The declared goal of the Esperanto language is to be a second language for everyone. But the reality is not as simple. It happens, that two people with different language backgrounds meet each other on the Esperanto arrangement. Then they marry and may have children. Often they use Esperanto as a common language in the family, therefore the children grow up as Esperanto native speakers.

But is there a discrepancy? Just imagine that the number of native speakers becomes significant and we have the same problem as with English today. The native speakers have an advantage over the non-natives.

Did the Esperanto community offer any proposals in order to avoid this problem?

  • 1
    Is this actually a problem? What's wrong with being a native Esperanto speaker?
    – ForceBru
    Commented Aug 24, 2016 at 20:26
  • 1
    The language neutrality is one of the main selling points of Esperanto "second language for everyone, nobody has an advantage"
    – Aviadisto
    Commented Aug 24, 2016 at 20:31
  • 1
    Aren't native speakers of Esperanto usually bilingual (by necessity)? I.e. they learn both Esperanto and another language (depending on their parents or where they grow up)? So why would this be a problem?
    – Tsundoku
    Commented Aug 24, 2016 at 20:53
  • 1
    Compare with this situation: pri.org/stories/2016-07-28/last-native-speakers-hawaiian Commented Aug 27, 2016 at 21:27

2 Answers 2


Native Esperanto speakers don't necessarily speak Esperanto better than non-natives, because they usually speak it only with their parents and they have another language they use more often: they don't go to Esperanto school and don't grow up watching Esperanto media. And unlike other languages, native speakers don't decide what correct Esperanto is because they are a small minority.

I still understand your point, though, and I agree that having native Esperanto speakers seems to go against the original goal of Esperanto. But it's a living language, so people use it as they want, whatever Zamenhof's goals were.


I think the key difference is, that the Esperanto natives do not come from one (or several) specific ethnic group. Regarding English there are ethnic groups which have a privilege over others. The privilege of Esperanto natives is comparable to the privilege of people who happen to have received a better education from their parents than others.

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