An alternative globalisation: why learn Esperanto today?

A special lecture by prof. dr. Federico Gobbo, in cooperation with the Faculty of Humanities (UvA)

08okt2015 17:15 - 18:15


An alternative globalisation: why learn Esperanto today? Prof. dr. Federico Gobbo, professor by special appointment in Interlinguistics and Esperanto (on behalf of the Universal Esperanto Association), will ddeliver a special lecture under this title. Esperanto survived two World Wars in the 20th century. But how is it possible that the language still attracts people in the new Millennium?

English is used as a global language in most parts of the world, and in spite of this there are still people who decide to learn Esperanto, a language planned for international communication in 1887 by Ludwik Lazarus Zamenhof, a Jewish oculist living in Poland. He succeeded to form a speech community which still lives today. 

Esperanto as a cultural phenomenon

The members of the speech community, who usually call themselves 'esperantists', form a human group which is different from any other linguistic group. In fact, Esperanto is a non-ethnic language, and there is no special territory with a state and native speakers: nobody can claim a special priority in the sense of belonging, while at the same time Esperanto can be potentially everybody's language. The community of Esperanto speakers experience a way to be global which is very different and alternative to the one experienced through speaking English. This lecture will answer the question why Esperanto is still nowadays an interesting linguistic and cultural phenomenon. Also examples of  fieldwork will be presented.

Federico Gobbo

Federico Gobbo

About the speaker

Federico Gobbo is professor by special appointment at the University of Amsterdam on behalf of the Universal Esperanto Association (Rotterdam). He is also teaching fellow at the University of Turin (Italy) with a course in Language Planning and Planned Languages and he is part of the EU-FP7 funded project MIME (Mobility and Inclusion in a Multilingual Europe) at the University of Milano-Bicocca (Italy).


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