What about Esperanto?

gonzalox237

Senior Member
Castellano
The esperanto actuallity


Hi guys, I'm making this post because I want to know if had any kind of info about the reallity of Esperanto nowadays. Because it is like it is hidden, so many of you guys, know a lot about languages, and maybe you can have an own oppinion about Esperanto; and that's what I want to know.​



So I hope to watch your posts.​
 
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  • palomnik

    Senior Member
    English
    OK, I'll jump in.

    In my experience, a lot of people who study languages aren't that enthused about Esperanto. People who study languages are often just as interested in the cultures that define, and are defined, by those languages. Esperanto isn't tied to any one culture, or worse still, it presents itself as "neutral", when in fact it it based pretty much entirely on word roots and structural formations from European languages.

    It's just an opinion. Maybe other foreros will have a different angle.
     

    Ghabi

    AL/OL/Ar/Zh mod
    Cantonese
    People who study languages are often just as interested in the cultures that define, and are defined, by those languages. Esperanto isn't tied to any one culture, or worse still, it presents itself as "neutral", when in fact it it based pretty much entirely on word roots and structural formations from European languages.
    Very very true.:thumbsup: And I want to add that Esperanto has been tied to a certain political ideal, which, however, seems to have had its heyday in most parts of the world. The motivation is gone.
     

    Miĉjo

    New Member
    English - Canada
    Esperanto is alive and well. The Esperanto community - about 2,000,000 speakers - tends to keep a low profile, so it's not surprising it appears hidden. It has grown and continues to grow slowly but surely, with current hotspots being Brazil, east Asia and parts of Africa. The Internet has given a boost to the language in recent years.

    Some of a people's culture is tied up in the language they speak, but most is in the hearts, minds and hands of the people, with the language acting as a vehicle. Esperanto, in serving people of extremely diverse linguistic, cultural and geographic backgrounds, has shown itself to be more than an adequate vehicle of their cultures. Esperanto's culture, to a large degree, is the cosmopolitan culture of its world-spanning community of speakers, but it also has a culture of its own.

    Esperanto is neutral, but in a limited sense - not like the color gray, but more like the country Switzerland. Its neutrality is that it is not associated with or beholden to any one people, ethnicity or nation. It definitely takes a stand, though, just as you would discover of Switzerland if you ever tried to rob a bank there or tell the Swiss their culture(s) is/are bogus. There is indeed an Esperanto movement that is an important feature of the Esperanto community; however, political/social/religious/moral views are those of its speakers, and span the spectrum from one extreme to the other.

    Most of Esperanto's vocabulary is drawn from Latin. But its simple, regular grammar (no exceptions to the rules, clearly marked grammatical function) and semantics (almost no idiomatic meanings), its very flexible grammar (relatively free word order, free conversion between different parts of speech), and its productive, freely combinable word-building system (ability to create words at will) avoid many of the traps in ethnic languages while making it possible to model one's Esperanto after one's native language without compromising comprehension. Because they have to work a bit harder to memorize the roots, speakers of non-Indo-European languages find Esperanto a bit more difficult than do speakers of Indo-European languages, but because of the other features of the language, they still find it easy, much (several times) easier than, say, English. Esperanto is within reach of anyone, and can be mastered in a matter of months, not years.

    But don't believe me - learn it, get involved with the community, and see for yourself. If you want more information, send me an email.
     

    Brioche

    Senior Member
    Australia English
    OK, I'll jump in.

    In my experience, a lot of people who study languages aren't that enthused about Esperanto. People who study languages are often just as interested in the cultures that define, and are defined, by those languages. Esperanto isn't tied to any one culture, or worse still, it presents itself as "neutral", when in fact it it based pretty much entirely on word roots and structural formations from European languages.

    It's just an opinion. Maybe other foreros will have a different angle.
    Most people start to learn a second language because they are forced to in school. By and large, the rationale behind foreign languages in the school curriculum is economic not esthetic. Do all those schools in Europe teach English because of their interest in US or UK culture? Might trade and commerce have something to do with it?

    Those people trying to sell me stuff in Vietnam and Egypt [to name by two] hadn't learned English to read Dickens or discuss Vita Sackville-West.

    It seems to me that you are criticising Esperanto for being exactly what it claims to be. Neutral to an Esperantist means neither participating nor wanting to participate in arguments, conflicts or wars.

    I also do not see the conflict between being neutral and basing itself on European roots and structures. It's inventor was a European, and saw things through the prism of his time and location.
     
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    Brioche

    Senior Member
    Australia English
    Most of Esperanto's vocabulary is drawn from Latin.
    There are plenty from other sources:
    as in tago for day, suno for sun, rivero for river, birdo for bird, hundo for dog, shinko for ham, shranko for cupboard, pilko for ball, shati [German Schatz] for appreciate, shnuro for rope, hufo for hoof, prava for true.
    I'll let you guess what fisho and flago mean.

    But its simple, regular grammar (no exceptions to the rules, clearly marked grammatical function) and semantics (almost no idiomatic meanings)
    Esperanto has a lot of unnecessary grammar.
    It has adjectival agreement, for number and case, plus plurals and tenses.

    If you have adverbs, you don't need tense.
    Today I cut myself. Yesterday I cut myself.

    If you have numbers, you don't need plurals.
    One fat sheep, two fat sheep.
    You don't need two fats sheeps.

    its very flexible grammar (relatively free word order, free conversion between different parts of speech),
    The bulk of Esperanto, including that written by the inventor Zamenhof, follows the subject-verb-object pattern. So most people say and write "I love him". Esperanto has an accusative case, so you can say "Him I love" or "Love him I" or "Him love I" &c, but it is very rare, and certainly not worth the bother of remembering the accusative.

    Many Esperantists fumble over the accusative, but are completely understandable, demonstrating that it is not essential.

    and its productive, freely combinable word-building system (ability to create words at will)
    Again, this is what Esperanto could do, and should do, but does not.

    Esperanto is rotten with words borrowed whole, when the ideas can be expressed using basic roots.

    Any person whose aim was to "solve the language problem" would use basic Esperanto roots and say children's doctor in Esperanto and not pediatro. Ditto for animal doctor rather than veterinaro. Who would introduce sismo when the idea could be expressed by earth shake?

    Then there is the lunatic system for naming countries.
    Zamenhof decided that some countries would be named after their inhabitants, so
    French [adjective] = franc-a, thus French people [franc-oj] live in France [Franc-ujo],
    Chinese [adjective] = chin-a, Chinese people [chin-oj] live in China [Chin-ujo]

    But for other countries, the inhabitants would be named after the country.
    So Australia [Australi-o] is inhabited by Australians [Australi-an-oj] and Candada [Kanad-o] is inhabited by Canadians [Kanad-an-oj].
    The respective adjectives are Canadian = Kanad-a, and Australian = Australi-a.

    But some twit decided that country names would look better if they all ended in -io. So now France is Francio, but the adjective remains franc-a, and the people Franc-oj.

    So when you come across a country's name, you have to learn by heart whether to drop -io, or just -o to form the adjective.

    This is the language with "no exceptions" !!

    But don't believe me - learn it, get involved with the community, and see for yourself. If you want more information, send me an email.
    Yes, do learn it. Even with its idiocies, it is relatively easy.
    Especially if you know some French and German.

    You will meet some very interesting people.
     

    Brioche

    Senior Member
    Australia English
    Very very true.:thumbsup: And I want to add that Esperanto has been tied to a certain political ideal, which, however, seems to have had its heyday in most parts of the world. The motivation is gone.
    The Ideal of Esperanto was and still is to provide the world with a [relatively] easy second language for all.

    It's founder believed that if ordinary people could communicate with one another across the language barriers, that misunderstanding could be avoided, and if misunderstandings could be avoided, then also conflict and war.
    So many Esperantists see themselves as workers for peace through understanding.

    At the present time, the Esperanto community has more than its fair share of people who hate English.

    Jealousy is part of this, because so far, English has been much more successful as an international language than Esperanto.

    Esperantists delight in pointing out the difficulties of English, the erratic spelling, the leg up it gives to native speakers, its links with imperial powers, &c. It can become very boring.

    The Esperanto community also has a lot of people who hate the US. Sometimes I'm not sure whether they hate the US because they speak English, or whether they hate English because the US speaks it!
     

    jazyk

    Senior Member
    Brazílie, portugalština
    as in tago for day, suno for sun, rivero for river, birdo for bird, hundo for dog, shinko for ham, shranko for cupboard, pilko for ball, shati [German Schatz] for appreciate, shnuro for rope, hufo for hoof, prava for true.
    They ultimately come from Latin rivus and pela even though the most apparent sources are English river and Polish piłka.
     

    Brioche

    Senior Member
    Australia English
    They ultimately come from Latin rivus and pela even though the most apparent sources are English river and Polish piłka.
    Yes, Zamenhof took those words from the English and Polish. Just as he took fromagho = cheese from French, and not from the Latin root caseus formatus.

    If you want to follow the "ultimate source", you could probably track just about all Esperanto words to Proto-Indo-European.
     

    Angelo di fuoco

    Senior Member
    Russian & German (GER) bilingual
    For me, who don't know very much about Esperanto, it just sounds (or looks, because I never heard somebody speak it) not neutral, but silly and awfully artificial. Even now I prefer learning a bunch of other languages to learning Esperanto.

    During some time, until I decided to have a closer look on Portuguese, it wasn't very beautiful in my opinion, just like Polish, but if one knows a language better, one discovers its beauty (or it just becomes tolerable), so this opinion can change. However, I would prefer knowing Chinese (which has not much grammatical particles), that I am learning now, and Hungarian or Turc (very regular languages) to Esperanto, because they are tied to a culture.
     

    gonzalox237

    Senior Member
    Castellano
    I've read all the postes, and what I can see is that: each one has its own oppinion about Esperanto. I know it is an artificial language, I dont see something bad in that, because it's like telling that: "I don't like robots because they're not natural, they were created by some", even knowing that it could be helpful.

    I also have to say that Esperanto has its own culture, developed by the people who speaks it, so its a complex culture, but also interesting, because the people who learn Esperanto does it because they want, and not because they were forced to.

    When a person who knows Esperanto speaks, he or she uses the simpliest words in order to be understanted by the other one, we know that there're complex words that can be used as the simplies ones, but most of the time the vocabulary is basic, becuase in order to make the comunication more easy. So come on, in all languages exists complex words and even knowing their meaning we dont use them because we prefer the simpliest ones .

    In addition, I know that some people dislike english, but it is kind of weird because they speak that language, and I know most of the people (not everyone) who speaks Esperanto doesn't pay attention about the hate against English.

    So, what Esperanto is trying to do is help the world with the comunication issue, but I repeat "TRY".

    The Esperanto comunity is a hugh comunity with kind people and many nuances, and that's what makes Esperanto from my point of view interesting.
     
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    Awwal12

    Senior Member
    Russian
    I also have to say that Esperanto has its own culture, developed by the people who speaks it
    But there is no such nation anyway - with its history, ethnic self-conciousness, traditions and other ethnographical features, etc. Speakers of Esperanto are always parts of some other cultures after all, aren't they? But even if suppose that people who speak Esperanto can create some stable Esperanto culture, everything is limited by their number - which nowadays is insufficient.

    Actually, I have nothing against eperiments with artifical languages - the only problem is that I see no practical reasons for such experiments by now.
     

    gonzalox237

    Senior Member
    Castellano
    But there is no such nation anyway - with its history, ethnic self-conciousness, traditions and other ethnographical features, etc.

    I speak Spanish because the Spaniards came to my land and conquered the land I live now which is Peru, I dont speak Quechua, Aymara or any of the 72 native languages spoken in the Peru's jungle. But the history of Peru should be in Quechua and no in Spanish, our root are more American than European. Also people from other countris such as the Africans came as slaves, and they learn Spanish because of necessity. So we're a colony, and what I can see is that Esperanto has its own colony in the heart of each Esperantist.

    And talking about numbers I guess it doesnt matter too much, because we prefer the quality than quantity. The people who understand Esperanto in the way I can watch it, is people who believe that everithing is gonna be better someday and believe me reliable people evene if you just meet the person 5 minutes ago.

    It is something that we have to experiment to feel it.

    The nation is not limited to the number of citizens. We're a worldwide city, named who know who.
     
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    gonzalox237

    Senior Member
    Castellano
    Actually, I have nothing against experiments with artifical languages - the only problem is that I see no practical reasons for such experiments by now.
    About this issue, well most the human invention were created because of the necesesity, so that's why people know that the comunication is an important issue, thats why they experiment, if we cant comunicate our thinkings, feeling or wathever we want to, the world will become i dont know.

    So better before that after.
     

    Brioche

    Senior Member
    Australia English
    For me, who don't know very much about Esperanto, it just sounds (or looks, because I never heard somebody speak it) not neutral, but silly and awfully artificial. Even now I prefer learning a bunch of other languages to learning Esperanto.

    During some time, until I decided to have a closer look on Portuguese, it wasn't very beautiful in my opinion, just like Polish, but if one knows a language better, one discovers its beauty (or it just becomes tolerable), so this opinion can change. However, I would prefer knowing Chinese (which has not much grammatical particles), that I am learning now, and Hungarian or Turc (very regular languages) to Esperanto, because they are tied to a culture.
    Apply your own rules, and do not discard Esperanto without giving it a reasonable trial.

    No knowledge is ever wasted, and learning Esperanto won't hinder you in any way from learning Portuguese, Chinese, Turkish or Hungarian.

    The "no culture" argument cuts no ice with me. It's simply an entrenched prejudice hunting for justification.
     

    Brioche

    Senior Member
    Australia English
    But there is no such nation anyway - with its history, ethnic self-conciousness, traditions and other ethnographical features, etc. Speakers of Esperanto are always parts of some other cultures after all, aren't they?
    Yes, of course they are!

    But through Esperanto I have conversed with various people who speak no English, including Chinese, Belgians, Bulgarians, Czechs, Danes, Estonians, Finns, Hungarians, Japanese, Koreans, Poles, Spaniards, Slovaks and Vietnamese

    I have neither the time nor the skill to learn all those languages, but I can use Esperanto to communicate directly with people from those cultures, and share their cultures - even if it is per the medium of an "artificial" construct.

    Esperanto beats just sitting there smiling.
     

    Angelo di fuoco

    Senior Member
    Russian & German (GER) bilingual
    Apply your own rules, and do not discard Esperanto without giving it a reasonable trial.

    No knowledge is ever wasted, and learning Esperanto won't hinder you in any way from learning Portuguese, Chinese, Turkish or Hungarian.

    The "no culture" argument cuts no ice with me. It's simply an entrenched prejudice hunting for justification.
    You see, time is limited and I have already a hard time not to lose the languages I already know.The frequency with which I begin to learn a new language is slowing down - from a gap of two years between German and Englishs at once (due to moving to another country and scholastic needs) and French, which came as "second" (in my case, third) foreign language afterwards, and the to a gap of four years between Chinese and Portuguese, even if in the meantime I gave a try to Czech, Polish, Hungarian and Larin.

    Most languages I learned on my own I had a motive or a particular aspect of the language or tied to the culture behind language for learning.
    With Chinese, it was that, after a bunch of European languages at school I wanted to learn something totally different from the European languages. Chinese is the last but-one language I began to learn in earnest, some years ago, and it costs a lot of efforts (memorising!!!) and even so I have the feeling that I will never master it really without staying in China for a while.
    With Portuguese, it was the literature: a friend of mine recommended to me a book by Saramago and some time before another person recommended Pessoa to me (by whom I still haven't read any book, but that will come).
    Hungarian, and Turkish as well, is interesting to me because this language has a totally different way of thinking which I cannot connect to anything in the languages I know.
    There are also some more languages that I would like to know because I like their literature and would love to read it in the original language.
    The next language I will be learning in earnest will probably be Polish - for business reasons.

    However, the most important reason for my not learning Esperanto is one that makes it worth learning for the most and which was its creator's aim: its simplicity and (almost) unbroken regularity. In my eyes, the complexity rather than the simplicity of a language is a reason for learning it.
     

    Brioche

    Senior Member
    Australia English
    In my eyes, the complexity rather than the simplicity of a language is a reason for learning it.
    Then Teach yourself Basque should be your next project :D

    You could also try Kayardild spoken on Bentinck Island off the coast of Queensland, Australia. Lots of culture and complexity, and absolutely no economic benefit.
     

    Frank06

    Senior Member
    Nederlands / Dutch (Belgium)
    Hi,
    Because it [Esperanto] is like it is hidden,...
    Esperanto is alive and well. The Esperanto community - about 2,000,000 speakers - tends to keep a low profile, so it's not surprising it appears hidden.
    2.000.000 is quite an optimistic number to be found back on ethnologue.com, for example. Other sources, including the Esperanto Wiki-article on Esperanto, speaks about 10.000 to 2.000.000 ("depende de difino de Esperanto-parolanto"). 10.000, 2.000.000, Quite a margin.

    In either case, even if we ignore the difference of 1.990.000 speakers, the degree of 'hidden-ness' can be quantified: compared to 7.000.000.000 planet Earth dwellers, the percentage of Esperantists is very meagre, even when using the optimistic figure of 2 million in the calculation (hence between resp. 0.00014% and 0.028%, if my horrible mathematical skills don't fail me completely as they usually do).

    Doesn't this indicate that, as a project to stimulate something world wide, Esperanto failed gigantically?

    And talking about numbers I guess it doesnt matter too much, because we prefer the quality than quantity.
    Numbers don't matter too much? Come again?
    Talking about numbers is quite essential when talking about a so-called international auxiliary language which is supposed to stimulate world wide peace and understanding, no??? Or do you mean that Esperanto is to be limited to an elitist minority (I don't think the word 'minisculity' exists in English)?

    It's founder believed that if ordinary people could communicate with one another across the language barriers, that misunderstanding could be avoided, and if misunderstandings could be avoided, then also conflict and war.
    In Zamenhoff's time (and still in these days world wide, sadly enough) ordinary people hardly went/go to school.
    An artificial auxiliary language almost by definition can only be taught and learned in schools. And though schools are a basic right in most industrialised countries, in quite a lot of countries, schooling isn't even a priviledge.

    So far for "ordinary people".

    To me, the basic idea of Zamenhoff seems to be nothing more than the ponderings of an idealist politically, economically, socially, socio-linguistically and linguistically, in short, seriously disconnected from reality.

    This basic assumption also seems to be incredibly naive at best. Speaking the same language avoids conflicts. Well, I guess the victims of the American War of Indepence, the American and Spanish Civil Wars, to name just a few cruel conflicts involving speakers of the same language, would have been very happy to hear this.
    Latin was used in the European middle ages (by the educated and ruling classes), but when I read about the history of Europe, the blood drips of every single page.
    Otherwise said, I think, once again, that reality tells us another (hi)story.

    So many Esperantists see themselves as workers for peace through understanding.
    That's a noble idea, but do we really need a language or one common or one international auxiliary for that? Wouldn't working for peace be more effective when investing money in economies and general education rather than in facilities to learn Esperanto?

    When a person who knows Esperanto speaks, he or she uses the simpliest words in order to be understanted by the other one, we know that there're complex words that can be used as the simplies ones, but most of the time the vocabulary is basic, becuase in order to make the comunication more easy.
    Where does the idea come from that communication is facilitated by using "the simpliest words", whatever is meant by "simple words"?
    I'll ask it in another way, what makes Esperanto oficiala and statuso more or less simple than English official and status, Portuguese official and estado, Swahili rasmi and makamu? Or do I misunderstand you?

    So come on, in all languages exists complex words and even knowing their meaning we dont use them because we prefer the simpliest ones.
    Maybe I misunderstand you, but what does this have to do with Esperanto per se? Talking about the weather, in whatever language, one can use the "most simple words" (you mean simple or basic??). Talking about nuclear physics, which I suppose one can do in Esperanto without a problem, requires words which are slightly less simple, at least if I may believe my own eyes and the Wiki articles in Esperanto about this topic.

    But through Esperanto I have conversed with various people who speak no English, including Chinese, Belgians, Bulgarians, Czechs, Danes, Estonians, Finns, Hungarians, Japanese, Koreans, Poles, Spaniards, Slovaks and Vietnamese
    I fail to understand the validity of this kind of argument.
    Through Dutch, I have spoken with Chinese, Belgians (from Wallonia and West Flanders :D), Bulgarians, Spaniards, Maroccans, Indonesians,
    Mongols, Japanese, Turks, Iranians, ... you name it, who don't speak Esperanto (nor English).

    Your argument seems to be related to the idea that 'if I learn Chinese, I can speak with a billion or more people'. It looks impressive due to the juggling with big numbers, but it doesn't really cut wood.

    Groetjes,

    Frank
     
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    gonzalox237

    Senior Member
    Castellano
    Originally Posted by Frank06
    I'll ask it in another way, what makes Esperanto oficiala and statuso more or less simple than English official and status, Portuguese official and estado, Swahili rasmi and makamu? Or do I misunderstand you?
    What makes Esperanto simple for that words, which are similars, that's the point, most of the Esperanto words come from other languages, so most of the word are simple to remind, or pronunciate:
    sovagho - wild
    sauvage- from the french wild
    In the case above, the word in Esperanto is easier to read and Esperanto allows to pronunce that words as it is written, so the French word sounds different from the written form, that's why the Esperanto words in many cases are more simple.
     
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    Frank06

    Senior Member
    Nederlands / Dutch (Belgium)
    Hi,
    What makes Esperanto simple for that words, which are similars, that's the point, most of the Esperanto words come from other languages
    From Chinese, Tupi, Swahili?

    most of the Esperanto words come from other languages, so most of the word are simple to remind, or pronunciate:
    I fail to see the logical connection.

    Esperanto allows to pronunce that words as it is written that's why the Esperanto words in many cases are more simple.
    So, by "simple" you mean that the spelling of Esperanto is more phonetical than let's say English or French.
    Mmmh, then I don't understand what your explanation about "simple words", which I quoted above, have to do with your original statement quoted below:
    When a person who knows Esperanto speaks, he or she uses the simpliest words in order to be understanted by the other one, we know that there're complex words that can be used as the simplies ones, but most of the time the vocabulary is basic, becuase in order to make the comunication more easy.
    If one speaks, and uses the "simpliest words", what does this have to do with phonetical spelling???

    Groetjes,

    Frank
     

    Angelo di fuoco

    Senior Member
    Russian & German (GER) bilingual
    Hungarian or Czech orthographs are also very phonetic (Czech with no exceptions and Hungarian just with two graphic variants for one sound - "ly" and "j" sound the same).

    There is a Wikipedia in "Simple English"...

    Esperanto is very Eurocentric and even so, the fact it borrowed its vocabulary from a vast number of (European) languages doesn't necessarily help, because one has to know those languages to recognize the words.
     

    gonzalox237

    Senior Member
    Castellano
    Posted by Frank06:
    Numbers don't matter too much? Come again?
    Talking about numbers is quite essential when talking about a so-called international auxiliary language which is supposed to stimulate world wide peace and understanding, no??? Or do you mean that Esperanto is to be limited to an elitist minority (I don't think the word 'minisculity' exists in English)?
    Well, numbers matter, but for me no. We have support from the UN and Unesco, we ( through UEA ) adn we spread Esperanto around the world, we're no not a kinda elistist, because Esperanto has been made for everyone. You know what, I like that fact that Esperanto is spoken just for few one, but no in an elitist way but used by people who are conscious about the comunication problems.

    But Esperanto right now is helping people in China to learn English, because they're being teached Esperanto from low ages, in order to make them easir the learnin of the English,that's the aim of teaching Esperanto in some schools in China. So don't you think it is interesting?
     
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    Tagarela

    Senior Member
    Português - Brasil
    Hi,

    I have never studied Esperanto. Recently I have read somethings about it, I've found out that there are people making music in Esperanto, books translations, and even a group for tourism facilities for those who speak the language, but it still seems to be not being worthy to learn it.

    Gonzalox237, I have read about this too, that learning Esperanto first helps a lot people to learn other languages, okay, that is true. However, it isn't true that learning any other language helps to learn another one at least a little related to it (with a common vocabullary, grammar, sounds) ?

    I agree with those who say that the most reason for learnign a foreign language is economic - if it is not true, we must admit that the anglophone culture is the best of the world. So, Esperanto doesn't seem to give any rapid economic advantage, and when it comes to cultural interests, as many have already said, it's "empty", although there are some efforts on this direction as mentioned above.

    Brioche, questions like this, if it is easier to find a Dutch or a Esperanto speaker in Japan is interesting. But I would bet in Dutch.
    Perhaps, we could do the question on the other way, for a Japanese who lives in Japan, which one is better, to learn Dutch or to learn Esperanto? Considering that he is not moving to Neatherlands, perhaps he visits the country and neighbour countries once or twice in five years. Which language would enlarge more his communicate possibilities, economic advantages and cultural possibilities?
     

    gonzalox237

    Senior Member
    Castellano
    However, it isn't true that learning any other language helps to learn another one at least a little related to it (with a common vocabullary, grammar, sounds) ?
    Hi, in fact if you learn a second language and it is proved, you can learn a third one more easily. Because all the languages have a commom grammar, so that's why if we apply our knowledge to the new language that we learn we're going to learn it faster. No matter if it is related or not. I'm gonna try to find the info about what I'm talking, but right now I'm at work , so I can't open too many pages because they're blocked to me, but I'm going to post it tomorrow.

    for a Japanese who lives in Japan, which one is better, to learn Dutch or to learn Esperanto? Considering that he is not moving to Neatherlands, perhaps he visits the country and neighbour countries once or twice in five years. Which language would enlarge more his communicate possibilities, economic advantages and cultural possibilities?
    Better and believe me easier, Esperanto, but if you talk about economic advantages, I don't think the Japanese is going to learn Dutch easily. So the response is none of above but English.

    Now, I see that you Tagarela lives in Brazil, the Esperanto comunity is very hugh there. I've meet many Brazilian esperantist; and they're kind people. So I bet you can get more info about Esperanto with them it is easy to contact them. About the Pasporta Servo - it is kind of like Hospitality Club, but for Esperantist, and in my experience much more efective than the HC, there's a singer named MOJO and you can watch his videos on youtube.

    I know that if we learn a language, our aim is to get something from that language, I mean I learn French because I want to go there and study there, or English to comunicate myself with people around the world, but I learn Esperanto no because I wanted to earn money, or get something but meet nice people, learn something different, learn about trusting, friendship, comunication and many other things. It's like a philanthropist, he loves to helps people just because he likes to do that and he can, I learn Esperanto beacuse I like it from the first time I read the name of the language.

    Esperanto is much more than comunication but a feeling, I mean if I meet you for firsttime knowing that you're Esperantist, it's like if I met you many years ago. Most of my friends feels the same.

    Well do you have any other question ?
     
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    Frank06

    Senior Member
    Nederlands / Dutch (Belgium)
    Hi,
    What are your chances of finding a Japanese person in Japan who speaks Dutch, compared to the chances of finding an Esperantist?
    That's like asking how big the Dutch needle is as compared to the Esperanto needle in the Japanese haystack. How significant is the difference between three zeros and four zeors behind the comma (or point) in this context?

    But Esperanto right now is helping people in China to learn English, because they're being teached Esperanto from low ages, in order to make them easir the learnin of the English,that's the aim of teaching Esperanto in some schools in China. So don't you think it is interesting?
    A few questions and remarks:
    1.
    When talking about an international auxiliary language, I am always wondering about numbers, figures. That's the only way we have to measure the success of such a con lang.
    It strikes me that the number of speakers of Esperanto are always so incredibly vague and imprecise (10.000-2.000.000 comes to mind), certainly when reading posts on message boards, but also when searching for information on Esperanto sites. This makes me wonder...
    So, about how many people in China are you talking? How many students and how many schools?

    Let's move on to the number of students/speakers/learners of Esperanto in China, to stick to our example.
    On the website of Ĉina Esperanto-Ligo (or is it China Esperanto-Ligo?) I read:
    "ChEL havas 29 filojn en diversaj urboj kaj provincoj, milojn da individuaj membroj."
    Google Translate, which deals with Estonian, Irish and Swahili (admitted, in its own, peculiar way) told me it cannot translate from Esperanto yet. That's bad luck.
    So, I guess that "milojn" means thousands. Those 'membroj' probably don't include all speakers of Esperanto in China, neither your mystery students (about which I couldn't find an independent source*). Let's ignore the minor possibility that not all members of the ChEL speak Esperanto.
    To round up, I think we can safely multiply those 1000s a few times.
    (*Mind you, I really want to believe you about Chinese students learning Esperanto first, and then English but I need some extra, independent data).

    In other words, a few thousand speakers/learners in a country of +/-1.300.000.000 people.
    You do the maths?

    A related question: do you have any idea how many Chinese students don't learn Esperanto first and go straight to an English class? I don't have a clue at all, but I bet we're not talking about a few thousands here.
    My very wild guess is that 99.9% of Chinese students who learn English, don't learn Esperanto first.
    If that would be true (and I cannot back it up, it's only my male intuition), shouldn't we wonder why they don't learn Esperanto?

    2.
    Let's turn around your way of reasoning: would you learn Esperanto first in order to study Chinese (or Turkish, Korean, Arabic)?
    If so, why?
    If not, why not?

    3.
    So, you claim that (some) 'people in China' first learn Esperanto and then English. Isn't this yet another indication that Esperanto as a world wide project failed miserably? Or: Why would they have to learn English? Because of reality?
    If I may believe Gonzalo's explanation quoted below (and I am inclined to do so, give and take a few additions and modifications), why not simply eliminating the aux language (which requires a lot of energy, time and resources) and deal with the target language straight away?
    I mean, why teaching two languages (Esperanto first, then another language, let's take English), if, according to your line of reasoning, English can serve the same purpose as the aux language and -- one extra minor detail -- English is incredibly useful on a global scale, even in Japan?

    in fact if you learn a second language and it is proved, you can learn a third one more easily.
    I noticed that knowledge of certain second languages could help acquiring a certain third language, though it's only one of the many factors that play a role, and it's not always the most important one.
    But basically, at least in my limited experience as a Dutch SL teacher whose students are anything but language nerds the way we at WR are, it only helps when that language was taught formally and extensively in schools, and mainly if the acquired second language bears some resemblance to the target language.
    To give two extreme examples: Turkish doesn't help my Kurdish students acquiring Dutch, while my Armenian/German students advance with the speed of light.

    Because all the languages have a commom grammar,
    They do? My Turkish, Arabic, Chinese students will be happy to hear it when I tell them this in my Dutch courses :);).
    (Anyway, maybe this is the start of a new thread).

    Groetjes,

    Frank

    PS: Please note that I don't hold any grudge against Esperanto, the language. And yes, I can understand most of any Esperanto text due to my knowledge of a second and third language.
    I am just questioning some of the, how can I say, philosophical/ideological (?) (I don't know how to express the idea, hence the question mark) aspects of the Esperanto movement, which, to my pragmatic ears, sound too idealistic and too disconnected from reality.
     
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    Ghabi

    AL/OL/Ar/Zh mod
    Cantonese
    Hello Gonzalox. When I saw your first post, I didn't know that you're an Esperantist (because you say it's "hidden", and say you want to hear others' opinions, so I presumed that you're an outsider just like me). Please forgive me for my impertinent opinion (in Post#3).

    But Esperanto right now is helping people in China to learn English, because they're being teached Esperanto from low ages, in order to make them easir the learnin of the English,that's the aim of teaching Esperanto in some schools in China. So don't you think it is interesting?
    Are you sure? As a Chinese, I'm aware that Esperanto was once popular in China (for intellectuals and young students, not for hardly-literate folks like me of course:eek:), but it seems to me it's no longer learnt by many in China these days, and I'm rather skeptic that Chinese children learn Esperanto to facilitate their study of English.:confused:
     

    Tagarela

    Senior Member
    Português - Brasil
    Hi,



    Now, I see that you Tagarela lives in Brazil, the Esperanto comunity is very hugh there. I've meet many Brazilian esperantist; and they're kind people. So I bet you can get more info about Esperanto with them it is easy to contact them.
    Actually, I have never talked to anyone who study Esperanto here. I've heard from my parents that some of my relatives were interested on it in the past. However, nowadays I don't seen anyone talkign about Esperanto around here. I know that there are some groups, I've taken a look at some websites and so on, but it's not huge, in the sense that it is easy to find some Esperantist by chance around here.


    Esperanto is much more than comunication but a feeling, I mean if I meet you for firsttime knowing that you're Esperantist, it's like if I met you many years ago. Most of my friends feels the same.

    Well do you have any other question ?
    I see your points on what Esperanto is about, but it's too subjectively. For me, it is better to meet a foreigner who speak Portuguese, I think that it is nice when you meet someone who spent sometime learning your language when he or she has plans to visit or work in the country even if it is possible to survive without speaking it. Concerning your arguments, and what I have read about Esperanto, it seems to me that Esperanto isn't a language, it's a lifestyle and one is supposed to get the whole package if wants to join it - and I guess that many think that there are other means to achieve these goals of friendship, global communication, neutrality etc that comes with Esperanto language.
    For example, as I have said, learning other language, mainly "minor" ones, from which you would get not great benefits, only because of some cultural interest, to read the original of some books, to spend a time on the country, is a way to promote good relationships between people, showing that their folk has something to make you a "better person".


    Ah, but I agree that the name Esperanto is nice, it gives us some Esperança :)
     

    gonzalox237

    Senior Member
    Castellano
    "In other words, a few thousand speakers/learners in a country of +/-1.300.000.000 people.
    You do the maths?"
    Yes, I do. I don't like maths. What I'm trying to show making this hile, is just show that Esperanto is alive, even when many of you guys could think it is dead. I haven't said that Esperanto is a succesful auxiliar language, I said that is te best option, numbers doesn't match, but we still try to spread this option.

    You can find info about the school in this links:

    http://www.esperanto.org.br/p/movime...a-lernejo.html
    http://www.ipernity.com/blog/67438/201377
    http://esperanto.china.org.cn/espera...t_18926200.htm


    "My very wild guess is that 99.9% of Chinese students who learn English, don't learn Esperanto first.
    If that would be true (and I cannot back it up, it's only my male intuition), shouldn't we wonder why they don't learn Esperanto?"
    Well, many things in linguistics and related to political actions. That's all I can say about this.

    "Let's turn around your way of reasoning: would you learn Esperanto first in order to study Chinese (or Turkish, Korean, Arabic)?
    If so, why?
    If not, why not?"
    Of course, I'm not a linguist yet, so I don't know how to use some words, but to show it clear I'm gonna study a bit about the Chinese grammar and also the Korean, Turkish and Arabic to make the comparation, and I'll show you.
    Esperanto is very flexible and also is an isolated and aglutinant language.

    In- female sufix et- little sufix
    O - noun sufix A- adjective sufix
    Vir - male knab - boy // in order to complete the words we add the noun sufix:
    Viro - knabo
    If they are females, we add also the female sufix:
    Virino - knabino
    Ino - also means female
    eta - little
    domo- house // dometo - little house

    So the sufix has meanings, and thats useful, as I told you I'm going study the gramar and I'm gonna show to you more propertly why for me is an advantage study Esperanto first.

    So, you claim that (some) 'people in China' first learn Esperanto and then English. Isn't this yet another indication that Esperanto as a world wide project failed miserably? Or: Why would they have to learn English? Because of reality?
    If I may believe Gonzalo's explanation quoted below (and I am inclined to do so, give and take a few additions and modifications), why not simply eliminating the aux language (which requires a lot of energy, time and resources) and deal with the target language straight away?
    I mean, why teaching two languages (Esperanto first, then another language, let's take English), if, according to your line of reasoning, English can serve the same purpose as the aux language and -- one extra minor detail -- English is incredibly useful on a global scale, even in Japan?"
    I don't think is has failed, or miserably failed as you say. Esperanto helps to learn not just English but many languages. Of course English is the franc language right now but who knows the future. Talking about why first Esperanto and no English, it is easy, for that people to understand the English grammar have to study about 10 years or more, so they lear a simple grammar (Esperanto) and then when they learn a 3rd language (English in this case) they can learn it easily becasu they get used to the Latin letters, grammar, words, ect , ect.

    "I noticed that knowledge of certain second languages could help acquiring a certain third language, though it's only one of the many factors that play a role, and it's not always the most important one.
    But basically, at least in my limited experience as a Dutch SL teacher whose students are anything but language nerds the way we at WR are, it only helps when that language was taught formally and extensively in schools, and mainly if the acquired second language bears some resemblance to the target language.
    To give two extreme examples: Turkish doesn't help my Kurdish students acquiring Dutch, while my Armenian/German students advance with the speed of light."
    Maybe you're right, maybe not. I give you this reading maybe this is helpful.

    "Innate linguistic knowledge
    Terms such as "transformation" can give the impression that theories of transformational generative grammar are intended as a model for the processes through which the human mind constructs and understands sentences. Chomsky is clear that this is not in fact the case: a generative grammar models only the knowledge that underlies the human ability to speak and understand. One of the most important of Chomsky's ideas is that most of this knowledge is innate, with the result that a baby can have a large body of prior knowledge about the structure of language in general, and need only actually learn the idiosyncratic features of the language(s) it is exposed to. Chomsky was not the first person to suggest that all languages had certain fundamental things in common (he quotes philosophers writing several centuries ago who had the same basic idea), but he helped to make the innateness theory respectable after a period dominated by more behaviorist attitudes towards language. Perhaps more significantly, he made concrete and technically sophisticated proposals about the structure of language, and made important proposals regarding how the success of grammatical theories should be evaluated.
    Chomsky goes so far as to suggest that a baby need not learn any actual rules specific to a particular language at all. Rather, all languages are presumed to follow the same set of rules, but the effects of these rules and the interactions between them can vary greatly depending on the values of certain universal linguistic parameters. This is a very strong assumption, and is one of the most subtle ways in which Chomsky's current theory of language differs from most others"
    "Commom Grammar
    They do? My Turkish, Arabic, Chinese students will be happy to hear it when I tell them this in my Dutch courses .
    (Anyway, maybe this is the start of a new thread)"
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_grammar -- here you can find what I'm about.

    NOTE: Claude Piron, a psychologist formerly at the University of Geneva and Chinese-English-Russian-Spanish translator for the United Nations, argued that Esperanto is far more intuitive than many ethnic languages. "Esperanto relies entirely on innate reflexes [and] differs from all other languages in that you can always trust your natural tendency to generalize patterns. [...] The same neuropsychological law [—called by] Jean Piaget generalizing assimilation—applies to word formation as well as to grammar.
     
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    Angelo di fuoco

    Senior Member
    Russian & German (GER) bilingual
    Of course, I'm not a linguist yet, so I don't know how to use some words, but to show it clear I'm gonna study a bit about the chinese grammar and also the korean, turkish and arabic to make the comparation, and i'll show you.
    Esperanto is very flexible and also is an isolated and aglutinant language.

    In- female sufix et- little sufix
    O - noun sufix A- adjective sufix
    Vir - male knab - boy // in order to complete the words we add the noun sufix:
    Viro - knabo
    If they are females, we add also the female sufix:
    Virino - knabino
    Ino - also means female
    eta - little
    domo- house // dometo - little house

    So the sufix has meanings, and thats useful, as i told you I'm gonna study the gramar and I'm gonna show to you more propertly why for me is an advantage study Esperanto first.
    I'm terribly sorry, but Chinese (which I know best among Korean, Arabic and Turkish) doesn't function like Esperanto and Esperanto isn't not the tiniest bit helpful when learning Chinese - at least, not more than any European language. Esperanto has many aspects that the Chinese think unnecessary (gender, case, article, obligatory plural suffix, temporal inflection in verbs, morphological "determinatedness" of a word) and doesn't have many constituent aspects of the Chinese language (tones, modifying particles, measure words, the hieroglyphs, great spectrum of possible grammatical functions of a word, depending on syntactical and semantic context - e. g. many words can be as well prepositions as verbs without any morphological changes).

    By the way, you should learn what is the difference between language isolates and isolating languages and it should also be clear that in general an isolating language (like Chinese) cannot be agglutinative (like Turkish or Hungarian) as well.
    Also, according to you, the English language can be called agglutinative: God - Goddess - Goddesses - Goddesses's (hope the last form is correct).

    Esperanto, although it has many elements of agglutination (principally found in Uralic and Turkic languages), is in its essence an Indo-European language, and as an auxiliary language it is good only for learning European languages. Even so, one can learn the Indo-European aim languages directly without the detour of the auxiliary language, and be not in the slightest degree handicapped by this circumstance.
     

    Enriquee

    New Member
    English
    More than anything else, marvels me, people that have
    a very strong opinion about Esperanto, when they never
    took their time to use it or even learn it, or try to participate
    in a meeting where most people were speaking Esperanto
    naturally.

    How many names of languages can you remember?
    Most people cannot name more than 30, out of more than
    6000 languages in the world. Do you have such strong
    opinion about the other almost 6000 languages that you
    don't know their names?


    palomnik said:

    >In my experience, a lot of people who study languages
    >aren't that enthused about Esperanto.

    Maybe if they knew that learning Esperanto and language B,
    takes less time than learning just language B, they could be
    a little more interested.

    Why would you think that somebody that expends many
    hours each day training for tennis or swimming, should
    be interested in golf, polo, or lacrosse?

    Would you take advice about playing baseball or golf from
    somebody that never played the game nor even watched
    a game?

    I will help you learn Esperanto. (no charge)

    Best wishes,
    Enrique,
    <Promotional material removed by moderator. Please read the forum rules.>
     
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    Enriquee

    New Member
    English
    All discussions about Esperanto grammar, neutrality,
    word origin, and other details, are irrelevant when you
    learn and use Esperanto.

    Esperanto is not neutral because it contains 3 words
    of each of 6000 languages. Nobody could learn such
    a language. But don't forget that all the languages have
    most of their words taken from other languages.

    Esperanto is neutral because there are not privileged
    people that don't try to learn another language and the
    rest of the world have to spend 10 years of their life
    learning it. To speak Esperanto, every person in the
    world has to spend some time learning it. But that time
    is a very small fraction of the time required to learn any
    other language.

    I find interesting that most people that complain that
    Esperanto is a language "too European", want English
    to be the inter-language. Maybe, for them, English is
    less European than Esperanto.


    Facts about Esperanto:

    Lots of people are using Esperanto all around the world.
    Don't ask me for numbers. Nobody knows that number.
    I only know that I can find Esperanto speakers in any
    country that I want to visit. There are Esperanto speakers
    in most countries ... not in all countries.

    For most people that know an European language, it takes
    less than 20 hours to complete the basic course. People
    whose native languages are not written with Latin
    alphabets, may take a little longer. Many students start
    using the language after 10 hours ... with errors.

    Languages not written with Latin alphabets: I have spoken
    Esperanto in Japan, Korea, and China, with people born
    in those countries.


    Try for yourself. Dedicate 20 hours to learning Esperanto
    and you will not regret it. I will help you. (no charge)
    All the materials to learn Esperanto are on the web.
    Write to me.

    Best wishes,
    Enrique, from California, USA
     

    Enriquee

    New Member
    English
    Gonzalo said:

    >When a person who knows Esperanto speaks, he or she
    >uses the simpliest words in order to be understanted by
    >the other one, we know that there're complex words that
    >can be used as the simplies ones, but most of the time the
    >vocabulary is basic, becuase in order to make the
    >comunication more easy.

    I use rather simple language when I have conversations
    in any of my 3 languages: Spanish, Esperanto, and English.
    But when the subject being discussed is more complex,
    I have to use more complex words ... in any of the 3
    languages.

    In most Esperanto meetings that last more than one day,
    many speakers give speeches about different subjects,
    generally chosen by the speaker herself, and not all
    speakers chose simple subjects. Lately many speeches
    are about ecology, conservation, and other controversial
    subjects.

    Many of the speakers speak about experiences related to
    their own work, and then, they have to use the language
    related to that field of work. Same situation as in other
    conferences where the language could be English or
    any other.

    And then, there are books. The subject of the book is also
    chosen by the writer, same as in English. And even in
    English, not all the speakers of the language are capable
    to understand Shakespeare, or some scientific subjects.
    Yes, there are scientific writings in Esperanto.

    I could tell you where to search to find scientific writings
    in Esperanto, but then, you will have to read Esperanto
    to find them. If you are still interested on this, search for
    S. T. E. B. Scienca kaj Teknika Esperanto-Biblioteko.


    I will help you learn Esperanto. (no charge)

    Best wishes,
    Enrique,
    <Promotional material removed by moderator. Please read the forum rules.>
     
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    remush

    New Member
    French
    Through Dutch, I have spoken with Chinese, Belgians (from Wallonia and West Flanders :D), Bulgarians, Spaniards, Maroccans, Indonesians,
    Mongols, Japanese, Turks, Iranians, ... you name it, who don't speak Esperanto (nor English).
    Do you want to prove that Dutch is easier than English? Or that it can be used to speak to foreigners who learned the language?
    Well, you got a point. That's absolutely true.

    If Dutch is chosen as EU mandatory second language, it will certainly save you a lot of time and money to learn it. Only a minority of English would object, even if Dutch is very close to English.
    Unfortunately, humanity is too stupid to see the immediate benefit of such a cheap solution to the language problem.

    Groetjes thuis.
    Bij mij zijn er veel meer vreemdelingen in de opvangcentrum.voor asielaanvragers. Ze zijn daar aan 't lullen. Ze spreken amper Nederlands. Ik zal hen Esperanto leren, zo zullen ze tenminste met elkaar kunnen babellen en iets nuttig kennen wanneer ze terug naar huis gestuurd worden.
    Remuŝ
     

    Frank06

    Senior Member
    Nederlands / Dutch (Belgium)
    More than anything else, marvels me, people that have a very strong opinion about Esperanto, when they never took their time to use it or even learn it, or try to participate in a meeting where most people were speaking Esperanto naturally.
    To object against the underlying philosophy of Esperanto, one doesn't have to learn Esperanto. One doesn't have to read fashion magazines to discuss the clothes of the emperor (credit to PZ Myers, who used this image in a completely different context).
    (By the way, I did study it years ago, but, alas, forgot most of it).

    Maybe if they knew that learning Esperanto and language B, takes less time than learning just language B, they could be a little more interested.
    That's quite a bold claim.
    Do you have literature or references about that? Is there any kind of literature about learning Esperanto as a stepping stone to a third language versus learning a second (natural) language as a stepping stone to a third one?
    I find interesting that most people that complain that Esperanto is a language "too European", want English
    to be the inter-language. Maybe, for them, English is less European than Esperanto.
    The issue is not that people want English to be the inter-language. That's (almost) a fact, whether we want it or not. Whether we like it or not.

    Oh ja, just a(n unaswerable) question that crossed my mind: Would we still talk about Esperanto if it was based upun Korean, Japanese and Chinese?

    Do you want to prove that Dutch is easier than English? Or that it can be used to speak to foreigners who learned the language?
    Nope, not at all.

    Bij mij zijn er veel meer vreemdelingen in de opvangcentrum.voor asielaanvragers. Ze zijn daar aan 't lullen. Ze spreken amper Nederlands. Ik zal hen Esperanto leren, zo zullen ze tenminste met elkaar kunnen babellen en iets nuttig kennen wanneer ze terug naar huis gestuurd worden.
    De kennis van Esperanto wordt ongetwijfeld enorm geapprecieerd in de straten van Teheran, de bazaar van Baghdad en de hoogvlaktes van Tibet, om maar enkele locaties te noemen.

    Groetjes,
    Frank
     

    remush

    New Member
    French
    +
    De kennis van Esperanto wordt ongetwijfeld enorm geapprecieerd in de straten van Teheran, de bazaar van Baghdad en de hoogvlaktes van Tibet, om maar enkele locaties te noemen.
    Zouden wij niet moeten proberen hen te overtuigen dat Nederlands gemakkelijker is dan Engels?
    En als dat niet werkt, zullen we iets anders vinden.

    Remuŝ
     

    gonzalox237

    Senior Member
    Castellano
    Thank you for the support Remush and Enrique. And thanks for tying to teach Frank06 to know what Esperanto is?

    He says that he didn't find info, but I've already post it, and believe me Frank06 if you want to remeber Esperanto, Enrique is a good teacher, he can give you more information than myself.

    And i hope if more people read this thread, they will understand what Esperanto is.
     

    Frank06

    Senior Member
    Nederlands / Dutch (Belgium)
    Hi,
    Absolutely right. What is the Esperanto philosophy, exactly? What are your precise objections against it?
    Please read posts 19 and 26, and the posts quoted in 19/26.
    In post 19 I wrote "I am just questioning some of the, how can I say, philosophical/ideological (?) (I don't know how to express the idea, hence the question mark) aspects of the Esperanto movement, which, to my pragmatic ears, sound too idealistic and too disconnected from reality."

    But what strikes me in this debate (and in most debates I had with people who favour Esperanto as the ideal inter-language, is the vagueness of the claims.
    Lots of people speak it (any number between 10.000 and 2.000.000), it's easy (for whom?), and it facilitates the learning a third language (says who?).
    Now, I am incredibly unwilling to believe these claims. However, I am extremely willing to accept those claims on the basis of good, solid data.

    Take the claim:
    "But Esperanto right now is helping people in China to learn English, because they're being teached Esperanto from low ages, in order to make them easir the learnin of the English,that's the aim of teaching Esperanto in some schools in China. So don't you think it is interesting?"
    When asked where, how many, what were the (objective) results, we didn't get an answer (see below).

    Parts of this claim is repeated in the following quote:
    "Maybe if they knew that learning Esperanto and language B, takes less time than learning just language B, they could be a little more interested."
    Now, again, I am very willing to accept this, but do you have some data about it, objective data.
    And what would make Esperanto better as a second language (or rather, auxiliary language in order to learn a 3rd one) than let's say French or English or Latin or Greek?

    And thanks for tying to teach Frank06 to know what Esperanto is?
    I am terribly sorry, but the argument "he doesn't like Esperanto because he doesn't know what it is" doesn't work here. I don't object to certain aspects of Esperanto (the movement, the claims expressed in this thread) because I don't know what it is. I do object because I do know what it is. That's quite a difference.

    He says that he didn't find info, but I've already post it,
    What you posted was
    1. three links to websites promoting Esperanto (one of which repeats 3 paragraphs of the other verbatim, so that makes two sources of information).
    and
    2. a link to Chomsky's Universal grammar (which doesn't have anything to do with this discussion at all).
    (both in post 29).

    I don't consider that to be objective (and in the 2nd case adequate) information.
    In other words: so far, none of the claims made by people who use this thread to promote Esperanto have been substantiated by objective (or relevant) data/information.

    It's a bit like claiming that homeopathy works and then refer to a pro-homeopathy website which says that homeopathy works.
    I don't think that asking for more objective data from sources which don't necessarily promote Esperanto is such an extreme request. Otherwise said: I need a bit more to get convinced.

    Now, an extra question: if it would have been already substantiated that Esperanto helps learning a third language, then why is hardly anybody outside the Esperanto movement convinced of that? Bad PR?

    and believe me Frank06 if you want to remeber Esperanto, Enrique is a good teacher, he can give you more information than myself.
    I don't have any doubts whatsoever about Enrique being a good Esperanto teacher. But that's not the issue here.

    Groetjes,

    Frank
     

    Enriquee

    New Member
    English
    People speak about the "philosophy of Esperanto", which
    is not such, but the philosophy of some Esperanto speakers,
    or the philosophy attributed to the initiator of Esperanto,
    L L Zamenhof, or the philosophy attributed to what they call
    "The Esperanto Movement".

    Most Esperanto speakers don't belong to the "movement",
    if belonging means to pay dues to UEA, the world association
    for Esperanto speakers. Most Esperanto speakers enjoy the
    use of Esperanto, without participation in any associations.
    Many use the benefits of these organizations, when they
    buy books, or music, or when they participate in a meeting
    organized by any of these associations.

    I don't care about the "philosophy of Esperanto". I learned
    Esperanto for practical reasons. After many years struggling
    to learn English and getting nowhere, I found Esperanto much
    easier to learn, and in very short time (maybe 2 months)
    allowed me to communicate with people from other countries.

    This started half a century ago, in August 1959. During the
    whole time I used Esperanto. That is why I like Esperanto,
    and that is why I like other people to enjoy the use of
    Esperanto. I teach Esperanto by email. I don't charge. I do
    that only because Esperanto was very useful to me.

    After learning Esperanto, I started to understand English
    a little better. I don't advocate Esperanto against English.
    I learned both languages. I use both languages. English
    took a lot more time until I was capable to use it. I need
    English in my daily life because 46 years ago I moved to
    USA. I need English when I travel, to get around airports and
    hotels. I use Esperanto in other countries to make friends.
    The fact that I speak English doesn't help much to make
    friends, while the knowledge of Esperanto does.

    Last October I met Esperanto friends in Pusan, Korea and
    in Beijing, China. They took me around their towns, and let
    me experience the local culture. I do the same for people
    of many countries when they visit San Francisco, or I did
    when I lived in New York City.

    When Henry Ford found the way to make a cheaper car,
    people didn't buy the car because they liked Ford's way of
    thinking. They bought the car because it was practical.

    <Promotional message removed. Such things have no place in any of the WordReference forums.>

    Best wishes,
    Enrique,
    <Promotional material removed by moderator. Please read the forum rules.>
     
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    Enriquee

    New Member
    English
    Frank said:

    >But what strikes me in this debate (and in most debates
    >I had with people who favour Esperanto as the ideal
    >inter-language, is the vagueness of the claims.

    I agree with you that many Esperanto speakers exaggerate
    some statistics. You will never get me to quote a number
    of speakers in the world. Nobody knows that number.
    I have seen quotes of 10 and even 15 million. I would
    prefer that Esperanto speakers don't quote any number.

    What I know, is that I find Esperanto speakers in the
    countries I need them.

    I don't make any false claims. I speak only facts.
    It is a fact that the knowledge of Esperanto helped me to
    start understanding English. Similar claims I heard in
    conversations with many other Esperanto speakers, from
    different countries, about different languages.

    I also read comments from some of my students of the kind:
    "After starting to use Esperanto, I went back to study ...
    (French, German, Chinese ...) Now I have more desire to
    learn that language"

    I said:

    >>Maybe if they knew that learning Esperanto and language
    >>B, takes less time than learning just language B, they
    >>could be a little more interested.

    Frank said:

    >That's quite a bold claim.
    >Do you have literature or references about that? Is there
    >any kind of literature about learning Esperanto as a
    >stepping stone to a third language versus learning a
    >second (natural) language as a stepping stone to a third
    >one?

    Yes. There is. You have a choice:
    You can learn to read Esperanto in about 30 hours, and then
    read about several experiments, or learn German, or
    Hungarian, or the language of Finland, about ten years each,
    and read about one experiment made by a speaker of that
    language.

    There were several experiments made in several countries
    in Europe, and at least one of them, with participation of at
    least 3 countries. To find Esperanto articles, you have to
    search: "Propedeutika valoro de Esperanto". Maybe you
    could have some luck if you search in English:
    "Propaedeutic value of Esperanto"

    Most of the results will be written in Esperanto. Just
    remember that if you were looking about things related to
    English, you will find most of the answers in English.

    There is an organization in England called
    "Springboard... to Languages".
    This organization is teaching Esperanto in several schools
    in England, just to show that Esperanto helps. You will have
    to find the web address because I am not allowed to post
    page addresses.


    <Promotional material removed by moderator. Please read the forum rules.>
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    Enriquee

    New Member
    English
    Frank said:

    >And what would make Esperanto better as a second
    >language (or rather, auxiliary language in order to learn
    >a 3rd one) than let's say French or English or Latin or Greek?

    You said well "second language". Esperanto is a language.
    I use Esperanto, Spanish, and English every day, in the same
    basis, with more or less the same capability ... my English
    pronunciation is far from perfect, but people understand me.

    Most of the people that learned more than one language will
    tell that the first was the more difficult, and the following
    languages were easier.

    Esperanto has 2 advantages as a second language:

    1. You can start using Esperanto after a few hours of
    learning ... less than 20 hours. You can get some fluency
    much faster than in any other language. At least, that
    happens to most of the students. But I also knew a man
    that visited an Esperanto class in the Stuyvesant High
    School in New York City during more than 6 years, and he
    never got to understand Esperanto. He didn't learn any
    other language.

    2. Esperanto is grammar coded.
    In English a single word can be a substantive (noun), a
    verb, an adjective, an adverb. It takes some time to know
    the difference.

    In Esperanto, from the beginning, you know that a noun
    ends in -o (or -oj, -on, -ojn), an adjective ends in -a (or -aj,
    -an, -ajn), and you have only 6 endings for verbs. For that
    reason it is much easier to learn the grammar. We have
    seen English speaking students, that after learning
    Esperanto, started to understand better the makings of
    English, and started to write better English.

    Since it takes short time to learn Esperanto, and it makes
    easier to learn the next language, the result is that you can
    learn the 2 languages in less time that just learning that
    other language.

    [edited by moderator]
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    Frank06

    Senior Member
    Nederlands / Dutch (Belgium)
    Hi,
    I don't make any false claims. I speak only facts. It is a fact that the knowledge of Esperanto helped me to start understanding English. Similar claims I heard in conversations with many other Esperanto speakers, from different countries, about different languages.
    I also read comments from some of my students of the kind: "After starting to use Esperanto, I went back to study ... (French, German, Chinese ...) Now I have more desire to learn that language"
    With facts I don't mean anecdotes or "quotes" from "students" on websites. I mean studies performed by linguists, educators, etc. who are not involved in promoting Esperanto.

    Yes. There is. You have a choice: You can learn to read Esperanto in about 30 hours, and then read about several experiments, [...]
    There is an organization in England called "Springboard... to Languages".
    This organization is teaching Esperanto in several schools in England, just to show that Esperanto helps.
    In short: outside the "world of Esperanto" there haven't been done experiments, research or something similar (?). Well, that was my question and it remains a question, since it hasn't been answered yet. I am searching too, but couldn't find anything yet).

    It's quite normal and obvious that an organisation promoting the usage of prafodils will also tell that prafodils are great and useful. The contrary would be surprising no?
    It's getting slightly less obvious when the "world of prafodil users" would give their members and people interested only information about prafodil provided by that very same community.

    Wouldn't you, as a non-prafodil user, be curious to learn about the claimed benefits of prafodil from sources (scientific studies, literature) which have no connection with prafodil whatsoever?

    What makes me feel a bit weird is a quote from this page (link provided in post #)
    "Unue, fari eksperimendon por konfirmi propedeŭtikan efikon por ĉinaj infanoj."

    My Esperanto isn't very good, but shouldn't it read "fari eksperiment(?)on por testi propedeŭtikan efikon por ĉinaj infanoj"?
    I mean, what's the use of an experiment to confirm a claim. I thought that experiments were done to test a claim. I find the same line of reasing in your post...

    In other words: I am more interested in sources which are more objective and less, or rather, not involved.
    I tried to google secundary literature about it, but I couldn't find anything which cannot be linked back to organisations involved in promoting Esperanto. Which probably means that I didn't search well enough...

    Groetjes,

    Frank
     
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    remush

    New Member
    French
    Esperanto has many aspects that the Chinese think unnecessary (gender, case, article, obligatory plural suffix, temporal inflection in verbs, morphological "determinatedness" of a word) and doesn't have many constituent aspects of the Chinese language (tones, modifying particles, measure words, the hieroglyphs, great spectrum of possible grammatical functions of a word, depending on syntactical and semantic context - e. g. many words can be as well prepositions as verbs without any morphological changes).
    Angelo, I would like to know more about those particularities of Chinese.
    I spend some time on Chinese long ago and for what I recall there are many features that are similar in Chinese and Esperanto.
    It would probably be useful to open a new thread on this and have some Chinese esperantists participate in the discussion.

    I don't know what you mean by "gender", there is non gender in Esperanto. Did you actually study Esperanto?
    What is morphological "determinatedness" of a word, modifying particles, possible grammatical functions of a word depending on syntactical and semantic context.
    Could you give some examples?
    BTW in Esperanto prepositions can become verbs, adverbs, adjectives or nouns, more easily than in Chinese because you don't need to know the context to know the function of the word. I guess many sentences in Esperanto would still be understandable without what we call the grammatical suffixes -a -e -i -o etc...
    I have the impression that measure words are some sort of articles, much more complex than the Esperanto "la" and comparable to the French le, la, les, du, de la, des, de, which also cause headaches to foreigners.
    About what you call temporal inflexion (I suppose -as -is -os) I don't see any difference with Chinese, only the location of the particle.

    Having learned Latin, I always feel uneasy when people call the -n suffix a case; in Esperanto there are no cases, just prepositions which do not postulate a case like in Latin. In general the -n suffix is replacing a preposition when the intention is clear. Other uses are described in "La Fundamento".
    In many cases, the "not use" of the plural is comparable to the Chinese one.
    We should also consider the way words are constructed in both languages. I have the impression that we have here almost a perfect match.

    When you compare Esperanto and Chinese, you must not do it with the vocabulary of a European language, but with the Esperanto vocabulary (see PMEG).
    Now I am probably wrong about a few things, and I would be happy to be corrected. You very certainly know much more Esperanto than I know Chinese. Seriously, what can one know of Chinese after a few weeks study?

    I'll very probably restart learning Chinese seriously next year, when I am satisfied with my Polish, but I want to gather material already now.
    I hope to find a course in Esperanto which will better show the differences and the similitude between the two languages, than the English course I have now.
    Probably a course of Chinese for French would also be better.

    To summarize: I think that the differences between the grammar of Chinese and Esperanto are not much more than a question of vocabulary.

    Remuŝ
     

    Enriquee

    New Member
    English
    Frank said:

    >Oh ja, just a(n unaswerable) question that crossed my mind:
    >Would we still talk about Esperanto if it was based upun
    >Korean, Japanese and Chinese?

    Yes. I would still be a speaker of an Asian-language based
    Esperanto ... as long as it be easy to learn. For Asian people,
    Esperanto is more difficult than for Europeans or Americans.
    By Americans I meant anybody born in America, from
    Tierra del Fuego to Alaska.

    But for Asians, Esperanto is still at least 10 times easier to
    learn than English. (or German, or Russian, ...)

    And there is a little problem here. Learning to read using
    Chinese or Japanese symbols takes a very long time, even
    for natives. I suppose that the Korean alphabet will be more
    suitable for this purpose.

    I learned Esperanto because it is easy to learn. I teach
    Esperanto, because I want my students to start using it in
    a short time.

    And ... speaking about China and facts ...
    It is true that there are some Esperanto speakers teaching
    English in China, and taking advantage that teaching
    Esperanto first will help the students learn English. But this
    is not official. This is made by each teacher on his own ...
    And the number of these teachers is not a high number.

    On the other hand, there are several Universities in several
    cities in China, that officially teach Esperanto. The total
    number of students of Esperanto is very low compared to
    the huge number of students of English.

    CRI, China Radio International, had hired some of these
    students in Beijing. They help put together the daily
    programs of China Radio in Esperanto, and also prepare
    web pages in Esperanto for the radio big web site in
    Esperanto. The radio has programs in many languages.
    But the number of these employees is limited.


    <<Promotional statement removed by moderator. >>

    Best wishes,
    Enrique,
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    Enriquee

    New Member
    English
    Frank said:

    >In short: outside the "world of Esperanto" there haven't
    >been done experiments, research or something similar (?).
    >Well, that was my question and it remains a question, since
    >it hasn't been answered yet. I am searching too, but couldn't
    >find anything yet).

    There are several "catch 22" situations in your writings.
    I cannot blame you, because most people think the way
    you do. My way of thinking may agree with a small minority.

    Let me see if I can understand your point of view.

    You would not pay attention to research made by somebody
    that thinks my way and had learned Esperanto.

    Are you willing to do the research yourself?
    People that think the way you think, aren't inclined to do
    such research. Any way, to make such research requires
    lots of time and money that I don't have. But several people,
    at different times, did the kind of research you are looking
    for.

    There are aspects of the research made or being made, that
    I believe are within your expectations. Maybe all the research
    I know about, was started by Esperanto speakers, but the
    participants were students in public schools. They were not
    Esperanto speakers before the research started.

    It is very hard work to get school authorities to accept such
    research. These school authorities never had to learn
    Esperanto. They were not involved in the Esperanto doing.

    In the case of British's Springboard to Language Learning,
    the initiators are veteran Esperanto teachers. They have to
    be, because they are doing the teaching. But the schools
    are public schools, and the students are regular students
    in those schools. This is a current experiment, started
    about 2 years ago, and going on for several more years.


    Some people, of the kind you will accept, could start making
    some research. They will soon find out that the best way
    to research this subject, is by learning Esperanto. The
    moment they start to learn Esperanto, they fall out of your
    acceptance.

    Many people that don't speak Esperanto, put together all
    Esperanto speakers as if we were a solid block of people
    different to them, like all of us thinking the same way.
    That is not the case.

    The only common thing is that we don't have the money
    and the time to do all the things we would like to do ...
    Different things from different minds, within the Esperanto
    speakers.

    The fact is, that not counting about 2000 people, all the
    Esperanto speakers were not Esperanto speakers at one
    time. We heard or read about Esperanto in the most different
    ways. We were curious, we investigated a little about
    Esperanto, we liked the idea of learning a language in short
    time and proceeded to learn and use it.

    In my case, this happened half a century ago, in August
    1959, while I was struggling to learn English with very poor
    results. Imagine my surprise when after only 2 months
    I was speaking only in Esperanto with a girl my age!


    I will describe a case of unintended research.

    Around 1995, when I just started to use Internet and didn't
    have access to the web, a 15-year-young girl contacted me
    (and without my knowledge, another 2 Esperanto speakers)
    asking for help about Esperanto. Her case:

    In her school the teacher asked the students to write an
    essay about a subject of their own choice. As many other
    students her age, she waited for the last day allowed to
    present a couple of pages describing the theme of the essay.

    She went to the library searching for a subject to write
    about. After looking at many books about different subjects,
    she remembered about the word Esperanto, and right there
    she started her research about something that a few
    moments earlier she knew nothing about.

    Up until that time, she was your kind of independent
    researcher. When she started to find "facts" about
    Esperanto, she decided to learn the language. Before she
    finished her project, we were already writing to each other
    in Esperanto.

    I saw her the first time in July 1998 in an Esperanto meeting
    in Montreal. At the end of this meeting she and her parents
    continued on a trip to France, where the World Esperanto
    Convention took place that year. She had a week of
    Esperanto "immersion" in Montreal, and another week in
    Montpelier, France.

    In the meeting I participated in Montreal there were about
    150 participants. I just checked the official Esperanto
    Yearbook (Jarlibro) and I read that in Montpelier there were
    3133 participants.

    The moment she started to learn Esperanto, you lost your
    trust in her research.

    One question for Frank: If you would like to make research
    about different aspects of learning English, or learning
    Advanced English, or the advantages of knowing English,
    in which language would you expect to find the answers?
    Wouldn't it be the same language of the intended research?
     

    Frank06

    Senior Member
    Nederlands / Dutch (Belgium)
    Hi,
    There are several "catch 22" situations in your writings.
    I was reacting to your post while I was reading it. At the end of my fairly long reply (including a rebutal of the anecdotal evidence you gave, that story about a 15 year old girl), I noticed that the final question of my original reply was the very same question I asked a few times already and which doesn't get answered. Otherwise said, we're going around in circles, and circles make me dizzy.
    So I decided to skip my reply and ask my original question one more time.

    To clear up any kind of misunderstanding, could you please hit the "quote button" (instead of copy+paste) and insert the v symbol :tick: or x symbol :cross: in front of one of the following three possible answers to my question. Mind you, the vague phrase "several people", as you wrote in your previous post, is not an option):

    The question is:
    Are there any objective studies, conducted by scientists or linguists who are not involved in the Esperanto movement (no matter how you define this), on the benefits of teaching Esperanto (compared, obviously, to the teaching of another language) as an aid to learn a third language?
    Objective being the key word here. If the word objective makes you think of a catch 22, then indeed our ways of thinking are too different.
    Objective research, by defintion and in this context, cannot be conducted by a school which actively promotes Esperanto.

    Possible answers:
    1. Yes, there have been studies by linguists not affiliated with the Esperanto movement;
    2. No, there haven't been studies by linguists not affiliated with the Esperanto movement;
    3. I have no idea.

    May I ask you, in case you choose answer 1, to post the name(s) of the author(s), the title(s) of the publication(s), and if possible the date(s) and place(s) of publication).

    The reasons why I asked that question are also simple:
    1. I am not a trained scientist, not even a trained linguist, so I lack the intellectual (and financial) capacity to conduct such a research. However, I am trained enough to read scientific papers.
    2. As explained a few times by now, I am a 2nd language teacher. Hence, I'd like to read more about Esperanto as a tool in learning a third language.
    3. I am asking out of curiosity: I read great claims in this thread, and I was hoping to see great evidence.
    4. I start to have the bad feeling that you're using this thread as a venue to promote your activities. I really hope I am wrong. So, a clear answer from you could take away that slighty negative impression.

    Thanks in advance,

    Frank
     
    Last edited:

    Enriquee

    New Member
    English
    This message by Enrique tries to answer part of a posting
    by Frank.

    A couple of writers wrote about Esperanto:

    Umberto Eco wrote well about Esperanto in his book
    "The Search For The Perfect Language"

    Arika Okrent is the author of
    "In the Land of Invented Languages: Esperanto Rock Stars,
    Klingon Poets, Loglan Lovers and the Mad Dreamers who
    tried to Build a Perfect Language"

    She speaks well about Esperanto. This is a rather new book.

    >The question is:
    >Are there any objective studies, conducted by scientists or
    >linguists who are not involved in the Esperanto movement
    >(no matter how you define this), on the benefits of teaching
    >Esperanto (compared, obviously, to the teaching of another
    >language) as an aid to learn a third language?

    I don't know about such studies.
    I read about similar studies made by Esperanto speakers.
    I also have my own experiences to assert that Esperanto
    helps in learning other languages.

    If you believe that learning any language helps learning the
    next one, then Esperanto is the best choice, because you
    can learn Esperanto in a fraction of the time needed for
    other languages. This is repeating something I already said.

    >indeed our ways of thinking are too different.

    (Repeating:) In my previous message I pointed out that we
    do think different, and that I cannot complain because there
    are more people thinking the way you do, than people that
    thinks my way.

    >Objective being the key word here. If the word objective
    >makes you think of a catch 22,

    What makes me think of catch 22 is that people that think
    like you, will never try to do that kind of research.
    A few of the people that think the way I do, would like to do
    the investigation, and some did ... but people that think the
    way you do, will never accept the results achieved by the
    people that did or are willing to do the research.

    I also pointed out, that even if the organizers of that research
    were Esperanto speakers, the participant students were not
    at the beginning. Of course, they learned Esperanto during
    the experiment.

    You are right. I am repeating myself.

    What kind of people do you think should do this research?
    (What kind of people would like to make this research?)

    >Objective research, by defintion and in this context,
    >cannot be conducted by a school which actively promotes
    >Esperanto.

    I don't remember saying that any school actively promotes
    Esperanto.

    I really wish I could find schools that actively promote
    Esperanto.

    How could you make any research about Esperanto without
    mentioning the word "Esperanto"? How can you evaluate
    the results of learning Esperanto without teaching Esperanto?


    Possible answers:
    1. Yes, there have been studies by linguists not affiliated with
    the Esperanto movement;

    The only linguist not-Esperanto-speaker that I know that
    made some research about Esperanto is Mario Pei. He wrote
    about Esperanto in some of his books. He did not do full
    experiments. Maybe you can still find books by Mario Pei
    in some libraries. He lived in New York City.

    Mario Pei, from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Mario Andrew Pei (1901–1978) was an Italian-American
    linguist and polyglot, who wrote a number of popular books
    known for their accessibility to readers who lack a
    professional background in linguistics.
    ...
    Mario Pei was also an internationalist who advocated the
    introduction of Esperanto into school curricula across the
    world to supplement local languages. (Of course, you
    shouldn't believe every word written in Wikipedia)

    This is about what I know. I am not saying that this have not
    happened. It is also possible that this happened within
    a circle where nobody spoke English. I don't have any
    information that this ever happened. I have not studied much
    about the history of Esperanto in every country where
    there are some Esperanto speakers.


    2. No, there haven't been studies by linguists not affiliated
    with the Esperanto movement;

    I don't know about any such occurrence, but I cannot
    deny that either.

    3. I have no idea.

    I have heard many things about this subject. The only
    materials I have consulted are written in Esperanto by
    Esperanto speakers. It seems that you don't like to know
    about the doings of Esperanto speakers.

    >May I ask you, in case you choose answer 1, to post the
    >name(s) of the author(s), the title(s) of the publication(s),
    >and if possible the date(s) and place(s) of publication).

    I wish.
    If we could answer all those questions, everybody would
    know the answers, and Esperanto would also be much more
    known and used.

    >1. I am not a trained scientist, not even a trained lingist, so I
    >lack the intellectual (and financial) capacity to conduct such a
    >research. However, I am trained enough to read scientific
    >papers.

    I was raised in a country with much less possibilities than
    the USA. We learned, that when we could not reach all we
    wanted, we had to make do, with whatever we had in hand.
    Instead relying in scientific information from others, I made
    my own little research, when the only research available
    was a public library with not that many books. I am talking
    about 1959 ... a little before than Internet. I borrowed the
    book from the library to learn Esperanto, and I finished
    reading the whole book much earlier than the book return
    date. (The book was written in Spanish)

    >2. As explained a few times by now, I am a 2nd language
    >teacher. Hence, I'd like to read more about Esperanto as
    >a tool in learning a third language.

    I am sorry I missed this one too. I am a late-comer to this
    thread. You are in the perfect position to make a little
    research by yourself. Recruit 3 or 4 of your students that
    would like to help you, and teach Esperanto to them.
    It will be very easy for you to teach Esperanto, if you just
    read the first lessons of a textbook for Esperanto. Just stay
    five lessons ahead of your students.

    I am teaching Esperanto, and I don't have the training that
    you have. Then, after your students learn Esperanto during
    15 - 20 hours, compare how they are doing in the learning
    of your main teaching language, with the students that didn't
    learn Esperanto.

    >3. I am asking out of curiosity: I read great claims in this
    >thread, and I was hoping to see great evidence.

    Unfortunately, there are some Esperanto speakers ready
    to exaggerate their own interpretation of some "facts", real
    or invented. I repeat, I go only by facts. For me, facts don't
    need to be documented in big encyclopedias. Some of the
    facts I have seen with my own eyes or heard with my own
    ears, or experimented in my own person.

    Like the one student from Israel that told me that he had to
    stop the studying because he was going to travel ... and his
    destination was California, and within his travels, he was
    going to spend 3 days, about 40 km from my house.
    So, the second of those 3 days I picked him up at 9 AM and
    left him at 5 PM, after showing him around San Francisco
    and north of San Francisco. We spend the whole day
    speaking only in Esperanto.

    Not all students learn that fast. I suppose that you see
    differences in your students.

    >4. I start to have the bad feeling that you're using this thread
    >as a venue to promote your activities.

    You are half way right ... I am trying to get _you_ to learn
    Esperanto, because I can see that you are really interested
    to know about Esperanto. But I am not jealous, I will be
    happy if you ask me to help you and I will be willing to help
    you, but i will also be happy if you start learning Esperanto
    by yourself. And I will be much happier if you start teaching
    Esperanto to your students. As you can see, I will not
    benefit from any of your choices.

    >I really hope I am wrong. So, a clear answer from you could
    >take away that slighty negative impression.

    I always try to be clear. My knowledge of English and my
    use of English doesn't help me a lot. And then ... my memory,
    or lack of it.

    I hope you understand that I am working very hard trying
    to answer your questions. It looks like I spent the whole
    Saturday afternoon, just working on this message.
    I started about 2 PM and now it is 10:40 PM.
    I took a couple of breaks ...
     

    Angelo di fuoco

    Senior Member
    Russian & German (GER) bilingual
    Angelo, I would like to know more about those particularities of Chinese.
    I spend some time on Chinese long ago and for what I recall there are many features that are similar in Chinese and Esperanto.
    It would probably be useful to open a new thread on this and have some Chinese esperantists participate in the discussion.

    I don't know what you mean by "gender", there is non gender in Esperanto. Did you actually study Esperanto?
    What is morphological "determinatedness" of a word, modifying particles, possible grammatical functions of a word depending on syntactical and semantic context.
    Could you give some examples?
    BTW in Esperanto prepositions can become verbs, adverbs, adjectives or nouns, more easily than in Chinese because you don't need to know the context to know the function of the word. I guess many sentences in Esperanto would still be understandable without what we call the grammatical suffixes -a -e -i -o etc...
    I have the impression that measure words are some sort of articles, much more complex than the Esperanto "la" and comparable to the French le, la, les, du, de la, des, de, which also cause headaches to foreigners.
    About what you call temporal inflexion (I suppose -as -is -os) I don't see any difference with Chinese, only the location of the particle.

    Having learned Latin, I always feel uneasy when people call the -n suffix a case; in Esperanto there are no cases, just prepositions which do not postulate a case like in Latin. In general the -n suffix is replacing a preposition when the intention is clear. Other uses are described in "La Fundamento".
    In many cases, the "not use" of the plural is comparable to the Chinese one.
    We should also consider the way words are constructed in both languages. I have the impression that we have here almost a perfect match.

    When you compare Esperanto and Chinese, you must not do it with the vocabulary of a European language, but with the Esperanto vocabulary (see PMEG).
    Now I am probably wrong about a few things, and I would be happy to be corrected. You very certainly know much more Esperanto than I know Chinese. Seriously, what can one know of Chinese after a few weeks study?

    I'll very probably restart learning Chinese seriously next year, when I am satisfied with my Polish, but I want to gather material already now.
    I hope to find a course in Esperanto which will better show the differences and the similitude between the two languages, than the English course I have now.
    Probably a course of Chinese for French would also be better.

    To summarize: I think that the differences between the grammar of Chinese and Esperanto are not much more than a question of vocabulary.

    Remuŝ
    First, about gender in Esperanto: the -in suffix for one who, like me, knows what it means in German, is a very obvious gender marker, even if it is not used consistently like in German (where you can use it almost with every noun which designates a person or an animal, or even to some inanimate objects). The only "gender marker" I have encountered in Chines after more than three years study is 女朋友 (girlfriend) as opposite to 男朋友 (boyfriend), where the first hanzi means "woman" in the first word and "man" in the second (you have a similar use in French for some professions which don't have a female form).
    No, I never seriously studied Esperanto.

    Morphological "determinatedness" of a word: in Esperanto, you have lots of suffices (you enumerated some of them yourself), which make clear that a word is a noun, or an adjective, or a verb, you have synthetically formed tenses. Nothing of that is to be found in Chinese, and that is a FUNDAMENTAL difference between the two languages.

    Modifying particles (for verbs) in Chinese indicate different aspects (completeness of an action, having made the experience of something, continuity of an action, anteriority to another action), but not tenses as in French, and they are not necessarily placed immediately before or after a noun (as a prefix, suffix, or ending, like in Esperanto). You don't mark the "past tense" (了 particle, which actually marks completeness or anteriority of an action) when it is clear from the context (indications like "this evening", "last year", "A. D.") when the action takes (took, will take) place.
    For nouns, they may indicate, e. g., that a noun in preverbal position is not subject, but object of that verb.
    Then, there are the three particles 的,地 and 得, which are not very easy to explain (especially as it would be off-topic here), and the first of which has a lot of functions.

    The Esperanto suffix -n, because it clearly is not a preposition, to me is a marker of a direct object, and because the function of the word in a sentence is expressed by a suffix and not by the position in that sentence, I have no difficulties to assimilate this suffix to the accusative case, even if its use is not always mandatory (remember, Old French had two cases: cas sujet and cas régime). The use of this suffix is in a way similar to the use of suffices in agglutinative languages like the Turkic and Finno-Ugric groups, and the grammar books usually speak of cases in those languages.

    The measure words in Chinese are not very similar to articles in French, because in French the articles mark at least two of the following three qualities: (in)definiteness, gender, quantity (article partitif).
    In most languages, you can say: "a mug (of) beer" or "a bottle (of) beer". In Chinese, it is roughly the same, but much more developed. You use the measure words either after demonstrative pronouns or after numbers, in all other cases you don't need (and use) them. Some words (a very restricted number) don't need measure words at all.
    You will agree that that is not very similar to the use of the article in Esperanto.

    Then, the possible grammatical functions of a word depending on syntactical and semantic context, just to give an example:
    到, as for all I know, has three meanings (functions):
    1) preposition: to, till, until (从 from... 到 to, either to indicate a space of time or place)
    2) verb: to reach, to arrive
    3) modifying particle: indicating completeness of an action: 找 (to search) makes 找到 (to find = to complete searching)

    Then, there are the tones (essential to make out differences of meaning) and, much more important, the hanzi, a unique writing system not comparable to the Latin alphabet (used to write in Esperanto, amongst others), and at the same time a cultural value which unifies the country and is a part of the Chinese identity, no matter to which ethnic group one belongs), which are essential to the Chinese language(s), are an aspect which we didn't even take into account.

    I hope, now you can see, that the differences between Chinese and Esperanto are much greater more than a question of vocabulary.

    To the moderators: please feel free to separate this message from the topic if you feel that it exceeds the subject of this one.
     

    Enriquee

    New Member
    English
    This message by Enrique tries to answer a posting from
    Frank. It would fit better at the beginning of my previous post.

    >Location: Antwerpen, Belgium
    >Native language: Nederlands / Dutch (Belgium)

    I just discovered your location and language.
    Unfortunately I didn't have the time to read all the
    messages in full.

    Right now, during the last 7 years I am living in California.
    My languages are Spanish, Esperanto, and English, learned
    in that order.

    >At the end of my fairly long reply (including a rebutal of the
    >anecdotal evidence you gave, that story about a 15 year
    >old girl), I noticed that the final question of my original reply
    >was the very same question I asked a few times already and
    >which doesn't get answered.

    I tried to do the same, but I considered my messages being
    too long, before reaching the end of yours. Even that, I
    believe that I already answered those questions. I will try to
    answer again.

    >Otherwise said, we're going around in circles, and circles
    >make me dizzy.

    Maybe I repeated some of the material because, at 72 years
    old, my memory fails me. But I tried always to have a
    different subject in each of my messages. I don't think I was
    always repeating the same things.

    >So I decided to skip my reply and ask my original question
    >one more time.

    I will try to answer that again.

    >To clear up any kind of misunderstanding, could you please
    >hit the "quote button" (instead of copy+paste)

    I am sorry I cannot please you at this one.

    It is evident, that English resulted much easier for you than
    for me. I am slow when writing English. When I tried to
    write on the screen, by the time I was ready to send it, the
    program told me that I had taken too long, and I should do
    the whole thing again.

    So, I reverted to my old ways ... opened a file where I copy
    all the posts that interest me, from this thread, and copy
    again the posts that I intend to answer. Then I erase the
    2nd copy while answering it.

    I try to be very clear, and I write the name of the quoted
    person, and put a >symbol in front of each line said by this
    person. To quote myself, I use a double >>symbol.
    I do that in all my writings, not only in this forum.

    >and insert the v symbol or x symbol in front of one of the
    >following three possible answers to my question.

    Maybe my answer doesn't agree with any of the 3.

    >Mind you, the vague phrase "several people", as you wrote
    >in your previous post, is not an option):

    I had to use "several people" because finding the names of
    these people will take me a lot of time, and you will dismise
    them because all of them are Esperanto speakers.

    I believe the exact number is between 5 and 10. I am not the
    historian who knows all the history of everything related to
    Esperanto. I prefer to use my time teaching Esperanto.
    instead of learning the whole history. I prefer the use of
    Esperanto, instead of all theories about Esperanto.
    I am going to find 2 or 3 of those names ... people about
    whom I read a few times.

    The one I had read more about, is Zlatko Tishljar, with whom
    I exchanged only a couple of messages along more than 10
    years. He wrote a book named

    "Esperanto Vivos Malgraux la Esperantistoj"
    (Esperanto will live despite the Esperanto speakers)
    Being the point, that many Esperanto speakers, by their
    doings and sayings, slow the advance of Esperanto instead
    of helping its progress ... but the language is so valuable,
    that will keep progressing.

    In this book, Zlatko reports about his findings through his
    experiments during many years. It would be very easy for
    you to find the text of the book in the web ... but it is
    written in Esperanto.

    I bet that if he or other persons had made similar experiments
    about English, the reports would be written in English.


    The second person I can name is (I copied the following:)
    Helmar Frank en paderbornaj elementlernejoj en 1975 kaj
    1976, en kiu Esperanton lernis preskaŭ 300 gelernantoj, parte
    unu jaron kaj parte du jarojn kaj poste ili daŭrigis lerni la
    anglan lingvon. Tiu eksperimento montris, ke tiuj, kiuj lernis
    E-on ĉirkaŭ 100 lernohorojn dum du jaroj, havis je 30% pli
    bonajn rezultojn ol la nelernintoj, dum tiuj, kiuj lernis nur
    unu jaron, havis jam je 20% pli bonan rezulton.

    My translation of the previous paragraph:

    Helmar Frank in some elemental schools in Paderborn, in
    the years 1975 kaj 1976. Almost 300 students learned
    Esperanto, some during one year, some during two years.
    Later they continued learning English. This experiment
    showed that those that had learned Esperanto about 100
    hours during two years, had 30% better results than those
    that didn't learn Esperanto. Those who learned Esperanto
    during only one year, had 20% better results.

    Please don't ask me to document this. This is all I found.
    I just translated it to English.

    Another experiment was performed by Istvan Szerdahelyi
    en Budapest.

    All these people are or were Esperanto speakers.
     
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