My question is this:

I'm thinking about starting a club at my university for learning and using Esperanto. I want to adopt a group textbook and work through weekly assignments so it has the classroom feel of being able to talk and collaborate on the same goals. With this in mind I want to know what textbook would be effective. I've looked at "A Complete Grammar of Esperanto" by Ivy Kellerman Reed as well as "Step by Step in Esperanto" by Montagu C. Butler. Does anybody have experience with either of these two books or suggestions for different books? For background, my school has a large amount of international students and STEM majors.

  • Just to clarify, are you looking for a textbook in English or another language, or fully in Esperanto? Commented Sep 6, 2016 at 17:05
  • English, but a book with English and other languages would be good too.
    – DonkoXI
    Commented Sep 6, 2016 at 19:24

5 Answers 5


Kellerman's book was published in 1910, and represents Esperanto in its infancy. The book's only value is as a historical document, not a textbook. In addition to its age (you wouldn't use a textbook over a hundred years old to learn any other modern language) there are some direct errors, and Kellerman attempted to squeeze Esperanto into the grammatical structures of Latin, with disastrous results. This is a book people keep finding and wanting to use (I guess because it's free), but I always warn against it. Unless you want to be proficient in sentences like "The children were happily picking meadow flowers" and "Please ready the carriage for our trip to the village market".


David Richardson's Esperanto: Learning and Using the International Language is pretty good. I have both the 2nd and 3rd editions (not much of a difference between the two, go with whatever you find cheaper.) I bought another copy with the intention of giving it to a friend. Amazon has several copies available.

Esperanto Learning and Using the International Language https://www.amazon.com/dp/0939785064/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_tai_xbYZxb9E72067

It is not a particularly long book, but has quite a good introduction to the language. If I remember correctly, there are more than 600 vocabulary words throughout it. It also contains a selection of Esperanto texts in the form of short articles and letters. I'm currently using this section of the book.

I believe it could easily be used as a club textbook. There are various exercises throughout it that test you on grammar and vocabulary.

I have this one ordered, but haven't used it yet. I've seen positive reviews in multiple places.


  • If you read all the way through the reader in the back, there are over 1000 words to learn in all. There is a Memrise deck available for this book as well, which is helpful. Commented Oct 7, 2016 at 9:56

Work through Gerda Malaperis. You could also use duolingo and memrise.com. Memrise especially would allow the group to 'friend' each other and compare progress.


Goal: to get spoken (and written) fluency with a limited vocabulary, in a short time. Most 4-5-year young children, around the world are fluent with a small vocabulary, no matter which language they are speaking. Most of them don't know what the word "grammar" means.

If you must use a book:

Do not use a grammar.

Easy to find: "Esperanto Learning and Using the International Language", by David Richardson. About $15.00.

I just saw in Amazon: "Esperanto (Teach Yourself)" "16 Used from $61.57, 4 New from $185.16" This is ridiculous. It should be about $15.00. I like this book better than the first one, but not at those prices.

"Gerda Malaperis" (original name: "Dialogoj"), was written to learn Esperanto, but it requires a teacher to explain the grammar. I prefer this book to be read after completing a course.

If you could use computers:

My original post had 5 links, but right now they allow me only 2.

The simplest course for rapid fluency is "La Zagreba Metodo". You can buy it as a book + a sound-cassette. There are several versions in the web, both text and sound.

Like a book:


Interactive, many languages:

La Zagreba Metodo: http://esperantofre.com/zagreb/zagmetod.htm

To learn Esperanto: http://esperantofre.com/edu/lernia.htm Look well at the whole page. Among other things, it has links to applications that will help you to write in Esperanto.



I found "The Esperanto Teacher" very useful and its available free online as a pdf and with audio. However, it is very old.

"Teach Yourself Esperanto" can also be found online as a pdf and is also a useful resource.

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