How many people speak Esperanto, Ido, Occidental, Interlingua, Lingua Franca Nova, and so on?

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Interlingua Logo
Lojban logo

Nobody knows. There are discussions about this on Auxlang all the time, and the general consensus is that it goes like this:
  • Esperanto: 100,000 - 2 million
  • Ido: 1,000 - 2,500
  • Interlingua: About the same as Ido
  • Occidental, Lingua Franca Nova, Lojban, Novial, etc.: About 20-100 each.
There's another way to judge the relative amount of interest though, and that's by the number of users on the English Wikipedia. Users are able to put infoboxes on their user pages to show what they are interested in, what software they use, what languages they know and how good they are at them, or anything else. My user page for example looks like this:

en This user is a native speaker of English.
ja-4 この利用者は母語に近い水準で日本語を話すことができます。
ko-3 이 사용자는 한국어유창하게 할 수 있습니다.
io-3 Ica uzanto povas kontributar kun alta nivelo di Ido.
zh-2 該用戶能以一般中文進行交流。
fr-2 Cet utilisateur peut contribuer avec un niveau intermédiaire en français.
no-2 Denne brukeren har god kjennskap til norsk.
ia-2 Iste usator pote contribuer con un nivello intermedie de interlingua.
eo-2 Ĉi tiu uzanto povas komuniki per meza nivelo de Esperanto.
tr-2 Bu kullanıcı orta seviyede Türkçe anlıyor.
es-1 Este usuario puede contribuir con un nivel básico de español.
af-1 Hierdie gebruiker het 'n basiese begrip van Afrikaans.
et-1 See kasutaja suudab eesti keeles kaastööd teha algaja tasemel.
de-1 Dieser Benutzer hat grundlegende Deutschkenntnisse.
bg-1 Този потребител има начални познания по български език.

That means that I'm registered as being a user of Ido, Esperanto and Interlingua. Now let's take a look at how many other people have done the same:

(total of 551 users)
  • Esperanto: 338 users (61%)
  • Interlingua: 71 users (13%)
  • Lojban: 61 users (11%)
  • Ido: 35 users (6%)
  • Volapük: 20 users (4%)
  • Occidental / Interlingue: 14 users (2.5%)
  • Lingua Franca Nova: 8 users (1.5%)
  • Novial: 4 users (0.7%)
It's not quite accurate because if a user puts an infobox on a sub-page it will also count as another entry, and you can see this in a few cases in Volapük for example.


Anonymous said...

Don't know the answer! Who does?

I do know that the Esperanto website had 15,000 hits last year.

I also know that the Pope spoke in Esperanto from the Vatican at Easter, and that the Beijing Olympics has appointed an Esperanto translator.

Another good site is

Anonymous said...

And just a couple of days ago, it was posted that the 93rd World Esperanto Congress meeting in Rotterdam (19-26 July) had already registered 1766 participants from 73 different countries:
It would be most interesting to see some of these other languages you mention post their congress numbers publicly? (They do all have annual congresses, don't they?)

Me said...

>It would be most interesting to see
>some of these other languages you >mention post their congress numbers

They do post these numbers online whenever they have conferences. Besides Esperanto only Ido has annual and monthly (in Germany) conferences. Interlingua is every two years I believe, though it doesn't seem to be mandatory.

Actually, I think Lojban has a mandatory yearly gathering as well.

webgovernor said...

Just trying to do my part here.

Public Studies began a survey to test for "International Auxiliary Languages" such as Esperanto, IDO, Lingua Fraca Nova, Interlingua, etc. You can participate in the survey here:

Hopefully this will put an end to the "Number of Online Speakers" debate, but it does use the honor system, so who knows?

  © Blogger templates Newspaper by 2008

Back to TOP