From ArticleWorld

Esperanto is not a genealogical language belonging to one race but an artificial one created in 1887 by L.L. Zamenhoff. Zamenhoff’s aim was the creation of a language that was easy to learn and which could be used as a universal second language.

The majority of Esperanto speakers is based in Europe and East Asia and is estimated to number up to two million, though this figure is a matter for some debate. It is, however, the most widely spoken artificial language in the world. Although it has not been adopted as the official language of any country, it is used in areas such as world travel, correspondence, literature and television and radio broadcasting.

Learning the language

There are schools in China, Hungary and Bulgaria where Esperanto is taught but most of those interested in learning the language do so through self study or correspondence courses. It is said to be easier to learn than other languages and it has been put forward that it is easier to think in Esperanto due to its logical nature than in many other ethnic languages. It has also been shown in some research studies that learning Esperanto before going on to learn another foreign language makes the learning of the second much easier.


It took Zamenhoff ten years to develop Esperanto. He based the phonology, grammar, vocabulary and semantics on Western Indo-European languages and the phonemic inventory on Slavic languages. Esperanto has five vowels and twenty-three consonants and the stress is always on the second last vowel. The grammar is based on prefixes, roots and suffixes with different parts of speech each having their own suffix. eg. all nouns end in –o. There are few rules governing word order and three tenses and three moods.

It is quite common for speakers to make up words as they go along and these are easily understood as the prefixes, roots and suffixes are already understood and so there is nothing new in the make up of the words. They may or may not then become absorbed into the language. The twenty-eight word alphabet is basically that of the Latin with a few modifications.