You say what!? On American campuses, Esperanto is an extracurricular language. By Eva Wolchover.
The MIT Esperanto Club circulates a one-page collection of "useful expressions in Esperanto," from which, with a little practice, you can learn to hit on an Esperantist at your local bar, make a dumb joke that will induce cringes only in linguinstic initiates, covertly insult a guest, reference Monty Python's "Dirty Hungarian Phrase Book" sketch, and quote François Villon.

Okay, that's a fairy broad definition of "useful," but, remember, this is MIT's list, and we are dealing with Esperanto here.

Cu tiu loko estas okupita?
Is that seat taken?

Cu vi ofte venas ci tien?
Do you come here often?

Cu vi donus al mi vian telefon-numeron?
May I have your phone number?

Cu estas krajono en via poso au cu vi felicas vidi min?
Is that a pencil in your pocket, or are you happy to see me?

Kiu invitis vin?
Who invited you?

Mia kusenveturilo estas plena de angiloj.
My hovercraft is full of eels.

Kie estas la negoj de hierau?
Où sont les neiges d'antan?

Festu plu!
Party on!

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  Topics: Lifestyle Features , France, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Monty Python,  More more >
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  •   YOU SAY WHAT?!  |  January 09, 2009
    When Professor Ludovic Lazarus Zamenhof created the language called Esperanto in late-19th-century Poland, he envisioned a world unified under a lingua franca.
  •   SENIOR YEARS  |  August 15, 2007
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    I decided I liked the Red House, in Harvard Square, even before I took my first bite of linguini con carciofi.

 See all articles by: EVA WOLCHOVER