Esperanto Language Blog

Looking for a read? Posted by on Oct 27, 2009 in Esperanto Language

Esperanto strikes me as an inherently literary language. I find that I learn the most about it by reading. Of course, I am a student of literature, so forgive me if this clouds my judgment! In any case, since your local library probably lacks solid Esperanto reads, you might need to drop a few dolaroj in order to procure yourself a book. Once again, the Internet comes to our aid!

I’ve had the most luck with in my online shopping experiences. Since they purvey goods from all over the world, the website is a good repository for Esperanto books, especially since you can buy them used. I recommend searching for “Esperanto books” in the little search bar at the top. However, if you’re feeling less adventurous, two conscientious users have assembled lists of worthwhile books. One is by someone named akompano. While I haven’t heard of him or her, that person has heard of Halldor Laxness, so I’m a fan! The other list is compiled by the talented Tim Westover, author of the short story collection Marvirinstrato. The man knows his stuff.

Bonan sxancon, and happy reading!

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  1. garic:

    Dankon, Lex, those are useful resources!

    I do wonder how one identifies an “inherently literary language”, however. As a linguist, I’m finding it hard to imagine what would constitute an inherently unliterary language too (except, I suppose, for ones that haven’t yet been used for writing things, but that seems a bit like saying that non-cyclists are inherently unable to ride a bike).

  2. Lex:

    When I called it an inherently literary language, I was speaking of a personal opinion. To me, it seems that Esperanto is a language that is first learned (and perhaps best learned) via text, and seems to be used most frequently in written media. As such, I think it’s a “literary language” – a language perhaps known more by its literature than its culture.

  3. garic:

    Ah, fair enough. I thought you meant something like “better suited to literature (or the written medium)” than other languages, which doesn’t make much sense.

    I see now you meant that it’s more used for writing than speaking, which probably is true. I don’t think this is inherent to the language though; it’s presumably inherent to scattered, low-density, international communities that they communicate more by writing, but that’s the current community of speakers, rather than the language. Anyway, enough of this pedantry! Thanks again for the links.

  4. mankso:

    And don’t forget that there is a fine source of used and no longer easily obtainable books in/on Esperanto in Antwerp-Anvers in Belgium, listed at:

    And to get some exposure to the standard spoken language, try the daily Esperanto broadcasts from Radio Polonia once in a while: