Is Esperanto really easy?
My personal opinion? For me it is not as easy as I thought. TT_TT Or my just because I am suffering from headache? I want to learn that language so bad.
For me, it's pretty easy to understand Esperanto when I read it - I know English and Dutch very well and have studied Italian, French, German, Latin and Ancient Greek to varying degrees, so that gives me a lot to work with, and I can recognize the roots of many words. However, translating to Esperanto is much harder.
Easy as compared to what? Easy compared to learning how to make a paper airplane - yeah, probably not. Easy compared to other languages? I think I'll be farther along in Esperanto in 6 months than I am in Spanish after 10 years if only because by then I'll probably have gotten my brain around most of Esperanto's idiosyncrasies, but will probably still not be able to consistently use "por" and "para" correctly, lol.
Esperanto is supposed to be significantly easier to learn than a natural national language - and "The Institute of Cybernetic Pedagogy at Paderborn (Germany) has compared the length of study time it takes natively French-speaking high-school students to obtain comparable ‘standard’ levels in Esperanto, English, German, and Italian. The results were: 2000 hours studying German = 1500 hours studying English = 1000 hours studying Italian (or any other Romance language) = 150 hours studying Esperanto."
So, by that measure, for an English speaker learning Esperanto vs. Spanish, say, every hour spent on Esperanto moves them about 5-10 times as far as an hour spent on Spanish. Extrapolate to months, and you find that you can learn as much studying Esperanto for one academic year, as someone who spends all of four years of high school or college studying a natural language.
150 hours is still not a trivial investment of time, of course. That's still more of a marathon than a sprint, and you have to be motivated to stick with it. But it's a lot less than the 1000+ hours that pretty much all other languages need to get to a decently high level of proficiency.
(If people want to quibble about how the FSI chart claims you can learn "easy" languages in about 600 hours, I'll point out that those are based on "classroom" hours. Most people who actually attend DLI also spend 3-6 additional hours a day studying outside of class - less during the week, more on weekends - and many of them still have to repeat sections of the course because they can't keep up, and these are people who supposedly have a higher than average aptitude for learning languages. So you figure if I conservatively round that to an extra 20 hours of studying per week, for a 24 week course, it adds almost 500 hours to the original figure of 600, putting it over 1000. And that still only brings most students to a 2 or 2+ on the ILR scale, out of 5.)
No language is easy to learn for everyone. But Esperanto tried to remove as many obstacles as possible without restricting the language. It's fairly regular and uses elements of many languages which makes it feel familiar to many learners but, of course, it still takes some time to get used to it.
No language is easy to learn but esperanto is easier than any other one, especially if you speak a roman or german language
If you're new to language learning, give Esperanto a try! For me, compared to other romance languages, Esperanto is a breeze.