Central introduces unique club centered on universal language of Esperanto

Chloe Chan, Staff Writer

Esperanto Club, created this year by senior Justin Borella, teaches students a unique and easy to learn language. Meetings are held Mondays after school in Room 108 and run about an hour.

The language was created by L.L. Zamenhof in the late 1800s and is considered a universal language. Esperanto is not named an official language by any country, so there are only about 1,000 native speakers. Because it has no country of origin, Esperanto is more commonly a second language that can allow people of different native languages to communicate more effectively.

“It was created as a language to unite humanity and uses very basic rules that are easy to learn,” Borella said. “It’s primary thing is that it’s very easy to pick up.”

Borella also explained that the Esperanto-speaking community is fairly prominent and has a strong online base. There is an Esperanto conference held every year and two million people speak it as a second language, although it is not as largely known in America as it is in Europe, Asia and South America.

Borella originally became interested in Esperanto over the summer and began teaching it to himself. His friends took interest in it as well and urged him to create the club.

At Naperville Central, the minimum requirement to start a club is to have 10  student signatures and a teacher supervisor. French teacher Denise Zinnecker is the teacher supervisor for this club.

During meetings, Borella teaches members basic concepts and patterns of Esperanto that are not as easy to learn online. They also practice speaking. Outside of meetings, the language learning app Duolingo is used to help teach club members to write Esperanto.

“I believe that if you learn more languages it’ll actually broaden your horizon, and I think if you learn a universal language like Esperanto you’re kind of getting a combination of all three perspectives in one,” said senior Aymun Khan, who has enjoyed learning Esperanto so far as a member of the club.

The club has six members as of now, but would like more people to join.

“We’re definitely trying to get more people involved,” Borella said. “Honestly anyone that is genuinely interested in learning the language should feel welcome to come in anytime.”