https://www.duolingo.com/BrooklynSparrow

Real or not?

My mom doesn't want me to learn Esperanto because it's "not a real language". But I like learning it. but I was actually wondering, if it truely is a real language?

1 year ago

25 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/salivanto
salivanto
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Dear BrooklynSparrow's Mom,

I can certainly understand your thought that Esperanto is not a real language. As a father and Esperanto speaker for almost two decades, I have gotten very used to people's various reactions upon learning that I speak it fluently. Someone actively involved with speaking Esperanto will have to spend a lot of time explaining why this is really a reasonable thing to do. In that sense, you're right. It's not a real language because you have to constantly explain to people what it's good for.

On the other hand, as a father, I have seen the benefits of a child knowing Esperanto. My oldest son would understand words like "subterranean" from a very young age because he knew that "sub" meant under. and "terra" meant ground - from the fact that he spoke Esperanto fluently. In this sense you're wrong about Esperanto not being real. It is a real language because it's possible to learn to speak it fluently and it opens a window into seeing other cultures and other people in ways that would not be possible without Esperanto.

One of the important qualities of Esperanto is that it was designed to be easy to learn, so a young person can gain fluency in Esperanto faster than with other languages, which boosts confidence and boosted confidence boosts the young person's ability to learn other languages. Not to mention that the vocabulary learned in Esperanto is useful in many different contexts.

Ultimately, though, sometimes you've got to run with the teachable moment. If BrooklynSparrow is interested in Esperanto now, squashing that interest wouldn't generate an interest in a different topic. Strike when the iron is hot. If s/he is interested in Esperanto now, s/he will pick it up quickly. Then later if circumstances or interest changes, it will always be possible to learn something different - and many of the topics and vocabulary will already be familiar from Esperanto.

Amike salutas vin, Tomaso ALEXANDER Esperanto teacher and father of three.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Mutusen
Mutusen
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People use Esperanto every day to chat with friends, give lectures, read books, sing, joke, flirt, gossip, raise their children. It is undeniably a real language.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/cliff900
cliff900
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I had similar thoughts before I studied the language. Here's just one real-life example of how it's a real language that pops in my head: I'm currently reading "La Hobito" which is the Esperanto translation of Tolkien's famous "The Hobbit". I bought it from Amazon.com. It is perfectly readable and within it almost every circumstance of life that you can imagine (including fights with giant spiders, of course) is expressed using the language. There's no way a not-real language could do that, in my opinion :)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ZofiC
ZofiC
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It depends what you mean by real. You can talk to other people using Esperanto. Just because it's constructed doesn't make it any less functional. Perhaps it makes it more functional.

I won't tell you what to do, but if you enjoy it, notice that. Esperanto has much in common with some European languages that maybe your mother does want you to learn, and it certainly can help you learn those other languages by teaching grammar and vocabulary.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/knudvaneeden
knudvaneeden
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-No, Esperanto is a so called constructed language, created by a single person so he was able to choose his own design and rules.

-It has been designed to have relatively simple rules and basically no exceptions.

-Actually there are (only) 16 (grammar) rules in Esperanto http://www.esperanto-chicago.org/16rules.htm

-In other other languages like Spanish, Hungarian, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Arabic, ... there are many more (grammar) rules to remember and very many exceptions, which you all have to remember and apply if you want to do it really right. Because this languages have grown over the course of thousands of years, many historical traditions and influences have shaped that languages over that long period of time, so it is not that regular anymore with many changes which remained and you have to know.

-So Esperanto should be easy to learn, as it it simpler than most languages and using the (16) rules you can kind of construct yourself the answer to most if not all conjugations.

-One of the nice things about Esperanto is that if you speak it you can travel around the world and meet other Esperanto speakers. They have a system that gives you the opportunity to stay with them. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pasporta_Servo

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HappyEvilSlosh
HappyEvilSlosh
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-Actually there are (only) 16 (grammar) rules in Esperanto http://www.esperanto-chicago.org/16rules.htm

It's not true, those 16 rules don't completely describe Esperanto grammar from nothing, it apparently takes about 50 pages (which in fairness is at least four times less space than it takes to describe any natural language). For example the rules don't say anything about syntax.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/knudvaneeden
knudvaneeden
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OK, thanks.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BerberuEsperanto

Esperanto is a planned Real language, as real as the millions of people that speak/spoke in the 130 years in most of the real countries in the world.

Yet, people constantly watch unreal movies, read unreal stories, and believe in unreal things. Just follow your real motivation and you can do real and 'unreal' things in your life.

Maybe you can show your mum some real examples, like doing a real academic work using the real language https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akademio_Internacia_de_la_Sciencoj_San_Marino

Bon┼Łancon

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ionasky
ionasky
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Yes its a real language, it just does not belong to one particular country or race of people. It is however based on seven or eight natural languages such as english, german, french, etc. People can and do use it to do everything ethnic languages do and therre are more people able to speak esperanto than for example welsh which is an old and respected ethnic language which was almost lost and is now being revived. The number of speakers is not the point- the way it changes your mind , helps you learn other languages and adds to your skills is. Also its fun.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/seveer
seveer
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Is a Recorder a real instrument?

The presumption that is probably being made by your mother is that it is a waste of time to learn Esperanto because it is not a prestigious or very commonly used language. So your most effective avenue for convincing her may be to argue for the Propaedeutic value of Esperanto:

Even if you never use Esperanto for anything "useful," there is some strong evidence that the act of learning it before learning a natural language is actually more effective than spending all the time you spent learning both on only the natural language by itself. This is partly because Esperanto can be learned so quickly and thus a moderate level of fluency can be achieved relatively easily.

Having the "ah-ha" moment of fluency attainment then translates to other languages, greatly accelerating the learning process. The joy of experiencing real proficiency in a second language for the first time also catalyzes one's commitment, incentives, and self-confidence that one can do so again with another language.

Just as children learn the recorder so that they will be able to learn "real" musical instruments later, with a firm grasp of the fundamentals of music, and the techniques of practice and study under their belts, so Esperanto provides a firm grounding in language acquisition which will help with a "real" language your mother may have more respect for. It is my experience that telling people they are right (provisionally) usually results in better results than trying to convince them they are wrong. If you tell your mother "you're right, Esperanto is a toy, BUT it will help me learn other languages much faster," you may get a better result than if you try to convince her (rightly) that Esperanto deserves respect as a language in its own right.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/cdub4language
cdub4language
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If people are using it to communicate, then I'd say yes, it's a real language by my standards. I have friends/acquaintances with whom I speak Esperanto far more than any other language (yes they speak some English too, but their English is much worse than their Esperanto, so it's far more comfortable to speak Esperanto and be on a more level ground with each other). I regularly listen to favorite songs in Esperanto. There's a card game that I've only learned how to play in Esperanto (I learned it from Esperanto speakers at a meetup), and if I ever want to teach non-Esperanto speakers I'll have to translate the rules into English :-P Even the pope gives blessings in Esperanto!

Negative reactions to Esperanto are nothing new: http://claudepiron.free.fr/articlesenanglais/reactions.htm

If you're having fun with Esperanto, I'd say go for it. It doesn't take much time and yet even a bit of studying it can give you a leg up for other languages, especially Romance ones. Plus you're having fun, and learning Esperanto is certainly a hobby that exercises your brain more than binge-watching netflix. I find it odd that people who learn Esperanto for fun are criticized so much more than people who (for example) play chess for fun. I enjoy both but in the end knowing Esperanto has been the one I actually use regularly for many purposes.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/knudvaneeden
knudvaneeden
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Interesting that you have met people that speak Esperanto.

Let me tell that I have never met anybody (e.g. during travel) that spoke Esperanto, and I have been in something like 41 countries until now. Never ever how is that possible.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BerberuEsperanto

Esperanto is a planned language. If you don't plan your travels you reduce(d) your chances of meeting with Esperanto speakers.

"When I go to countries whose language I don't speak, such as Lithuania, Sweden, Czech Republic & Poland in past, I use Esperanto extensively. I call ahead in order to ensure that local Esperanto speakers will host me or will take time to show me their city & their way of life & I always come back with much richer experience than you could get as tourist."-Judith Meyer

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/cdub4language
cdub4language
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Esperanto is one of those things where if you don't know it exists or don't look for it, you won't see it, but once you look, it's much more widespread than you'd think. I once mentioned it to a friend who denied vehemently that there were any Esperantists in the area, until a quick internet search revealed an active local group in the nearest bigger city (this came up after I mentioned I'd seen Esperanto posters in our small town, so at least one Esperanto speaker was in the area). There may not be a huge number in most places but there are a few in very widespread and often unexpected places.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/cdub4language
cdub4language
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Also you wouldn't particular know if the person is an Esperanto speaker unless they had some sort of pin or t-shirt, so who knows, maybe you actually did meet one

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BasCostBudde
BasCostBudde
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It's fake. Total disaster. ;) Yet it has enabled me to talk with an Italian guy, who works in a door factory, had studied the language for three months, and I learned about the education of his family, the things he likes about working with his hands, the places he visits. It allowed me to talk with someone from Poland about changing situation in his school in great detail. I had a discussion with someone from Mexico recently about something we misunderstood, and got to the point we were both able to apologize and get to agree (you go try that in spanish). I spoke with someone from Egypt about how he lost his girlfriend.

Keep on learning it. It will cost you very little.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jdroege

Esperanto is real. It is at least as real as Morse Code, American Sign Language, BASIC and Klingon. The huge advantage of Esperanto is that it was designed to be an easily learned language by everyone.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HappyEvilSlosh
HappyEvilSlosh
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Morse code is a code (think "alphabet"), not really a language. :)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jdroege

While I sort of agree with you, I would also have to maintain that Morse (as spoken by the Amateur Radio community) has its own culture, accent, etc. which would probably make it qualify as a "language." It probably hangs on the definition of "language!"

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Grimnir99

Morse code is not a language, it's a method of communicating in whatever language you're using it for. If Morse code is a language, then writing English vs speaking English would both be considered different languages. It's not a language.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JoshuaSmit942625

Who cares about your mother's input? If you want to learn a language, learn it.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HappyEvilSlosh
HappyEvilSlosh
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If I were you my first question to your mother would be to ask her to define what she means by "real language" (and for yourself ask what it means for something to be a "real language"). Then ask if Esperanto fits the definition. Assuming you haven't accidentally redefined natural language I think you'll find it is.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Grimnir99

It's definitely a real language. It didn't evolve naturally like other languages, but it is as real as they come. People speak it, it has native speakers, it's arguably the most straight forward and well crafted language ever and it's simplicity and those with the dream of a universal second language will keep it alive, and it deserves to stay alive. It's the ideal language and it needs speakers to push it.

If it had a region on this planet where people spoke it everywhere and it was the majority, then I think this misconception that it isn't a "real" language would disappear, but unfortunately it doesn't have it's own corner of this planet, it's speakers are mixed in all over the planet instead of being tightly packed into a small area like most languages.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/cdub4language
cdub4language
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It actually has evolved naturally since its creation. It was planned originally but when you have 100+ years of a community using the language, language evolution does indeed happen. Words are adapted/changed, slang words are coined, etc. With all the affixes in Esperanto it's easy to use a "new" word that's still comprehensible to other speakers too.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Samandriel6

Yes esperanto is a real language and there are many native speakers

1 year ago
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