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  • Esperanto, the language that promises hope but doesn't deliver, celebrates 120th birthday

Comments Jan 21, 2007 5:16 am


 Languages such as Interlingua and Ido are not extinct. They still have small communities of supporters spread around the world, and those communities organize World Conferences for their respective languages. See for instance


 Antonielly Garcia Rodrigues

Reply to at 5:16 am Feb 13, 2007 10:57 pm

More accurately, Esperanto promises democratic international communication, in which no one is privileged by virtue of birthplace.

And it delivers, especially where ethnic languages fail. Without the aid of a military, an economy or Hollywood, Esperanto has gained millions of speakers worldwide. With Esperanto I communicate on an equal footing with friends from Russia, Japan, Finland, Mexico, Iran, Croatia, Brazil, Vietnam... even Texas. No other language can do that -- not even English.

Incidentally, Esperanto is particularly good at helping students with L3 acquisition.  It's an unanticipated benefit that makes the language especially valuable in an era where multilingualism is under attack.

If you're interested to learn more, here is a helpful resource.

Reply to at 10:57 pm Feb 28, 2007 5:18 am

I feel that perhaps Zamenhof was overestimating the power of a universal second language. I don't believe it will create peace, but it might make it more likely. Even if that's not the case, I do believe that a universal second language is entirely useful simply because geniuses, creative artists, etc. can make their work known to the entire world in a single language.

For instance, if everyone spoke a common second language, be it Esperanto or Latin or even English, a novelist can write his/her book in that language, increase revenue, as well as share with the world his/her gift of literature. There are other great benefits that come with a universal second language, such as being able to travel anywhere on the globe and speak a single language, unless the traveler would WANT to learn the other person's language.

A language like Esperanto should be backed by world leaders because it is very simple to learn. If foreigners from all parts of the world can learn languages like Latin, Arabic, Chinese, or even English (with it's impossible spelling), then even if Esperanto is not world-neutral with its grammar or vocabulary, it is definitely much more simple to learn than those natural languages.


Reply to at 5:18 am