Antoni Grabowski

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Antoni Grabowski was a Polish chemical engineer, and an early supporter of the Esperanto movement. The books and poems that he changed into Esperanto from other languages helped to make Esperanto more well-known and used.

Learning and work[change | change source]

Grabowski was born on 11 June 1857 in Nowe Dobre, near Chełmno, in Poland. Soon after his birth, his family moved from Nowe Dobre to Toruń. Grabowski's parents did not have a lot of money, so Grabowski started to work before leaving high school. He wanted to learn a lot, though, so he got himself ready to take a test to get into grammar school. He passed the test.

He went to the Nicolaus Copernicus school in Toruń. At that place, he was shown to be smarter than other people that were as old as him. He was put in a higher class twice. In 1879, his family got more money, so Grabowski started to learn philosophy and natural science at the University of Breslau in Wrocław.

After he was done with school, he started to work as a chemical engineer. After that job, he started to work as a manager of a factory.

At that time, he made many new ideas about chemicals and things that helped with those ideas. He became famous among people in Europe because of that. He also had the job of making new words in the Polish language for technical things. In 1906, he wrote a book, Słownik chemiczny. The book helped other people to learn the words he had made.

Esperanto and writing[change | change source]

At his school, Grabowski started to want to know more about language. Because of that, he joined the Slavic Literary Society (Towarzystwo Literacko-Słowianskie), a group that wanted to learn about the Slavic language. Grabowski did not only want to learn about this language. He learned a lot of other languages.

In 1887, Grabowski read the book Lingvo internacia. Antaŭparolo kaj plena lernolibro.. This book was written by L.L. Zamenhof, a person who wanted to make an easy language that everyone could learn. This language was called "Esperanto." Grabowski liked this language a lot. He learned it, then went to Warsaw to see Zamenhof. They spoke to each other in Esperanto.

Grabowski thought that books and writing were important to languages. He thought that this was much more true with Esperanto. Esperanto was getting used more, so it needed this. So, in 1888, Grabowski started to rewrite books into Esperanto from other languages. (this is called "translation")

In the early 1890s, Grabowski thought that Esperanto was being used by fewer people than before. He thought that this was because Esperanto needed to be remade in a different way. In 1894, though, he said that Esperanto was good like it was at first. He said that all the time after that, too.

Grabowski was the leader of the Warsaw Esperanto Society and the Polish Esperanto society for a long time. In 1908, he became the director of the Grammar Section of the Esperanto Academy. He taught people a lot about Esperanto.

From that year until 1914, he made classes for schools about Esperanto. He wrote something showing that Esperanto was good for learning other languages. People did not know this at that time.

World War I made his family have to leave Poland. They went to Russia, and he was left in Warsaw. While he was there, he rewrote from Polish one of the most important things that have been changed into Esperanto. This was the Polish poem, Pan Tadeusz by Adam Mickiewicz.

Grabowski died of a heart attack in Warsaw on 4 July 1921.