Esperanto is a language introduced in 1887 by Dr. L.L. Zamenhof after years of development. He proposed Esperanto as a second language that would allow people who speak different native languages to communicate, yet at the same time retain their own languages and cultural identities. Esperanto doesn't replace anyone's language but simply serves as a common second language. Esperanto can be learned in much less time than any other language. (Some say that it is four times easier). Esperanto is politically unbiased.
Although there aren't a lot of people who speak Esperanto in any one place, there are some almost everywhere. There are over a hundred periodicals regularly published in Esperanto. There are thousands of books in Esperanto, both translated and original works. There are millions of webpages.
People who speak Esperanto are internationally minded, concerned about social justice and peace, and are helping to preserve linguistic diversity. Meetings and conventions in America, Europe, and Asia provide a fun opportunity to travel and meet new people from around the world. In short...
- Esperanto doesn't replace anyone's language but simply serves as a common second language.
- Esperanto can be learned in much less time than any other language.
- Esperanto is politically unbiased, helping to preserve minority languages and cultures.
- Esperanto provides an opportunity to travel and meet new friends from around the world.
- Esperanto is fun to learn and fun to speak!
There is an outstanding set of videos produced in Brazil that provide examples about what Esperanto is. The films are in Esperanto, but include English subtitles. The video at the top of this page is from that series.
For a discussion of the language problem and how Esperanto is a good solution see A Second Language for Everyone.
For a full discussion of the language problem and Esperanto's role in solving it, see Don Harlow'sThe Esperanto Book.
Another good discussion of Esperanto and its many advantages is Sylvan Zaft's Esperanto: A Language for the Global Village.
A very brief introduction to Esperanto is Esperanto at a Glance.
Another description of Esperanto is A Key to the International Language Esperanto by R. Kent Jones and Christopher M. A. Zervic.