Esperanto speakers celebrate the birth of its founder Ludwig Zamenhof this Thursday 15th December.
Esperanto, the youngest language in the World will be 125 years old next year. Esperanto is the International Language launched in Poland in 1887, by Dr Ludwig Zamenhof. It is relatively easy to learn ; its official use and recognition is widespread.
Widely used on the Internet and in tourism, it also has an extensive original literature. Its uses also include theatre, the cinema and music. Radio stations in Brazil, China, Cuba and the Vatican broadcast regularly in Esperanto and there are regular television broadcasts by China Television. More programmes are available online.
After a short period of 124 years Esperanto is now in the top one hundred languages, out of 6,800 worldwide. It is the 27th most used language in Wikipedia, and it is a language choice of Google, Skype, Firefox, Ubuntu and Facebook.
The language is in daily use worldwide with the major growth areas in Asia and Africa. The World Esperanto Association enjoys consultative relations with the United Nations and with the Council of Europe. It is used for advertising by British Telecom ; the British Government also employs Esperanto translators. The need for an international language is seen in air traffic control.
Native Esperanto speakers (people who have used the language from birth) include World Chess Champion Susan Polgár, Ulrich Brandenburg the new German Ambassador to Russia and Nobel Laureate Daniel Bovet. Financier George Soros learnt Esperanto as a child and historically the American army has used the language.
Esperanto is increasingly popular and Esperanto Wikipedia enjoys 400 000 hits per day.
Olga Kerziouk, Curator of Esperanto at the British Library added “A major conference to be held at the British Library on in April 2012 will give more attention to the language. A conference will be held there about W.T.Stead, one of the founders of Esperanto in the United Kingdom”