A Promise to Learn Esperanto!

It was through a deep dive on Reddit.com humor thread about the pronunciation of the acronym GIF that I learned about an Auxiliary Language called Esperanto2, which which I am now enamored. After continuing my internet research and unscientific comparison of similar efforts, I'm convinced Esperanto, above others, is worthwhile to learn. The reasons haven't changed since 1887, and with the advent of the internet, I feel that access to the materials and the importance of a common, non-political, unambiguous language is needed more than ever. I may be a bit idealistic, but I think the time is right for an international language such as Esperanto to gain critical mass and break down communication barriers. To that goal, I am making the promise as requested by Zamenhof in his original work1:


Mi, subskribita, promesas ellerni la proponitan de d-ro Esperanto lingvon internacian, se estos montrita, ke dek milionoj personoj donis publike tian saman promeson.

Subskribo: Chad Walstrom, Woodbury, MN USA


I, the undersigned, promise to learn the international language, proposed by Dr. Esperanto, if it shall be shown that ten million similar promises have been publicly given.

Back Cover

In 1887, Warsaw was under the thumb of the Russian empire. In that year, an obscure Polish eye-doctor, Ludovic Lazarus Zamenhof, published identical pamphlets in Russian, Polish, French, and German, proposing Esperanto the easy-to-learn neutral second language for every country.

Today, Esperanto is alive and well around the world, and throughout the Internet. This is the 1889 English version of that “First Book” where it all began, reprinted for a new millennium.

“My whole grammar can be learned perfectly in one hour.”
– L. L. Zamenhof


1 Zamenhof, L. L. "Dr. Esperanto's International Language, Introduction & Complete Grammar", 1887. English Translation by R.H. Geoghegan, 1889. HTML Version 2006-11-28 Gene Keyes Website http://www.genekeyes.com/Dr_Esperanto.html

2Esperanto Reference on Omniglot: Online Encyclopedia of Writing Systems and Languages


  1. Next, Volapuk. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volap%C3%BCk

  2. I think this article by Mary Jackson covers my impression of Volapuk quite well.. Play close attention to the first three words in the translation of "The Lord's Prayer". :)


  3. Of course, Mary Jackson is quite critical of both Esperanto and Volapuk, to which I say, "Bring it!" :)

  4. I actually find this article to be very informative as well: http://www.newenglishreview.org/Norman_Berdichevsky/Why_Esperanto_Is_Different/