Esperantido is the term used within the Esperanto and constructed language communities to describe a language project based on or inspired by Esperanto. Esperantido originally referred to the language of that name, which later came to be known as Ido. The word Esperantido is derived from Esperanto plus the suffix -ido (a descendant). Thus "Esperantido" literally means "an offspring of Esperanto".

A number of Esperantidos have been created to address a number of perceived flaws or weaknesses of Esperanto, or of other Esperantidos, attempting to improve their lexicon, grammar, pronunciation, and orthography. (See common criticisms.) Others were created as language games or to add variety to Esperanto literature. The only Esperantido in common use is Ido.

Language reforms

These are attempted improvements that were intended to replace Esperanto. Limited suggestions for improvement within the framework of Esperanto, such as orthographic reforms and riism, are not considered Esperantidos.


Mundolingo (1888) was the first Esperantido, created in 1888. Changes from Esperanto include combining the adjective and adverb under the suffix -e, loss of the accusative and adjectival agreement, changes to the verb conjugations, eliminating the diacritics, and bringing the wordstock closer to Latin, for example with superlative -osim- to replace the Esperanto particle plej "most".

Reformed Esperanto

Zamenhof himself proposed several changes in the language in 1894, which were rejected by the Esperanto community. It has been suggested that Zamenhof made the changes radical to assure their rejection and thus to reinforce the established version.


Ido (1907), the foremost of the Esperantidos, sought to bring Esperanto into closer alignment with Western European expectations of an ideal language, based on familiarity with French, English, and Italian. Reforms included changing the spelling by removing non-Roman letters such as ĉ and re-introducing the k/q dichotomy; removing a couple of the more obscure phonemic contrasts (one of which, [x], has been effectively removed from standard Esperanto); ending the infinitives in -r and the plurals in -i like Italian; eliminating adjectival agreement, and removing the need for the accusative case by setting up a fixed default word order; reducing the amount of inherent gender in the vocabulary, providing a masculine suffix and an epicene third-person singular pronoun; replacing the pronouns and correlatives with forms more similar to the Romance languages; adding new roots where Esperanto uses the antonymic prefix mal-; replacing much of Esperanto's other regular derivation with separate roots, which are thought to be easier for Westerners to remember; and replacing much of the Germanic and Slavic vocabulary with Romance forms, such as navo for English-derived ŝipo. An example of an Ido Pater noster is given below.

Ido spawned its own idos, the first being Adjuvilo (1908), which was created by an Esperantist to sow dissent in the Ido community.


René de Saussure (brother of linguist Ferdinand de Saussure) published numerous esperantido proposals, starting with a response to Ido later called Antido 1 ("Anti-Ido 1") in 1907, which increasingly diverged from Esperanto before finishing with a more conservative Esperanto II in 1937. Esperanto II replaced j with y, kv with q, kz with x, and diacritic letters with j (ĵ & ĝ), w (ŭ), and digraphs sh (ŝ), ch (ĉ); replaced the passive in -iĝ- with -ev-, the indefinite ending -aŭ with adverbial -e, the accusative -on on nouns with -u, and the plural on nouns with -n (so membrun for membrojn "members"); dropped adjectival agreement; broke up the table of concords, changed other small grammatical words such as ey for kaj "and", and treated pronouns more like nouns, so that the plural of li "he" is lin rather than ili "they", and the accusative of ĝi "it" is ju.

Esperanto sen fleksio

Esperanto sen fleksio (Esperanto without inflexion), proposed under this name by Richard Harrison in 1996 but based on long-term complaints from Asian Esperantists, is a morphologically reduced variety of Esperanto. The main changes are:

  • Loss of the plural (the suffix -j),
  • Loss of the accusative case (the suffix -n),
  • Loss of verb tense: past, present, and future are all subsumed under the infinitive ending -i,
  • Loss of the article la,
  • The letter ŭ is replaced with w.


While most Esperantidos aim to simplify Esperanto, Poliespo ("polysynthetic Esperanto", ca 1993) makes it considerably more complex. Besides the polysynthetic morphology, it incorporates much of the phonology and vocabulary of the Cherokee language. It has fourteen vowels, six of them nasalized, and three tones.


Sen:esepera (1996) is an unfinished attempt to make Esperanto's phonology (sounds) more accessible to those who are monolingual in a language with a restricted sound set. The consonantal phonemes are limited to fourteen found in 75% of a small sample of natural languages, /p t k b d g f s h m n l r j/. (Thus the esepera in its name, from Esperanto espera.) /k/ is written c, and /j/ is i, so /kajm/ is spelled caim. (This is the most complex syllable possible, consonant + vowel + i + m or n.) Consonant clusters are broken up with the vowel e, so lingvo becomes linegefa and scienco /stsientso/ becomes secienca /sekienka/.

Nouns end in a, adjectives in n or m, verbs in i, adverbs in e, the three personal pronouns in u (1st person imu, 2nd tu, 3rd hu), numerals in in, prepositions and conjunctions in o ("and" is a bare o). There is no tense, number, case, or gender. The phonological simplification made many morphologically complex words difficult to recognize, so the colon <:> is used to join morphemes, and the morphology is simplified. The correletives are largely replaced with compound words.

Esperantidos for amusement

There are also extensions of Esperanto which are created for amusement.


One of the more interesting Esperantidos, grammatically, is Universal (1923–1928) It adds a schwa to break up consonant clusters, marks the accusative case with a nasal vowel, has inclusive and exclusive pronouns, uses partial reduplication for the plural (tablo "table", tatablo "tables"), and inversion for antonyms (mega "big", gema "little"; donu "give", nodu "receive"; tela "far", leta "near"). Inversion can be seen in,
Al gefinu o fargu kaj la egnifu o grafu.

He finished reading [lit. 'to read'] and she started to write.

The antonyms are al "he" and la "she" (compare li "s/he"), the ge- (completive) and eg- (inchoative) aspects, fin- "to finish" and nif- "to begin", and graf- "to write" and farg- "to read".

The Universal reduplicated plural and inverted antonyms are reminiscent of the musical language Solresol.


Esperant’ (ca 1998) is a style of speech that twists but does not quite violate the grammar of Esperanto.

The changes are morphological:

  • The nominal suffix -o is removed, as in poetry. Knabo becomes knab’.
  • The plural ending -oj is replaced with the collective suffix -ar-. Knaboj becomes knabar’.
  • Adjectives lose their -a suffixes and combine with their head nouns. Bela knabino becomes belknabin’.
  • In direct objects, the accusative suffix -n is replaced with the preposition je. Knabon becomes je knab’.
  • Verbs become nouns, and their erstwhile tense and mood suffixes move elsewhere:
    • This may be an adverb or prepositional phrase: donu hodiaŭ becomes hodiu don’, and estas en la ĉielo becomes est’ ĉielas.
    • If the verb contains a valency suffix, this may detach from the verb: fariĝu becomes iĝu far’.
    • If none of these options are available, jen may be used as a placeholder: amas becomes jenas am’. The choice of where the tense suffix ends up is largely a stylistic choice.
  • Subjects of the erstwhile verb take the preposition de if nouns, or became possessives if pronouns: knabo amas becomes am’ de knab’, and kiu estas becomes kies est’.
  • The article la becomes l’ whenever the preceding word ends in a vowel.


Boys love the pretty girl.

Esperanto: Knaboj amas la belan knabinon.

Esperant’: Jenas am’ de knabar’ je l belknabin.

Literally, "Behold (the) love of boys to the pretty-girl."

An example of an Esperant’ Pater noster is given below.

Esperanto specializations

There are various projects to adapt Esperanto to specialized uses. Esperanto de DLT (1983) is one; it was an adaptation of Esperanto as a pivot language for machine translation.

Esperantidos used in literature

Esperanto has little in the way of the slang, dialectical variation, or archaisms found in natural languages. Several authors have felt a need for such variation, either for effect in original literature or to translate such variation in national literature.

Archaism and Arcaicam Esperantom

Proto-Esperanto would theoretically fulfill the need for archaism, but too little survives for it to be used extensively. In 1931 Kalman Kalocsay published a translation of the Funeral Sermon and Prayer, the first Hungarian text (12th century), in which he created fictitious archaic forms as though Esperanto were a Romance language deriving from Vulgar Latin.

Manuel Halvelik went further in 1969 with a book on Arcaicam Esperantom, where he laid out the grammar of a fictitious ancestor of modern Esperanto. It echos Proto-Esperanto in a more complex set of inflections, including dative and genitive cases ending in -d and -es and separate verbal inflections for person and number, as well as "retention" of digraphs such as ph and tz, writing c for [k], and the use of the letters q, y, w.

Dialects and Popido

Occasionally reform projects have been used by Esperanto authors to play the role of dialects, for example standard Esperanto and Ido to translate a play written in two dialects of Italian. Havelik (1973) created Popido ("Popular Idiom") to play the role of a substandard register of Esperanto that, among other things, does away with much of Esperanto's inflectional system. For example, standard Esperanto

Redonu al tiu viro sian pafilon.
"Give that man back his gun."

is in Popido,

Redonu al tu vir si pistol.

Comparison of Esperanto, Ido, Esperant', and Arcaicam Esperantom

The Esperanto Pater noster follows, compared to the Ido, Esperant’ and Arcaicam Esperantom versions.

    Esperanto Arcaicam Esperantom
Patro nia, kiu estas en la ĉielo,
sanktigata estu via nomo.
Venu via regno,
fariĝu via volo,
kiel en la ĉielo, tiel ankaŭ sur la tero.
Nian panon ĉiutagan donu al ni hodiaŭ.
Kaj pardonu al ni niajn ŝuldojn,
kiel ankaŭ ni pardonas al niaj ŝuldantoj.
Kaj ne konduku nin en tenton,
sed liberigu nin de la malbono.
   Patrom nosam, cuyu estu in Chielom,
Estu sanctigitam Tuam Nomom.
Wenu Tuam Regnom,
Plenumizzu Tuam Wolom,
Cuyel in Chielom, ityel anquez sobrez Terom.
Nosid donu hodiez Panon nosan cheyutagan,
Ed nosid pardonu nosayn Pecoyn,
Cuyel anquez nos ityuyd cuyuy contrez nos pecait pardonaims.
Ed nosin ned conducu in Tenton,
Sed nosin liberigu ex Malbonom.
Patro nia, qua esas en la cielo,
tua nomo santigesez;
tua regno advenez;
tua volo facesez
quale en la cielo tale anke sur la tero.
Donez a ni cadie l'omnidiala pano,
e pardonez a ni nia ofensi,
quale anke ni pardonas a nia ofensanti,
e ne duktez ni aden la tento,
ma liberigez ni del malajo.
   Nipatr’, kies est’ ĉielas,
iĝu via nom’ sankt’.
Viu la regnalven’.
Iĝu via la volfar’,
kielas en la ĉiel’, tiel anku surtere.
Hodiu ĉiutagpandon’ nin.
Kaju la pardon’ al niofend’,
kiel ankas nipardon’ al ofendintar’ nia.
Kaju nea nia konduk’ entent’,
sedu nia la liberig’ de l’ malbon’.


External links

  • Patro Nia (pictured on a wall of the Convent of the Pater Noster)

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