Esperanto Language Blog

Esperanto Highlights of 2011 Posted by on Jan 5, 2012 in Uncategorized

Now it’s January 2012. Below I list my ten most popular posts of last year. I’m really excited about this, because it’s often hard to find time to read every post and we have new readers who don’t have time to dig through the archives for the gems. So, here we go…

1. Start Reading Esperanto Literature

Surprising to me, the most popular post of the year was not written by me, but rather by Amelie Ambrus. In this three part series, she expertly presents the landscape of Esperanto literature for your reading pleasure. Also see the other parts: Discover Esperanto Literature in English and Five Periods of Esperanto Literature.

2. Esperanto Documentary: The Universal Language

I’d say the greatest success of the Esperanto movement this year has to be The Universal Language, by award-winning documentary filmmaker, Sam Green. In this film, he presents the history of Esperanto in the context of other important historic events. It’s quite interesting to see Esperanto presented in film with a neutral point of view. Also see my review of this documentary, Review of The Universal Language documentary as well as its original inspiration, Interview about Utopia in Four Movements.

3. 2nd generation native Esperanto speaker

Many were fascinated with Rolf Fantom’s account of how he was raised as a second generation native Esperanto speaker. He accounts on how he was raised, as well as the difficulties and blessings of growing up this way. I’ve also recently met a third generation native speaker, but you’ll hear more about him later this year.

4. Facila Vento: Easy Reading in Esperanto

It surprised me that this was so popular, but I guess it shouldn’t. People starting to learn Esperanto need easy texts to read. Enjoy the many diverse articles and stories there!

5. Esperanto sex trafficking?

Somehow I think the title has something to do with this posts top placement. The film director of Cargo, a feature film raising awareness of sex trafficking, wanted a more international exposure of his message. This also had a lot to do with Xenia “Libera” Prilepskaja-Grubstein’s influence as a long-time Esperanto speaker to be sure this reached the audience it deserved.

6. Esperanto’s Big Premiere on the Big Screen

It seems that 2011 was a breakthrough year for Esperanto in the world of film. Looking over this list, I see that 4 of the top 10 highlights are in some way related to movies. The first Esperanto Film Festival taking place in Brazil was a historical event, giving our community a unique opportunity to showcase our progress in this field.

7. Join the Six Week Language Challenge

An interesting chance to challenge yourself while comparing your results with your friends. You can choose which languages you want to start and/or improve. Collect points on the leaderboard based on your activities and how long you do them. The next six week challenge will begin in February!

8. How Not to Organize IJK

While I was quite disappointed with the IJK in Kiev, others strongly disagreed with me. In fact, I considered JES to have been much better, but for example, Jessica Grasso actually preferred IJK! I guess that’s why we have so many different Esperanto events. In the future, I expect to see even more interesting Esperanto events.

9. Finding the Esperanto Wikipedia

I’m really glad this made the top ten. In this 4 part series, I tell the story of how I founded the Esperanto Wikipedia in December 2001 and helped it grow. For years, I’ve been meaning to retell this story and here I finally got around to it. The other three parts: Founding the Esperanto Wikipedia, Unicoding the Esperanto Wikipedia and Promoting the Esperanto Wikipedia. Out of everything from last year, I’m most proud of this series… a must-read! On a related note, you can also read about the first Esperanto Wikipedia conference.

10. Director interview: Atako de la Lunaj Zombioj

Finishing off our list is that quirky 50’s style black-and-white film Attack of the Moon Zombies, dubbed into Esperanto. Also see my interview with one of the translators.

Which was your favorite post of the year? Lately I’ve had so much material, I don’t know what to do with it all. Subscribe to our RSS feed or sign up for email updates (scroll up to the upper left part of this page) to make sure you are always the first to know what’s happening in the Esperanto world and I look forward to sharing what’s in store for us in 2012. Thanks for reading!

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About the Author: Chuck Smith

I was born in the US, but Esperanto has led me all over the world. I started teaching myself Esperanto on a whim in 2001, not knowing how it would change my life. The timing couldn’t have been better; around that same time I discovered Wikipedia in it’s very early stages and launched the Esperanto version. When I decided to backpack through Europe, I found Esperanto speakers to host me. These connections led me to the Esperanto Youth Organization in Rotterdam, where I worked for a year, using Esperanto as my primary language. Though in recent years I’ve moved on to other endeavors like iOS development, I remain deeply engrained in the Esperanto community, and love keeping you informed of the latest news. The best thing that came from learning Esperanto has been the opportunity to connect with fellow speakers around the globe, so feel free to join in the conversation with a comment! I am now the founder and CTO of the social app Amikumu.


  1. Pauxleto:

    Thanks for including Esperanto Documentary: The Universal Language in your Esperanto Highlights of 2011!!! Dankon!