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https://www.duolingo.com/rhythmixed

Why do you learn Esperanto?

rhythmixed
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Saluton! A few days ago I posted a thread about Teach Yourself Esperanto. Amuzulo put me in touch with a lady from Teach Yourself (I'm very grateful for that. Vielen Dank Amuzulo!), and she said that she's planning to try to get it published again. In order to do that, she has to put together a case. The more she knows about the learner and their personal goals, the stronger she can make her case and the better she can make the book. She asked my why I was learning Esperanto, I responded, and then I suggested that I ask the Duolingo community. This is an excellent opportunity to make your voice heard in the publication of this learning resource. So, why are you learning Esperanto?

2 years ago

40 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/cliff900
cliff900
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It's my last ditch effort to fully learn a language other than my own. I had all but given up on language study last year after spending 20+ years trying to learn another language (I jumped back and forth between 5 of them). Tons of "brainspace" filled up with tons of words that I have not been able to use successfully. I've had some success with a couple of them, but I never stayed focused long enough on one to truly finish it. I would always be enticed by another language and then drop what I was doing to study that one (and relearn what I had forgotten since the last time). This happened over and over during all of those years, which led to me eventually getting fed up with myself and quitting languages.

I had heard of Esperanto many times before, but I thought it was like Spanish-Klingon or something. It didn't take long after giving up language study last year and getting rid of my library of language books by giving them to the local thrift store that I started getting the desire to want to study again. I had been resisting the call for a while and then recently saw something written about Esperanto. It was being touted as the easiest language in the world to learn. I did a little more research about it and decided that I liked what I read about it. My thought was, "I'll give it a shot. If I can't even stick with it long enough to learn the stinking easiest language in the world, then I'll know for sure that I'm a complete and utter failure at learning languages. Then, I'll be done."

I've enjoyed studying Esperanto more than I ever enjoyed studying any of the five other languages I studied before. I think it's because it gives you a quick "win." I'm able to speak, read, listen, and understand so much faster than I ever was with any other language and that is enthralling. The one good thing about my previous language study is that so many words in Esperanto have been very easy to remember and recall because I know their equivalents in other languages.

What I've found that is that studying Esperanto has opened up the gate of motivation for me to want to eventually return to the languages I gave up on.

Well, I didn't mean to go on so long, but there it is.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LunjoTO

I found the Teach Yourself Esperanto book and dictionary in a book store while browsing around the reference section. I had heard a bit about Esperanto before then and thought I'd give it a try, having studied French for nine years and German for four years in the school system and not having gotten anywhere near a level for either of those languages to be useful.

Once I realized that the examples in the pronuciation guide were based on Received English (British English) and sorted that out, I was able to learn the pronunciation and the foundations of grammar and quite a large basic vocabulary from the lessons. When I attended my first Esperanto monthly meeting, I found that I could get the gist of what was being said by listening for word roots and then I'd go home and keep plugging away at Teach Yourself, hitting many "ah-hah!" moments relating what was on the page to the spoken Esperanto I heard at the meetings. Eventually, and in a relatively short time for language learning, I went from "Saluton" to halting speech to fluency.

Teach Yourself was my only resource at the beginning. I didn't get internet access until about three years after I started learning Esperanto. I find I prefer using a book because you can leaf through it ("foliumi") and discover new things whereas using an internet reference that requires searching to find information must presuppose that you know what you're looking for.

I look forward to the rebirth of Teach Yourself Esperanto as I believe it is the most valuable reference for new learners from English. It does require some updates but that shouldn't be a barrier to its reappearance.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/amuzulo
amuzulo
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Believe me, if it reappears, there will be a lot of improvements... or possibly a completely new modern [book] format! :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ionasky
ionasky
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I heard about it as a girl. The idea it is easy, man made, entiely regular, easy to,learn and cross international made it so appealing. I even tried to learn it from a book, that must have been thirty years ago. But then i was on my own and could not slog through the pronunciation just off The page and i had no one to learn with or to practice with. Now duo has put it in my sights again and i have begun again, with a lot more sucess. interest in the language will grow. If a few months can add 300k learners re would be a market , i'd buy a book to act as companion and alternate source of info in one place.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Diana-EO
Diana-EO
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Of course I learned it because i like it but there is a longer story behind it.

I had heard about Esperanto many years ago and thought it is very interesting. I liked the idea of a world-connecting language, even when I heard (back then), that "it didn't really make it". I was to find out this wasn't really true.

I even began learning it a bit. However, I never really sat down to learn it until i started to study at the university. I needed something as a reward for the ongoing learning. Ideally rewards are nothing to eat / no alcoholic beverages and shouldn’t be something expensive (those kind of rewards you can give yourself after the exam, of course, but not in every day learning). So i came back to Esperanto. And at the end of each day, when I managed to go through a certain amount of pages in the study books or did anything else for my studies, I rewarded myself with a short exercise of esperanto and I am going to do so also in the following semesters. It is free and it gives me the experience of success, no matter how good or bad I do in the studies ;-)

And maybe even more important, why did i / do I go on with learning it? I like the opportunity the internacia lingvo offers, like having conversations with different people all over the world; travelling, learning more about cultures. Basically, the opportunity of learning is a huge motivation for learning Esperanto.

My best friend is working abroad and I was happy to see that in Pasporta Servo the country she works in and the surrounding countries are covered and when i go to visit her, I want to do so per Pasporta Servo. I am also a bit sad that I live in a one-room-appartement and cannot easily host other esperantists.

Meanwhile I found a very special person through Esperanto, too <3 . So there’s another reason to go on and learn it further.

I have read through the „Teach yourself“ and really liked it, i would certainly get a newer version as well if there would be one. I would enjoy very much an ebook version (combined with the printed, so say, if you pay 1 EUR more, you get the code to also download it). Until then i will happily work through the Esperanto mega post :-)

So in conclusion, I mentioned a few reasons why I learn Esperanto but to be honest I do not know anymore why I shouldn't or wouldn't :-) . Now this post is a bit longer than intended but i couldn't stop.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ludoviko2013
Ludoviko2013
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On https://www.facebook.com/questions/438163012901390/ I asked two years ago, what convinced you most about learning Esperanto. There were 177 votes, the most selected were: 40 Intereso pri lingvoj (interest about languages) 38 La ideo (the idea) 27 Facila lingvo-konstruo (easy language construction) 21 Facilaj kontaktoj en multaj landoj (easy contact in many countries) 12 Bona solvo de la lingvo-problemo (good solution of the language problem) 8 Neŭtrala planlingvo (neutral planned language)

(It seems, Facebook took away the polls themselves...)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kanguruo
kanguruo
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Because learning national languages is just too time-consuming

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TeddyNee
TeddyNee
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I decided to learn Esperanto just out of curiosity after reading many opinions regarding the simplicity of this language. It turns out to be the easiest language that I have ever learnt in my life, and I am enjoying the benefits of Esperanto :D

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MrMorley3
MrMorley3
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Here's the reply to the same question that I wrote a few years ago. https://timsk.wordpress.com/2006/08/04/response-to-nicole-martinelli/

If I were answering the question from scratch again today, there's very little that I would change.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ludoviko2013
Ludoviko2013
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The original article of Nicole Martinelli can be found at the Internet Archive Wayback Machine, http://web.archive.org/web/20060806041633/http://www.spot-on.com/archives/martinelli/2006/08/esperanto_lost_in_translation.html

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/salivanto
salivanto
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I learned Esperanto essentially on a dare. I was daring myself, but it was in reaction to some crazy claims online (in the days of "text browsers") that Esperanto could be learned in a quarter of the time as any national language. I'd already completed a minor course of study in German a few years before that and I decided to try it. My plan was to learn Esperanto for "a year or till I spoke it better than German." That took about four months.

My first step was to sign up for "FEC" (the ten lesson Free Esperanto Course by e-mail) and to pick up a copy of Teach Yourself Esperanto and the TYE/Wells Dictionary from the bookstore. (This was in 1997).

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/B4479
B4479
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I have known about Esperanto for quite a while, but it seemed like a truly dead language that never even had the chance to live, so I didn't bother with it. But, while I was reading a great comic, I actually saw Esperanto in use. The comic is the series called Saga. There are rather long sections of the comic where the characters only speak Esperanto, leaving the reader to miss rather important things. So, I decided to learn it, so that I wouldn't have to translate it each time it appeared in the comics. So, I'm learning Esperanto purely for reasons of entertainment.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ungewitig_Wiht

Ĉu la esperanto en tio bonas ? Normale esperanto en la populara mondo ne bonas, kiel de Wulf de la televidaĵo Danny Phantom: "Ĝia bona al vida vin denove, amiko"

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Vanege
Vanege
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Ne, ĝi ne bonas. Tamen la aŭtoro de Saga diris ke la lingvo ne estas Esperanto, sed "Blue", kaj ke Blue estas inspirita de Esperanto. :p

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Andi_M
Andi_M
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I began to Learn Esperanto because a friend spoke it, and saw that it's a possibility to meet interesting people. When I learned Esperanto I finally understood how grammar works. (In school I was not able to learn Latin because of its complicated grammar, and I went to England to practise my English and did not need too much english grammar, though.) Through Esperanto I now know that I'm able to learn languages (speaking only four) and that it can be fun. I beta-tested the Duolingo Esperanto-course, learning much English by doing it. In all Language courses there is not enough exercising material: I know the old exercises by heart, but would not be able to solve new ones (which don't exist). And often there is no sound recording, so it's not really good for self studying. The Duolingo speaker ist great!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Druif
Druif
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I think I heard about it somewhwere and started looking for information on the internet or I just stumbled on it on the internet. I found a Dutch Esperanto course on the internet. It was free and, had email support and I decided to start learning. I didn't finish the course, but I did catch the virus. So in the years after I watched a lot of videos to train my ears, learned a lot of words and trarted talking over Skype. And here I am, pretty much fluent now :-)

PS: Oh, and I like the overall somewhat idealistic spirit of the Esperantists.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Rosthouse
Rosthouse
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I reguraly host a Dungeons and Dragons game. As the host, it is my responsibility to produces characters, puzzles and a living world to my players. Most of my players know at least german, english and another latin language. I wanted to use a language in my game that sounds familiar, but just different enough for them not to quite understand.

That was the original reason, but know I just want to learn it as good as possible.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ionasky
ionasky
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Brilliant! Evil DM-ing at its best. Have lingots, i would never have thought of that.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Rosthouse
Rosthouse
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Sadly there's a wizard that has the "Comprehend Languages". But that won't save them forever!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ionasky
ionasky
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When i used to larp a lot of the spells in the dungeons were written in a sort of runic ( as a substitution alphabet) and if we wanted to use them we had to learn it and really read. I'd make the party learn esperanto, if only for the joy of having more people to converse with. What is the the esperanto for dragon, ....draco i would guess. Must look it up.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ionasky
ionasky
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Ok, my bad, spelling not my strong suit. Of course it is drako. Duh!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/malnulo
malnulo
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When I was a pre-teen in the 1970s, I stumbled across "Teach Yourself Esperanto" in a bookstore in Oklahoma. I thought it sounded mysterious and interesting, so I bought it. It served as an introduction to the language that I otherwise would have never known about.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dan.ger
dan.ger
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I have already learnt a lot of languages (or tried to learn them), but I don't have any use of them. E. g. I'm learning Swedish since 2010 and it is (except for English) the only foreign language in which I am able to have a conversation. But I have never been in Sweden and I pretty rarely have the opportunity to write with Swedish speakers. Except for reading books, there is no noteworthy enrichment in knowing Swedish for me. It's a little bit annoying, that I don't have any deeper relationship to the countries of the languages I'm learning and it kind of discourages me sometimes.

Long story short: I got interested in Esperanto, because I wanted to know, if this language is really so easy to learn (which seems to be mostly correct). Furthermore I like the idea that Esperanto could be a second language (or a neutral space) for everyone - even if it is not really the case in reality - and I hope that it is a possibility to get in contact with a global community through a language which isn't connected with a certain country.

And I'm hopefully able to reach a certain level of fluency pretty easy ;)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/v.ivanov
v.ivanov
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In a not so typical way I've read a book by a Soviet philosopher who argued that a future international language must be an artificial one (as any other tool, the language too should be improved, he argued). The book contained an overview of many ideas and different conlangs. Though the author didn't like Esperanto much (partly criticizing it for its stronger sides or criticizing faults that do not exist, as his knowledge was poor), he successfully urged my interest. I have found materials on Esperanto and Loglan and studied them both simultaneously :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/salivanto
salivanto
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It's been said that there is no such thing as bad publicity. So, in criticizing Esperanto, your philosopher succeeded in informing you about Esperanto. I think the same thing applies to critics of Esperanto on these Duolingo forums. Even critical comments are helpful because the biggest problem for Esperanto is that nobody knows about it.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/piano_leb
piano_leb
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Esperanto seemed to me like some sort of fringe project language, hobby at best. Once I realized Esperanto has a culture (and especially a purpose) I was much more motivated to learn the language of the world.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LapizLynx

I’ve always wanted to know another language besides English. I studied Spanish in high school and after 3 years I was beginning to actually understand it, maybe even beginning my way to real fluency. I chose Spanish because I live on the West Coast of the US and I figured it would be a useful language to know. At least I would be able to talk with the seasonal folks that I saw every year and such. What I didn’t realize at the time was that I was learning “book” Spanish, i.e. Spanish from Spain, and that really didn’t make it a lot easier to talk with the only other language group that I regularly encountered. I let my Spanish go by the wayside after high school, but it has been handy once and a while.

Later in life I found that I still had a thirst for language and I wanted to learn several but I chose to spend some time learning one of my ancestral languages of Scottish Gaelic (Gaidhlig), using the Teach Yourself Gaelic book. I enjoyed the learning and presentation style but I couldn’t find enough resources, or conversation partners to keep me interested.

a few years ago I had a co-worker who was doing a bunch of things to increase is all aspects of his life. One of the things that he learned about was Esperanto, an easier language to learn. So three of us set a lesson plan to learn Esperanto. We used “ Esperanto – Learning and Using the International Language”. We all studied for about 6 months, and I kept learning actively for about 3 more months. I felt more confident in Esperanto than I ever did in Spanish, so I was encouraged to keep learning. I registered with Lernu, and installed the “Kurso de Esperanto” for my computer. It seems that I need variety and interaction to make the language stick. But after a while I stopped actively learning for a few years. I have kids and I know that language learning is good for the brain and especially good for long term language learning if you can learn multiple languages when your young. I tried to involve them the first time I started learning Esperanto but I didn’t have a good grasp of the language and it was lost on them because they were so young. Now that they’re are a little older and Duolingo has come into existence. Duolingo has been very engaging for them and me and now we can have some micro conversations in Esperanto.

As for a new Teach Yourself Esperanto book, I would say that the things I would like would be a basic “reader” section, that the course should make Esperanto applicable quickly, and be a good reference, so as I get better with Esperanto I have a reliable resource to look up some things from time to time.

I started to learn Esperanto because I wanted to have a confident level of mastery with a language other than my mother tongue. I keep learning Esperanto because I enjoy its lofty idealistic base, its ease of learning, and its unique and fun culture.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JanjoPacejo

Short answer - meet new people, stepping stone to other languages, & just because it is a well-made language.

Slightly longer answer - I'm learning Esperanto so that I can speak to people throughout the world. Even I am still a komencanto I have spoken to people from a dozen countries, to people whom I would have no way to communicate with otherwise (unless by learning many languages). So many different people with varying interests and life experiences. I appreciate how easy Esperanto is to learn. I really like languages, but I find it difficult to learn a national language. I studied Spanish in high school and college. In less than a year's worth of studying, I am far beyond what I had in Spanish. After becoming fluent in Esperanto I plan to tackle languages I studied previously - German & Spanish are next!. PLUS, I like the community surrounding the language. People seem to learn it because they want to, but not because they have to - so there is a bit of excitement/energy that I haven't seen as much around national languages.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LeoFordan
LeoFordan
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Saluton! I started learning Esperanto because I am having a hard time learning Español because of its many verb conjugations just like many European languages. hablo hable hablas hablar hablemos, DIOS MÍO! So my last resort is Esperanto. The reason why I wanted to learn Español is because I want to know many languages, because I believe that a different language is a different vision of life haha As of know I speak Filipino, English, a little bit of Español, and Old Tagalog (and the latter is just useless hahaha). Also, maybe because Duolingo we can achieve world peace? hahahaha Since that is Esperanto's main purpose and lately the Esperanto learners are rising. Go Green! Go Esperanto! hahaha

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RG710
RG710
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So here's my story with Esperanto. I was 15 when I first found out about Esperanto, which was three years ago. That year, I had an important examination it was like very big junior high exam which the whole country take on the exact same date. I'm not sure this happened before or after the examination although I think it's before. I love foreign languages since I was a child, so learning foreign languages besides English seemed like a great idea, especially after the examination. I scroll through the internet to learn more about foreign languages. Then, I ended up on one website which listed some languages which are easy to learn for English speakers or in my case people that know English. In that list I first read about Esperanto and it caught my attention just like that. I mean a language that is design to be easy to learn. I was intrigued, I've never seen any language like this. I searched more and decided to try it for one week to see if I like it. I used Lernu by the way. I can say that, I was impressed I totally see it's a beautiful language with great structure. I even learned some words and and phrases. But that year my house suffered from one of the worst flood we've ever encountered so my learning actually stopped and I also needed to prepare for school next year. Then, I discovered Duolingo, I decided to take Spanish. Spanish for me gives almost the same feeling when I learned Esperanto before actually, not quite sure why. I think my knowledge with English helps me a lot because Spanish seemed pretty easy for me, it still confuse me but not too much. When, DL released Esperanto I did not hesitate to try it. To my surprise I was able to recognise and remembered some of words that I've learned before despite stopped learning it before. Now, the interesting part, I searched the history of Esperanto on Youtube and in one video a guy said that Esperanto had quite a history. At first everything seemed pretty good for Esperanto because it was developing, But when WW1 occured everything changed and some leaders even banned Esperanto and said that it's a spy language. I also heard that Esperanto speakers could be executed for speaking it. Hence, the number of Esperanto speakers deteriorated at that time. But, it still survived and continue living to this day. I'm not entirely sure whether this is true or not but if it's true it truly show interesting part of it. I like Esperanto even more after hearing this, it's just like my journey with Esperanto it was great at first then something bad happened that stooped me but I still found my way to it until today. Isn't it great. That's pretty much how I know and do Esperanto, I've finished my Spanish already actually and I'm thinking perhaps I should continue with Esperanto tree while improving my Spanish :)

PS: Sorry for writing too long, I feeling like writing right now. :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LunjoTO

You might be interested in this book, La Dangxera Lingvo by Ulrich Lins.

http://donh.best.vwh.net/Esperanto/Literaturo/Recenzoj/dangxera_lingvo.html

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/hans.becklin

I am learning Esperanto because I believe that it is an excellent idea to have a neutral second language for humanity. However, I am also intrigued by the history of the language, its culture, literature, and the Esperanto community. These two things combined very early on to create an insatiable desire to study Esperanto, something which I have been doing very adamantly using many different tools.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/_libbyclaire

It's very similar to Spanish, and even English in my opinion so it's easier for me. Also, my friend introduced me to it.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AmericanBull

I wanted to do something healthy and challenging for my brain, and was attracted to Esperanto because I heard it was easier, highly regular/consistent, and I liked the idea that it was a neutral language (second language for everyone), and it's optimism in forming international relationships directly with individual people.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/uosuaq

I'd heard of Esperanto a long time ago (although I'd also heard of Volapük and thought it was a much cooler-sounding language -- I know better now). I only really read about Esperanto in an article on (I believe) theverge.com which appeared just as Duolingo was launching the Esperanto course in beta. And it sounded interesting, so I signed up and haven't looked back. I would say there are two main reasons: - First, the language itself is, yes, easy (especially if you have even a little familiarity with other European languages, because then you'll recognize a lot of the vocabulary -- but even without that, it's regular and easy to learn, without being some kind of oversimplified "pidgin" language). And once you get to know it better, you realize how cleverly designed it is, and that it's a fun and creative language as well as an easy one. - Second (and I speak here with less than a year of experience), there seems to be a more or less worldwide community of very welcoming, supportive, and interesting people that you start to discover as you explore Esperantujo, including (if you're lucky) people near you. So it broadens your horizons and brings you new friends. There are many other reasons, but those are at the top of my list.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/spazeroid

I studied Latin in middle school. I was terrible at it but I appreciated the novelty of it. During high school and college I studied Spanish but never had the patience to learn the vocabulary and endings needed. Some time ago while browsing articles on my phone I found an article talking about the history of Esperanto and how it made learning other languages easier. It also linked directly to the duolingo Esperanto course. I started the duolingo course because I would like to learn other languages and I have been lead to believe that Esperanto would make this easier. In my professional life a working knowledge of Spanish would be extremely useful. However given my pervious exposure to the language I need something to help me get started. So far in learning Esperanto it's been extremely pleasant, the rules are cleverly simple and the use of roots and prefixes means guessing at unknown words is fairly easy. The other less noble reasons are that many of my friends are bilingual and there is a great deal of satisfaction in knowing a language they don't. Also supposedly walking ideas through your head in another language helps you see logical fallacies.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KeepGoingAmeoba

The reason I am learning Esperanto is because I'm using it as sort of a "stepping stone" to learning other languages, that are organic. (and therefore more complicated!) I read online that the more languages you learn, the easier it is to learn other languages from within the same "group", or linguistic family. (not sure if I'm using the term completely right on that one) I'm planning to learn French next year at school, so hopefully Esperanto can introduce me to the idea of thinking in another language and being more flexible with how I receive information. However, I believe that the idea of one world-unifying language is absolutely incredible, and I feel that it would be very symbolic of world peace and moving forward as a race.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kmw13

I decided to learn Esperanto because of this great comic called Saga uses it as an alien language called 'Blue' and I think it's a great opportunity since it's here on duolingo.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BenjaminGosling
BenjaminGosling
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A social duty to do what everyone ought to be doing. Also (more selfishly) if I travel in a country whose language I cannot speak, I have the comfortingly smug satisfaction of knowing that it's their fault that we can't communicate. They ought to have learnt E-o as I did.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JohnKing147785
JohnKing147785
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I'm mainly interested in learning Spanish on Duolingo but because I also have an interest in auxlangs I decided to learn Esperanto too.

1 month ago