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FortKnox's Journal: Esperanto 26

Journal by FortKnox
OK, how many people actually know the neutral language Esperanto (here's a link for the uninformed)?

I heard its really cake to learn (simple structure, no masculinity/feminity meanings of words (like most romance languages have. eg le and la in french), simple negating of nouns (rich with a prefix is poor), etc...), but its not as fun if you can't communicate with someone.

Surely someone in the circle knows Esperanto (or is willing to learn it with me)...
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Esperanto

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  • by glh (14273)
    It looks the entire point of it is to have a "politically correct" language. That seems kind of funny to me, since there is bound to be something in the language that is offensive to others.
    • Well, its more of a 'neutral' language. Not necessarily to not offend, but to not force one person to learn anothers language. Both have to put in effort to learn esperanto, which is simple to learn.

      But its bound to offend the french the way they protect their language and will speak in no other language...
      • Both have to put in effort to learn esperanto, which is simple to learn.

        Actually, that's not true. Esperanto can be quite tricky to learn. Incidentally, no, I'm not a speaker, although I dabbled briefly a few years ago. Esperanto has one (and as far as I can tell, only one) redeeming feature, and that's simply that it's the most widely spoken artificial language. Google will bring you up many references to criticisms of Esperanto. As an artificial language, it's quite flawed, and there are many better al

    • by dmorin (25609)
      It's more about preserving culture. It was written by a gentleman named L.L. Zamenhoff in Poland around the turn of the century. The feeling was that by making one cultural group communicate in the language of another (for example, making Polish people speak German) that one group's cultural identity would become diminished, possibly even lost. Esperanto was intended to serve as a neutral language that everyone could have as an "equal footing" second language. When two cultures came together, the questi
  • okay I lied. but the movie he did in Esperanto should provide a great great training ground to develop your ear.
    • okay I lied. but the movie he did in Esperanto should provide a great great training ground to develop your ear.

      That wasn't Esperanto. He's. Just. As. Bad. At. English. As. He. Is. At. Acting.

      <g> Sorry, but that one had to be said ;-) (I just watched his Airplane 2 role again a few days ago - great stuff!)

      (Thanks for the Starbucks case article btw - sounds more reasonable than the McD case except in the amount sought, though: the cup leaking sounds like a fault on their part. Ditto the case they

  • Alienation's for the Rich
    They Might Be Giants

    This song is dedicated to all you modern-day troubadors out there
    And I think I know who you are

    I got to get a job
    Got to get some pay
    My son's gotta go to art school
    He's leaving in three days
    And the TV's in Esperanto*
    You know that that's a bitch
    But alienation's for the rich
    And I'm feeling poorer every day
    Hey hey hey

    Well I ain't feeling happy
    About the state of things in my life
    But I'm working to make it better
    With a six of Miller High Life
    Just d

  • Any linguists care to comment - Does Esperanto count as a full language or is it a pigdin?

    For those that may not be familiar, a pigdin is a "secondary" language used to facilitate interactions between two societies without a common language. Pigdins are usually used for trading and commerce. They usually don't have a body of original literature, and no one learns a pigdin as their native primary tongue. A pigdin is usually constructed by borrowing and simplifying elements of two or more languages.

    A c

    • (Caveat: I don't speak Esperanto apart from a few words, and am in no way an expert on the subject, but I have been in quite a few debates online about invented languages and their relative merits -- a topic that interests me a fair amount -- and have absorbed a lot on the way. I do, however, speak English and German fluently, with a little French and Dutch and a smattering of Latin.)

      I'm not sure what you mean, really -- AFAICS Esperanto has its own idiom, its own vocabulary, its own grammar and so on --

      • On the surface, you could claim it's 'only' a creole -- but Zamenhoff also invented quite a few rules and simplifications of its own especially for Esperanto, so it would seem to be much more than a mere creole.

        Creoles are full fledged languages, so I don't think the phrase "mere creole" reflected what I was trying to convey. I mentioned creole as a contrast to a pigdin. My question is whether Esperanto is a full language or is a pigdin. I didn't know there were any native Esperanto speakers. Is the

        • Creoles are full fledged languages, so I don't think the phrase "mere creole" reflected what I was trying to convey. I mentioned creole as a contrast to a pigdin.

          Well, how would you distinguish between a creole and an established language?

          I didn't know there were any native Esperanto speakers.

          Wikipedia claims there's something like 200 to 2000 [wikipedia.org] -- not terribly many, but they do exist.

          Is there an "original" Esperanto literature?

          So it would seem [wikipedia.org], straight from the horses's mouth [esperanto.net]. Not being a sp

          • Well, how would you distinguish between a creole and an established language?

            Creoles are full fledged languages, only differing from other languages by the way they are formed. Most language evolve by divergent mutations from a parent language after various communities of speakers become isolated. The classic example is the romance languages all being divergent regional dialects rooted in Latin. They really follow a similar evolutionary process as simple organism that reproduce asexually. If one wer

      • raising his child bilingually (English-Klingon), ergo Klingon will soon have its first native speaker.


        HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!

        I'm sorry, I can't help it. Yeah, of course I was ostracized all throughout my life as being different. Sure, I respect other people's ideas and what they want to do is okay by me. But there are a few things that are truly the embodiment of the word NERD-TACULAR; indeed, I might go as far as to say the Platonic form of Nerd-tacular; that I can't help but fall down from la
      • I have 1 of those CDs that teach you how to speak Klingon. I don't understand what the excitement is all about. I kind of hate the way that the creator avoided making direct translations to certain words. It's as if he did it just to make it complex.

        I'm genuinely curious about why the fellow would raise his son to speak Klingon. Do you happen to know off the top of your head? Don't go out of your way to Google for the answer. I'm not that curious. :^)

        Fort Knox, in keeping with the original topic, I'd reco
        • I'm genuinely curious about why the fellow would raise his son to speak Klingon. Do you happen to know off the top of your head? Don't go out of your way to Google for the answer. I'm not that curious. :^)

          I don't recall, really -- ISTR that Wikipedia mentions him somewhere. Probably just another one of those "because it's there" things. I do vaguely recall that the person in question was, in fact, a linguist himself.

          From what I've heard, linguists seem to find Klingon rather interesting as a diversion (

          • COmpletely different to pronounced. ITs tonal. English is atonal.
          • I had the impression that Chinese was horridly difficult to pronounce properly? Not to mention the writing system...

            Oops. I forgot about that, & a disclaimer: I haven't spoken or written Chinese in ages. So, don't take my suggestion @ face value.

            It would be kind of cool to make a new language that would be easy to read for people. I believe that it would be best to let lettering represent the types of actions that the mouth must make. For example, "P" & "B" sounds generally differ only in the usage

      • Check this out! [imdb.com]

        Yes, William Shatner stars in the only all-Esperanto movie ever.

  • I actually learnt a fair amount of Esperanto when I was about 10 or so, after reading Harry Harrison's Stainless Steel Rat books. Forgotten it all now :-) The hardest part is having no-one around to actually converse with; anyone can recite stock phrases, but the only way to properly learn a language is to actually use it.
  • (rich with a prefix is poor)
    Ungood?
  • Some of the word roots are a lot like Spanish (which would be an easy language if it weren't for the 13 verb tenses). Me likes not conjugating verbs.

    But first...Mi bezonas mian kafeinon!
  • If I remember correctly that is, "I am able to speak a little Esperanto."

    Yes, the rules are easy -- singular nouns end in o, plural in oj, present verbs in as, future in os (I think), and so on.

    The question is it a cinch to become fluent in? like any language, you need to speak it to really grok it. And if you're like me you're thinking "Hey, the net will be cool for this, I can *type* in it and have Esperanto penpals!" Tried it. Had an Esperanto penpal with whom I played long distance chess. He was

Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurence of the improbable. - H. L. Mencken

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