Esperanto is the world’s most widely spoken constructed language. It was introduced in 1887 by Dr. L.L. Zamenhof, of Warsaw in today’s Poland, to foster international understanding by allowing people with different native languages to communicate as equals. With a vocabulary of international words and a simple yet expressive grammar, it can be learned more easily than other languages.
For over 130 years, Esperanto has maintained an international community of active speakers. They translate and produce poetry, novels, plays, films, music, games, videos, and other works in the language. Thousands of Esperantists of all ages and backgrounds enjoy each other’s company in local, national, and international events each year.
Esperanto is not intended to replace any other language and has no official status in any country. It is used as a neutral working language by international cultural, political, and educational organizations. Esperanto-USA and the Canadian Esperanto Association are members of the Universal Esperanto Association, which has official relationships with the UN and UNESCO.
The Internet has been a boon to Esperanto’s popularity, with speakers communicating through social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Major websites such as Google and Wikipedia are available in the language. More than a million people have taken the Esperanto course on the popular language-learning site Duolingo since it was made available in 2015.