Interested in Learning Esperanto?

interested in learning esperanto
 

Ever wanted to learn more about Esperanto?

According to many learners and speakers of the language, Esperanto can be a very easy language to learn – at least that was the idea, and of course some will encounter more success than others. The first Esperanto book to detail the language was published in 1887 with the intention of being a language to unify the world. The conlang was created by Polish born physician Ludwik Lazarus Zamenhof as a simpler alternative to learning many different languages and with the intention of creating peace and prosperity amongst all nations, the name “Esperanto” translates to “one who hopes.”

Esperanto’s success may have been a touch underwhelming in the grand scheme of things but nonetheless continued to march on as the largest and most widely spoken auxiliary language in the world, with estimates of global speakers ranging from around 200,000 to upwards of 2,000,000. (I know, sort of a big discrepancy, but it’s hard to quantify a language spoken randomly throughout the world.) It is estimated that around 1,000 people speak Esperanto as their first language.

Esperanto is not an official language of any country at the moment, but it is recognized by such organizations as UNESCO. It is also the language of instruction at San Marino’s International Academy of Sciences. The intention behind this institution’s decision, in keeping with the tradition of Esperanto, is that since science is for all people, the pursuit of progress and enlightenment should not belong to nations but to a unified human understanding.

With a vibrant community of speakers the world over, Esperanto can claim a fascinating culture all its own that is free of any one nation, ethnicity or religion. There is a strong online presence and many web-based communities through which speakers can communicate, practice and improve their language.

  

Do we have any speakers of Esperanto here? We’d like to hear from you!

Is it as easy to learn as some claim? What inspired you to take up this language?

It has been suggested that learning Esperanto can make learning more languages easier. Do you find this to be true or false?

If this post has managed to pique your interest in learning Esperanto you should consider checking out http://en.lernu.net/. They offer a lot of resources for the aspiring speaker including a relatively large community of speakers, which is what learning Esperanto is really about isn’t it?

 

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  • It was really easy for me to learn Esperanto, in only one year my Esperanto level became similar to that of my 7-years English! Learning languages is not easy, but learning Esperanto is really easier than learning national languages.

    It’s funny that after finishing my English course I didn’t have opportunities to use English in the day-by-day, but I use Esperanto everyday, and as an activist of the international Esperanto Movement I actually represent Esperanto-organizations in international meetings in English.

    About the propedeutical effect of Esperanto, it’s true, of course, because every language has a propedeutical effect. Also, some studies concluded that the propedeutical effect of Esperanto is really mor intense than ithat provided by other languages. I invite you to watch Tim Morley’s TEDx speech about this theme: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8gSAkUOElsg

    • Thanks a lot! I will do so. Did you happen to check out our post titled “The Great Esperanto Challenge” or the one that follows it? We’re issuing an Esperanto learning challenge this summer to test the hypothesis that you can learn a *lot* of Esperanto in just three weeks. Perhaps not fluency, but enough that future language learning projects will benefit.

      Of course, you’re right that any language will increase your potential for learning future languages, but as you said, Esperanto can be learned quickly. That’s why we’re choosing to use it in this case.

      Thanks for your feedback!

  • I’m pretty slow at learning languages. I guess it’s that “affective filter” they talk about in education classes — the fear of speaking and of making errors. We know from children that it’s best just to jump in and make silly errors, laugh them off, and really learn. I first started “learning” Esperanto for about 15 years ago, but it’s only been recently that I’ve started reading more, studying via the internet, and communicating online in forums. It really is very easy, but like every language, it needs work and patience. I’m moderately fluent, which is more than I can say about the French I studied at university, or the Swahili I learned in the Peace Corps. I still have to pull out a dictionary for the odd word in stories and books that I don’t know, but by and large I can read the language well. It’s a real language. Don’t let people who know nothing of the language tell you it’s not. It’s beautiful, sonorous, and rich in history and its own literature. Its simple, regular grammar and use of common Indo-European roots makes it not only easy to learn, but especially helpful in learning European languages (especially Romance languages).

    • Thank you for your comment! Did you happen to see our other posts regarding the Esperanto challenge/experiment we’re issuing in July? We’re testing the theory that even a very short period of intensive Esperanto study can significantly impact future language learning projects. Of course any language can do this, but Esperanto – as you say – is one of the better candidates due to the ease with which it can supposedly be acquired and its commonalities with IE languages. It will also be interesting to note how Esperanto influences the learning of languages outside Europe.

  • >Is it as easy to learn as some claim?
    My first language is Spanish. Learning English took me about a hundred times (or more) that learning Esperanto to the same level.

    >What inspired you to take up this language?
    Difficult to say now … After half a century … I have used Esperanto during 54 years.

    >It has been suggested that learning Esperanto can make learning more languages easier.
    I had studied English during many years (without a teacher) when I discovered Esperanto. I learned Esperanto with only one book, and yes, it helped me to understand English. The same thing about other languages I heard from many Esperanto speakers. And this is not only about European languages.

    http://esperantofre.com/faktoj

    • Glad to hear it! Despite what a lot of naysayers tell me, I have never heard anyone who took some time to learn Esperanto show the slightest sign of regret. Thanks for the comment!

  • I am a spaniard. I have always been interested in learning foreign languages as a hobby .I am fluent in 4 languages ( including Spanish and Esperanto ) and i have also studied German and Latin. I must say that learning Esperanto has been the most fascinating thing that i have ever done as a language learner. I started studying Esperanto some 10 years ago. At that time I thought that it was a language that didn’t exist any more, becuase it had already disappeared ( as it was almost impossible to find a single book in bookshops and libraries ). But even so , I decided to study it , at least a Little bit.
    Esperanto is easy to learn ( although of course it requires some effort ). It has helped me to better understand my other languages, even my mother tongue. Besides, to my great surprise, and mainly thanks to the internet, i have been able to find out that it is a very useful language : I use it everyday and i have hundres of friends ( and I could have many more if I just wanted to ) from all around the world. And last , but certainly not least, Esperanto is the language of peace. Any otjher important ( and not so important ) language in the world , throughout history, has been important becuase of the use of violence and comercial exploitation. I admit that esperanto has not reached the success that it was supposed to reach ( and that really deserves!!! ). But for all the esperantists in the world ( no matter how many they may be ) , it is the language that we prefer for reading , writing, travelling, meeting new people. And for the search of peace and justice in the world.

    • Everyone I’ve ever heard of who took the time to learn some Esperanto has said that it has been an amazing experience. It’s super exciting to be doing our Esperanto learning project this summer!

      Unfortunately, I have had a lot of people come down hard on Esperanto – probably due to a lack of understanding of the language. Thank you very much for your input!

  • IronMike

    I started learning Esperanto in 1993. Off and on over the years I’ve picked it back up. But I must say, even when there are years between me studying it and me going to an E-o blog, I can still read it very well. I think my reading ability is based on some E-o study but also my study of other languages, e.g. Russian, German, French, Spanish. E-o roots are such that I can guess pretty accurately most of the time on what the meaning is.
    E-o is a fun hobby language. Sadly, as an American, I’ve had little chance to use it. I hope to remedy that sometime in the future. I started studying it and continue because I love the idea of it, and I love the internationality of it.