Li Europan lingues

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Li Europan lingues is a quotation in Occidental, an international auxiliary language devised by Edgar von Wahl in 1922. It is used in some HTML templates as a fill-in or placeholder text.

One of the most common placeholder texts is lorem ipsum. A similar text of this type is the pangram The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog, which is often used in fill-in text and to demonstrate and compare typefaces because it contains all 26 letters of the Latin alphabet.


When used as placeholder text, Li Europan lingues is usually one or two paragraphs and reads as follows:

Li Europan lingues es membres del sam familie. Lor separat existentie es un myth. Por scientie, musica, sport etc, litot Europa usa li sam vocabular. Li lingues differe solmen in li grammatica, li pronunciation e li plu commun vocabules. Omnicos directe al desirabilite de un nov lingua franca: On refusa continuar payar custosi traductores.
At solmen va esser necessi far uniform grammatica, pronunciation e plu commun paroles. Ma quande lingues coalesce, li grammatica del resultant lingue es plu simplic e regulari quam ti del coalescent lingues. Li nov lingua franca va esser plu simplic e regulari quam li existent Europan lingues. It va esser tam simplic quam Occidental in fact, it va esser Occidental. A un Angleso it va semblar un simplificat Angles, quam un skeptic Cambridge amico dit me que Occidental es.
English translation
The European languages are members of the same family. Their separate existence is a myth. For science, music, sport, etc, Europe uses the same vocabulary. The languages only differ in their grammar, their pronunciation and their most common words. Everyone realizes why a new common language would be desirable: one could refuse to pay expensive translators.
To achieve this, it would be necessary to have uniform grammar, pronunciation and more common words. If several languages coalesce, the grammar of the resulting language is more simple and regular than that of the individual languages. The new common language will be more simple and regular than the existing European languages. It will be as simple as Occidental; in fact, it will be Occidental. To an English person, it will seem like simplified English, as a skeptical Cambridge friend of mine told me that Occidental is.

History and discovery of Li Europan lingues text[edit]

The text of Li Europan lingues is found in many HTML templates and through copying and uploading of templates this phrase seems to have found its use in many websites.

Don Harlow posted a message to the Auxlang List on 5 August 2006, mentioning its appearance in the "CSS Cookbook" from O'Reilly by Christopher Schmitt, and in templates of webpages which implement CSS. [1]

Don Gasper posted another message to the same list suggesting a possible source:

I have a theory, but it is only a theory. The Interlinguist/Occidentalist Ilmari Federn, who later adopted the name Charles Sprague and came to live in England in the late 1930s, worked at the "Financial Times" in London. I think in the newspaper press. It is possible that he added the text in Interlingue to the standard Lorem ipsum passage. Unfortunately, I never asked him about this when I got to know him in the latter years of his life, in the early 1990s.

William Patterson was pleasantly surprised that evening to read about the appearance of his version of Lorem ipsum in the "CSS Cookbook" and quickly confessed. In June 1998, at a time when he was dabbling in Occidental, he had come across the Lorem ipsum text somewhere and learned about its use as a template. As was his wont when learning something new like that, he created a webpage about it. But while warning about the existence of "corrupt" versions, he offered one himself which included some Occidental text, a dash of Esperanto, some variations of his given name, and a little bit of nonsense. In September 2002 he came across a copy of his version on the Web. Curious, he searched for other instances, and found that on 10 September 2002, an AllTheWeb search for the strings "ulliam" and "willum" returned 513 hits; by 10 December 2002, 962; and by 14 October 2003, 2337. (One page which he found particularly amusing was a Swedish translation of his own webpage— Occidental, commentary, page colors, page title "Ailanto : Lorem ipsum" and all!) And now it's in the "CSS Cookbook"!

An HTML comment in the page that started it all attributes the Occidental text itself to S. W. Beer.


  • Occidental - A small collection of Occidental pages, including the classic text Ex li paper-corb by Farfarello, and mention of the link between Lorem ipsum and Occidental.