I guess if we had spaceships?
Languages are interesting. Learning a language (or more than one language) is fun and interesting. I wouldn't begrudge anyone learning any of them anything, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little disheartened by the fact that there are many more active learners of Klingon (in beta, mind you) than of Esperanto. And even more of High Valyrian. As constructed languages go, there's no beating Esperanto. What is it that makes the others more popular? Because they have the power of pop culture behind them? One of the things that made me want to learn Esperanto was learning about Esperanto; how it was created, why it was created, the ideas and aspirations that it represented, its adoption, the obstacles it faced, and its sometimes turbulent history. To me the real culture and history of the language, largely absent from the duolingo course, is as important to understanding Esperanto as it is for any so-called natural language. In my humble opinion, no amount of Hollywood magic can compare with the real history, the real people, the real events, and the real promise of Esperanto. I do appreciate duolingo offering the course and the internet has undoubtedly breathed new life into Esperanto but there's something ironic about Esperanto, arguably the world's most successful constructed/auxiliary language, now well over a century old, taking a back seat to Klingon or High Valyrian, essentially created as TV props. There are a lot of interesting questions to be posed about fantasy cultures, life imitating art, the motivations people have for selecting which language(s) they'll study and much more, but I'm afraid attempting to answer any of them here would take me too far afield, but I sure would like to hear people's thoughts about this. So let me conclude by saying, yes, learn Klingon for fun, and learn about Esperanto for inspiration, and learn Esperanto because it's a language for all of us.
(Disclaimer: Mi havis unu botelon de vino, antaŭ skribis cxi tiun... Kaj mi ankau ne estas eksperto.)
I made a post about this a while ago, but I took it down because it didn't receive much attention. I boiled it down to entertainment value. Klingon gives Star Trek lovers a chance to become apart of their show as well as High Valyrian with Game of Thrones.
If you do a quick search on Google for Esperanto, there are so many old resources and documentaries - no eye catching, fun content. There are great YouTube channels out there, but they are more for educational purposes.
AAA video games as well as most films do not have Esperanto content either. If you combine all of that into one package with addition to the fact that there aren't as many people learning this language as the others, then it would be enough to turn anyone off from learning it.
However, I have witnessed the language used for its intended purpose and managed to speak to someone from Italy who spoke no English. From that moment onward I knew that it was a language that I wanted to have in my arsenal.
It is my belief that Esperanto should be spread through a new approach. We essentially need to evolve it and make something that makes people think "huh, damn that's cool. I want to learn it." For example, I am making game modifications in Esperanto for those that want to game in the language, without sacrificing the quality of the games that they play. Imagine for example, a team of gamers that were world championship worthy and communicated through Esperanto? The diversity in the teams would be greater at no cost to language barriers. This is just one example, but I hope that you get my point.
It cannot be forced upon people, it cannot be sold to people. People need to decide for themselves - they need to see the potential the language has. It's not your job, my job or anyone's job to convince people to learn it - The process of obtaining more learners needs to come more naturally. It reminds me of a post that I saw earlier on about "Reasons why I should learn Esperanto" - if people need reasons, then they are not ready to learn it.
If people need to find reasons, then I believe the root of the problem is that the idea of a global, international language isn't enough. For you, myself and many others it is! But, I reckon something needs to change.. And that change starts with people like you and me :).
(Disclaimer: Mi havis unu botelon de vino, antaŭ skribis cxi tiun... Kaj mi ankau ne estas eksperto.)
You should share.
It is my belief that Esperanto should be spread through a new approach. We essentially need to evolve it and make something that makes people think "huh, damn that's cool. I want to learn it."
How about YOU do that. IMHO, Esperanto already is this. There's nothing wrong with thinking big, but let's keep it real. It's not like the world is full of capable people saying "let's keep this boring and dusty." People do what they can with the resources they have. If you can convince a team of world champion game players to learn an entire language for your publicity stunt, more power to you. Call me when it happens.
I also see Esperanto's value is what it is today, not it what it could be.
Pardonu! nun mi ne havas vinon :(.. Tamen, mi havas lingoton por vi ;)
I totally agree. I'm completely happy with what Esperanto is now and what it will be. Haha and that championship example was just an exaggerated idea, but I just wanted to get my point across that there are many other ways we could be spreading this lovely idea. I am working on a few things at the moment despite my current limited knowledge of the language. Your videos help a lot - especially the ones where you vlog in Esperanto, like when your car wouldn't start :(
there are many more active learners of Klingon (in beta, mind you) than of Esperanto. And even more of High Valyrian.
Last I checked, though, the number of new threads in the "sentences" section of the Esperanto board exceeded the new sentences in the corresponding sections of Klingon and High Valyrian many times over - which suggests to me that the large number of "active learners" for these languages are more curious than active.
One of the things that made me want to learn Esperanto was learning about Esperanto; how it was created, why it was created, the ideas and aspirations that it represented, its adoption, the obstacles it faced, and its sometimes turbulent history.
So true. Now-a-days it's all "I want to learn Spanish and I've heard that Esperanto will help me do that. People should learn Esperanto because they love Esperanto... the history, the grammar, the community... and learn Spanish if they're interested in learning Spanish.
I noticed the same thing with regard to Klingo having more students. It really is a pop culture thing. There are a lot of trekkie conventions year long and they draw large crowds. It is hard to go against pop culture. It like the Iphone, as much as Huawei is two generations ahead of Iphone more people will pay more and go for the Iphone. Look at the bright side, the majority how study Esperanto are not phased by fads and are more inspirational.
It has long been the case that more copies of the Klingon Dictionary have been sold than Teach Yourself Esperanto, or whatever. It did not mean that more people are actually learning Klingon. The statistics in the Duolingo courses are no different.
This is the most inspired thread! I have been learning for a few weeks now but not had a single Esperanto convo with anyone. I do so much want to play Skrablo with someone too - as I am a Scrabble geek. But here's the thing. Esperantistoj are so cos they have the humanistic and dare I say, Utopianist values that make it magic. I think that now is a magic time for Esperanto like a bacterium that's been asleep under the ice in Antarctica for millions of years and is brought to light. You have a community of two million people - fluffy humanistic two million people. This means two million people that would love to have some lush Esperanto products/opportunities for me, a really posh Skrablo board. I watched "incubus," with William Shatner the other night. Although it comes under attack for having crap pronunciation, it cleared up some questions of usage that I had in a very passive way. I need to see more movies in Esperanto or documentaries in Esperanto that are not necessarily about Esperanto. The movie dotted and crossed the things I needed dotted and crossing. You could write an Esperanto Sci-fi franchise. I'm involved in radio and I have been begging Esperanto interest groups or nerdy podcasters to do programmes with and for me, and I simply don't get a response. Esperanto comes under attack for not having a geographical culture. Its culture is futurism, humanism and inclusionism. That's what all progressive politics strive for and what all faux progressive politics pay lip service to. Esperanto does not have to posture these noble traits, it is hard wired and thread with them - from inception! Every beautiful thing you make in Esperanto will almost deffo find a home. I would pay slightly over the odds for a Skrablo game. As a tip, btw, the game of Articulate can be played as an Esperanto game. You just read the card and then articulate the answers in Esperanto. You don't even need an Esperanto version. So if you are lucky enough to have some fellow Esperanto speakers physically near you, it would be a great catalyst for upping your skills, individually and collectively. Anyways, sorry for the stream of consciousness nature of that mini rant, I'm a workaholic trying to do many things so I am off, but thanks for the inspiration.
There's so much in your post.
I think that now is a magic time for Esperanto like a bacterium that's been asleep under the ice in Antarctica for millions of years and is brought to light.
Esperanto has been in constant use for almost 132 years... and people have been saying that for the at least the last 21 years that Esperanto is doing very well thanks to the internet. There's nothing special about this moment as far as Esperanto goes. It's a great time to speak Esperanto - but then again, any time is a great time to speak Esperanto.
a really posh Skrablo board.
I have a friend who makes quality Esperanto game boards for his personal use. (And soup can labels.) And then there's this:
I need to see more movies in Esperanto or documentaries in Esperanto that are not necessarily about Esperanto.
There is a lot more than Incubus out there. Esperanto Variety Show will send a copy of the documentary "Flugigi Polpon" as a thank you for becoming a patron at the $10 level or higher. Then there are the Mihm films - easy enough to find.
You could write an Esperanto Sci-fi franchise.
Like Red Dwarf, Gattaca, Riverworld, or the Stainless Steel Rat?
I'm involved in radio and I have been begging Esperanto interest groups or nerdy podcasters to do programmes with and for me, and I simply don't get a response.
Send a request to the host of Esperanto Variety Show. :-)
Every beautiful thing you make in Esperanto will almost deffo find a home.
If only that were true.
Funnily enough, I wanted to learn about Esperanto because of Harry Harrison's "Stainless Steel Rat" series of science-fiction novels, back in the 1980s.
kie trovas(download) tiuj libroj-esperanto?
pardonu - mi ne povis trovis
sorry if there are errors here
Mi ne pensas, ke ekzistas tradukoj. Sed la Rato estas esperantisto.
Efektive, mi ja havas la libron "La Rustimuna Ŝtalrato" (en Esperanto.)