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(ĕspərän`tō), an artificial language introduced in 1887 and intended by its inventor, Dr. Ludwik Lejzer Zamenhof (1859–1917), a Polish oculist and linguist, to ease communication between speakers of different languages. In the 20th cent. it was taught in schools and universities throughout the world, but it has not received wide acceptance as an international language. Its grammar and lexicon are relatively unfamiliar to users who do not know other Indo-European languages; its syntax, spelling, and pronunciation are influenced especially by Slavonic. See international languageinternational language,
sometimes called universal language, a language intended to be used by people of different linguistic backgrounds to facilitate communication among them and to reduce the misunderstandings and antagonisms caused by language differences.
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See E. Schor, Bridge of Words: Esperanto and the Dream of a Universal Language (2016).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the most widely used of the artificial languages; an auxiliary means of international communication.

Esperanto was created in 1887 by L. Zamenhof, a physician who lived in Warsaw; the language derives its name from his pseudonym, Dr. Esperanto (literally, “one who hopes”). Esperanto makes use of roots from the European languages; when combined with any of several dozen affixes, the roots become designations for a wide variety of concepts. International Esperanto congresses, under the auspices of the Universala Esperanto-Asocio (Universal Esperanto Association), have been held annually since 1905; the organization Mondpaca Esperantista Movado (Movement of Esperantists for World Peace) also exists.

Literary works, translations, collections of original scholarly works, and several dozen journals are published in Esperanto. The many translations into Esperanto include the Bible, Vergil’s Aeneid, Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Goethe’s Faust, A. S. Pushkin’s Eugene Onegin, and V. V. Mayakovsky’s At the Top of My Voice.


Sergeev, I. V. Osnovy esperanto. Moscow, 1961.
Problemy interlingvistiki. Moscow, 1976.
Bokarev, E. A. Esperanto russkii slovar’. Moscow, 1974.
Manders, W. Interlingvistiko kaj esperantologio. Purmerend, 1950.
Zamenhof, L. L. Fundamenta kreslomatio de la lingvo Esperanto, 17th ed. Rickmansworth, 1954.
Esperanto anlologio: Poemoj 1887–1957. La Laguna, 1958.
Waringhier, G. Plena ilustrita vortaro de Esperanto. Paris, 1970.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


an international artificial language based on words common to the chief European languages, invented in 1887
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
"myopin" and "als." The two are constructed words like Esperanto and are meant to mean "in my opinion" and "is also." So when someone says "myopin Obama is tall," the very first word in the sentence is a hot-button raising instant awareness that it is only an opinion, a perspective, given in a personal background of a person who is say five feet tall.
While Esperanto has never achieved the level of ubiquity that Zamenhof
(12.) Mongling: "The language that is easiest to know and use is clearly the best." Source: Mario Pei, One Language for the World, 1958; David Richardson, Esperanto. Learning and Using the International Language, 1988.
Native Esperanto speakers, people who have used the language from birth, include world chess champion, Susan Polger, Ulrich Brandenberg, the new German Ambassador to Russia and Nobel Laureate, Daniel Bovet.
Kuehn-Malvezzi chose the international language Esperanto, invented by Polish Doctor Ludwig Lazarus Zamenhof in 1887, as they found interesting similarities between it and modern art and how it is perceived by the general public.
* 1954 A monthly edition of SNL is offered to carry "the news of science to the non-English speaking areas of the world." Called Scientia International, the magazine is printed in an "international auxiliary language" called Interlingua (akin to Esperanto): "In other countries there is no journal like Science News Letter.
In framing this review of Penelope Vos' 2009 primary language teaching resource book it became clear that I needed to read critically in view of three particular notions embedded within it: Esperanto, intercultural and integration.
SPEAKERS of the international language Esperanto are trying to set up a North Wales group for enthusiasts.
Zamenhof pursued an orthogonal approach, inventing Esperanto in the hope that it would be everyone's second language and would allow members of different nationalities to see one another as united by a shared human 'brotherhood.' (1) Lakoff is a distinguished cognitive scientist who has applied his research in linguistics to provide insightful commentary on political discourse.
It would be as if everyone were asked to give up their native tongues and speak only Esperanto. The gain in increased communication would be outweighed by the losses.