Google Doodle Remembers L. L. Zamenhof, Inventor of Esperanto

Dec 15, 2009 • 8:42 am | comments (25) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Other Google Topics

If you visit Google today, you will see a special logo that celebrates L. L. Zamenhof's 150th birthday. Zamenhof was born on December 15, 1859 and died on April 14, 1917. He is known as the inventor of Esperanto, a constructed language designed for international communication.

Here is Google's special Doodle for his birthday:

Google Esperanto Logo

Google has a special page just searching for this language at

Zamenhof was Jewish and died in Warsaw, Poland. You can read his full bio at Wikipedia.

With almost all Google Doodles, there are always complaints. We have two Google Web Search Help threads. One is thanking Google for commemorating L. L. Zamenhof life, while the other is upset Google picked L. L. Zamenhof over the ratification of the U.S. Bill of Rights, which happened on December 15, 1791 (218 years ago).

Forum discussion at Google Web Search Help.

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Taina Toste

12/15/2009 02:45 pm

If you are a proud American, then you may acknowleged The US Bill of Rights on your own terms, that fact that Google has honored "Doktoro Esperanto," grants "Americans" to be informed of World History, and learn of those that helped shape it. This is great! Thank you for sharing the knowledge. :)

Rena Peck

12/15/2009 03:01 pm

I have read these comments and they all have a point. As a part of the human species it is good to know more about our world and to be smarter than a slug we need to remember education is a good thing. However, I must agree that we are Americans. No matter your ethnic back ground we are all Americans and it is the Bill of Rights that keeps us different from Poland, Russia, Cuba, Venezuela....If we don't continue to educate ourselves on our own history we forget it all together. Once we lose our history we will not be able to recognize ourselves. It is unfortunte that we have become a country that is no longer proud of our constitution.

Peggy Hawkins

12/15/2009 03:34 pm

Come on and lighten up. How do you feel when you open up Google and there is something you don't recognize? If it isn't obvious you dig in and learn something. There will be many more December 15's. If you have the erg to learn more about the Bill of Rights, google it!

me and others

12/15/2009 03:34 pm

I do appreciate that google is not jumping on band wagon of a propaganda. At most is important to keep "working" the vanishing right of free speech or free what ever logo you like. Google got so good by thinking out of the box. And the logo just proves this moto. If you really people care so much about this country and your patriotism as you say you are,this country would not be in such corrupted ,broken down state. So first, think first, clean the mess up and then brag about it,cos bragging about pile of mes will get you nowhere.

Concerned World Citizen

12/15/2009 03:48 pm

are you people nuts? Broken down state? Find a better state, then MOVE THERE. Our Bill of Right has helped shape the WORLD. If you don't recognize that you are not paying attention. How do you think the world has the level of democracy it has? Is it an accident? No. We (the U.S.) and a very few other countries have supported democracy everywhere in the world. I think it's great that our Bill of Rights and Constitution grant Google the ability to ignore one the major items that gives them the ability to ignore it, and 'inform' us all of a language that did not die, but instead was still born. Interesting, but really, 1000 knows speakers. Really? Come on Google, there are a few more important things out there than recognizing a guy that created a dead language that has, and will never, cause any good to come. Boy, I sure hope we get the sponsor of pig-Latin recognized. Most 8 year olds speak it a little...that's way more speakers than Esperanto.

Robert Johnson

12/15/2009 03:54 pm

This was a 150th birthday, I wouldn't expect this to pop up as a doodle for another 25 or 50 years. Google can make a cute reference to whatever they want. If it were really offensive, I'd just switch to Bing. I doubt, however, that anyone thinking seriously and not blinded with recent anti-Americanism could argue that Esperanto or Lojban or Klingon has had an impact on societies around the world in any way comparable to the Bill of Rights.


12/15/2009 03:54 pm

Can we take a moment to think about this? What's the first amendment of the bill of rights. If you really think about it, Google just exercised that right - the same right that gives us Americans the right to complain about the Google not honoring the Bill of Rights as a google doodle...humm you see how that works? As Americans we should honor that great literary work everyday. Not just on the 15th of December.


12/15/2009 04:03 pm

Yes the Bill of Rights is important. Yes it has impact beyond the USA. It is a fundamental cornerstone of democratic structure. And, yes, it also is a step in a path from earlier efforts, not something newborn unto itself. Magna Carta, etc etc etc....these are not new concepts to humanity. However, at the same time, that one part of the Constitution did have a significant impact. But that doesn't mean it has to be logo'd every year. There are only 365 days in a year, and I'm sure there are vastly more potential logos than there are days. The great thing is every year can be a new set. Is Esperanto of vast importance? Of course not. Is it's 150th anniversary worth noting? Sure. It doesn't have to be the cornerstone of free world thought to make a logo of it. The Bill of Rights isn't a's not something I'd expect to see there every day, every year. For Google, an inherently global country, I see no issue in switching up logos now and then. It's no comment on the relative value of the thing being logo'd, it's just something new.

Brian Carpenter

12/15/2009 04:05 pm

First of all, I was one of those people that e-mailed Google asking for Dec 15 to be Esperanto day, not really LL Zamenhof day, Although I guess I see why they chose to have a Esperanto Flag but the search goes to LL Zamenhof. But your school system failed to inform me that I had to choose between the two. In order to make everysingle person on the planet happy Pardoni min, Pardon me but I use #Esperanto sed gxi estas belalingvo ★✩ It is a beutifull language look for the video. Many sites report there are 2 Million speakers also most that don't know english. There are reasons why you would want to talk to them. Plus the main reason why I learned it in the first place is to get over the language hump it is knowledge that that your 2nd language is your hardest to learn. Esperanto is Perfect for that, I decided based on the research that 6 months of learning this language would be greatly beneficial, I am surprised at what in addition I have for me on this green rainbow. AN AMERICAN RAISED BY THE CALIFORNIA PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM


12/15/2009 04:06 pm

How do you say "We're screwed" in Esperanto?

Bill Chapman

12/15/2009 06:20 pm

Take a look at Esperanto works! I’ve used it in speech and writing - and sung in it - in about fifteen countries over recent years. Indeed, the language has some remarkable practical benefits. Personally, I’ve made friends around the world through Esperanto that I would never have been able to communicate with otherwise. And then there’s the Pasporta Servo, which provides free lodging and local information to Esperanto-speaking travellers in over 90 countries. In the past few years I have had guided tours of Berlin and Milan and Douala in Cameroon in the planned language. I have discussed philosophy with a Slovene poet, humour on television with a Bulgarian TV producer. I’ve discussed what life was like in East Berlin before the wall came down, how to cook perfect spaghetti, the advantages and disadvantages of monarchy, and so on.


12/15/2009 06:37 pm

I acknowledge that it's Google's right to choose their own googly-logos, so if they choose Esperanto over the Bill of Rights, well then, that's their right, protected by the very document they chose to ignore... But Esperanto??? Here's a hint - it's had 150 years, it doesn't really look like it's catching on..... yawn.


12/15/2009 06:58 pm

Get a life everyone geez lol relax its not the end of the world


12/15/2009 07:32 pm

These comments have been quite informative. I honestly did not know what Google was celebrating till I read the comments today so I thank you as a student of the world. As for the Bills Rights being signed 218 years ago today that is also worth noting. Most American's including myself did not know that. So again I thank you. As for the choosing between Esperanto and the Bill of Rights. My argument is simple without the Bill of Rights we could not have this discussion without fear of reprisal nor the ability to make the choice. So to Google choosing Esperanto by listening to the voice of the people and posting it what could be possibly more American and honor the spirit of the Bill of Rights more then the right to Choose


12/15/2009 09:13 pm

Esperanto is a beautiful language, and practical and beautiful both in ways that you can't appreciate unless you give the language a chance. Because of its rational, consistent structures Esperanto is actually more flexible and expressive than even English, which is already a pretty loose language. As to why it hasn't caught on- well, the Nazis killing all of the Esperanto speakers, plus Stalinist purges and threats, and finally oppression in Iran eliminated three of the largest Esperanto communities during the 20th century. Esperanto always did the least well in the U.S. due to our general indifference to the rest of the world. So it's not surprising that people in the U.S. would think that google should be celebrating them instead. The bill of rights is certainly important, but I've never even heard of a Bill of Rights Day before I read these comments, have you?


12/15/2009 09:34 pm

"Belittle all forms of American culture and discourage the teaching of American history on the ground that it was only a minor part of the "big picture."" number 31. of Albert S. Herlong Jr.'s list of current communist goals as of January 1963. I'm sure you've all heard (over and over) the Obama quote where he said "We live in the greatest nation in the world... and we are here to change that"


12/15/2009 09:43 pm

in fact check that list as well as the 10 planks of the communist manifesto and you will see why you never hear people talk about socialism or communism in american politics. Because the DEMOCRATS adopted their ideals and it sounds so much more like people are in charge. kind of ironic... (like "the PEOPLES republic of China" is ironic)

ChucklingAt You

12/15/2009 10:51 pm

Go ahead and laugh, you ungrateful haters! Go ahead and take your freedom for granted. You'll be wallowing in your self-righteousness when this country is taken over by Leftists and you'll be without ANY liberty! Not Me, goddamit! I'm going to Chuckie Cheese's right now because I'm sure there's a bunch of 7-year-olds celebrating their birthday with NO MENTION OF THE BILL OF RIGHTS WHATSOEVER!!! Give me a freakin' break- who gives a crap what Google's logo is? Go punch a hippie so you can say you saved the country, then crawl back into your cave. I'm pretty sure the Bill of Rights will do just fine without Google's endorsement.


12/15/2009 11:25 pm

Hey, guess what? Next year, its going to be 219 years since the Bill of Rights was created...and it won't be on the Google main page either mmmmk?


12/16/2009 12:01 am

It's Christmas! Peace on Earth! Now THAT message has has 2,000 years to sink in, never mind 150, so perhaps Esperanto could be given at least another century or so? Bonan jarfinon kaj novjaron mi deziras al vi!


12/16/2009 12:52 am

1. The Bill of Rights has no value in Merka, so why should ANYBODY care about it? 2. Google is a GLOBAL company. Only morons care about borders. And given the opportunity it would take a billion euros over a billion dollars.


12/16/2009 02:16 am

Let's see: 150th Anniversary vs. 218th? People like to celebrate in cycles of five. This was a pleasant surprise, and I suspect a lot of people learned about something very new today, which is one of the internet's goals. And Esperanto, with its goal of communication between all peoples fits nicely into those goals.


12/16/2009 04:52 am

The 150th anniversary of something is a big deal; the 218th, not so much. The Esperanto choice this year was appropriate. I'd be complaining LOUDLY if Google missed the 250th anniversary of the Bill of Rights.


12/16/2009 08:06 am

Unfortunately for Americans, the US Bill of Rights isn't really that fundamental to the world, nor does anyone care. Especially since the US bill of rights was neither the first of its kind, nor was it significantly special or groundbreaking (really, it was just British rights adopted for the North American ex-british colonies). Effectively the US bill of rights is only one stage of many in the evolution of what now is the US system of government. Note: US system of government, only one country. I personally think that the parliamentary system is far more important than the US bill of rights, considering the US bill of rights seems to get abused all the time anyway. And considering, I don't know, I'm not actually American (South Australian actually - interestingly I found out my state hasn't actually got a bill of rights itself and I'm living quite peacefully at the moment, no street riots or anarchist soviet zombies firing lasers at my friends). And what makes a great nation are the hearts of the people; those in control and those being controlled. Greed, feelings of superiority, overwhelming self-importance, fear of change and other things like that only create a bickering degenerate state that inevitably will not be able to compete with others - that's what Americans should be worried about, not Esperanto.

Brian Barler

12/19/2009 12:03 am

Good luck to Esperanto :) It's a pity that many people do not know that it has become a living language. Your readers may be interested in A glimpse of Esperanto can be seen at

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