Esperanto’s birthday on 26 July

The only language with a birthday is turning 131 years young. Esperanto, published by Ludwig Zamenhof on 26 July 1887, was designed to be as simple as possible so that people could use it for international communication back in the days when steamships and wireless telegraphy brought to the fore the question of what language people from different backgrounds should use with each other.

Esperanto has become increasingly popular in recent years. The online learning platform Duolingo ( welcomed the millionth learner to its Esperanto for English-speakers course within only two and a half years of its launch. And Esperanto-speakers can now find each other much more easily thanks to the app Amikumu ( which was developed by the Esperanto community and has since expanded for speakers of every language.

You won’t find it hard to find Esperanto speakers if you’re in Lisbon, though: around 2000 of them from about 60 countries will be gathering there from July 28th to August 4th for the 103rd World Esperanto Congress. The only language in use there will be — you guessed it — Esperanto.