The Esperanto Question: Is it worth it?

Esperanto is possibly the most well-known poster-child for artificial languages that have been tried to be put into global use. For some it’s the epitome of a universal mode of communication that combines the best aspects of many languages into an efficient, intuitive system. To others, however, it’s a novelty.

But is Esperanto really all it’s cracked up to be? Do people actually use Esperanto? Why do people set out to learn Esperanto in the first place?

If any of you out there have given Esperanto a try, tell us about it!

last edited by Igor

I thought Esperanto was a cool idea, but I believe its downfall is due to the fact that it was a totally non-expressive language. Artificially formulated, the words lacked connotations, deeper or secondary meaning which makes communication fun and distinctive.

Hello. I am a fluent Esperanto speaker. Among all the languages I know (French, English, Spanish and Esperanto), I find it the most expressive, thanks to its extensive word-derivation system. Your expressivity is never impeded with exceptions. You can always follow the patterns you learned, and build the word your need to express.

You might think the language is inexpressive because it is "artificial", but this prejudice is so wrong. Zamenhof gave Esperanto a simple skeleton (to assure the language stays easy), and millions of speakers and years of usage give it all its flesh. Users from the whole world use the Esperanto grammar to bring and share their own culture. Now (and since a long time), Esperanto has an unique culture of internationalism, humanism and sharing. Esperanto is the result of people willing to communicate to the world as openly as possible.

(Still, Esperanto is so big now that you can find any kind of Esperanto speaker, but most of them are generous and tolerant.)


It's a good point that you make when saying that the population of speakers and the amount of time it's in active use are what give it its depth, which speaks to the evolutional nature of language. This is something that I don't often come across in arguments in favour of Esperanto, and it's a point well worth making since I get the impression that people forget the point that it's a rather "young" language and tend to focus on its "artificial" nature.

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