Paris business men would use Esperanto

Chamber of Commerce Committee finds it useful as a code in international trade
The New York Times, Published: February 16, 1921

Paris, Feb, 15-- The Paris Chamber of Commerce has taken the initiative in instituting Esperanto classes in all their commercial schools so that students can learn for commercial purposes an auxiliary international language. Before taking this step the chamber appointed a committee to to inquire into the real usefulness of Esperanto, and among other tests they made was to translate a large number of business letters into Esperanto and back into French. It was found that the sense of the letter was no way lost.

The committee recommended that Chambers of Commerce in other countries should be asked to institute similar classes in the language invented by Dr Zamenhof, which they are convinced will enable international business to be carried on without error and with much greater dispatch and cheapness than when translators into half a dozen languages have to be employed. The ease with which Esperanto can be learned and its accuracy in translation were regarded as its two principal recommendations above other artificial languages. For business purposes, it is regarded by far the clearest and richest in expression and easy to translate.

Some of the texts submitted to the test were such that the slightest mistake would completely change the meaning, but Esperanto was found to meet all the requirements. M. Andre Baudet, Chairman of the committee on whose recommendation it was decided to open the classes, describes Esperanto as rather an international code than as a language.

'It won't revolutionize the world,' he said, 'and there is no likelihood that it will take the place of any language, but, just like a telegraphic code or a system of stenography, it can be useful to every people and aid enormously in international business.'