I’ve been for months learning German through the duolingo app on my phone, with far more success than I expected. It’s made me think of my journey with language-learning, and it made me want to share on my blog a part of me that I usually don’t get a chance to share. If I become fluent, German would be my fifth language–after Spanish, English, French, and Esperanto.
Yes, Esperanto. It’s an artificial language (aka conlang, or constructed language–and that’s actually a hobbie for thousands of people, mostly linguists and sci-fi enthusiasts) invented in the late 1800’s as an easy-to-learn, non-colonial second language for the entire world. Most conlangs we hear of today exist in the world of science fiction films (Klingon, Navi) and have only dozens to hundreds of speakers, but Esperanto is estimated to have millions of speakers throughout the world today. It’s the only conlang that truly has a global culture. There are thousands of Esperanto organizations, conventions, magazines, books, courses, publications, and music–my favorite Esperanto musicians are Persone and Kaj Tiel Plu–-which can easily be found online. Linguists frequently study it, either out of curiosity or as a research tool on language learning and how it changes the brain.
Its structure is logical and its vocabulary is familiar. There are only sixteen grammar rules, for which there are never any exceptions so that it’s 100% regular, and the vocabulary derives from Spanish, English, French, German, Greek, and other world languages mostly derived from Europe.
It’s a sort of gateway language to French, Spanish, and others. I learned it in high school as a preamble to my French major in college, as it is known that studying Esperanto makes it easier to learn other languages. Since the point of Esperanto is that it’s easy, I was writing, preparing translations, and publishing articles in Esperanto within three months.
Since I’ve been an Esperantisto for so many years, I thought I’d share it on my blog. Here’s a short introductory video on it.