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  • High cost of English got you down? Speak Esperanto and save

Comments Dec 14, 2007 11:47 am

Two small corrections to an otherwise fine article:

Since Esperanto has no native speakers, schools won’t have to worry about importing native teachers or sending students abroad to acquire a proper accent or learn the slang.

In spite of the oft-heard joke ("You speak Esperanto like a native!") there are actually a couple of thousand native speakers of the language -- mostly children of international couples who met via Esperanto and speak the language at home.  In some cases these children are second- or even third-generation native speakers. The phenomenon of international marriages thanks to Esperanto is so common that some speakers jokingly refer to the language as Edzperanto (edz- = "husband/wife", peranto = "broker"), and there is even an Esperanto magazine for these families called Rondo Familia.

no artificially-created auxiliary language, not even Klingon, has ever been widely-used

While I wouldn't advise holding one's breath in anticipation for the EU to adopt Esperanto (or any other international auxiliary language) anytime soon, it's worth mentioning that Esperanto actually is very widely used.  In addition to the various Esperanto publishers, periodicals, radio programs, etc. around the world, there are currently Esperanto groups in over 100 countries whose speakers regularly use the language for international communication.  And the Pasporta Servo, a worldwide hospitality network, now provides free lodging to Esperanto-speaking tourists in over 90 countries, from Argentina to Zimbabwe.

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