From Academic Kids

Missing image
Ido seal

Ido is a "reformed" version of the constructed language Esperanto. It was developed in the early 1900s, and still has a small following today, primarily in Europe.

Ido (Ido)
Spoken in: Worldwide
Total speakers: est. 250 to 5000 (mostly as a second language)
Ranking: Not in top 100
Genetic classification: Constructed language
Official status
Official language of: No nation, but spoken world-wide. Most speakers are from European countries, particularly Germany and France
Regulated by: Uniono por la Linguo Internaciona Ido
Language codes
ISO 639-1io
ISO 639-2
See also: LanguageList of languages

Ido inherits many of the same grammatical features of Esperanto, and in many cases the vocabulary is similar. Ido shares with Esperanto the goals of grammatical simplicity and consistency, ease of learning, and the use of loanwords from various European languages. The two languages, to a great extent, are mutually intelligible. However, certain changes were introduced to address some of the concerns that had arisen about Esperanto. These include:

  • Esperanto's alphabet uses six non-Latin letters, three of which are not found in any other existing language; as a result, Esperanto in typing and in internet e-mail and newsgroups frequently resorts to any of several schemes to represent these special letters. This leads to the situation where the same word may be displayed any of several different ways. Ido addresses this issue by using the 26-letter Latin alphabet, with two digraphs "ch" (/tS/) and "sh" (/S/). qu represents /kw/, as in English "quick", is used instead of Esperanto kv, and likewise gu is used instead of gv. Ido orthography is phonetic in the sense that each written word has an unambiguous pronunciation, but it does not have the one-to-one correspondence between letters and phonemes that Esperanto has.
  • For reasons of grammatical simplicity, Ido generally does not impose rules of grammatical agreement between grammatical categories within a sentence, since these are redundant. For example, in Esperanto, the verb in a sentence is invariable regardless of the number and person of the subject. But this principle was not extended in Esperanto to adjectives and nouns; as a result, in Esperanto, an adjective must agree in number and case with the noun it modifies. There is no such requirement in English, for example, where number is emphasized by variation of the verb, and Ido eliminates this feature from its grammar.
  • Esperanto requires the use of the -n ending to signify the use of the accusative case. Ido allows the use of this feature in ambiguous situations where the object of a sentence does not follow the subject, but in all other situations the accusative case was eliminated as redundant.
  • Ido imposes consistent rules on the use of endings to transform a word from one meaning or part of speech to another, thus simplifying the amount of vocabulary memorization that is necessary.
  • Ido, unlike Esperanto, does not assume the masculine gender as the default for family relationship words, and thus does not, for example, derive the word for "sister" by adding a feminine suffix to the word for "brother", as standard Esperanto does. Instead, some relationship root words are defined as gender-neutral, and two different suffixes derive masculine and feminine specific words from the root (frato (sibling) > fratulo (brother), fratino (sister)). In other cases, Ido has two or three root words where Esperanto has one (genitoro (parent), patro (father), matro (mother)).
  • The Ido vocabulary attempts to use cognates that are shared in common by as many of its source languages as possible.

The name of the language can have its origin in the Ido pronunciation of "I.D." (from "International Delegation", see below) or the word ido, "descendant (of Esperanto)".



Ido has the same typical five-vowel system (a, e, i, o, u have their IPA values) as Esperanto, and most of the same consonants, omitting two consonant phonemes used by Esperanto, IPA and .

The accent rule in Ido is regular, but slightly more complex than that of Esperanto: all polysyllables are stressed on the penult except for verb infinitives, which are stressed on the ultima.


Each word in the Ido vocabulary is built from a root word. A root word consists of a root and a grammatical ending. Other words can be formed from that word by removing the grammatical ending and adding a new one, or by inserting certain affixes between the root and the grammatical ending. As with Esperanto, Ido is grammatically invariable; there are no exceptions in Ido, unlike in natural languages.

Some of the grammatical endings are defined as follows:

  • -o : singular noun
  • -i : plural noun (-oj in Esperanto)
  • -a : adjective
  • -e : adverb
  • -ir : verb, past tense infinitive (does not exist in Esperanto)
  • -ar : verb, present tense infinitive (-i in Esperanto)
  • -or : verb, future tense infinitive (does not exist in Esperanto)
  • -is : verb, past tense
  • -as : verb, present tense
  • -os : verb, future tense
  • -us : verb, conditional
  • -ez : verb, imperative (-u in Esperanto)

These are the same as in Esperanto except for -i, -ir/-ar/-or and -ez. Esperanto marks noun plurals by an agglutinative ending -j (so plural nouns end in -oj), uses -i for verb infinitives (Esperanto infinitives are tenseless), and uses -u for the imperative.


The pronouns of Ido were revised to make them more acoustically distinct than those of Esperanto, who all end i. Especially the singular and plural first person pronouns mi and ni may be difficult to distinguish in a noisy environment, so Ido has me and ni instead. Ido also distinguishes between intimate (tu), formal (vu) second-person singular pronouns and plural second-person pronoun (vi), not marked for intimacy. Furthermore, Ido has an epicene third-person animate pronoun lu in addition to its masculine (il), feminine (el), and inanimate (ol) third-person pronouns.

singular plural indefinite
first second third first second third
familiar formal masculine feminine inanimate epicene
English I thou you he she it s/he we you they one
Esperanto mi vi li ŝi ĝi ĝi ni vi ili oni
Ido me tu vu il(u) el(u) ol(u) lu ni vi li on(u)

Language Example


Bona nokto ! –dicis la surprizata princeto.
Bona nokto ! –dicis la serpento.
Adsur qua planeto me falis ? –questionis la princeto.
Adsur Tero, sur Afrika. –respondis la serpento.
Ha !... Kad esas nulu sur Tero ?
To esas la dezerto, e nulu esas sur la dezerti. Tero esas tre granda –dicis la serpento.
La princeto sideskis sur stono e levis lua okuli a la cielo.
Me questionas a me –lu dicis- ka la steli intence brilas por ke uladie singlu povez trovar sua stelo. Videz mea planeto, olu esas exakte super ni... ma tre fore !
Olu esas bela planeto –dicis la serpento-. Por quo vu venis adhike ?
Esas chagreneto inter floro e me –dicis la princeto.
Ha ! –dicis la serpento.
E la du permanis silence.
Ube esas la personi ? –klamis fine la princeto-. Onu esas kelke sola sur la dezerto...
Inter la personi onu anke esas sola –dicis la serpento.
La princeto regardis la serpento longatempe.
Vu esas stranja animalo ! –dicis la princeto-. Vu esas tam tenua kam fingro...
Yes, ma me esas plu potenta kam fingro di rejo –dicis la serpento.
La princeto ridetis.
Me ne kredas ke vu esas tre potenta, mem vu ne havas pedi... nek vu povas voyajar...
Me povas transportar vu plu fore kam navo -dicis la serpento.
Ed olu spulis la maleolo di la princeto, same kam ora braceleto.
Ta quan me tushas retroiras a la tero deube lu venis. Ma vu esas pura e vu venas de stelo...
La princeto nulon respondis.
Me kompatas vu, qua esas tante sola sur ta harda granita Tero. Me povas helpar vu se vu sentas nostalgio a vua planeto. Me povas...
Ho ! –dicis la princeto-. Me bone komprenis, ma pro quo vu sempre parolas enigmatoze ?
Me solvas omna enigmati –dicis la serpento.
E la du permanis silence.

-From La princeto, the Ido-language version of The Little Prince.


The request by the Delegation for the Adoption of an International Auxiliary Language to the International Association of Academies in Vienna to select an international language was rejected in May, 1907. The Delegation, which had been founded by Louis Couturat, decided to meet as a Committee in Paris in October 1907 to discuss the adoption of a standard international language among the various competitors that had been devised up to that time. According to the minutes of the Committee, it decided that no language was completely acceptable, but that Esperanto could be accepted "because of its relative perfection and because of the many and diverse applications already received by it, on condition of several modifications to be realized by the permanent Commission in the direction defined by the conclusions of the Report of the Secretaries (Couturat and Leopold Leau) and by the Ido project" which later had been presented to the Committee as an anonymous project. The Ido project has later been suggested to have been primarily devised by Couturat with some help from Esperanto's representative before the Committee, Louis de Beaufront. Beaufront had himself argued for reforming Esperanto prior to having been selected to the Delegation, and during the proceedings he argued in favor of Esperanto over other languages; his "conversion" to the Ido camp upon the presentation of that language was thus consistent with his earlier positions.

Early supporters of Esperanto tended to resist reforms, and the language's inventor, L. L. Zamenhof deferred to their judgement. Ironically, several of the reforms adopted by Ido were themselves proposed at various times by Zamenhof. The custom of keeping the basic rules of Esperanto fixed remains today. Couturat, who was the leading proponent of Ido, was killed in an automobile accident in 1914, which, along with World War I, dealt a serious blow to the Ido movement. Although that movement recovered to some degree in the immediate postwar period, the whole movement of international languages became Balkanized as a result of Couturat's death. The publication of an even more Europeanized planned language, Occidental, in 1922 began the process of splintering the community, and the Ido movement lost a majority of its published periodicals in the subsequent year or so, and the defection of its major intellectual supporter, the Danish linguist Otto Jespersen, in 1928 on the occasion of the publication of his own planned language Novial, seemed at the time to provide a quietus.

However, the language still has a few speakers today, and the internet has sparked a renewal of interest in the language in recent years. The estimates of the number of speakers range from 250-5000. In comparison, Esperanto has at least a hundred thousand, with 1.6 million speakers estimated by a retired psychology professor named Sidney S. Culbert, who conducted a survey of speakers of several world-wide languages. Culbert's figure appears in the Almanac World Book of Facts, and in Ethnologue.

Jespersen, who was present during the ten days of Committee deliberations in Paris and later served as part of the permanent Commission, wrote a history of Ido.

Many Esperanto supporters have attacked Ido over the years. One of them, Don Harlow, wrote a history of Ido in the third chapter of The Esperanto Book, "How to Build a Language". Some have criticised the validity of his history, to which he replies in a subchapter, "Ido: The Beginning". However, most Ido partisans argue that Harlow's history does not jibe with all the eyewitness accounts, such as those reported by Jespersen, although it is based on material from some other eyewitnesses such as Emile Boirac and Gaston Moch and with some source documentation, to which Harlow claims Jespersen did not have access (such as Zamenhof's correspondence with Couturat and others during the period).

Recent International Ido Conventions

Toulouse will host a convention ( from the 23rd to the 27th of September, 2005.

2004: Kyiv, Ukraine - 17 participants from 9 countries (Raporto (
2003: Grossbothen, Germany - Participants from 6 countries (Raporto (
2002: Kraków, Poland - 14 participants from 6 countries (Raporto (
2001: Nuremberg, Germany - 14 participants from 5 countries (Raporto (
1998: Białobrzegi, Poland - 15 participants from 6 countries
1997: Bakkum (mun. Castricum), Netherlands - 19 participants from 7 countries
1995: Elsnigk, Germany
1991: Ostend, Belgium - 21 participants
1980: Namur, Belgium - 35 participants
1960: Zrich, Switzerland - ca. 50 participants

External links

Template:Interwiki Template:Wikibookspar

bg:Идо ca:Ido da:Ido de:Ido eo:Ido es:Ido et:Ido fr:Ido fy:Ido fi:Ido ga:Ido hu:Ido nyelv ia:Ido id:Bahasa Ido io:Ido it:Ido ja:イド語 ko:이도 lb:Ido li:Ido mt:Lingwa Ido nl:Ido (kunsttaal) no:Ido pl:Ido pt:Ido ro:Ido ru:Идо sv:Ido zh:伊多語


Academic Kids Menu

  • Art and Cultures
    • Art (
    • Architecture (
    • Cultures (
    • Music (
    • Musical Instruments (
  • Biographies (
  • Clipart (
  • Geography (
    • Countries of the World (
    • Maps (
    • Flags (
    • Continents (
  • History (
    • Ancient Civilizations (
    • Industrial Revolution (
    • Middle Ages (
    • Prehistory (
    • Renaissance (
    • Timelines (
    • United States (
    • Wars (
    • World History (
  • Human Body (
  • Mathematics (
  • Reference (
  • Science (
    • Animals (
    • Aviation (
    • Dinosaurs (
    • Earth (
    • Inventions (
    • Physical Science (
    • Plants (
    • Scientists (
  • Social Studies (
    • Anthropology (
    • Economics (
    • Government (
    • Religion (
    • Holidays (
  • Space and Astronomy
    • Solar System (
    • Planets (
  • Sports (
  • Timelines (
  • Weather (
  • US States (


  • Home Page (
  • Contact Us (

  • Clip Art (
Personal tools