esperanto

tower of babel

esperanto is a constructed language composed by ludwig lazarus zamenhof at the end of the 19th century. he intended esperanto to be a universal second language that would promote peace and understanding among people. the word esperanto means “one who hopes” in the language itself. today, it is unclear how many fluent esperanto speakers exist–somewhere between 1,000 and 2 million.

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “esperanto

  1. Well, not exactly “invented” (like Klingon), but a synthesis of already existing major European languages on the basis of “maximum internationality” and intelligibility for the greatest number of people. A modern rationale for non-ethnic Esperanto can be found in the seven-point Prague Manifesto:
    http://lingvo.org
    Zamenhof “initiated” Esperanto – it has subsequently developed on the skeleton he provided and along the lines he suggested.

    • k8emckinnon

      thanks for the comment mankso. i edited the post

      • Sorry to be so pedantic, but sometimes these minor details are important, especially when many people these days put all constructed languages into one pot together, when their origins (and purpose) can differ so widely.
        And the number of speakers is another thorny issue, since censuses rarely, if ever, ask about second-language competence. Estimates vary very widely, as you pointed out, although it certainly is many more than your lower-end figure, since at least that many usually attend the annual World Esperanto Congresses:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Esperanto_Congress

  2. gbanshee

    I heard about Esperanto quite some time ago already, but I got really interested in it just two days ago. After two days I must say I’m really impressed with it! It’s really easy and so fun to learn, especially when you realize there are groups of people who speak it all around the world.
    I made a blog about my progress with this language, I invite anyone who is interested to take a peek and perhaps help me and give some tips!
    Ghix revido miaj geamikoj!

  3. mankso

    Good for you! Thanks for being open to the idea of a common, non-ethnic second language, to equal language rights and language-based discrimination, and not just to (for me) another rather pointless con-lang ‘toy’.
    A word of caution though! Don’t be too quick to jump into actively producing your own stuff, till you have a good passive control of the basic grammar, have read a novel and own a decent dictionary (e.g. J.C. Wells:
    http://www.librejo.com/wells-vortaro/ ), and really understand what is meant by ‘subject’, ‘direct object’, ‘transitive’, ‘intransitive’. There are unfortunately quite a lot of uncorrected beginners’ first blog attempts available on-line, which no one corrects (for fear of offending, I suppose). I suppose for some ‘basic communication’ might be a valid goal, but Esperanto really deserves more respect than that, as does any language.
    Dezirante al vi rapidan progreson, amike salutas via
    mankso

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