Thank you for this opportunity!
I just wanted to thank everyone who helped to develop this course and everyone working on the Beta.
Previously, I was an opposed to learning Esperanto. I thought the idea of a constructed language was interesting, but didn't want to waste time that could be spent on my main languages.
For me, learning Esperanto is an exercise in languages. I don't think I'll ever get to use it in a practical situation, but it will help me connect the dots in juggling multiple languages.
It also has been more fun that I could ever have imagined :). I'm a Latin teacher who's studied Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese, with bits of German and Dutch. So much of Esperanto feels familiar and I smile whenever I see a cognate.
Thank you again to everyone who put hard work into this.
I felt the same way and considered Esperanto to be a waste of time. But: "It also has been more fun that I could ever have imagined", which was exactly how it turned out for me too.
Like you, I also want to thank everyone who helped to develop this course.
I also was skeptical about taking the course, but after I started it I realized I couldn't pass up such a simple language. It has a nice sound to it too, like a Spanish speaking German singing portuguese O.O if that makes sense (use your imagination).
Do....Mi ankaux volas diri dankon
Ha! Today I told my students Esperanto sounds like a Pole speaking Italian with a French accent :)
I agree with the sentiment. I may never use Esperanto, but I can't pass up such a simple language.
Can anyone who's proficient in Esperanto and then learned Polish or Russian comment on how it helped?
I am not exactly in the demographic you describe, because I learned Russian long before Esperanto, and when I learned Polish (well, the basics thereof, I've finished the tree but make no pretended to have learned, but you know what I mean ;)), I leaned much more on Russian than on Esperanto.
That said, while completing the Esperanto tree, with its very regular grammar and relative lack of complexity, I felt like there was stuff I had never entirely understood in Russian that I understood better through having learned Esperanto. I even made a post about it at one point, which I will try to find.
As someone who learned Russian as the first language I'd ever attempted which had cases (I didn't have the first clue what grammatical case was when I started it), I think it would've be hugely beneficial to learn what a case was in the relatively simple environment of Esperanto rather than starting with a language that has six cases, three grammatical genders, and is often quite irregular.
So I'm not a perfect test subject, but even as a fluent-if-rusty speaker of Russian, I found the experience of learning Esperanto to be beneficial in improving my grasp of a much more complex language. I wish I'd had resources like Duolingo back when I first heard about Esperanto - and I have to say, I think the Russian tree here would not have gone amiss during my first months of Russian learning ;)
Many people are not well informed about Esperanto. Look at the UNESCO, twice recommended Esperanto, especially the 1985 resolutions calling NGOs to use Esperanto. Of course, United Nations World Tourism Organisation also recommended Esperanto in Manila Declaration but the tourism ministry of most countries did not take up the idea.
The aim for the UNESCO to teach Esperanto in schools is too reduce the foreign language learning in terms of time and money.
You can download the UNESCO resolution 1985 at UNESCO official website.
Of course, Cambodia Esperanto tourism is taking place now.
As someone who works in language education, I don't see Esperanto ever catching on in the US. We can barely convince students and parents that there's merit in learning a foreign language at all, let alone one they've never heard of.
Just from the little Esperanto that I have learned, I can see that it would be useful at the elementary level. Many elementary schools teach a watered down foreign language to introduce the idea of language learning. Esperanto would be a better stepping stone.
Having Esperanto on Duolingo might spark some interest in it. Unfortunately it seems constructed languages are viewed negatively by most people learning languages and so they never try it.
It is a shameful that NGOs do not respect the resolutions. It is not about your country education system. If the NGOs and the tourism industry can respect the resolutions, Esperanto is already every corner of the globe.
What a shame the World Federation of United Nation Association did not honour their resolution even as early as 1979 to use Esperanto. It is the esperantujo to be blame in fact.
Just an odd thing to share, for those still reading this thread. I'm reviewing the lessons I've done so far and I'm having an easier time processing by listening than reading. If I read it once (without audio) I make mistakes, but if I listen to the audio it just makes sense. Usually it's the other way around when I start a new language. I can't wait to try to speak it (when I get more than twenty words under my belt).
DanD8 - Don't be so sure that you'll never have a chance to use Esperanto. There are many opportunities to do so, and if you seek them out you're likely to meet many people who were once as dubious as you were, and have fun in the process. As for Esperanto "catching on" different people as to what that even means. De mia vidpunkto, Esperanto iomete eksukcesis la momenton vi komencis la kurson.
Salvitanto, I think you misunderstood me. I was referring to Esperanto catching on in US schools. Right now languages are only added according to trendiness. Districts add languages to impress parents and raise their status. Currently, it's trendy to add Russian, (Mandarin) Chinese, and Arabic, with people mumbling about staying competitive.
A school district I know of added Chinese to their program of studies and let students sign up without doing their research. There were very very few people certified to teach it in the state and all of them got jobs at schools that could pay better. They didn't want to lose face with the parents, so they bought thirty licenses for Rosetta Stone and hired a substitute to watch the students while they clicked away. The program had to be scrapped with they realized that without a teacher no one could prod the kids along :)
Indeed I didn't catch the distinction but I think I might have said the same thing. Catching on means different things to different people - and catching on in schools does as well. My point is that Esperanto is not necessarily a place where we need to "go big or go home."
Speaking of home, it's been brought up before that pitching Esperanto to Home Schoolers might be a good thing.