“In the Land of Invented Languages”

from Erika Okrent’s book, i heard about this stuff last night on On Point.


Author: L. L. Zamenhof

Date: 1887

Type: A Posteriori (Source: Mostly Latin or mix of European languages)

Sample Translation Ču esti aŭ ne esti — tiel staras nun la demando. To be or not to be — that is the question.

Miscellaneous Information:

Kim Henriksen is way cooler than you’d expect an accordion-playing Esperantist to be. Tall, lean, and muscular, with creative facial hair and a European cowboy style, he looks younger than he is. In Esperantoland, he is something of a rock star. Through the 1980s, his band Amplifiki played international youth congresses all over Europe, releasing hits like (No big deal) and (Alone). The band’s name came from an old Esperanto dictionary word for “amplify,” but a prurient mind might read it as am-pli-fiki (love more-f%*king). He later formed the Danish/Bosnian/Polish group Esperanto Desperado, which came out with party starters like (Ska-woman) and (The duck and the monkey). I wasn’t prepared to encounter anyone like him when I set out on my first trip to Esperantoland.

Incubus is a 1965 film starring William Shatner that was made entirely in Esperanto—mostly improperly pronounced Esperanto.

Author: aarondoerr

Owner of Fellow Musician LLC, a small music education business specializing in outreach and private study. I'm guitarist for musical theatre and production assistant at St. Louis Public Radio.

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