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Esperanto:

Esperanto is the most popular spoken constructed language, it is an


international and auxiliary language.
Its name derives from Doktoro Esperanto, the pseudonym under which L. L.
Zamenhof published the first book detailing Esperanto.

The language's original name was "La Internacia Lingvo", which means the
international language Zamenhof's goal was to create an easy to learn and
politically neutral language that would serve as a universal second
language to foster peace and international understanding.

Esperanto has one thousand native speakers.


There is controversy over the number of people who are fluent in Esperanto
now. Estimates range from 10,000 to as high as two millions. The users are
spread in about 115 countries

Although no country has adopted the language officially, Esperanto was


officially recognized by UNESCO in 1954

Esperanto was created in the late 1870s by Dr. Ludovic Lazarus Zamenhof, a
Polish-Jewish ophthalmologist at the time when Poland was part of
the Russian Empire. According to Zamenhof, he created this language to
foster harmony between people from different countries.

Why did Doktor Zamenhof do this?


He tells us in a letter:
"The place where I was born and spent my childhood gave direction to all my
future goals. In Bialystok the inhabitants were divided into four distinct
elements: Russians, Poles, Germans and Jews; each of these spoke their own
language and looked on all the others as enemies".

Since the Second World War, the number of esperanto speakers has been
increased by an average of over 6,000 people.

As a potential vehicle for international understanding, Esperanto attracted


the suspicion of many totalitarian states. The situation was especially
pronounced in Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan and the Soviet
Union under Joseph Stalin. In Germany, there was additional motivation to
persecute Esperanto because Zamenhof was Jewish.

In the early years of the Soviet Union, Esperanto was given a measure of
government support, and an officially recognized Soviet Esperanto
Association came into being. However, in 1937, Stalin reversed this policy.
He denounced Esperanto as "the language of spies" and had Esperantists
exiled or executed. The use of Esperanto was effectively banned until 1956.
After the Spanish Civil War, Franco in Spain persecuted
the Anarchists and Catalan nationalists among which Esperanto was
extended

Classification
As a constructed language, Esperanto is not genealogically related to
any ethnic language.
The phonology, grammar, vocabulary, and semantics are based on the
western Indo-European languages.
The phonemic inventory is essentially Slavic, while the vocabulary derives
primarily from the Romanic languages, with a lesser contribution from
the Germanic languages.

Now i'll give you a pair of examples of basic esperanto:


Hello Saluton
Yes Jes
No Ne
Good morning Bonan matenon
Good evening Bonan vesperon
Good night Bonan nokton
Goodbye Ĝis revido
What is your name? Kiel vi nomiĝas?
My name is John Mi nomiĝas Johano
How are you? Kiel vi fartas?

One of the best-known authors of works in Esperanto is Leo Trotski, one of


the leaders of the Russian revolution.

The Institute of Cybernetic Pedagogy has compared the length of study time
it takes Francophone high school students to obtain comparable 'standard'
levels in Esperanto, English, German, and Italian. The results were:
• 2000 hours studying German = is comparable to
• 1500 hours studying English =
• 1000 hours studying Italian =
• 150 hours studying Esperanto.
The results show that esperanto is a real form of an universal language
because it takes much less study in comparison to other romanic
languages.

Esperanto has been placed in many proposed political situations. The most
popular of these is Europe – Democracy – Esperanto, which aims to establish
Esperanto as the official language of the European Union. The Irish political
party Éirígí has recently adopted the green star as its emblem partly in
support of Esperanto as an international language instead of English.
Personally I prefer Esperanto because is not a sort of universal language
that can affect the survival of other languages, but takes elements from
many cultures and integrate them into new forms of expression.
Ariel Alvestegui IVºA