https://www.duolingo.com/akunosama

Is this a joke?

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I just finished basics in Esperanto. Surely a language can't be THIS easy. I mean languages like Russian and Polish have a bunch of cases and the romance languages have at least three verb types. I'm taking German for school and even that has it's hard parts. It is a BIG disappointment that Esperanto is just a hobby language. I can thing of a ton of books I'd like to have translated to it, if only just for the thrill of reading books in a language you like.

3 years ago

37 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/MultiLinguAlex
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So you denounce a whole language as "hobby language" because you completed only the first 2 skills (roughly 35 words)? Interesting.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ErnestoPerales

That is exactly the point. Just imagine what could happen if more people shared this hobby...

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/_T2_

And perhaps if the people who is good at it already translated their favorite book from their native language. Then Esperanto would have lots of very different books from many different cultures. How cool would that be.

And Esperanto already have it's own books, songs etc. Of course if those who actually can, and that is surely not for everyone, made a piece of Esperanto art (a short story, a novel, a song, a play or perhaps even a movie).

Then the language would really make progress!

Yeah yeah, of course it's not that easy. Copyright on books probably make it difficult, perhaps even impossible, to just translate your favorite book. Those who actually have the gift to create art, probably have very little time etc. etc. But still. It is my dream!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/amanda_grace

It's not that simple. You can't just rewrite a book and publish it, that violates copyrights.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/akunosama
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Could you do it with classics? I'm sure they are in the public domain and I would love to see or even translate books like the Prince and the Pauper, Animal Farm, the Scarlet Pimpernel, etc etc.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jirka92122
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Lots of classics were already translated, see for example the http://esperanto-usa.org/retbutiko bookstore or the uea bookstore at http://katalogo.uea.org ... There are apparently up to 25000 books in Esperanto published over the last century, though I guess most are out of print. The uea catalogue lists over 6000 books, I assume vast majority in Esperanto. There are only a bit more than 100 original novels in Esperanto, so most are translations. And I guess due to copyright the classics seem well covered. There is now enough books in Esperanto that a person will not be able to read all of them during a lifetime.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/yvesnev
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If you want to know more about the original litterature in Esperanto, I recommend this book: http://www.amazon.com/Concise-Encyclopedia-Original-Literature-Esperanto/dp/1595690905

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ungewitig_Wiht

Yes if a piece of writing is public domain it's legally owned by no one and you can translate it to Esperanto. This is why the Star trek nerds were able to produce Hamlet in Klingon :รพ

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dcarl1
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Yes. Anything in public domain is fair game. You do need to check publication rights in the country you reside. For example: In the UK "Ulysses" by James Joyce is in the public domain, but won't be in the US for decades to come, because of a publishing agreement with the grandson of JJ. So, for really old works it's safe, for those more "modern" classics you would need to check.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/akunosama
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And on a lighter level, we could write our own or ask to translate other people's fanfics into Esperanto. (APH on FF.net already has four of them and Harry Potter has seven.) That would be so awesome!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/akunosama
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Sorry if it's stupid sounding. I just really like fanfics and languages.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Cyaed
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I'm planning to do that with my fanfics, actually.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/amanda_grace

Yeah that's good point. I'm sure books that are part of the Guttenberg project and stuff like that you could translate. I would just advise caution, you don't want to violate someone's copyright, they don't mess around with that.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CharmingTiger
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I just started the second checkpoint of the Esperanto tree, and I can tell you that it does indeed get harder! Esperanto is a real language, and as such there are a ton of things to learn from and about it. The grammar points are in many ways 'simplified', there don't seem to be many (or any?) exceptions to the rules it lays down like with other languages, but it is still not something you are going to learn overnight.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/italianboy96
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The Correlatives, amirite?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sevenseacat

oh my word correlatives drive me nuts

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/amuzulo
Mod
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At least the correlatives are a lot easier to learn than any other language though. :-D

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/themuffpiston

Glad you like it! Keep going, I cannot believe how far I have come in 6 months, understanding fluently, other than simply needing more vocab. You could spend years learning a confusing language with hundreds or thousands of random exceptions, or you can just learn esperanto, meet people online that often don't speak english, and travel the world with free lodging with La Pasporta Servo.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CharmingTiger
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Wow, 'La Pasporta Servo'?! I just read about this on Wikipedia. It's like Couchsurfing for Esperantists! I'd really like to hear people's stories related to doing something like this; it sounds like a lot of fun, but could be dangerous too.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/themuffpiston

From what I have seen, there has been no reason to worry in using La Pasporta Servo. It definitely can be potentially dangerous, but honestly if you want to backpack around europe, and plan to stay 4 nights a week in a hotel (assuming you would maybe overnight-train a few days a week) then that's gonna cost you hundreds per week. And usually the hosts will treat you to the best food they know, and are very nice. If you want to watch something about it, type on youtube "evildea host" and you should find a video called my first esperanto host family

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CharmingTiger
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Yay! Thank you for directing me to this resource so I can get a better idea of what this is like.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/amuzulo
Mod
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I used Pasporta Servo traveling through Brazil and Europe for 6 months without any issues at all. :)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LytjeDk
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Why are you so mad at akunosama? The way I read it he is positive about Esperanto.

A hobby-language, - what is that? I don't know. Haven't heard the term before. But I think akunosama might be right. It's a language that's not the national / 1st language in any nation. That doesn't make it a bad language! Actually it was never intended to be anyones national language.

But yes, it really is easy. And yes, let's hope those who can will expand on the Esperanto Culture (book, music etc).

But I suppose that starts with youself. I am sorry, but I don't think I have the time to translate a book or anything useful. But if you will, - that would be cool!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Fantomius
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Ah, you've been bitten by the Esperanto bug!

I agree with you that it's sad that Esperanto is often considered as a hobby language. I wish more people took it seriously. (Or that, at least, more people had it as a hobby!)

Here's a repository of translated books you can read for free:

http://i-espero.info/files/elibroj

It certainly is a thrill for me to learn new information in a new language. I also get a thrill when I laugh at something I hear or read in a language that's not my mother tongue. If you would enjoy that too, I recommend you read "Gaja Leganto Per Esperanto" by P.E. Schwern:

http://i-espero.info/files/elibroj/eo%20-%20schwerin,%20p.e.%20-%20gaja%20leganto%20per%20esperanto.pdf

It's written for students of Esperanto so that they can learn, practice, and derive enjoyment from Esperanto. I recommend checking it out!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Keltido

Just going through old posts here and found yours. Thanks for that link to gaja leganto. That book is a gem.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/italianboy96
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Why not translate literature once you achieve fluency?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SpiralStat

Esperanto was invented to be an auxiliary language, or a language for people around the world. Surely L.L. Zamenhof, the creator of Esperanto, wanted it to be extremely easy so more people could learn without struggle. I think it's pretty cool.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kdscavella
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It is VERY VERY easy. 3 months of intense study = near fluent or fluent. After 1 month you should be thinking in Esperanto...

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Vanege
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You could also say that apples are hobby food, because we eat them for enjoyment. A language is a tool for communication, so it is up to you to use it as what you call a hobby or not.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PierreRousselFan
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I think he or she simply wanted to point out the negativity of non esperantists opinions about Esperanto and did not mean to imply at all that the language is just a hobby. But many people, who have not been in touch with Esperantists, the language and the culture actually see it as useless, a waste of time, or simply a hobby. It's our job as learners and speakers to prove the world otherwise :-)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/yvesnev
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I'm curious though: have you ever attended an Interlingua or LFN meeting and how many people were there? Can you send me a link with an overview of Interlingua meetings like this one for Esperanto meetings? http://eventoj.hu/2016.htm I just have this idea that very very few people actually speak Interlingua.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo
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I've been at a local Interlingua meeting in Copenhagen; I think there were six present.

I don't know of such a world-wide events page for Interlingua, but the two biggest regular events I'm familiar with are the Incontros Nordic (roughly, Scandinavian meetups) and the world conferences.

I have the impression that those are typically attended by around 50-ish people. I can't find a good picture right now, though.

Here's a small image from 2005 showing (some of?) the participants of the 17th international conference in a room:

And this PDF report of the conference has a small group picture on page 6. There seem to be about 40 people on it.

Newer ones seem not to have a web write-up, and the newsletter Panorama does not have free back-issues on the web, either (you'd have to be a subscriber to see them).

And here's a picture from 2001:

3 years ago
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