Since 1887, hope has been kept alive in Esperanto

The Esperanto flag. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Ludwik Lazarus Zamenhof “…grew up fascinated by the idea of a world without war, and believed that this could happen with the help of a new international language which he first developed in 1873,” according to the Polish physician’s Wikipedia page. That language became Esperanto, which Google Translate added as its 64th language two years ago after gaining global support in the last century. Considered to be easier to learn than English, Esperanto is a written and spoken blend of various languages and is used today by up to two million people, 1,000 of which claimed is as a native language.

Doctor Zamenhof wrote the first book about Esperanto and it was published on July 26, 1887 under his pseudonym, Doktoro Esperanto. Esperanto means in its own language, “one who hopes.” He hoped Esperanto would bring about international peace, harmony, and neutrality – hopes which are even more relevant today.

Other works by Zamenhof in Esperanto can be found in WorldCat. For archival researchers, ArchiveGrid has leads to collections of materials related to Zamenhof and the history of Esperanto. For example: A search for “Zamenhof” retrieves information about a collection of his letters and pamphlets at the Washington state library. At the state library of Western Australia, there is a collection containing a photograph of Zamenhof and the language’s green and white flag.

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