© 2022 WYPR
20th Anniversary Background
WYPR 88.1 FM Baltimore WYPF 88.1 FM Frederick WYPO 106.9 FM Ocean City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
WYPR Arts

Esperanto Speakers Gather, Speak Esperanto

William Shatner and co-star Allyson Ames in the 1965 film <em>Incubus</em>, filmed entirely in Esperanto.
William Shatner and co-star Allyson Ames in the 1965 film <em>Incubus</em>, filmed entirely in Esperanto.

Esperanto's founder gave it the name because the word's own Latin roots mean "one who hopes."

Speakers of Esperanto are still hoping that it will become the world's true lingua franca.

"I think you have to see it as a long-term project," says Boris-Antoine Legault, president of the Quebec Esperanto Society.

Legault, speaking from the 7th Esperanto Conference of the Americas in Montreal, says that Esperanto is a better tool for international communication than other existing languages. "We think that a national language is not adequate," he says. "In addition to being more fair, everyone has to make a small effort to learn the language, but no one has a big advantage."

Some 2 million people speak Esperanto, says Legault, who says it's easy to learn because the rules are very regular. Since it's easier to learn, he says, it's also more democratic, because more people can learn it faster.

It could also create a larger audience for the only movie filmed entirely in Esperanto: the horror film Incubus, starring William Shatner.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.