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But Esperanto survived both wars, which gave even more momentum to the idea of the language being a movement and developing a culture.


Over the last years, Gazzetta says, Esperanto has had a number of poets, novelists, nonfiction writers and musicians:. Thus, you have all the international conferences, meetings, and organizations that guys like Nielsen are involved in. This is what hooked Gazzetta back in , during the word-of-mouth Esperanto era.

It was like Couchsurfing before the internet , he explains. You would contact them via letter or phone and arrange for a time period they would host you. John Cunningham, a year-old Esperantist in Arizona, is still listed on the platform. He sent me a screenshot of what it looks like today:. Three years ago, the language-learning app Duolingo brought even more people to the language.

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As of last year, the app reports having 1. With the number of Esperantists multiplying by the day, what do these neutral-language speakers want? Gazzetta recalls traveling through Europe before the Euro was introduced.

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Just being able to go anywhere on the planet, knowing that people will speak a language I know, would make travel so much easier. This ability would foster a sense of connectedness with the world at large. In other words, feeling more connected to people in another country will ultimately lead to, hopefully, world peace. We just use it for fun, to make friends, travel to new places, read books, listen to music, watch videos, etc. I asked Esperantists what they would do if they were made World Czar of Language, tasked with making Esperanto the language of choice.

What would the first steps be? Vote for the Esperanto party pic. Nielsen agrees: Inundate the kids first.

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  5. Gazzetta takes it one step further. Having a fallback that is easy to learn would make things easier to understand. In turn, this would create jobs for Esperanto speakers. Infiltrate the United Nations: This, apparently, has already happened. Nevertheless, the U. About the same time, in the middle of the block was marching a huge demonstration of people holding posters reading "Learn Esperanto", "Support the Universal language", "Esperanto the language of hope and expectation", "Esperanto the bond for international communication" and so on, and many "Sign the petitions". I will never forget that rich-poor, sad-glad parade and among all these people stood two fiery red tramway cars waiting on their opposite lanes and also a few doroszkas with their horses squeezed in between.

    Such a sight it was. Later a few blocks were changed from Dzika Street to Dr. Zamenhofa Street and a nice monument was erected there with his name and his invention inscribed on it, to honor his memory. About his goals Zamenhof wrote that he wants mankind to "learn and use", "en masse", "the proposed language as a living one". After some ten years of development, which Zamenhof spent translating literature into Esperanto as well as writing original prose and verse, the first book of Esperanto grammar was published in Warsaw on July 26, The number of speakers grew rapidly over the next few decades, at first primarily in the Russian Empire and Central Europe, then in other parts of Europe, the Americas, China, and Japan.

    In the early years, speakers of Esperanto kept in contact primarily through correspondence and periodicals, but in the first World Congress of Esperanto speakers was held in Boulogne-sur-Mer , France.

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    Since then world congresses have been held in different countries every year, except during the two World Wars. Since the Second World War, they have been attended by an average of more than 2, people and up to 6, people. Zamenhof's name for the language was simply Internacia Lingvo "International Language".

    The autonomous territory of Neutral Moresnet , between what is today Belgium and Germany, had a sizable proportion of Esperanto-speakers among its small and multi-ethnic population. There was a proposal to make Esperanto its official language. However, neither Belgium nor Prussia now within Germany had ever surrendered its original claim to it.

    Around , Germany in particular was taking a more aggressive stance towards the territory and was accused of sabotage and of obstructing the administrative process in order to force the issue. It was the First World War, however, that was the catalyst that brought about the end of neutrality.

    On August 4, , Germany invaded Belgium, leaving Moresnet at first "an oasis in a desert of destruction". Hanotaux opposed all recognition of Esperanto at the League, from the first resolution on December 18, and subsequently through all efforts during the next three years. However, two years later, the League recommended that its member states include Esperanto in their educational curricula.


    How many people speak Esperanto?

    The French government retaliated by banning all instruction in Esperanto in France's schools and universities. Anarchism as a political movement was very supportive during this time of anationalism as well as of the Esperanto language. Esperanto attracted the suspicion of many states. The situation was especially pronounced in Nazi Germany, Francoist Spain up until the s, and in the Soviet Union from to In Nazi Germany, there was a motivation to forbid Esperanto because Zamenhof was Jewish, and due to the internationalist nature of Esperanto, which was perceived as "Bolshevist". In his work, Mein Kampf , Adolf Hitler specifically mentioned Esperanto as an example of a language that could be used by an international Jewish conspiracy once they achieved world domination.

    Esperantists in German concentration camps taught the language to fellow prisoners, telling guards they were teaching Italian, the language of one of Germany's Axis allies. In Imperial Japan, the left-wing of the Japanese Esperanto movement was forbidden, but its leaders were careful enough not to give the impression to the government that the Esperantists were socialist revolutionaries, which proved a successful strategy.

    After the October Revolution of , Esperanto was given a measure of government support by the new workers' states in the former Russian Empire and later by the Soviet Union government, with the Soviet Esperanto Association being established as an officially recognized organization. Quite often the accusation was: "You are an active member of an international spy organisation which hides itself under the name of 'Association of Soviet Esperantists' on the territory of the Soviet Union.

    Fascist Italy allowed the use of Esperanto, finding its phonology similar to that of Italian and publishing some tourist material in the language. During and after the Spanish Civil War , Francoist Spain suppressed anarchists , socialists and Catalan nationalists for many years, among whom the use of Esperanto was extensive, [48] but in the s the Esperanto movement was again tolerated. Esperanto has not been a secondary official language of any recognized country, but it entered the education system of several countries such as Hungary [50] and China.

    There were plans at the beginning of the 20th century to establish Neutral Moresnet as the world's first Esperanto state. In addition, the self-proclaimed artificial island micronation of Rose Island used Esperanto as its official language in , and another micronation, the extant Republic of Molossia , uses Esperanto as an official language alongside English.

    The Chinese government has used Esperanto since for daily news on china.

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    The Vatican Radio has an Esperanto version of its website. The US Army has published military phrase books in Esperanto, [55] to be used from the s until the s in war games by mock enemy forces. Esperanto is the working language of several non-profit international organizations such as the Sennacieca Asocio Tutmonda , a left-wing cultural association which had members in over 85 countries in The largest of these, the Universal Esperanto Association , has an official consultative relationship with the United Nations and UNESCO , which recognized Esperanto as a medium for international understanding in Esperanto is also the first language of teaching and administration of the International Academy of Sciences San Marino.

    In the summer of , the American Radio Relay League adopted Esperanto as its official international auxiliary language, and hoped that the language would be used by radio amateurs in international communications, but its actual use for radio communications was negligible. Zamenhof's goal to "enable the learner to make direct use of his knowledge with persons of any nationality, whether the language be universally accepted or not", [19] as he wrote in , has been achieved, as the language is currently spoken by people living in more than countries.

    On the other hand, one common criticism made is that Esperanto has failed to live up to the hopes of its creator, who dreamed of it becoming a universal second language. In his speech at the World Esperanto Congress in Cambridge in he said, "we hope that earlier or later, maybe after many centuries, on a neutral language foundation, understanding one each other, the nations will build The alphabet does not include the letters q, w, x, or y , which are only used when writing unassimilated foreign terms or proper names.

    All unaccented letters are pronounced approximately as in the IPA , with the exception of c.

    I Speak Esperanto

    Even with the widespread adoption of Unicode , the letters with diacritics found in the "Latin-Extended A" section of the Unicode Standard can cause problems with printing and computing, because they are not found on most physical keyboards and are left out of certain fonts. There are two principal workarounds to this problem, which substitute digraphs for the accented letters. A more recent " x-convention " has gained ground since the advent of computing. This system replaces each diacritic with an x not part of the Esperanto alphabet after the letter, producing the six digraphs cx, gx, hx, jx, sx, and ux.

    There are computer keyboard layouts that support the Esperanto alphabet, and some systems use software that automatically replaces x- or h-convention digraphs with the corresponding diacritic letters for example, Amiketo [67] for Microsoft Windows , Mac OS X , and Linux , Esperanta Klavaro for Windows Phone , [68] and Gboard and AnySoftKeyboard for Android. The phonology , grammar , vocabulary , and semantics are based on the Indo-European languages spoken in Europe.

    The sound inventory is essentially Slavic , as is much of the semantics, whereas the vocabulary derives primarily from the Romance languages , with a lesser contribution from Germanic languages and minor contributions from Slavic languages and Greek. Pragmatics and other aspects of the language not specified by Zamenhof's original documents were influenced by the native languages of early authors, primarily Russian, Polish, German, and French.

    Paul Wexler proposes that Esperanto is relexified Yiddish , which he claims is in turn a relexified Slavic language, [70] though this model is not accepted by mainstream academics. Esperanto has been described as "a language lexically predominantly Romanic , morphologically intensively agglutinative , and to a certain degree isolating in character".

    Adjectives can be freely placed before or after the nouns they modify, though placing them before the noun is more common. New words are formed through extensive prefixing and suffixing. Esperanto words are mostly derived by stringing together roots , grammatical endings, and at times prefixes and suffixes. This process is regular, so that people can create new words as they speak and be understood.

    Compound words are formed with a modifier-first, head-final order, as in English compare "birdsong" and "songbird," and likewise, birdokanto and kantobirdo. Speakers may optionally insert an o between the words in a compound noun if placing them together directly without the o would make the resulting word hard to say or understand. The different parts of speech are marked by their own suffixes: all common nouns end in -o , all adjectives in -a , all derived adverbs in -e , and all verbs except the jussive or imperative end in -s , specifically in one of six tense and mood suffixes, such as the present tense -as ; the jussive mood, which is tenseless, ends in -u.

    Nouns and adjectives have two cases: nominative for grammatical subjects and in general, and accusative for direct objects and after a preposition to indicate direction of movement. Adjectives agree with their nouns; their endings are singular subject -a [a]; rhymes with "ha! The suffix -n , besides indicating the direct object, is used to indicate movement and a few other things as well. The six verb inflections consist of three tenses and three moods. They are present tense -as , future tense -os , past tense -is , infinitive mood -i , conditional mood -us and jussive mood -u used for wishes and commands.

    Verbs are not marked for person or number. Thus, kanti means "to sing", mi kantas means "I sing", vi kantas means "you sing", and ili kantas means "they sing". Word order is comparatively free. Adjectives may precede or follow nouns; subjects, verbs and objects may occur in any order. Similarly, the negative ne "not" and conjunctions such as kaj "and" and ke "that" must precede the phrase or clause that they introduce.