https://www.duolingo.com/MickeytheGreat

Why you should learn Esperanto

Esperanto--the most popular constructed language, created by a Polish dude (Zamenhof) a couple of centuries ago. Heard of it? I hadn't, before I started the Duolingo course. But this language has changed my life a bit, so I wanted to share it with some of you who haven't tried it yet. Here are a few reasons why you should learn it ;)

1 It helps with other languages

A big reason why I love Esperanto is because it's a sort of bridge language: learning Esperanto will make other languages easier for you to learn. A study found that people who learned Esperanto for half a year and then French for a year and a half, were able to speak French better than people who learned French for two years straight! Also, I've noticed a significant boost in my listening ability for foreign languages, which I can trace back to when I started learning Esperanto.

In fact, I can understand spoken Esperanto now after a few weeks of learning, whereas I still have a hard time understanding Spanish after studying it for five times as long.

Read more here: http://www.fluentin3months.com/2-weeks-of-esperanto/

2 It's easy

Another study found that "2000 hours studying German = 1500 hours studying English = 1000 hours studying Italian (or any other Romance language) =150 hours studying Esperanto."

More here: https://www.quora.com/Is-it-worth-it-to-learn-Esperanto-or-is-it-better-to-go-for-other-language-like-German-Russian-etc

I can vouch for Esperanto's easiness. No masculine/feminine nouns, no verb conjugations/irregular verbs, no irregular past or future tense... Basically all of the difficult parts of languages have been removed.

Other reasons why it's easy: each adjective you learn actually gives you two! Granda = big, malgranda = small, bela = beautiful, malbela = ugly. Also, a lot of words are made up of smaller word parts, so a lot of unknown words, you will be able to figure out. Ex: hospital = malsanulejo (malsan = unhealthy, ul = person, ejo = place --> place for unhealthy people!).

There are also a ton of resources online, extremely easy to find. I am terrible at finding language resources, but I have enough Esperanto stories texts and resources to last a lifetime! There's also a guy called Evildea who makes Youtube videos in Esperanto. At first he will kind of freak you out, but you will soon realize he is very entertaining :) .

3 It does have speakers

There are Esperanto clubs ALL OVER the world. It is highly likely there is one in your area.

The stats: ~2,000 native speakers, ~2,000,000 speakers (more than some natural languages!)

4 It's fun

Here is the main reason for me. I just love learning and using the language in my life. It's unique for a few reasons: 1) You can order the words pretty much however you want (I have a dog: "mi havas hundon", "hundon havas mi", "mi hundon havas", etc). You can use the order of your native language, for example, and this also allows for very expressive poetry. This freedom is possible because of the grammar, which you will learn very quickly, soon after starting the course. Make it through the first few skills, and you're pretty much set, no more challenges!

2) You can change a word's part of speech easily, for example taking adjective granda (big) and turning into a verb: grandas (is big). Ex: the dog is big = "La hundo estas granda" or "La hundo grandas" This makes it possible to translate songs into Esperanto and have the lyrics be the same number of syllables ;)

3) You can create words to express exactly what you're thinking.

Overall, I just think it's a great language. Even if you don't intend to become fluent in it, it is still a great experience and it will help you with other aspects of life. So...

Looking for a great language? Or maybe just want to take a break from the difficulties and exceptions of natural languages? Want to keep your brain in tip-top shape?

Start today! https://www.duolingo.com/course/eo/en/Learn-Esperanto-Online

February 7, 2016

67 Comments
This discussion is locked.


https://www.duolingo.com/Pecil1
  • 1265

I want to start the Esperanto tree once I've finished with the trees I'm already studying. It looks like a beautiful language and something fun to know

February 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Cavman144

I read this and immediately started Esperanto. you are very convincin'. :-)

February 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Diana-EO

Welcome to a great community! :-D

February 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/immery

Why did it not catch those 100 years ago, and now we are all forced to learn English, which is much less easy. :(

February 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/salivanto

I say it did catch on 125 years ago. How many other constructed languages outlived their authors? What is the first name people think of when they think of a constructed language? It's pretty amazing.

February 8, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/immery

It did not become what it was supposed to be. English became that. Do you know anybody who speaks Esperanto, but does not speak English?

February 8, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/salivanto

Immery, both of these points seem like non-sequiturs. Esperanto became what it is. What you or anybody else thinks it "was supposed to be" doesn't change what it is. Also, whether I personally know people who don't speak English doesn't change what Esperanto is. (As a matter of fact, I do -- but it has no bearing.)

February 8, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/immery

I apologise. I think I got a bit defensive, and then aggressive, when I did not want to. You are right, it is what it is. I just wanted to comment, how I wished it were what others dreamt it could have been.

But knowledge that there are people who speak Esperanto but poor or no English, gives me incentive to learn it. It is often thought that languages like Esperanto are only for linguistics geeks, who already know "useful" languages like English.

If I were to start learning Esperanto, would you reccomend Duolingo as a starting point, if Polish is my native language?

February 8, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/salivanto

No worries. I'll reply off thread.

February 8, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Diana-EO

Are there any rules I don't know of? I mean, am I not allowed to know and use more languages than one? Esperanto does not keep you from learning other languages. Esperanto speakers will know at least one other language (their native). And a lot of people learned english as their first second language - as you stated, they are forced to by school systems - but later on they might decide for themselves what additional languages they want to learn. For some this is Esperanto. So what? How could that be a reason for not learning a language, that there is nobody speaking solely this one.

February 8, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/immery

I think you misunderstood me. I do not care for Esperanto as a language one way , or other. I just stated that AFAIK the dream was for Esperanto to become "new Latin" and English became one instead. You are probably English native speaker, You are allowed to learn Esperanto as your first not-native language. Everybody else is not.

What I wanted to say is people learn English as their first not native language. It would be foolish for me to teach my future kid Esperanto, when I could teach them English, or Spanish, or Russian.

February 8, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/cdub4language

I have indeed encountered numerous people in the Esperanto community who speak English poorly or not at all. The first I met was a Chinese guy in a chat room - I "crocodiled" and asked him about a word in English, and he didn't understand! That was my first real look into the utility of Esperanto.

It may not be foolish to teach your kids a bit of Esperanto if it would then permit them to learn English, Spanish, or Russian much faster.

February 8, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Diana-EO

Yes, I think I partly misunderstood you :-). Sorry.

I don't know anyone (yet) who has only Esperanto as a second language and knows no english at all. However, I know a lot of people who can barely utter a complete (and correct) sentence in english. So I don't think they are in any way advanced versus a Esperanto speaker who can communicate quite quickly.

I am not a native english speaker. I learned english in school because that's just how it was. And all I am saying is, that i doesn't need to stay like that forever. I won't tell you, you have to teach your children this or that. If you think, it's foolish, don't do it. If they want to, they can still learn additional languages. No harm done.

February 8, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/immery

I apologise for assuming anything. And I will say again what started all this discussion. I believe in the idea of international language, and do not think English should be one. which is why I think it is unfortunate that when the world was looking for a new international language English won.

February 8, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Mutusen

I do. Well, few people in Europe speak no English at all, but I know many people who speak Esperanto better than they speak English. I know some who have very good Esperanto and poor English.

February 8, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/metagrobologist

Love your reasons.

The first reminds me of Tim Morley's excellent Tedx Talk: "Learn Esperanto first" https://youtu.be/8gSAkUOElsg

February 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/MickeytheGreat

I watched that. That's where I stole my "esperanto adjectives are a two-for-one deal" idea from :)

February 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/CindyFahrb

Another reason for learning Esperanto is you can watch the William Shatner flick "Incubus" without subtitles.

February 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/GrandaUrso

They mispronounce many words in Esperanto from what I've heard because only Shatner actually spoke it =(

February 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/MickeytheGreat

Have you seen that? I heard it wasn't a very good movie lol

February 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/chocotaco_

I have that movie. It's okay, the plot is a little weird. They didn't have the BEST pronunciation, but the whole thing was in Esperanto, so that was cool.

February 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/med-ben

Great post :)

February 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Diana-EO

This if really off-topic but ... are you tamazight? ;-)

February 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/med-ben

:) Yes i am Amazigh (Tamazight is the language) ;)

February 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Diana-EO

I thought so ;-) The flag is unique!

February 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/lingokd

Very convincing! I've been curious about Esperanto for a while and considering learning it. You've convinced me that I definitely should!

February 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/LaRouxd

This is pretty persuasive. I was kind of one of those snobby people that was like, "ew its not a 'real' language." (non natural) So I'd never considered it, at all. however something I really like about it after reading is the seeming exclusivity of it. Perhaps I'm wrong thinking that, but you have convinced me to do some research on it and potentially try it out to see if like it. Well written!

February 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/MickeytheGreat

Welcome, that's great! You're right, you're in an exclusive club now ;) make sure to let me know if you decide to keep at it!

February 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/LaRouxd

Thank you! I'll give it a go and see how it feels. :)

February 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/zubiz

Esperanto is incredibly rewarding to its learners. In 3 weeks, I was able to read mostly everything on eo wikipedia, and in about 30 days I was able to understand most daily conversations when spoken. So it probably has the highest benefit/effort ratio among all languages. It also comes with a fantastic community, for free!

February 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/metagrobologist

I completely agree! This is also my experience :)

February 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/GrandaUrso

All of these reasons are excellent for learning the language. It's unfortunate that many people don't like it solely because it's a constructed language. I enjoy many of the ideals it purports to propagate and the idea of an international auxiliary language makes me warm and fuzzy inside. Perhaps you'll convince a few people to try it!

Ankaŭ, Mi sentas, ke mi povas kompreni multajn homojn. Ŝajnas tiu ĝi sukcesis en komencis intereson kun lingvoj lernuloj. Tamen, ni nun devas daŭrigi puŝanta la lingvo ĉirkaŭ. Kune, ni povas fari ĝin!

February 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/tinnatay

I know that Esperanto has many supporters here and that most of you probably won't agree with me. However, I don't think it's a must-learn language.

First of all, you don't get to speak it anywhere, only in Esperanto clubs. It's like reading a book just to show others that you read books. There's nothing wrong about learning it just for fun - but it's not as useful as some people like to claim. Another reason is that it doesn't have any idioms, any sayings, any folk tales. If someone attempts to create some, you can feel it's forced. And in my opinion, that's the fun part about learning languages. Besides, it seems that Esperanto has more aggressive fans than many sports clubs and pop bands. I've seen many of them insulting another person just because they said they didn't like the language.

I don't mind Esperanto, but I don't like the way its speakers present it; as if it was a magical trick that turns you into a superhero and those who speak it were a superior race.

February 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/zubiz

Some points you mentioned may have merit, but there is one thing I definitely need to object:

First of all, you don't get to speak it anywhere, only in Esperanto clubs. It's like reading a book just to show others that you read books.

I speak it daily on facebook, read books, play games, solve puzzles in it and what not. Your comparison is no different than speaking of, say, backgammon: "you don't get to use it anywhere, only in special circumstances like backgammon clubs." Well yes, true for everything. Same for English, fishing, enjoying tea and everything else. I know playing backgammon, and I never played it so that other people know that I can play it, I only played it because I enjoyed playing it.

February 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/MickeytheGreat

Maybe I just haven't been to the right places, but I've never seen someone start a fight, saying you should learn Esperanto. I do see a lot of "Esperanto is stupid, everyone just learn English" comments, which Esperantists reply to and may get in arguments :) not every Esperantist is perfect

But is the general Esperanto speaker aggressive? As much as a cat or dog, who are just chilling unless you come along and poke them with a stick or something...

Is Esperanto useful? Well, is French useful if you don't live in France? Esperanto is as useful as you make it. You can go to meetings and speak with other speakers all the time. And by the way, there is a ton of Esperanto literature, some of it translated from other languages, and some of it created for Esperanto, so in a way that is Esperanto folklore.

Do I feel to be in an elite group? No, but I do feel what it's like to be really experienced in a foreign language, and it is helping me on my way to fluency in French and Spanish ;)

February 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/zubiz

Esperanto is as useful as you make it.

This. Like almost everything else in life.

February 8, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Diana-EO

I can respect if someone doesn't like the language. That's an opinion, right? It doesn't make me aggressive. But for some, "it indeed is a magical trick that turns you into a superhero". Not superior, at least that's not how i feel about it. But what's wrong with being able to connect with people with whom you wouldn't have a common language otherwise? It opens so many opportunities. Which doesn't mean one shouldn't learn any other languages. It's just one more good option. For me, it is.

February 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/salivanto

It's interesting. I speak Esperanto... and I was a little embarrassed by the OP. I felt it was a little over the top - like a commercial or a sales pitch, or even a little pseudo-religious. When I read it, I thought that someone would react... well... more or less like you (tinntay) are reacting here. Yes, sometimes it does seem like Esperanto has some "aggressive fans." For better or worse, it's human nature. People get excited and wonder why they didn't hear about this sooner -- then they tell people and they react saying that Esperanto 'feels forced"... although, quite frankly, I'm curious how much Esperanto you have personally "felt".

I would encourage you to try it yourself and then tell me whether it "feels forced" to you. Of course, if you're not interested, that's fine too. Hopefully you can find some kindness in your heart for our "aggressive fans". For the record, I think the languages you like are pretty neat too. :-)

February 8, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/GrandaUrso

Also ignore the inevitable downvoters, no matter how rational and friendly you are in presenting your information. There will be those on here who act in the opposite fashion for no other reason than it's Esperanto.

February 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Dovyuruk

DOWNVOTERS?! Frankly, I was thinking how this should be a TV commercial. It would be a lot better than something from... something else. Actually, if this was commercial, not only would I be fluent in Esperanto, but also, would watch some satellite TV. You know? :D

February 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/CindyFahrb

Downvoting is so unfriendly. I suppose it has its place but I really dislike many of the downvotes I see.

February 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/workwomanship

The funniest ones are those who say "I want to learn a real language", and yet make no attempts to learn any. I can actually understand more written French because of Esperanto, than I could after studying it for five years in school!

Oh, and the events are amazing!

February 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/jarcher77

You've made me think more about working on Esperanto sooner than later. If it helps learn other languages faster, and it doesn't take long to learn Esperanto, then it makes perfect sense to do Esperanto first.

February 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/cdub4language

That's the thing with Esperanto... By studying it for just a couple of weeks, you can get relatively large benefits. At the very least you'd have gotten clear demonstrations of how essential grammar works (made easy!), plus some vocabulary roots and constructions found in many European languages. If after 2-3 weeks you decide you don't like it, then you can just drop it and move on - and keep the benefits. The fact that it helps me with other languages is one of my favorite parts of Esperanto - I'd studied several languages already, but somehow Esperanto helped me even with advanced Arabic grammar!

February 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/MickeytheGreat

Haha, I love hearing success stories like this. You're right, the thing about Esperanto is that it isn't a commitment and that no time spent learning it is wasted.

Kind of a funny story about what you said--Esperanto kind of has a subjunctive tense, but you can master it within like five minutes. But it's formed the same way as in French and Spanish, so when I started learning Spanish subjunctive, I was like, hey, I already know most of this from esperanto. It was pretty cool, since usually the subjunctive is considered a major obstacle in Spanish :D

February 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/chocotaco_

One of the reasons I'm learning it is because of Pasporta Servo.

February 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Footsore_Rambler

Hmm, that's a pretty compelling reason, in addition to the OP's arguments. Maybe I should investigate the Esperanto tree after I finish with my Spanish tree.

February 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Diana-EO

Did you already travel with it? I did not (yet) but I am planning.

February 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/cdub4language

I've traveled with it, and by chance ended up being hosted by the person who started the very first Pasporta Servo books in the 70s :-D

February 9, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Diana-EO

Oh that's awesome!

February 9, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/chocotaco_

No, I haven't, and I am a long way from it. I would like to travel with it in the future, though.

February 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Diana-EO

A good plan, I think :-D

February 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/italianboy96

Welcome to the club, komencanto!

February 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Le_garcon_cadien

You did very good on this writing. I was thinking about really getting into esperanto, but nobody around here speaks it so i would learn a language i couldnt use. Everyone here speaks some kind of english then korean then german and spanish

February 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Diana-EO

Well, a lot of people might say it is useless but that's only the case if you don't use it. If you keep learning it, you certainly will have a way to use it. Be it for communication with people, with whom you wouldn't have a common language otherwise. Or be it for travels, far from isolated hotels but right with people who live there. I'd just like to encourage you. Once you begin, you will realise there IS a huge community.

February 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Le_garcon_cadien

I may get into it after my german tree since ill be moving to germany in june i really need that more

February 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/guniko

If you want to know more about the history of this century old language movement, you can watch this award winning documentary: Sola.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ozx2iPA5ZU0

February 8, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/PolyglotCiro

Mi ne estas convinced. :)

February 10, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/truelefty

Do, ne lernu gxin! xD

February 10, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/PolyglotCiro

Exactly! :D

February 10, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/truelefty

xD

February 10, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Dzheyms007

What a great post, friend!

February 10, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Kelly199

Impressive! After I'm finished with French, I might start Esperanto. It sounds like a fun language.

February 17, 2016
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