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Esperanto - how 'alive' is it? How long to learn? Any online courses?
Thread poster: Stefanie Sendelbach

Stefanie Sendelbach  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 04:19
Member (2003)
English to German
+ ...
Jun 26, 2004

Hi there,

First of all, congrats on this new forum!

Since I first heard of Esperanto, I was fascinated by the idea of a new language, constructed so that everybody will be able to communicate with each other easily, no matter from which country he or she is.

Here are a few questions to those of you who know Esperanto:

1. Do you know about any estimates on how "alive" the language really is? How many people do actually use it to converse with others? My impression (which is not worth much) tells me that Esperanto is only used by very few people.

2. How long did it take you to learn the language properly - say, with a background in Roman languages (isn't Esperanto built up on the basis of Roman languages)?

3. Do you know of any (good) online sources and courses concerning Esperanto?

Thanks for any information.

Cheers,
Stefanie

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2004-06-26 21:25]


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xxxIanW
Local time: 04:19
German to English
+ ...
Native Esperanto speaker Jun 26, 2004

Hi there,

When I was studying in France many moons ago, I actually met a girl whose first language was Esperanto. Her father was Japanese and her mother was English (or possibly the other way around) and they had met through an Esperanto network, married and spoke Esperanto at home.

Thankfully, she also learnt English and Japanese from her parents - imagine how hard it would be to learn another language if the only language you know was Esperanto!

All the best


Ian


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Stefanie Sendelbach  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 04:19
Member (2003)
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I never knew there were native Esperanto speakers!! Jun 26, 2004

Wow. Thanks, Ian, for your reply. I am quite amazed. Never expected native Esperanto speakers.

Do you happen to know the network her parents are in?

Do you happen to know any Esperanto?

You say that, with Esperanto being her first language, the girl would have had problems learning any other language. Is Esperanto really that simple?

Stefanie

[Edited at 2004-06-26 18:52]


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nordiste  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 04:19
Member (2005)
English to French
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HAve a look at http://www.uea.org/ Jun 26, 2004

Hi,

Have a look at the website of the Universala Esperanto Asocio , they also have an English version.
There is also the SAT "http://satesperanto.free.fr/kio_ang.html" which is not apolitical but more sicialist oriented.

I learned a bit of Esperanto a long time ago as a student and I once used it in Hungary as a student , when it was not esay for them to learn English (because it was the language of so-called "american capitalism" ). Esperanto is very easy, the grammar is regular and the roots of the words are part latin, part german and part slavic (1/3 each).

I have almost completely forgotten it by now. Although the situation has changed in the Eastern Europeean countries I suppose that they are still some networks of speakers. I know some old members of SAT here in France ; they have an international congress (every second year I think) and they are very proud because "they don't need any interpretor nor tranlator !"


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kanajlo
Local time: 22:19
Esperanto to English
+ ...
Esperanto Sources and Courses Jun 26, 2004

Stephanie,
Esperanto is very well represented on the Web. If you would like to receive a list of URLs, please write to me at
kanajlo@yahoo.com
I would also be glad to explain to you what the sites are all about, if you don't understand Esperanto.
Sincerely,
Kanajlo


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kanajlo
Local time: 22:19
Esperanto to English
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Esperanto Sources and Courses Jun 26, 2004

Stephanie,
If you would like a list of URLs, please contact me. I will explain what the sites are about if you do not know Esperanto and if it is not obvious to you what the site is about.
Sincerely,
Kanajlo
kanajlo@yahoo.com


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Stephanie Mitchel  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:19
French to English
Quick answers Jun 26, 2004

Hi Stefanie,

I pitched your questions to my brother (an Esperantist), and got back some quick answers - he can go on at length, but the library was closing and he had to get off their computer.

1. Do you know about any estimates on how "alive" the language really is? How many people do actually use it to converse with others? My impression (which is not worth much) tells me that Esperanto is only used by very few people.

A: Possibly hundreds of thousands. It is insanely difficult
to determine.

2. How long did it take you to learn the language properly - say, with a background in Roman languages (isn't Esperanto built up on the basis of Roman languages)?

A: Much less time than almost any language in the world except
Indonesian, however fast you learn languages...[and in answer to the question in parentheses:] Only partly.

3. Do you know of any (good) online sources and courses concerning Esperanto?

A: www.lernu.net

Hope this sets you off in the right direction.

Stephanie


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Guy Penet
Egypt
Local time: 05:19
German to French
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Esperanto learning Jun 27, 2004

Hi,

I learned Esperanto in Germany when I was staying there for my studies and it only took me a few months with two hours per week to be able to speak and understand basic conversation. As already said by others, it is very difficult to assess the number of current speakers/users in the world since some of them once learned the language and are not even registered in any Esperanto organizations like UEA for instance.

I use it regularly : corresponding, reading, listening to music.... One of my work providers is Esperantist and we use the language for work correspondence.

For the resources, you can find everything at http://www.uea.org/


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Stefanie Sendelbach  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 04:19
Member (2003)
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Free online course Jun 27, 2004

I just found a free online course for Esperanto. It consists of 10 lessons, which are available in various languages. Everybody gets assigned one mentor who is supposed to correct homeworks and answer questions.

Looks very nice. I think I'll give it a try and let you know how it goes.

Stefanie

Oh, here is the link: http://www.cs.chalmers.se/~martinw/esperanto/veb/lerni.html


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Stefanie Sendelbach  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 04:19
Member (2003)
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for the tips Jun 27, 2004

Hi Stephanie,

Thanks to you and your brother for the info. www.lernu.net indeed looks very good and I'll definitely read on there.

Cheers,
Stefanie

[Edited at 2004-06-27 09:10]


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Stefanie Sendelbach  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 04:19
Member (2003)
English to German
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TOPIC STARTER
Can you please make your list of links available for everybody? Jun 27, 2004

Hi Kanajlo,

kanajlo wrote:
Esperanto is very well represented on the Web. If you would like to receive a list of URLs, please write to me at
kanajlo@yahoo.com
I would also be glad to explain to you what the sites are all about, if you don't understand Esperanto.


Thank you for your offer. I noticed that there are quite a lot of Esperanto courses, associations, online libraries, etc. available on the net.

A list of links would be very useful though. Would you like to post it here in the forum? That way, everybody who reads this thread and is interested in Esperanto can profit from your collection.

Thanks,
Stefanie


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kanajlo
Local time: 22:19
Esperanto to English
+ ...
A few of my favorite Esperanto sites, some in English Jun 27, 2004

A few of my favorite sites are listed here. Please list your favorites.

Don Harlow's Website
http://www.harlows.org/don/esperanto/
"Basis" of Esperanto
http://www.akademio-de-esperanto.org/fundamento/index.html
Independent "Free Page"
http://www.algonet.se/~kallekn/folio/
"Lernu" -- Learn Esperanto
http://www.lernu.net/lernu.php?lingvo=en
Stephen Kalb's Page
http://www.mebsuta.com/hejmo.htm
Illustrated Dictionary !
http://www.krokodilo.de/vortaro/vortaro.html
Dictionary for Beginners
http://www.banyai-kkt.sulinet.hu/esperanto/VORT.html
Esperanto Chatroom
http://www.babilejo.org/
Net Dictionary (Very good)
http://www.uni-leipzig.de/esperanto/voko/revo/
Complete Handbook of Esperanto Grammar
http://www.bertilow.com/pmeg/index.html
Difficult Words and Abbreviations in Esperanto
http://cafe.rapidus.net/ghiginio/vortaro/Eo_0.html
Pilger Dictionary
http://www.xs4all.nl/~pilger/breo-aa5.htm
Esperanto Proverb Collection I
http://esperanto.nu/cgi-esperanto/eLibro.pl?eL=131-3
Esperanto Proverb Collection II
http://www.helsinki.fi/~jslindst/proverbaro.html#proverboj
Esperanto Society of New York
http://www.geocities.com/esperanto_nyc/
Esperanto Panorama
www.esperanto-panorama.net

[Edited at 2004-07-02 03:45]


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Stefanie Sendelbach  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 04:19
Member (2003)
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
A few links to get started Jun 27, 2004

Here is some interesting info for beginners:

from Don Harlows' website ( http://www.harlows.org/don/esperanto/ ):
Start by visiting the following three pages, reading them thoroughly, and perhaps printing them out:

http://www.webcom.com/donh/Esperanto/rules.html

This is a list of the so-called "16 rules of Esperanto grammar". Once you understand these, and how they are used, you will have 90% of what you need to know about Esperanto's morphology. Much of the other 10% can be found at

http://www.webcom.com/donh/Esperanto/correlatives.html

These are the "who, what, when, where, how, why, etc." of Esperanto, the only significant subsystem of the language not touched on by the 16 rules. With these two pages, you should have no trouble following the structure of written Esperanto, if not its content. For a bit more information on content, go to

http://www.webcom.com/donh/Esperanto/affixes.html

which will show you how to build words in Esperanto, using the three dozen or so prefixes and suffixes that the language makes great use of.



[Edited at 2004-06-27 10:58]


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Yoana Yotova
Local time: 05:19
English to Bulgarian
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Some additional usefull links Jun 29, 2004

Some More courses for Esperanto:

http://www.cursodeesperanto.com.br/bazo/index.html?en
A course in a fdew languages. You can also have a tutor as it is the course offered by UEA (the project NESTO http://www.ameriko.org/nesto/nesto.htm ).

http://pacujo.net/esperanto/course/ - Free Esperanto course in English with a tutor that corrects the excersizes and helps if needed.

http://verdadrako.50g.com/asap/content.htm - esperanto ASAP

http://esperanto.org/espviva/angla/ - Esperanto VIVA - again a course with a tutor.

http://www.esperanto.ca/kurso/home.htm - Very basic introduction course

http://anaproy.homeip.net/esperantocourse/eocoursetoc.html - A little more grammar based course.

And of course already mentioned www.lernu.net

Some other sites:
http://www.webcom.com/~donh/esperanto.html - Esperanto Access - the place to fins a lot of information about esperanto

One good dictionary:
http://www.uni-leipzig.de/esperanto/voko/revo/

And one site that will be interested for everyone interested in languages (I suppose so at least:) ):
http://www.lingvo.info/?lingvo=en


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kanajlo
Local time: 22:19
Esperanto to English
+ ...
Good Sites in and about Esperanto Jun 30, 2004

Sundari and Venabili have found some excellent sites! Thank you both! I will list some more sites later. Lernu Esperanton!

[Edited at 2004-07-02 03:46]


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