Welcometo the Joint Esperanto Conference in Edinburgh

The Esperanto Association of Britain and the Esperanto Association of Scotland are combining their national gatherings into a joint one in 2017! Edinburgh hosts the largest Esperanto conference in Britain, the 98th British and 112th Scottish ones. The event runs from Friday, May 19th to Sunday, May 21st.


The event takes place at The Melting Pot, 5 Rose Street, Edinburgh, EH2 2PR. Registration will be possible from 18:00 on the Friday, and the conference itself will start at 18:30. It will close at 17:00 on the Sunday.

Map of the surroundings | A selection of nearby hotels

Text about Viktoro.

Guest speaker: Viktoro Solé

Viktoro was born in Barcelona teaches music there in the Conservatori del Liceu. He learned Esperanto in 2007 and has been teaching it for several years, including at the Somera Esperanto-Studado course in Slovakia. Since 2011 he has published a regular column La blaga blogoin the magazine Kontakto.

Viktoro will present two talks at the conference:

- Why I don't like the music of La Espero: the poem La Espero, written by Ludoviko Zamenhof, bit by bit became the hymn of the Esperanto movement, set to music by Félicien Menu de Ménil (1909). I don't consider this music to be at all appropriate for the hymn of our movement, and so will share with you what I believe to be its melodic, rhythmic and structural problems and, at the same time, propose an example of an alternative version.

- Signing for Esperanto: similar to the aids which musicians use to teach music and based upon a simplified grammar, I will present an idea of how to learn and teach Esperanto with help from a few simple hand gestures.

Guest speaker: Andrew Weir

Andrew was born in Dundee in 1986. In 2000 he learned Esperanto and joined the Scottish Esperanto Association, sitting as its president in 2008 and 2009. He received a PhD in linguistics in 2014 from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and is now a lecturer in English at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim.

Andrew will present two talks at the conference:

- Language: how do we differ from animals? Many animals can communicate with each other. But complicated, rich and creative language is found only in humans. Is human language only quantifiably different from the abilities of other animals -- or is there something truly special distinguishing humans? How did language originally evolve among humans? This lecture will present in straightforward, jargon-free terms this debate, which has recently taken off in linguistic, anthropological and biological circles.

- Language battles in Norway and Scotland: >nynorsk ('new Norwegian') and Scots: in 1814 Norway gained its indpeendence from Denmark. The new country faced a choice: which language should be used? Norwegian, of course; but there are more than a single version of Norwegian. Should preference be given to the talk of the towns, what was called "Danish Norwegian", or maybe the dialects of the countryside? In the end, Norway chose to use both: in Norway two offical languages are in use; bokmål ('booklanguage') and nynorsk ('new Norwegian'). We will see how 'new Norwegian' was created by the linguist and folklorist Ivar Aasen. But we will also see that the two languages haven't always peacefully co-existed, and still don't. We will therefore consider the 'language battles' of Norway -- and also consider whether there are any parallels with English and Scots in Scotland.

Contributors Some of the people who will be presenting


Betty Chatterjee

Hygge & uhygge—keys to Danish culture

Jorge Camacho

Poetry Workshop

Ian Carter

Comedy Quiz


The Organisers The team behind the event

Clare Hunter
Ed Robertson
Hugh Reid
Tim Owen
Standard (UK residents)
Entry to the event Refreshments Buffet on the opening night
Upgraded (UK residents)
Entry to the event Refreshments Buffet on the opening night Lunch on Sat & Sun
Standard (overseas visitors)
Entry to the event Refreshments Buffet on the opening night
Upgraded (overseas visitors)
Entry to the event Refreshments Buffet on the opening night Lunch on Sat & Sun

Charity Quiz

On our opening night we combine a fun ice-breaker with some charity work. We'll be doing it again this year.

We'll split our visitors into small teams and have a friendly competition to see who can score the most points in our quiz.

The winning team's points get converted into a donation to the Universala Esperanto-Asocio's special fund for paying membership costs for people in poorer countries. This is the Fonduso Canuto, named after Giorgio Canuto, a former president of UEA. Last year we raised 220€ for it and had fun doing so. Let's see whether we can beat it this time!

Join UEA | Information on UEA's World Congress 2017 in South Korea

Group Meal

As has become tradition in recent years, people staying on after the conference has closed will have the opportunity to eat together at a local restaurant on the Sunday evening. This year we will be visiting Amarone restaurant and have reserved the tables for 8pm.

Since this isn't part of the conference itself, it's not included in the conference ticket. The cost is £32.95 for the meal, which you should indicate on the page when signing up. Please note that you must sign up in advance; the restaurant wants final numbers two weeks beforehand and will not accept people turning up on the night.

Amarone's site | Map | Menu

Trip to Abbotsford

The conference finishes on Sunday, May 21st but not everyone will want or be able to go home immediately. We have something to suggest for the Monday for those of you who are stopping on. Why not take a scenic journey on the relaid Borders Railway and visit Abbotsford, the home of Sir Walter Scott?


First the Borders Railway

... then Abbotsford.

We would suggest meeting at Waverley station at 9am on the Monday, and catching the 09:24 train to Tweedbank. There are usually two trains per hour, and journey time to Tweedbank, the final station on the relaid Borders Railway, is around 55 minutes. The ticket costs £11.20 return full fare or £7.40 for railcard holders.

Abbotsford House, the home of author Sir Walter Scott, is walkable from the station (about 1.5km), but there is a bus connecting with our suggested train's arrival, with costing £1 for a single fare and taking about 5 minutes. Entrance to the house and gardens is currently £8.95, £7.70 for concessions. There's also a "gardens only" ticket.

You could return at your own leisure. The nearby town of Galashiels, 10 minutes by bus from Abbotsford, is also worth a visit and also has a station on the Borders Railway Line.

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Under 25?Then you could participate free!

If you're under 25 and resident in the United Kingdom, then you're eligible to apply for funding from the Norwich Jubilee Esperanto Foundation to get your costs covered (including travel and accommodation) to attend the conference. Contact us prior to booking if you're interested.