Observations regarding Esperanto whilst nearing the last checkpoint of the Russian tree
I have spent the last week feverishly revising my unbelievably rusty Russian, and I've noticed some things that I've found very interesting.
there are things in Russian I now understand better, having used them in a more user friendly language. That would be less remarkable except that I started learning Esperanto less than a year ago, whereas I studied Russian for four years to honours degree standard. Officially, the Russian should be helping the Esperanto, not the other way around, even taking into account how horribly out of practice I am (haven't used Russian on a regular basis for over 14 years)
using cases is coming a lot more naturally, again see above comments about how much previous experience I have with Russian
lastly, the fairly thorough revision (Kudos, Russian Team!) of Russian grammar is making me agree very strongly with those who say there's a strangely Slavic flavour to Esperanto grammar. I don't know exactly what it is, I can't pinpoint it, but there's just something hauntingly Slavic about it, and I will be really interested to see if I see more parallels when Polish comes out, since that was Zamenhof's L1
I was inclined to believe before that a foothold in Esperanto would be an asset when learning a new language, but I feel like it's been strangely helpful revising an 'old' one in which I used to be very fluent.
It remains to be seen whether participles in Esperanto and Russian will help each other out at all...
Esperanto is my next target language, right after russian.
I've only done the basic lesson so far, and I already realise (or I think I did, pardonnez moi si je me trompe) that this language use cases to hide estas into the object, which is cool and close to russian.
My native language don't use case system (not that I'm aware of) and english has a poor case usage, so I am very newbie to this kind of grammar construction. If i had just taken esperanto before ...
Esperanto has a lot of very fun aspects to it, though I think the most enjoyable thing is how rapidly, relatively speaking, the learner can get to a point of being able to express themself in the language.
How are you getting on with Russian? I'm biased, but it's one of my favourite languages ever <3 even if it does also sometimes drive me up the wall!
Me too. I love to study it, but it's very difficult. I started to study it whilst I was taking french classes. I'm conversational in french right now and i'm still an A1 in russian. Nevertheless, I dont feel like giving up, as its something I really like to study. I don't know how to explain it, I just do.
French is a beautiful language and to me right now is easier to study because right now I just have to use it, so It's the 'fun part' of a lang acquisition process, but I don't feel the same passion about it as I do with my russian nightmare.
I hope that you got the picture.
Esperanto doesn't hide estas per se, instead it turns adjectives into verbs that describe a state (like "is" does).
There are just two cases in Esperanto and they are simpler than English cases, although it's not just pronouns that mark them as it is in English.
Very interesting to hear. My next language will be Russian which I'm looking very much forward to after having concurred Turkish (my first non-West-European language) where I found so many new ways of using language. I'm hoping to discover even more awesome stuff in Russian but I'm also aware that it'll be a challenge, so help from Esperanto is definitely an advantage :) Thanks for sharing.
Wow, interesting observation.
I know that learning Esperanto has made me far more conscious of the grammar of my native language (English) in a way that all the other languages I was taught at school never did.
Before I started Russian for the first time, aged 19, my grammar knowledge was "verbs are doing words, nouns are naming words, and adjectives are describing words". I wish I was exaggerating! I don't know whether it was better teaching or simply that Russian is a grammatically heavy language (since I'd studied French for years and had some exposure to Spanish), but I learned massively more English grammar in my first year of uni than I had up till that age.
I really wish I'd encountered cases before in a language which didn't have six...
I began studying Japanese when I was 14. It was self-study so I made little progress before university, but it taught me an awful lot about grammar, and especially that two unrelated languages can be extremely different. Up until then I had only studied Spanish and perhaps a touch of German, so I never realized, for example, that the negative particle (not, no, nicht) can be replaced by a negative verb conjugation (-ない, among others), which expresses the same information in very a different way. I also never would have imagined that an adjective could be conjugated for tense.
I think even just the realisation two languages can be incredibly different can be really valuable. A mistake I see a lot of language learners of all ages making is the assumption 'most languages work more or less how I expect them to work/how the language(s) I'm familiar with work', and I think even not getting very far in such an alien language as Japanese would really get that message through your brain pretty fast ;)
I don't deny that learning Esperanto might help you with Russian but I don't think it's so special that you feel more comfortable with Esperanto which you have learned for one year than with Russian which you have learned four years but haven't used the last 14 years. In school I learned 7 years of Latin (and got quite good grades in it) but never used it after I could avoid further lessons. Then 5 years after the end of my Latin lessons I went to France on holiday and started learning French three weeks before. When I was in France I could understand much more of the French that was written everywhere than I understand of the Latin texts often written in churches. So if you don't use something you'll probably forget it very fast whereas if you concentrate on learning something you'll make progress also quite fast.
I think you misunderstand me, I wasn't commenting that I was more comfortable with Esperanto than Russian, I was commenting on how some aspects of Esperanto have helped me revise Russian and even, in some cases, improved/helped my understanding of Russian grammar. I'm not comparing my Russian and Esperanto fluency with each other (I'm still vastly more confident in Russian!), I'm noticing how my knowledge of Esperanto is ameliorating my understanding of Russian. Different kettle of fish entirely.
You want to do Polish too? I can't wait! squealy noises (It's my mom's native language)