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Ludovic Lazarus Zamenhof

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Ludovic Lazarus Zamenhof

Ludwik Lejzer Zamenhof, 1908
Born Leyzer Leyvi Zamengov
December 15, 1859(1859-12-15)
Białystok, Russian Empire
Died April 14, 1917(1917-04-14) (aged 57)
Warsaw, Poland
Nationality Polish
Ethnicity Jewish
Citizenship Russian
Known for Creator of Esperanto

Ludovic Lazarus Zamenhof (December 15, 1859 – April 14, 1917) was a eye doctor, linguist, and scholar who created the international language Esperanto.

Zamenhof was born in 1859 in the town of Białystok, Poland. At the time, Poland was a part of the Russian Empire. Bialystok contained three major groups: Poles, Belorussians, and Yiddish-speaking Jews. Zamenhof thought that one common language would join these groups and stop fights between them.

His first language was said to be Polish. His parents spoke Russian and Yiddish in the home. His father was a German teacher, so Zamenhof learned that language from an early age and spoke the language fluently. Later he learned French, Latin, Greek, Hebrew and English. He also had an interest in Italian, Spanish and Lithuanian.

Zamenhof decided that the international language must have a simple grammar and be easier to learn than Volapuk, an earlier international language. He attempted to create the international language with a grammar that was rich, and complex. The basics of Esperanto were published in 1887.

His grandson, Louis-Christophe Zaleski-Zamenhof, has lived in France since the 1960s.

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