This passage is about the language Esperanto.

Lexile Level: 580L

Categories: History People & Places

Have you ever wanted to create your own language? It would enable you and your friends to talk and no one would understand you. In 1887, L. L. Zamenhof did just that. However, he wanted everyone to understand his made-up language. He hoped to create an easy-to-learn language that people all around the world could use. He called the language Esperanto. He published a book about this language. He hoped people would start to use it. They did! Today, some people in many countries know how to speak Esperanto. There are about 1 million speakers of this made-up language. Somewhere between 200 and 2,000 people are native Esperanto speakers, having learned the language from birth. Some students learn Esperanto while they are in school. More than 25,000 books have been written and translated into Esperanto. Two films have been made in which the characters speak only in Esperanto. To say "hello" in Esperanto, you say "Saluton." To say "thank you," you say "dankon."

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