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E is for … Esperanto

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Theme: Languages of the World


Esperanto, Eo, La Lingvo Internacia, is the most widely spoken constructed (or artificial) international language. A constructed language is one whose phonology, grammar and vocabulary are artificially designed rather than having evolved naturally over time. Constructed languages tend to be very regular because they did not undergo historical changes that normally occur in natural languages.

The name Esperanto derives from Doktoro Esperanto, the pseudonym of a Polish linguist, Dr. Ludovic Lazarus Zamenhof who created Esperanto in the late 1870s and early 1880s. His goal was to devise a universal second language that would help combat nationalism and promote internationalism. The first Esperanto grammar was published in 1887 in Warsaw, Poland. The first world congress of Esperanto speakers was held in France in 1905. Since then well-attended world congresses have been held every year, interrupted only by the two World Wars.

Esperanto has been in continuous use since its creation, even though it is not recognised as an official language by any country. Esperanto is spoken by some 2 million people as a second language in 115 countries, most of them in Central and Eastern Europe, East Asia, and South America.

Fascinating facts about Esperanto


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