Esperanto for English speakers now in Beta!
Esperanto, the most widely spoken constructed language in the world, is now in beta and you can start learning it immediately.
The goal of the language was to create a politically neutral language that would help promote understanding and world peace... a language that is not tied to a specific country and that is easy to learn seemed like the best way to go about that. Ready to put that to the test and see if it indeed is as easy to learn as Ludwik L. Zamenhof says? (Today I learned that he also wrote the first grammar of the Yiddish language).
If you are an Esperanto and English expert, you are always welcome to apply to be a contributor in the Incubator.
If you are a huge fan of Esperanto who also happens hang out a lot in the Duolingo discussion forums to help people who are learning or are having trouble: the contributors of all the courses always have an eye out for awesome and active people to help them moderate the forums. If you write helpful and kind responses often, keep it up and you will stand out and maybe be invited and get one of those green shields around your face. :]
Please thank the Esperanto team for their love and dedication to this project, and help them test the beta course so that they can fix whatever needs fixin'. Thank you all! Enjoy!
EDIT: Wondering why people want to try Esperanto? Check out my post Esperanto: What is it and why learn it? for more info. There was an article written about this course published today on the 29th of May.
Homework to you all: How do you say "You rock!" in Esperanto?
This is definitely the biggest thing ever happened in History of Esperanto. I mean there are bigger things that happened in it's History but it is biggest thing when it's seen in light of number of people will join to this planned language. If I'm not wrong then, number of speakers will double or triple in next 4-5 years. : )
Looking up info on it, I see now that it was in 2009 to celebrate Esperanto Day (Dec 15). More details here: https://www.esperanto-usa.org/en/content/esperanto-day-google
There's a programme in the UK, doing just this: http://tedxtalks.ted.com/video/TEDxGranta-Tim-Morley-Springboa
A month after the twins were born (Ukrainian and Norwegian), The little baby Esperanto came out. When will mother Duo stop bothering the doctors (the incubators) and have all the babies (languages), so we can enjoy them all? :) Mother Duo is now expecting Hungarian and Russian!
Mother Duo <-> Mother Russia? In all seriousness, great to see duolingo expanding so quickly, hopefully attracting even more budding language learners in the future!
Thank you SO much amuzulo, except why did you have to put it in beta during the final exams! Lots of people love Esperanto, but can't exactly take it right now, because they have to take final exams. (sigh)
I CAN'T BELIEVE IT OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!! TODAY I'VE BEEN VERY BUSY SO I CHECKED IT ONLY AT THE START OF THE DAY, IT'S AMAZING!!!
There I go!!!!!!!!!!
EDIT after I calmed down: Excuse the spam xD
That's exactly what happened with me, I was too busy to keep checking if the course is available, and then in the evening, I just came to Duolingo to do some lessons, but I thought that I can check the Discussion and what do I see - Esperanto is available!!! :D So I started dancing :D
No doubt about it. It has been scientifically established that as long as your streak continues, that is proof that you are not dead no matter how bad you may be feeling. However, once your streak is discontinued all bets are off.
Thanks to my streak I can clearly demonstrate that, no matter what it looked like to others or what they may have wished, I have not been dead even once these past two years.
Thanks, but I haven't finished the Norwegian tree yet. Can't be a polyglot without finishing the tree!
Oh my... I'm trying to refresh school learned German and to learn French. So, here is just one question: how do you think, can I take Esperanto and not get confused? How much lexicon and grammar are similar to German & French? I'm especially concerned about French, I have a rough time grasping it =(
Trust yourself. Your brain will figure it out. I read elsewhere that French students that took two months to learn Esperanto were better French speakers after two years, versus students that only studied French for two years. You're helping your brain. I can't find that particular study, but it's in keeping with other results of fast language aquisition as shown here on wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propaedeutic_value_of_Esperanto
Check it out a little bit. It is way simpler than both of those. Verbs have the same ending for all pronouns. All singular nouns end in '-o' and plural adds '-j' for an English "-oy" sounding ending, with only an accusative form to add which only adds '-n'. Other parts of speech each end in their own letter. The language is phonetic, so that what you see is what you say - no mute letters and each letter has a specific sound.
On a side note, is there an Esperanto keyboard someone would recommend for when we are not on the lesson pages (which have the few special letters). Although I can copy and paste from the Character Map, I would like a version of the international keyboard that would let me put the ^ on the consonants that need them in this language.
Let me try that: ¼ Oops! Right-Alt 6 gave me one-fourth symbol instead. I have the US international keyboard, but there must be an extended version somewhere. I can type Shift 6 and then the vowel for â, ê, î, ô, and û, but it won't work for consonants: ^s
I tried Right Alt Shift 6 then S , but nothing happened and then I had S.
Yeah, I think that there are actually several slightly different US International layouts. I'm on fedora linux and the full layout description is "English (international AltGr dead keys)" For me Right Alt Shift 6 gives ¼. Right Alt 6 followed by any character gives the circumflex. ŝ ĉ ĝ â etc. ŭ is Right Alt Shift 9 followed by u.
Replying to northernguy but already too many levels of reply:
I can guarantee you that "Just about everybody on this board" is using the default keyboard layout that comes with their device/OS/locale.
As for the three people actively participating in this particular subthread, I agree that we are all talking about slightly different layouts. That is what I was saying when I pointed out that there are several different layouts that may be labelled "US international" Because of this, I wasn't really trying to provide a fullproof, universal recipe for making a circumflex. I was just pointing out that there are keyboard layouts that allow one to comfortably produce all the diacritics and special characters for a fairly large set of European languages. Clearly each individual should have a look at what is provided on his/her computer or device and see what is most comfortable for him/her.
Currently learning French and German in school, after reading up around the topic I think adding Esperanto to your checklist would honestly improve your skills in other languages, and is simple especially in comparison to a complex language such as German!
A huge thank you to everyone who made this possible, as well as Duolingo for not only allowing this wonderful thing to happen, but to let us experience it for free. I bet Zamenhof could not have imagined a learning platform like this in his wildest dreams! I'm so excited for this!! :D
Jes!!! :D Thank you so much for your work! I was waiting for this course since I didn't really like the concept of Lernu and all the other courses were rather boring and made me lose my motivation. I know that Duolingo will keep me motivated to finally learn Esperanto. I'll start right after I've finished my Norwegian tree!
(Oh I'm so glad I've just written my final exams and now I have plenty of free time! Perfect timing, Duolingo :P)
Ha, speaking of exams I'm in an unlucky spot, would love to put some time into Duolingo but gotta revise for exams in a couple weeks!
Almost 2000 roots, but using affixes you can get much more words (source: https://www.facebook.com/groups/464596177035738/permalink/465862906909065/)
haha, being a regular mobile user I was almost worried reading this comment chain, didn't even think of using the browser on mobile... xD
Well was I looking forward to this. A shame I have to work more on French & German now for exams, but at least now I have some form of procrastination ^.^
Notifications are sent out a little while after the course graduates to beta (not immediately). We make sure there are no apparent issues right after the release, and only then send them out (could be a couple of hours or a couple of days, depending). If you start the course before they are sent, you won't get one. So they are indeed working, we just don't want to spam you if you already know. =]
It is the most widely spoken artificial language out there. It's meant to be easier to learn than regular languages - no exceptions, and the grammar is designed to be as easy as can be. Verbs tend to have only one ending, for instance, that doesn't depend on the subject. You can try learning it in parallel with your existing trees - after an hour of wrestling with Irish an esperanto lesson will no doubt feel wonderfully refreshing.
The reasoning being that if, no matter how much effort you pour into Italian, you won't be as good as a native Italian speaker - so you would be at disadvantage in a conversation. Or vice-versa if you speak English with them. Of course that doesn't matter if you're planning holidays or ordering ice-cream, but imagine for instance an Israeli and a Palestinian negotiating a peace agreement. Speaking Hebrew or Arabic would give one party a big, unfair advantage as it would place the entire conversation on someone's cultural and linguistic home ground at the expense of the other partner. And using a third language, like English, puts the burden on both parties to learn a complex language with lots of irregularities and exceptions, that has its own cultural background that you have to learn about too if you want to use it adequately. Esperanto is (almost) no one's native language, so when we speak it we are all equals. And it's very easy to learn.
Dr. Zamenhof, who invented esperanto, thought that everyone being able to communicate in a language that's culture-neutral was the one solution to war, pogroms, conflicts etc. Nowadays these ideals are still very much a motivation, but more practically it's a way to connect easily with people and a good first step to learning their language. If you live in a decent-sized town you might have esperanto meet-ups, if you want to travel look up esperanto travel sites - you might find a friendly couch to sleep on and someone to talk to in an otherwise foreign country.
So very, very happy about this one. I've played with Esperanto a bit with other books and courses but didn't get too deep. I'm excited about following up my recently finished Swedish tree with some Esperanto :)
One minor nitpick... any particular reason why the lessons don't accept the x system for the special characters?
I think you might slow down a little bit when Duo moves from structuring sentences in Anglo friendly patterns and starts displaying them in the less familiar patterns available in Esperanto.
Eg: right now they are showing you
I hit the ball
It could just as easily be: the ball hit I or even ball I hit. Subject and object are determined by small spelling changes not position in the sentence. English speakers find it a challenge to rapidly find the object and subject in complex sentences. Easy to make a mistake.
At least, that is how it is for me.
I didn't mean you should slow down. Quite the opposite, go full bore until you are forced to slow down. But as you seem to understand, determining parts of speech by their position is easier than detecting the presence of absence of a single letter.(especially if you are not used to doing it that way)
A couple of comments lead me to believe that Duo may have chosen to stick with Subject/Verb/Object order that western European languages employ. They are encouraging students to report false negatives because of altered word order to help them improve the program.
It they did, it would make sense. Even using conventional S.V.O. examples can sometimes provide hundreds of possible correct answers for a given example. Better to get the beta out the door and let the user base supply correct alternatives which can be applied as needed.
To get an idea of just how good Duo's teaching method is try ...learnu.... for learning Esperanto. In my experience five minutes on Duo is roughly equivalent to one hour or more on learnu.
If you post on a thread that is shorter and more likely to be read by a lot of people, you will probably get a lot of suggestions about meetups etc. Even better, start your own thread for just that purpose.
i don't know why I can't open the practices on this website, (but the app works fine), I have tried with explorer,safari and Google chrome, every time it comes to the practice, nothing but blank is showing in front of me..... It's just me or other people in China has to use VPN too to learn Esperanto on Duolingo.
Um, no, not really.
Lots of people use they as synonymous with he/she, especially if there's uncertainty about the gender of the person in question.
Moreover, lots of languages get by expressing these things in different ways or not making the same differentiations even that English does. Similarly, many languages make differentiations that English (and Esperanto) doesn't. How about inclusive and exclusive we, for example?
In English, and in Esperanto, we get along fine with one form for you/vi. If thou and ci have fallen out of use, it's likely because it didn't get used much.
If you want a singular form for you, one exists. I dare say most serious Esperantists would recognise it, even if they don't use it. And thousands of people are using the language just fine without out it.
So I ask again, why create a new word when 1) a perfectly serviceable word exists and 2) demonstrably, people are getting on just fine without it anyway, even though it exists if they wanted to use it?
That is my question, and you don't seem to have an answer... because telling me I'm asking the wrong question? Not an answer.
guys here is a nice story to read on your free time here is the link http://www.thefrenchexperiment.com/stories/threepigs/
if u like the story feel free to give me a lingot and if you dont like to if you want give me a lingot anywass!!!!!
sorry for bad english
I like the course, but one thing that would be very useful is if you could, at any stage in the course, be able to download the vocabulary so that you could enter it into a program like anki or something for long term review to really ingrain it in your long term memory and practice retrieval. I mean I could go back through everything I learned so far and copy the vocab word by word but that's sort of tedious esp. since I didn't think to do it initially. So having the ability to get the vocab at any given point would be convenient.
You can get Esperanto decks downloaded from Anki. The vocab is at about the same level. Also use Memrise for Esperanto. Memrise even has vocab programs specifically for Duo French. I don't know about other languages though.
That way all you have to copy from Duo are those sentences that illustrate some tricky grammar point. To get those, just open up the first lesson in each group where Duo has the tips and notes section. Their basic grammar points come with illustrative examples right there in the notes.
I don't see how it would be inappropriate. It is a chat room presumably built around Esperanto. Someone might post inappropriate content but that is a risk with any chat room. You have to open up your on board security programs to allow irc. (which I don't) but again that is true for any chat room.
I have a question... Since the words database in the Esperanto course is not very big. Can you suggest another sounce of dictionary-like style that we can use? I am asking because i googled a bit and i found a few places where a word means something and at another site it means something completely different - lastly i loaded Google translator which gave the same word a 3rd different meaning! (i can't find dictionaries like Oxford Eng-German ones that are 1000 pages)
WHOO! ~Happy Day~ :D
Although, not sure if I should put my German studies on hold, try them side by side or wait till I'm advanced enough with the first one... .__.
In any case, Thanks so much for all your hard work and dedication, you wonderful contributor peeps! ^^
This should keep me busy until Russian & Japanese are added x)
Hebrew is constructed only in the sense that an existing language in widespread use has been seriously updated to function in the modern world. The vocabulary has been expanded. Modern Hebrew has punctuation which Biblical Hebrew did not which, needless to say, is a fundamental change. Pronunciation is different.