John McGrath posts at Errata:
Have you ever wondered what spoken Esperanto sounds like? Have you ever wondered what it sounds like spoken by Bill Shatner, in an expressionistic black and white fantasia of an arthouse horror movie?
Of course you have, so you need to see Incubus, made in 1965 by Outer Limits creator Leslie Stevens and written entirely in Esperanto.
I've been fascinated by Esperanto, the international language that was supposed to bring about world peace and harmony, since I first learned about it as a child. Isn't it lovely that "Esperanto" means "one who hopes"? And isn't it poignant that the language, invented in 1887 by a Polish-Lithuanian-Russian-Jewish opthalmologist named Ludovic Lazarus Zamenhof, still has, according to Wikipedia anyway, "between 100,000 and 2 million speakers," including "approximately a thousand native speakers"? (Forget Shatner: don't you wonder what Esperanto baby talk sounds like?)
I used to have an insurance-company client in Emeryville, a tiny enclave between Oakland and Berkeley, whose offices shared building space with Esperanto-USA (formerly the Esperanto League of North America, which had a ring of quaint subversion that the new name sadly lacks). I kept meaning to drop by and say Salut! but never did. I have, however, slipped Esperanto words into naming lists on more than one occasion. So far, no client has accepted the challenge.
More about Esperanto--"the international language that works!"--here, here, and here. Sonja's English-Esperanto Dictionary--a highly arbitrary compilation that includes translations of "wapiti" and "sainfoin" (what-what?) but not of "sharp," "bright," or "happy"-- has a nifty "ten random words" feature, including--just now--"squint (partly close eyes) duone fermi la okulojn."