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=== How many people speak Esperanto? ===
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=== What about Esperanto's grammar and word-order? ===
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Even more than its vocabulary, it is Esperanto's grammar and rules which makes it exceptionally easy. Unnecessary complications have been eliminated: there is no grammatical gender, the word order is relatively free, etc. The rules have also been simplified as much as possible: there is only one verb conjugation, all plurals are formed the same way, a prefix can be added to any word to change it to its opposite (good/bad, rich/poor, right/wrong), and so on. Thus, after perhaps 30 minutes' study, one can conjugate any verb in any tense. This is a tremendous simplification compared to national languages.
  
This is a very common question, but nobody really knows the answer. The
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Esperanto's flexible word-order allows speakers from different language families to use the structures with which they are most familiar and still speak perfectly intelligible and grammatically correct Esperanto. This also makes Esperanto an excellent translator of such different languages as Chinese, Japanese, Latin, English and French.
only way to determine accurately the number of people who speak
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Esperanto would be to conduct a world-wide census, and of course this
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has never been done.
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<P>However, Professor Sidney S. Culbert of the University of Washington,
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Seattle, USA, has done the most comprehensive survey on language use
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ever attempted. He has conducted interviews in dozens of countries
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around the world and tested for "professional proficiency", i.e. much
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more than just "hello, please, goodbye".
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<P>Based on this survey, Prof. Culbert concluded that Esperanto has about
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<STRONG>two million speakers</STRONG>
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worldwide. This puts it on a par with "minority"
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languages such as Lithuanian or Hebrew.
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[http://www.rano.demon.co.uk/nombro.html More information] on this survey is available, partly in Esperanto.
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Complete results for all languages with more
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than one million speakers are published in the
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[http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0886878322/esperantofaq <CITE>World Almanac and Book of Facts</CITE>].
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<P>[<EM>There's a lot of debate over how many people speak Esperanto. Sometimes
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there is a tendency to exaggerate the number of Esperanto speakers, or,
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on the contrary, to minimize it. I've seen numbers ranging from 100 000
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to 8 million. Prof. Culbert's estimate has two advantages over any
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other I've seen:</EM>
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<BLOCKQUOTE>
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<P><EM>1. The method is sound. Doing a world-wide survey is the only valid way
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to estimate the number of Esperanto speakers, but it's so difficult that
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Prof. Culbert is the only person who has ever attempted to do so, to my
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knowledge.</EM>
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<P><EM>2. The study attempted to find out how many people speak <STRONG>all</STRONG>
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languages, not just Esperanto. We can see whether the results obtained
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for other languages make sense; if they do, then the result for
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Esperanto is probably as valid as any other.</EM>
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</BLOCKQUOTE>
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<P><EM>In short, Prof. Culbert's estimate that two million people speak
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Esperanto around the world is the most accurate answer we're likely to
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get.</EM> -- Ed.]
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<P>Some parents teach Esperanto (along with the local language) to their
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children; it is estimated that perhaps a thousand people speak Esperanto
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as a first language.
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</P>
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<P><SMALL>(Please see the
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[http://www.esperanto.net/veb/faq-18.html Disclosure about Amazon.com].)</SMALL></P>
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Kiel registrite je 10:17, 27 Jun. 2010

What about Esperanto's grammar and word-order?

Even more than its vocabulary, it is Esperanto's grammar and rules which makes it exceptionally easy. Unnecessary complications have been eliminated: there is no grammatical gender, the word order is relatively free, etc. The rules have also been simplified as much as possible: there is only one verb conjugation, all plurals are formed the same way, a prefix can be added to any word to change it to its opposite (good/bad, rich/poor, right/wrong), and so on. Thus, after perhaps 30 minutes' study, one can conjugate any verb in any tense. This is a tremendous simplification compared to national languages.

Esperanto's flexible word-order allows speakers from different language families to use the structures with which they are most familiar and still speak perfectly intelligible and grammatically correct Esperanto. This also makes Esperanto an excellent translator of such different languages as Chinese, Japanese, Latin, English and French.