https://www.duolingo.com/salivanto

Esperanto Study Weekend (in North America) - how much interest would there be

salivanto
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I've been thinking and tossing around ideas, and I wonder if there would be any interest in this one. Would you be interested in taking part in a weekend "class" in Esperanto -- with lessons, guided conversation, reading material and the like - maybe some fun activities rolled in? I'm thinking something short - like over a 2 or 3 day weekend. How far would you travel for such a thing?

We used to have formal lessons at our Aŭtuna Renkontiĝo de Esperanto in Okemo VT (now in Silver Bay on Lake George in NY) but it's been a while. In Vermont there were even two levels of classes. The main reason we stopped doing it is that in many ways it's not necessary. If you work on Esperanto at home, the main thing to do at a weekend event is to use Esperanto. That's often all that's needed for a motivated person to get rolling. With all the excitement that Duolingo has generated, I wonder whether it's time to revisit the question.

So I'd love your feedback - positive or negative. Would you be more likely to travel to the Aŭtuna Renkontiĝo de Esperanto if there was a session specifically attended for new speakers? Would you be interested in an event specifically intended for this purpose (not unlike the Intense Esperanto course that Chuck Smith put on last fall)? How far would you travel for such a thing?

2 years ago

41 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/IsaacLaws1

Saluton! I love the idea of a "new speakers" get-together. However, I am in Fresno, California. (Might be the only person in Fresno learning Esperanto!) I actually like the idea of "break-out" sessions led by experienced Esperanto speakers; and those sessions could be about different topics or for different goals/purposes. I suppose it would depend on the raw numbers. Having experienced speakers lead those breakouts would mean that a resource person is there to support the speakers. These types of "conventions" are not welcoming in my mind unless they are catered to those people who are studying Esperanto but aren't confident to put it out there. Just sayin'! I am following you Salivanto; thanks for being a leader in the Esperanto Movement (and it's expression) on Duolingo. Peace to you! (Excited that my copy of Esperanto (The Universal Langugae) by O'Connor arrived in the mail today! My Esperanto Bible should arrive in a few days!) Bonon tagon!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/salivanto
salivanto
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So if there was something going on in California, how far would you travel for it?

That's good feedback that you don't think that regular Esperanto meetings are welcoming. I'm assuming you mean that the thought of going to one is a little scary for someone who' has never been. I usually only hear from the people who have taken the plunge and gone -- and they almost always say they feel very welcome (even if possibly overwhelmed at first.)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GrandaUrso

A couple hours drive for me, just before LA (From San Diego) would be my limit!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/salivanto
salivanto
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Kalifornio estas por mi kiel alia mondo. Mi ne havas bonan senton por la grandeco de la sxato. Mia impreso estas ke multaj lokoj esats tre dense enlogxigitaj. Eble ne necesas vojagxi.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GrandaUrso

Mi konsentas kun vi, Mi ankaux ne sxatas la grandecon. Tio estas kial mi povus forlasi la staton baldaux (ankaux por aliaj kialoj). Sed tio estas por alia tempo. San Diego havas unu Esperanta-Asocio sed ili ne respondis al mi kiam mi retmesagxas ilin. Do, nun mi rigardas por alia asocio, sed cxiuj estas norda en Los Angeles. Mi malamas Los Angeles...

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/IsaacLaws1

You understood me perfectly. I was not speaking from experience of an Esperanto meeting, but experience in other contexts, and my anticipation of an assembly in which I am ill-equipped to participate and connect. I guess I have a vision of a Doctor Who convention where I don't speak fluent "Whovian," but I've watched all the shows and want to participate, but I don't remember the actors' names or the titles of episodes, or the history, etc. I wouldn't want to JUST be an observer, hence my request for those newbie breakout sessions. And frankly, it would be cool if sessions on the "obvious" stuff were offered as well (the Updated History of Esperanto, etc.).

All that to say, I would be willing to travel 3-4 hours or more, depending on the time frames of the meetings. (If it's a multi-day, I'd risk a 6-hour drive.) A 4-hour drive for me would be as far south as Irvine (my son goes to college there), and San Jose or Sacramento to the north (not a City fan), and many locations on the coast. Keep me in the loop. If anything, Fresno would be a great central meeting place for northern Californians and those from the south. Just sayin'! Bonon tagon! Plus, I have a home and spare room in Fresno, so you would have somewhere to stay...with free wi-fi. :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pdorcas
pdorcas
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Do you want me to put you on our local groups list as a contact for Fresno, California? If so, I need your email address for the list. Email me, Phil "filipo" Dorcas at filipo@grupoj.org. Check out the current list for California at: http://esperanto-usa.org/en/content/southwest

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/blindcat97

I would absolutely LOVE an event like this for beginner speakers! Personally, I am learning Esperanto all alone (with absolutely no one in my part of West Virginia learning it as well). I can read and write the language quite well, but with no one to talk or listen to, my listening and speaking skills are negligible at best. Unfortunately, like most people in this little mountain state, I'm very poor, and have no vehicle of my own with which to travel there. Given that none of my friends or family is interested in learning it with me, they would have little motivation to take me all the way to New York state.

Still, it is definitely interesting, and were it to become an actual event, I would do everything I could to find a way there. I would suggest running this idea through the forums and social networks of other learning platforms, especially Lernu, to see if you can amass a big enough group to put it into play!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/salivanto
salivanto
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Did I ask you already if you'd heard about the new group for people in WV and Western VA?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/salivanto
salivanto
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Coincidentally, I am tossing around the idea of cruising through WV (route 77) fairly soon.

BTW, I see a lot of people commenting that New York State is too far -- not many saying how far is NOT to far.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/orthohawk
orthohawk
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More than a 10 hour drive would be "too far"......at least for me. Now, NY would be OK if it were somewhere on the train line (Albany, Schnechtady, etc) but Lake George is just too out of the way.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/salivanto
salivanto
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How about a train to Rochester then a car pool? :-)

ARE (the Lake George Thing) happens every October - and will happen this October, regardless of how this discussion goes. I do think that having a track for beginners there is a good idea - but you're not a beginner, are you?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/IsaacLaws1

blinkcat97, I just started on iTalki. The site has some Esperanto speakers. Perhaps some Duolingo users should plan to meet there to practice speaking. I am "Isaac Laws" on iTalki. While you are far more advanced, you could find others who could speak with you in Esperanto.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/salivanto
salivanto
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I'm on iTalki too but I haven't been able to figure out what to do with it. I do a lot on FB, Duolingo, and HiNative.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/salivanto
salivanto
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Update. I'm on italki and I'm not offering lessons there as a community tutor.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/salivanto
salivanto
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Whoops, that last comment is supposed to say that I am on italki and I am NOW offering lessons. It started off slow, but now I'm giving several live lessons per day.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/salivanto
salivanto
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How about next month in Dayton Ohio?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ionasky
ionasky
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Wish i could but its a long way from the UK

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/taylorleigh93

I would definitely be interested. Already commented in the facebook group but wanted to leave it here too in case anyone isn't part of that group. I would be willing to travel within any midwestern states.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/salivanto
salivanto
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Isaac is AWESOME!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/IsaacLaws1

Thank you for keeping a version of those communications here as much as possible. Not everybody is FB-positive. :) Just sayin'. Peace!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/salivanto
salivanto
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Is Dayton OH midwestern?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ajtjp
ajtjp
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As a native of Columbus (45-60 minutes east of Dayton), I would say yes, though near the eastern edge of the Midwest. It's within a day driving of Illinois; Indiana; Ohio; most of Michigan, West Virginia, and Kentucky; western Pennsylvania; St. Louis; and southern Wisconsin. Too far east to reach the Great Plains states (western Midwest) in a day though. Also has halfway decent air service in Dayton itself and isn't too far to take a rental car from the airports in Cincinnati and Columbus.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/salivanto
salivanto
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I tried to contact the Pasporta Servo host in Columbus but I haven't heard back. I'm still trying to work out where I can stay -- but I'll be in the area soon. I'd love to see something put together.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pdorcas
pdorcas
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http://esperanto-usa.org/en/content/mid-atlantic If anybody is willing to be another contact in Ohio, let me know.
Phil "filipo" Dorcas.
filipo@grupoj.org

There was quite a bit of interest in Ohio in the FB page of Duolingo a few days ago. Boris Kolker is quite the expert. You are fortunate if you live near him or can meet with him. His Ph.D. is on Esperanto literature, or something like that. He immigrated from Russia when the wall came down in 1992. He was an Esperanto activist in Russia and wrote the book. "Esperanto, Voyagxo in Esperantolando" which is a great resource. He wants to activate some meetings in Ohio.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ajtjp
ajtjp
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I'd say I'd realistically be likely to attend, schedule permitting, an event like that in roughly the area between Indianapolis -> Lexington -> Charleston, WV -> Pittsburgh -> Toledo. Those are about half a day's drive, so I could drive out in an evening, and make it back on a Sunday without too much difficulty.

Farther afield and I'd be more likely to want it to roll in with other travel plans, or at least already have some more local Esperanto speaking experience first. That starts getting into either flights or time off work if it doesn't already line up with travel.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/salivanto
salivanto
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I'm still looking to get something going in that area.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ajtjp
ajtjp
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I'd almost certainly be up for that if it were in Dayton and pretty likely elsewhere in that area; still an outside chance I might do the events in NC in July if I resume my Esperanto. Would have to brush up though; haven't been on here in 6 months (and never finished the end of the tree) and while I'm pleased with how much I can still read, writing/speaking are rusty. The main thing is it is hard to stay motivated long enough to finish the tree without speaking opportunities (I've had about 3 time periods of 3-6 weeks where I've reviewed old content and done a bit of new content before drifting away, and not having spoken Esperanto in real life only really come back every 3-6 months because it's a cool idea).

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/salivanto
salivanto
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Here's why I'm asking. My sister is going to be in Dayton for a weekend next month. I'd like to go see her and if possible, I'd like to set up an Esperanto class along the way. I'm looking for someone to help organize it...

I sent you my e-mail address. It should show up as a notification... or try contacting me on Facebook.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/salivanto
salivanto
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I know many of the people said that Lake Gorge was too far to go - and I don't want to suck the momentum from those who are working to put something on closer to their own homes, but for those who CAN travel to Lake George, here is the FB event for the gathering. We've been listening to your feedback and want to make this the most beginner-friendly event yet.

https://www.facebook.com/events/878659765593725/

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/salivanto
salivanto
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Not quite a "study" weekend, but a beginner-friendly event in multiple locations on August 20. Here's a map showing where.

https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/viewer?mid=1QDbw7xejLC21u9-IBKXtW40ZM34

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JanjoPacejo

Speaking of August 20th, we'll be holding an event in Boston (USA). We're still planning the specific activities, although I think it will include a scavenger hunt and a walking tour. Beginners are always welcome. Here's our website: https://www.bostonesperanto.org/okazoj

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Eduardoefv

I would like to learn Esperanto but unfortunately it's not available in spanish but it will be pretty soon, so i'll wait for it.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/salivanto
salivanto
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There are other courses in Spanish. Here's a list I found. I don't think all the links work.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Eduardoefv

Is it worth it to learn Esperanto?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/salivanto
salivanto
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I'm going to ask people not to answer that question in this thread, since that's not the question I'm trying to raise. Have a look at some of these threads, which may be of interest if you're trying to decide whether Esperanto is worth it.

https://www.duolingo.com/comment/15562777

https://www.duolingo.com/comment/15285402

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pennybinker

Probably pick a tourist hot spot and see how many are interested? Myrtle Beach is the closest tourist hot spot to me. But there are others scattered about that many would be thrilled to visit.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/salivanto
salivanto
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I'd love to know more about this idea. My initial reaction is that this is the opposite approach of what I would take. Underscore, however, that this only means that I need people to spell it out for me. Does this idea have appeal? Is it feasible? Does anybody reading this have experience in this sort of thing?

The purpose of my original post was twofold: first, to explore whether it was worth including a beginner or intermediate track in an Esperanto event that is already scheduled this October, and second, to explore whether there was interest in the "study weekend" concept in general.

My thought (and as I said above, I could be wrong) is that tourist areas are expensive, and crowded, and they're the sort of places you go to when you want to explore that place -- not when you want to sit in a classroom or drill vocabulary or gather in a circle and play "ice breaker" games. There is certainly room in Esperanujo for active learning and active use of the language, and this happens as often as not in tourist areas. I just wonder how it would work out specifically for this concept - of giving beginners the support and encouragement they need to go to their first Esperanto event, knowing that there will be something geared for their level.


Two more thoughts on the above.

I have organized two weekend events that I have called Senkrokodila Semajnfino. These are active events with excursions to the zoo or a city center, or time playing cards or singing songs. I've had some total beginners (learning in the car on the way out) who have told me that they found this a good environment to learn in -- so all variations are possible -- and I would like beginners to feel comfortable even at a "non beginner" event, because there really is no such thing.

If I were to organize a "study weekend" it would not be just "sitting in a classroom" but the main purpose would be to use the language in its spoken form, and to use spoken examples to teach Esperanto vocabulary and grammar. Would being in a tourist area enhance or detract from that purpose?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/StultaSergalo

Ĝi devus esti en Indianao aŭ ie en la mezokcidento. Ne nur ĉar ĝi estas (proksime de) mia hejmŝtato, sed ankaŭ ĉar troviĝas nenio Esperanta ĉi tie kaj tio devas ŝanĝiĝi. Ankaŭ mi ne povas veturi tre malproksime de Indianao. La plej malproksime mi povus veturi estus la plej orienta rando de Ohio, kaj tio eble estus tro for de hejme por junulo kia mi.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/salivanto
salivanto
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Kion vi pensas pri Dayton Ohio?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KyleBailey_
KyleBailey_
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If I google, "Esperanto West Virginia," this discussion thread is the second result. I'm just gonna leave this here - https://www.meetup.com/Duolingo-Beckley-Esperanto-Meetup/

6 months ago
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