https://www.duolingo.com/ionasky

Have you tried the duolingo esperanto course?

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Have you ever thought of trying out the Esperanto course on Duolingo?

Well today is Zamenhof day - the anniversary of the birthday of the creator of the Esperanto language (the most successful and widely spoken created language) and round the world Esperanto speakers (many of who got their first taste of the language right here on Duolingo) upload short videos in their own language on why they learned Esperanto and how it impacts on their lives.

Here is a list of the first 10 I came across today- in english, german, french portuguese, spanish etc - its a language that reaches round the world - by the end of the day there will be hundreds more.

Maybe you should give it a go

Here are the ones from regular Duolingo users

Alex Miller https://youtu.be/7Tcb_7JyBEA

Evildea https://youtu.be/xIQb1Rn4Sfs

Language Stuff https://youtu.be/T5NN05mk0po

James Harland https://youtu.be/A_zFmTw248E

The entire Alexander family! https://youtu.be/ypdrFbEMbX4

And last but not least Iona-Sky (that's me!) https://youtu.be/YRjWI10e4wM

And some more from people I don't know, in lots of languages I don't have more than a passing ability with (if that) but whom I could definitely have understood if they had been speaking Esperanto.

https://youtu.be/JiivrL3SuzA https://youtu.be/ohn6gNcI-6w https://youtu.be/xjDkbeTUtr4 https://youtu.be/0MDeH8QcLH4 https://youtu.be/AJiUwVeWWW0

2 years ago

58 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/lovimoment

I love learning languages - I speak Russian, Spanish and Serbian/Montenegrin all fairly well (enough I can get around town, have a conversation one-on-one over coffee or a beer, etc.) and I know a little bit of ASL (American Sign Language), Italian, French, and Ukrainian (though not well enough to have a conversation in any of those). I'd ignored conlangs for a long time, dismissing them as "not real" languages and thought it was generally useless to waste time on a language that has no accompanying country I could visit or culture I could interact with. But as a linguist, my curiosity was piqued when I heard that learning Esperanto could help you learn other languages more quickly, and when I started reading about Zamenhof's life and the multicultural, multilingual milieu he was raised in, I came to really respect his goals and values. I don't think having a universal language will necessarily promote peace on a macro level (e.g., as a language of diplomacy), but on an everyday level, it gives people a much easier way to interact with people from other countries than for everyone to have to learn English. And although there is no physical Esperanto-land, there certainly is a culture of Esperanto, which is every bit as fascinating as a more traditionally defined culture. Moreover, Esperanto creates a beautiful common ground where people from various cultures can interact, share, and communicate on an equal footing. Also, as someone who's dabbled in many European languages, it's fun to pick out which features and vocabulary of the languages that Zamenhof and I share that he chose to put into Esperanto.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jorge.R.Nogueras

I, too, am greatly interested in the etymology of those Esperanto words that I don't immediately recognize. I always wonder what other languages I'm learning "for free" by learning Esperanto! ;-)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/v.ivanov
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> the etymology of those Esperanto words that I don't immediately recognize

In my case most often they are just German :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lovimoment

Since he's learning German, the ones he doesn't know are more likely the Russian words (like "vosto" for tail).

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/v.ivanov
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Good choice of a Russian word in Esperanto. Also „brovo“. Others are not words to be proud about, like vodko kaj pogromo :|

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lovimoment

It seems to me like most of the vocabulary was taken from Latinate languages or English, but a lot of the structure and grammar is Slavic. So whether he got those elements from Polish or Russian can't really be determined, since they're similar. Like the accusative case (though German has that as well) and some sentence construction (kiel...tiel... is very similar to kak...tak.., etc.). And with articles he sort of split the difference by using "la" for the definite article (the), but having no article for the indefinite (a/an). And also using a comma between a main clause and a subordinate clause (mi volas, ke...), which I know English and Spanish don't do, and I don't think other Latin languages do either.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/v.ivanov
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Ekzistas artikolo de franca slavisto Michel Duc Goninaz, kiu resumas la slavan influon al Esperanto. Estas, kiel vi diras, ne tiel okulfrape videbla, ĉar estas ĉefe ekster la vortaro.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ionasky
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Well said!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/abnry1

Look, how likely are you going to learn a new, traditional language, and learn it well? Not likely. You may complete the Duolingo course for French or German but you will have a world of more to learn to get any real satisfaction. Esperanto is different. It takes 15% of the time to learn, say 150-200 hours. I know people who sink that much time into video games in 6 months. And during that time, because of Esperanto's regularity, you will be able to read most anything with the help of a dictionary. The point is, learning Esperanto is a doable project with the most immediate gratification. I've only been learning for a month and I am so satisfied with my progress. Give it a try.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LelandBryantRoss
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Yes, we've had several people show up at Seattle Esperanto Society gatherings in the past couple years whose main tool for learning Esperanto was the Duolingo course, but who are already able to participate in conversation the very first time they meet a live speaker. I learned from a print book back in 1790 (er, 1970), and it was about six months before I met others who spoke it, but I was immediately able to participate even though all my learning was self-taught book reading. At that point I had two years of high school Russian under my belt, and my Esperanto fluency was already way better than my Russian.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ionasky
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Agreed!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JasonMey
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Esperanto is certainly alive and well in the world today. It's been wonderful to communicate with people from so many places by meeting them halfway. I'm always amazed to see posts in the main Esperanto group on Facebook with comments from just about every continent, and some from countries I honestly didn't know existed! I'm thrilled that the Esperanto for Spanish speakers course is available on Duolingo now, so hopefully I can meet more people from Spanish speaking countries. I'm very grateful to the Duolingo teams, both the main Duolingo team and the teams developing the courses, for giving me the opportunity to speak with people from all around the globe. And I'm happy to be a part of the Esperanto community. Bonan Zamenhof-an Tagon!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Emmett705338

yeah! Mi esperas ke vi havas feliĉan Zamenhofa Tago!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ionasky
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Ankaŭ vi!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/v.ivanov
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Esperanto is so good for finding native speakers of virtually any national language, most of them ready and happy to help. It always helped me with my linguistic adventures :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ionasky
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Indeed!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RaffeJay
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Mi amas Esperanto. Very new, only on level 8 as I am not the fastest learner in the world. I've always been rubbish at languages but have really taken to Esperanto.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ionasky
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I know how you feel. Its such a relief to find a language that you genuinely feel you CAN learn and have some prospect of becoming fluent in

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Osnakezz
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I've done the Esperanto course a while, and it is pretty good. It surprised me how easy the language was to learn, though.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EnglishTutorJay
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Wow I have new found enthusiasm to push my esperanto learning on Duolingo now, thanks Alex Miller: Fantastic video!

P.S. Great post, ionasky! Happy Zamenhof day!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ionasky
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Happy Zamenhof day to you as well!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexVaughnMiller

Glad I could be of service. Ĝis!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EZesperanto

zamenhof day!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Keltido

Love it. I found a book on it in a prison library, when my world was no bigger than 5ft by 9ft. I didn't think about the world back then. I never thought I'd meet people outside of my city or state. Now, I've conversed with people from Russia, China, Brazil, Germany, Africa, etc. Small time investment. Big pay off. And I don't have to learn another language to travel, or even know English.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/matfran2001
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Jes, mi faris la kurson de Esperanto el la angla, kaj nun mi faras la kurson de Esperanto el la hispana.

Mi ne praktikas Esperanton multe, malpli ol aliaj lingvoj, do mia nivelo en Esperanto estas ankoraŭ tre malalta.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Meddysong
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Kaj tamen vi sukcesis afiŝi vian komenton tute bone, malgraŭ via "malalta" nivelo :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/v.ivanov
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Normale homoj post duolingo ricevas multe da kuraĝo, sed faras erarojn en ĉiu frazo. Vi estas la mala, la bona ekzemplo :) Ĉu vi uzis aliajn lernilojn kaj metodojn aŭ nur praktikis en Duo?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/matfran2001
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Dankon :-) Mi komprenas skribitan Esperanton bone, sed mi ne povas paroli flue. Por atingi ĝin, mi bezonus praktiki preskaŭ ĉiutage.

Mi nur uzis Duolingo ĝis nun.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/v.ivanov
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Do mi devas iom ŝanĝi mian opinion pri Duolingo al eĉ pli pozitiva :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EZesperanto

i understood 75% of that and I sarted yesterday!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LelandBryantRoss
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I taught myself Esperanto in 1970 out of a textbook published in 1908. I've been a fluent speaker since about 1972, so the Duolingo Esperanto course is a bit beneath me ;-) but I do enjoy the Duolingo Esperanto Learners group on Facebook. I have never regretted learning it, and there have been times when it has practically saved my life (in particular one day in Zurich in March, 1973, when if I hadn't known Esperanto I would have had to sleep on the snowy streets). If I do a video today I think it'll be on how I made $1700 by knowing and using Esperanto, since one of the things people complain about is not being able to make monet off the language. The Seattle Esperanto Society will celebrate Zamenhof's BD (which is today) with a group lunch at The Old Spaghetti Factory, Sunday at 2 pm. If you're in the area and like spaghetti, drop on by (or you could just do the garlic bread and spumoni ice cream).

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexVaughnMiller

Thanks for helping to get the word out about Zamenhof Day! Between this holiday and the release of Star Wars: Rogue One and Super Mario Run, it's a pretty good day to be alive. #EsperantoLives #EsperantoLives2016

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lizsue
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Don't forget, Duolingo has two Esperanto courses now. ;)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/malnulo
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Thank you for this post.

Esperanto is the amazing middle place, a place where people of all languages can easily meet.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ionasky
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Nedankinde :-)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EZesperanto

jes!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/cmheerma
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Happy Zamenhof day. I just started Esperanto today.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ionasky
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Bone!!!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BarbaraSto11

I have found, in the Esperanto course, a supportive and lively community. I love learning the language and the people I get to talk to as a result!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EZesperanto

it is an amazingly easy yet useful language! A++

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JonathonPo10

I am so glad that Duolingo added the Esperanto module. I have wanted to learn this language for years, and now it has been made even easier than before. I am on level 9, but I can already read written Esperanto fairly well, at least enough to get the gist of it. I am a voracious learner, so I really appreciate how easy it is to review and strengthen vocabulary with Duolingo.

Feliĉan Zamenhof-Tagon! #EsperantoLives

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EZesperanto

mi estas tre falica!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ionasky
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Bonege!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LA95kr
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I agree that Esperanto is relatively easy and fun to learn, despite the fact that the pronouncation is a quite tricky.

By the way, Esperanto made me feel thankful for Dora the Explorer.

5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/solidgitarius
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I tried the course, and at first I really liked it, but ended up hating the language anyway, because its artificial nature shines through in the end. Plus I find some cultish vibes in the "community", and that really turns me off.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexVaughnMiller

I'm curious how much of a chance you gave the language before discarding it. I see next to your username you've achieved some impressive levels in other languages but did you reach even level two or three on Esperanto? If so, I'm wondering why no Esperanto accomplishments show up there.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/solidgitarius
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I reached level 14, but I deleted my Esperanto tree because I was upset for wasting my time. I also tried some immersion, I read the book 'Gerda Malaperis' and other short stories when it occurred to me that the language was not as easy as advertised and I really didn't like it anyway.

I kinda wanted to boycott the language, that's why I didn't want to see the Esperanto flag in my profile. I don't want anybody to get the idea from my profile that learning Esperanto is worth a try. I don't recommend it.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ionasky
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Well, an argument can be made that not everything suits everyone and i thank you for the courteous way you have responded. Enthusistic passion can be a bit tiring but i don't think it is any more cultlike than following a new diet, a football team or a TV show that you are really into. I do find the idea that one would actively irradicate any evidence you studied something lest others thought you wasted your time to be a bit unusual. I once studied all sorts of things i wouldn't now bother with but am not averse to others knowing i did so or doing so themselves if it floats their boats. I even look to tell them i know a bit about it so they can ask questions if they want to. But then in my opinion you can learn something from every experience - I would say in your case you learned that you don't like constructed languages. At least with esperanto it won't have taken you as much time to realise as it would with say klingon or hebrew . :-)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/solidgitarius
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I don't have a problem with people being enthusiastic about particular hobbies. If Esperantists thought of their language as just another hobby I wouldn't have a problem with it.

I am not afraid of people thinking I wasted my time. What I don't want to do is make other people waste their time as well. I don't want to support in any way the Esperanto brand, and I find this is perfectly reasonable.

I don't have a problem with the concept of constructed languages. I really wanted to like Esperanto, but it was not for me in the end.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lizsue
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I bet some Esperantists do think of it as just another hobby. Lots of people meet other people, make friends, form social circles, and in general get a lot of value out of their hobbies! :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lizsue
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Hebrew?

I thought Hebrew started off as a non-conlang with generations of native speakers, then was used only for religious stuff for centuries, then some constructed parts were added to the language for everyday secular use when people started raising their kids to be native speakers of Hebrew again, and now has some generations of native speakers again.

Could that mean Hebrew went from non-conlang to conlang to non-conlang again? ;)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ionasky
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I am betting there are many schools of thought. However it seems clear thatbmodern Hebrew although admittedly having its roots firmly in specific ancient languages nevertheless was deliberatly reconstructed and constructed for ease of use. ( as to some extant was esperanto which borrowed from a number of european languages) That makes it a conlang to all intents and purposes. The existence of native speakers, ie those who learn a language from birth, does not make that untrue. There are few thousand native speakers of esperanto but that doesn't stop it being a constructed language either.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Cangarwbach
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No language learning of any sort is wasting your time. That's a kind of silly and defeatist thing to say. It wasn't for you, which you've graciously noted, but it was also using your brain and keeping it active - that's never a waste.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexVaughnMiller

That makes sense. And I would agree that it's not without its faults. The similarity in sound among all the pronouns and verb tenses can lead to misunderstandings quite easily (especially in these Duolingo exercises where you're hearing a sentence out of context and straining to tell if he said "ni" or "mi" at the start). I obviously still think the good outweighs the bad but hearing out criticism is better than ignoring it. Thanks for weighing in after trying it instead of just blindly saying it sucks.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/senesperulo

Gave it a solid try, didn't like it.

Can't say fairer than that!

Not everyone will like it - I have some reservations myself - but at least you didn't dismiss it out of hand - thanks for the feedback! :-)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/cdub4language
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I was gonna say, this is probably the most peaceful conversation between Esperanto enthusiasts and someone who doesn't like Esperanto that I've ever seen! solidgitarius I really appreciate your thoughtful dislike of Esperanto. In Esperantujo we get tired of people criticizing the language while having zero knowledge of it (which maybe makes us defensive?). "There are no books written in Esperanto" and things like that. It's actually refreshing to see someone dissenting with an educated opinion.

And yeah, Esperanto has a way of making us really excited about it, which I can see having a cultish vibe at times. I started Esperanto simply as part of my language learning hobby ("You mean you're not really into the Esperanto movement?" said the people at the local club) but then it really grew on me. (Relative) language neutrality, helps with other languages, affix system like a box of legos, international community... For a while I had to really remind myself that not all people are as excited about Esperanto as I was ;-) It's not for everyone, and that's OK.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HarloweRay

I've repeatly tried learning eo using doulingo, but my very logical brain can not process the stilted unnaturtural EN translations. When using douingo EO I always end up with a damn headache! Thus I always run out of lives. DELETE!! I will return to learning the old school way, from a damn book, using memrise, and repeatedly watching Mazi en Gollando cartoons.

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jorge.R.Nogueras

Learning only through translation exercises is not without its faults, and certainly Duolingo is not a good match for everyone's learning style. I'm glad you gave it a try, but if other learning methods are more suited to how you learn languages, by all means use them instead. I'm glad you'll still try to learn Esperanto, though. :-) Good luck!

4 months ago
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