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Ido

The meaning of «ido»

Ido (/ˈiːdoʊ/) is a constructed language, derived from Reformed Esperanto, created to be a universal second language for speakers of diverse backgrounds. Ido was specifically designed to be grammatically, orthographically, and lexicographically regular, and above all easy to learn and use. In this sense, Ido is classified as a constructed international auxiliary language. It is the most successful of many Esperanto derivatives, called Esperantidoj.

Ido was created in 1907 out of a desire to reform perceived flaws in Esperanto, a language that had been created 20 years earlier to facilitate international communication. The name of the language traces its origin to the Esperanto word ido, meaning "offspring",[1] since the language is a "descendant" of Esperanto. After its inception, Ido gained support from some in the Esperanto community, but following the sudden death in 1914 of one of its most influential proponents, Louis Couturat, it declined in popularity. There were two reasons for this: first, the emergence of further schisms arising from competing reform projects; and second, a general lack of awareness of Ido as a candidate for an international language. These obstacles weakened the movement and it was not until the rise of the Internet that it began to regain momentum.

Ido uses the same 26 letters as the English (Latin) alphabet, with no diacritics. It draws its vocabulary from English, French, German, Italian, Latin, Russian, Spanish and Portuguese, and is largely intelligible to those who have studied Esperanto.

Several works of literature have been translated into Ido,[2] including The Little Prince,[3] the Book of Psalms, and the Gospel of Luke.[4] As of the year 2000, there were approximately 100–200 Ido speakers in the world, though more new estimates place the number of speakers closer to 1,000-5,000.[5][6] In 2020, Ido had 24 native speakers in Finland.[7]

The idea of a universal second language is not new, and constructed languages are not a recent phenomenon. The first known constructed language was Lingua Ignota, created in the 12th century. But the idea did not catch on in large numbers until the language Volapük was created in 1879. Volapük was popular for some time and apparently had a few thousand users, but was later eclipsed by the popularity of Esperanto, which arose in 1887. Several other languages such as Latino sine Flexione and Idiom Neutral had also been put forward. It was during this time that French mathematician Louis Couturat formed the Delegation for the Adoption of an International Auxiliary Language.

This delegation made a formal request to the International Association of Academies in Vienna to select and endorse an international language; the request was rejected in May 1907.[8] The Delegation then met as a Committee in Paris in October 1907 to discuss the adoption of a standard international language. Among the languages considered was a new language anonymously submitted at the last moment (and therefore against the Committee rules) under the pen name Ido.[9] In the end the committee, always without plenary sessions and consisting of only 12 members, concluded the last day with 4 votes for and 1 abstention. They concluded that no language was completely acceptable, but that Esperanto could be accepted "on condition of several modifications to be realized by the permanent Commission in the direction defined by the conclusions of the Report of the Secretaries [Louis Couturat and Léopold Leau] and by the Ido project".[10]

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