Your RDA of Irony

Happy Esperanto Day!

December 15, 1859:  Ludwig–well, really Eliezer–Zamenhof is born.

Ludwig Zamenhof, the creator of Esperanto, was already conversant in one international language, and he thought that Gentiles might like their own equivalent of Yiddish.

How international was Yiddish? In his autobiography, Edward G. Robinson recounted the time that he met Leon Trotsky in Mexico. How did the Rumanian-born actor converse with the Ukrainian-born revolutionary? Emanuel Goldenberg and David Bronstein had a language in common.

Unlike Yiddish, however, Esperanto is said to be deficient for expressing emotions, rational to the point of sterility.  Perhaps from his experiences with Poles and Russians, Zamenhof preferred Gentiles not to express themselves emotionally. What is the Esperantese for ‘pogrom”?  Zamenhof never imagined what emotionless Germans could do. Unfortunately, all of his children found out.

  1. says:

    “Esperanto is said to be deficient for expressing emotions, rational to the point of sterility.” Said by whom not me!

    Take a look at

    Esperanto works! I’ve used it in speech and writing – and sung in it – in about fifteen countries over recent years.

    Indeed, the language has some remarkable practical benefits. Personally, I’ve made friends around the world through Esperanto that I would never have been able to communicate with otherwise. And then there’s the Pasporta Servo, which provides free lodging and local information to Esperanto-speaking travellers in over 90 countries. In the past few years I have had guided tours of Berlin and Milan and Douala in Cameroon in the planned language. I have discussed philosophy with a Slovene poet, humour on television with a Bulgarian TV producer. I’ve discussed what life was like in East Berlin before the wall came down, how to cook perfect spaghetti, the advantages and disadvantages of monarchy, and so on.

    • Eugene Finerman says:

      The emotional deficiency of Esperanto is the opinion of an acquaintance who is a polyglot. However, he also likes Ayn Rand–so he probably should never be taken seriously.

      Given the versatility of Esperanto–if you can be believed (Do you like Ayn Rand?)–I apologize.


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