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Esperanto language

Esperanto Language


Although no country has adopted the language officially, it has enjoyed continuous usage by a community estimated at between 100,000 and 2 million speakers and it is estimated that there are about a thousand native speakers.

Today, Esperanto is employed in world travel, correspondence, cultural exchange, conventions, literature, language instruction, television (Internacia Televido) and radio broadcasting. Some state education systems offer elective courses in Esperanto; there is evidence that learning Esperanto is a useful preparation for later language learning (see Esperanto and education).

Classification

As a constructed language, Esperanto is not genealogically related to any ethnic language. Esperanto can be described as "a language lexically predominantly romanic, morphologically intensively agglutinative and to a certain degree isolating in character". The phonology, grammar, vocabulary, and semantics are based on the western Indo-European languages. The phonemic inventory is essentially Slavic, as is much of the semantics, while the vocabulary derives primarily from the Romance languages, with a lesser contribution from Germanic. Pragmatics and other aspects of the language not specified by Zamenhof's original documents were influenced by the native languages of early speakers, primarily Russian, Polish, German, and French.

Typologically, Esperanto has prepositions and a pragmatic word order that by default is Subject Verb Object and Adjective Noun. New words are formed through extensive prefixing and suffixing.

Culture

Esperanto is often used to access an international culture, including a large corpus of original as well as translated literature. There are over 25,000 Esperanto books (originals and translations) as well as over a hundred regularly distributed Esperanto magazines. Many Esperanto speakers use the language for free travel throughout the world using the Pasporta Servo. Others like the idea of having pen pals in many countries around the world using services like the Esperanto Pen Pal Service. Every year, 1500-3000 Esperanto speakers meet for the World Congress of Esperanto (Universala Kongreso de Esperanto).

Historically most of the music published in Esperanto has been in various folk traditions; in recent decades more rock and other modern genres has appeared.

To some extent there are also shared traditions, like the Zamenhof Day, and shared behaviour patterns, like avoiding the usage of one's national language at Esperanto meetings unless there is good reasons for its use.