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https://www.duolingo.com/Memedenes

Why Esperanto?

Guys, I've just started to learn Esperanto by a advise of Brazilian friend and I really like the language. But I have question about it. Why do people learn it? Just for fun? Maybe, or is there any reason to learn it? Can you tell me about that?

Thanks Menes.

2 years ago

65 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/zubiz
zubiz
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I saw the course on duolingo and just wanted to see what kind of a language it was. But then I couldn't stop and didn't see any reason to stop learning.

Simply put, I initially had no reason to learn it; esperanto just happened to me.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Memedenes

Saluton. Mi pensas ke vi estas bona en la lingvo Dankon Estas la lingvo bone. Thank you for answer.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Athenicuber

what is 'Dankon Estas la lingvo bone' supposed to be?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Memedenes

I forgot dots. It is "Dankon. (Gi) Estas la lingvo bone.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ludoviko2013
Ludoviko2013
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Could be, e. g.: Dankon. Ĝi estas lingvo bona. Or: Dankon. Estas lingvo bona. Or: Dankon. Ĝi estas (la) bona lingvo. Or: Dankon. Estas (la) bona lingvo...

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Memedenes

Yeah, thank you. :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Athenicuber

why is it bone and not bona?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Memedenes

Don't you do any mistake, it is mistake.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RickyFreeman1

Esperanto is a great, simple language for communication. One can learn to speak Esperanto in a fraction of the time it takes to learn other languages. There are probably 1 to 2 million speakers, some in most countries. It seems to be strongest in Brazil, eastern Europe, and eastern asia, especially Japan and China. The Chinese government even publishes an online newpaper in Esperanto. There is a ton of literature (original and translated) that can be read, much of it for free. There are quite a lot of songs recorded in Esperanto. Go to youtube and search Esperanto music and you will get over 85000 hits.

Yes it is a fun language but it can also be as useful as you wish to make it

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/johmue

@all: Please stop spreading the myths of 2 million speakers. We are making ourselves ridiculous.

2 million speakers would mean every 3000th of the world population speaks Esperanto. For a city like Berlin it would mean something like 1000 speakers. In the Metropolitan area of New York City there would be like 6000 speakers. Do the same calculation for the city you live in and ask yourself the question: Where are they?

I think the most precise estimation of speakers is the following:

  • 10^3 natives
  • 10^4 native equivalents
  • 10^5 regular fluents
  • 10^6 who somehow got in touch with it.
2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pseudocreobotra

2 mio. is the official Ethnologue estimation. While it definitely isn't absolutely accurate, it's the most reliable estimation so far. It also doesn't specify which level a speaker has to have.

I'm pretty sure that there are far more than 1 mio. people who "somehow got in touch with it" - there are almost 300k people on Duolingo alone. And I doubt that it reflects the places where Esperanto is most commonly learnt...

Regarding your question: First, the world population isn't 6 bio., it's more like 7.4 bio which would mean that every 3700th person should know some Esperanto. If you set the bar low (briefly looked into it, knows a few basics but by no means proficient), that seems a bit optimistic but not entirely unreasonable for the areas where Esperanto gained some popularity. Having about 950 people in Berlin that know at least some Esperanto seems quite reasonable to me. Where are they? Everywhere! You can't see whether a person studied Esperanto at any point in their life and most of them probably don't use the language actively but just briefly dabbled with it. It all depends on how you define "speaker"... which is notoriously difficult for all foreign languages.

While Hungary probably isn't the most representative country for Esperanto's popularity, it has the advantage that during the 2011 census, Esperanto was among the languages the people could claim knowledge of. About 8400 people did so - Hungary has less than 10 mio. inhabitants which results in about every 1180th Hungarian claiming some knowledge of Esperanto! That's huge.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/johmue

Don't overestimate the 300k of Duolingo. That does not change the 1e6 estimation of people who got in touch with it. It will be 1.5e6 instead of 1.2e6.

950 speakers in Berlin is far too much. Drop the zero in the end and you'll get a reasonable figure. The Germana Esperanto Kongreso in Berlin in 2012 had ~100 participants. Where where your 950 speakers?

If you count those who know "Saluton" and that's it, then yes. That's the 1e6. But I wouldn't count those as speakers.

Talking about Hungary: They are teaching Esperanto there officially in school, so yes, there are quite some people who somehow got in touch with Esperanto, so contribute to 1e6. But that's not representative to the world.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pseudocreobotra

That's what I said. It depends of how you define "speaker" (which is difficult for ANY language and even more so for Esperanto that is widely self-taught). I also mentioned that I'd assume that only a small fraction of the speakers uses the language actively - and even less actively participate in community events etc. So, if more than 5% of the speakers (having a rather lax definition of speaker but definitely way more than just Saluton) attended at least one congress every five years that would way more than I expect.

In my opinion, there's a pretty big number of people who dabbled with it at some point but could be still considered a speaker (at a very low level though) and very few who stick with it.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/johmue

To me someone who does not use the language actively is not a speaker. The word "speaker" implies that one actually "speaks" the language. So one, who read a book about it or finished the Duo and that's it, is not a speaker to me.

If you say, that there are 2 million speakers, you are actually implying that there are 2 million active users of the language. Moreover if you compare that to languages like Lithuanian who has also a speakers in the 1e6 order of magnitude. The few millions of Lithuanian speakers do actually speak their language. The 2 millions of Esperanto "speakers" don't. Only a small fraction. Then we end up at 1e5 which to me seems reasonable.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Evildea

I doubt theres only 95 speakers in Berlin when there are at least 50 known Esperanto speakers in Sydney ...

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jirka92122
jirka92122
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Maybe good to give an example. Esperantists are like expats in a different country. I am Czech in the US. The are local Czech clubs all over the US but majority of czechs never go there or even know if them or care. It is usually only attended by people who don't know English or people who want to spend their time that way (and hence have time for it to begin with). Strangely too, some of the people who attend these clubs often don't speak the language well. You would definitely not get a good picture of Czech speakers in an American city by attending a Czech expat society meeting.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ludoviko2013
Ludoviko2013
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What is your definition of "speaker", Evildea? Because it seems people use different definitions here. At four o'clock in the morning there is probably no Esperanto speaker here in Berlin, all Esperanto speakers turned into sleepers :) (Esperanto sleepers?)

There were about sixty known fluent Esperanto speakers in Berlin around 1990, we once put the names together. That's why I suppose something around thousand people with an Esperanto level similar to that of the 1.5 billion English "speakers" do actually live in Berlin.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jirka92122
jirka92122
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There are too many drop bears in Sydney. Esperantists are afraid!

If there are 50 known speakers, the question is, how many others know the language and simply don't want to hang out with you guys :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/salivanto
salivanto
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The 2 000 000 number came from an extensive survey which calculated that there were 1 600 000 speakers at "level 3" fluency. The publisher rounded it to the nearest million. I personally think that 1.6 Million fluent speakers is a high estimate, but I'm not going to spend a lot of time telling people that my made up numbers are more accurate simply because they're lower.

I generally avoid giving a number. If someone gives a number I don't like, I usually smile and keep moving.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jirka92122
jirka92122
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Although the 1.6 figure is a couple of decades old by now if I remember right. I think the error in this is so large that rounding to nearest million is very reasonable. Be it 1 mil or 2 mil. It is interesting to me that people get so into "trying to debunk" these kind of estimates without much more concrete arguments other than "someone on the internet thinks so" and "I don't believe there are a 1000 speakers in Berlin not because I have any concrete evidence but because it just seems like that to me." I think if one doesn't want to believe the 1.6 mil figure (which is perhaps the most authoritative source we have, though that doesn't make it true of course) then your attitude is best: Simply avoid giving an answer. It is OK to not know. One doesn't have to start believing someone's far less scientific estimate just because it produces numbers one finds more palatable.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/johmue

Im repeating the question: Where are those 1000 speakers in Berlin? Same for the same proportion in every other city. The number of 1e6 fluent active speakers is falling over as soon as you somehow challenge it.

I recommend reading the book Esperanto sen mitoj by Ziko van Dijk. It gives you some more sober view on Esperanto.

We are making ourselves ridicolous if we blindly rely on some "authorative" source, which we haven't even read and methodically understood. Then yes, better say you don't know.

My estimation of 1e5 regular fluent speakers seems most reasonable to me. All the data points I have lead to this order of magnitude.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jirka92122
jirka92122
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Let me give you an example. There is an estimate of about 2-3 million Czechs that "speak english". Now by your standard, they are not speakers. Most of them have trouble carrying a conversation for long, and most definitely do not speak regularly nor fluently. But they can "get by" if they "need to". I doubt that many of them are at level 3. Still, it's a reasonable estimate of how many people you can expect to talk with on some level if you only speak english and come to czech.

Now the 1.6 million estimate for esperanto was for level 3.

What you are talking about is likely level 4 or level 5. Yes, those numbers are going to be an order of magnitude lower most likely.

What most people are interested in is about level 3 knowledge when they talk about knowing a second language and being able to communicate.

So, yes, possibly less than 1000 (possibly much less) level 4 or level 5 speakers in Berlin. But for level 3 knowledge it seems quite reasonable.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/salivanto
salivanto
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I'm sorry I didn't mention Esperanto Sen Mitoj when I first saw your post. I knew you were using Ziko's argument.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/amuzulo
amuzulo
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This is why I usually say "over a million speakers" if asked.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/johmue

This would be in the range of languages like Estonian. With the difference that the vast majority of the million speakers of Estonian actually speak their language every day, whereas the vast majority of the million speakers of Esperanto does not and can maybe make up a sentence "if needed".

I actually don't understand, why everybody is defending this inflated figures that much. Isn't it far more impressive, what the Esperanto community is achieving with only 1e5 active speakers?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/salivanto
salivanto
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For my part, I don't know that I personally have "defended the inflated figure" so much. Rather, I've spoken out against the essentially needless urge to correct people. You read Ziko's book and now suddenly you're an expert on the right way to promote Esperanto. I say live and let live. Think about it. What is a worse advertisement for Esperanto - one person saying that there are 2 million speakers, or a hoard of people on a forum arguing about how many speakers there are?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/johmue

> What is a worse advertisement for Esperanto - one person saying that there are 2 million speakers, or a hoard of people on a forum arguing about how many speakers there are?

To me the latter is more attractive. Better if members of a movement or a group controversially reflect about the state of their community. Or do you want us all to blindly follow some "authoritative" figure?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jirka92122
jirka92122
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What I don't understand is why someone like you is taking these estimates so seriously. Most people have a far vaguer notion of "speaker" and far lesser need for the "estimate" to be "accurate". That is, when someone asks you "How many speakers this language has" that person is not asking for a specific definition of speakers and either answer is likely to be sufficient to define the answer that you want to give which is: "a lot". You keep pushing another completely random estimate based on a guess rather than surveys.

People haven't really "defended" the figures as you seem to "defend" your estimate. I think people just defer to authority rather than defend, and usually admit that "nobody really knows", "it depends on what you mean by speaker", and "it could be an overestimate". You are the one that are defending a specific estimate. I think others are more arguing for the higher estimate being possibly reasonable, rather than being true. There is a big difference. It is an estimate, not a guarantee. It is like the weather forcast being 26C and sunny tomorrow. Yes, it may be. But it could also be 10C and overcast.

Anyway, when people ask about number of English, French, Spanish, German speakers, the often given figures are the ones that include all the nonregular nonfluent speakers too.

Nobody is making fun of English speakers for "inflating their figures." Those darn English speakers!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ludoviko2013
Ludoviko2013
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There are first language speakers and second language speakers. It is quite clear that first language speakers use the language more or less every day, while second language speakers don't.

Am I a (second language) speaker of Dutch? You, johmue, seem to think I'm not, because I didn't speak Dutch for some years.

Do you use the same definition of "speaker" used in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English-speaking_world ? I think this would be a good idea, because people like to have consistent use of words. (Please note: "Estimates that include second language speakers vary greatly, from 470 million to more than 1 billion.")

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ludoviko2013
Ludoviko2013
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It seems Esperanto is in the range of languages like Estonian - at least if we consider the (international) use of the two languages. There is a (quite old) study about languages in the web, by Grefenstette and Nioche, 2000, http://arxiv.org/ftp/cs/papers/0006/0006032.pdf

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KissZoltan2

In Hungary in the last 10 years alone had 50.000,- people state exams (oral and written) in Esperanto, therefore Your numbers are few. There are lot of people in Esperanto, but nobody knows how many. If there would be enough fims, series, news etc. the numbers coul be increased dramatically.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Athenicuber

It isn't equal distrobution.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ludoviko2013
Ludoviko2013
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Yes. A very good point. We know that there are about 7 'individual' members of the World Esperanto Association (UEA) in Iceland for every 100,000 people there and about 1 individual member of UEA in the US for every 1,000,000 people there. (Old figures, may have changed a bit.) This means the factor is about 70:1 and thus it is certainly not a good idea just to divide the number of Esperanto speakers equally among all humans on earth.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Falsafaa
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Approximate number of Esperanto users across selected internet websites as of 15 February 2016:

Facebook: 340,000

Duolingo: 297,000

*Lernu: 100,00 (May 2011 statistic)

*I am using an older statistic for Lernu instead of the most recent one because using a statistic from before the Duolingo Esperanto course was made available for public use will eliminate any overlapping regarding the number of users between the two websites.

Based on these calculations and considering that:

Platforms like Facebook have low popularity in areas like Russia, Japan, etc.

People who use Esperanto in regions of the world where internet websites like Facebook and Duolingo have higher memberships may not use Facebook or Duolingo.

The currently available Duolingo Esperanto course only teaches from English.

The people who use Esperanto on Facebook and Duolingo may have another Esperanto account on the other website (i.e. someone with an account on Duolingo also having an account on Facebook and vice versa).

These are only internet statistics and don't account for people who may use Esperanto without internet access.

I will estimate that there is at the very least 700K-850K people (probably more) on this planet who use or have used Esperanto to some extent in their lives as of 15 February 2016. I will define this extent as knowing 12 of the 15 grammar rules of Esperanto (give or take) and maybe 20-50 words (give or take). I am defining it this way because this is the amount of Esperanto that I have known when I first heard of the language in late 2013 and the same amount that I knew before I signed up for Duolingo.

EDIT: There is the fallacy here that this is only a lower bound, not an estimate. Thus, the only thing this post might good for is marking a fairly reasonable lower bound.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jirka92122
jirka92122
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Perhaps another estimate to consider: By Wikipedia statistics, the number of "users" and "active users" of Esperanto vs. other languages gives roughly Esperanto comparable to Slovak, about 1/3 of Czech about half or 1/3 of Danish, more than half of Bulgarian and Serbian. Those languages have about the same order of magnitude of articles for the users to read, and other stats. The error in this estimation is VERY VERY large. Czech, Slovak, or Danish are not "comparable" in many ways to Esperanto since Esperanto is not comparable to anything really. Plus Wikipedia statistics on number of users can be very very weird (especially for small languages). So you only can compare to languages that have similar other statistics. What would I conclude? Not an estimate, but number of people who to some degree know the language could possibly be on the order of millions. It's more of a reasonableness measure.

What's interesting is that this still scales approximately correctly with English/Esperanto ratio. What's crazy is this. I wanted to check the ratio for English/Czech and use 850 million English speakers (as per one Wikipedia article) and estimate the number of Czech speakers. In a really funny fluke, if you do that, you actually get essentially 10 million Czech speakers, which in fact is the exact number. Now I wouldn't read into that, another place says 1.5 billion english speakers, and now we're only on the right order of magnitude of Czech speakers. It does get the known orders of magnitude reasonably correctly for major languages with large penetration of Wikipedia usage. Are Esperanto Wikipedia users all fake? Is the usage penetration much higher for Esperantists? Quite possibly. So don't read into it, but you get a bit over 3 million Esperanto speakers by this method with the 850 estimate. Using the 1.5 bil estimate for English speakers, someone is going to get their panties in a twist if I say you get 6 million. I'm reasonably certain it overcounts.

Another way to count would be hourly usage. Possibly better, but an undercount I am sure. Second language speakers would rarely look at a Wikipedia not in their native language. Why would they. Those that want to actively practice the language probably look at it. Otherwise, what's the point of looking at a Wikipedia which probably has less information than your own national Wikipedia, especially about the things that you care about. So I'd estimate it probably undercounts quite a bit, but by how much? Probably this is good for estimating languages with mostly native speakers with large penetration of Wikipedia. Who knows.

With hourly usage, using Czech, Danish, and Slovak again I get approximately 250k, 500k, and 1 million. Using English you get into a neighborhood of 300k if I use the 850 million figure. If I use what the statistics page tells me, that is 1500 million, then I get almost 500k. Using Macedonian you get 3 million. Using Bengali I get 260 million. But those have low penetration. German I get a bit under 400k. With Spanish I get about 1.5 million. With French I get about 570k.

Again to check I checked Czech (against English). With 850 million and hourly usage I get Czech has a population of 10 million (actually exact), and with 1500 million number I get that Czech has a population of 20 million. It's eerie how I keep getting the 10 million figure. OK. A reasonable order of magnitude estimate. Probably best to compare languages with about the same proportion of native/nonnative speakers. Polish/Czech has approximately the right ratio. Should be a bit over 4 but it is a bit less than 3.5. I guess Czechs use more (their own) Wikipedia than Polish do. The ratio Russian/Czech ratio is only 12ish and it should be 28ish. So again, even among similar type of languages there is a large range of values.

So, the verdict? I'd say there are between 300k and 3 million Esperanto speakers (people who could if needed to, read Esperanto Wikipedia perhaps as a definition of "speaker"). I would bet quite a bit better than even odds on the number being in that range (of course if we are going to bet, we'd better agree on a very fixed definition of "speaker" before putting money down).

English speakers should be easier to estimate, and even then the two haphazard places I found are 850million to 1.5billion. So there. Again, probably different definition of speaker is the first issue with these estimates. I bet if you require near native usage ("regular active speaker") you're going to get more in the 400-500 range. The 1.5 billion is probably on the other end of the scale.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Falsafaa
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That is very comprehensive. I never would have even thought of it all that way. Did you major in statistics?

I also wonder, if there were 3 million esperantists why is it that some cities have very low quantities regarding esperantists? If that was the case there would theoretically be 25 (give or take) esperantists in my city. So far I only know of one esperantist in my city (myself), yet I am not going to immediately disregard that there could be millions of esperantists in the world because I don't know if there are more esperantists in my city, nor do I have the time to survey everybody and find out how many there really are.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jirka92122
jirka92122
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Not statistician, but I am a mathematician. Yes, knowing only one Esperantist (you) in your city only gives you a lower bound. It only says that there is at least one Esperantist in the city (a kind of useless information).

There is a joke about a mathematician, a physicist, and an engineer travelling on a train through Scotland. They see a black sheep outside. The engineer says "All sheep in Scotland are black". The physicist says "No way, all we know that some sheep in Scotland are black". The mathematician says "What are you guys talking about. All we can say is that there is at least one sheep in Scotland, and from one side that sheep is black".

There are similar problems with counting anything. I know no other Czech speakers in my town, but I would not be surprised there being several. I bet you wouldn't be able to name all the second languages all your friends know. So how do you know one of them doesn't know Esperanto too? Even less so for random other people in your city. Can you estimate how many French as a second language speakers are in your city? It would be very very hard. I would need to do some really in depth survey, rather than just think of all the French speakers I know. (I know of one, but I am definitely certain there must be hundreds or thousands ... and this is a small town). But I will not risk an estimate. More than one I am sure. But that's a lower bound, not an estimate.

I think people when they argue about this topic usually mistake the two concepts of "estimate" and "lower bound". An estimate doesn't really say anything other than "within some very large error, the answer is with certain confidence within the error interval". A lower bound is "there are at least this many".

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Memedenes

Thank you for the answer. I will look at those musics. and I've heard that a movie was shot in 1965 in Esperanto. I will look at it too.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/M.MN
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You must be talking about the movie "Incubus." It stars a young William Shatner and is entirely in Esperanto!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ConorFingleton

There's also the films of Christopher R. Mihm, many of which have Esperanto audio tracks. http://www.sainteuphoria.com/

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/salivanto
salivanto
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The Mihm films are much more recent than 1965. I know a few of the voice actors for two of the films and they're all (the ones I know well - myself included ) born after 1965. :-)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ConorFingleton

Oh, I wasn't suggesting that they were also some movies from 1965, just that they were also Esperanto movies(or at least watchable with Esperanto audio tracks). :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/amuzulo
amuzulo
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The cool thing is that his latest films not only have audio tracks, but also have subtitles, which makes them awesome for Esperanto beginners! :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/salivanto
salivanto
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I thought the cool thing about his recent films is that my kids [voices] were in them. :-)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Izabela_K
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There are many different reasons to learn Esperanto. Of course not everyone is going to think any particular reason is good for them and their lives, but for many who decided to start learning it, it can a lot of fun, interesting and can end up giving insight into how languages work and insight into other cultures when you get the chance to read or hear the words of Esperantists from other cultures and languages.

For me, the driving reason that started me on Esperanto was simply I'm always curious to be learning something, reading about something, trying something. Before Espearnto, I had begun learning French to see whether my then almost 40 year old brain could learn another language besides English. I had done okay enough in some ways, but still felt frustrated that I couldn't really think well or extensively in French. Then I heard about Esperanto and its simplicity, how that made it easier to learn to think in another language other than one's birth language for older people like me.

I haven't regretted it at all. Esperanto is the one other language I can think in for extended periods of time without much effort. I still can only briefly think in other languages, but as you can see, I've done a fair bit of study of the Latin-based languages and I really enjoy appreciating the connections and differences between them. Esperanto has helped me greatly appreciate language and how it affects our thinking.

Mi ne estas finvenkisto, sed mi ankoraŭ opinias ke Esperanto havas grandan valoron. Lernu ĝin, uzu ĝin por legi kaj aŭdi la vortojn de aliaj homoj ĉirkaŭ la mondo. Vi lernos ion kaj lerni ĉiam havas gravecon. :) Tio sufiĉas kiel bona kialo.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Memedenes

Thank you for your answer and attach importance to my question. It'll be weird that I am writing a short reply after your long and beautiful reply. I am sorry about this. But now I am more determined to learn Esperanto. I really like the language. And your opinions came good for me. Thank you at all.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MickeytheGreat
MickeytheGreat
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Kio estas "finvenkisto"? Mi auxdas pri ili multe, sed neniu klarigas, kion tiu vorto signifas :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Izabela_K
Izabela_K
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En la Esperanta mondo, ekzistas koncepto ke eble iun tagon la tuta mondo uzos Esperanton kaj Esperantistoj provu atingi tiun celon. Iu kiu kredas je tiu koncepto estas finvenkisto.

Mi ne certas ĉu tia koncepto estas atingebla aŭ eĉ bona, sed certe mi kredas ke Esperanto havas valoron por ĉiuj kiuj deziras lerni ĝin.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/eibhinn

I started off learning Esperanto just to do it. Really, I've been having a bit of a rough go the last few years, and I figured it would be nice to set myself up with a doable goal - learning what is reputed to be a very easy language - despite it having no obvious use. But as I've learned, I've been charmed by the "culture" of Esperanto, as much as a planned language can have one. I've met a few Esperanto speakers locally and without exception everyone I've met involved with Esperanto has been lovely. I also like the idea of Pasporta Servo - the organization where Esperantists host one another internationally. I hope to someday be an adequately skilled speaker to be a guest or host.

An unexpected benefit is that, due to Esperanto's regularity, I've been filling in the gaps in my grammatical knowledge. For whatever reason, grammar was sorely neglected in my education growing up. I've intuited correct grammatical usage through reading, and exposure to eloquent people, but I never learned the proper terms for things, or explicitly learned most grammatical rules. I've been learning Esperanto for about 6 months now, and suddenly a lot of components of the English language are becoming clearer to me.

I'm also hoping that, having improved my knowledge of parts of speech and grammar through Esperanto, I'll have an easier time improving my French language skills as well. I always hit a wall with other languages when the grammar gets difficult due to my existing shortcomings when it comes to types of words and verbs and whatnot.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/salivanto
salivanto
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Why not?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ruslanruskan

I haven't began learning it, but its on my list. I will buy an Esperanto program and a few Audio files and then start Duolingo.

I'm planning on learning Esperanto because every language I've learned has opened me up to the simple fact that the world is full of racism in every nation, culture and language. Esperanto is appealing to me because I think it'll possibly open me up to a wider group of people that aren't focusing on race, religion or politics.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Memedenes

I see. Thank you for the answer. And as an advise, don't buy and Esperanto program and Audio files before start duolingo. I think this website is really good to learn. Just take notes. I can show my Esperanto wordbook to you :D ... After finishing this esperanto course, if you didn't learn well, you must buy that program. These are my advices. Thank you.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RickyFreeman1

there really is no need to buy an Esperanto program unless you just want. There are plenty of free courses to learn Esperanto. Besides Duolingo, which I am finding to be excellent, there is also lernu which is a website that has many courses and resources to learn. There is a computer program you can download for free (I forgot the name). There are quite a few coursebook pdfs you can download free if one prefers learning with books.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pseudocreobotra

I guess you meant the Kurso de Esperanto? That's really the program I like best because it has such a compact, logical approach to the language. It's a bit slow to react and some things could've been handled better but overall it's a nice little piece of software.

On both Duolingo and lernu.net, I resented how the correlatives were introduced as vocabulary without a proper explanation. It just seemed so unnecessary hard to have words like kiom and kiam or io, ie and iu that look so similar... Until I learnt that they follow a structure within a few hours of using the Kurso. As soon as I memorised the structure, it became easy to me to pick the correct correlative. Why make it so hard an learn 50 similar sounding words when you could just learn 5 beginnings and 10 endings?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ConorFingleton

I started with Kurso ages ago, and was really enjoying it. Did a lesson or two, even sending the answers to the exercises off to be corrected. Then I noticed a newer version had been released, downloaded and installed it, and for some reason could never get the newer version to work on my (admittedly quite ancient) laptop, and couldn't find the older version anymore online. Gave up on E-o till Duo came along. :)

Lernu does present the correlatives as a system of beginnings and endings, just not in the courses(as far as I recall), but in the concise grammar. Here it is for anyone interested: http://en.lernu.net/lernado/gramatiko/konciza/korelativoj.php

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RickyFreeman1

oh yes kurso de Eperanto. Yes, I enjoyed it too. Yes, the correlatives is much easier when you learn there is a method to the madness :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DanD_8
DanD_8
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I've always questioned the use of auxiliary languages. I wanted to learn languages to get access to a new culture, new media, and of course, a new group of people. When I started using Duolingo I thought, "Now language learning is so much easier, there won't be a need for aux. languages!"

I always thought Esperantists were zealots, but with Esperanto on Duolingo I had no excuse not to try it. I zipped to level 5 in two days and by the end of the week was at 7. I now see they weren't exaggerating the ease of learning.

It's another notch on my language belt that I've spent $0 on learning. I've also discovered it's the language of language nerds. The Esperanto community is very inviting and helpful.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/themuffpiston

I started it a few months after seeing it appear on the duolingo site. I looked into it and saw that it claims to be easy, so I promised myself I would learn 3 or 4 of those circles to test that claim. And then, it just took off from there, haha. Sucked me tf in.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/italianboy96
italianboy96
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Well, the way I see it, most people just learn it because they like the language (for fun) or they believe it will come in handy as a global language. I, if you are curious, am in the first group (not to say that Esperanto wouldn't make a good global language.) Don't hesitate to ask questions!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Memedenes

Okay, thank you for the answer. I'll ask whatever I am curious about. ;)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jirka92122
jirka92122
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I guess there are lots of reason just like for any language. I think my principal one is that it is easy. It is an easy language to became fluent or near-fluent in, in very short time. So if you want to learn a foreign language without having necessity for any specific one, it's a good one. If you spend a lot of time learning another language with more "speakers" but never get anywhere where you could have a conversation, it's also not very useful no matter how many speakers it has right :)

The second point is there is idealism in the language, and it is nice to be an idealist. Today people are too focused on how things are "useful" or "how much money you can make" and otherwise you shouldn't learn or do something. Learning Esperanto is like voting that the world should be a nicer place with less nationalism and more understanding between cultures. And just like in any other voting, your single vote won't do much. But it's still good to vote right?

Finally, it is helping me with french. I almost lost any motivation to learn french because I wasn't making much progress. Then I started on the side learning Esperanto and I considered myself a "medium level" esperanto speaker after about half a year, and still improving of course. So that gave me a big boost in learning French, and lots of motivation for continuing to learn French. Plus the fact that both languages are in the end romance (Esperanto being a romance language with a sane grammar), gives me a lot of help in French. I often understand new words in French which do not look like English words, by knowing the Esperanto word. Also I've become addicted to Duolingo. Hmmm perhaps there are dark sides to Esperanto: it is the gateway drug of Duolingo! :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ludoviko2013
Ludoviko2013
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> Today people are too focused on how things are "useful" or "how much money you can make"

Hmm. Is beer "useful"? How much money you can make by drinking beer? Yes, some people do learn a language for business - but many learn a language just to enjoy life a bit better :) That's why they learn Spanish or Portuguese or French - or Esperanto.

If you want to enjoy a language, there isn't any need for that language to be spoken by many people. You just need some speakers. I know people who learnt a language just to be able to speak with one person (or her family).

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jirka92122
jirka92122
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I guess beer drinking is an activity people do without getting anything for it. But I was more thinking of when people give you advice for what to do in your life. Your parents have probably not had a talk with you at some point and said "Son, we think you should drink more beer" :). I guess they might do that if they are Czech and you'd be ruining our per capita consumption statistics.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/marypaulinem

For me, it's opportunity to communicate with others. Orignally, I had started to learn Esperanto before the internet was common in homes ... back in the 80s. Back then, I studied via postal mail course and was active in world wide pen pals. Life took over, and I stopped the postal course mid-way thru, and didn't rediscover Esperanto until mid-2015. Now, I am once again studying not only on Duolingo but again with the postal and free online courses. I'm hoping to be able to not only continue meeting great people worldwide, but to also eventually develop entertainment media in Esperanto and to promote the language worldwide.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ludoviko2013
Ludoviko2013
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Have a look at the Facebook poll:

Which information made you learn Esperanto? What convinced you most?

40 Interest about languages

38 The idea

27 Easy language construction

21 Easy contact in many countries

12 Good solution of the language problem

8 Neutral planned language ...

Kiu specifa informo igis vin lerni Esperanton? Kio plej multe konvinkis vin? https://www.facebook.com/questions/438163012901390/

2 years ago