1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Esperanto
  4. >
  5. Esperanto feels like a simpli…

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Psittacosis

Esperanto feels like a simplified Romance language ?

Anyone else having this impression? I speak Spanish already, and Esperanto seems to follow a similar pattern to Spanish right down to having the same word roots. I suppose this was the intention for speakers in Europe? This language would problably be harder for non-Europeans to learn.

May 28, 2015

19 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Z4CH3B99

Esperanto was originally intended to be a language that all europeans could speak. Ideally Esperanto was supposed to eliminate the need to learn a new language in order to speak with people from other countries.

I believe that the creator of esperanto intended for this language to become for Europe what Swahili is in Africa. For those of you who don't already know, Swahili is a language used by the various tribes and people of Africa to communicate with each other. It was created so that you didn't have to learn 1,000 different languages to communicate with people from other tribes.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/northernguy

It is in the nature of Esperanto to be seen as very similar to any given Romance language. English speakers think it if follows a pattern very similar to English, right down to the roots, only better.

Esperanto is popular in some circles, especially Japan, because it seen as introduction to English


[deactivated user]

    I don't think the grammar is at all like a Romance language, actually. At first it seems like a lot of the words sound quite Spanish (it has a similar sound system and is just as phonetic), although the plurals being formed with j makes it sound quite different in conversation. The e is also different from the Spanish e, and the prosody is very different (Esperanto always emphasizes the penultimate syllable - stress in Spanish is much more varied).

    But when you get farther into the language, the grammar is really what makes it different. Word-building (agglutinizing?) with roots and suffixes and prefixes - no romance language does that in any significant way.

    Esperanto having a primarily indo-european based lexicon can be both a good and a bad thing for non IE speakers. While it makes it take a little longer to learn Esperanto, it also makes Esperanto more useful from a propaedeutic perspective. A Chinese speaker who wants to learn English, for instance, has almost zero cognates in their original language to help them along the way. Esperanto makes for a great bridge for someone like that. On the other hand, for someone like me, who speaks English and Spanish at a reasonable level, Esperanto doesn't have as much value as a tool for learning other languages - but thankfully that's not why I want to learn it myself :)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Psittacosis

    Very interesting perspective and I thank you for it. I have not gotten very far in the Esperanto tree yet, so you are correct that I am just barely scratching the surface. Im very much looking forward to diving in.

    One year ago, I never would have thought that I would later enjoy learning languages so much!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JimDawdy

    I agree- and I think the Chinese government is missing out by not including it for a couple of years in their elementary school curriculum.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Albantar

    It's true that Esperanto might look like a simplified Romance language to English speakers. However, it definitely is simplified European language. Wherever possible, common denominators were used and most words that are used across all European languages have Latin roots. Like telefono. There are many Germanic influences too, like hundo (dog), dika (fat). And some Greek and Slavic influences too of which the most obvious is kaj (and).


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/flootzavut

    There are a fair number of Latinate roots, but in terms of how it functions, Esperanto feels closer to a Slavic language to me. That said, I speak dodgy French, musical Italian and holiday Spanish, so I don't have a lot to compare it to.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/miacomet

    That's the best description of language levels I think I've ever seen. Who needs "fluent", "conversational", or "basic" when you have those? Let me go edit my resume...


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/flootzavut

    Hehehe!

    I mean "musical Italian" quite literally. I speak French, though rather ungrammatically, and have been playing musical instruments for rather a long time (almost 30 years!) and between the two, it's amazing how much one can pick up. That level 5 Italian flag in my flair is entirely based on me doing the placement test so I could have a good laugh at the flirting bonus skills, and I've never been to Italy or deliberately learned Italian in my life except for learning dozens and dozens of musical terms.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jackmchugh12

    from what i hear, vocabulary is based on Romance and Germanic languages while the grammar is based on Slavic languages.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/-..--..-.-.-.-

    Mmmmm, my latin speaking friend says it's like dumbed down latin and my french makes this incredibly easy


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mr.Knight

    Jes, Esperanto estas helplingvo: do, ĝi estas facila kaj simpla lingvo, kiu vi povas lerni tre rapide.

    Yeah, Esperanto is a planned language, so it's an easy and simple language which you can learn quickly.

    Though, I might suggest that "streamlined" is better than "simplified." The complexity is still completely there, but the irregularities that make language like Italian, Spanish, or French more difficult studies than they need to be are "fixed" by way of lateral regularity. It's a great system not only because it makes it easier for speakers of European languages, but also for those outside the Romance/Germanic system, who may not have any basis at all in Euro-heritage vocabularies. The regularity makes word patterns and types predictable, and therefore easier to work out in context, and, I suspect, easier to learn.

    But I'm an English native. I'd love to hear from non-European language natives.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Psittacosis

    Agreed - "streamlined" would be a better word to describe it.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JohnKing147785

    Yes and no. To me it sometimes sounds like a Romance language and other times more eastern european. Also the addition of the accusative case endings make it seem unique to romance languages like Spanish.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Keith_Bowes

    No, if you want a simplified Romance language, try Interlingua :)

    Though, Esperanto's vocabulary was based primarily on French because that was the language of diplomacy at the time. Though, due to the differences between spoken and written French, it's sometimes unrecognizable. Ditto for English words in Esperanto: sometimes they're written like English but pronounced differently (e.g. birdo), sometimes pronounced the same but spelled differently (e.g. rajto).


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Raynwl

    yeah, it's pretty similar to spanish but if I'm not wrong there are a lot of slavic and germanic roots also. I think maybe it's because latin was the language of science (just a thought). I like esperanto's fexibility.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GuyofM

    It pulls words from the germanic and romance languages including some word pulled straight from latin. I'm also learning latin and sometimes my brain switches to latin mode when reading esperanto.

    Learn Esperanto in just 5 minutes a day. For free.