Understanding spoken Esperanto, talking in Esperanto, Esperanto text chatrooms.
I've done the Esperanto course, and got all my skills gold several times, but I'm not find continuing to get the skills all gold much fun, and when an Esperanto speaker I know talks to me I can't understand it well at all and am at a near total loss to reply in Esperanto if I do understand what he says.
My quiz scores are 3.37/5.0 3 weeks ago 1.94/5.0 1 month ago 1.73/5.0 1 month ago 1.33/5.0 3 months ago 1.94/5.0 4 months ago (not counting one where I cheated ;) )
I think I need something that has gets you translating more spoken Esperanto into English in less time, less time wasted drawing graphs, being sent back home when you don't get any right on speed tests, more different speakers, a whole bunch more content, such that you aren't seeing the same things over and over, which seems to be all that I see now.
Just plain listening to someone talking in Esperanto doesn't seem to work very well because I understand it so little, and you get no feedback when doing that.
An audio/video chat room, where there would be more fluent people talking to each other in real time where the less fluent people like me could say what little we can seems like it might be of some value.
An Esperanto public chat room might be of value, again one where less fluent people like me aren't pressured to understand and reply fluently.
I'm not making suggestions or requests for modifying Duolingo Esperanto, just hoping someone can give me ideas for how to improve my understanding of spoken Esperanto and respond quickly in spoken Esperanto.
I am registered at lernu.net and livemocha.net. I can't afford to pay any money for improving Esperanto fluency. I haven't tried partnering with specific people at LiveMocha because I'm not sure exactly what it entails. I heard from one person who took a language partner and the partners always wanted help for them but did not want to help in return.
I have Firefox with some kind built in video chat capability that I've never used; I have Skype, I have Google Hangouts.
The instant messenger Lernu used to have sounds like it would have been good for me but it's not in use anymore.
I'm rambling; I don't know what I need but I don't think it's strengthening skills endlessly.
edit I just took the quiz again and went from 3.37 down to .95, by far my lowest lowest yet. I just remembered I'm also registered at memrise and have worked through 606 of the 1983 in the Duoling Esperanto course at http://www.memrise.com/course/698658/duolingo-esperanto-2/.
I have tried to find a free typing practice program, basically like very old, very successful Mavis Beacon program, either free or online, that will let you add in your own lists of Esperanto words, sentences and paragraphs. A modern copy of Mavis Beacon might work fine but I can't spend money on it, and my ancient copy of it can't deal with non-ascii characters needed for the Esperanto letters with hats (accents) and I don't want to do the add an x technique. Mavis Beacon is at http://www.broderbund.com/c-33-mavis-beacon.aspx . If you into retro computers and gaming you might recognize "Broderbund".
Anyone have suggestions, comments, or questions?
I may have a few advice for you, based on my experience.
First, never mind the quiz results, I think they are broken. All my eo quiz scores are 5.0, but my latest Turkish quiz score is 1.52 (after 2.03). Getting a fail-grade when tested for the native language, while getting a perfect score for language that's been studied for 3 months. You can make your own conclusion.
Before being able to understand spoken esperanto, make sure you can understand written esperanto. One important fact to realize is that Duo is not enough to make you understand "normal" esperanto out there, according to my experience it leaves you somewhere at the end of the beginner stage. That's why it's essential to study mid-level texts like Gerda Malaperis, short stories and other stuff right after Duo. A sufficient amount of material is available on Lernu.net. You should definitely study them. You will immediately realize that those texts are not quite like the stuff here on duolingo. Only after having read and understand them I got a feeling of how esperanto really works. And it took me some serious labor and time to comprehend them. Also, read anything that is deemed "mid level", random stuff you see on the net, what people write in eo groups on Facebook etc, but for me the material on Lernu was mostly sufficient to fill that beginner-midlevel gap.
I'm sure you know Evildea and his channel on Youtube. Watch his daily videos. Some of them has eo subtitles, you can start using them. You don't have to understand everything, I was barely picking a few words here and there. Constantly do that listening practice everyday, even if you don't understand. At some point, miraculously you will start understanding the sentences. For me, this didn't happen slowly, one morning I understood like 5%, the other morning it was somewhere like 60%.
I am currently going through Gerda Malaperis. When I first heard about it a couple of weeks ago, I read through the first 6 chapters without stopping or looking up words in the dictionary. I found that even though I didn't know every word, I knew enough to understand what was happening. You are right, as well, that it is a bit different than reading the sentences on Duolingo.
I have also found elsewhere, like on posts in Facebook written in Esperanto, that my brain likes to play tricks on me. If I see text in anything other than English, it's almost like my brain will go into skim mode and make me think that I don't know what any of it says. I'll catch myself just skimming and not really focusing on the words. I have found many times that if I just slow down and focus on the words, I actually do know what is being said. It's almost like I have to train my native English brain to want to digest more than only English. I never noticed this before in all of my previous language learning. But I've never gotten this far either in any of those languages where I can just read something and pretty much understand it.
> I have also found elsewhere, like on posts in Facebook written in Esperanto, that my brain likes to play tricks on me. If I see text in anything other than English, it's almost like my brain will go into skim mode and make me think that I don't know what any of it says.
I thought I was the only one! Thank you for confirming it's not just me :D
Hey, long time no see! I do the same. Takes me about 3 days to listen to the whole thing because they are usually pretty long and I only drive 20 minutes to work.
Yes, I was away for a while. I'm not on duo for much but back to eo fully. 20 min each day instead of a full episode is actually better because the content will last much longer. Lucky you!
One of my projects on my long project list is such a video chat.
My idea is to setup a video chat, that is open only at specific times, say once a week, once in two weeks or once a month for two hours. Then we can make sure that there are always two or three fluent Esperanto speakers present. Then the learning ones can choose if they want just follow a conversation or actively participate.
But well, it's on my project list among lots of other things.
I've had difficulty with this as well, but I found "Pasporto al la Tuta Mondo" on You Tube helpful. It was originally made as a component of a classroom course, and the dialogue becomes more complex with each episode. Before I watched it "real" spoken eo was mostly incomprehensible to me. I after going through the entire series, I went back to listening to eo radio programs. I still don't always understand them 100%, but I get enough to keep me interested and motivated.
Thanks for this suggestion. Just watched the first episode - bizarre and enjoyable. I especially liked the shepherd with the non-running sheep.
And thanks for asking the question, ChuckBaggett. Good things to think about and good responses.
Just listening does help actually. It may seem at first that you are not getting anything, but slowly you get more and more and more as your brain gets used to it. I started listening to evildea's videos and at first caught a word here and a word there. But actually fairly soon (one has to be patient though, so "fairly soon" definitely wasn't overnight) I started to pick out the main bits of what he said. Then at some point i could really make out the majority and after a couple of months I understood 99% of what he says. Sometimes it is good to listen to something a few times over. Simply don't worry about not understanding the whole thing. Just try to pick up a sentence here and a sentence there. Then play it again and try again, what you've picked up your brain will recognize and you can try to pick up some other sentences. You don't have to overdo it. I don't think I've played any clip more than 2 or 3 times. I find the subtitles a bit distracting so I turned them off and tried to pick it up without it.
I know someone who learned English by listening to the Beatles. He listened over and over and as he picked up more and more he transcribed all of their songs without checking the lyrics anywhere (this was way before the internet and he was in Russia, so getting a hold of the lyrics was not an option).
I know Evildea is just not as good as the Beatles ... but ... it works just as well.
Most folks recommend that you start listening and speaking Esperanto as early as possible. I think that is good advice. However, I did not take it. I started by first getting comfortable reading and writing Esperanto. If you are getting discouraged with spoken Esperanto, try reading and writing a bit. I used reddit /r/esperanto, and ##esperanto on irc.freenode.net. I also recommend that you start reading the PMEG as soon as you can understand at least half of it. It's an amazing resource, it's well written, in good, correct Esperanto, and it's written simply enough that you can read it even before many other texts.
For listening practice, check out Evildea on youtube. His early videos have English subtitles. Once you can understand a bit more, I highly recommend kern.punkto.info. It's an Esperanto podcast that covers interesting topics. They give a lot of background, often enough that you can learn new words even without having a dictionary handy (I listen in my car, while driving — no dictionary).
Yes, great advice, I fully agree with everything. Especially the PMEG part, which I forgot to mention in my post.
When learning a language, one must practice all four language skills (reading, writing, speaking, and understanding the spoken word). Each is a separate skill and you won't master the language fully if all four are not practiced.
While a chat room (unless it is audio/video) is good for practicing reading and writing, it doesn't get you the speaking and hearing/understanding practice. For understanding the spoken Esperanto language, I found it helpful to watch videos that had a humorous story line, and was intended for children, so it started slowly and built .
One of the ones I watched was "Mazi en Gandolando". It's on YouTube. Try it out. There are also flash card decks for memrise to get you extra practice over the duolingo course vocabulary (and lots of others, such as the vocabulary for "Gerda Malaperis").
Belated thanks for the reply. You reminded me I had an anki deck program with Esperanto flash cards over a year ago on my old computer that died. That software is at https://ankiweb.net/shared/decks/
In theory I will install that program and it will have an online record of where I was in it.
<a few minutes later> No luck so far in getting my old flash cards but I can start over. It has a bunch of Esperanto flash cards.
Check out the YouTube channel Parolu. It's for beginners to midlevelish. People ask simple questions and post their short response vids to each other. Feedback about vidders' spoken Esperanto in comments
I am slow to respond but I appreciate the response. I'm surprised I hadn't heard of Parolu and subscribed and watch it a year ago when I posted my question but I don't recall hearing of it. I'm subscribed now. Your description of it sounds like it should be useful and at my level.
I think even reading out loud is good training. Part of the problem with trying to video chat in Esperanto is that not only do you have to think what to say, you have to get your speech organs to make the right sounds, and that takes mental energy as well. If you can practice this component, you'll have more mental energy left to think about the content. You'll also be training your ears as you hear your own voice.
An additional tip -- Check out Radio Verda. The male host truly has model pronunciation, and his wife speaks very well. The two of them play very nicely off each other. They do a mix of conversational episodes where they talk to each other, and interesting "news" type episodes where they present a topic People send in texts to be read or clips of themselves. This is an alternative to many of the "video blogs" you see today where it's just one guy. You'll want to hear conversations and to listen to different people -- especially people whose native language is different from your own.
Disclaimer: I'm not just saying this because I was a regular contributor to the second half of the first 100 episodes.
Radio Verda seems to have closed in 2013, so far as I can tell. I can find what look like links to the podcasts but they don't work. I don't have a smartphone to try the mobile links.
The actual site is inert. http://radioverda.com/
There's one podcast at https://kern.punkto.info/. It appears to be science students speaking Esperanto.
I can only make out a tiny percent of the words but I just started listening to it a few months ago.
It has been 11 months since your reply. I'm trying to get back into Esperanto again.
The site went down a few months ago, at which point I went and found files with all the episodes I was involved in using the Wayback Machine. I've recently started a YouTube channel and that might be the best place to follow what's going on - especially if I hear that the site has been put back up. I've been given permission to post the episodes I have, but they're not really mine.
Belated thanks for your help. It's taken me 3 weeks to get around to finding the Radio Verda archived files on Wayback Machine and they are really good. Clear speech and well recorded. They're at http://web.archive.org/web/*/radioverda.com in case that helps anyone else find them.
I am maybe halfway through the course and taking it fairly slow (I get distracted easily). But I agree listening to videos even with the level and the amount of words I know, in most cases I can piece together a general understanding with a little imagination. But I do understand other comments made because I don't have anyone to speak to nor money to spend, I've found listening to evildea and also Esparanto radio quite helpful. Muzaiko!
I've found reading through Ivy Kellerman Reed's book (http://gutenberg.org/ebooks/7787) out loud has helped me a lot, there is a lot of translating back and forth in it and it has really helped me do it when I do have conversations. Also I know it sounds weird, but I have conversations with myself in Esperanto, and if I don't know how to say something I want to say I look it up and add that sentence to my flash cards to practice.
I talk to myself out loud in English so maybe I can do it in Esperanto instead.
Thanks for the response.
It's eleven months later. and I mostly stopped Esperanting, but I'm back, and I think the thing to do regarding Duolingo is to reset my Esperanto and start from the beginning, as well as doing the other things mentioned in the discussion, Memrise, memrise.com Youtube Parolu, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNimRXTl_CJ1q8OsHW7oMpQ https://kern.punkto.info/ lernu.net Pasporto al la tuta mondo https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMvPaJH9G3r6KCu3-3hs-xw A Complete Grammar of Esperanto by Ivy Kellerman Reed http://gutenberg.org/ebooks/7787
That all I can remember. Time to eat.