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Esperanto

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Ekolite, Jul 5, 2010.

?

Should I learn Esperanto?

  1. Yes!

    26.4%
  2. What's the point?

    79.2%
  3. What's Esperanto?

    22.6%
  4. I speak Esperanto

    20.8%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Leifmk

    Leifmk Chieftain

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    I think snobby linguistic profs (and other language nerds of some quality) tend to go for Latin instead. Latin is fun because it has some actual culture attached and has had vast influence on more modern languages. Esperanto is a dead end and the people who speak it are second-rate nerds. (I may be somewhat prejudiced by the few Esperanto speakers I've ever knowingly encountered, but they've all been rather awful people.)
     
  2. kulade

    kulade Chieftain

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    <ahem>

    Phonologically, the composition of an Esperanto syllable is (s)(C)(C)V(C)(C); what this means is that with each of their five vowels (or six more diphthongs), Esperanto can attach up to four of their 20ish consonants and an addition initial s. I'm too lazy to do the math, but that allows for a potential syllable toybox in the hundred-thousands area; that is hundreds of thousands of potential core words (id est more that necessary) could be used to form the entire base vocabulary of Esperanto only by using one syllable for each word. Obviously because Esperanto insists on adding an -o at the end of every noun and an -i to every verb, simply to distinguish parts of speech it forfeits this advantage, making it not only a longwinded language, but due to its very liberal phonology one that is mostly unpronounceable to people outside Europe.

    And let's also remember that Esperanto has a noun declension system that is strong enough to make it unnecessarily complicated, but not strong enough to capture the beauty of a multicase language. And of course it has sexually-based grammatical gender, and a particularly wasteful kind at that.
    Maybe "heir apparent" was the wrong way to say it; Mandarin is more of an understudy in English trailblazing, soon to gain limited international use. I didn't mean it would displace English.
     
  3. h4ppy

    h4ppy You sir, pineapple?

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    If you aren't a native English speaker than Esperanto really won't be that easy to learn. Just go back to french, as you'll actually be able to use that.
     
  4. Remush

    Remush Chieftain

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    Half an hour of studying Esperanto would convince you of the contrary. (I gave up studying Spanish : the difficulty level is the same as for French ).
    Ir's amazing that people who did not even spend 5 min. on the language, think themselves qualified to express their opinion (for or against).

    For more about other stupidities written here-above (and elsewhere) about Esperanto read my replies

    Remu&#349;
     
  5. Tee Kay

    Tee Kay Just a passenger

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    Prepare for the future. Learn Chinese.

    Arabic is good too.
     
  6. Ekolite

    Ekolite The Mighty Jungle

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    Despite the vast majority of (mainly baseless) opinions in this thread, I am going to learn esperanto.

    I've been learning it for a few days and already feel like I know more esperanto then I do french, which I studied for five years in high school not long ago. There are lots of very helpful, free courses online and I'm making good progress through it.

    The thing is, I'm only deciding to learn it because I feel like I should do something vaguely academic/useful during the summer on the side before I start university. I don't have the patience or time to learn something like spanish, and arabic or chinese are far too complicated (new writing systems) and don't really appeal to me anyway.

    I want to be more or less fluent by late september when the summer ends. I can do that with just an hour or two per day of esperanto. Any other language would take years to get to the same level.
     
  7. Tee Kay

    Tee Kay Just a passenger

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    Well, it is a constructed language, relatively new and with relatively few speakers who use it on a daily basis, so it should be easy to learn.
     
  8. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

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    People keep saying this, but I'm not sure that they've really thought about it. Even setting aside that "Chinese" is no more a single language than "American" is, it seems to make the assumption that the Chinese will, for some reason, reject English as a shared international language, and insist on everyone speaking whatever particular form of Chinese that they happen to speak, which would simply be mad. Just look at India- English is already emerging as a shared national language among the middle class, and they have no qualms about accepting it, rather than whatever particular dialect they speak, as a tool of communication with the outside world. What's to suggest that China- one of who's most important economic gateways already has a long tradition of English-speaking- would be any different?
     
  9. Huayna Capac357

    Huayna Capac357 Chieftain

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    Half an hour of studying Esperanto convinced me that in some ways it is more difficult than French, which I find pretty easy.

    So it's all subjective.
     
  10. GoodSarmatian

    GoodSarmatian Blackpilled Idealist

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    Better to learn French or Spanish. If you want to show off and feel really smart you could also learn Latin, but if you want another language to communicate in don't bother.
     
  11. LucyDuke

    LucyDuke staring at the clock

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    That ain't gonna convince me it's not a miserable failure and essentially useless. (Not to mention horribly ugly.)

    Learning it, or about it? I've spent zero minutes learning it but much more than five about it. :)
     
  12. Snorrius

    Snorrius Le libre-penseur

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  13. Ekolite

    Ekolite The Mighty Jungle

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    Which has only 100 speakers, making it ten thousand times more useless then esperanto :p
     
  14. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

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    Well, no, because it's a Taoism-inspired philosophical and mental exercise, rather than a formal language. It can be measured by the same standards as other constructed languages, because it has entirely different goals.
     
  15. Enrique

    Enrique Chieftain

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    I always marvel about those people who give opinions about
    Esperanto without taking the trouble to find what it is, how
    it works, without ever been in a room with 3000 (three
    thousand) people from 75 countries, all speaking Esperanto

    with good understanding. I was in such a meeting ... during
    a full week.

    There are about 6000 "natural" languages completely
    useless ... for me, because I don't have the time or the
    will to learn them all.

    I spent less than 2 months learning Esperanto, and since,
    I have used it all the time. I learned it 50 years ago, when
    I didn't know what "nerd" meant. I didn't understand
    English at that time.

    I spent many hundred hours learning French. I understand
    most of what I read and enough of what I hear ... if the
    voice is clear enough ... clear for MY ears, which aren't the
    best for listening to languages like French, English,
    Chinese. They are very good to listen to Esperanto.
    I cannot speak or write French.

    Esperanto is very useful, as most other languages, but it
    has a big advantage: You can find Esperanto speakers in
    most countries. And these speakers are willing to speak
    to other Esperanto speakers. Many of them offer their
    houses to Esperanto travelers.

    If I visit a country like Australia, it would be easier for me to
    make friends using Esperanto than using English. This also
    works for countries like China and Korea, where I already
    stayed for a couple of days at houses of Esperanto speakers.

    And, having been in Japan, Korea, and China, I never heard
    them complain that Esperanto is difficult. On the contrary,
    most of them said that it was much easier than English.

    Let's all learn Esperanto, the easiest language to learn.
    It will take you less than 20 hours to complete the basic
    course.

    If you are ready to learn, or have started to learn another
    language, remember that learning Esperanto first and then
    the other language ... take LESS time than just learning
    only the other language. And then, Esperanto speakers in
    the concerning country, will be willing to help you learn and
    practice both languages.

    Enrique
    from California, USA
     
  16. Huayna Capac357

    Huayna Capac357 Chieftain

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    3000 people. Compared to, for example, nearly everyone you would meet in Spain or Latin America minus Brazil for Spanish.
     
  17. LucyDuke

    LucyDuke staring at the clock

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    Hah, did an entire community or just one Esperanto speaker find this? It's no fun to take apart hit-and-run posts. :(
     
  18. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

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    I think that you're rather missing the point; the significant factor is that these people are drawn from across the globe, rather than happening to be in one place. Your own example simply validates the ideal which he present, given that it reflects an example in which a shared language allows communication between individuals of different nationalities and ethnicities, even those who do speak another language as a first language.

    The problem I found with his post, however, is that it would be just as easy, if not easy, to draw the same number of people together and have them speak together in English. It's not that the idea of an international auxiliary language is anything other than admirable and wise, it's just that we already have one, or at least a decent template. Even the most conservative estimates hold that over six hundred million people speak it in some form or another, and a more liberal estimate (in terms of fluency and literacy) offers one and a half billion. We're clearly getting somewhere, so why not just run with it?
     
  19. Snorrius

    Snorrius Le libre-penseur

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    I doubt it can become truly international language. First it is quite hard, second - not every country want to push it like, say, small European ones. Third - it's current status as lingua franca is titghtly based on US dominance which is not eternal.

    At the other side, I am not sure any conlangs have high chances to be promoted as such, and it is truly amazing esperanto have survived. I am tempted myself to learn it :).
     
  20. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

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    However, it can be rationalised for international use. When I say "English", what I mean is some form of Anglic, not necessarily identical to any dialect which exists today.

    I acknowledge that the lack of neutrality makes it less convenient, but all that will do is slow official recognition, rather than adoption by individuals or organisations.
    Furthermore, in many parts of the world, it is a neutral language. In India, for example, it is preferred as a professional language over Standard Hindi not only because of it's international status, but because it superseded the deep-rooted linguistic divides within the sub-Continent, especially for those who speak a Dravidian which is not even distantly related to Hindi.

    This is not, in fact, accurate; English has been growing in influence since the 19th century, thanks to the influence of British and American trade, American dominance having only allowed it to become the primary diplomatic language. Over the course of this century and a half, it has become entrenched in a way which French never did, because it is learned not just by the elite, but by the average punter, or, at the very least, the average middle-class punter. As such, it is becoming increasingly internationalised, the presence of a growing and independent Indian dialect being the perfect example of this; in contrast, French has always been administered by the French, and any regional forms dismissed as derivative, rather than merely alternative (a reason, perhaps, to celebrate the language's historical North American/British-Antipodean divide).
     

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