Esperanto is an artificial language planned with a very defined objective: to become the international language par excellence. At the end of the 19th century, an attempt was made to promote it as a world language. Despite not belonging to any specific country, they tried to implement it in various territories of the planet. There are many doubts about Esperanto centered on three basic questions: what it is, who invented it and in which geographical areas it is spoken.
The myths about Esperanto have been developing socially over the years, so it is important to clarify the realities of this attempt at an international language that became known under the so-called “First Book” in 1887.
It is an artificially planned language with the aim of being the main international language . The objective with which it was built was to spread a neutral and simple language so that anyone could learn it.
In any case, Esperanto is not a single auxiliary planned language, since there are others such as the Interlingua language created in 1951. Interlingua was built with standards of Romance languages belonging to Western Europe, specifically Spanish, French, English, Portuguese and Italian, while Esperanto took words from Germanic, Romance and Slavic languages , distorting them or even inventing new ones.
In the 1890s , this international movement spread across the globe, especially in the northern hemisphere. Once the First World War ended, the League of Nations promoted the teaching of Esperanto and also proposed adopting it as a working language.
However, France vetoed this proposal in 1922 despite existing favorable reports, alleging that French was already the assumed franca language.
Who invented Esperanto
It was a language invented by the idea of the Polish ophthalmologist Ludwik Lejzer Zamenhof , who dreamed of creating a new language that would become the auxiliary for all international communication . In 1887 he published the first grammar of the new language and the translation of different literary texts into Esperanto.
Doctor Zamenhof ‘s pseudonym was doctor Esperanto , whose meaning in the created language itself was “hopeful” . This was a clear allusion to Mr. Zamenhof’s hope that Esperanto would be an auxiliary and alternative language to facilitate international communication. His objective was collected in the Boulogne Declaration of 1905, that is, a constitutive document of the language agreed upon at the celebration of the first Universal Esperanto Congress, which took place in the same French city of Boulogne.
Criticism of Dr. Zamenhof’s Esperanto
The Esperanto language, created by Dr. Zamenhof, has been the subject of numerous criticisms for different reasons. One of them is the supposed Eurocentrism on which it is based, since it is inspired by European languages without taking into account others such as Asian or African ones. This lack of representation and a presumed ideological homogeneity would have prevented it from becoming a universal language.
Another object of criticism towards Esperanto is related to the shortcomings of a culture associated with it as its own despite the existence of songs and books written in this language. Many of its detractors also justify their criticism by arguing that, currently, English is already established as an international language , so they consider it unnecessary to do the same with Esperanto.
Where is spoken?
It is important to clarify that Esperanto is not an official language of any country despite the attempts that have been made to implement it in some. One of these attempts was in the ephemeral microstate of the Esperanto Republic of Isla de las Rosas, located in 1968 off the Adriatic coast of Italy.
In addition, the Soviet Union contemplated the use of Esperanto for communication between its peoples, but the language did not have the expected capabilities. Since 1936, Esperantists have been accused of espionage due to their multiple international connections. Ultimately, the USSR adopted Russian as its franc language despite the great linguistic diversity of the Soviet republics.
However, it should be noted that Esperanto still exists . Annual world congresses have continued to be held on all five continents since Bolougne in 1905, except during the world wars. Some achievements of the Esperantists are the formation of their own Academy of Esperanto , which was founded in 1905 as a Linguistic Committee with the aim of preserving the fundamentals of the language and observing its evolution.
It has been included in language and university courses. It is also included in the Google translator language offer. The Universal Association of Esperanto , which was founded in 1908, maintains links with the United Nations and UNESCO, that is, the agency for education and culture corresponding to the UN.
As it is a secondary language that is not located in any country, it does not have census data. Therefore, it is not easy to calculate the number of inhabitants who speak Esperanto. It is estimated that between 100,000 and 2 million people on the entire planet speak this language.