Modern Foreign Languages - In the spotlight

Zamenhof Day - 15 December

What is it?

Zamenhof Day, otherwise known as Esperanto Day, is celebrated on the birthday of LL Zamenhof, who created the international language Esperanto and presented the first version of it to friends at his 19th birthday party in 1878. It took nine years for the language to evolve into what is now recognised as Esperanto. But does anyone ever use it?

On 15 December 2009, 150 years since Zamenhof's birth, the authorities in Bialystok, Poland, opened a new Zamenhof Center and a symposium honouring Zamenhof was held in New York. Each year, dozens of events are held around the world, including in Britain.

For more information on Esperanto in the UK, including educational and learning opportunities, follow this link to the Esperanto Association of Britain:


Catalans were reportedly persecuted for their use of Esperanto after the Spanish Civil War. Find out more about Catalan culture and language in a resource from lydiadavies.

In the forums

One teacher suggests that every child over five should be taught Esperanto to prepare them for learning more difficult languages - join the discussion.

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