The child who learns Esperanto learns about a world without borders, where every country is home.

Yes, Esperanto is idealistic…

The Prague Manifesto of the 1996 World Esperanto Congress promoted seven objectives, goals or principles of the Esperanto movement.

It positioned Esperanto as a movement for:

  • global education
  • effective language learning
  • multilingualism
  • equal treatment regardless of language - language rights
  • language diversity; and
  • human emancipation

…and what’s wrong with idealism?

Even without knowing any Esperanto, I applaud these aims. They’re idealistic and so am I. But if the aim is human emancipation, is it possible that the language itself is just a MacGuffin? Not that there’s anything wrong with that, as they’d say on Seinfeld.

On the other hand, perhaps it is still possible to imagine not only a different language, but a different kind of language - one that by its very existence helps promote the kind of values outlined by the Prague Manifesto.

If you’re an Esperanto speaker, or if you speak another ‘international auxillary language’, I’d like to know what you think.