Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

On-line resources and links for learning Esperanto

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For one good reason to learn Esperanto, read “Just 2 weeks learning Esperanto can get you months ahead in your target language.”

I’ve launched myself into learning Esperanto several times before. The first time I studied it intensely  I was a graduate student. Twice I attended a summer course held at San Francisco State (and now seems to be at UCSD).

Each effort persisted for a while, then life intervened, and I lost the thread. This time I have fewer distractions and more time, and it seems like an ideal project for these socially distant times. I don’t think my prior essays into Esperanto were by any means a waste: they were good practice. In learning anything, it’s good to view abortive early attempts as experiments and practice, not as failures. “Failure” carries the connotation that one could have avoided the error, but that is untrue: beginners inevitably will make errors, an unavoidable part of learning. I view those earlier attempts as practice to prepare me to go further this time. (In this connection, I strongly recommend reading the book Mindset, by Carol  Dweck, a Stanford psychologist — link is to inexpensive secondhand copies.)

As of July, here is the regimen I’m following.

I’m intrigued to find the great amount of high-quality instruction and learning materials now available on-line. I’ve mentioned some of these, but let me summarize.

Anki: an advanced flashcard app for computer, tablet, or smartphone

I start each day by quickly going the Anki flashcard decks I currently am using.  In Anki, a first-rate free flashcard app, I describe the program. Anki offers an enormous collection of shared decks, so while it is good to construct your own deck (from, say, a textbook that you’re studying), it’s also good to avail yourself of the shared decks created and shared by other users. The post at the link lists just a handful; if you’re studying anything, Anki is a resource worth investigating. See Anki’s shared-deck collection for Esperanto. For important installation notes if you do decide to use Anki, read How Anki works.

The quality of the shared decks varies. For example, one on Esperanto verbs began with the prompt being “ami” and the answer being “to ami.” (“Ami” means “to love.”) However, you can edit and revise any deck you download, and also add and remove cards, so you can take a deck and customize it.

I, however, am using the decks as they came, and my morning routine consists of going through the current cards from several decks. I particularly like the deck “Esperanto Affixes,” which clarified several affixes for me. The “Speak Esperanto Like a Native™ series has several decks and includes audio. However, I found their affixes deck not so good as the one I named.

Lernu Esperanto course, English answers” is a deck I’m building (and using) as I work through Lernu.net’s course. I have uploaded the deck so far (lessons 1 through 11) and will update it as I add more. The link is stable now that I’ve figured out how to update the deck.

Since Anki runs on computers, tablets, and smartphones, which makes it handy to use if you’re studying any area.

Jen Nia Mondo: Audio course (with supporting texts)

Jen Nia Mondo is an excellent course, offered free of charge by Esperanto Association of Britain. This set (audio files and two books) is a superb way to learn the language.

You can download the set of 50 audio files (MP3 format) and the two supporting books at no cost. You  learn directly from listening to the MP3 files and repeating phrases, which will develop listening and speaking skills. The book states that it’s best to listen to the audio version of the lesson first, reading the lesson in the book only after you’ve heard it. Specifically, the recommendation is to listen to the audio repeatedly, until you know it by heart, before reading the lesson in the book.

Lernu.net: introductory course and resources for students and teachers

Lernu.net, beyond its excellent intoductory course of 26 lessons, also has a great collection of teaching/learning materials. This post has a basic user’s guide to Lernu.net.

This introduction to Lernu.net’s teach materials is worth reading.

The Multilingualism Accelerator is a curriculum which enables children to learn foreign languages faster and to become more confident in their language-learning abilities. It was based on the propedeutical idea, i.e. that learning a model language, in this case basic Esperanto, if it is limited to the 300 most frequently-used morphemes, can boost children’s language learning skills. Several studies have shown that learning the model language Esperanto for one year may increase the speed of subsequent language learning by up to 30%. The reason is that such a model language is very easy, has no exceptions and functions logically. It enables children to easily understand the underlying linguistic principles by taking apart and rebuilding words and sentences. It is thus far more effective than other languages, burdened by many exceptions to rules, in motivating students. They learn by autonomously constructing their own sentences.

Through this course, children playfully learn the basics of an analytical language, and this gives them clear ideas about how languages are organized. Children understand grammatical terms such as plural, the basic two cases (nominative and accusative), how to create sentences, and acquire the ability to create many new words from the basic roots and affixes present in every language. This gives learners a clear view of the structure of languages in general, known as meta-linguistic knowledge.

All materials are developed for language teachers who have no previous knowledge of Esperanto and the didactic material thus contains grammar sections and detailed guidelines to help teachers prepare for class.

The materials were developed as a part of the project co-financed by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Commission.

Lernu.net also a forum, useful for (among other things) asking questions and getting guidance.

Duolingo Esperanto course

Duolingo’s Esperanto course (free), which I’m also working through, has quite a few transcription exercises — listen to someone speaking and then type what they said — that train the ear. I can already tell it’s easier to hear the words: as my understanding increases, the words become more distinct. It’s a slow-moving course but provides a good sense of progress because the lessons are short. See this post for how I’m using it.

Duolingo also has an Esperanto forum, and one post offers guidance on what to do after you complete the Duolingo course.

As I’ve continued working on the Duolingo course, I’ve discovered various features and tactics that have helped me a lot. You might want to browse my Duolingo posts to see whether they might help you.

Online Esperanto grammars

And beyond those are many on-line resources, such as Plena manlibro de Esperanta gramatiko (PMEG), whichis discussed in this thread (mostly in English) on the Lernu forum. One user, Metsis, notes that PMEG “is the ultimate grammar reference in practice. Very thorough… and completely in Esperanto, which makes it very hard for komencantoj. But once you master enough, it is the must source for the grammar.” For komencantoj, though, the Lernu grammar linked above is a good start.

From an earlier period, the first serious and complete grammar of Esperanto, Plena Analiza Gramatiko, by Kálmán Kalocsay (a notable Esperanto poet) and G. Waringhen (responsible for Plena Ilustrita Vortaro — see below), is available as a PDF. The PDF is of the “kvina korektita eldono” (fifth corrected edition).

And here’s a useful grammar in outline form by Jirka Hanna.

Online Esperanto dictionaries, encyclopedia

Plena Ilustrita Vortaro is the complete illustrated dictionary (as the title says), and was the first great Esperanto dictionary. The link is to an on-line searchable edition.

Reta Vortaro (ReVo) is a good companion to PIV, with ReVo being more current though less extensive. For example, PIV definitions will not include any references to (say) the internet, web sites, and the like.

Glosbe English->Esperanto dictionary is one of many dictionaries at that site, including quite a few from English to other languages. It is a rich resource.

Lernu.net includes English->Esperanto and Esperanto->English dictionaries, but they seem more limited in scope. The link to them is in the top menu bar.

Vikepedio is one of the Wikipedia, and it’s a Wikipedium that’s Esperanto only. It’ seems to be quite active: 281,469 artikoloj en Esperanto, 356 aktivaj redaktantoj
117,366 unikaj vizitantoj monate (plus 33,572 per poŝtelefono). That’s as of right now on 16 June 2020.

Esperanto Sites

Edukado.net is a site (in Esperanto) for students of Esperanto.

Ekparolu.net is a good site for using and improving your command of Esperanto.

Esperanto Panorama has links to a wide variety of Esperanto sites and resources, including courses, chat rooms and forums, music, text materials (books, magazines, etc.), radio programs, and more.

Pasporta Servo is a site to find holiday and vacation lodging with those who speak Esperanto. If you travel to another country, being able to stay with Esperanto speakers (assuming you speak Esperanto) can be advantageous.

Esperanto media

For Esperanto pronunciation, John Wells offers excellent guidance in this brief video.

There are several podcasts in Esperanto, and Studio provides on-line “Radio-Televido en Esperanto.”

See also Facila and Kontakto for articles and more.

KantarViki is a wiki of Esperanto songs and related material.

And, of course, YouTube offers a plethora of Esperanto videos, in and about Esperanto. Here’s a TED talk, for example, that offers a good argument for learning the language.

Esperanto organizations

Esperanto organizations can be helpful. Here are three:

It’s a good time to take up Esperanto: more materials are readily available than ever before.

Written by LeisureGuy

20 April 2020 at 12:01 pm

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