Esperanto began as a stab at linguistic utopia. Imagining a world unfettered by communication barriers, Ludovic Lazarus Zamenhof invented the grammatically simple language in late-19th century Poland. He dreamed that it eventually would be adopted worldwide as a universal second tongue. While these ambitious plans never reached fruition, the Boston Phoenix reports that a small, but tight-knit, international community of speakers keep Esperanto alive.
These loyal fans translate books, write songs, and hold annual conferences. They’ve also benefited from a host of web resources, using services like Skype and Facebook to stay connected and practice conversation. It helps that the language has only 16 basic grammar rules; the simple structure makes it easy for budding Esperantists to learn quickly.
Check out the article to learn more about the language and read comments by some enthusiastic speakers. Wikipedia’s also got an extensive page on Esperanto, with plenty of historical info and good links for further exploration.