Duolingo is the most popular way to learn languages in the world. Best of all, it's 100% free!

https://www.duolingo.com/Nick447035

What languages do Esperanto help you with and in what way?

I've heard Esperanto is a mix of the romance languages and Germanic languages, but I want more specific details. For example, let's say it uses Spanish verb endings with Italian past tense, German sentence structure and French vocabulary (just a random example). Like which languages are essentially a part of Esperanto and in what way? Or is it not that black and white? If it's not, then I guess tell me how Esperanto can help me learn German vs Italian vs French, etc...

5
10 months ago

11 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/salivanto
salivanto
  • 19
  • 13
  • 8
  • 937

Esperanto helps me with all languages. There's not a language that I can understand (even if only a little) where I don't rely in some way on my knowledge of Esperanto. This includes my native language (English). Usually it comes down to familiar vocabulary - but an obvious example is that when learning Mandarin or Japanese, I didn't really have to think about what a question particle is, and sometimes it's easier to visualize sentence structure by literally translating into Esperanto than into English.

7
Reply310 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jirka92122
jirka92122
  • 23
  • 20
  • 11
  • 9
  • 4

Esperanto is bad for my English. It makes me think that English should also make sense. The other day I was at a coffee shop and I couldn't log in to their wifi because their password was "craftcoffee". But my brain was telling me that craft is spelled with a k, because that's what you'd do in Esperanto (or Czech, so maybe we can't blame it on Esperanto). My wife had to give me a weird look before I realized what I was doing :)

2
Reply110 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/salivanto
salivanto
  • 19
  • 13
  • 8
  • 937

Kraft is only for cheese.

1
Reply10 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JasonMey
JasonMey
  • 20
  • 19
  • 7
  • 7
  • 5
  • 853

Esperanto will teach you the basics of learning languages in general. Specific benefits exist for certain languages, like learning the accusative case for German or future tense for Romance languages, and the vocabulary is a mix of European languages, but the most important factors are related to how to learn languages. And there are concepts that are found in non-European languages too, like agglutination, which occurs in Korean.

I like to compare it to vaccination: it gives you an easy to deal with language to teach you how to learn more difficult ones.

6
Reply110 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ionasky
ionasky
  • 22
  • 19
  • 15
  • 13
  • 11
  • 8
  • 8
  • 6
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 3
  • 3
  • 3
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 892

Nice analogies.

3
Reply10 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/flootzavut
flootzavutPlus
  • 24
  • 18
  • 18
  • 17
  • 14
  • 13
  • 12
  • 12
  • 12
  • 11
  • 8
  • 8
  • 7
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 5
  • 5
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 23

That vaccination comparison is both hilarious and accurate!

1
Reply10 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SeptimusBones
SeptimusBones
  • 19
  • 19
  • 17
  • 16
  • 15
  • 15
  • 14
  • 10
  • 9
  • 9
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 7
  • 6
  • 4
  • 2

When people say "Esperanto is a mix of European languages", what they really mean is "Esperanto's vocabulary is based on European languages". So for example, "birdo" (bird) comes from English, "hundo" (dog) from Germanic languages, "dormi" (to sleep) from Romance languages, "kaj" (and) from Greek and so forth. Apart from some very broad things however (SVO word order etc.), Esperanto's grammar is its own. Similarities of course exist there as well, but they cannot really be described as a mix in the same vain as vocabulary. So if one doesn't know any European languages, Esperanto is a good introduction in general terms, but I wouldn't say it could guide towards any one language specifically.

Thus, the benefit (or lack thereof) of Esperanto most distinctly stems from similarities in vocabulary. It's also a fairly good choice for a beginner's first 'foreign' language, as it is relatively-speaking very simple, and thus can help grasp methods and quirks of language learning in general. That said, in my personal opinion, if you want to learn a specific European language (say, French), it's a better idea to simply study that language. That'll be much more efficient. Esperanto's vocab helpfulness, to me anyway, only really starts applying when dealing with multiple languages.

5
Reply10 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BerberuEsperanto

You are right that the words do no make the language, but the whole system/grammar - which is neutral.

If learning French as 1st non-native language, then research shows: 1yr Esperanto+4yrs French is better than 5yrs French (unless coming from a close family).

Esperanto principles help improve other spoken languages.

1
Reply10 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jal
jalPlus
  • 25
  • 17
  • 16
  • 15
  • 11
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 1133

Hi Nick, as others have said, it's not that it takes the elements you describe in a Frankenstein's monster mashup of European languages. It's that the vocabulary is easily learned and recognised, at least for native speakers of European languages, and that the grammar is simple and regular, and it makes explicit the classes of word that you're using.

So it helps with learning other languages in two ways. One is that it gets people comfortable with understanding grammar, and that helps uncover the bones of it and other languages. I find myself thinking slightly differently and more analytically about my own native language, which is English.

The other way, is that it's consistency and simplicity make it far easier to learn than national languages, and this can be a real confidence boost for the many people who believe that they're not cut out for language learning. This is an idea that Tim Morley put across very well in this TEDx talk on his project called "Springboard to Languages", which teaches Esperanto to primary school kids in England: https://youtu.be/8gSAkUOElsg

Best wishes,

Anna

2
Reply10 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jzsuzsi
jzsuzsi
  • 25
  • 25
  • 19
  • 19
  • 14
  • 13
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 8
  • 7
  • 7
  • 7
  • 6
  • 6
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 10

Esperanto has a simplified grammar, so it can teach grammar terms, like what is the difference between an adverb and an adjective. (In Esperanto all adverbs end in e, and all adjectives end in a, so it is a clear distinction) In this way, it can help with all languages.

Next to a plural noun you use a plural adjective -- this similar to Romance languages.

Has the accusative case-- Helps with languages that have the accusative case.

The phonology and spelling rules are similar to Slavic languages. For example "c" in Esperanto sounds like c in Polish, Czech, Slovak, Hungarian, and NOT like the c in English. (Hungarian is not Slavic, but uses the same c sound. )

ŝ in Esperanto = š in Czech and Slovak (it makes a sh sound)

2
Reply10 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jdroege

I think it is more correct to say that Esperanto has a simple grammar; not simplified. Pidgin English has a simplified version of English grammar. Also, "simple" does not mean "incomplete".

3
Reply10 months ago