26 Jul: Let’s Build A Language

Linguist L. L. Zamenhof published ‘Dr. Esperanto’s International Language’ on 26th July, 1887 – and in so doing launched Esperanto, the most popular ‘constructed language’ on Earth. Thanks to apps like Duolingo, there are still around 2 million esperantists today.

It was once even proposed as the official language of the incipient League of Nations – but shortly afterwards, many esperantists, including Zemenhoff’s own children, were murdered in the Holocaust. 

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly learn about Amikejo, the 3.5 sq km territory between the Netherlands, Germany and France where Esperanto nearly became the official language; revisit the 1966 horror film ‘Incubus’, starring William Shatner; and consider whether Duolingo has killed off the language conference hook-up scene…

Further Reading:

• ‘L.L. Zamenhof and the Shadow People’(The New Republic, 2009):


• Tim Morley’s Ted X talk on why primary school children should learn Esperanto: 

• ‘The bizarre story of a long-lost horror film made entirely in Esperanto, starring William Shatner’ (Quartz, 2017): https://qz.com/1035897/the-bizarre-story-of-a-long-lost-horror-film-made-entirely-in-esperanto-starring-william-shatner/

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La Retrospectors estas Olly Mann, Rebecca Messina & Arion McNicoll, kun Matt Monteto.

Temo Muziko: Pasi La Pizojn. Parolisto: Bob Ravelli. Grafika desegnado: Terry Saunders. Redakti Produktiston: Emma Corsham. Kopirajto: Rekonsider Aŭdio / Olly Mann 2021.