What is it?
The language Esperanto was launched on 26 July 1887. It was made to enable easy communication between people around the world. As it was made specially for this purpose, Esperanto can be learnt very quickly.
In fact, Esperanto is the easiest of all living languages. Yet it is a rich language: you can truly express everything with it. However, because it is built on just a few rules and structures you can learn it in very little time. Right after being introduced to the language, beginners quickly find themselves experimenting with their first sentences in Esperanto.
It is now spoken in over 100 countries, by millions of people. (It is actually now the most widely spoken planned language in the world.)
How can I learn it?
Courses in Esperanto, lasting from a weekend to several weeks, are held in many parts of the world throughout the entire year. However, for many people, learning online (or at least on a computer) is the most convenient way to begin:
Duolingo is a free language education platform (selected by Apple as iPhone App of the Year 2013, and by Google as Best of the Best for Android in 2013 and 2014).
Lernu! has free web-based courses to suit every level of expertise. It has an online chat area, so you can practise your Esperanto with other students.
You can also download the free program, Kurso de Esperanto. (Runs on Windows, Linux and Mac.)
To meet other Esperanto speakers and learners near you (great for practice!), there is a free (iOS/Android) app called Amikumu.
How can I use it?
Here are just some of the ways Esperanto can be useful to you:
- Communicate with people from a variety of countries and cultures, at the same time, without being hindered by linguistic barriers, and as an equal
- Discover other cultures by having access to a vast source of magazines, newspapers and books translated directly from every major national language, as well as original writing in Esperanto
- Enjoy cheap travel, thanks to “Pasporta Servo” – a world-wide network of willing hosts who offer free (or almost-free) accommodation to speakers of Esperanto
- Join in international gatherings and festivals, with performances in Esperanto, as well as many other national languages
- Access an international network of experts in almost every professional field: every member of the Universal Esperanto Association has free access to a list of hundreds of specialist ‘delegates’
Esperanto estas… (Esperanto is…)
(To understand the people speaking Esperanto, make sure captions are turned on, with the “CC” button.)
For more information on Esperanto, download the free booklet: Discover Esperanto (PDF, 24 pages, 3 MB)