Esperanto

Language family: artifical language

Information: Esperanto was published in 1887 by dr. Ludwig Zamenhof (1859-1917) of Warsaw. The original name was Lingvo Internacia and was recognized by UNESCO in 1954.

The main characteristics of Esperanto are:

* The grammar is a lot more simple than in other (European) languages: there are no difficult verb conjugations (verbs are only conjugated according to time and mood, not person), no irregular verbs, no word sex (so no male/female/neutral words), no irregular plural forms for nouns - the plural of a noun is always formed in the same way
* no complex or fixed word order
* no complicated use of declensions or prepositions
* The basic unit of the Esperanto vocabulary is the stem: e.g. 'eg' ('extreme'), 'varm' ('warm'), 'bon' ('good'), 'a' ('adjective'), 'e' ('adverb'). By making logical contractions, several stems can produce a lot more words: ega (extreme), ege (very), varma / varme (warm), bona / bone (good), varmega / varmege (hot), bonege / bonega (great, very good). This way there are less words to learn by heart.
All stems have a fixed form and meaning, whatever the context they are used in.
* There is a tendency to adopt international recognisable stems. Esperanto contains a lot of words that are well-known in many languages: e.g. politiko, telefono, banko.
* Around 60% of the stems comes from Romance languages, 30% of Germanic languages, the rest originating from Slavic languages, Greek, Japanese, and other languages.
* Esperanto sounds like Spanish or Italian.
* To spell the language is to prounounce it and vice versa.

Esperanto is the most used artificial language. It is spoken on international conferences and is the main languages of various newspapers and magazines. Also the Bible and the Koran have been translated into Esperanto. Notwithstanding this, Esperanto has yet to gain the position of international language.

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