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About Ido

It should be noted that the Committee of the Delegation contained Esperantists and even the President of the Esperantist “Linguistic Committee” himself. But the deci­sion adopting Esperanto “with the reservation of certain modifications” was unani­mous. If, later, a schism occurred, the responsibility is not imputable to the Ido community, but to those who forgot promises, votes, or a signature.

Preface to Kompleta Gramatiko Detaloza di Ido

Of the many offshoot languages that rose, and continue to rise, from Ludwik Zamenhof’s proposed “international language” Esperanto, Ido was the first — and the most notorious.

The notoriety comes from its controversial introduction to the conlang community: At a time when Esperanto was the de facto auxiliary language of choice among people who knew such things existed, a committee created by the self-proclaimed “Delegation for the Adoption of an International Auxiliary Language” recommended the anonymous “Ido” project — only for it to come out later that Ido’s creator (Louis de Beaufront) was not only the same man sent to represent Esperanto, but was working in concert with one of the members of the Committee (Louis Couturat, later to be Ido’s greatest proponent). The duplicity — and Ido’s initial popularity — fractured the Esperanto movement and sparked a fierce war of words that continues to color discussion of the now largely forgotten reform project even today.

Lilliputian grievances aside, much of what Ido brings to the table — clarifying suffixes, an ASCII-friendly alphabet without diacritical marks, a grammar without adjective-noun agreement or frequent recourse to the accusative case, gender symmetry, a more Romance-based lexicon — continues to appeal to Esperantists, who’ve quietly absorbed some of the suffixes, words, and ideas about word derivation — and not so quietly debate from time to time whether gender symmetry is possible in Esperanto without toppling the whole grammar.

Idists like to point out that their language was the collective effort of scientists and linguists of the international Committee, whereas Esperanto is the but the product of one man. Esperantists proudly point out the same thing. For the prospective learner for whom a large speaker base is not a dealbreaking concern, the issue of which approach yielded the better mousetrap ultimately comes down to taste.

On this site, aspiring Idists will find everything they need to start using Ido today.

For quick random glances at what the language looks like, click on the site’s logo.

Questions? Ask Οὖτις!

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