Note to English speakers: if you haven’t heard of Esperanto before or wonder why we’re studying it, check out our What is Esperanto? page.

Greetings from the USA! We are Bri and Angelica, two students and Esperantists from Stanford University in California. This summer, we will be traveling across Europe as we study the Esperanto movement in the 21st century. We will attend the International Youth Congress, the Universal Congress, and the Italian Congress, so if you will also be at any of these conferences, we hope to meet you there!

Esperanto means “one who hopes”, but what is it that Esperantists hope for today? The world has changed much since Ludwik Zamenhof first devised the language in 1887, and so has the Esperanto movement, and its speakers themselves. This summer, we want to find out what motivates modern Esperantists and why people decide to learn Esperanto.  On our trip, we will interview many Esperantists and study historical Esperanto documents and, hopefully, we’ll come back to the United States with a better understanding of the Esperanto movement, modern Esperanto speakers, and our world in general and the people who inhabit it.

Our project is funded by the Beagle II grant from the Anthropology department of Stanford University. Throughout our voyage, we will use this blog to document our experiences and the people we meet. After the conclusion of our trip, we will write up our findings in a final report, which we will present at Stanford University.

Do you speak Esperanto? Used to speak Esperanto? We’re interested in your experience. Please contribute to our research by filling out our survey here. If you have questions, you can reach us at niaespero2016@gmail.com.

Just for fun: A Google map of every city we will visit in the course of our trip.