https://www.duolingo.com/MagicalMaya13

What is Esperanto?

Every language has its native country. For French, it's France, for German it's Germany, for Greek it's Greece. When I first started Duolingo, I had no idea what to learn (eventually I chose German and Spanish). While browsing, I discovered Esperanto! Back then, I had no idea what Esperanto was. And today, even after many web searches I still have no idea what country/area Esperanto is native to. Same also goes for Yiddish. Does anyone have answers?

2 years ago

27 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo
mizinamo
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Not all languages have a native country - consider Romani, for example, spoken by Roma (Gypsies) in many countries.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/FranzEbersburg

Esperanto is spoken while congresses and in families. My son and doughter are native esperanto-speakers.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HarrisonRhys

Sorry mate but this isn't really true, simply because nation states didn't really exist until the late 18th century. German predates the existence of Germany(1871) and has millions of communities of native speakers who've never lived within its borders. Same with French, which at one point was the official language of the English nobility. And Greek was first spoken by a coalition of city states from across the Mediterranean, whom had very little to do with each other and often went to war with each other. Greek national identity didn't become what it is today until its conquest under the Ottoman Empire and its war of independence.

The idea that languages have "Natural or native" territory or community is simply a retroactive and political myth used to foster a common identity and usually to establish territorial rights against other groups.

As to your question, Zamenhof came up with the basics of Esperanto in Bialystok a town in the Russian Empire though now in modern Poland, so I guess Eastern Poland would be its "native land". Esperanto is often associated with Polish Jews, even though at the time Polish speakers were a minority in the area around Bialystok. Yiddish is a language constructed by European Jews in Central and Eastern Europe, it sounds a lot like German to me. It was a way for the community to communicate and remain in contact with each other across severe language barriers and hostile governments.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/garpike
garpike
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Norman French was the language of the English court maybe until the 15th century, although that's stretching its actual use. If you know anything about Old French, you will appreciate that it is utterly different from 'French' (so I presume that you don't). There was never an 'official language' of the 'English nobility' (do you mean Anglo-Norman?) The English nobility spoke Old English before the Norman invasion, and after it, most of them found that they were no longer nobility.

P.s. 'country' != 'nation state'. The OP talked of 'countries' only; Herder, &ct., is irrelevant to it. And please look up the word 'coalition'.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HarrisonRhys

Yeah, languages change overtime, what of it, that isn't a reflection on my point. In fact languages changing other time to the point that they are often impossible to decipher for modern speakers, supports my comment. Your presumptions are incorrect and based on nothing that I've actually said. Actually yes a country does mean nation state and even if it didn't exclusively mean that the OP gave examples that are all nation states... there is no such thing as a non national country called France, there's a nation state and before that a kingdom. There has never been a non national Country called Germany, there's a German nation state and before that there were a collection of petty German speaking kingdoms and mini states competing for dominance of the others.

I'm also well acquainted with the word Coalition, perhaps you're ignorant of Ancient Mediterranean cultures, I can only assume so because my description of the Greek city states is not disputed by historians. Unless your talking about the times one or more city state fought another like the Peloponnesian war, but that wouldn't invalidate them being a loose coalition, it would just mean that it didn't work perfectly.

I'm sorry but all I can see in this comment is pedantry. What is your actual point you're trying to make?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DragonPolyglot
DragonPolyglot
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Esperanto is supposed to be a universal language with political and cultural neutrality. Yiddish is a language spoken by many Jewish communities in Germany, Sweden, Poland and a few other countries.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MagicalMaya13

Hmm... very interesting!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/salivanto
salivanto
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Jes, tre interese.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RevertMyTreeDuo

In Esperanto 'old world' country names have the suffix -ujo, eg Francujo for France and Germanujo for Germany. Esperantists sometimes use the term Esperantujo (Esperanto-land) to refer to anywhere where Esperanto is being used (eg congresses, meet-ups etc). Esperantists make their own places :)

There are Esperanto native speakers! Some children have grown up with Esperanto speaking parents and maybe been taken to Esperanto events at an early age, (grown up in Esperantujo!).

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/iwc2ufan
iwc2ufan
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It is a constructed language that is native to nowhere: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Esperanto

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/garpike
garpike
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Esperanto was once the official language of Neutral Moresnet...

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/salivanto
salivanto
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Very true. Not necessariy helpful.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/garpike
garpike
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I was not trying to be unhelpful; but if we are to humour the OP's assertion that 'every language has its native country' (baldly stated as a fact), it seems to me that Neutral Moresnet is the best answer she's going to get.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/salivanto
salivanto
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I figured you were trying to be funny. My concern is that MagicalMaya13 came here to ask a question. She may be making unwarranted assumptions, but we all do at some point - especially when we're new to a topic. Funny answers tend not to be helpful in writing and when writing to someone who is still confused "even after many web searches."

I think your answer would be fine if it was made clear that it was tongue in cheek.

I had an eye opener when I found out one of my kids was going out on the duolingo forums and asking questions (which were being heavily downvoted). People were treating him like he was annoying and thick. I talked to him about it and saw that he really was trying to understand. Maybe MagicalMaya13 is not "baldly" stating things as a fact, but making natural assumptions based on limited experience and would benefit from a straight, serious answer.

I've upvoted the OP -- so it's now back at zero. (Why on earth anybody would downvote someone who is interested in knowing what Esperanto is is beyond me.) I hope others will upvote it as well.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/garpike
garpike
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I didn't mean to give the impression that I was mistaking ignorance for stupidity; I was being somewhat jovial, but I also hoped it might lead some people to look it up and learn about this small, mostly-forgotten bit of European history (and one very relevant to someone wanting to learn about the history of Esperanto). I forget there are so many children on here (and I'm terrible at explaining things to children).

Some people will downvote anything, often, I imagine, without reading it first; I certainly haven't downvoted this thread if that was your implication.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/salivanto
salivanto
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As far as I'm concerned, you're fine. I didn't read any malice in your original comment. Apologies if I'm not expressing myself well.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/cassincork

Thanks, garpike, I did not know this and it is interesting.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jirka92122
jirka92122
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Esperanto: constructed language, very regular grammar and very easy to learn. Created to remind people that we are all equal and should behave nicely to each other (people do need reminding of this). Besides that it is also very useful as a tool to teach people languages since it is so easy to learn and the vocabulary is very close to romance languages and english. Learning Esperanto first is known to make learning another languages easier. Plus it is a very fun language to learn, one which you can quickly start using and be proficient in it in a few months rather than years.

Yiddish: What my Jewish great grandmother spoke. About 100 years ago, the Jewish community spoke Yiddish. Nowadays it is relegated to a few small communities, though its influence can be felt in many cultures (especially slang). Oy vey!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Stefan-Bundalo

Esperanto is language spoken all over the world... There is no country with Esperanto, as an official language. It's international auxiliary language... I hope I helped you!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ver3ndo
Ver3ndo
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Esperanto is not native to any country. It is a constructed (made-up, so to speak) language made to be equally easy for everyone.

However, Esperanto has a significant niche on the Internet, with hundreds of thousands of Esperantists using it every day.

I would encourage you to learn Esperanto for a few reasons:

1) it has an incredibly regular grammar (only 2 exceptions that I know of), meaning you can learn it very quickly and remember it more easily

2) you can meet not just people of a certain nation, but from many different nations, hopefully make you more accepting of other people's cultures

3) the Esperanto community is very friendly, willing to answer all of your questions and correct you if need be

If you don't like big communities like Facebook or Twitter, I know of a small forum with a little more than 100 users, called Verduloj. It's webpage is http://www.verduloj.com

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/baenbbz

what are these exceptions?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/FranzEbersburg

La unua demando devus esti: Kiuj estas la "reguloj" en Esperanto? Kaj poste: Kiuj estas la esceptoj?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/baenbbz

Mi konas la regulojn - mi ne sciis, ke estas esceptoj

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ver3ndo
Ver3ndo
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The exceptions are:

  • one does not use the accusative after "estas" or "okazas"
  • the spelling of "Finnlando" (not phonetic)
2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jirka92122
jirka92122
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Agree with finlando, but not with estas. Esti is intransitive. You are describing the subject, there is no object. Other verbs can do the same thing. Ĝi fariĝis bona. Lasu min sola. Bona describes the subject, sola describes the object, but neither can be the accusative. In the first case, the verb is intransitive, there is no object. In the second case "lasu min solan" would mean a different thing. See http://bertilow.com/pmeg/gramatiko/specialaj_priskriboj/perverba/

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jirka92122
jirka92122
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So the point is, it is not an exception, it just seems that way at first, but there is a good and consistent rule behind it, and it wouldn't work well without that rule. In fact, if you put an accusative after estas, it would be the exception.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/salivanto
salivanto
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I'm sure there are exceptions in Esperanto, but I would not count these among them.

  • "Estas" is used to connect a subject with words that describe the subject. There are other words that can be used that way, and all of them follow the same pattern where the describing words are nominative. (Li farigxis pirato, li kreskis sana, k.t.p.)

  • Okazas doesn't take an object and so a noun after okazas is usually the subject. You could put the subject before the verb if you wanted to.

  • In my book, a good speaker will pronounce both n's in finnlando as well as the t in matcxo.

2 years ago
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