Tony Harris from Vermont
I learned Esperanto as a teenager, mainly out of linguistic interest. It definitely helped me learn other languages such as French and Spanish. Over the years I've continued to dabble in it, I've corresponded with people whose languages I don't from other parts of the world, I've kept up on news and happenings that don't make it into English language press via websites and I've read literature that may or may not ever make it into English. I would very much love to see Esperanto taught in schools, especially here in the US where learning languages isn't popular to begin with. At least everyone could learn an easy language that would open the world to them!
Jim Henry (Duluth, Georgia, USA)
Due to health problems I haven't been able to travel to other countries much, but I have enjoyed meeting traveling Esperanto speakers who come to Atlanta for school or business and meet with the local Esperanto speakers while in town. I've also met various foreign Esperanto speakers who have come to our national conventions here, besides corresponding (mainly by email) with people from Brazil, Poland, Bulgaria, Japan, Italy, and several other countries. I've also read a number of novels, short stories, and poems in Esperanto; some of the latter (by William Auld and Kalman Kaloscay) rival some of the better poetry I've read in English (not at Shakespeare's level, but about as good as Colerige, Marvell or Carroll). Besides the personal contacts that Esperanto makes possible, I enjoy its flexible linguistic structure, which enables and instigates verbal creativity in a surprising way. I'm fluent enough in it that I sometimes write first drafts of difficult documents in Esperanto before rewriting them in English.
Phil Dorcas, Texas, USA
I speak Esperanto with people from other countries and cultures so that I do not have to use English. I wish to speak with others on a neutral basis, and not require them to learn my native language. It is easier to understand them in Esperanto. I'm sure that they understand me better also. Esperanto has resulted in many wonderful friendships that would not be possible otherwise. I studied Spanish for five years in the public schools and remember very little of it. I studied French very hard at the college level and remember very little French. National languages are very hard for me because they are not phonetic, and have so many irregular verbs. I have failed at every language I have tried to learn except for Esperanto.
James Lieberman, Washington DC USA
Now 70, I have used Esperanto for 50 years now in correspondence, international congresses (France, China, Iceland, USA), reading & translation. I see it as a bridge between speakers of different languages that avoids a superior-inferior posture--it is going half way. It also protects "smaller" languages from being smothered by the dominant ones. Last but not least, it has helped me understand and use English, my native tongue, as well as important principles of linguistics.
Robert Sartor. from Argentina
I studied Esperanto when I was a boy on the fifties, last century... As a university professor I travelled around the world. Esperanto helped me to find fellows everywhere as friends that received me as brother-on-language, on same level, as citiciens of the unique some world, withoud differences... Esperanto too helped me to learn very easily other languages. Esperanto has some special way to help our mind to understand how all the language works. I have no doubts that Esperanto will be in the future THE COMUN LANGUAGE OF A NEW WORLD "kaj pli bona mondo". Now I use Esperanto on the Web, better than English to comunicate by writing and voice chats, on an incredible on-line way withoud limist. Try to lern this Planed Perfect language: you will change your mind!
Gary Grady from Durham NC USA
I've enjoyed using Esperanto for many years in travel, meeting interesting people, and keeping in touch with friends. I subscribe to a number of magazines in the language to stay current and frequently have dinner with other speakers in my area and visitors from elsewhere. It's great fun.
Jim from 250 miles south of B.C.
With the fall of Saddam Hussien...Esperanto is Legal all over the world again (though still scrutinized by censors). The only other time in it's nearly 115 year history was in Stalinist USSR. There is a poignant story of how the creator of Esperanto, Dr. Zamenhof's son had a lovely two hour conversation over tea using Esperanto with a Lieutenat of the Nazi SS, before being led off to the concentration camp because he was Jewish. Esperanto is a measure of how humanity wants to and can live in peace with understanding, one to one, heart to heart without the need of any diplomacy, which is merely a holdover from the prebattle parlay of the warminded down through the ages.
Bill Harmon from California
I've spoken Esperanto for over 66 years now, and throughout my life it has paid dividends in many ways. It has enriched my knowledge of other peoples, as I have used it in many countries, particularly at the annual World Esperanto Conferences. My wife of 43 years and I speak it at home, on no regular basis but just when the mood strikes us (or we want to converse privately in public). It has broadened my world view, my philosophy, and my humanity. I owe a great deal to this ingenious bridge between peoples. Try it - you'll be glad you did!
Mark from USA
I homeschool my two children, and we learned Esperanto together, purely for its many educational benefits. It's certainly a lot easier, more interesting, and more useful than learning Latin!
Jairo Augusto Dos Santos - Brazil
I learnt Esperanto with 17 and even after years without prectising it I could quickly remember it to change ideas with very diferent kind of people. I have studied by myself since japanese, german until russian but it was Esperanto the languege I could learn totally well.
Ian from Wallasey
I had always wanted to learn Esperanto,since I first heard of it when I was 6, but for my work,I had to learn other languages, so it wasn't until 1990 that I got round to learning Esperanto finally. I couldn't believe how easy it is to learn compared to other languages, and now I can use it just as easily as though it were my "mother tongue" and have used it frequently both in GB and abroad more and more. Since retiring in 1993 I have been using it virtually non stop in France, Germany, Poland,Austria, Ukraine, Cuba, Sweden, Norway, and Spain. To echo another's comments, Esperanto has opened doors which no other language ever can - especially English!
To survive Europ Union needs a commun language and that can not be an etnic language. So...I speak Esperanto because I want EU.
Gwenda Sutton, New Zealand
I was attracted to Esperanto when I read that it is completely phonetic and has no irregular verbs. I had struggled with French at school although i had been keen to learn it. Learning Esperanto has enabled me to converse with ease with people of many cultures. I was invited to teach Esperanto in Japan and spent a very interesting year there. I met many Japanese who after many years studying English were unable to converse in it and I met several Japanese who could speak Esperanto fluently after just a few months study. I have enjoyed visiting Eserantists in many countries and entertaining Eperantists visiting New Zealand. I enjoy reading Esperanto books and magazines and belonging to Esperanto internet groups and tutor students on the net. Using Esperanto is as logical as using metric measurenments and decimal currency two great ideas which are still not accepted everywhere. Learning Esperanto has enriched my life and I wish that I had learned it earlier.
Jean-Claude Roy France
I learned English for 10 years and unfortunately I am not fluent. When I discovered Esperanto I adopted it immediately and now I use it every day to send messages, read magazines speak the language at home with my wife and my children. I also meet all kinds of foreighners with whom I speak in Esperanto. The atmosphere during those meetings, week-ends etc... is very cool. We feel really as if it is the same family. Sincerely I apologize for my English. As you know I am not the only one in France who learned English and who can't speak proprely. Plus I don't understand people speaking in English.
Leland Ross from Seattle (WA, USA)
I learned Esperanto at age 16 - bought an old textbook in it at a used bookshop and taught myself the basics on the bus ride home. By the time I met my first live Esperanto speakers, some six months later, I was already able to converse with them. (This was quite a contrast to my prior experience as a student of Spanish and French at primary school, Japanese while living in Tokyo, and Russian, which I had begun at age 14 in secondary school - in none of those had I managed to become an actual conversational speaker in my first six months). A few years later I was stuck in Zürich with no cash, and my ability to speak Esperanto made the difference between three nights' lodging while waiting for my flight back to the States and sleeping in the alpine parks in March (brrr!!). I speak the language regularly with some of the several-dozen other Esperantists in the Seattle area, but certainly in the last decade the bulk of my use of the language has been online and in email correspondence. I am a Baptist lay preacher, and have conducted several worship services in Esperanto, too. There is no shortage of opportunities to use Esperanto for those who know it.
Marcelo Casartelli from Argentina
I learnt Esperanto as a teenager. I speak it at home with my wife. When we travel to other countries this tongue is very useful. We always meet other esperantists,and with them we talk about different subjects. I think that Esperanto is the language of friendship and peace.
Stanislaw Mandrak from Poland
Mi tre gxojas, ke en tiel prestigxa gazeto oni skribas kaj interesigxas pri Esperanto. Amike Via Stanislavo
Martin Purdy, Upper Hutt, New Zealand
I taught myself Esperanto at 12 and found it an excellent stepping stone to learn other languages - it helped the pieces to fall into place much more clearly, as it were. I'm now a professional translator working from ten or so languages. In my 20s I used Esperanto when I lived abroad, in Japan and France, for instance, and found it a handy way to meet people and make instant friends, some of whom I'm still in contact with. These days I keep up-to-date with a regular magazine from Holland, still buy (and read) the odd book and listen to the occasional radio broadcast, but I'm not as active as I used to be. I haven't actively passed the language onto my children (6 and 4), but hope that they will be open to the idea when they are a little older.
Brian Kaneen, Vancouver BC
I turned to Esperanto as a teenager on the Isle of Man after not making much progress with Manx, and stayed with it despite active discouragement from teachers and friends. Thank God I did! It led me to a career in languages and opened up new vistas. I'm now retired, but 95% of my e-mail is in Esperanto, I listen to Esperanto broadcasts from Radio Polonia several times a week, and speak it with friends in my hometown. It's been an enormous help in my travels - speaking English never got my invited into a private home anywhere, but Esperanto certainly did, even before the Iron Curtain came down! Such a pity so few people take the time to look into it seriously.
Marko from Kety /poland
Esperanto it is very good language.