Read the article and choose the answer (A, B, C or D) which you think fi ts best according to the text.
What about Esperanto?
When you think about an international language, what language do you think of? Maybe English? Certainly, lots of popular fi lms and music are in English, and English is the most popular second language to learn, but there was a language invented to be even more international. That language is Esperanto.
In 1887, a man called LL Zamenhof wanted to design a language that didn’t come from any country and that was completely international. He came up with Esperanto. When he designed the language, he made it easy to learn but it wasn’t always easy to find books or teachers in the past. You couldn’t learn it at school either. But now, with the internet, it is much easier to fi nd ways to learn Esperanto, like apps or programs.
In fact, there are over a million speakers of Esperanto around the world. The most interesting thing is that you don’t know where they might be – they aren’t from a specifi c country! You have to join Esperanto groups to find other speakers.
There are also a small number of people who have Esperanto as their first language. You might think this is impossible, but it can happen when parents don’t have the same language. They learn a completely different one to communicate with at home.
This is what happened to Vito. Vito is 17 years old. His father is from New Zealand and his mother is from Spain. ‘When my parents met, they couldn’t communicate very well. My mother speaks spoke the language of her home area and also Spanish, and my father only spoke English. He then learnt a little Spanish to help them talk to each other. When I was born, they didn’t want me to have a favourite; English or Spanish. So, we all learnt Esperanto! It was the fi rst language I knew. I then went to school in New Zealand and learned more English there.’
Vito also says, ‘It’s really great having Esperanto as a first language. It’s like having a secret code that only some people know. And there are great Esperanto groups online. They are full of people all around the world. We sometimes meet up. There is a group where you can fi nd, and go and stay with, another Esperanto speaker in a different country. So, I can speak Esperanto and learn about a whole new place!’
In the first paragraph, what does the writer say about English?
Why did LL Zamenhof design Esperanto?
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