I often hear certain conlangs (e.g. Esperanto) referred to as auxlangs. What exactly is an auxlang? How can I tell if a conlang is an auxlang? What are some examples of auxlangs?

2 Answers 2


Auxlang is a short word for "auxiliary language", i.e., a language that is designed and promoted as a bridge language between people of different languages.

There are International Auxiliary Languages (IALs) aiming at the whole world as a target, and Zonal Auxiliary Languages aiming at a group of linguistically or culturally related people.

Examples for international auxiliary languages are Volapük, Esperanto, or Interlingua; examples for zonal languages are Interslavic or Afrihili.


According to Wikipedia, auxlangs are languages intended to facilitate international communication. Some notable examples include Esperanto and Interlingua. Of these, Esperanto is the most well-known and successful. Zamenhof created it in the 1880s.

Edit: As pointed out in the comments by @RadovanGarabik, these are only some notable examples of constructed auxlangs. See the comments for examples of natural ones.

  • 1
    By far more notable auxlangs are English, Latin, French, Chinese, Greek, to name just a few. Of course, these are not conlangs. Commented Jun 5, 2022 at 12:04
  • 1
    @RadovanGarabík, based on time period, of course. Looking at the world today, it's English and then anything else. Commented Jun 6, 2022 at 18:48
  • 1
    @KeithMorrison I'm sure there are regions where this doesn't apply. E.g. in Central and Eastern Europe, more people will be able to speak Russian than English, especially among the older population. But I agree that globally and among younger people it would probably be English. Commented Jun 7, 2022 at 15:18
  • 1
    @OliverMason, let's put it this way: if you were told you were going to be placed in a populated area chosen at random somewhere on Earth, and you were only allowed to speak in one language, what language would provide you the highest probability of finding someone who could understand you in the shortest amount of time? Commented Jun 7, 2022 at 16:15

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.