New Standard Esperanto

Esperanto has worked as it was intended for more than a hundred years. The fundamentals are well established, but there are a few competing ideas within the Esperanto movement. For example, originally, countries with relatively homogeneous populations were named using the suffix for containers (Italy was named Italujo – a container for Italians). Most Esperanto speakers today use country names ending in “io” instead of “ujo”, but both names are still used and in dictionaries. Obviously, it would be better if we agreed ahead of time on what should be taught.

Another issue is male and female words. From the beginning of Esperanto, basic words for people were assumed to be male, The word for brother was “frato”. The female suffix “in” was added to the root “frat” to make the word for sister, “fratino”. A few Esperanto speakers, who don’t like the unequal treatment of the sexes, are treating the root as gender neutral (“frato”, sibling) and using a new male suffix and the traditional female suffix to make the words for brother and sister. Again, obviously, it would be better if we agreed on what the new students should learn.

In addition to agreeing on which of competing ideas should become standard, there are some suggestions that could be adopted to make the language easier. We are inviting Esperanto speakers worldwide to make suggestions for New Standard Esperanto. To the thousands of millions of people who have not yet started to learn, the history of Esperanto is not important. What is important, is that we offer them a language that is fair and easy-to-learn. The more fair and easier it is, the better.