I want to speak like a native speaker.
What tips do you have for me to reach this goal?
Mi volas paroli kiel denaskulo.. Kio konsiletojn vi havas?
Step 1, ignore the people who want to change the subject as to whether there are any "native speakers" - and whether a person who has been around Esperanto from birth is a model speaker or not. We know what you mean.
My thought - and my approach here may be unconventional for a supporter of Esperanto - is that this is the wrong goal. You can aim to speak as fluently as possible, or to reach a level of fluency where you don't need to stop and think about what you want to say - that sort of thing - but there is a point of diminishing returns in Esperanto fluency. I wouldn't recommend making your goal to get beyond that point... on purpose.
The first step in fluency is to get your mouth used to making the sounds. Get a book of good Esperanto and read it out loud. Find people to talk with every day (a family member would be a good choice.) Read dictionaries cover to cover. Look up everything you don't know. Spend time with people who speak Esperanto on a daily basis.
I think you are right. A lot of time trying to "sound like a native" rather than simply being "completely fluent" is really about making sure people don't recognize you as a foreigner, rather than about being understood (and understanding). For example I've been living in the states for over 20 years. Some people recognize immediately that I must be from somewhere else, but there do exist people that do not figure it out. My grammar and style improved tremendously by writing professionally (mathematics, so perhaps it's not exactly a poetic style). And I'm still learning I'm sure.
So to come back to the point. I think "completely fluent" is the level that the original poster is actually referring to anyway. For that you need at least a little bit of daily interaction, reading, and eventually writing. I notice that writing, and trying to write well, takes a lot more effort to learn the ins and outs of the language and its style. One can get away with quite a bit when only speaking. When writing you have a bit more time to think of how you formulate your ideas. Think if what you write makes sense, if the grammar is right, but also if it sounds well, if it is unambiguous and conveys what you wish to convey and only that.
I'd recommend writing a journal. Write a little bit each day. Doesn't have to be (perhaps even shouldn't be) formulaic: "today this and this happened". Try to explore a different idea each day.
At some point in the above post I stopped talking to salivanto and started talking to the original poster. Definitely bad style :) But I am too lazy to edit this post to correct it.
I'm having fun imagining that halfway through composing your note, you decided not to be on speaking terms with me.
Certe granda avantagxo de Esperanto estas ke gxi estas neuxtrala lingvo. Kiam iu lernas Esperanton, oni ne devas vivi en la ombro de la "denaskaj parolantoj." Iu ajn povas farigxi spertulo pri Esperanto.
Pri mia propra sperto, mi lernis Esperanton kun mia edzino. Dum unu tago en semajno ni parolis nur Esperanton inter ni. Post unu jaro ni vojagxis per la pasporta servo. Tiam mi sentis min tre komforta kun Esperanto, sed mi ne dirus ke mi vere estis flua parolanto. Poste ni decidis paroli Esperanton kun niaj infanoj (tiam naskotaj). Mi vere serioze lernadis Esperanton kaj havis multajn eblecojn praktiki la lingvon. Cetere, dum tiu tempo mi korektadis bazajn lecionojn pri Esperanton kadre de la senpaga kurso "FEC" (Free Esperanto Course.) Mi kredas ke tiu konstanta sinekzerco pri bazaj gramatikajxoj certe ne malhelpis al miaj praktikaj scioj de la lingvo. Finfine, tamen, oni cxiam pli ofte alfrontas situaciojn en kiu ne estas simpla respondo. En la sama situacio je nacia lingvo, la solvo estus simpla - demandu denaskan parolanton. Sed en Esperanto, tiaj "denaskecaj parolantoj" ne ekzistas. (Tre spertaj parolantoj ja ekzistas, sed "denaskecaj" parolantoj ne.)
As an example, Chuck Smith recently asked how to say "boxers or briefs?" in Esperanto. He's been speaking Esperanto (often daily for extended periods) for something like 15 years, he was named Esperantist of the year, and he not only doesn't know how to say "boxers or briefs" but he wasn't able to work it out on his own -- because the answer isn't obvious, and if it's obvious, it's not well documented. (Kian subpantalonon vi portas? Cxu boksosxorton aux kalsoneton?) Of the examples I've struggled with, this is just a recent one -- not even all that challenging in comparison. Quite often after racking my brain, checking several dictionaries, looking at the expression in several national languages, and asking other fluent speakers, I just give up and pick an expression (or two or three) to use at home, knowing full well that if I ever need to use that term outside of the house, I'm going to have to explain it anyway.
Mia konsilo estas - farigxu suficxe flua por viaj celoj, sed flueco ne estu celo de si mem.
Jes, ekzacte tio okazis. Mi ŝatis vin kiam mi ekskribis, sed post kelkaj frazoj, mi eksciis ke vi estas la plej terura homo en la tuta mondo.
Nu via sperto kun via edzino ne povas esti efektivigita kun ĉiu edzinoj (aŭ edzoj). Ekzemple, se mi parolus esperante unu tagon de la semajno, mi dormus sur la sofo tiun nokton. Mia edzino instalis duolingo sur sia poŝtelefono, kaj lernas esperanton, sed nur kelkajn fojojn monate. Ŝi eble finos la arbon en la venanta jardeko :)
Mia celo kun esperanto estas, ke kiam mi stultiĝos en la estonteco pro alta aĝo, mi bezonas lingvon por krii insultojn al la infanoj sur mia herbejo. Kaj tiu lingvon devas esti facila.
Mi pensas ke mi devus fari kion mi konsilis skribe en mia afiŝo, kaj skribi ion tute stulta por plibonigi mian esperanton :). Mi pensas ke mi sukcesis, kaj ĉi tiu afgiŝo estas pli stulta sed pli longa ol miajn antaŭajn afgiŝojn. Mi esperas ke mia esperanto ne estas tute terura.
Normale, kiam mi skribas ion stultan, mi ne afiŝas tion. Mi nur skribas ĝin, kaj post tiom mi forviŝas ĝin. Sed mi volis meti ekzemplon ĉi tie :)
Junuloj de la montoj atentu! Lernu Esperanton por kompreni la frenezulojn de la generacio de viaj gepatroj!
Tamen, oni devas memori, ke Esperanto estas ankoraŭ tre juna lingvo. Ju pli oni uzas la lingvon en pli diversaj fakoj, des pli la lingvo normiĝos kaj tiel oni havos malpli kaj malpli da tiaj problemoj. Sed jes, tiaj situacioj vere ĝenas kiam ili okazas, kvankam mi ne trovas, ke tio okazas tre ofte.
Nu, finfine ne gravas kial tiaj problemoj okazas. Gravas ke ili okazas. Miaopinie, se tiaj aferoj ne okazas ofte al vi, vi ne suficxe strecxadas vian scipovon de Esperanto. La originala afisxanto originale diris ke li volas atingi denaskecan fluecon. Ne eblas fari tion sen vaste strecxadi la scipovon de la lingvo.
[Edit: I had initially said I would list examples of this, but as I started to do so, I didn't like the way it looked in context. It didn't look very friendly -- and I didn't want to be misunderstood.]
Tiuj "problemoj" okazas eĉ en aliaj lingvoj. Mi parolas la anglan pli ol du jarkdekoj, sed kiam mi volas traduki ion de la ĉeĥa, ofte mi ne scias kial. Iuj aferoj estas ligita kun la kulturo, ne nur la lingvo. La plej malfacila estas traduko de ŝercoj. Mi pensas ke tiuj problemoj ne okazas al denaskuloj de iu nacia lingvo ĉar ili ne ofte volas esprimi ion kio estas fremda de ilia kulturo. Tial vi neniam povas fini lerni lingvon. Fine, mi ofte forgesas kion mi volis diri, kaj ne gravas en kiu lingvo mi volis diri ĝin :)
En ordo... mi ofte sentas, ke mi jam "sufiĉe bone" parolas la lingvon kaj tial mi ja ne tro penas plibonigi mian vortprovizon. Estas tiom da aferoj por fari en la vivo. :)
Speak it with people who speak it on a higher level than you. Go to Esperanto events for example. There you can speak with people. Use Esperanto: Read books, watch movies, listen to podcasts and radio, write a journal in Esperanto (and have it corrected). Be creative. Start using it and thinking in Esperanto. For example you could start counting whenever you count something. Just like any other language. Take notes in Esperanto - it could be a list with food you want to buy.
Look for vocabulary that is relevant for you. If you love football, there is vocabulary for it. If you love chess or Harry Potter, try to find vocabulary (Harry Potter actually exists in Esperanto).
I think iTalki has this feature. (I'm still trying to figure out iTalki). I spend a lot of time on HiNative answering questions like "does this paragraph sound natural?"
Update: In the meanwhile, I've become a tutor on italki and it's working out very well. I give about 3 lessons per day, but I'd love a few more students.
Well I will say this with all respect - if you're referring to Esperanto there aren't really any "native" speakers of it, as it is considered a "constructed language", and not official in any place on earth (yet, in response to the comments below, there are some people who, despite not using it 24/7, still can grow up learning it.) However, the only way you can get close to speaking like a native speaker is to understand their culture, traditions, idioms, slang, and, most importantly, PRACTICE.
Hope this helped and best of luck!
There are native speakers of Esperanto, they are just mostly first-generation native speakers that grew up in a Esperantoist household. But you are right that there is no solid foundation of what a native Esperanto speaker sounds like, so practice is anyone's best bet to sounding natural in the language.
Only sort of. While I have argued elsewhere in this thread that ultimately "native-like fluency" in Esperanto is an impossible dream, it really is true that there is a standard, international usage and standard international accent for Esperanto, so it's far from "anybody's best bet." Speaking Esperanto well and with a good, neutral accent is a very realistic goal, and will come with hard work and the right attention.
Sure there are some native speakers, even several generations of them. Native only means that you picked up the language from your parents as your original language, not that you grew up in a place where it is an official language. There's lots of countries with minority languages which are not official in any way. In fact vast majority of the world's languages are not official languages anywhere.
Hee hee hee
"Step 1, ignore the people who want to change the subject as to whether there are any 'native speakers'".
Fair enough; I reworded my comment to where it fixed any issues regarding that - my apologies. You're right that there are probably several thousand people who have learned it from birth and might potentially speak it at home, but I doubt there is anyone in the world who uses it 24/7, as the community is so spread out across the world.
Yes, but using a language 24/7 isn't the condition to whether someone has a language as a native language or not. If a child is born to two parents who speak different native languages and they both speak their language to their child from birth, I'd venture to say that that child has two native languages and uses neither of them 24/7. Or according to your definition, that child has no native language.
Perhaps the right thing to say it's that there are no monolingual native speakers living in monolingual communities. But yes it's maybe not correct to talk about native at all. My native language is Czech, and I do use it every day, but given that I teach and write in English, my English is better (maybe not pronunciation). Also my Czech slang is 20 years out of date :) Still, my only native language is Czech. If you are learning English, I should be a good enough target.
Perhaps the right thing to say would be to learn Esperanto like someone who uses the language every day, perhaps even professionally.
There's also a different level of language you need in an informal conversation vs writing a novel or poetry.
I like what Chuck said about speaking Esperanto "well enough." Of course, what "well enough" means will vary with your goals.
I will say that while I tend to be modest about my abilities in other languages ("I speak a little"), I am never modest when I present my Esperanto ability to non-Esperantists (I speak it, I am fluent, it's like another native language for me.) This is because so many people (including myself, if you've seen my #EsperantoLives video) assume that even people who claim to speak Esperanto don't really speak it.
To me, this thread illustrates another problem with the "speaking like a native" paradigm. It's a bit of a red herring because it raises questions both on whether denaskuloj exist or are model speakers, and on what it even means to "Speak Esperanto like a Native."
So, focus on speaking "well enough" for whatever your goals are. Practice a lot (including speaking out loud even if there's nobody to talk to.) Describe the things you see. Work on the little things like matching your adjectives to your nouns and getting the accusative right. Get a little bit better every day. What else can you do?
My tips: If you have not studied phonetics, go ahead and study them to ensure you are aware of the sounds of the language.
The second tip is to practice canned sentences that you would use. Come up with conversations and have them. You want to be able to not have to think about producing the correct sounds while also being able to think in the language. When you hear a phrase in your mother tongue for instance you begin thinking of responses and analyzing the information as it is being said and this is how you want to get your skill level to in any second language to begin being fluent.
Hope these are helpful, and I hope people stop responding based on the semantics of "native" versus "fluent" as I feel in the way you are asking that you are not really differentiating these terms.
Final "tip". Esperanto is stressed on the second to last syllable, which should be pronounced distinctly louder than the last syllable. While in practice many speakers stress very lightly or not at all, following the stress rule as intended helps keep the language sounding as it was originally intended and IMHO helps the beauty of the spoken language. This all is not really so much of a tip as it is me putting in my opinion on the aesthetics of the language though.