Edward Skidelsky (Books, 19 March) misunderstands. It is true that the meaning of a word is more than its definition, is in many ways a bundle of associations, historical and personal. But Esperanto is not ex nihilo; it has, by some reckonings, its roots too deep in Europe. Even if it had been created in one day (which it was not), its vocabulary unrooted and new and with no history, it would still have hope. Nobody I know of sees a baby and says, "You will never be a poet, you lack experience of life", or calls children's painting a repellent notion. Once people live a language (truly think and speak it), the language takes on life, and that is where it draws its power and resonance. People, if not an enormous number of them, "live" Esperanto, too; and no words in any language that ever lived are mere "counters". Those who live Esperanto know its strange, unique beauty, its poetry.

Gareth Roberts
Dolgellau, Gwynedd