Native Esperanto speakers
Native Esperanto speakers (in Esperanto denaskuloj or denaskaj esperantistoj) are born into families in which Esperanto is spoken (usually along with other languages). This usually occurs when the parents meet each other at an Esperanto gathering but do not know each other’s native language. Often one or both parents choose to use Esperanto as the main language in communicating with the children, who thus acquire the language in the way that other children acquire their native languages; those children then become native speakers. It also happens that the parents use Esperanto between themselves, but use another language when speaking with the children. Then the children, who wish to understand what the parents are saying between themselves, learn (or at least comprehend) spoken Esperanto.
Esperanto is not the primary language of any geographic region, outside of temporary gatherings (such as conventions like the World Congress of Esperanto) and isolated offices (such as the World Esperanto Association's central office in Rotterdam). Consequently, native speakers have limited opportunity to meet one another except where meetings are specially arranged. For this reason, some parents consider it important to bring their children regularly to Esperanto conventions. Similarly, the annual Children's Congress of Esperanto (Infana Kongreseto) happens alongside the largest Esperanto convention, the World Congress of Esperanto (Universala Kongreso).
The most famous native speaker of Esperanto is businessman George Soros, son of Tivadar Soros, publisher and writer in Esperanto. Also notable are young Holocaust victim Petr Ginz, whose drawing of the planet Earth as viewed from the moon was carried aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia, and Daniel Bovet, the recipient of the 1957 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
List of native speakers
Below is a list of noted native Esperanto speakers.
- BENJAMIN K. BERGEN (2001). Nativization processes in L1 Esperanto . Journal of Child Language, 28 , pp 575-595 doi:10.1017/S0305000901004779
- Jouko Lindstedt (January 2006). Native Esperanto as a Test Case for Natural Language (PDF). University of Helsinki – Department of Slavonic and Baltic Languages and Literatures.
- Cowan, Alison Leigh (December 16, 2010). "How Do You Say 'Billionaire' in Esperanto?". The New York Times. Retrieved October 27, 2011.
- Ginz, Petr. Taglibro de Mia Frato: Memornotoj de Petr Ginz El la Jaroj 1941-1942. Kava-Pech, 2005. (ISBN 8085853795, 9788085853797)
- "Daniel Bovet". Nndb.com. 1903-06-19. Retrieved 2012-04-29.
- DENASK-L (Esperanto)— Internet discussion group for Esperanto families
- About native Esperanto speakers
- Interview with third generation native Esperanto speaker