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Cunning linguists

Esperanto

12 replies

MardyBra · 28/01/2014 18:11

Do we have any esperanto speakers on MN?

I'm genuinely intrigued as to why someone would learn it. And, if so, has it been useful/fulfilling?

OP posts:
alexpolistigers · 28/01/2014 18:39

I've always been curious about that too, Mardy. It's never attracted me, though - I like to turn my attention to organically grown languages!

MardyBra · 28/01/2014 18:45

I started reading a "Teach Yourself Esperanto" book once about 20 years ago. And then threw it away after a while, as I kept being Hmm about the randomness of the choice of vocab.

Also, I was intrigued as to whether it has evolved like most languages do, and thereby got more complex. And that would cancel out the whole point of having a simple language to learn. IYSWIM.

OP posts:
BaronessBomburst · 29/01/2014 15:39

I was interested in Esperanto when I was about 14 or 15. My best friend and I decided to learn it and got a book from the library. The only word I can now remember is bird, which meant bird. The grammar daunted me. Although I can't remember why and after Latin and German I can't see how anything would. Confused

I think that the rise of English via the internet rendered it obsolete.

BaronessBomburst · 29/01/2014 15:41

Do you think that English is evolving to become more complex then? I've always thought it was dumming down.

Jbck · 29/01/2014 15:45

DD1 and her friend decided to make up their own language over Christmas, I mentioned Esperanto to them so,they went off to research and learn.

They are back to making up their own Smile

MardyBra · 29/01/2014 17:25

"Do you think that English is evolving to become more complex then? "

I really don't know, but all languages evolve. I just wondered if something like Esperanto can be fixed in time, or whether it will evolve and lose the consistency of its grammar.
I agree that English is much for dominant than it was 20-30 years ago.

Jbck - DD and friend sound great.

OP posts:
BaronessBomburst · 30/01/2014 11:23

Bumping in the hope we find an Esperanto speaker!

nlondondad · 13/02/2014 18:12

It seems that George Soros's first language was Esperanto. (His father was an enthusiast) The Esperanto organisation estimate that there are a couple of hundred other native speakers of Esperanto in the world...

Donki · 13/02/2014 18:25

I learnt Esperanto as a teenager (and have a CSE grade 1 :-D ) I also learnt French at school. There were more speakers of Esperanto then and I had great fun going to Holland with other young Esperantists when I was 15 and 16. I have run into other people who speak it in the past, and have probably used it more than French, although not recently. The biggest benefit to me was its completely regular and obvious grammar, which meant that I understood grammar much better than my class mates in an era when grammar wasn't taught in English lessons. This is really helping me learn Spanish - although no help with the Spanish subjunctive. It used to be very popular in China, and on the European railways as railway workers had to cope with so many languages that an easy common language was a real help.

Donki · 13/02/2014 18:26

Oh for heavens sake. That should have come out as Grin

chateauferret · 20/02/2014 22:30

For exploring how artificial languages develop study the evolution of pidgins into creoles. A creole is a pidgin whose derivation from the substrate has begun to give way to its natural language change process. They change and develop quickly because a pidgin is by its nature limited in scope of expression, and the speakers quickly find gaps in the vocabulary and the expressive capability of the pidgin and find ways to overcome them. Try Tok Pisin for example, it was an English substrate pidgin (with some German and regional natural language components, and some grammar taken from regional languages for ease if learning by locaks) spoken in Papua New Guinea, a place of very great linguistic diversity.

Esperanto was more or less a pidgin with a Latin substrate, AFAICT, but it didn't creolise because it didn't have a critical mass of speakers who needed it for their lives ANC businesses, so the opportunity to find and overcome gaps in its expressive reach didn't arise; and because it's vocabulary abc grammar were controlled by its creators, so it was presented prescriptively rather than being allowed an independent life.

I always thought Volapük was pretty much what it said on the tin.

NitramAtTheKrap · 23/02/2014 22:01

this might out me but i was at university with a big cheese in the world of Ido (ee-doe) which was an evolution of Esperanto.

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