Esperanto is an international auxiliary language (IAL) developed by Ludwik Lazar Zamenhof in 1887 through the Unua Libro. It is the most popular IAL, with the estimated amount of speakers varying between 10,000 and 2,000,000 depending on the criteria of a speaker used. It is maintained by the Academy of Esperanto.
The ideals of Esperanto attracted interest from all over the political spectrum, particularly catching the interest of pacifists as well as some national liberation movements. Although idealism pervaded the original conception of Esperanto, many leftists were nonetheless attracted to the various goals of peace, internationalism, and neutrality that it represented, as well as in some cases the practicality of having an alternative means of international communication outside of national languages. For instance, in East Asia, many Esperantists used Esperanto to bridge communication gaps between the Japanese, Korean, and Chinese languages, particularly in the face of the imposition of Japanese imperialism. For example, in 1924, Korean Esperantists made a declaration in the Chosun Ilbo newspaper, declaring "Opposing Japan's linguistic imperialism, each nation should use its own natural language, and humanity should use Esperanto in common." While in China, Esperantists also participated in the anti-Japanese struggle in various ways, for example using Esperanto to communicate with anti-imperialist Japanese Esperantists, notably in the case of Japanese anti-fascist Verda Majo and her work with Chinese Esperantists and anti-imperialists.
In 1887, Zamenhof published the Unua Libro, a founding book that describes Esperanto. He published the Dua Libro the next year for translations and made only one correction in Aldono al la Dua Libro: to replace the ian constructions with iam[note 1] to distinguish from the accusative form of ia (ia,n).
Author Christopher Gledhill summarizes the early aim of Esperanto being "to build a bridge between nations, to allow speakers of different languages to communicate on equal terms in a neutral, user-friendly second language." Gledhill notes that the original title of the project was Internacia lingvo (English: "International Language"), although part of Zamenhof's pseudonym, Doktoro Esperanto, became the commonly accepted name for the language. Gledhill states that among the hundreds of similar projects which emerged at the end of the nineteenth century, Esperanto is the only one to have survived to the present day with a sizable number of speakers and a worldwide literature.
An 1891 poem written by Zamenhof called "La Espero" (English: "The Hope") expresses some of the ideals envisioned by the language's creator, who emphasized his hope that by creating an easy to learn language which could be studied for international communication without supplanting anyone's native language, it would create more peace and understanding in the world. Since its writing, the poem has been performed to music among Esperanto speakers and generally been adopted as an anthem of Esperanto. Some of the aims expressed in the song include "On a neutral language basis, understanding one another, the peoples will make in agreement one great family circle" and "our diligent set of colleagues in peaceful labor will never tire until the beautiful dream of humanity for eternal blessing is realized." The song refers to the "peaceful warriors" who gather to labor under the "sacred sign of hope."
In 1905, Zamenhof published the Fundamento de Esperanto, which defines Esperanto. It was declared the sole foundational document of Esperanto by Zamenhof in the Declaration on the Essence of Esperantism; he recommended all Esperantists to follow this declaration to maintain unity; and established the Academy of Esperanto to manage the language. (A practice similar to democratic centralism.)
Attempts to change the fundamentals of Esperanto have formed during it's life often manifesting through factionalism in the Esperanto movement.
Under pressure from Wilhelm Trompeter, Zamenhof created a Reformed Variant Esperanto of 1894; but it was heavily rejected by the Esperanto community, and Zamenhof himself came to hate attempt.
Ido formed from a hidden faction of reforming Esperantists. The Delegation for the Adoption of an International Auxiliary Language was founded by Louis Couturat to decide on the adoption of a particular IAL, after the rejection of the petition by the International Association of Academies. This delegation, in October 1907, had decided to select Esperanto. However, in practice they had chosen Ido which the committee claimed was made by an anonymous individual; but it was revealed later that the creators Ido (during the foundation of the Delegation) were the French representatives of Ido, Louis Couturat and Louis de Beaufront (then representative of the Academy of Esperanto).
The delegation undemocratically attempted to force acceptance on the AdE. They sent a notice to the AdE demanding an agreement to acceptance of Ido in one month or otherwise the delegation would act independently and promote Ido. The AdE complained that one month was not enough time to reach this decision. In January 1908, the AdE held a vote on whether the the Delegation should be met. The vote consisted of 61 voters; 34 (55%) of them had voted to not negotiate with the Delegation committee and rejected their reform proposals.
Idists named Ido "Esperanto" as they considered Ido to be Esperanto. Contrastingly, Esperantists rejected Ido; as part of Zamenhof's Declaration on the Essence of Esperantism. On January 1908, Zamenhof further defended the Esperantist's sovereignty on Esperanto.
In 1908, the AdE broke off relations with the delegation and reformists were not reelected in the 1908 election eventually left the AdE and national Esperanto associations.
Some leading Esperantists defected from the Esperanto movement and joined the Ido movement.
However the Ido committee allowed for constant changes to the language until 1913 leading to disunifying factionalism, exacerbated by bourgeois nationalism emerging in imperialist countries during the First World War.
In the 1920s some Idists (speakers of Ido) had developed their own IALs and split from the Ido movement.
Bourgeois media and historians (prominently liberal Ulrich Lins) claim that the USSR oppressed Esperanto. However, there is not much evidence to support this claim, and the minority of Esperantists that were persecuted were often persecuted for being class enemies of the Soviet Union.
Esperanto was oppressed by fascists (Nazi Germany in Europe and Imperial Japan in Asia) during the 1930s and WWII, to defend bourgeois nationalism and also due to Esperanto's association with communism, anti-imperialism, and national liberation.
Socialism and Communism
In the 1920s, the early Soviet Republic offered support for Esperanto in public schools.
Leon Trotsky claimed that Joseph Stalin had studied Esperanto while in exile, but also that he never learned a foreign language. Grover Furr had disproved the accusation that Stalin has never learnt a foreign language; but still claimed that Stalin had learned Esperanto.
— Mao Zedong, Letter, Yan'an Esperanto Association, October 1939
The 89th Universal Congress of Esperanto happened in Beijing, China in 2004. The 71st congress was held in Beijing in 1986.
One can take a virtual tour of the Esperanto Museum (Esperanto: Esperanto Muzeo; Chinese: 世界语博物馆) of Zaozhuang College, located in Zaozhuang City, Shandong Province, via 720yun.com, as well as visit their website to see news and descriptions of the museum's collections and activities.
The elementary school Baiyangshujie in Shanxi Province holds "Esperanto Week" events. Since 2008, Esperanto has become a special course at the school. Since 2013, Esperanto Week has been held every year at the school. The 7th such event in 2019, with the theme "Chinese spirit, world view" was attended by more than 1,500 people including students, teachers, and parents. Professor Li Weilun of the Beijing Language and Culture University was invited to participate in the school's event and decided to donate 40,000 yuan every year as a Weilun scholarship to support Esperanto learning and activities at the school. In addition, there were lectures given by Professor Gong Xiaofeng (Arko) from Nanchang University and Mrs. Yu Jianchao, president of the Beijing Esperanto Association. The lectures attracted around 700 parents and teachers, which helped them get to know the language better.
In 2022, Zaozhuang College hosted the Esperanto International Proficiency Test based on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (Esperanto: Komuna Eŭropa Referenckadro, KER) on November 26. Since 2013, Zaozhuang College has undertaken 5 Esperanto international proficiency exams. A total of 3 teachers in the school have passed the B1 and 3 passed the B2 proficiency exams.
See main article: Teru Hasegawa
During the 1930s, an anti-fascist, feminist Japanese Esperantist originally named Hasegawa Teru, who went by the Esperanto name Verda Majo ("Green May"), left Japan and went to China, and ended up taking part in helping the Chinese resistance against the Japanese Empire.
While in Japan, Majo had become acquainted with Esperantist circles. There was a close symbiosis at the time between a part of the Japanese Esperanto-movement and the movement for proletarian literature. In 1932 she was briefly taken into custody, being suspected of having "leftist sympathies", and was thereupon expelled from college. Thus, she returned to Tokyo, where she started to learn typewriting and fully committed herself to propagating proletarian Esperantist literature, especially amongst women.
Via these activities she came into contact with the editor of the Chinese Esperanto magazine La Mondo (The World) in Shanghai at that time, which was looking among the Japanese Esperantists for someone to write an article about the situation of Japanese women. Majo published an article in the March/April issue 1935 focusing on the Japanese Women’s Movement and the question of labour and the suppression of the women's movement by Japanese fascism.
Eventually, Majo went to China after marrying a Chinese Esperantist. While in China she worked with other Chinese Esperantists, and eventually she became a Japanese language broadcaster with the Central Radio Station, broadcasting programs aimed at dividing the Japanese army. In July 1940, the Anti-war Revolution League of Japanese in China was founded and Majo was elected as one of its leaders. Majo died of an illness on January 10, 1947 at the age of 35. Zhou Enlai once said of Majo that she was "a sincere comrade-in-arms of the Chinese people."
Ho Chi Minh learned Esperanto between 1914 and 1917 and supported Esperanto during the Vietnamese Liberation War. He suggested to the director of Voice of Vietnam to utilize Esperanto in the Declaration of Independence. He allowed the translation of his written diary Tagkajero en Prizono.
Voice of Vietnam supported Esperanto from september 1945 until december 1946, when French colonialists invaded Vietnam.
The first Cuban Esperanto Society was founded in 1908, in Santiago de Cuba. In 1910 the Cuban Society for the propagation of Esperanto was founded in Havana. Other attempts arose throughout the twentieth century, and in the 1970s conditions were created both at an institutional level, under the backing of the Cuban state, and at an organizational level, with a nucleus of organized Esperantists, to found the current Cuban Esperanto Association (KEA) on June 16, 1979. It was linked to the Cuban Academy of Sciences, which later passed to the Ministry of Culture as a relations body. Since 1983, the Cuban Esperanto Association has affiliated with the Universal Esperanto Association (UEA), having representation on the International Committee of UEA based in Rotterdam, Netherlands.
The coordinated work of KEA and state bodies enabled the publication of some titles such as La Historia Absolvos Min (English: History Will Absolve Me) of Fidel Castro; Kuba Ŝtata Organizo (English: The State Organization in Cuba) by Domingo García Cárdenas, and several of the stories from La Edad de Oro by José Martí. The Cuban Esperanto Association participates in Cuba's yearly international book fair to show Esperanto works, with the aim of informing about the language and attracting interested parties.
The broadcast of Radio Havana Cuba (Esperanto: Radio Havano Kubo, RHK), which is meant to spread information about the Cuban revolution to an international audience, is available in Esperanto, officially beginning as a weekly broadcast on September 11, 1988. RHK noted in a 2022 article that "RHK is the only broadcast station that continues to be heard on short waves in Esperanto", and that for Cuba, short wave still essential to reach important and remote regions. Describing the early days of RHK's Esperanto broadcast, the article states: "In August of 1988 it was decided to make an experimental 20-minute broadcast [...] the first broadcasts were 20 minutes long, but the avalanche of letters from all over the world convinced the radio station staff that it would be worth broadcasting a thirty minute program, always once a week, on Sundays. In this way, officially the first broadcast in Esperanto took place on September 11, 1988." Today RHK includes audio broadcasts available online as well as written articles on their website. It also has an Esperanto language YouTube channel.
Fidel Castro supported Esperantists in the 1990 UEA Congress to Havana, Cuba. This 75th World Congress of Esperanto (Esperanto: Universala Kongreso de Esperanto) which was attended both by President Fidel Castro as well as then Vice President Carlos Rafael Rodríguez, was also attended by over 1,500 Esperantists from some 60 countries.
The 95th Universal Esperanto Congress was held in Havana, Cuba in 2010.
In 2016, a 30-minute documentary called "Across the Florida Straits" (Esperanto: Trans La Florida Markolo) was produced. It follows the first legal visit of U.S. Esperantists to Cuba after 54 years of prohibition, where they meet up at a congress of the Cuban Esperanto Association and share their experiences.
The Korean Artist Proletarian Federation (Esperanto: Korea Artisto Proleta Federacio, abbreviated KAPF) was a socialist literary organization that formed in 1925, and put forth "armed class consciousness" as its program, and had branches in Tokyo, Pyongyang, Suwon, and Kaesong. Artists from KAPF created literary works containing patriotism and optimism for the future in Korean society, and developed folk dances and folk songs containing national forms. Lim Hwa and Kim Nam-cheon of KAPF insisted on "Bolshevikization of the art movement" and reorganized KAPF for the purpose of "eradicating petty-bourgeois bias", a direction taken by KAPF in 1930. KAPF members began facing arrest by Japanese imperialist authorities for their activities in 1931. In the face of this, some of them continued their activities underground for the following years, while others split ideologically from KAPF. The General Federation of North Korean Literature and Arts (Korean: 북조선문학예술총동맹), which was formed in October 1946, was led by people from KAPF. Ahn Mak-i, one of the leading theorists of KAPF, served as the vice-chairman of the North Korean Federation of Literature and Arts. Han Seol-ya, also involved with KAPF, served as the Minister of Education and Culture in the Cabinet and vice-chairman of the Standing Committee of the Supreme People's Assembly.
In 1959, a north Korean Esperanto Association was formed. Its president was Song Bong Uk, who was the finance minister at that time. According to an article by Wu Guojiang in Esperanto magazine, more than 650 people participated in the first two Esperanto courses.
In 1964, a 350-page Korean-Esperanto dictionary was released in Pyongyang. According to the preface of the dictionary, the "Esperanto movement is progressing under the wise guidance of the Labor Party and the government". The dictionary, whose author was Kim Hyungro, contained a section with Esperanto names for the various institutions of the government, political parties and social organizations of DPRK.
In 1989, a delegation from The World Esperanto Youth Organization (Esperanto: Tutmonda Esperantista Junulara Organizo, TEJO) took part in the World Youth Festival in Pyongyang. However, they did not manage to get information about Esperanto in DPRK at that time.
In the early to mid 2000s, the Korean Friendship Association (KFA) website was available in Esperanto, and on their contact page included a specific email address for Esperanto communication with KFA.
In 2017, a group of Esperantists, the Esperanto Committee of the France-Korea Friendship Association (Esperanto: Esperanto-Komitato de Asocio pri Franckorea Amikeco) visited DPRK. According to the group's report published in Esperanto magazine, "We twice met the famous linguist Jong Sun-gi, who doesn't speak Esperanto himself but remembers well the Esperantists of that time. Mainly due to the disappearance of leaders and lack of contacts abroad, the movement died out, but it does not seem persecuted: for example, a volunteer who would come for a few months to teach Esperanto would very likely be well received." They also stated "as for our proposal to reintroduce Esperanto, it aroused real interest" and the report mentions that they taught a brief impromptu lesson to some 15 year old students, and that their guide began learning the language and wanted to continue. They conclude their report saying that on their return toward Beijing, they stopped near the border, in the Chinese city Dandong, where they met up with a group of several other Esperantists.
Since 2018, a group of Esperanto speakers from China has made visits to DPRK, referred to as Esperanto-karavanoj ("Esperanto caravans"). Their first visit occurred from June 4 to June 7, 2018, with 18 members in the caravan. The second occurred soon after, from June 29 to July 2 of 2018. The third such caravan visited from August 20-24 of 2019, consisting of 13 Esperantists from China. In an article about their 2019 visit, they write that Esperantists Wang Yanjing and Zhangwei taught Esperanto to three tour guides during the trip, and that after one or two lessons, the tour guides were able to converse in Esperanto with the Chinese Esperantists using easy phrases.
The daily broadcasts of Pola Radio in Esperanto began in 1959 and ended in July 2021, during the time of the Polish People's Republic (PPR), broadcasted from Warsaw. In it, one heard not only about the Esperanto movement, but also about general topics, such as politics, economy, science, culture, and Polish and Esperanto literature. Libera Folio notes that in the pre-internet era, the broadcasts of Pola Radio were one of the few ways to immediately find out about important developments in the Esperanto movement, and one of the few opportunities for isolated Esperantists to hear the language, and notes that "almost all the important figures of the Esperanto movement in fifty years have been interviewed at least once by Pola Radio".
In an interview, long-time broadcaster Barbara Pietrzak, who worked in the Esperanto department of Pola Radio from 1968-2011, was asked whether the Esperanto editorial office saw any censorship during the era of the PPR. She replied that the Esperanto office, like the other foreign language offices, reported the normal program of the central editorial office, which inevitably included political interviews and commentary of the era, and explains that the Esperanto office otherwise had the freedom to choose from program items, such as discussions, reports on social issues, cultural events, and authored many programs themselves. She states, "I myself do not remember a disgruntled reaction to any specific broadcast. In spite of claims that have appeared here and there, that the work of the editorial office was subject to censorship, this does not correspond to the truth." She notes that although their work was reviewed and edited before broadcast, it was just for items such as erroneous geographical names and personal names.
The estimated amount of Esperanto speakers varies on the Estimation method used. Estimates are complicated by how to define someone as an "Esperanto speaker" and how to estimate their numbers without official census data available in most locations.
Calculations based on a model created by Svend Vendelbo Nielsen in 2016 suggest that the number of Esperanto speakers in the world (considered by Neilsen's model as those who would indicate that they speak Esperanto on a census if the option were available) may be, at minimum, a little over 30,000, while the maximum may be a little over 180,000.
According to Christopher Gledhill (writing in the year 2000), 40,000 speakers is "a very conservative estimate" which is "based on the average collective memberships of national organizations affliated to the main Esperantist body Universala Esperanto Asocio (this figure is an average taken from 1986 to 1996: UEA, Veuthey 1996)." Gledhill asserts this is a "safe" estimate because UEA membership "is thought to be composed of fluent speakers." However, he notes that the figures do not take into account local activists who are not members of the national associations, and cannot account for the many thousands of speakers who were known to be exposed to Esperanto through the education systems of China and Eastern Europe." Additionally, on the topic of the assertion of there being "too few" Esperanto speakers (a criticism sometimes given in response to the concept of Esperanto being used as an IAL), Christopher Gledhill notes: "Critics who claim that there are 'too few' speakers should bear in mind that speakers of Esperanto certainly outnumber those of rival projects, and for that matter, many endangered and minority regional languages."
Amri Wandel has put forth an estimate of approximately 2 million speakers of Esperanto, in a 2014 paper, basing the estimate on online community memberships, particularly on Facebook. The author addresses the potential inaccuracies of the self-reporting of language in Facebook by comparing the Esperanto statistics with other languages, including natural languages as well as another constructed language:
The most serious criticism of such an estimate is, as mentioned above, that supposedly not all people who indicate that they speak Esperanto are really Esperanto speakers – though they probably do have some knowledge of Esperanto. One way to assess the credibility of the number of Facebook users who claim to speak Esperanto is to test similar data for other languages; in other words, to attempt this method in order to find out how many people speak other languages than Esperanto, which do have established statistics. If the results obtained for those languages make sense, then the result for Esperanto is probably valid as well. For example, for French the Facebook number is 42 million out of an estimated number of 190 million speakers worldwide, while for German it is 23 million out of some 200 million. As a representative of small languages we may consider Hebrew; here the Facebook number is 1,3 million, about 15 % of the number of estimated speakers in the world (9 million). From these data it seems that the number of speakers of any language on Facebook is about 10-20 % of the actual worldwide number of speakers. Hence 300 000 Esperanto speakers in Facebook out of 2-3 million Esperanto speakers worldwide is consistent with the percentage appropriate for other languages. However, taking a very different case – the fictitious Klingon language (a constructed language spoken by the fictional Klingons in the Star Trek universe) gives a number of 250 000 Facebook users who claim they speak it. This figure could probably be associated with the numbers of Star-Trek fans rather than with speakers of the Klingon language.
An estimation of Esperanto native speakers (Esperanto: denaskuloj) was made in 2019 by comparing various proposed estimates of the amount of native speakers. The author of the comparison wrote in a blog post that, "according to this information, we can be sure that there are currently several hundred children in the whole world who grew up in a family that uses/used Esperanto as one of the home languages, and probably no more than 2,000. They are between <1% and 4.5% of the Esperanto-speaking population." The author explains that for this project, they "aimed to count all the posts, scientific articles, books and web pages" that addressed the question of how many native speakers of Esperanto there are (via searching online in French, English and Esperanto), and "tried as often as possible to read the primary sources but that was not an easy task, because many articles are not accessible online." Included in the blog post is a table of the sources and numbers they found.
In terms of the anecdotal, self-perceived range of Esperanto speakers among the community itself, an informal estimate was presented in 1996 by Professor Jouko Lindstedt, which, although deemed as "very imprecise" by Lindstedt, was "found to be realistic by many" according to a 2017 Libera Folio article. Lindstedt's 1996 anecdotal suggestion was the following: 1,000 have Esperanto as their native language, 10,000 speak Esperanto as though they were native, 100,000 are able to use it for "effective communication", and 1,000,000 know the basics.
Since its inception, the language of Esperanto itself as well as the related Esperanto movement have undergone various criticisms. The primary criticisms of Esperanto are the primarily European origin of its vocabulary, supposed patriarchal gender conventions in certain word roots, and idealism and dogmatism in the Esperanto movement. Much of the criticism of Esperanto is in light of Esperanto's original intended function as an international auxiliary language. A significant portion of Esperanto speakers today do not consider themselves ideologically devoted to this original goal nor consider themselves part of the original movement for its popularization, and may also be critics of the original movement. Meanwhile, certain other criticisms of Esperanto, its history, and its community of speakers are made both from inside and outside of the community, regardless of Esperanto's intended use as an IAL.
This criticism is based on the notion that an international language must have diverse etimology. Critics claim that a majority of word roots in Esperanto are derived from European languages. As Esperanto was originally intended for worldwide international communication on a neutral and fair basis, this is seen to be contrary to the original aims of Esperanto. The European majority in the vocabulary supposedly creates more difficulty for native speakers of non-European languages to learn Esperanto than those who already speak European languages which share more roots with Esperanto.[ ]
Counterarguments are that Esperanto has many Asian and African characteristics of Asian and African languages than of European characteristics; and that some words have alternatives formed with junctions. For example:
- For the complex word manĝ'baston' (chopstick), the radical haŝi' is used by Asian Esperantists and allowed in common Esperanto dictionaries. ha' originate from Japanese (Kanji: 箸, Romanized: Hashi).
- For the radical astronomi' (astronomy), the complex word stel'scienc' (star + science) is used by Chinese Esperantists.
Linguist Christopher Gledhill notes that Esperanto is usually considered to be an agglutinating language (such as Hungarian, Turkish or Japanese) with a largely Romance vocabulary. However, different classifications of Esperanto have been advanced, largely because Esperanto's morphological system does not behave in the same way as typical agglutinating and Latin-based languages. The argument that Esperanto is like Kiswahili or Turkish is based on the fact that Esperanto's morphemes are used consistently for the same grammatical features, a difference that distinguishes Esperanto from the Romance language family. In addition, Gledhill states that the obligatory signaling of grammatical word class for lexical items (nominal, adjectival, verbal) in Esperanto is more akin to some Amerindian and African languages where classifiers and other particles are used for this function. Gledhill states it "might even be argued that the 'morpheme effect' may be a morphological feature that Esperanto shares with a incorporating languages (including Polynesian or Amerindian languages)." Ghledhill also notes that Claude Piron's analysis considers several non-agglutinating aspects of the language, including the freedom of word derivation and monomorphism that are reminiscent of isolating languages such as Chinese or Vietnamese.
Haitao Liu of the Communication University of China states that "lexically, Esperanto can be considered mainly a Romance language. Morphologically, it is an agglutinating language with a strong similarity to isolating languages. At the levels of syntax and style, it exhibits a significant degree of Slavic influence. Functionally, it has served as an interlanguage for more than a century."
A related criticism is that many of the phonemes and consonant clusters of Esperanto are difficult for speakers of some languages to pronounce. Since early on in the creation of the language, Esperantists have tended to encourage speakers to maintain their native accent, altering it only to the extent needed to be generally understood and upholding a fairly wide range of acceptable variations in pronunciation. However, this does not completely eliminate pronunciation difficulties for some speakers. Though this issue is to be expected and is present in all languages.
Analysis of lexicon
An analysis based on the 1000 most frequent words from a corpus size of one and a half million words (1,563,500 running words with 156 texts used) calculated that 70% of the 1000 most common words were Latinate in origin, 12% were unique to Esperanto, 10% were Germanic in origin, 5% were deemed Indo-European in origin, <2% were Greek in origin and <1% were Slavic in origin.
The analysis was published in "The Grammar of Esperanto. A Corpus-Based Description" by Christopher Gledhill, in the year 2000. Overall, words of Latinate origin were found to be dominant in the analysis. However, the author of the analysis points out that despite originating from one or another language, the majority of words were modified and accommodated into a more neutral form that does not always closely resemble the source language, and that the basic morphological rules of Esperanto inevitably lead to word forms that are unique to Esperanto. Some of these include compound words which, although they may be ultimately derived from European languages, represent combinations unique to Esperanto. The author further explains that compound words in the study were more frequent than Germanic words in the most frequent 1000 words, and they begin to "catch up" with Latinate words if the most frequent 10,000 words were to be considered. Outside of a group of 25 frequent compounds which appeared in the most frequent 1000 of the corpus, these forms are usually hapax legomena (one-off constructs) and rarely find their way into standard dictionaries.
Gledhill points out that an earlier analysis from 1994 conducted by Pierre Janton, which was an analysis of dictionary head-words in Esperanto, calculated their origin to be 80% Romance (Latin/French), 10% Anglo-German, 5% Greek, and 5% Slavic. Gledhill states that in the corpus analysis, speakers of Esperanto used a somewhat smaller distribution of Latinate words than suggested by Janton, and the situation is complicated by a larger number of Germanic forms and by very frequent use of words derived from Esperanto's own morphological system, which, as described above, lead to word forms unique to Esperanto due to Esperanto's morphological rules.
Neutrality in IAL design principles
In the paper "Neutrality of International Languages" by Haitao Liu of the Communication University of China, published in the Journal of Universal Language, the concept of "neutrality" in the creation and use of planned languages (including Esperanto) is discussed in depth. Liu notes that "neutrality" may be defined in different ways, with some definitions centering on lexical neutrality in regard to the origin of words, while other definitions may center more on the political neutrality of a language. In addition the paper discusses the challenges surrounding the selection of design principles of languages intended for neutral international communication, explaining that while planned languages that do not derive vocabulary from national languages tend to be evaluated as more "neutral" lexically, they tend to require more effort to learn; while languages which do derive vocabulary from national languages tend to be evaluated as less "neutral" lexically, they may be learned with less effort by a wider amount of people. This issue of balancing "facility maximization" with concerns of lexical neutrality are a high concern for planned international language projects.
In Liu's analysis, a neutral language for international communication can only be a planned language. Liu distinguishes between "communicative neutrality" and "linguistic neutrality" in the paper, writing: "All planned languages are communicatively neutral, but their linguistic neutrality varies, reflecting the diversity of language design principles. Communicative neutrality involves all users having to learn the language in order to be able to use it as a means of communication; linguistic neutrality has to do with maximizing equality of access for the learners with different mother tongues." Liu concludes:
Evidently, it is not an easy task to construct a language linguistically equidistant from all the languages of the world. In practice, absolute linguistic neutrality is neither practicable nor a fair representation of our task, because our goal is to create a language for humankind, which involves taking language universals on board. In this perspective, constructing a language based on some control languages coupled with systematic attention to linguistic universals is perhaps a rational procedure, if the control languages are selected from the set of languages that are in international use.
Liu states that "the history of planned languages shows that the task of interlinguists is to find a balancing point between a-priori and a-posteriori" in lexicon, and later writes: "the selection of lexical material is only one aspect of making a language easy to learn; a language designer also needs to consider the other components of a language. Linguistic neutrality cannot involve only lexical neutrality, but must also include other aspects of linguistic structure." Liu goes on to discuss whether assuring the "absolute neutrality" of a planned international language (such as a lexicon chosen by the statistical proportions of source language's worldwide prevalence) is a worthwhile pursuit at all in terms of its practicality for international language projects. Liu quotes philologist Detlev Blanke as writing, "A kind of absolute internationality would be reached, if in the vocabulary of a planned language all language of the world (proportional to its number of speakers) were represented. Such internationality would not be useful to anybody. The vocabulary would be extraordinarily heterogeneous and would be helpful for nobody." Following this quote, Liu writes: "Given that we cannot construct a viable language representing all linguistic properties drawn from the whole world on a meaningful basis, it is a rational decision to select some languages as one’s control languages." Speaking further on the subject of linguistic neutrality, Liu evaluates Esperanto by various qualities such as lexicon, morphology, and syntax, presenting it as an example of a language that is a "mixed" language "with distinct internationality profiles on different planes of linguistic structure" which Liu presents as the apparent rational result of the varying considerations of planned international language design, noting that "linguistic neutrality is not an absolute concept":
In summary, it is clear that linguistic neutrality is not an absolute concept. A language built on the basis of some purely formal absolute neutrality principle would not work as a language for humankind, because it would also have to fall in line with the known universals in human languages. It would appear to be rational to create or evaluate a planned language based on (a) some control languages selected on the basis of the international standing of the relevant languages and (b) linguistic universals. Such a procedure leads to a system that is a mixed language, with distinct internationality profiles on different planes of linguistic structure. For instance, lexically, Esperanto can be considered mainly a Romance language. Morphologically, it is an agglutinating language with a strong similarity to isolating languages. At the levels of syntax and style, it exhibits a significant degree of Slavic influence. Functionally, it has served as an interlanguage for more than a century (Janton 1973, 1993; Piron 1981; Wells 1989). Nuessel gives Esperanto the following properties: “a planned, a posteriori language, an amalgamation of the linguistic elements of the various ethnic languages including Yiddish, Germanic, and Slavic tongues that were a part of Zamenhof’s socially rancorous environment. The language also contained grammatical features of certain Romance languages with which Zamenhof was familiar” (Nuessel 2000: 41).
Liu also touches on the topic of "deneutralization" of languages, summarized as the process in which (for example) a lingua franca develops into the native language of some, with the consequence that once again neutrality would be lost and the whole process of designing a neutral language may be deemed to be in need of being relaunched. Liu states that the process of planned language development can be compared with the creolization of pidgins, in that when a pidgin has enough native speakers, it is creolizated, and may also be termed as "deneutralized". Liu states that the emergence of native speakers is an important milestone in the evolution of a planned language. While Esperanto has reached the milestone of having native speakers, in Liu's analysis, it has not yet reached a state of creolization or deneutralization.
Overall, Liu's paper focuses on the "neutrality" of international languages, exploring the concept of "neutrality" itself by varying definitions, exploring the practical concerns of IAL design, as well as using Esperanto (among other languages) as example cases for certain analyses in the paper, stating "Given that absolute linguistic neutrality unattainable, it becomes reasonable to construct a language based on certain control languages plus linguistic universals" and analyzing Esperanto as an example of a language which appears to be the result of such a construction process, and further demonstrates that although Esperanto now also has native speakers, this does not yet seem to have significantly impacted it in the fashion of creolization or what Liu terms "deneutralization".
This criticism is based mainly on the assertion by some Esperantists that certain words in Esperanto are masculine by default, and only inflected into an explicitly feminine or gender neutral form by the use of affixes. The majority of such words are among the family terms of Esperanto, such as root words like "father" (patr') and "brother" (frat') serving as root forms, while additions are needed to transform them into meaning the "mother" and "sister." They interpret this assertion as patriarchal. (However, there are also root words considered to be female-default such as: dam', matron', primadon', furi', amazon', gorgon', nimf', sukub', meger', alme', putin', meretric', hetajr', gejŝ', etc. which often do not receive the same complaint.)
- The traditional solution is to used alternative terms formed in Esperanto: patr' → gener'int'o or nask'int'o, fil' → id' or naskit', reĝ' → monarĥ' etc.
However, this issue has been controversial to some Esperanto speakers, who voice a range of opinions on the subject: junctioning the gendered roots to the male default radicals (or root words) and using the familial radicals genderlessly; including the proposal of official reforms to the language, the de facto colloquial adoption of more gender-neutral language changes; and the insistence on keeping the language as-is.
- A solution is to junction a word with the male and female radicals (Esperanto: vir' and in' respectively) to specify the gender and to genderlessly use the root word. (Example: Vir'patr' / Patr'vir' (father); patr'in' / in'patr' (mother); patr' (parent)) This approach is common with animals and stays within the grammar and rules of Esperanto. It was adopted by Zamenhof when specifying sex for Animals.
- Additionally, an unofficial affix (Esperanto: -iĉ-), modeled on the feminine root word (Esperanto: in'), has come into somewhat common use among certain speakers which is used to make a word explicitly masculine, with the implication that the root word itself is neutral; though in practice it is seen as redundant by some Esperantists as the root word vir can be junctioned to accomplish the same task as -iĉ-.
Don Harlow said that Zamenhof had never intentioned in' to be lesser; and that this criticism of linguistic sexism mostly originates from English speakers:
-in- is used to create the female version of a word whose root is taken to represent a male being, or one of unspecified sex. This has led in recent decades to charges of linguistic sexism from some quarters; why should the root word be male and the less basic version female? In fact, Zamenhof simply invented (or borrowed) the -in- suffix as a means of cutting the number of words to be memorized in half, and obviously intended no offense to the female half of the human race; after all, it was a woman who paid for publication of the first Esperanto textbook, and one of Zamenhof's own major translations into Esperanto was Orzeszko's novel Marta, an early Central European contribution to the genre of feminist literature. Furthermore, the suffix is generally used only in situations where a knowledge of the sex of the person involved is considered important -- not, for instance, in occupations. In other situations, the basic root is often considered neuter, not male; hence the more recent evolution of vir- as a prefix to show a masculized creature… Finally, I should add that such criticisms have popped up only in the last few years, and geographically have been confined to non-Esperantists belonging to a relatively small group of cultures, most notably that of the United States.
— Don Harlow, "The Esperanto Book: 5".
A related criticism is about the gendered pronouns of Esperanto. Esperanto includes three singular pronouns:
- li ("he")
- ŝi ("she")
- ĝi (pronoun for beings and objects)
ĝi in Esperanto officially carries no specific dehumanizing stigma and may be used for humans. However, some Esperanto speakers feel reluctant to use it as a gender neutral pronoun for human beings; because they hold a taboo of describing humans (sometimes including babies) with a pronoun for objects, as to them it implies dehumanization. These speakers often import this taboo from their native lingual cultures that have separate pronouns for genders and/or genderless human pronouns. However, not all languages have these distinctions; for example, Mongolian doesn't specify gender in third person pronouns; it uses тэр (English: that) for he/she/it.
In Zamenhof's Lingvaj Respondoj, he responded to this kind of criticism:
[You wrote that, when talking about a child, you use "he" instead of "it", because you do not approve of "the English custom of putting children on the same level as animals and objects". There is nothing against the use of "he" in such cases; but the reason why we (and also the English language) use "it" in such cases is not what you think. Neither the English language nor Esperanto had any intention of lowering the dignity of children (both languages are indeed so polite that they say "you" not only to children, but even to animals and objects). The cause is a completely natural consequence of the construction of the two aforementioned languages. In every language every word has a (not at all logically) defined gender, and therefore, when using a pronoun for it, we take the one that corresponds to the grammatical gender of the word (that's why the French say "il" about a child, the German says " es”); but in English and Esperanto the words have only natural gender, and therefore, when talking about children, animals and objects whose natural gender we do not know, we willy-nilly (without any offensive intention) use a pronoun intermediate between "he ” and “she” – the word “it”. In the same way we also talk about "person". Moreover, when talking about a child that we know is not a girl (or at least do not know that it is a girl), we can use the word "he".]
— Zamenhof, La Esperantisto, 1893, p. 16.
Later in August 1907, Zamenhof said that when speaking of humans without showing their sex, it would be regular and grammatically correct to use the pronoun ĝi, which is done for example when speaking of children. However, Zamenhof adds, "because the word 'it' [ĝi] (used especially for 'animals' or 'inanimate things') contains something lowering (and also uncustomary) and for the idea of 'human' [homo] it would be a bit disagreeable, therefore I would advise you to do as it is done in the other languages, and to use the pronoun 'he' [li] for 'human'." He clarifies that he makes this recommendation because "every time we talk non-specifically about the feminine gender, we can use the masculine form for both genders [...] by that very fact we also agreed that the pronoun 'he' we can use for a person in every case, when his gender is indifferent to us." This advise by Zamenhof contributed to the common use of the word li ("he") for making gender-neutral third person statements becoming a frequent choice among Esperanto speakers. Markos Kramer of the Academy of Esperanto notes that "such use of 'he' is Fundamental, Zamenhofian and until the 1960s was practiced without hesitation by almost all Esperantists."
Some people use tiu ("that") when referring to individuals in the third person,
An alternative unofficial pronoun for persons with no recognized gender in Esperanto is ri; considered to be controversial as it is not in the fundamento. It is understood by a minority of Esperanto speakers.
Among riists, there are factional disputes over it's meaning:
- Some use it to substitute for gendered pronouns li and ŝi.
- Some use it for a person which does not have a known gender.
Bertilo Wennergren, member of the Academy of Esperanto, writes in In the 2022 edition of Plena Manlibro de Esperanta Gramatiko (PMEG, English: Complete Manual of Esperanto Grammar) about pronoun use among Esperanto speakers, commenting on traditional pronoun usage, perceptions of sexism, proposals of neo-pronouns, and perceptions of the acceptability of using "it" for humans, demonstrating a variety of opinions and practices among Esperanto speakers over time. He states that "When talking about a person whose gender is not known, or when talking in general about a person of any gender, one traditionally uses li." Following this, Wennergren states: "This kind of use of 'he' can be seen as gender discrimination," and explains that it can also cause some ambiguities and be inconvenient in some cases; therefore, he states, "that is why various proposals of a new gender-neutral pronoun for a person appeared. The only such proposal that is actually used is ri°. This new word, however, is not part of the official and normal Esperanto, and not all Esperantists know it. Others use ĝi in this sense, so also for a person." Commenting on this use of ĝi, he states that "since the 2010s, some have tried systematically to use ĝi and ĝia as gender-neutral pronouns for a person, not just for a small child. This can be called 'ĝiism.'" Wennergren states that although this usage is supported in Zamenhof's Lingvaj Respondoj, "The practical use, however, did not follow those answers at all, but reserved its use to animals and things [...] and to (small) children". He notes that to some, this usage "can come across as objectifying and offensive" and again mentions the unofficial ri in light of this, particularly in the case of nonbinary people. He notes that ri and ria are unofficial words, and not all Esperantists know them, adding that "'riismo' is, however, already quite widespread, especially among young people, and many who themselves never use ri or ria, nevertheless understand the new words." He notes that on the other hand, some strongly oppose the new pronouns, being of the opinion that such use is an unacceptable reform of the language.
In 2019, Markos Kramer, a member of the Academy of Esperanto, conducted a survey about the use of gender-neutral pronouns in Esperanto, in light of the "remarkable growth" seen in the last 10 years in the use of gender neutral terms, especially of the neo-pronoun ri as well as the use of the traditional pronoun ĝi, which Kramer notes was less common for Esperanto speakers to use for humans over ten years ago. Describing the survey, Kramer wrote that he conducted an empirical study in which 287 Esperanto speakers of all age groups, from teenagers to over 80-year-olds, participated, contacted through many different online forums to ensure as balanced as possible a sample of Esperantists who can be contacted online. The participants answered various questions about their own oral language use and about the oral language use they heard from other Esperantists. Kramer noted there were limitations to the study because of the general difficulty of gaining a representative sample of the Esperanto community without knowing what the overall composition of that community is. Kramer therefore limited the study to the goal of creating "as representative a sample as possible of Esperantists who can be contacted online." The groups contacted are listed in his report of the study.
According to Kramer's report:
In the use of ri the difference between young people and the elderly is statistically very significant (p<0,00001), and the difference between the middle-aged and the elderly is also very significant (p=0,0019), while the difference between young people and middle-aged people is not statistically significant (p=0,124). When using li and li aŭ ŝi, the difference between young and old was statistically significant without being very significant (p=0,029 and p=0,018 respectively), while the other comparisons between age groups do not give statistically significant results when using of li and of li aŭ ŝi. In the use of tiu and of ĝi, no difference between age classes is statistically significant.
According to the results, Kramer states that "ri is already very widely understood, namely by 81% of the participants" and that it was the most common manner used for speaking about nonbinary people, with 38% of participants using ri for nonbinary people and 10% using ĝi. The understanding of ri was higher among participants under the age of 50 than among the older participants. For example, among the youngest age group in the study, familiarity with ri was at 90%, while among the eldest, it was at 70% familiarity. A Libera Folio article commenting on the study notes that Kramer found that the word ri is "known to most Esperantists, but much more popular among young people than among the elderly", with older participants preferring the use of li.
Other than referring to nonbinary people, Kramer found that for non-specific speech about people, many different pronoun uses are currently in use, among others the traditional use of li, the use of tiu instead of a personal pronoun, the use of the dual form li aŭ ŝi (English: "he or she"), the use of ri and the use of ĝi. Kramer noted that the quantitative differences between these different pronoun uses for non-specific speech about people are not very large. Kramer remarks that until the 1960s, li had been the typical choice for speaking about a non-specific third person, while in this study, only 15% of participants reported exclusive use of li for this purpose. However, 36% reported using li in addition to another option. Tiu was the most commonly chosen option for this purpose and did not have a remarkable age difference in its usage. The use of ĝi also did not have a large age difference, but was chosen less than tiu.
Another solution is the use of the unofficial word "ŝli" which is similar conceptually to using "s/he" in English as it combines the masculine and feminine pronouns.
The criticism of dogmatism that is sometimes made of the Esperanto movement and/or community stems largely from an early guiding principle in the Esperanto movement, commonly referred to in Esperanto as fundamentismo (English: fundamentalism) which continues to influence discourse among Esperantists today. The term can carry some connotation of strictness, for example the dictionary Plena Ilustrita Vortaro de Esperanto lists one of its definitions of fundamentisto as "an Esperantist who strictly obeys and defends the Foundation."
This trend comes from a 1905 book called Fundamento de Esperanto, in which L. L. Zamenhof states in the preface that, for the unity of Esperanto, "the foundation of our language must remain forever intact" and only be expanded, never altered, by an institutional central authority of the Esperanto language, and that any expansions outside of the foundation must be regarded only as recommendations rather than as obligatory.
Zamenhof explains in the preface of the Fundamento the reasoning behind these stipulations is for unity within the movement and so that Esperanto speakers can always use the Fundamento as a reference and that it must remain the same even including its faults, clarifying that it is not to prevent the language's development:
I said that the foundation of our language must be absolutely inviolable, if it even seemed to us that this or that point was undoubtedly wrong. This could give birth to the thought that our language will always remain rigid and will never develop... Oh, no! Despite the severe inviolability of the foundation, our language will have the full potential not only to constantly enrich itself, but even to constantly improve and perfect itself; the inviolability of the foundation will only guarantee us permanently that this perfection will be done not by arbitrary, infighting and destructive breaking and changing, not by canceling or making our literature useless until now, but by a natural, unconfused and harmless path. [...] If any authoritative central institution finds that this or that word or rule in our language is too inconvenient, it will not have to remove or change the said form, but it will be able to propose a new form, which it will recommend to be used in parallel with the old form. Over time, the new form will gradually push out the old form, which will become archaism, as we see this in every natural language.
These documents formed a guiding principle in the early development of the Esperanto language and the Esperanto movement, and various strains of this principle still remain among the Esperanto speaking community today, with varying degrees of strictness or looseness of their interpretation and application of it. There are also many Esperanto speakers who do not particularly adhere to this guiding principle. Arguments in favor of this principle typically center around preserving the regularity and intelligibility of the language over time, and ensuring that new learners receive relatively consistent and uniform information about the foundation of the language, so as to be able to quickly integrate and understand the language without facing regionalisms or irregularities. As this guiding principle has been present with the Esperanto movement since its early development and held influence over the language's evolution, reform proposals to the language are typically discussed in this framework, with people arguing for varying degrees of strict or lose fundamentalism, versus full-on reformism. These discussions are also complicated by various usage trends and natural shifts which have occurred in Esperanto's community of speakers outside of what is considered to be official recommendations.
- Concise History of the Chinese Esperanto Movement (Esperanto: Konciza Historio de la Ĉina Esperanto-movado). New Star.
- L. L. Zamenhof (1905). Fundamento de Esperanto. Hachette.
- Gotelind Müller (2013). "Hasegawa Teru Alias Verda Majo (1912-1947): A Japanese woman esperantist in the Chinese anti-Japanese war of resistance" (PDF). University of Heidelberg.
- “100세 한국에스페란토 협회, 온라인으로 큰 행사 펼쳐.” Sisa-News.com, 2020.10.06. Archived 2022-07-23.
- “Verda Majo – a Sincere Friend Dedicated to China.” 2023. China.org.cn. Archived 2021-10-07.
- “绿川英子 - 快懂百科.” Baike.com.
- “绿川英子_百度百科.” 百度百科. Archive.
- “2) La sola ŝanĝo, kiun mi trovas necesa fari mem, estas: anstataŭ "ian," "ĉian," "kian," "nenian," "tian"—devas esti: "iam," "ĉiam," "kiam," "neniam," "tiam" (por malegaligi la vortojn "ian" etc. kaj "ia,n" etc).”
L. L. Zamenhof (1888). Addition to the Dua Libro (Esperanto: Aldono al la Dua Libro).
- Gledhill, Christopher. 1998b, 2000c. "The Grammar of Esperanto. A Corpus-based description." (PDF). (Languages of the World / Materials 190). München : Lincom Europa. 150pp. ISBN 3-8958- 6961-9. Archived 2023-04-04.
- “National Anthems & Patriotic Songs - La Espero Lyrics + English Translation.” Lyricstranslate.com.
- “Afriko. Algerio. S-ro M. Baissac enpre- sis la artikolojn pri ĝeneva kongreso en ga- zetoj: „La Republicain“ kaj „L“Independant-. La ĵurnalo „Alĝeria Stelo“ unuiĝis kun fran- ca ĵurnalo „Esperanto“. Madagaskaro. Kapi- tano Fortin en Ankadifotsy ageme propagan- das „Esperanto“ en tiu ĉi insulo. La loka gazeto „Le Courrier de Tananarive“ ekintere- siĝinta pri Esperanto enhavas kronikon kaj artikolojn pri disvastigado de Esperanto. En unu el la lastaj numeroj estis enpresita al-”
Ruslanda Esperantisto (1906).
- “Fundamento de Esperanto: Antaŭparolo.” Akademio-De-Esperanto.org. Archived 2022-11-09.
- Emile BOIRAC. Raporto de la Prezidanto de la Lingva Komitato al la Universala Kongreso de Esperanto Archived from the original on 2011-11-26.
- “"Nothing has yet been decided about the name of the adopted language. If the Esperantists will accept it, it will be named "Esperanto without supersigns" or simply "Esperanto"; and the Committee will be hapy to recognize in this way that you are its first and main author and do justice to your beautiful work, which it admires. In the opposite case, it will be forced to give the language another name, "Auxiliaro" for example, and leave to non-partisan history the job of defining your part in its creation. But everything leads us to hope that agreement will be reached between the two organizations, on the basis defined jointly by the conclusions of our report and by the Ido project (which is neither by M. Leau nor by me)." (9)”
Emile BOIRAC (1908). Raporto de la Prezidanto de la Lingva Komitato al la Universala Kongreso de Esperanto.
- “Meanwhile, the Language Committee had been considering the proposals of the Delegation Committee, and January 1908 the votes were counted. On the matter of negotiation with the Delegation Committee, the 61 replies were divided as follows:
* 8 did not feel themselves well enough informed or did not ex-
press their opinion clearly;
* 8 approved entirely of the Delegation and its reforms;
* 11 wanted small changes, the product of mature consideration
by the Language Committee and made in agreement with the Delegation Committee;
* 34 did not wish to negotiate with the Delegation Committee and disapproved of all kinds of reform proposals.”
Peter G. Forster. The World Esperanto Movement (p. 127).
- “On the same day Zamenhof wrote and had published in some leading Esperanto journals a circular letter to all Esperantists, announcing the breaking off of negotiations. Only the Esperantists are entitled to make changes, argued Zamenhof; unity is essential; and the Delegation Committee presented its conclusions in an offensive way. The scientists who have done this will soon see their error, he continued, but until then we Esperantists will go peacefully on our way.”
Peter G. Forster (1982). The World Esperanto Movement (p. 126).
- Don Harlow. "How to Build a Language"
- International Conference Regarding the Use of Esperanto..
- “The reason for this order, according to certain school teachers, is that the teaching of a language as easy as Esperanto endangers the existence of the French language and thus the national solidarity of the country.
They contend that children will naturally take to an easy language such as Esperanto and in that time French and English would perish and that the literary standard of the world would be debased. Furthermore, they argue that a national langue plays a predominant part in maintaining national unity and point to Poland and Lorraine as examples.”
"The Danger of Esperanto" (2014-09-10).
- “Esperanto has been barred from French universities. The language, favored by a great many French societies, chambers of commerce and similar organizations, has lost caste with leading French educators because, they declare, it is one of the favorite mediums for spreading Communistic propaganda.
Leon Berard, minister of education, says there is no place for an international artificial tongue in French educational institutions, which ought to devote themselves to teaching national cultural languages. Esperanto, he said in his dictum, placing a ban on it, "seeks to eliminate any reason for international culture and development of children’s minds, and has become an instrument of systematic internationalization of enemy languages and all original thought to express national development.”
"The French Say “Non” to Esperanto" (2014-07-16).
- Ulrich Lins (2017). Dangerous Language (Esperanto: La Danĝera Lingvo).
- The decree of 6 June 1936, signed on Himmler’s behalf by Dr. Werner Best, Heydrich’s deputy: Bundesarchiv, R 58/7421, fol. 204–5.
- "Esperanto- the forgotten Holocaust.".
- G. Silfer + Universala Esperanto-Asocio (UEA), La dudeksepa de januaro: du publikaj deklaroj, Heroldo de Esperanto 2281 (2:2018), p. 2
- “Hollando. Profesoro Domela Nieuwen- huis, partopreninta en Romo en socialisto kongreso, konvinkiĝis pri neceseco de neŭtrala lingvo por internacia popola partio. Estroj de loka Sociala pario jam komencis trarigarda- don kaj komparadon de ĉiuj ekzistantaj siste- moj de arta lingvo, por enksnduki la plejbonan en la komunan uzadon. Ortedoksa kristana partio ĉn sia ĵurnalo: „Mondbatalo“, elranta en Pur- merendo kaj predikanta vegetariecon kaj bi- bion, aminde cedis unu koloneton por ĉiama enpresado de esperanta teksto,”
Ruslanda Esperantisto (1905) (p. 44).
- “21—8 Junio de nuna jarcrestis sendita en 1 n- ternacian Socialistan Oficejon (Bu- reau Socialiste Internationale) en Bruxelles (Belgique) la sekvanta letero „La subskribintoj, aliĝintaj al Internacia Federacio de Laboristoj, petas de la Inter- nacia Socialista Oficejo en Bruselo alprenon de iniernacia lingvo Esperanto, kiel oficiala lingvo de Internacia Federacio de Laboristoj, kaj uzadon de tiu ĉi lingvo por ĉiuj internaciaj cirkuleroj, sciigoj kaj kon- gresoj“”
Ruslanda Esperantisto: 'INTER SOCIALISTOJ' (1905) (p. 139).
- “"Most significant of all is the word recently received from Russia via the Bolshevik newspaper, Pravda, which announces: Theoretical dispute as to an artificial language in the national ! commission of the section for public instruction has ended most favorably for the Esperanto language. On January 5 the commission in charge of public instruction gave its approval with regard to school teaching of an international language, to Esperanto. . . . . The commission proceeded to a practical solution of the task of introducing Esperanto into every school of the Soviet Republic. " 'First, it introduced the Esperanto language into every school of the Soviet Republic in Moscow, Petrograd, Tver, Orel, and Smolensk as an obligatory department of instruction. " 'All private courses of the Esperanto language are aided by the Soviet Government, and Esperanto clubs are being founded according to the instructions of Lunasharski, commissary (minister) of public instruction.”
Use of Esperanto Spreading Rapidly Throughout World: 'Favored by Soviet' (1920-07-21). The Lantern.
- “In the Baku prison he began to study Esperanto as “the language of the future”. That touch most instructively exposes the quality of Koba’s intellectual equipment, which in the sphere of learning always sought the line of least resistance. Although he spent eight years in prison and exile, he never managed to learn a single foreign language, not excluding his ill-starred Esperanto.”
Leon Trotsky (1940). Stalin – An Appraisal of the Man and his Influence: 'Chapter IV: The Period of Reaction'.
- “Stalin did study foreign languages: Latin, in school, German when he was abroad, and Esperanto. He was also well read in Marxism and European classical literature in Russian translation. B.S. Ilizarov. "Stalin. Shtriki k portretu na fone ego biblioteki i arkhiva.” Novaia i Noveishaia Istoriia 3,4 (2000),”
Grover Furr (2022). The Fraud of the “Testament of Lenin” (p. 193). Erythros Press and Media.
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- "Esperanto, China’s Surprisingly Prominent Linguistic Subculture is Slowly Dying Out".
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- Concise History of the Chinese Esperanto Movement (Esperanto: Konciza Historio de la Ĉina Esperanto-movado) (p. 97). New Star.
- "Ĉina Esperanto-Ligo" (2013-05-10).
- "China Radio International".
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- Esperanto Muzeo. Archived 2023-04-03.
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"Ho Chi Minh kaj Esperanto" (2006-12-27T14:53:21Z+08:00). China Radio International.
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- “Kia naskinto, tiaj naskitoj.”
L. L. Zamenhof (1910). Proverbaro Esperanta.
- “Grandan ĝojon havas patro de virtulo, Kaj naskinto de saĝulo ĝojos pro li.”
L. L. Zamenhof (1916). Malnova Testamento.
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L. L. Zamenhof (1990 (7th edition)). Lingvaj Respondoj: '91. Pri la pronomo por “homo”. Respondo 23, La Revuo, 1901, Aŭgusto'. Eldonejo Ludovikito.
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- A term that refers to a time period.