Learn how Ludwig Zamenhof single-handedly created an entire language, Esperanto, in the 19th century.
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Esperanto is the most widely-spoken artificial language in the world today. It has allowed people from vastly different backgrounds with vastly different cultures to connect with one another and share experiences. Despite its success, many often forget Esperanto’s humble origins and the fascinating story of its creator, L.L. Zamenhof, a man whose main goal was bringing peace to the world.
[00:25] A quick reminder of the Tower of Babel legend
[02:50] Introducing Mark Fettes, president of the Universal Esperanto Association
[03:30] How living in multi-cultural Białystok shaped L.L. Zamenhof’s views on peace and minorities’ rights
[06:48] How a teenage Zamenhof came up with his first version of the constructed language
[08:30] What is Zionism, and what is Homaranismo?
[11:40] Zamenhof's struggle to make Esperanto popular
[16:42] Our hosts go to Białystok to attend an Esperanto convention
[19:39] How the US Army (mis)used Esperanto in their combat training programme
[21:03] What is a gateway language?
[23:05] Is Esperanto just a language or is it a philosophy? Why is Esperanto worthwhile?
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Mark Fettes / president of the Universal Esperanto Association. Mark kindly agreed to tell us the story of Zamenhof’s mission for bringing peace to the world.
Łukasz Żebrowski / Esperanto and beer blogger. Łukasz gave us plenty of advice on how to discover the world of Esperanto including the convention we attended, and largely helped in scheduling the interview with Mark Fettes. Thanks Łukasz!
Paweł Wierzbowski / president of the Bialystok Esperantist Association for kindly inviting us to the Esperantist convention and helping us find great interviewees.
Conference participants Michaela Stegmaier, Randall Hamlet, Mathieu Desplantes, Szabolcs Szilva, and Iwona Zalewska who kindly gave us a short introductory Esperanto lesson.
SFTEW Team: Wojciech Oleksiak, Adam Zulawski, John Beauchamp, Nitzan Reisner & Michael Keller