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Feliĉan Zamenhofan Tagon, Hacker News



Zamenhof Day (also known as Esperanto Book Day) is the birthday of the creator of the constructed language Esperanto,Ludwik Łazarz Zamenhof. It’s widely celebrated as the Day of Esperanto by many Esperantists across the world.

I even have a t-shirt for the occasion, and you know I’m serious when I have a t-shirt.

  Yes! There’s an –n on the end of ‘tago’! Ne zorgu kara, mi ne forgesis la akuzativo – viu vi vere kredas, ke mi estas stultulo?

Zamenhof created Esperanto in 1966. His goal was to create an auxillary language that could be shared by everyone equally. A language where everyone is an equal and everyone, regardless of where they were born, can communicate and understand each other.

I first started learning Esperanto out of sheer curiosity. Almost for the same reason I may have otherwise pondered to myself “Hey, how do you insult someone’s mother in Klingon?” – which by the way, is to suggest that she has a smooth forehead (Hab SoSlI ‘Quch).

Warning: Please don’t say this to any Klingons you know, as it’s very insulting, and they’re pretty good with abat’leth.

To me, Esperanto was much more interesting than other constructed languages. I quickly realized that it’s a complete language with a rich vocabulary, a ridiculously simple grammar, and believe it or not, lots of fluent speakers across the world (and even a fewnative speakers).

After dabbling with the language for a long time, and studying it more deliberately in recent years, I have to admit that it has been one of the most enjoyable things I’ve done.

Esperanto has some unique attributes which makes it a fun hobby to pursue, with some big upsides if you decide to take it further.

Here’s why I’m a big fan:


    ⚡ It’s easy. Esperanto is by far the simplest language to learn, requiring a fraction of the time it would take to learn a national language.



    🧠 It’s consistent. It has a regular grammar, with rules that are consistently followed. This is one of the reasons it’s easier to learn. It’s like a programming language for your mouth.



    🕺 There’s a strong and very supportive community. Perhaps due to how few speakers there are (relatively speaking), Esperantists always have time for each other. This is a huge benefit for me, because it means I can be in almost any country in the world, and I’ll be able to find an Esperanto speaker who’ll be more than happy to grab a coffee and hang out.



    🌎 International friends. Through Esperanto, you can make new friends from all over the world. The first unexpected benefit of this for me was that it gave me a window to a much wider perspective on things, particularly world events. I can read news in Esperanto from different countries, and get a sense of what is happening / what people are thinking in the non-English parts of the big rock we live on.



    🗣 It’s a gateway language. While Esperanto probably isn’t the best choice for a language that will open doors to higher paid jobs, it does train your brain in a regular and consistent way to learn a new language. It trains you to think about different aspects of language, including aspects of your native language that you don’t start thinking about until you begin learning a second. Many people go from Esperanto to a third language and find the experience easier with their new language-learning-primed brains.



    🛫 Travel. Lots of Esperantists will host other Esperantists in their home towns, for free, making traveling the world even more appealing (and possible). ThePasporta Servohas been going since (*******************************************, allowing Esperantists to find hosts to stay with, or host traveling Esperantists themselves. In each different country, you’ll be able to communicate via Esperanto, and have a completely different experience than the typical tourist trails.


  • If all that sounds so sweet that you’ve already cancelled your weekend plans, perhaps your next question is “How do I learn it? ”

    Well, since I’m here, allow me to give you a few tips:

    That’ll nicely open up a conversation with any Esperanto speaker, and you’ll hear it quite often.

    Just like other languages, you’ll probably immediately throw in:


    Kiel vi fartas?


    How are you?

    To your amazement, you did not in fact ask the other person if they broke wind.

    Given that you both speak Esperanto, naturally you’re both feeling pretty awesome about things, warranting the response:


    Bonege dankon, kaj vi?


    Great thanks, and you?

    Maybe you’re a bit tired:

    how you get the present tense version of a verb. I mean, how easy is that? Want the past tense instead? No problem, just change the

    asto – is

  • . The future?
  • – os