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    On July 26, 1887, Ludwig Lazarus Zamenhof published Unua Libro, the first book in the invented “universal” language of Esperanto. Today, Esperanto is the most popular international auxiliary language (IAL) in the world. An IAL is a language spoken by people who do not share the same native language.
     
    Esperanto is based on roots common in many European languages, such as French, German, and Russian. Zamenhof invented Esperanto to encourage communication and peace between the ethnic groups in his hometown of Bialystock, now a part of Poland. “In Bialystok the inhabitants were divided into four distinct elements: Russians, Poles, Germans and Jews; each of these spoke their own language and looked on all the others as enemies,” Zamenhof wrote.
     
    Today, more than a million people speak Esperanto. It is one of the easiest languages to learn—it’s phonetic, which reduces spelling errors, and only has 16 rules of grammar. For instance, all singular nouns end in O—amiko is friend, amo is love, geografio is geography. 
  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    communication Noun

    sharing of information and ideas.

    encourage Verb

    to inspire or support a person or idea.

    Esperanto Noun

    constructed language based on common root words from many European languages.

    ethnic group Adjective

    people sharing genetic characteristics, culture, language, religion or history.

    grammar Noun

    study of the way language is constructed.

    inhabitant Noun

    resident.

    international auxiliary language (IAL) Noun

    language meant for communication between people who do not share a common native language. Also called an interlanguage or auxlang.

    invent Verb

    to create.

    language Noun

    set of sounds, gestures, or symbols that allows people to communicate.

    phonetic Adjective

    having to do with pronunciation.

    publish Verb

    to provide a written piece of work, such as a book or newspaper, for sale or distribution.