14 december 2012

Internet gives a new burst of energy to Esperanto on its 125th year


On December 15th, Esperanto enthusiasts all over the world celebrate Esperanto Day

Esperanto, a language invented 125 years ago to help bridge cultural barriers, is increasingly popular thanks to the Internet. It is estimated that from half a million to 2 million people worldwide speak Esperanto, most of whom live in Europe.

“The Internet has given Esperanto a new burst of energy, says Joel Amis, executive administrator of the Esperantic Studies Foundation, in Montreal.

“It allows people to Skype to one another. E-mail has made corresponding much easier”, he adds.

Amis says the website lernu.net, where people can learn Esperanto for free, has created a community of 125 000 registered users around the world. In Canada, lernu.net has about 3 000 registered users.

Joel Amis and his wife Yevgeniya speak Esperanto at home (Photo: Joel Amis)

Language of tolerance and peace

Amis learned Esperanto as a teenager, on his own and on his spare time. In six months he was able to correspond with other speakers. He says Esperanto opened up his world.

“It allowed me to contact people all around the world”, he says.

Amis believes Esperanto could play a role in building a more peaceful world.

“One of the basic values associated with Esperanto is tolerance towards other cultures, other languages, other ways of thinking.”

The language also allowed him to meet his wife, who is from Ukraine.

“She was born in the Soviet Union; I was born in the United States. When we were growing up, our countries were mortal enemies. And yet through Esperanto, we bridged that cultural gap.”

Ludwig Lazarus Zamenhof published the first Esperanto book in 1887.


On December 15th, Esperanto enthusiasts in Canada and all over the world celebrate Esperanto Day. That’s the day its creator, Ludwig Lazarus Zamenhof, was born, in Bialystok, Poland, a region that at that time was still a part of Russia.

The doctor and philologist wanted to create a medium of communication that would bring people from different nations and cultures together. The first Esperanto book was published in 1887.

Gilda Salomone spoke with Joel Amis, executive administrator at the Esperantic Studies Foundation, in Montreal.
Vous devez avoir la dernière version de Flash Player installée.


06 February 2013 - 13:10

Dankon por la artikolo. Estas plezuro auxskulti Joel Amis en Montrealo. Mi sxatas la Esperantan, Francan, kaj Ojibwemowin lingvojn. Vive la Esperanto! Gxi funkcias por mi internacie. Joel bone esprimis kialoj por lerni Esperanto en maniero kiu atingis mulajn homojn.

Sent by Sheila Devlin, Marquette, MI, USA

01 January 2013 - 04:39

Thank you for this article.| Dankon pro la artikolo.

Sent by Salla Lappalainen, Helsinki, Finland

30 December 2012 - 21:22

Having received my first lesson in Esperanto from my parents' correspondent in the the south of France, I fully recognise its value in my life. I now enjoy friendships with people in many counntries of the world. If Esperanto could be taught to all primary school children as an apprenticeship for learning other languages, the international communication achieved would also help to establish peace in the world.

Sent by Jennifer Bishop, Hawthorn Vic. 3122, Australia

27 December 2012 - 18:51

I enjoyed meeting Joel Amis and his local Esperanto fellows in Atlanta, Georgia, during my first visit to the USA (1998). I was impressed by these young men who were conscious that Esperanto is an initiative worthy of support and engagement, even in a world where the hegemony of English provides such a huge advantage to its native speakers.

Sent by José Antonio Vergara, Puerto Montt, Chile

21 December 2012 - 13:06

Dankon pro la artikolo!

Sent by Michael Zuskin, Toronto, Canada

Please comment on this article

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast, and publicize comments, in whole or in part, in any manner whatsoever. Please note that Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet RCI's Netiquette. Netiquette

Answer *
First name *
Last name *
Email *
City *
Visual confirmation *
Fields with * are mandatory.



Envoyer votre photo!


*RCI is not responsible for any external content