1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Esperanto
  4. >
  5. Esperanto is a easy foreign l…

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/son-of-iran

Esperanto is a easy foreign language for learning.

Some people have argued that English is the easiest foreign language to learn. Can Esperanto be even easier? The answer is a definite yes. Esperanto strips grammar to its barest, simplifies conjugation as much as possible, and allows flexible syntax. For English native speakers, it is a great introduction to foreign languages.

December 3, 2015

15 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sedekiv

Vi pravas. Ankaŭ Esperanto estas tre amuza. Entute, ĝi estas perfekta lingvo. Do, bonvolu akcepti 'Lingot'-on por festi la mirindecon de Esperanto!

December 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/varigby

Much as I like Esperanto, you could argue that the grammar could be simplified much further. I mean, it still marks the accusative, plurals and other stuff. When you learn Chinese you realize how much simpler grammar (morphology) can really be. Of course, that would make the syntax less flexible, but that is a small price to pay.

Still, you last point: "For English native speakers, it is a great introduction to foreign languages." I totally agree with.

December 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/seveer

You are right that this argument can be made (and has been, exhaustively) from both sides. Esperanto is a compromise. You are right that accusative markers and number agreement are (perhaps unnecessary) complications, but they were also intentional choices which have pros and cons (not just cons). In order to communicate the same amount of information without them you must make the rules for word order more complicated, or you must use more words (inefficient). Trying to define word-order relations in a rules-based language is probably combinatorially (and pedagogically) more complex than simply tacking on a letter (especially since this is the consistent approach of the whole rest of Esperanto morphology). Also, comprehending a sentence visually is much easier when there are discrete "flags" (like -n) on the words, than when you have to chunk every clause and comprehend their ordered interrelations. In other words, it is a red herring to imagine that you can just move one type of complexity to another domain and realize a net gain. This is only true if you can show that language capability is stronger in that domain and that it can carry information with the same efficiency. I don't think that is the case with word order.

On the other hand, you might like one domain more than another, for any number of good reasons. But your contention that inflexible syntax is a "small price" is really just a subjective opinion. Those coming from languages where word order is important (and different from one you might choose for Esperanto) might find it very difficult to rearrange their words in a (for them) non-intuitive way. Ditto for languages which don't use much word order at all. I mention this because there are a lot of people who want to pooh-pooh the language as if these complications are prima facie evidence of some kind of flaw or naivete. In reality they are just preferences that some disagree with, and they aren't necessarily more difficult for the learner than equivalent solutions in other domains.

December 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gR3B3L

Beautifully explained. I know that I struggle, but can understand, when Esperanto sentences are written with a word order that is more natural for other languages (e.g. German?).

December 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RudolfFischer

Mi absolute konsentas kun @seveer.

December 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Doowi2

Se oni konstruas lingvon por komunikas facile, kompreneble gxi estos tre facxile lerni. Haha.

December 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dema90

por komuniki facile; je la dua duono vi povas diri aŭ: "ĝi estos tre facile lernebla" aŭ "estos facile lerni ĝin".

December 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GrandaUrso

I have enjoyed my time learning Esperanto and strongly desire to become fluent in it. I agree that it is a very accessible foreign language to learn. As only an English speaker I've been able to pick up bits and pieces fairly easily and the grammatical structure just makes sense (Makes you wonder why more languages don't do it!). I'm blessed to have such an excellent place to learn and look forward to learning as much as I can and practicing!

December 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SeptimusBones

The person who said that English is the easiest to learn clearly does not know what (s)he is talking about.

December 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CodyORB

You are right! Esperanto is very easy to learn but I need to learn Spanish and Irish too.

December 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jkirby101

esperanto is a great stepping stone for learning spanish, or any of the other romance languages

December 8, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CodyORB

Yes

December 8, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/son-of-iran

el ĉiuj Dankon

December 4, 2015
Learn Esperanto in just 5 minutes a day. For free.