Internet communication has been a boom to the already healthy and growing Esperanto movement.
Communicating Electronically with Esperanto
Esperanto and ASCII
ASCII does not include any of the supersignoj (special Esperanto letters). Because of this, there are a few ways to represent them. The most popular is the X System. Since each letter in Esperanto has at most two version of itself, its variant can be represented using only one extra character.
In the X System, supersignoj are indicated by an X placed after the letter. It has the advantage of being unambigious, and it usually sorts words in correct alphabetical order. It does, however, require an extra letter not normally found in Esperanto.
Ĉ - Cx
Ĝ - Gx
Ĥ - Hx
Ĵ - Jx
Ŝ - Sx
Ŭ - Ux
The Apostrophe System is the exact same a the X System, except it uses an apostrophe instead of the letter X.
Ĉ - C'
Ĝ - G'
Ĥ - H'
Ĵ - J'
Ŝ - S'
Ŭ - U'
The H System is the system proposed by L. L. Zamenhof for use when accented letters were unavailable. It has the advantage of being easily recognizable by native English speakers. It, however, unlike the other systems, is ambiguous for three reasons.
- H is a letter used in the normal Esperanto alphabet.
- H could be used in a non-h-system way. For example, "Jacho" could either be Jac-ho or Ja-ĉo.
- There letter U is used to represent both U and Ŭ.
These are the combinations for the H System:
Ĉ - Ch
Ĝ - Gh
Ĥ - Hh
Ĵ - Jh
Ŝ - Sh
Ŭ - U
Esperanto and Unicode
Unicode contains all of the letters of Esperanto. One still needs, however, a method of typing them.
Esperanto and Keyboards
There is no standard Esperanto keyboard layout, however many have been put forward. Many people use tools that allow them to type Esperanto letters by holding down a modifier key, or automatically converting the X System into supersignoj.
Esperanto and Browser Plug-ins
Some browsers have support for downloadable plug-ins that allow input of supersignoj, such as abcTajpu for Firefox. By specifying what key transforms what keystrokes into supersignoj, you can type them on the fly in your browser.
- Cxu vi estas ankoraux hejma? (Are you still at home?)
- La supersignoj ne funkcias! Mi devas uzi la X-sistemon! (The Esperanto letters aren't working. I have to use the X system.)
Twitter and other Microblogs
- Saluton Havajo! Mi iras de ferioj. Adiaŭ Nov-Jorko. Revido! (Hello Hawaii! I'm going on vacation. Goodbye New York City. See you soon!)
- Short "emails" like some of 'letters' used as translation exercises in Teach Yourself EO.
Esperanto and Your Electronic Devices