Esperanto was designed to be simple to learn, and to unite the world.

It has a lot of competition from other artificial languages, but it still tops them all. What is Esperanto like? Will it take over the world, or become an endangered language?

Linguist Daniel Midgley looks into it on this episode of Talk the Talk.

Listen to this episode

Or subscribe via iTunes
Click here for more options: How to listen to Talk the Talk

I’ve never been an Esperantist, but ever since finding out about Esperanto at a young age, I’ve always kind of wondered about it. So this was a good chance to find out more. Will it ever take over the world? Or will it fizzle out? My prediction would be fizzle as lots of minority languages are losing ground, but at this stage in history it looks robust.

Many people emailed me about selfie becoming Oxford Dictionaries Online’s Word of the Year. I just think it’s cool that a) this is an Australian word, and b) we can trace it back so far.

And here’s my favourite selfie. Because cheeky.

Show notes

English has a new preposition because Internet.

Because noun.

Because race car.

Because Skyrim.

Esperanto: Simple, logical, and doomed

The Ethnologue page for Esperanto

A brief history of Esperanto

A quick and dirty guide to Esperanto.

The rules of Esperanto

Esperanto on Wikipedia

How many people speak Esperanto?

Google Translate does Esperanto.

Some good critiques of Esperanto

And some responses

Oomoto, the religion that hails Zamenhof as a god

Esperanto is dead, and always was, and here’s why.

A man once tried to raise his son as a native speaker in Klingon.

Selfie: Oxford’s word of the year

Here’s the world’s earliest instance of ‘selfie’ so far. Hopey, if you’re out there, we need to talk!

My favourite selfie

Show tunes

‘Because Before 2’ by Ulf Lohmann
from the album Because Before

No video, but check out this cool player. We played Track 2, but you might like the whole thing.

‘Free of This World’ by Guided by Voices
from the album The Best Of Jill Hives

Also no video, but listen at the Juno Records site. It’s track 2.