Early reading for Esperanto learners?
I am getting to that stage where I'd like to try to stumble through reading in esperanto, but a regular esperanto text is still too much. Are there childrens books that have been converted to esperanto? Even if its as simple as dr suess stuff I'd like to give it a shot.
I love these as you can click on the words that you don't know to get the meaning, doesn't always work though.
I fully agree with @mizinamo's and @ClaesJohannson's comments. I consumed those contents at that stage and found them to be immensely useful.
I felt that there is a difficulty gap between the beginner stage (duolingo) and mid-level with not much text available covering that "gray" area. So, those recommended material (all of which are available on lernu.net) may still feel like not as easy as one could expect, but this is how it goes, you have to show some effort to understand those texts. But once you "pay that price" things suddenly become different and you'll start to have a certain understanding of the mechanics of esparanto and how esperanto really works.
Here is a very nice story that I deem perfectly suitable to the between-the-levels zone that I just read today: http://bulteno.esperanto-usa.org/2016/1/50-rakonte.html
I recall that the entire vocabulary of Gerda Malaperis is around 400 words. (This includes grammatical endings.) A learner should be able to start that well before finishing the Duolingo tree. I mentioned that the same author has followup material. I would recommend Vere aux Fantazie which picks up with those 400 words and ramps it up to around 1000 (if I recall correctly). At that point, any other book by Claude Piron or his pen name Johan Valano should be very accessible.
There are other intermediate readers. Faktoj kaj Fantazioj springs to mind. I would also consider the third section of the so called "Richardson Book" (Esperanto: Learning and Using The International Language, available from Esperanto-USA) to be in this category -- and the first two sections are suitable for anybody reading this message. The articles in Kontakto are accessible as well.
A number of years ago, I read The Neverending Story alternating chapters in English, Esperanto, and German. It's fairly advanced reading, but I enjoyed being able to get through the story and still be able to dig into the language. Doing every third chapter in English was a bit of a break -- plus it saved me from flipping through the dictionary if I got to a part that I really couldn't understand. (Warning, of the three versions, the English one is the worst.)
Good stuff, thank you. I think I've heard about Vere aŭ Fantazie and Faktoj kaj Fantazioj but haven't read them yet. I particularly admire Claude Piron, such a brilliant guy he was.
I didn't know that Gerda contained around 400 words, but honestly I had a bit difficulty reading it. I really had to "study" it rather than read. Perhaps not because of the number of words but rather advanced grammar usage, especially past middle. Or maybe because I attempted to read it a bit too early, around 30-40 days after I learned my first esperanto word. Everything felt so unusual and new because that was my first exposure to anything not 100% beginner material.
"La verda koro" de Julio Baghy estas unu el la plej bonaj libroj por komencantoj.
"La verda koro" by Julio Baghy is one of the best books for beginners.
There are several good suggestions on this page. Back when I was at the beginner stage, I bought children's books from the Esperanto-USA. There is a large selection of them there. Back then (about 17 years ago) there wasn't much available online, we still had to go with the "dead-tree" editions.
Much of what is talked about here is available online now:
The e-librejo (http://i-espero.info/files/elibroj/) has many books in PDF format translated to Esperanto, including "La Eta Princo", the works of Hans Christian Anderson, a couple of books by Charlotte Bronte, the Alice in Wonderland trilogy, "La Kristnaska Kanto" (The Christmas Carol) by Charles Dickens, "Pipio Longsxtrumpa" (Pipi Longstockings), and 14 of the Dorothy in Oz books. It's a large collection. I also recommend "Kruko kaj Baniko en Bervalo". It's a book of jokes. If you are a Sci-Fi fan, the book by Edgar Rice Burroughs, "La Princino de Marso" is in this collection also.
"Gerda Malaperis" is available in PDF from here: http://esperantofre.com/gerdakd/gerda.pdf. It is also available as an audio book, and a group out of Brazil made a full-length motion picture out of it, available on DVD.
I highly recommend "La Verda Koro", but it is a little more on the adult end, so save it until after you've mastered the previous ones. Toward the end, make sure you have a big box of Kleenex tissues at hand, it's a real tear-jerker.
After you've mastered "La Verda Koro" you are probably ready for "La Hobito" and "La Maestro de la Ringoj". I've read all 4 volumes, and it is as good a read in Esperanto as it is in English.
If you have younger children 8-12, that you might like to get interested in Esperanto, give them a copy of "Peter Jameson's Secret Language" by Sylvan Zaft. It used to be available on his website, but it looks like he's taken it down. The book is well worth the cost.
To underscore, Peter Jameson's is in English. I used to have (and may still have) a spare copy. My wife and I enjoyed it when we read it as new adult speakers of Esperanto, and I think we got our oldest child to read it when he was in the target age. He mentioned it a few times after (especially the "sleeping part of your brain" and the "green star lady.) Part of the book takes place near my home, which is fun. Looks like it's available at least on Kindle.
Someone recommended keeping an eye on the UK Esperanto association's auctions on eBay, as they sell off books of which they have duplicates. I have got some from there, including a very simple learning text called "Esperanto por infanoj" (sentences on the line of "where are the mice sitting? They are sitting on the table") and a version of Cinderella which is slightly beyond me at the moment. Worth having a look (search eBay for esperanto and you should find some items from them), though I see you are not in the UK.
I probably took the completely wrong route when I ordered "La Hobito." I've only been studying Esperanto for 7 weeks. What was I thinking, right? Although, I have decided to hold off on it since I had to learn 40 new words just to get through the first part of the first page, haha.
People usually mention the popular book "The Little Prince" as well for beginners. I used the French version when I was studying French. I've read that there is an Esperanto version, but I've only looked for it on Amazon and I didn't see it there.
Ultimately only you can say so. Whatever you're reading, you've got to be motivated to stick with it. It's true, though. Some books are really hard to get through. I recall my wife (a fluent speaker) stopped reading some books (possibly even LOTR) because the vocabulary was just too heavy. I will repeat the advice my German teacher gave so many years ago -- read each text three times. First, just read. Second, look every unfamiliar word. Third, just read. With La Hobito, it might take you a while, but if you're enjoying it, who cares?
I'll mention that I received a complimentary copy of La Eta Princo for my (very minuscule) contributions to the translation. It's a wonderful little book (well) and a good translation. I don't recall whether I have a copy of the previous translation, now out of print. The best place to buy books in Esperanto in North America is from the libroservo of the various national associations. For those in the US, it's Esperanto-USA.
Excellent advice about reading three times. I think I will do that. I appreciate your input.
That's still good. I think you'll soon reach the level to be able to read La Hobito anyway, very good investment if you ask me. I also want that book.
Got the book, been reading it on and off for a while now. It's a good translation, might be a bit hard to read for beginners.
Does anyone know if this translation of the Hobbit is any good?
It's a new one (I think) translated by Christopher Gledhill-William Auld did one years ago. Any ideas how they compare? One good thing is you can do look inside on Amazon and try reading the first six pages to see if it's worth giving it a go!
The cover is different than mine, but the title and the name of the translator is the same as the one I own. If it is the same, it is the best translation available, and a very good one indeed.
The copy I own is (I believe) the latest translation. It attributes the story translation to Christopher Gledhill, and the translation of the poetry to William Auld. This is probably a newer edition than what I have.
Here's a link to "Gaja Leganto Per Esperanto" (Happy Reader through Esperanto):
It's full of quick, snappy humor and jokes, and it's specifically designed to help the beginning learner to learn the 700-or-so most-used words in Esperanto.
The same author has a series of texts that pick up where Gerda leaves off - in terms of number of words used. Interesting content as well.
That feature is really quite nice, though the library is quite small, and the Esperanto built-in dictionary can be missing some words sometimes (or is it because they're too un-mainstream) like "deteni" on http://www.libraro.net/read/hans_christian_andersen/fajrilo/4/
Exactly , I am looking for such books to improve my esperanton skills in atime Iam living in Part in world where no one has ever heard about language called esperanton