Some Basic Information about Esperanto and USEJ
What is Esperanto?
- What is Esperanto?
- What is USEJ?
- How can I learn Esperanto?
- How can I join USEJ?
- Where can I get more information?
- Information for speakers of Esperanto
Esperanto is a constructed language. It was invented over 100 years
ago to be a common and neutral second language through which people of
different first languages could communicate. Esperanto was also
designed to be easy to learn. It was invented without the
irregularities and complicated rules of many existing languages. The
vocabulary is also easier to learn because of the regular way in which
new words are built.
People learn Esperanto for many different reasons. Through Esperanto
one can make contacts with people from around the world. One can read
books and magazines from other countries and listen to international
radio broadcasts. Using Esperanto can also be a very useful and
rewarding way to travel. And, of course, learning a logical language
can be a great way to exercise the brain and prepare for learning
For more information on Esperanto, read what TEJO, the world
organization for young Esperanto-speakers, has to say about
Esperanto. And for more in-depth information, read Don Harlow's
Esperanto, selected chapters from Don's
Esperanto Book, or Sylvan Zaft's book
A Language for the Global Village.
These links and more can be found on the multilingual website
which maintains links to information on Esperanto in 57 languages.
What is USEJ?
USEJ is an organization of young Esperanto-speakers in the United
States. The name is an acronym for Usona Esperantista Junularo, which
means US Esperanto Youth Group in English.
USEJ was founded in 1992 as the youth section of the Esperanto League
for North America (ELNA). USEJ is also the US representative of TEJO,
the World Esperanto Youth Organization. The mission of USEJ is to
encourage the use of Esperanto in the US, to support young
Esperanto-speakers through information and events, and to organize the
teaching of Esperanto throughout the country.
To find out more about USEJ, its projects, and its history, visit our
How can I learn Esperanto?
Sounds interesting, huh? So how can you learn to speak it? Click
here for information on how to learn
How can I join USEJ?
USEJ is just the youth part of ELNA, not a separate organization. So
anyone who joins ELNA and is 27 years old or younger automatically
becomes a member of USEJ. There is no separate membership process for
USEJ. To join ELNA, visit the
Another way to "join" USEJ is to subscribe to our
electronic mailing lists
and participate in our events. Because that's really what USEJ is
about. It's about Esperanto-speaking kids from around the country
working together and helping each other out.
You can also participate in USEJ by contributing to our
Wiki webpages. A wiki is a
community-edited website, that helps people stay connected and
cooperate in making plans and writing documents. USEJ uses a wiki
to keep up-to-date information about its members, about its history,
and about its on-going projects. If you want to get involved,
you should visit USEJ's wiki, make a web page
about yourself, and start adding your thoughts! Feel free to recommend
new projects or help out with existing projects.
Where can I get more information?
For more information, visit the websites of the
Esperanto League for North America
(ELNA), and the
World Esperanto Youth Organization (TEJO).
For information on how people use the language, browse through our page of
If you have any questions that aren't answered here, please email us.
Information for Esperanto speakers
Speakers of Esperanto might find the following websites to be useful
sources of current information about the Esperanto community:
- a weekly newsletter of the Esperanto youth community which can be
read online or received by email
- a web portal in and about Esperanto, with daily news items,
links to websites, to games, forums, everything!
- Eventoj / Ret-Info
- Eventoj is a twice-monthly newsletter of the Esperanto community
published in Hungary and Ret-Info is a related email news service
that filters announcement from other sources and sends them to
- Online Information Center
- advice, facts, prepared flyers, posters, and more for people
and organizations seeking to inform others about Esperanto.
Top 10 Facts About Esperanto
- It's very easy compared to other languages
It was published in 1887 with only 16 grammatical rules, no verb
conjugations or irregular verbs, and totally phonetic prononciation
and spelling. It's written with a 28-letter latin alphabet with 6
supersigns, in which each letter has only one sound. Most people
learn it independently from teach-yourself books or email courses.
- It's based on native languages
The vocabulary is based on Latin, Germanic and Slavic word roots, and
its grammatical structure resembles Japanese, Zulu, Turkish and
Hungarian. It has the pure vowels and rolled R of latin languages (it
sounds a bit like Italian, some say) and some exotic as well as
commonly recognized consonant sounds.
- It works like a puzzle
A small vocabulary of word roots can be combined in an unlimited
number of ways and combinations to make words for virtually everything
you can express in native languages, but with fewer word parts to
memorize. This makes it possible for beginners to have decent
conversations without needing a large vocabulary, by putting word
roots together to make up their own words as needed.
- It's become a living language
Over 5 generations of speakers have used it in every possible
situation, even daily as a home language for international couples.
New words (cell phone, chat room, laptop) are constantly being
adopted, and style and grammar have steadily evolved since a century
- Its speakers organize international meetings
All over the world, from local get-togethers to worldwide conferences
with participants from over 100 countries, speakers make friends and
practice the language. Meetings cover the gamut of subjects, from
political discussions to cultural festivals to youth parties.
- It's reached high art
Translated and original literature, including poetry, have been
produced in the thousands. A prolific Scottish writer was recently
nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature, and currently the
'Iberian School' of authors is at the forefront of literary
- It's even got rock music
Since the 1960's, when the youth movement began to take off, dozens of
professional-quality albums in Esperanto have hit the market. Styles
range from rock, funk, and rap to renaissance chamber music and folk
singing. Groups from Finland, Sweden, the Netherlands, Catalunia and
Brazil are currently the rage.
- It's got both pragmatists and idealists
While many of its speakers support the original goal of using
Esperanto in all international communication, others simply enjoy the
many benefits that its small, intimate community provides (cultural
education, friendship, travel, etc.) without worrying about whether
the language will ever become used worldwide.
- Some meetings have simultaneous translation
Several professional translators speak the language and provide their
services to the Esperanto community at meetings like last spring's
Spanish Esperanto Conference, where many non-Esperanto-speakers
participated in lectures and discussions that were simultaneously
translated into Spanish. Twice yearly, the World Esperanto Youth
Organization's semi-annual seminars are translated to and from English
using the UN-style headsets and booths in the Council of Europe's
translation-equipped youth centers.
- It was the object of two UNESCO resolutions
UNESCO acknowledged in 1954 and again in 1985 that the goals and
accomplishments of the World Esperanto Association, in helping people
make personal connections across cultural borders, reflect its own
ideals. UNESCO recommended that international NGOs explore the
possibility of using the language.