"Esperanta" reasons

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"Esperanta" reasons

Postby Ser » 2009-04-13, 0:02

I opened this thread for compiling reasons to learn Esperanto, having in mind those Esperantists that promote it.

Personally, I'm not really interested in Esperanto, but a thread like this needs to be opened in the forum for those who are considering studying it seriously.

Please elaborate your suggestions. For example, in this thread someone mentioned "because it's the most successful conlang". Then why being the most successful conlang makes it a better language than others?

And so on. You can of course discuss the reasons that might be posted, but please, be intelligent and don't start a silly flamewar.

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Re: "Esperanta" reasons

Postby Narbleh » 2009-04-13, 1:08

I learned Esperanto at first because I've always been interested in languages (like everyone else here). It is by no means a perfect auxlang or conlang by my sensibilities, but I've since come to accept the fact that I hate how it sounds and don't like its very French syntax sometimes.
But as an English speaker, I've found its relative ease of speaking and general regularization to be refreshing.
I don't correspond with other Esperanto speakers, I don't go to conventions, I don't believe in the whole homaranismo stuff, and I very rarely write in it. I'm much more interested in its esoteric little niche of literary works, some originally in Eo and some translated from languages I don't speak and will never learn (Hungarian, Polish, Urdu, etc.)

So basically, I keep up my Esperanto because I find its structure fun and like the literature. I also like making fun of its sound by speaking it like an angry drunk when I'm alone :p
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Re: "Esperanta" reasons

Postby ILuvEire » 2009-04-13, 2:54

Pretty much the same as Narbleh for me. I started learning it, because I didn't like it, so I thought getting some basic knowledge would be good when I talked about how much I hated it. But it's kind of endearing, and cute. :P
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Re: "Esperanta" reasons

Postby AngryJohnny » 2009-04-13, 3:37

I learned it in about one week because I was bored. It's a good idea, an interesting language, but I don't see any reason to be serious about it. Maybe if some of the bugs were worked out and it truly became the international language, but as it is it's just a strange little conlang that I like to use on the Internet occasionally.

Real languages are far more interesting anyway; all those irregularities, ambiguities, and eccentricities that Esperanto so diligently avoids are what makes languages fascinating.

Mi lernis ĝin en proksimume unu semajno ĉar mi enuiĝis. Ĝi estas bona ideo, interesa lingvo, sed mi ne scias ĉial esti serioza pri ĝi. Eble se io de la maloportunaĵoj estus riparita kaj ĝi reale iĝus la internacia lingvo, sed tiel ĝi estas, ĝi estas nur stranga planlingvo ke mi ŝatas uzi sur la Interreto kelkfoje.

Naturaj lingvoj estas pli interesa ĉiukaze; tuta da tiu malregulecoj, multsencecoj, kaj marotoj ke Esperanto evitas estas kio igas lingvojn fascina.

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Re: "Esperanta" reasons

Postby Formiko » 2009-04-13, 3:46

When I was a kid, I came from a bad home life so I becamea voracious reader to escape. (That's one of the positive things about havigng a bad childhood) One day wen I was around 9, I was poking through a neighbors attic looking for a book to read. He has some old Encyclopedia Britttanicas and he let me have A-E (six books!) I read the E enctclopedia before dinner and was intrigued by the Esperanto article. It had a little ditty:
'Katido krias miaŭ-miaŭ-miaŭ
Hundido krias baŭ-ŭaŭ-ŭaŭ
Ŝafido krias baa-baa-baa
Infano krias maa-maa-maa
'

I learned thr 16 rules and fell in love. (I had already taught myself French by this time, and I was learning Russian from my neighbors.) I dropped it for other languagesas time went on, but reacquired it at 18, learning more vocabulary. I used the Pasporta Servo when I traveled to Europe once at 19. I then focused my life on my career and Esperanto fell to the wayside. When I was diagnosed with MS (multile Sclerosis) 4 years ago, my memory was shot. 2 years ago I had to relearn Esperanto practically from scratch.I did it as an exercise to retrain my brain in memorization. While Esperanto may not be the perfect language, it is the most successful and is a living language spoken around the world by actual people. I use it almost daily, and talk to people I NEVER would have spoken to if it were not for Esperanto. I speak to folks from Hungary, Latvia, Mali andCroatia COMPLETELY in Esperanto. Esperanto is the only common tongue we speak. If i spoke to them in English, I would have the upper hand because it is my native languae, and he could never speak to me as an "equal" linguistically. But with Esperanto, we BOTH are on even footing. My friend from Hungary doesnt know a WORD of English, yet we have WONDERFUL conversations. We have trader CD's and books with each other, and I we send Esperanto Chrstmas cards to each other. My daughter may visit HER daughter in Hungary (Debrecen), speaking only Esperanto to each other. I became friends with the president of the Granada, Spain Esperanto Club. He visited my family, and we may visit him this year. While we DID speak Spanish to each other, for words either of us couldn't express, we explained it in Esperanto! Esperanto is the easiest langauage on earth, by design. It has its flaws, but until another language has the same amount of speakers worldwide as Esperanto, it'll do for now. BTW, I recently purcased an Esperanto Rap CD! Pafklik and I hate hip-hop bt I'm very impressed with it. If everyone learned their own language and Esperanto, it could solve the communication problem in the world.
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Re: "Esperanta" reasons

Postby Sean of the Dead » 2009-04-13, 3:51

YOU TAUGHT YOURSELF FRENCH BEFORE YOU WERE NINE?!?!?! D: :evil: :anger: :cry:
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Re: "Esperanta" reasons

Postby Formiko » 2009-04-13, 3:58

Sean of the Dead wrote:YOU TAUGHT YOURSELF FRENCH BEFORE YOU WERE NINE?!?!?! D: :evil: :anger: :cry:


I was a prodigy. I graduated high school at 16 and got a complete scholarship to college. I think it was because I read 3 books a day until I was 12, not because i was smart. It was my way of escaping my horrible life.
I may have Asberger's, but back then they didn't know what it was, nor would I have been checked.
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Re: "Esperanta" reasons

Postby Sean of the Dead » 2009-04-13, 4:02

If you're not lying, you're my hero. If you are, I'll cry. :cry: :D
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Re: "Esperanta" reasons

Postby Formiko » 2009-04-13, 4:06

Sean of the Dead wrote:If you're not lying, you're my hero. If you are, I'll cry. :cry: :D


trust me, you didn't want my life.my kids call me their hero. I just made sure their life was nothing like mine.
Plus, I have what you call an ABD PhD. Everyone on the faculty knows who you are, and you've been a PhD candidate for 10 years but you didn't fnish your dissertation yet. ABD (All But the Dissertation)
I've changed my graduate major 12 times, and my dissertation subject 9 times :)
I'm an adjunct lecturer :)
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Re: "Esperanta" reasons

Postby Narbleh » 2009-04-13, 4:14

AngryJohnny wrote:Mi lernis ĝin en proksimume unu semajno ĉar mi enuiĝis. Ĝi estas bona ideo, interesa lingvo, sed mi scias neniun kialon esti serioza pri ĝi. Eble se iuj el la malregularaĵoj estus solvitaj, kaj ĝi reale iĝus la internacia lingvo, sed tiel ĝi estas, ĝi estas nur stranga planlingvo kiun mi ŝatas kelkfoje uzi Interrete.

Naturaj lingvoj estas pli interesaj ĉiukaze; ĉiuj tiuj malregularaĵoj, dubasencaĵoj, kaj strangaĵoj, kiujn Esperanto evitas estas tio, kio igas lingvojn fascinaj.


My two cents here:

I disagree that Esperanto is easy or boring because it has regularized areas that natural languages are most often irregular in, such as verb conjugation, plurals, and word derivation. Even despite a simplified grammar, it's still not that hard to make mistakes, as evidenced by the sheer volume of grammatically incorrect Esperanto out there, especially on the internet.

Once you go beyond the basics, you start to discover the more subtle ways in which Esperanto is irregular, such as verb transitivity and idiomatic usage. There's also the matter that, like every language, Esperanto has a vocabulary wherein words have specific meanings which do not always line up with what you'd expect. That can only be mastered with time.

I'm also not of the opinion that a language's interest depends on how irregular it is, or else I'd be learning Lithuanian or Kalaallisut ;)

As for bugs to work out, there have always been proposals for reforms to "correct" aspects of Esperanto, and they've consistently been shot down for over a hundred years. Once you start fiddling with this and that in a conlang, it's easy to keep going, and then you'd end up with lots of variations of Esperanto because some would avoid changes while others would embrace them, and this new Esperanto would make a century's worth of literature out of date in basic aspects of the language instead of subtle usage.

So those bugs are here to say :)
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Re: "Esperanta" reasons

Postby Sean of the Dead » 2009-04-13, 4:37

Narbleh wrote:...and then you'd end up with lots of variations of Esperanto because some would avoid changes while others would embrace them, and this new Esperanto would make a century's worth of literature out of date in basic aspects of the language instead of subtle usage.

Except that that happens to every language that has reforms, not just Esperanto. :ohwell:
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Re: "Esperanta" reasons

Postby Narbleh » 2009-04-13, 4:44

And how many natural languages are in Esperanto's position? :p
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Re: "Esperanta" reasons

Postby ILuvEire » 2009-04-13, 5:18

Sean of the Dead wrote:
Narbleh wrote:...and then you'd end up with lots of variations of Esperanto because some would avoid changes while others would embrace them, and this new Esperanto would make a century's worth of literature out of date in basic aspects of the language instead of subtle usage.

Except that that happens to every language that has reforms, not just Esperanto. :ohwell:

But mostly that's in the realms of orthography. Most Esperanto reformers want to actually change the grammar, which never happens in natlangs, they just progress as they want, and "official" written language follows it.

Like, would we ever change "waiter" to a neutral term, then have "waitress" and "waiterman"? Or decide that when we want to use the imperative, we'll add -ez to the end. 'To wait' becomes 'waitez!' (Ido, an Esperanto reform, did both of these.)
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Re: "Esperanta" reasons

Postby loqu » 2009-04-13, 7:03

Oh please, Esperanto is difficult as hell. Not grammar, not vocabulary, but vocabulary usage is hard. So no, it's not an easy or simple language, as it aimed to be.

I speak a little Esperanto I taught myself from a little dictionary when I was 14. It was really cool and I even began writing in it regularly and translating songs (:lol:). Then a year afterwards I came across people on the Internet who spoke it and realized how difficult it was to produce proper sentences --because of the word usage.

Those of you who look down on Esperanto because it's easy or simple, stop saying that and learn it. Heh.

And replying to the OP, Esperanto is not better than any conlang, just the most successful -- to derive an idea from the other one only came out of you, Neqitan, but it doesn't mean anything. The same way English is not the best natlang, just the most widely spoken.

Esperanto is anyway a good way of entering the world of conlanging.
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Re: "Esperanta" reasons

Postby ''' » 2009-04-13, 14:22

loqu wrote:And replying to the OP, Esperanto is not better than any conlang, just the most successful -- to derive an idea from the other one only came out of you, Neqitan, but it doesn't mean anything. The same way English is not the best natlang, just the most widely spoken.

Esperanto is anyway a good way of entering the world of conlanging.


QFT

I agree, Esperanto isn't better or worse. I love Esperanto, I have certain issues with it as I do with all languages, there are reasons why it's a more viable IAL than others and reasons why not, but these don't contribute to its worth.

If you need a reason to learn a language, you're clearly in the wrong place buddy but at the end of the day it's a language, a new type of language and something interesting.

If you want conventional reasons though, it'll give you access to the Esperanto community and culture. It will allow you to use the pasporta servo, it will also give you a grammatically non-complex second language to learn which will help you in later language acquisition.
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Re: "Esperanta" reasons

Postby Mutusen » 2009-04-13, 14:48

I learned Esperanto for several reasons.
Like everyone here, I'm interested in languages — not really in conlangs, but I learned Esperanto because I knew there are other people who speak it.
I like the idea of a neutral auxiliary language. Esperanto is not perfect (I'd change a few things if I could) but I think it's better than the present system.
Before I began to learn it, I read several times "Esperanto was made to be easy" or "Esperanto can be learned x times as quickly as other languages." Of course easiness is relative and subjective, but I didn't find it very difficult. After a few months, I was better at Esperanto than at Spanish (a language very similar to French, and that I had studied for 3 years), and when I went to my first Esperanto convention last summer, I could speak quite fluently, although I had studied Esperanto only on the Internet for 1 year and a half, and I had never spoken it before.
And even if Esperanto is never recognized worldwide, its present is enjoyable. When I went to IJK in Hungary, I loved it, and knew I had a very good idea when I began to learn Esperanto. And next summer I'll go to IJK again, in the Czech Republic, and after I'm invited by a Czech friend, and Esperanto is our only common language. (She does learn English and French but she cannot speak them, and I'll try to learn Czech basics but don't expect a miracle.)

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Re: "Esperanta" reasons

Postby gyrus » 2009-04-22, 20:06

My opinion of Esperanto changes constantly. I get into spurts of "this is a fun language!" and do the regular translating and using of it I do with the natlangs I learn. Then I have a spout of despising its irregularity. I've got the grammar down pretty well but I just really need to get more advanced and learn those bloody "correlatives", both of which might be hard to do through lernu.
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Re: "Esperanta" reasons

Postby AlexandreMsx » 2009-12-16, 21:00

It's very difficult to tell 'the reason' why we learn a language here at unilang. We all are language lovers and love to learn languages, that's it. For 'ordinary' people when they ask me why I decided to learn esperanto I just tell them I did because it sounds cool. I don't love esperanto, I just like it as an oportunity to meet people and talk in another language. If people wants to make money it's better to learn english or mandarin or even the sign language of your contry (indeed I seriously believe nobody here wants language as a profit oportunity). Esperanto isn't THAT easy, but it is easier than other similar languages.

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Re: "Esperanta" reasons

Postby Ser » 2009-12-16, 23:45

AlexandreMsx wrote:Esperanto isn't THAT easy, but it is easier than other similar languages.
What could be a language similar to Esperanto? :P

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Re: "Esperanta" reasons

Postby AlexandreMsx » 2009-12-18, 1:58

There are the esperantidos I think they're more difficult to learn than esperanto because they're not as regular as esperanto. Eg the correlatives vs latin-based words in Ido. Interlingua is damn beautifull to the eyes of a native romlang speaker, but it is dificult as Italian or Spanish to learn (two of most "easy" natural romlangs you can find). Maybe I had forgotten some other one, but if I remember it I will say it here.


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