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What is Esperanto?

Esperanto is an artificially constructed language created by Dr. L. L. Zamenhof in 1887. It was designed to be a universal second language that is easy to learn and fosters international communication and understanding. Esperanto has extremely simple grammar (devoid of any irregular rules inherent to natural languages), intuitive phonetic spelling, and a vocabulary derived primarily from Romance, Germanic, and Slavic languages. Zamenhof intended Esperanto to serve as a neutral means of communication, transcending national boundaries and fostering peace and cooperation among people of different linguistic and cultural backgrounds.

Why learn Esperanto?

Learning Esperanto offers an array of benefits, including its simplicity, facilitating international communication, fostering cultural exchange, stimulating intellectual growth, embodying ideals of global unity, and providing practical applications in travel and niche communities. Its regular grammar and phonetics make it easier to learn compared to many natural languages, while its neutrality allows speakers of different native languages to connect seamlessly. Engaging with Esperanto can thus enrich individuals' lives, broaden their perspectives, and contribute to a more interconnected world. The estimated number of Esperanto speakers worldwide is 2 million.

How long does Esperanto take to learn?

Esperanto is often considered the easiest language to learn and allows learners to become proficient in a fraction of the time it would take to learn other languages. Esperanto typically requires about 150 hours of study to reach conversational proficiency, making it much quicker to learn compared to many natural languages. For example, Spanish generally takes around 700 hours due to its straightforward grammar, while German requires about 900 hours because of its complex word formation. Russian and Hindi each take approximately 1,100 hours to learn, reflecting their grammatical and script challenges. In contrast, Mandarin Chinese and Arabic can each require around 2,200 hours due to their tonal nature, complex writing systems, and intricate grammar.

The 16 grammar rules of Esperanto

  1. Alphabet: Esperanto uses 28 letters, each with a single, consistent sound. There are no silent letters or multiple pronunciations.
  2. Nouns: All nouns end in "-o" and form the plural by adding "-j" (e.g., "libro" – book, "libroj" – books).
  3. Adjectives: All adjectives end in "-a" and agree in number with the nouns they describe (e.g., "bona libro" – good book, "bonaj libroj" – good books).
  4. Definite Article: There is only one definite article, "la," which does not change with gender, number, or case.
  5. Verbs: Verbs do not conjugate for person or number. They have fixed endings for tense: "-as" for present, "-is" for past, "-os" for future, "-u" for imperative, and "-us" for conditional.
  6. Adverbs: Adverbs end in "-e" (e.g., "rapide" – quickly).
  7. Plural: Plural nouns and adjectives add "-j" (e.g., "bonaj libroj" – good books).
  8. Accusative Case: The direct object of a verb ends in "-n" (e.g., "Mi legas libron" – I read a book).
  9. Prepositions: Prepositions govern the nominative case (e.g., "en la domo" – in the house).
  10. Compound Words: Compound words are formed by simply joining roots together (e.g., "skribtablo" – writing desk).
  11. Pronouns: Pronouns are consistent and do not change form (e.g., "mi" – I, "vi" – you, "li" – he, "ŝi" – she, "ĝi" – it, "ni" – we, "ili" – they).
  12. Negation: Negation is formed by placing "ne" before the verb (e.g., "Mi ne komprenas" – I do not understand).
  13. Questions: Yes/no questions are formed by placing "ĉu" at the beginning of a sentence (e.g., "Ĉu vi parolas Esperanton?" – Do you speak Esperanto?).
  14. Possessives: Possessive pronouns are formed by adding "-a" to the personal pronouns (e.g., "mia" – my, "via" – your).
  15. Comparatives and Superlatives: Comparatives are formed with "pli" (more) and superlatives with "plej" (most) (e.g., "pli bona" – better, "plej bona" – best).
  16. No Irregularities: There are no exceptions or irregular forms in the grammar.

Basic Esperanto phrases

Resources to learn Esperanto


Esperanto in 12 lessons

Wikibooks Esperanto Textbook

Esperanto dot Net



Spaced Repition System

Beginner deck
Intermediate deck
How Anki works


Online Tutor

Reta Vortaro

(Esperanto <-> English Dictionary)

Tuja Vortaro

(Esperanto <-> English Dictionary)

Plena Ilustrita Vortaro de Esperanto (PIV)

Official Esperanto Dictionary

Plena Manlibro de Esperanta Gramatiko (PMEG)

Complete Manual of Esperanto Grammar

Google Translate

Stack Exchange


Complete Esperanto by Tim Owen


Revuo Esperanto

Esperanto Magazine


Esperanto YouTube

Kurso de Esperanto

Universal Esperanto Association

Individuals' Websites

Esperanto Brochure (Printable)


Wikipedia Articles


L. L. Zamenhof

History of Esperanto

Esperanto culture

La Espero


Unua Libro

First published in Russian on July 26 1887, the publication of Unua Libro marks the formal beginning of the Esperanto movement


Fundamento de Esperanto


What is Esperanto?


Complete Esperanto


Jen Nia Mondo 1


Jen Nia Mondo 2


Vojaĝo en Esperanto-lando



Esperanto Explained

Esperanto Grammar in 6 Minutes

How Esperanto Sounds (Native Speaker)

Zamenhofo parolas Esperanton en jaro 1909 Barcelona

La Espero

Anthem of Esperanto


Lasu Min Plukanti

Tiel La Mondo Iras


Usone Persone

Kern Punkto

Practice with Others

Telegram Group

Reddit Group

Reddit Discord Server

Eventa Servo

Online meetings in Esperanto

Software for macOS

Esperanta Klavaro

A macOS keyboard application for easily typing the Esperanto diacritic letters: ĉ, ĝ, ĥ, ĵ, ŝ, and ŭ

Esperanto Spellcheck

A global Esperanto spellchecker for macOS

Personal Articles

An AI analysis of Esperanto etymology