Bridge of Words: Esperanto and the Dream of a Universal Language by Esther SchorA rich and passionate biography of a language and the dream of world harmony it sought to realize
In 1887, Ludwig Lazarus Zamenhof, a Polish Jew, had the idea of putting an end to tribalism by creating a universal language, one that would be equally accessible to everyone in the world. The result was Esperanto, a utopian scheme full of the brilliance, craziness, and grandiosity that characterize all such messianic visions.
In this first full history of a constructed language, poet and scholar Esther Schor traces the life of Esperanto. She follows the path from its invention by Zamenhof, through its turn-of-the-century golden age as the great hope of embattled cosmopolites, to its suppression by nationalist regimes and its resurgence as a bridge across the Cold War. She plunges into the mechanics of creating a language from scratch, one based on rational systems that would be easy to learn, politically neutral, and allow all to speak to all. Rooted in the dark soil of Europe, Esperanto failed to stem the continents bloodletting, of course, but as Schor shows, the ideal continues draw a following of modern universalists dedicated to its visionary goal.
Rich and subtle, Bridge of Words is at once a biography of an idea, an original history of Europe, and a spirited exploration of the only language charged with saving the world from itself.
The Esperanto Teacher Full Audiobook by Helen FRYER by Language learning
In , Polish physician Ludovic Zamenhof introduced Esperanto, a simple, easy-to-learn planned language. His goal was to erase communication barriers between ethnic groups by providing them with a politically neutral, culturally free standard language. His ideas received both praise and condemnation from the leaders of his time.
The Serious History Behind Esperanto
Esperanto , artificial language constructed in by L. Zamenhof , a Polish oculist, and intended for use as an international second language. Esperanto is relatively simple for Europeans to learn because its words are derived from roots commonly found in the European languages, particularly in the Romance languages. Orthography is phonetic, all words being spelled as pronounced. Grammar is simple and regular; there are characteristic word endings for nouns, adjectives, and verbs.
It was created in the late 19th century by L. In he published a book detailing the language, Unua Libro "First Book" , under the pseudonym Dr. Esperanto translates to English as "one who hopes". Zamenhof's goal was to create an easy and flexible language that would serve as a universal second language to foster peace and international understanding, and to build a community of speakers, as he believed that one could not have a language without a community of speakers. His original title for the language was simply the international language lingvo internacia , but early speakers grew fond of the name Esperanto and began to use it as the name for the language in ; the name quickly gained prominence and has been used as an official name ever since. In , Zamenhof published Fundamento de Esperanto as a definitive guide to the language.
Is it possible to have an invented language?
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It is the most appropriate language to eliminate language barriers and to allow international communication for everybody on a basis of mutual respect and understanding. Because of its easiness, we can quickly learn Esperanto, use it and even teach it, that way it has a large, enthusiastic community. Unlike most languages, Esperanto does not belong to a specific country or ethnic group: it is politically and socially neutral. Esperanto is not the tool of any nation, national group, political party or social class. It belongs to the whole humanity. Every person who uses Esperanto is on an equal linguistic footing with all other users of the language. The result is an impressive spirit of friendship and fellowship among Esperanto speakers.
Zamenhof developed Esperanto in the s and 80s and published the first publication about it, Unua Libro , in The number of Esperanto speakers has grown gradually since then, although it has not had much support from governments and international organizations and has sometimes been outlawed or otherwise suppressed. Around , while in Moscow and approximately simultaneously with working on Esperanto, Zamenhof made an aborted attempt to standardize Yiddish , based on his native Bialystok Northeastern dialect, as a unifying language for the Jews of the Russian Empire. However, he concluded there was no future for such a project, and abandoned it, dedicating himself to Esperanto as a unifying language for all humankind. Zamenhof would later say that he had dreamed of a world language since he was a child.