As part of my continuing attention toward languages trying desperately to cling to life and reality (or what passes for those nowadays), I recently stumbled on a little Esperanto reading book called Internacia Legolibro: Diverslandoj Autoroj published in 1930.
So I scanned it in and started translating it from crazy moontalk into English.
It's just a bit over eight small pages, but I was having such a hard time with Esperanto's morphology (I call it Exasperanto!!!) that I gave up, about a page and a half into it.
What follows is my abortive and hopefully not too inaccurate translation; anyone wanting to continue with it (hopefully aided by a command of Esperanto no worse than my ineptness with it) can get the page scans over there. They're about two megs altogether. I'll turn on comments here, so that if anyone manages a fuller translation, they can link to it from a comment. Only then will we know how the story continues -- what other glimpses of past future history are there? Does the video-tele-phone conversation that my translation ends with devolve into panting Esperanto cybersex??? I don't know!
Marriage in the year 1999
A fantasy-sketch of the future, by Petro Stojan (Rumanian)
This morning, Ralf Leo Tubson turns twenty; and according to the law of the Scandinavian Republic, he can stay unmarried only another three days - the final deadline, after which the law punishes severely and irrevocably.
As in all the civilized world, here in the Scandinavian Republic (formed in 1946 by the merger of the three countries: Sweden, Norway, and Finland), the law requires the marriage of every citizen by the age of 25. After this time and a three day grace period, the offending bachelor is then considered a criminal, against whom the most serious of police tactics are brought to bear.
"Now let marriage be my concern" Tubson says to himself, picking up a new copy of the Official Marriageworks [?] Bulletin, published in international language, in Budapest, the well known center of matchmakers [lit. marriage-marketplaces? marriage-fairs?].
172 cm tall, blond, and narrow-shouldered, Tubson sees the column for oaverage-height attractive dark available women [fiancxemulinoj?] and looks it over for attractive ones.
Tubson underlines three names and sends a message by wireless speaker. Some minutes later, responses arrive: tele-meetings with the three available women are precisely arranged for different times tomorrow. A tele-meeting consists of remote wireless synchronized audio and video, achieved by a simple device that saves a great deal of time formerly spent travelling with a danger of accidents.
The next morning, Tubson tele-meets on his own with an available Spanish woman by the name of Pepita Lopez.
"Hello! Greetings, Ms. Lopez..."
"Greetings to you, Mister Tubson."
And in front of each, from them, a color picture appears, on the little movable screen: a speaking face next to a loudspeaker [lit. sound-funnel], part of the body, nearly [almost? around?] furniture. [...]