Esperanto grows in China, helps people from different cultures & backgrounds express themselves
When Xu Jie came across a book introducing Esperanto while browsing in his university library years ago, he had no idea of the exciting journey that lay ahead.
"I found it an interesting and easy language to learn, but I never thought it could become part of my life and career," he said.
Xu, who is in his 30s, has friends from various countries, cultures and social backgrounds. He socializes with fine and interesting people from all walks of life and even has a start-up with people from seven different countries. He attributes all of it to one thing: Esperanto.
"Esperanto allows us to interact with the world without being brainwashed, not like English," he said. "It is neutral and equal, and it doesn't have any Western mainstream cultural value attached to it, and I think that's a part of the reason East Asian people like it."
I really like that they included this quote. A lot of the criticism of Esperanto is that it's too European and therefore not neutral, but for the most part the people making that criticism are from the west, not people from other language families who actually deal with Esperanto not being based on their languages. It seems they see Esperanto as more neutral than Europeans or Americans.
Great quote! I heard this criticism a few times lately, so I asked a teachers who've taught Esperanto all over the world. He said to me that it was not harder for a Chinese or Japanese pupil to learn Esperanto than it had been for me a Hungarian, whose mother tongue is non-indoeuropean. So generally it takes 150* (one hundred and fifty) hours and a few extra (but less than ten) to learn this latin-styled, phonetic but not tonal alphabet for an Asian pupil who hasn't learnt any European languages before.
So, it seems true that Esperanto is the easiest (full value European styled) language to learn for everybody.
*for an average Hungarian speaker who hasn't learnt before any foreign languages and spends 1-2 hours a day learning Esperanto, according to my teacher's 30 years of experience in teaching Esperanto.