Esperanto is the world’s most popular invented language. It was created by Ludwig Lazarus Zamenhof in the late 1870s and early 1880s, with the goal of making an easy-to-learn and politically neutral language that would transcend national divisions and foster peace and understanding between people with different regional and/or national languages. Both utopian in its aims and pragmatic in its simplicity, Esperanto is spoken by an estimated 2 million people in over 100 different countries across the globe.
Esperanto Fun Facts
The full name for Esperanto is Doktoto Esperanto. It translates to “one who hopes” and is drawn from the pseudonym that Ludwig Lazarus Zamenhoff used when he published his first book on the language called Unua Libroin 1887.
Esperanto does have native speakers. Although it was created around the turn of the century and isn’t the official language of any nation, some parents who speak Esperanto teach it to their children as babies, meaning that they grow up knowing the language and are native speakers.
One of the first movies made in Esperanto was called Incubus. This black and white 1966 movie starred William Shatner and was filmed entirely in Esperanto. William Shatner couldn’t speak Esperanto, and his pronunciation of many of the words is off, a fact that Esperantists took note of.
Esperanto and the Livemocha Community
- China is the country that has the most members both speaking and learning Esperanto on Livemocha
- Besides China, the countries with the most members learning Esperanto on Livemocha are Brazil, the US, Russia, and Mexico
- Despite the fact that Zamenhof, creator of Esperanto, was Russian, Russians make up only 2% of Esperanto speakers on Livemocha.