- (If "no" - LEAD INTO NEXT QUESTION WITH: "I'm sure you know that it's a common problem around the world. ...")
Esperanto was introduced to bridge the language barrier, with the hope that it would be studied worldwide and become a common second language for everyone. Maybe two million people have already learned it. The basic idea is that all over the world, people would learn their parents' language and the neutral, international language, Esperanto. That way, no matter where people come from, no matter where they go, people could talk to each other. This is the idea that inspired the creation of Esperanto and inspires most who use it today. Do you think it's a good idea? -------------------- (If "no" or "not sure" - wait and listen. If necessary, prompt for clarification, e.g. "I'm listening." or "Educate me." After listening, acknowledge that you understand what they have said, continue. ------- NOTE: In question 5, at the (*), if appropriate, insert what you remembered from question 2 about their language study experience. e.g. "You studied Spanish for four years.")
A lot of people do think it’s a good idea, in theory. Most don't want to learn Esperanto now because not enough people speak it now. There are six official languages of the United Nations. More than half of the world’s population do not speak any of those six languages. Around the world, hundreds of millions of people spend years trying to learn a major world language. (*) Many, perhaps most, never learn enough to be able to participate in the international community that uses the language they have studied. We think that because Esperanto is so much easier to learn, if it were a major world language, hundreds of millions of people would learn Esperanto. Do you agree? -------------------- (If not "yes", LEAD INTO NEXT QUESTION: e.g. "Obviously we don’t know what would happen. We would like to find out. ...")
English is the most commonly studied language in the world today. There are about 1000 million people who speak English as a second language and about 400 million who speak it as a first language. Both Mandarin Chinese and Spanish have more native speakers but not as many learn them as a second language. French is the second most commonly studied language in the world. French is the first language of about 100 million people. We think that 100 million speakers might be enough to give Esperanto a critical mass. Do you think that if 100 million people learned Esperanto it could become a major world language? -------------------- (If not "yes", LEAD INTO NEXT QUESTION: e.g. "(Again,) Obviously we don’t know what would happen. (Again,) We would like to find out. ...")
The challenge is getting the first hundred million speakers. People have been promoting Esperanto for more than a hundred years. Those supporting the Promise Project don’t want to wait another hundred years. Many people around the world do like the idea of an easy-to-learn, neutral, international language, but don’t want to learn a language that few people speak. So, instead of asking people to learn Esperanto now, when it’s usefulness is limited, we are asking people to promise that they will learn Esperanto after one hundred million people have made the same promise. If 100 000 000 people all learn at the same time, it would be a world changing event. In the language, the word “Esperanto” means “someone hoping”. With the strategy of first collecting promises, we think we have a chance to turn the hope into reality. Do you think this is a good strategy? -------------------- (If not "yes" - Listen. Usually it is because of doubt that people will keep their promises. - RESPOND e.g. "We know that not everyone will keep their promises; however, if several years from now we can announce: "100 million people have promised to learn Esperanto. The official start date is e.g. June 1, 2028. Here are different ways you can learn." We expect that many people who did not promise, will hear about it, maybe for the first time, will like the idea, join in and learn at the same time as those who do keep their promises. The number who learn without having promised may exceed the number who don't keep their promise. We would like to see what will happen, so ...")
We are trying to collect one hundred million promises. Could we collect one from you? -------------------- (If no - Thank them for answering your questions, wish them well. If yes, ask them to enter their name and contact information in the form below.)

Mi promesas lerni la internacian lingvon, Esperanto, post kiam 100 000 000 da personoj faras ĉi tiun promeson.

I promise to learn the international language, Esperanto, after 100 000 000 people make this promise.