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Jan 4, 2009, 1:15:53 PM1/4/09
to Esperanto Groups
So, once I get to school I want to have a game plan on how to
advertise that my Esperanto group exists. I've gathered a couple ideas
from others (thank you Jordon) and some myself, so I'll list them here
and then I hope you guys will comment and add to the list of ideas. I
figure that this can be added to Esperanto-USA's group handbook.

Chalk the Quad (the main-ish center of campus, with many sidewalks
people draw chalk on to advertise things)
Facebook group
Teach people phrases in the student union/on the quad
Posters in: Foreign Language Building, Libraries, Dorms, Study Abroad
Put something in the newspaper

There are a few specific to my case, more or less:
Put it in CHP (a fun honors program) bulletin
Have a CHP event thing (lunch & discussion)
Next Year: Quad days - An event where a majority of the clubs set up
little tents and tables all over the quad and people wander around to
see which ones they'd like to join. Very fun.

Please post feedback!


Jan 12, 2009, 7:24:26 PM1/12/09
to Esperanto Groups
These are great ideas. We brainstormed up some ideas a few years ago
toward a guerrilla marketing campaign for Esperanto:

I had the idea of using spray-chalk on sidewalks as plain green stars
two weeks before the campaign starts, green stars with an "E" in the
middle one week before, and then have a bunch of fliers and newspaper
advertising that explain what the stars mean. I've never gotten a
large enough group of activists to make it work, but I think it could
be really effective. You can make your own "spray chalk" with a
regular spray bottle corn-starch and food color -- it works really
well on snow, but pretty well on light-colored sidewalks too.


Jan 14, 2009, 7:51:23 PM1/14/09
to Esperanto Groups
Thank you! That's a great idea. I know that I can scale this plan well
to my university. I don't know that I can quite yet integrate it
across the country, though I'd like to. I could very likely get one or
two universities, but I don't know that that would be enough. It would
definitely take effect at U of I though.

Thank you especially for the spray chalk recipe. I had planned on the
back-breaking process of coloring things out with just chalk, which
I'll still have to do for any writing but the symbols will stick with
people better. Also, from being a student there I know that people
tend to block out the writing after a while. The symbols will catch
their eyes.

Topic-hop: I was wondering which posters I should use (probably
tweaking some to advertise my own group in addition to E-USA). Of the
posters hosted on E-USA's site, I particularly enjoyed the two French
ones ('Who knew love could be so complicated', and the list of French
verb endings), for aesthetics and I think they make a very clear
point. I am loath to upset the French department though. xD

Then, I liked the one with the list of other languages on one side and
Esperanto on the other. I think it's rather humorous and will really
strike a chord with a campus so full of international students and
soooo many languages going on all the time. I especially like that
English is on the left side as well... I may have some friends help me
translate that poster into a few other big languages on campus--
Chinese, Japanese, Korean, I think some Spanish, French, and German...

As we're a big engineering campus as well, I'll probably throw the
flow chart one up in a few places, though I don't know how well-
received it will be. Oh, and since we're a campus *at all,* I'll throw
the Beer one in scattered areas.

The site has two cute <a href="
informiloj/afisxo.php">posters</a>, but they're quite colored and I
don't exactly have a budget yet so that may be beyond what I can do.
Do you think they're good enough to be worth it?

So, I ask for commentary and suggestion of any other types of poster
designs you've found or thought of. Thanks all!

Firooznia Hoss

Jan 15, 2009, 2:06:55 AM1/15/09
Spray-chalk, eh?

Okay, Steve, this is going to sound like a dumb question -- well, I
guess it *is* a dumb question -- but is there any *water* in this
spray bottle... or is it full of just colored corn starch? Don't you
need a liquid of some sort?

- Hoss

Firooznia Hoss

Jan 15, 2009, 2:35:15 AM1/15/09
On Jan 14, 2009, at 7:51 PM, Darsi wrote:
> Topic-hop: I was wondering which posters I should use (probably
> tweaking some to advertise my own group in addition to E-USA). Of the
> posters hosted on E-USA's site, I particularly enjoyed the two French
> ones ('Who knew love could be so complicated', and the list of French
> verb endings), for aesthetics and I think they make a very clear
> point. I am loath to upset the French department though. xD

Here's a modernized version of one French flyer: the original is in
Apple's iWork format; the second version is an export to MS Word format,
but it probably will look seriously mangled and need reworking:

The main problem with it, I think, is it's too busy -- too much
information to read, and few people bother to digest it all. Some
other posters to try:

Finally, here's one I had a lot of luck with last time, and I'll
probably use again. It's the simplest of the bunch, but I think
students are receptive to it because it looks like the "typical"
course-announcement poster found hanging around here:

Again, it was originally made in iWork, so the Word version might
need some layout adjustments...

Hope this helps!
- Hoss


Jan 15, 2009, 9:16:27 AM1/15/09
to Esperanto Groups
> is there any *water* in this
> spray bottle... or is it full of just colored corn starch? Don't you
> need a liquid of some sort?

Yes. Here's a URL that explains how to do it:

You can also buy spray-chalk, like people use for making lines for
sporting events, but its quite expensive.

My suggestion would be to make some stencils of a star, some more with
a star with an "E" in the middle, and then start spraying.

I've used the same technique to make signs to hold at protests: You can see the lines
that connect the "E" in the green star to the outside of the stencil.

Jacob Schwartz

Jan 15, 2009, 11:30:56 AM1/15/09
I wanted to respond to several topics at once.

I think that doing some volunteer-oriented is a good idea. It's a
good way to be visible and to bond the members of the group. And,
like you say, you can prepare a word-list around the topic, so there's
also some Esperanto learning involved. I've always imagined, for
example, getting a group of Esperanto speakers together on one day to
help build a house for Habitat for Humanity (and preparing a list of
words about the tools etc :).

I also think that it's important to do things with other groups -- it
fosters good will, helps to achieve things that a single group
couldn't do (like better chances of getting funding for an event if
more groups are attached to it), etc. So, for instance, when I ran
the MIT club, I made up a flyer titled "Language Learning Resources at
MIT" which listed various language learning resources around campus
and then, of course, mentioned the Esperanto club. It's a flyer that
we can put out at our booths, and it allows us to get our name out to
a larger audience and also it hopefully gives us a better image to the
Foreign Languages Department -- and I worry about them thinking we're
a nuisance and not a help. So I agree with Darcy's feeling of not
wanting to piss off the French department with a poster that bashes
French conjugation.

I think it's a good idea for the club to celebrate (or raise awareness
of) "language days". The biggest is the UN's International Mother
Language Day, which happens in February -- so it's something to start
planning for now! It commemorates a day in history when students in
Pakistan (now Bangladesh) were shot for supporting Bangla (Bengali) as
an official language. The UN later declared it an international date
to celebrate mother tongues. See:

Another such day is the European Day of Languages, in September, which
celebrates the diversity of languages spoken throughout Europe. This
is less interesting than an international day, since we're not living
in Europe, but it can be an excuse to remind people.

I think these days are good excuses to do *something*. If it's as
simple as sending around an email to various mailing lists or student
groups or language departments just saying "Happy language day!" and
explaining what it is and asking people to try to celebrate language
diversity. Or consider putting an ad in the student paper. This
raises awareness of the issue as well as can look good for the club.
Consider trying to hold an event in cooperation with other student

One idea which I took from the EU's language day website was this:
Get a button maker and prepare pieces of paper that say "I speak
____!" and also have "International Mother Language Day 2009" and
maybe the name of your club, like "MIT Esperanto Club". Then have a
booth in a busy location and encourage people to come by and get a
free button! They write in what language(s) they speak and then you
snap the button together, and as the day goes on, the hope is that the
linguistic diversity on campus becomes more visible -- it's often
hidden, if people don't speak their languages in public. You can also
hand out flyers which explain the significance of the language day,
and then also have information about your club on them. So it also
advertises your club. You might even be able to get funding for this
kind of thing if your school has funds for supporting diversity

Jumping to another idea: If you have a booth, like say at MIT at the
beginning of the year there is an "activities midway" where all the
student groups get a booth and new students wander by to see what
groups there are to join. But another example might be if you get a
booth at an event like "International Fair", which our school has,
where cultural groups get a chance to showcase their country or
culture. Anyway, when you have a booth, people walk by and they try
to take in your booth by taking a quick look at it -- so one thing is
that it's important to not be cluttered and have too much stuff, but
to have a clear message that is visible immediately -- but the other
thing is that people are often too shy to stop at a table, so it helps
to be vocal and say something to passersby, which will give them an
excuse to come closer. Most people aren't talkative like that, so a
great idea which someone here in Boston came up with was to make "free
samples" of Esperanto, so if you're manning a booth, you don't have to
outgoing, you just have to be able to ask "Would you like a free
sample?" And hold out the "sample". People will come and have a
look. So, the "sample" in this case is "a free word in the language
Esperanto", as I like to add. Basically, the person, David Wolff,
printed up a ton of 2" x 3" pieces of paper that have a word in
Esperanto, it's definition, and maybe some similar looking words in
English, French, German, Latin, for comparison. Then, below that, it
has your club's name and info, maybe a URL for your website. I can
vouch that it totally works as a way to get people to come to your
booth, that works even if you're a shy person who wouldn't know what
to say otherwise, and it's a something that people can carry with them
that has your contact info on it.

Another idea for college campuses, which I haven't tried, but I think
is a good one, is to print up "tents", or pieces of construction paper
that are folded in half and can sit on a table and advertise your
club. At MIT, we have a ton of computer clusters where students can
go to log in. Now, these may be less used now that everyone seems to
have a laptop of their own, but maybe they still are used. My idea
was to put tents up next to the computers thats just have
"" in big letters, maybe over a nice looking logo (like
the talk bubble). The idea being that students who are in the cluster
and want to avoid work are willing to type in a URL and play around
online. What better place to play around than lernu?

Finally, I am attaching an image that I used for a poster once. I
think it's an alternative to the "French-bashing" posters. It
hopefully catches the attention of people who are interested in
languages -- and I think it's important to catch the attention of the
proper audience ... having your title be "Esperanto" only catches the
eye of people who know what it is or who are curious to know what it
is, whereas words like "travel" and "language" and "easy" and
"international friends" and stuff like that has a meaning to people
who pass by and they'll look closer to see what you specifically are
proposing. Anyway, the poster has "Learn Esperanto" in a lot of
languages -- note that the Tibetan is incorrect (I have the correction
but have not made it yet). Also, in hindsight, "Learn Esperanto" is
still the wrong phrase to use pehraps -- a bit too forward -- whereas
a more general phrase would be better.

I'll also go ahead and attach some of the other posters that I mentioned.


Language Learning.doc

Firooznia Hoss

Jan 15, 2009, 1:17:20 PM1/15/09
> Yes. Here's a URL that explains how to do it:

Wow! The mind boggles at all the potentially diabolical advertising
applications this could be used for...


- Hoss


Jan 15, 2009, 6:06:35 PM1/15/09
to Esperanto Groups
Jakobo reminded me of a couple of other bits of potentially useful
info. He mentioned David Wolff. David created a bunch of posters
that are available at the E-USA website:
But note that this resource, which is also there, is a guide with
ideas for how to answer questions that people ask about Esperanto:

The first time I did some tabling for Esperanto, I found the ideas
that David had come up with were really helpful, for how to have
fruitful conversations with people and how to consistently and
tactfully answer the sometimes aggressive or dismissive statements
people would make about Esperanto.

I love the idea of having a day to encourage everyone to wear buttons
advertising their "mother tongue". That's a great idea!
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