My Esperanto Log

Discussion in 'Language Learning Logs & Super Challenges' started by pensulo, Sep 2, 2014.

  1. pensulo

    pensulo Member VIP member

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    Well, I think I might start an Esperanto log here :)

    Since I'm about to head out I will keep this post quick. I plan on giving semi regular updates on my progress here, attempts at translations and so forth. So what are my goals?

    I plan on studying until the end of the year, and from there moving on to Serbian. So I have about four months left to work with and this is what I am looking to achieve:

    • I'm currently at an A2 level, I want to reach a B1 level if possible by the end of the year.
    • I currently know a couple hundred words, by the end of the year I would like to know a couple thousand. Based on the rate I am going at now, this is fairly achievable I believe.
    • I'm using lernu.net to study. I wish to finish the intermediate course by the end of the year (fairly easy to achieve I think).
    • If achieving the above, then I should hopefully be able to read Wikipedia with relative ease, and hopefully far less need of a dictionary handy.
    That's basically what I'm aiming for, more to come later today when I'm back :)
  2. Big_Dog

    Big_Dog Administrator Staff Member

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    Why are you learning Esperanto? Is it mostly for the "long shortcut" people talk about, or do you really plan to use it a lot?
  3. pensulo

    pensulo Member VIP member

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    Well, I initially learned it because I read it was easy to learn and that it was shown to help learn other languages. The reason I did that was because I was only ever at an A1 level in other languages I learned and I would just get frustrated at getting nowhere and it resulted in me getting quite dejected. I wanted to start with an easy language to boost my confidence before I start on other languages.

    To be honest, getting to an A2 level has accomplished the main goal I wanted to achieve which was to boost my confidence, but now I've met quite a few people online and I'd like to be able to use the language more fluently to have a better dialog. A lot of people who have difficulties learning English turn to Esperanto and it's interesting to get an insight into their culture which I otherwise wouldn't be able to do without learning their language.

    It's not going to be a language I use a lot in person, but something I'll use more online. I'll perhaps attend conferences every once and a while if they're nearby by that's about it.
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  4. Bob

    Bob Active Member VIP member

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    Hmm maybe if we taught this in high school, we could spend one year learning it, and then the other 2 years actually using it. I'm curious to know how your learning experiences with Esperanto are different from other languages? Would you advise others to do Esperanto first? Would it be any harder do this with Indonesian? I've heard in the past that it's the easiest (natural) language.
  5. pensulo

    pensulo Member VIP member

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    I think for Esperanto there was much more support, that would be the main thing. There are a lot of learners, on lernu.net there is both a forum and instant messenger to chat on. Likewise, people are always keen to chat online on Skype. It's very easy to get a lot of practice from even the most basic level and have access to it regularly. This may be true of some other languages, but not so much of say Serbian the main language I'm interested in studying next so it takes much more of my own inertia to get going.

    As for benefits the language itself, well it's regular with no exception since it's an artificial language strictly controlled. This makes it fairly easy to pick up on the rules. Nouns end in -o, adverbs -e and adjectives in -a. Add -j to make a word plural and so on. Even without knowing many of the words in the sentence, you can get the gist from paying attention to the word endings. Then there's the word building part of the language which again makes it easy to pickup on meanings. There's a variety of suffixes and affixes which once you learn them increase your vocabulary quite a bit. For example, -et- signifies something small while -eg- means something big. Domo = house, dometo = small house / cottage, domego = big house / mansion. -ejo- indicates place. Libro = book, librejo = library / bookshop, kuiri = to cook, kuirejo = kitchen.

    Further, since a lot of its words are sourced from European languages it doesn't take much effort to remember them and reading texts is possible quite often simply because you recognize the words. Until I started Esperanto I didn't realize how big of a help this was. When I was learning Serbian every word was a struggle. Only a few words here and there could I make a link to English and ease my memorization. For example oko = eye, similar to ocular. Apoteka = pharmacy, similar to apothecary. Esperanto has plenty of words similar to English, and when it's not similar to English it contains words familiar to me from other languages I've dabbled in.

    In summary, support, ease of grammar, ease of word memorization are the 3 things that make it easy for me.

    I think if you have your heart set on another language, it would be a bit hard to focus on learning something else. In my case I started learning it without the intention of moving to Serbian, but based on my success I now desire to do so which is making it a bit hard to concentrate on my Esperanto but I persist because of the people I met through it. If people don't believe they can learn a language, I think Esperanto is a good experiment in proving them wrong but otherwise I don't think one should start with it unless it in particular interests them.

    I worked with a couple of Indonesian guys so I know a couple of phrases, but I'm definitely no expert on the language. I dabbled in it for a little bit by getting a book from the library for learning it but never really did much beyond skim through the pages after I found out the guys mainly spoke Hokkien with each other. It doesn't seem to me to be all that easy, but as I mentioned I hardly know anything about it so can't really give a fair comparison. To be honest, the only 'natural' languages I generally see referred to as being easy (outside of creoles or pidgins) are Italian or Spanish.
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  6. pensulo

    pensulo Member VIP member

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    So, I saw this text on another forum and it appears to be a good one for a beginner to work with. Below is the text, followed by my attempted translation:

    Se unu de via sxuoj falis, aux per ekzemplo vi maltrovis unu, kio faros cxe la dua sxuo? Unu tago, Gandhi rapida kuris al la trajno. La trajno jam ekmovis. Kiam li eniris la trajnon, oni de lia sxuoj falis de lia piedoj - li rigardis per unu momento, tiam li prenas la alia sxuo kaj jxetis gxin for. Kiam li petis kial, Gandhi nur rigardis kaj eksplikas ke li volas la malricxa viro kiu trovos la sxuoj havi du sxuoj do li povas uzi ilin. Sed, se estis nur unu, nek li nek mi povos uzas ilin.

    So, my initial translation was a bit wanting when I did this the other week. I didn't know a few important words that were somewhat essential for the translation. This time around I did a fairly good job I think with only slight "artistic license". The word for find is trovi, and the word for lose is perdi but I cracked under pressure and forgot perdi so I used maltrovi (mal inverts the meaning of the word) which I think would be understood, but it's obvious that it's a hackish workaround. My other work arounds were took, instead of grab, entering the train as opposed to getting on the train, and lastly omitting "in contrast" from the final sentence. Overall, I think the vast majority of the meaning has been carried across but I still need to sharpen up a bit :)
  7. pensulo

    pensulo Member VIP member

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    So I lost a bit of interest in Esperanto atm as you know how life can be. While I am still doing flash cards, I haven't done much reading or otherwise. I wish I could find more people to chat to as that's my main motivator with it. Anyways, since my partner likes French I decided to get Michel Thomas' course on French. We've done the first couple lessons and it's pretty cool. French pronunciation is pretty hard though, man.
  8. Bob

    Bob Active Member VIP member

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    I listened to por la mondo quite a bit in the past. The one that sticks with me is "Estas La Legho". Perhaps this could perk your Esperanto back up? :)
  9. pensulo

    pensulo Member VIP member

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    Thanks for the suggestion. I have now sorta moved into Serbian. I found some people to practice with and that's helping bit by bit :) I still use Esperanto regularly enough, but it'll have to stay at a A2ish level for a while to come I think :)

    I might start up a Serbian blog, but knowing me it will probably be abandoned for long stretches of time... :p

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