Dr. Esperanto's International Language, usually referred to as Unua Libro (English: First Book), was the first publication to describe Esperanto, then called the International Language (Esperanto: Lingvo Internacia). It was first published in Russian on July 26, 1887 in Warsaw, by Polish oculist L. L. Zamenhof. Over the next few years editions were published in Polish, Russian, Hebrew, French, German, and English. This booklet included the Lord's Prayer, some Bible verses, a letter, poetry, the sixteen rules of grammar and 900 roots of vocabulary. In the book Zamenhof declared, "an international language, like a national one, is common property" and renounced all rights to the language, effectively putting it into the public domain. Zamenhof signed the work as "Doktoro Esperanto" (Doctor One-Who-Hopes). Those who learned the new language began to call it "Esperanto" after Zamenhof's pen name, and Esperanto soon became the official name of the language.
The first English edition, entitled Dr Esperanto's International Tongue, was translated by Julian Steinhaus. When Richard H. Geoghegan pointed out that Steinhaus's translation was in very poor English throughout, Zamenhof destroyed his remaining copies and engaged Geoghegan to produce a fresh translation.
In 1905, Zamenhof re-published the sixteen rules of grammar, in combination with a dictionary and a collection of exercises, in a work entitled Fundamento de Esperanto (Foundation of Esperanto).
In Unua Libro, Zamenhof described a petition called the "universal vote", a campaign to collect ten million signatures of individuals who would learn Esperanto if a total of ten million signatures were collected. Although Zamenhof never collected the ten million signatures, the idea was revived in 2014 in an online campaign called La Promeso. As of June 8, 2015, the site had collected 1,300 signatures in its new campaign.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to La Unua Libro.|
- Online HTML reprint of Dr. Esperanto's International Language: Introduction and Complete Grammar (English translation of "Unua Libro" by R. H. Geoghegan, 1889) http://www.genekeyes.com/Dr_Esperanto.html
- LibriVox free audiobook of Dr. Esperanto's International Language: Introduction and Complete Grammar (English translation of "Unua Libro" by R. H. Geoghegan, 1889), mp3 or ogg files, read by Nicholas James Bridgewater http://librivox.org/dr-esperantos-international-language-introduction-and-complete-grammar-by-ll-zamenhof/
These reprints of the Unua Libro have no ISBN.
- Meždunarodnyj jazyk: Predislovie i polnyj učebnik Moscow: Moskva Gazeto, 1992. Facsimile reprint of the Unua Libro in Russian.
- Ludovikologia dokumentaro I Tokyo: Ludovikito, 1991. Facsimile reprints of the Unua Libro in Russian, Polish, French, German, English and Swedish, with the earliest Esperanto dictionaries for those languages.