Esperanto Language Blog

Various Esperanto slogans around the world Posted by on Dec 26, 2011 in Uncategorized

If someone were to ask you to summarize what is Esperanto in a short phrase, what would you say? Many groups have tried to answer this question and I’ll present some of their ideas.

Probably the most famous slogan of all time is Esperanto: everyone’s second language. This is quite old back when everyone had the goal of everyone speaking Esperanto. My personal goal is for everyone to have heard of Esperanto and for them to respect it, thus one of the reasons I write this blog… and why I write it in English. This slogan has largely fell out of favor as many people like the Esperanto community as it is now, and most don’t feel that it still represents the community in general. I personally find it amusing that at one event, someone joked about a new slogan: Esperanto: everyone’s second international language, since English is often considered the de facto international language today. This was also referenced in TEJO’s April Fool’s Joke in 2003.

For quite a long time, Esperanto USA had the slogan Esperanto: the international language that works. I found this problematic, because I have often seen English as being an international language that works. I have to admit, it usually does not work as well as Esperanto, but I found the slogan to be a bit strange … and that it would appear strange to those who have successfully learned English as a foreign language to a high level.

I see now that their slogan appears to be Esperanto is both revolutionary and sensible. I definitely prefer this to the one above, but to me it doesn’t really have that zing that makes people want to learn more. It also doesn’t say what Esperanto is (a language), leaving people who’ve never heard of it before confused. However, the more I think about it, the more I like it.

Today, I heard about an interesting slogan of the German Esperanto Association: Esperanto: more than a language. Trevor Steele originally mentioned it in an article called Should we lose hope? The more I thought about it, the more I loved it. If someone hasn’t heard of it before, they now know it’s at least a language and they’ll be curious as to what more. If they believe Esperanto is dead, they’ll wonder “what more is there?” to which one could easily reply community, music, congresses, books, etc. In short, I find that it informs while creating interest.

What do you think? Which slogan(s) do you like best? Does your country use a different slogan which you find interesting? Would you propose something else? I’d love to hear your opinions in the comments!

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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. Erik:


    my personal slogan: Esperanto, one of my swarm communities:


  2. inga johanson:

    A Swedish esperantist, Sven Utberg was in an interview with a Swedish newspaper many years ago – his words about Esperanto was:
    Svenska är mitt modersmål – Esperanto är mitt brodersmål.
    In English: Swedish is my mother-language/tongue and Esperanto is my brother-language/tongue.
    The Swedish rhyme “moder-broder” (mother-brother)
    is also very good in this expression.
    But some years after a Swedish feminist, forget her name, did not agree as she thought this exclude the “sisters”.
    I am Swedish woman, still I like the slogan: If we need a brother-language/tongue, why not Esperanto!

  3. Jaffa McNeill:

    Esperanto: your last chance to be bilingual!

  4. Keith Bowes:

    Personally, I find English too ambiguous to be a worthwhile international language (I prefer using Esperanto, even to people who don’t speak Esperanto). If you combine that with the fact that only perhaps 10% of the world’s population speaks English in any degree (I have a feeling most of the ESL crowd speak English at the same level I speak Spanish or German) and it’s culturally bound to especially the United States, it’s a very poor international language.

    Now, I’ve always thought that ELNA’s slogan was referring to other planned international languages, none of which have been shown suitable for international, egalitarian communication (we should remember the Volapük debacle). Of course, any national language can be used for international communication, so it wouldn’t make sense refer to them in this context.

  5. Malachi:

    Mi pensas esperanton estas la homaj lingvo. Kaj estas tempo ĉiu pensi tiel ĝi. La mondo postulos lumon por la pli bonan futuron. Kaj ni povos helpon kun nia malgranda verda stelo. Ne faras nur paroli sed vivu pli bonan.

  6. inga johanson:

    Swedish organisation Språkrådet cares about National Minority Languages

    If we could call esperanto an International Minority Language,
    perhaps they would also care about us.

  7. Federico Gobbo:

    Esperanto, la lingvo sen landlimoj.

  8. inga johansson:

    Esperanto is a key, with this key you open any door, behind the doors are other languages that you want to learn.
    Esperanto is a bag, in this bag you find international words that you can use when learning other languages.