July 26 is Esperanto Day commemorating the day in 1887 that Ludwig Zamenhof, a Polish-Jewish ophthalmologist, published the first training manual for his constructed language, Esperanto.
Esperanto means “one who hopes,” and it was Zamenhof’s goal was to create an easy and flexible language that would serve as a universal second language to foster peace and international understanding.
Esperanto has been kept alive by an annual World Esperanto Congress sponsored by the Universal Esperanto Association, and in 1954 it was formally recognized by the United Nations.
Several writers have contributed to the growing body of Esperanto literature. William Auld, received the first nomination for the Nobel Prize in Literature for a literary work in Esperanto, followed by two more in 2004 and 2006.
On 22 February 2012, Google Translate added Esperanto as its 64th language, and in May 2015, the language learning platform Duolingo launched a free Esperanto course for English speakers. As of July 2018 there are 1.36 million learners studying Esperanto through the Duolingo program.
Hungary and China offer Esperanto as a foreign language.
This image of the Esperanto Flag is in the public domain.