ESPERANTO for ENGLISH speakers... here it comes! :-D
Good evening everybody,
I'm starting this tread because I have great news for you! I have just checked my mailbox, and duolingo sent me a mail...
"we think you are a match to moderate Esperanto for English speakers.".
Stay tuned for more information ;)
I wish i had read this last comment because I just went over there searching the phase 1 course listings looking for whatever the something interesting might be (not that its not all interesting. But, I thought i might find another conlang and kept scrolling back through because I wasn't seeing it lol).
Congrats on the email! I know that several people have been eagerly awaiting the course! :D
This announcement, as well as the debut of Irish and Danish, has just made my entire summer!!! Thanks so much to all of the amazing people here (users, staff, and contributors alike) for helping to make this possible! I can't wait to start communicating with everyone in the incredibly fun, living, beautiful language of Esperanto! Of course, we'll all have plenty to do in the meantime, thanks to the new trees! :D
Quick example; the affix system makes vocabulary much easier to pick up:
arbo - tree
arbaro - forest (lit: tree-collection)
arbido - sapling (lit: tree-child)
arbego - huge tree (lit: tree-big)
arbeto - little tree (lit: tree-small)
arbejo - arboretum (lit: tree-place)
There's 30-some affixes and a handful of prefixes, so getting ahold of those doesn't take too long. On top of the regularity of verbs and grammar, it's kind of great. I'm about 3 months in to learning and I have conversations online in esperanto basically every day. With a dictionary handy to fill in vocab gaps, I can express myself pretty well, especially for such a short timeframe.
I wont be surprised if Duolingo kicks off a surge of new speakers for this language.
My main contemplation regarding Esperanto at the moment is how languages rest with the heart of a culture, and as cultures generally aren't static, language isn't either. That (and colonialism, which we could say has deeply impacted many cultures) has had a huge effect on adding to linguistic nuance of many languages. Will Esperanto remain a static language, and how might the logic of it stifle new expressions and diversity among future native speakers?
Edit: (not that im not thrilled with the suffix system. And maybe the suffix system has room for that flux and diversity. After all, one could create a lot of new suffixes if needed :D
as quirkyowl said, it's pretty flexible. Often there's a common way to say something, but you can express things in another way using constructed words. Often, logical constructions are the accepted way to say something... For example,
kun -> with (as in I'm walking with you)
kune -> together (with + adverb marker... literally "withly")
kunligi -> to join (with + to link/to tie)
And the language is evolving. Many people in the movement are very firm about not reforming the language a ton, but those same people are generally in favor of allowing the language to evolve. So rather than making "official" statements about "here's the new way you do xyz", you just wait and see how things happen. Some people choose to say things certain ways, or new things start to get adopted by virtue of them being common enough in conversation. I think that if the language gets a large influx of speakers there may be some "growing pains", because (being a conlang) everybody has opinions about things that should be changed, but that's fine.
Anyway, sorry to go on about that :P Basically, I'm really excited for this because it'll be a great way to get more people interested in this awesome language
Esperanto is, by far, the easiest language to learn. But it's still not effort-free, because no language can be that easy.
There are tons of reasons.
I'll just give the two I prefer:
one sound equal one letter. English is pretty disgusting regarding pronouciation... There are so many different phonems (something like 40) for just 5 vowels!
conjugation is child's play : One ending = one tense. No irregular verb, not even one. (More than a hundred in english, around 40 in spanish, a lot of them in french and german...)
I think the beauty of it is you can use the words in whichever way you want to express yourself but still be understood: https://adventuresinesperanto.wordpress.com/category/constructed-esperanto-words/
The lack of an inherent culture could be seen as a bonus. If I understand correctly, Latin turned up in science because it was a dead language. That meant it didn't evolve with the natives so you don't get people saying, "It's just not cricket." because their textbook was written fifty years ago, and it was culturally more neutral. By getting everyone involved to use a non-native language, you put them on a more even footing.
Latin turned up in science because it was the universal language of the Church. The Church started and maintained most medieval universities, and was the scientific engine in the West from the fall of the Roman Empire until the Renaissance (after which other models started popping up). So educated people learned Latin, and the fact that they all spoke it made it work as a language for science as well.
It's because it's so logical, there are no irregular verbs and you use prefixes and suffixes to change the meaning of a word so your vocabulary grows really quickly. It's also supposed to make it easier for you to learn other languages if you already know Esperanto. I love it! I'm sure somebody else can explain how it works better than I can.
It is. For example, the verbs manĝi is the verb "to eat". In the present tense, it always changes to manĝas. So, Mi manĝas = I eat. Past is -is and the future is -os. There are also no irregular verbs.
Esperanto was intentionally designed to be the easiest language to learn so that everyone could communicate in one language. AKA "a universal second language".
That's great! Apparently if you learn Esperanto it makes it way easier to learn just about any language you can think of. Though I won't be learning it because I have my hands full as is with French and German, it makes me happy to see many other people happy about this course.
Esperanto gives a general understanding of language to some people. When the ending of all nouns is -o and of all adjectives is -a and so on, sentences and language as a whole become clearer. There have been school experiments where one year of Esperanto and two years of English gave better results than three years of English.
Ludoviko2013 is right! See here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propaedeutic_value_of_Esperanto Esperanto wasn't the first "foreign" language I've learned, but even then I feel it has made the processes of learning languages a lot easier.
On the track of created languages, I went to the contributors page even though I know I can't actually contribute and saw Sindarin! Yay! Maybe it will get off the ground eventually, and if it catches on, then perhaps Quenya (which I prefer) will be added as well. It's funny when you select Sindarin for English speakers and it asks you your native language. Who could possibly speak Sindarin, or Dothraki, etc. as their native language?! haha
On http://incubator.duolingo.com/courses/eo/en/status you can now see the progress of the course. The "Estimated Completion Date" is wrong (probably due to a calculation algorithm not made for the beginning). December seems to be much more realistic, as said one of the contributors... Good luck to you and thank you!
Mi supozas, ke se oni jam aplikis, oni ne devas apliki denove? Ĉar Duolingo simple malfruas kun avizojn? En ĉiu okazo, mi feliĉiĝas, ke aĵoj rapidiĝas!
I guess if you've already applied, you don't have to apply again? Since Duolingo just takes time to notify you? -In any case, I'm glad to see that things are happening!
(Also, how fortunate it is that "duolingo" complies with Esperanto rules (ends in -o, follows pronunciation, etc)!)