https://www.duolingo.com/SimplyBac

Will Esperanto Ever Become a Big Language! (EN)

Hello all!

This is my first post on duolingo so I am very happy!

I would like your opinions on how big do you think Esperanto will get. I asked Evildea about this and he said maybe around 5 years it will get bigger.

Will the UN (United Nations) ever look at Esperanto (again).

I would really like to go to someone and say "I speak Esperanto" and they understand what it is.

And I feel like if they taught Esperanto in schools around the world, including Japan (which allows people to learn the Latin Alphabet) everyone can talk freely.

I also notice something very similar with this, and something else. Bitcoin. Think about it.

So my question: How long will it take until Esperanto has global recognition?

1 year ago

34 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/salivanto
salivanto
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Always remember. Esperanto wasn't born yesterday.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CreedeLambard

Well, more like, Rome////Esperanto wasn't built in a day.

There's probably an entry in the Proverbaro for that, and if there isn't, there should be.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SimplyBac

Another reason why it should be bigger in my opinion. Over all these years Esperanto should be much bigger than it is currently.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/salivanto
salivanto
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On the contrary, I think it's a veritable miracle that someone invented a language on his own and I can speak it 130 years later and find plenty of fun people to talk to.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CreedeLambard

^^^^ this

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ziniamanto

well, when one considers that it took about 3 or 4 times that long for arabic numberals to be universal, I think Esperanto is doing pretty well.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/salivanto
salivanto
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Yep.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Pullearner

Not long,duolingo has about 900,000 learners

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BerberuEsperanto

924k from EN + 156k from ES to be precise, with current growth of 1.1mn/yr.

Portuguese is hatching up with 21% done. Expect a new very keen group to join later in the year.

In a couple of years it will start to challenge the Norwegian/Danish speakers in size (also Slovakia and since the breakup of Yugoslavia all the states are easier to conquer). That's significant EU milestone. Time to get a membership.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GreyPhoenix

That's impressive!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/amuzulo
amuzulo
Mod
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Over a million if you also cound the people learning Esperanto from Spanish! :)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CreedeLambard

Esperanto is already a big language. :)

I have said in other forums that what Esperanto really needs to get mainstream attention is a reason to use it that is so compelling that people will learn the language so they can do that compelling thing. The example I've used was Lotus 1-2-3, which was so compelling that it kickstarted the growth of the PC industry as we know it today.

Unfortunately I don't know what such a compelling reason would look like, other than the acceptance of Esperanto as a working language by the EU or the UN (neither of which seems likely at present).

Personally, I'd be ecstatic if Esperanto could demonstrate that it had as many speakers as one of the mid-tier European languages, like maybe Norwegian or Lithuanian.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SimplyBac

It really does need mainstream attention. I agree

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Luko.
Luko.
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Its now in the level of the Celtic languages, which is fair enough

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/M.5dd5
M.5dd5
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I think the most compelling reason for Esperanto is its propaedeutic value. The classic (original) experiment involved a two groups studying French in high school. There were two groups, one that studied Esperanto first for one year and then french for three years. The other group studied French for all four years. Because Esperanto is so easy to learn, the first group went on to learn Esperanto to a very high level. Then, they learned as much (or more) french in 3 years than the control group learned in four. Esperanto is the perfect second language to learn.

Because you're not just learning the language itself, you're learning about how languages are put together. Esperanto should be taught in every primary school. One, it will help you understand the grammatical concepts in your own language (because those same concepts are so elegantly and regularly developed in Eo). And two, it's the perfect bridge if you want to go on and learn a third or fourth language. There are tons of other side benefits to teaching Esperanto to kids (for example, esperanto's regular number system makes a lot of mathematical concepts more easy to understand). I personally think that's the big feature of Esperanto, and how we might eventually get it to be more widespread. Not teaching it to become an international language, but teaching it as a tool for language learning in general and for its many other benefits. If we try to sell parents on some hippie notions of universal communication, you're going to get eye rolls. But if you can show them that it will help their kids learn the things that will help them do better in school and life (better understanding of their own language, better understanding of math/basic numeracy, better ability to learn additional national languages, etc...) then I think you'll see people coming on board. There's now a group doing exactly that. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8gSAkUOElsg I think it's the best path forward for Esperanto. And as more people learn it and learn about it, all the other good things about it will grow as well.

3 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sebastians.s
sebastians.s
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It might be cool to see Esperanto take off, but I personally don't think it will ever reach its goal of becoming a universal language since the most "universal" language we have right now is English.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CreedeLambard

Keep in mind that a hundred years ago you could have substituted "French" for "English" and made the same argument. In fact that argument was part of the excuse for scuttling Esperanto as a working language of the League of Nations.

Things change, and it's possible that English will someday fall out of favor as the world's lingua franca.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/amuzulo
amuzulo
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And a few centuries earlier than that: Latin.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BerberuEsperanto

And Latin became popular after the fall of the Roman empire. Now English language is commercial lingua-esperanta(lol) that is left for the people to use the way they like, therefore Englishes/Globish(1500 words) is the most spoken dialect/subset.

It's up to people/cultures to find more effective/efficient way to communicate. With the internet, the evolution cycles are shortening.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BerberuEsperanto

International English that has emerged is radically different from native dialects of English. Because people learn standardised, simplified (less idiomatic) form of English to communicate in international business (often with other nonnative speakers). You might understand them, but they might not understand native speakers. It's their language.

It's matter of time when people consider efficiency of their time.

In IT the tools change all the time. Why not in communication?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HokonoSerejdo
HokonoSerejdo
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It’s a good point. Internationally understood English is not the same as Native English, and Brits in particular struggle to communicate with non-native speakers.

If anyone should be pushing for Esperanto to be a world language, it should be native English speakers, as it would make it a lot easier for them to communicate precisely and with intended nuance and precision if both they and whoever they spoke to knew Esperanto.

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jdroege

A couple of people mentioned English, French and Latin as "universal languages." I think the difference for Esperanto is that is not a FORCED language. You don't have to speak it because of economic or military power. I imagine children were told 2000 years ago to study their Latin so they could grow up and get a good job!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CreedeLambard

"Si hoc signum legere potes, operis boni in rebus Latinis alacribus et fructuosis potiri potes!"

(Alleged to mean "If you can read this sign, you can get a good job in the fast-paced, high-paying world of Latin!"

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jdroege

I think Esperanto already has global recognition.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GreyPhoenix

There are a few schools that teach Esperanto to children already, although the goal there isn't so much lifelong usage of Esperanto as it is an easy introduction to learning additional languages. If you haven't seen it already, this TED talk is really interesting: https://youtu.be/8gSAkUOElsg

I think Esperanto is already growing in popularity much more quickly than in recent decades, thanks in large part to Duolingo (and the internet in general). I don't know whether it will ever become an official international language (there's too much financial interest behind English or Chinese or another "natural" language to compete with them), but I do think a day will come when people will understand what you're talking about when you say you speak Esperanto. Already it's an option to use with several websites, as well as mobile keyboards (SwiftKey even has decent Esperanto prediction!). Things are definitely headed in the right direction.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BerberuEsperanto

This is Political question, not logical.

Reminder of former discussion - https://www.reddit.com/r/duolingo/comments/26yht7/why_is_esperanto_in_such_demand_compared_to/

"...now I am literally obsessed with Esperanto. It's deceptively fun, insanely easy, accessible to most learners, and (this is just my humble opinion of course) aesthetically gorgeous! I love how it looks written out, and even more how it sounds when spoken. I love how it sounds like the oddball love-child of Italian and Russian. I even love that damned accusative case. But even more, I love how after learning it for only 3 months and still being somewhat of a beginner, I've been able to have conversations with Venetians and Catalonians about secession movements, Ukrainians and Russians about Putin, etc. etc. The way it enables me to bypass gatekeepers of opinion and talk to the people actually living through these unfolding global developments (who may not necessarily share my first language) is something I really dig. Esperanto's 130 years old, but it seems almost tailor-made for the Internet age, and I think if its proponents can overcome people's (somewhat justifiable) scepticism towards the language, its best years are most definitely ahead of it, not behind it."

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RandallBur4

There are hundreds of millions of people attempting to learn english. Few of them will ever attain real fluency despite a lot of hard work. Similarly there are people attempting to learn other major world languages as second languages with similar results.

There are various studies that suggest that learning esperanto first could help some of those folks get a better result.

IF that effect becomes well better understood then the number of esperanto learners could increase rather significantly.

Folks vary quite a bit in their ability to learn a 2nd language. The "Esperanto effect" seems the biggest for those that need it the most.

https://www.duolingo.com/comment/16827631/Learn-Esperanto-First

There are a over 1 Billion people that speak only a language with fewer than 50 million speakers. Many of those folks speak languages with far less collective economic clout than esperanto speakers already have. There are also a billion people who are illiterate in language.

There are some pieces missing. a) compelling recent data that shows the esperanto effect. There is data but it is mixed and it isn't clear who esperanto works best for in learning target languages. Obviously some folks succeed without esperanto, but a lot of folks fail. We don't know just how many might succeed learning via esperanto.

b) courses in major world languages like English, Chinese, French, Spanish for esperanto speakers

c) an android app that teaches esperanto and basic literacy via pictures so someone who is intelligent and motivated, but starting from scratch can learn esperanto. Lernu. net is great for folks that speak 34 major languages and are literate enough to use the web. Those aren't the folks most in need of i) a new language ii) help learning a major world language.

c) tablets configured to give access to the web via esperanto and automated translation tools. Much of that already exists. For some applications, this might be enough.

People that already speak a world language often don't have much obvious need of esperanto. there are people spending hundreds of hours attempting to learn a major world language with limited results and limited capabilities.

There is a potential for esperanto to help solve that issue.

Anyhow these are the directions from which I think the next 10 million esperanto speakers will come from.

I don't think English by itself can occupy all the important niches.

People that regularly use esperanto has been growing at 9% /year since inception. I doubt it will become big in my lifetime, but if present trends continue, Esperanto will outstrip quite a few natural languages in another 130 years.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RandallBur4

One niche where esperanto is more important than its numbers might indicate is as a pivot language. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pivot_language one a few languages occupy that niche much at all: English, French, Russian and Arabic are the giants, but Esperanto and Interlingua have been active topics of research.

UNL https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_Networking_Language is a machine oriented conlang ment to accurately represent a broad range of human languages. I suspect Esperanto is a better partner for UNL than the natural language alternatives and that ease of learning is a major factor for that role.

UNL is important for automatic translation. However, machine translation is a long ways from being 100% perfect and human readable representations of UNL will be necessary to make really good semi-automatic translations from documents.

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BerberuEsperanto

Great points and Esperanto can be that (neglected?) human-readable representation of UNL, so we can verify why the robots/chatBots made specific decisions. Imagine when the advanced vacuum cleaner (that knows the floor plan) can watch and protect the baby from crawling/walking in dangerous areas, then protect/communicate gradually and teach Esperanto. The family can teach their native languages, but the baby will be ready to talk to the world and the new class of billions of robots! (how many exclamations do we need?)

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RandallBur4

Esperanto cannot represent anything close to 100% of UNL. However, translating from Esperanto to UNL is going to be much easier than for natural languages and much more reliable I think that Esperanto will reliably represent what it can of UNL and there will be exceptions. That may drive some extensions to Esperanto in time.

I think it may make much more sense for folks that want to publish a universally accessible material in Esperanto than English from a standpoint of reliable translation into UNL and from there into other languages. I do not have anything yet to back that up, but just a strong hunch and some experience working with AI systems.

I think we are still a ways from automatic translation being truly reliable for natural languages. For the next 10-20 years, we are still looking at improving semi-automatic translation to extend the capabilities of human translators and to help more human translatators reliably take works from their native languages into UNL.

6 months ago
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