Hello everybody!

Today I stumbled over something completely new for me: Esperanto!

I have NEVER heard of that before in my whole life!

Well, it's safe to say I am already really interested and willing to give it a shot. I heard that Esperanto is a fairly easy language and I also noticed that the DuoLingo tree is far shorter than all the others.

How far will Duolingo get you here? Is it so short because the language is easier or will there be an update someday?

I would really love to hear your thoughts and advice!

February 4, 2018



It's pretty safe to say that Esperanto is significantly easier to learn than any other fully functional language, and that you can get further/better at it than any other language in the same time.

The tree is fairly short, but a great deal of that is because of how Esperanto works:

All of the letters are pronounced the same way every time - no time wasted learning when certain letters are silent, no, 'there, they're, their' confusion - if you can hear it, you can write it; if you can see it, you can say it.

By combining word roots with various affixes, you can create many more words,

Manĝi - to eat. Mi - Me / I. Mi manĝas - I eat / I am eating. Mi manĝis - I ate / I was eating. Mi manĝos - I will eat / I will be eating. Mi manĝus - I would eat. Manĝu! - Eat!

And those verb endings (-i, -as, -is, -os, -us, -u) are the same for every verb. No need to learn a ton of exceptions, just swap the endings for the verb you need. And they don't change for person,

Kuri - to run. Mi kuras - I run / I am running. Vi kuris - You ran / You were running. Li kuros - He will run / He will be running. Ni kurus - We would run. Kuru! - Run!

But Esperanto doesn't stop there!

A whole selection of affixes are available, each with a fixed meaning, that can be combined, multiplying each root without having to learn list of new words,

Manĝo - a meal. Manĝaĵo - food. Manĝeto - a small meal / a snack. Manĝeti - to have a snack. Manĝebla - edible. Manĝejo - a dining room / a place to eat.

And so on - so long as it makes sense, it's a word!

With that ability, there are far fewer words to learn, as each root becomes dozens more - and so the Duolingo tree is a bit shorter than most...

That said, there's a tree 2.0 in the works, to be released soon, which are all looking forward to, but the tree we have now is already excellent.

As someone who started learning Esperanto on Duolingo, I highly recommend it, and if you do give it a try, there's also a Facebook group,

Duolingo Esperanto Learners, which has experts there who help out with questions, and several thousand learners all enjoying picking up the language...

Thanks for taking an interest, and good luck!

February 5, 2018

Thank you so much! Great overview for a beginner like me :) !

February 5, 2018

You're very welcome! :)

February 5, 2018

All of the letters are pronounced the same way every time - no time wasted learning when certain letters are silent, no, 'there, they're, their' confusion - if you can hear it, you can write it; if you can see it, you can say it.

Esperanto isn't totally honophone free. gives the example

sorĉ/trumpet/o 'trumpet of the sorcerer' and sort/ŝtrumpet/o 'sock of doom'.

Sure, a bit contrived but they exist because the letters 'c', 'ĉ', and 'ĝ' are pronounced the same as the combinations 'ts', 'tŝ', and 'dĵ' respectively. So you could probably create some of your own!

February 5, 2018

Yes, if you said them quickly enough, certainly the sounds in those words would all blend in together. But if you were speaking clearly and slowly, then the difference could be heard.

The main thing is, there are no hidden letters or altered sounds that depend on the characteristics of the word. For example, if you said "Kolego" in Esperanto, it could only be spelled: k-o-l-e-g-o.

In English, you could easily throw in a few 'h's and there'd be no appreciable difference: k-h-o-l-e-h-g-h-o.

(there are some letter combinations that change the sounds of some letters slightly, but always in a completely regular way)

That's not to say that homophones don't exist in Esperanto - the language is positively rife with them!

Because of the way new words are formed from combinations of other words, there are plenty of opportunities for wordplay.

Take 'kolego,' for example.

It can either be,

koleg'o = koleg- (colleague) + -o (substantive/noun)


kol'eg'o = kol- (neck) + -eg- (very, extremely, an intensifier) + -o (substantive/noun)

(originally, when the language was first invented, apostrophes were used to show the breaks in words - this has since been abandoned, and we rely on context to clarify meaning - which lets us make lots of really bad puns!)

Hence the joke which asks,

Why is the giraffe never alone? Because he has a KOLEGO! (colleague / long neck)*

*much hilarity ensues... :)

February 5, 2018

I was gonna chime in but Okay... got there first. Easy language, rapid learning, nice community, makes you really feel like you CAN learn a language fully given a bit of time, not just as a stumbling bumbling order a few beers kind of speaker but a discuss economics , read a newspaper, write a book kind of speaker. very heartening for somone who was not great with languages at school and it spills over into other languages too.

February 6, 2018

Very nice write-up!

February 6, 2018

Thank you!

February 7, 2018

Team Esperanto released a shorter course in order to be able to release it sooner; they've said repeatedly that there will be a longer Tree 2.0 at some point, but we don't know exactly when.

(Also, bonvenon al Esperantujo! :D )

February 5, 2018

Two best things about Esperanto: 1) You will reach usable fluency far faster than in any other language (some research showed about 4X faster). 2) Esperantists are more accepting of people who are "just learning" than any other language group. MY opinions, of course!

February 5, 2018

I´ve begun with Esperanto i must tell, it is in fact an easy language, i hope they can get the tree bigger, because it´s a very interesting area we´d want to explore.

February 4, 2018

Easy language... absolutely. Compared to German, French, or any other language I've spent any time with in the past, definitely.

After (not quite a month) since I first started learning with Duolingo I feel more confident with Esperanto (at least the reading/writing) than I do with German that I took three years of in school (granted a long time ago- although I'm relearning it now... also with Duolingo).

My goal is to complete the course before the year is over. I plan on buying a couple of novels in Esperanto and reading them this summer. I'm about 25-30% through the tree already, and retaining most of what I learn... but that's getting harder now that I'm that far in. There is no way I can continue to learn at the same speed for the last 70%. Early on, memorizing 40 new words a day (especially when many were similar to English, Spanish, French or German words I already knew) was easy. A month after squashing all that into my head it is getting harder to add more.

I also use DuoLingo's tiny cards. I've got a half dozen Esperanto card sets on there I rotate through.

My motivation for learning Esperanto though is not to learn Esperanto. I want to learn Spanish.

There have been lots of studies done with speakers of different native tongues that show learning Esperanto first helps you learn other European languages quicker.

For example, there was one done in France where they taught one group of students Esperanto for one year and then Spanish for three years after that. A second group just learned Spanish for four years.

The group that learned Esperanto first exceeded the Spanish proficiency of those that didn't, even though they took a year out to learn Esperanto first. Similar studies have been done with students in China, and students in Hungary learning other European languages.

The hardest thing with Esperanto is that it's very hard to find someone local who actually speaks it; so for me, and I'm sure for many others, it becomes a written language more than a spoken language.

February 5, 2018

Once you've made it through the English-Esperanto tree, and are comfortable with it, you can change your Duolingo account language to Spanish, and take the Spanish-Esperanto course - a lot of people are finding that helps with learning both languages!

If you haven't already, I'd recommend you take a look at joining the Facebook group

There are experts there who answer your questions, and also a number of files with free downloadable books and learning materials to help you along.

For speaking practice, once you've finished the Duolingo tree, there's the Ekparolu! course,

Which offers 10 free half-hour Skype lessons to those who have finished the Duolingo course or similar.

Additionally, there's Amikumu,

Which is a free smartphone app that let's you connect with other language learners, showing you the nearest 100 people who speak or are learning your target language - great for arranging to get together to practice!

Beyond that, there's a ton of ways to connect and learn with Esperanto, if you like - just ask at the Facebook group above.

Good luck!

February 5, 2018

I'm purposefully not on facebook, but I shall definitely check out the other links. Thank you.

I have taken a quick peek at the English to Spanish course just did up to level 3- I will definitely pick up on that when I complete Esperanto. The Esperanto from Spanish course would be a nice challenge too... thank you. That would also have the added benefit of making me maintain my Esperanto whilst learning Spanish.

February 5, 2018

As you're not on Facebook, here's a link to a free download from Esperanto USA, of the book 'Esperanto: Learning and Using the International Language' by David Richardson. They have a lot of cool free stuff there, too.

*the link wasn't working properly, so I've linked to the main site instead. It's under 'FREE' / 'To all customers' on the left-hand menu.

And here's a link to the website of Tim Westover, where you can download a free copy of his short-story collection, 'Marvirinstrato.'

And here are some links to other Esperanto texts, should you really get into the reading... :)

Beyond that, there's an 'Esperanto Mega Post' pinned to the Esperanto discussion board here, which has many more links, etc... :)

February 5, 2018

"I plan on buying a couple of novels in Esperanto and reading them this summer." Read "Gerda malaperis" and "Ili kaptis Elzan". Both were written to have very limited vocab and grammar. The stories are actually not bad, too. You can find them for free on-line. You might then want to move to something you have already read in your native language (eg. The Hound of the Baskervilles).

February 7, 2018

I quite enjoyed reading the Esperanto translation of Robinson Crusoe. It's a bit advanced I guess, but I never would have read it in English.

February 7, 2018

Oooh, is there a pdf of that floating around?

February 12, 2018

Jes! It's on Project Gutenberg! ligilo

And I was able to send myself a pdf from my ibooks app. Let me know if you want that in particular.

Planetebook has it in pdf ligilo

February 12, 2018

I have finished the tree a few times and I use Duolingo everyday. Grammatically speaking, the tree isn't lacking anything (that I can tell). If you can master it, then you have the language down.

February 6, 2018

I'm hooked on Esperanto. I stumbled onto it, six months ago, much like you did. I've finished the tree and I'm so happy with myself for being able to do it. Learning Esperanto with Duolingo is like relaxing into a joyous and cozy space totally devoid of the drudgery learning languages has entailed for me in the past. Love live Esperanto! Long live Duolingo! Thank you to all!

February 8, 2018

Saluton SarahCarina!

Yes, it's really true that Esperanto is significantly (by design) easier to learn than most other languages. It's simplicity contributes to the shortness of the Esperanto tree, but we're hoping there will be more content in the tree soon.

Duolingo alone won't turn you into a top-notch Esperanto speaker, but it really can give you an excellent start. I attended the Somer Lernejo last year, after learning primarily through Duolingo, and was able to participate well, and keep in Esperanto almost all the time.

You might enjoy this video from "Lindsey does languages" called "9 reasons to learn Esperanto"

One aspect that I find really attractive about Esperanto, is that the people I've met through it, are just so lovely, and learning with them has been so enjoyable and rewarding. It's a really fun language. I hope you enjoy it.


February 9, 2018

Bonvenon! Welcome to Esperanto. I remember the first time I heard about Esperanto, it was in a programming class, and it was interesting enough that I had to look it up. I signed up as soon as the course left beta. Because of it's simplicity, Esperanto is fun, and because most Esperantists didn't learn from childhood, we'll be patient with you. We're all here for you, have a blast!

February 9, 2018

A while ago I was thinking about learning Esperanto too !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

February 5, 2018

Are you a Seahawks fan.?

February 8, 2018

There is 1 irregular affix that I don't think anyone has mentioned: -um. See The exact meaning of words ending in -um isn't predictable the way it is with other affixes. For example brako is arm, brakumi means to hug, Ŝtono is stone/rock, ŝtonumi is "to stone (to death)", kruco is cross, krucumi is "to crucify". The only other issue is how to type esperanto if you can't type the diacritics (^). Some people use 'H-convention' so Ŝ would be SH, others use 'X-convention' making Ŝ' SX. I would advise against using H-convention because it cause many irregularities such as Ĉashundo (hunting dog) vs Ĉaŝundo (hook). Both are written 'Chashundo' using h-convention as opposed to 'cxashundo/cxasxundo with x-convention. X isn't part of the Esperanto alphabet at all so it cause no confusion. Other than that Esperanto is very predictable. The word is order is technically fluid in most cases although english word order is usually used by default.

April 28, 2019

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