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PronunciationIPA: [ˈido]
Created byDelegation for the Adoption of an International Auxiliary Language
Setting and usageInternational auxiliary language
Users100–200  (2000)[1]
Sourcesbased on Esperanto1894
Official status
Regulated byUniono por la Linguo Internaciona Ido
Language codes
ISO 639-1io
ISO 639-2ido
ISO 639-3ido

Ido is a constructed language, a so-called reformed Esperanto, which was developed in 1907. Ido was made by a group of people that thought Esperanto was too hard to be a world language. They did not like how Esperanto used letters with special diacritic marks over them, because that made it hard to type, and they thought that a world language should be easy to learn and write.

Ido is not as popular as Esperanto, but still about 100-200 people in the world speak it. They have a conference every year where people come together and speak the language.

Special points about Ido

Ido is easy to learn for many reasons:

  • Spelling is simple and regular. In English, the words doughnut, tough, and through all have the letters ough, but the speaker says them differently. In Ido, the word skolo is sko-lo, the word multa is mool-ta, and so on.
  • Verbs (action words) all act the same - In English the speaker says "I learn, you learn, we learn, she learns". In Ido the verb is always the same - "Me lernas, tu lernas, ni lernas, el lernasLua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'Module:Category handler/data' not found.".
  • Ido looks like a lot of other languages. If learners already know English, French or some other European language, they can probably understand a lot of Ido even without studying it. Me lernas kun mea amiko en la skoloLua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'Module:Category handler/data' not found. means "I learn with my friend in the school." A person can see that the word for 'I' looks like 'me', 'lernas' is 'learn, and 'skolo' is 'school'. Also, if the person is French, they will know the word 'amiko' which means friend, and looks like the French word, 'ami' or 'amie'. It also resembles the Italian word 'amico', and the Spanish/Portuguese word 'amigo'.

Grammar (how to use the language)

Each word in Ido comes from a smaller word called a root word. A root word has a root and an ending. The speaker can take the root and put it on another word to make a new one. For example, urbo means "city" and -estro means "leader". The root of urbo is urb-, and if -estro is put on the end, it becomes urbestro, which means mayor (leader of a city). Or the speaker can put something on before; chef- means chief or leader, and if the speaker puts that before the word it becomes chefurbo, which means capital city.

Here are some of the endings:

  • -o : single noun (objects and things). Book - libro. Friend - amiko.
  • -i : plural noun (more than one object). Books - libri. Friends - amiki.
  • -a : adjective (words that describe objects). Fast - rapida. Short - kurta.
  • -e : adverb (words that describe how to do an action). Quickly - rapide. Shortly, brief - kurte.
  • -ar : verb (action word), present tense infinitive (like to go, to see, to find). To go - irar. To see - vidar.
  • -is : verb, past tense. Went - iris. Saw - vidis.
  • -as : verb, present tense (now). Go, goes - iras. See, sees - vidas.
  • -os : verb, future tense. Will go - iros. Will see - vidos.
  • -us : verb, conditional (like the English would). (I) would go - irus. (I) would see - vidus.
  • -ez : verb, imperative (telling someone to do something). Go! - irez! See! - videz!


Pronouns are the words in a language like I, thou, he, she, it, we, ye, they, and so on. Ido was made from Esperanto, and all of Esperanto's pronouns end in -i. The people that made Ido thought that they sounded too much the same and that it might be too difficult to hear sometimes. Also, most languages have two ways of saying you so they decided to have two ways of saying you. Lastly, they decided to make a pronoun that can mean he or she. Some languages like the Finnish language and the Estonian language have something like this.

Here is a chart of all the pronouns in English, Ido, and Esperanto.

singular (one) plural (more than one) general
first second third first second third
familiar (with friends) formal (people whom one does not know) men women objects he or she
English I Archaic, Dialectal: thou
Modern: you
you he she it s/he we you they one
Esperanto mi ci vi li ŝi ĝi ĝi ni vi ili oni
Ido me tu vu il(u) el(u) ol(u) lu ni vi li on(u)

Ido and Esperanto

Ido is a language that came from Esperanto, so they look very similar. Since Esperanto has more speakers than Ido, most people that know Ido first learned Esperanto and then later learned that Ido is a language, too. Sometimes Idists (people who speak Ido) and Esperantists (people who speak Esperanto) do not agree with each other. Luckily they both agree that making a language that everybody can learn is a good idea. Most Idists and Esperantists can understand most of each other's language.


Here are samples of the language Ido to show what the language looks like. On the right is a page from a magazine in Ido called Adavane! (forward), written by an Ido group in Spain every two months. This is a page from a diary by a girl named Anne Frank, a Jewish girl from the Netherlands that was killed in 1944 by the German government of Adolf Hitler.

Below is a small part of the book The Little Prince called La Princeto in Ido.

La Princeto


Bona nokto ! – dicis la surprizata princeto.
Bona nokto ! – dicis la serpento.
Adsur qua planeto me falis ? – questionis la princeto.
Adsur Tero, sur Afrika. – respondis la serpento.
Ha !... Kad esas nulu sur Tero ?
To esas la dezerto, e nulu esas sur la dezerti. Tero esas tre granda – dicis la serpento.
La princeto sideskis sur stono e levis lua okuli a la cielo.
Me questionas a me – lu dicis- ka la steli intence brilas por ke uladie singlu povez trovar sua stelo. Videz mea planeto, olu esas exakte super ni... ma tre fore !
Olu esas bela planeto – dicis la serpento-. Por quo vu venis adhike ?
Esas chagreneto inter floro e me – dicis la princeto.
Ha ! – dicis la serpento.
E la du permanis silence.
Ube esas la personi ? – klamis fine la princeto-. Onu esas kelke sola sur la dezerto...
Inter la personi onu anke esas sola – dicis la serpento.
La princeto regardis la serpento longatempe.
Vu esas stranja animalo ! – dicis la princeto-. Vu esas tam tenua kam fingro...
Yes, ma me esas plu potenta kam fingro di rejo – dicis la serpento.
La princeto ridetis.
Me ne kredas ke vu esas tre potenta, mem vu ne havas pedi... nek vu povas voyajar...
Me povas transportar vu plu fore kam navo -dicis la serpento.
Ed olu spulis la maleolo di la princeto, same kam ora braceleto.
Ta quan me tushas retroiras a la tero deube lu venis. Ma vu esas pura e vu venas de stelo...
La princeto nulon respondis.
Me kompatas vu, qua esas tante sola sur ta harda granita Tero. Me povas helpar vu se vu sentas nostalgio a vua planeto. Me povas...
Ho ! – dicis la princeto-. Me bone komprenis, ma pro quo vu sempre parolas enigmatoze ?
Me solvas omna enigmati – dicis la serpento.
E la du permanis silence.

Mea vido-cirklo (horizonto)

This was a song by a bard from Russia named Alexandr Sukhanov; he used words from the poetry of another Russian person named Yunna Mortis. This is the Ido version, sung with guitar.

Me nule savas la Angla, la Franca, la Greka,
Mea vid-cirklo do restas sat mikra e streta -
En mea vid-cirklo trovesas nur flori, arbori,
Nur tero e maro, aero, fairo, amoro.
Me nule savas la Dana e la Portugala,
Mea vid-cirklo restas sat infantala -
Nur joyi rapide pasant', bruligiva aflikto,
Nur esperi, e timi noktal' es en mea vid-cirklo.
Me savas nek la Sanskrito e nek la Latina,
Mea vid-cirklo es ancien-mod' quale tino
Nur morto e nasko homala, nur grani ed astri
Aden mea vid-cirklo penetras e standas sat mastre.
Mea savo artala esas fakultativa.
Mea vid-cirklo restas presk' primitiva -
En olu es nia afero intima, interna
Por ke kun homaro la Tero flugadez eterne.
Mea vid-cirklon restriktas nur timi, esperi,
En olu trovesas nur amo, nur maro e tero.
Aden mea vid-cirklo penetras e standas sat mastre
Nur morto e nasko homala, nur grani ed astri.


An Ido conference in the German city of Dessau, in 1922

People who know Ido come together for a few days every year to meet each other and speak the language. Most Ido speakers live in Europe and so the conventions (a meeting of people) have taken place in Europe. Information on Ido conferences (the section that says raporto is the report on the convention written in Ido).


  1. Blanke (2000), cited in Sabine Fiedler "Phraseology in planned languages", Phraseology / Phraseologie, Walter de Gruyter 2007. pp. 779.

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