https://www.duolingo.com/matfran2001

Esperanto is so much fun

matfran2001
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Hey, I just started this morning with Esperanto (actually I was procrastinating a bit because I didn't feel like studying more German neither French, I felt a bit mentally tired) and wow, it is a quite curious language.

It must be the easiest language ever created, because I could understand things virtually from the very beginning. It feels a bit "robotic" at first, but it is very intuitive (and because of that it is easier than other languages).

Can you imagine more and more people speaking Esperanto in the far future? ( I doubt it, English and Spanish are spoken more and more each year, so probably those two languages are more than enough to be able to talk with people anywhere in the world, but Esperanto is much easier, it would be great if more people spoke it).

I also want to ask a question: Do people that only speak one language (their native language) find Esperanto this easy too, (or maybe being bilingual makes it much easier to learn another new language, more so an easy one like Esperanto) ?

3 years ago

22 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Izabela_K
Izabela_K
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Being bilingual makes further language acquisition easier. As someone who was monolingual until my 40s, with only some high school learning of French (and then inspiration at the age of 40 to start to learn French again and becoming frustrated) and a semester of Spanish in college, Esperanto was truly a pleasure to discover and begin learning. I advanced in it so much faster than I could with French and all its irregularity of verbs, although I readily admit I believe what I had learned from French sometimes helped with Esperanto and recognizing words Esperanto had taken from French roots.

Since learning Esperanto to a reasonable fluency and discovering Duolingo, I really feel that Esperanto has been a useful gateway to further language acquisition. It's rather a weird thing to see how much I can read from languages such as Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and French. But definitely my strongest second language is Esperanto and I sometimes these days find myself thinking in it. Ne ĉiam, sed fojfoje. Not always but sometimes.

Is it the easiest language to learn? Possibly, although it may be that someone else has built a conlang that's even easier, but it's never had the circumstances to give it a reasonably large number of people to learn and use it. It is certainly far easier than any regular language and there is a sort of friendliness to it, in how it allows 2 people with no other common language between them, allows both of them to have a take a step towards one another in learning a mutual language between them.

If there's one thing that study of foreign languages has taught me over the past 5 years, it's that it's fairly difficult to learn another language to good and working fluency.

I suspect that Esperanto will never become the imagined auxiliary language that Zamenhoff dreamed of, because in many ways humanity is lazy or otherwise occupied and without a really immediate and compelling reason to do so, most of them aren't going to think, "I want to learn another language!"

But I still think he did a pretty amazing job of it and had some keen insights about how to simplify a language but have it retain all the expressiveness we see in our normal and everyday languages.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SariniLynn
SariniLynn
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It is definitely very easy, when compared to any natural language I've ever seen. (Of course, it is still very difficult when compared to eating cake. ;-) )

As far as the robotic feel, I really do think that fades as one encounters more advanced sentences. I read a complaint once saying that Esperanto sounds "singsongy" because all of the nouns end in -o. I just laughed, because at the advanced level, there just aren't that many nouns in a sentence, (3 in that sentence, out of 17 words!)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jdenney99
jdenney99
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I definitely agree with that! (Especially the part about the cake haha) I mean, you could say that most languages sound kind of "singsongy" at a basic level; it's only once you begin to really expand your vocabulary and figure out more complex ways of putting a sentence together that it begins to sound more like communication and less robotic.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/flootzavut
flootzavutPlus
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Of course, it is still very difficult when compared to eating cake

Heheheh, nice. Oh, someone needs to create cake that helps you learn languages... ;)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/amuzulo
amuzulo
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lingvolerniga kuko! :-D

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/flootzavut
flootzavutPlus
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Jes, precize! ;D

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/gR3B3L

When we first introduce children to learning a new language, we should be aiming for one thing "early success" and associating it with easy and fun as much as possible. Just like their introductions reading, writing and mathematics.

For languages where there are two significant languages in the community and plenty of opportunities to hear and speak the one that is not your native language, then it is hard to argue against picking up the other - English and Spanish in parts of the USA is the obvious example.

But for other countries where there is a greater multi-cultural mix or near monolingual environment, it makes sense for children to learn Esperanto first and switch to a natural language when they have a desire to do so. Their early success at Esperanto will create a love of language in some and make the difficulties of natural languages less of a barrier.

I just hope that it becomes fashionable amongst software developers to teach their kids Esperanto :-) It's so elegant and logical that they just might "get it".

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RG710
RG710
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I actually tried few Esperanto lessons before from Lernu before DL released the course, and I agree with you I could see the easiness in it like how to know which one is nouns, verbs, adjectives and etc. I also love the unique sounds of Esperanto and the purpose of it. I actually tried it because I've read that it is design to be easy to learn, I mean how cool is that :). Like you I agree that it could be great if more people speak Esperanto. I used to ask myself when I tried Esperanto, why I feel that it could be easy for me, in my opinion I may found it easy because I already have experience of learning foreign languages, English is my second language. I've learned English since I was little, I also being raised surrounded by different language, so it's not a weird thing for me to hear different languages. Thus, I do think being bilingual makes learning Esperanto easier since your brain already used to learn words, grammar, etc. Esperanto is great for monolingual who wants to learn an easy language. Esperanto is known to help monolingual to have the ability to learn languages. I've read an article from a polyglot, Benny Lewis that two weeks of Esperanto could help you to learn language better because it trains your brain about language.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/amuzulo
amuzulo
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Here's Benny's article about learning the basics of Esperanto helping with learning other languages:
http://www.fluentin3months.com/2-weeks-of-esperanto/

A TEDx Talk about teaching Esperanto with the goal of helping students learn other languages faster:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8gSAkUOElsg

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Luko.
Luko.
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For a monolingual it's harder, I'm teaching my girlfriend who only speaks Spanish (so the new course will help us a lot) and she has a lot of problems realising what is a noun, what is an adverb, etc. However it would be a lot harder for her to learn English. I've studied English since I was 11 years old, and Esperanto since I was 15, so I had a basic knowledge about how languages work, how language learning works, and so on.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jdenney99
jdenney99
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Out of curiosity, where did you learn Esperanto previously? I hadn't even heard of it before Duolingo, so I find it fascinating to hear about other people's experiences in learning it.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Luko.
Luko.
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When I was 12 or 13 my English teacher told me about it, she wasn't an esperantist, but she told me about it and then I googled it.

I forgot about it for a few years (I was 15), and I don't remember how came across it again on the internet and I thought "hey, it claims to be very easy, I'll give it a try" so I started with Kurso de Esperanto 3 (a brazilian software for learning the basics, now it is Kurso de Esperanto 4).

Then I got in contact with another esperantist, who corrected my exercises, and he told me I should continue with the book Gerda Malaperis (right here is when I fall in love with Esperanto and its ideas because of some reading he gave me which were mostly about Esperanto).

I finished it and then started to have contact with Esperanto culture, specially the facebook group.

After that, I got frustrated with some esperantists because they seemed too close-minded about the smallest changes in the language, in spite of accepting useless neologisms. And I felt the need of riism (google it). So that let me down and I gave up it and got out from every esperanto group.

However, after telling my girlfriend about it a few times, all of a sudden she wanted to learn it and I was like "I couldn't love her more than I do now". And because of her and Duolingo I fell in love with it again and now I'm teaching it slowly to my girlfriend.

This is just a summary, I could tell you a lot of things about me and Esperanto, and how it changed my life, about how it made me love languages and linguistics, and many other things.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jdenney99
jdenney99
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Wow! That's really cool, thanks for sharing that!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Luko.
Luko.
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Thanks :) have a lingot (Redakto: dankon :), havu lingoton)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jdenney99
jdenney99
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Dankon!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Orbaleno
Orbaleno
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se vi volas scii, mi antaŭe lernis pri esperano kiam mi havis dek-kvin jarojn (ĉirkaŭ 2005) per praa libro (eldonis en 1959) kiu mi trovis en librovendejo. Mi neniam prisciis esperanton antaŭe. Mi forgesis pri ĝi ĝis mia edzino decidis lerni la hispanan. Do, mi diris ke mi lernus esperanton kaj la hispanan (esperanto unua) pli rapide ol ŝi lernus nur unu lingvon. Mi denove legis la pralibron kaj retserĉis por pli nova libro - tiam mi malkovris Lernu kaj Duolingo.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII
BastouXII
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This is just a summary, I could tell you a lot of things about me and Esperanto, and how it changed my life, about how it made me love languages and linguistics, and many other things.

I don't know for anyone else but I, for one, am interested in the even longer story.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Luko.
Luko.
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Well, in fact my story is very short compared to other esperantists' ones, and it's not so amazing. What I did't tell is mostly about my feelings on the language and languages in general, nothing special ;), but before Esperanto I wouldn't have thought of learning some languages that I feel the need to learn now, such as Quenya, Japanese, Chinese, Welsh, Finnish.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/italianboy96
italianboy96
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I'm only monolingual and have been learning Esperanto on and off for about two yeas, I'm only a komencanto though, and I found it easier to learn than a natlang. I could imagine Esperanto being the second lang (hopefully in my lifetime!) Believe it or not, Esperanto is not the easiest language on Earth, I know, It's hard to believe. Well, I would definitely recommend Evildea's YouTube channel, I learned a significant amount from him. Welcome to the Esperanto community, mia amiko! Gxis!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Orbaleno
Orbaleno
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Maybe Esperanto is the easiest language, however, in which is possible to express all the modern/western concepts associated with politics, the internet, etc..

That is, a language that can keep up with the super-flexible global language English* but without the irregularities and inconsistencies. I don't know. I'm just interpreting your statement "not the easiest language" as a reference to certain tribal languages with very small vocabularies (or toki pona) - you can't really compare this to, for example, English. You couldn't translate many heavy literary masterpieces or current scientific papers into Toki Pona with much success, but you could translate them into Spanish, Russian, Chinese, or good old Esperanto. But maybe you're referring to something else- in which case my mistake and please let me know.

*For those who say English can't express all concepts - you're probably correct to some extent, but don't give me this rubbish about Inuits and 19 different words for snow. Just because we don't have different words for every type of snow it doesn't mean the language can't distinguish between them, we can use adjectives. The same argument goes the other way: early anthropologists saying that certain humans (i.e. dark-skinned tribal people) were "primitive" because they didn't even have a word for "blue" - it was later found that they had a phrase "sky-colour", their language did have complexity, just in a different way to European languages.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jal
jalPlus
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Welcome! I hope you find Esperanto interesting and explore a little further. I am absolutely not an expert, let me get that out of the way. I first encountered Esperanto as a teenager in the 1970s, and taught myself from a book, then started corresponding with another teenager in Poland. That fizzled out after a time, and then when Esperanto appeared on Duolingo, I pounced on it, and have been there ever since. And just last weekend, I attended my first face-to-face course at the Esperanto Domo here in the UK. It was the most enjoyable language learning experience I've ever had, and I also learned a lot, and gained a lot of confidence with speaking the language. One thing it firmly established in my mind, is that it's a lot more fun than any other language I've learned.

How does it sound, when spoken well? I think there's no better example than this film, "Esperanto like a native" (with credit and thanks to Chuck Smith, the man behind this course):

https://youtu.be/UzDS2WyemBI

1 year ago
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