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  #11  
Old August 26, 2011, 08:23 PM
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In case anyone's interested, I just finished the Esperanto course I mentioned above.

It's interesting stuff. I was able to get through it in about 16 days, but I can't say it was easy. There are some concepts which are pretty confusing and foreign, and I will definitely have to go back and study some things more thoroughly to really have it down.
Congratulations! My own "study" was nearly 20 years ago, before the advent of on-line courses. However, I used the Brita Esperanta Asocio self-teaching book to learn the fundamentals and also bought their dictionary, which I found useful when I ran into unfamiliar roots while reading magazines that I subscribed to for a few years. While there was a local club at that time (and for all I know there might still be a local club), I never pursued participation in their activities, so that I can puzzle out something written in Esperanto easily enough but I have to work really hard to speak, write, or understand speech.

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But I do think the idea behind Esperanto is compelling and I'm encouraged by the very active and vibrant community that surrounds the language. I'm going to keep pursuing it and march toward becoming truly conversational, if not fluent.
Nice! Do you know whether there's a reasonably-active local club near you?

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If anyone else is also interested, let me know. It would be nice to have someone to discuss the subject with.
I'm interested enough to be happy to discuss the subject with you. I'm not ready to try improving my own skills right now, thouth that could easily change at any time.
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  #12  
Old August 27, 2011, 01:46 AM
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Originally Posted by wrholt View Post
Congratulations! My own "study" was nearly 20 years ago, before the advent of on-line courses. However, I used the Brita Esperanta Asocio self-teaching book to learn the fundamentals and also bought their dictionary, which I found useful when I ran into unfamiliar roots while reading magazines that I subscribed to for a few years. While there was a local club at that time (and for all I know there might still be a local club), I never pursued participation in their activities, so that I can puzzle out something written in Esperanto easily enough but I have to work really hard to speak, write, or understand speech.

Dankon. And yes, I imagine things have changed significantly when it comes to learning resources.

You may find it interesting just to download the course I linked to in my above post and look through it. It's a very small application so the download and installation is really fast.

Also, I've learned that apparently THE site on the Internet for all things Esperanto is en.lernu.net. There are a lot of resources there.

As I said earlier, as a consequence of going through the course I also got a tutor. So I had someone I was kind of accountable to and I'm sure that that helped to keep me going. For those 16 or so days though I almost completely put Spanish on the backburner and it's kind of a relief to get back to learning the language that's REALLY important to me right now. I definitely intend to keep up my Esperanto studies as a hobby, though. The general consensus seems to be that if you put just a little bit of time into it every day then you should have some pretty solid skills within about 3 months.


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Nice! Do you know whether there's a reasonably-active local club near you?
According to this:

http://esperanto-usa.org/node/449

. . . there should be an Esperanto club here in Salt Lake, but the web address renders a 404 and the e-mail I sent to the e-mail address went unresponded to, so my guess is that they have shut down.

I'm going to keep looking, but if I can't find anyone locally it shouldn't be a huge problem. The Internet is full of people trying to learn the language and it shouldn't be a big problem to find people to chat with on forums, via e-mail, and via Skype.


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I'm interested enough to be happy to discuss the subject with you. I'm not ready to try improving my own skills right now, thouth that could easily change at any time.

Awesome!

Well let me ask you. . .

When you studied the language way back when, do you remember learning about the accusative and the correlatives?

Those have both caused me a lot of problems. . .

Last edited by SPX; August 27, 2011 at 01:51 AM.
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  #13  
Old August 27, 2011, 01:59 PM
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Dankon. And yes, I imagine things have changed significantly when it comes to learning resources.

You may find it interesting just to download the course I linked to in my above post and look through it. It's a very small application so the download and installation is really fast.

Also, I've learned that apparently THE site on the Internet for all things Esperanto is en.lernu.net. There are a lot of resources there.

As I said earlier, as a consequence of going through the course I also got a tutor. So I had someone I was kind of accountable to and I'm sure that that helped to keep me going. For those 16 or so days though I almost completely put Spanish on the backburner and it's kind of a relief to get back to learning the language that's REALLY important to me right now. I definitely intend to keep up my Esperanto studies as a hobby, though. The general consensus seems to be that if you put just a little bit of time into it every day then you should have some pretty solid skills within about 3 months.
I'll keep the app in mind, but I think I'll pass on downloading it for the moment. Taking about 3 months sounds about right to me, too.

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Originally Posted by SPX View Post
According to this:

http://esperanto-usa.org/node/449

. . . there should be an Esperanto club here in Salt Lake, but the web address renders a 404 and the e-mail I sent to the e-mail address went unresponded to, so my guess is that they have shut down.

I'm going to keep looking, but if I can't find anyone locally it shouldn't be a huge problem. The Internet is full of people trying to learn the language and it shouldn't be a big problem to find people to chat with on forums, via e-mail, and via Skype.
It's too bad that the nearest club to you appears to be moribund right now. But your right, there are plenty of people all over the world who are ready and willing to practice using the language.

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Awesome!

Well let me ask you. . .

When you studied the language way back when, do you remember learning about the accusative and the correlatives?

Those have both caused me a lot of problems. . .
Yes, and probably yes. Basically the accusative can be equivalent to using ANY preposition.

And correlatives? By those do you mean the prefixes ci- (missing reverse caret), ti-, ki-, neni- and the nine part-of-speech suffixes such as -o -a, -e, -el, -al, -u, -am, and so on?
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  #14  
Old August 27, 2011, 03:07 PM
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Basically the accusative can be equivalent to using ANY preposition.
I'm not sure exactly what you mean about the accusative being equivalent to using ANY preposition. You'll have to explain that one.

In any case, the accusative is fairly easy for me with simple sentences. For instance:

La kato kaptis la insekton. "The cat captured the insect."

Okay, sure. The "insekto" is the noun that the verb acts upon. I can grasp that. But in more complex sentences it can get pretty confusing to me. I wish Zamenhof had just decided to this was not an important feature for the language and had, instead, opted for a specified word order.


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Originally Posted by wrholt View Post
And correlatives? By those do you mean the prefixes ci- (missing reverse caret), ti-, ki-, neni- and the nine part-of-speech suffixes such as -o -a, -e, -el, -al, -u, -am, and so on?
Yeah, exactly. Hate them. Very confusing and there are just too many of them, and many of them have multiple meanings.
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  #15  
Old August 27, 2011, 04:40 PM
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I'm not sure exactly what you mean about the accusative being equivalent to using ANY preposition. You'll have to explain that one.

In any case, the accusative is fairly easy for me with simple sentences. For instance:

La kato kaptis la insekton. "The cat captured the insect."

Okay, sure. The "insekto" is the noun that the verb acts upon. I can grasp that. But in more complex sentences it can get pretty confusing to me. I wish Zamenhof had just decided to this was not an important feature for the language and had, instead, opted for a specified word order.
Of course, Zamenhof's first language was Russian, which has 5 cases and not just 2. SVO is the "unmarked" word order in Esperanto today, but any order is possible and can be useful to adjust emphasis, focus, or provide better flow of ideas in a discourse. However, I agree with you that remembering when to use the accusitive suffix and when not to is challenging for those of us whose first languages don't modify nouns this way.

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Yeah, exactly. Hate them. Very confusing and there are just too many of them, and many of them have multiple meanings.
The issue of having multiple meanings is a sign that English and Esperanto divide the semantic territory differently. It's still troublesome for us native speakers of English. Add in the capacity to derive additional words from the correlatives, such as tiam = then (that time) [adverb], tiama = of that time/occasion [adjective].
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  #16  
Old August 29, 2011, 11:41 AM
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Of course, Zamenhof's first language was Russian, which has 5 cases and not just 2. SVO is the "unmarked" word order in Esperanto today, but any order is possible and can be useful to adjust emphasis, focus, or provide better flow of ideas in a discourse. However, I agree with you that remembering when to use the accusitive suffix and when not to is challenging for those of us whose first languages don't modify nouns this way.
I'm not sure what you mean by "cases." I have seen that term used a lot recently but the only cases that I know about are uppercase and lowercase and something tells me that's not what you're talking about, ha ha.

As for Zamenhof's first language, I think that is an interesting story unto itself. You probably are already aware of all this, but from Wiki:

"He considered his native language to be his father's Russian, but he also spoke his mother's Yiddish natively; as he grew older, he spoke more Polish, and that became the native language of his children. His father was a teacher of German, and he also spoke that language fluently, though not as comfortably as Yiddish. Later he learned French, Latin, Greek, Hebrew, and English, and had an interest in Italian, Spanish and Lithuanian."

He was a language fiend. I wonder what it is that fascinates some people about languages to the point of basically hoarding them.



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The issue of having multiple meanings is a sign that English and Esperanto divide the semantic territory differently. It's still troublesome for us native speakers of English. Add in the capacity to derive additional words from the correlatives, such as tiam = then (that time) [adverb], tiama = of that time/occasion [adjective].

Yes, it's confusing. It was upon running into the accusative and the correlatives that I realized Esperanto was going to be no cake walk. It's supposed to be "the easiest language to learn" or whatever, but in a lot of ways it's more confusing to me than Spanish.

One thing it does really have going for it is tenses, though. Learning how to express present, past, future, etc. is SO much easier. Spanish and all the conjugations kill me. That's why in years of on again/off again study I've never really made it out of the present tense.
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  #17  
Old August 29, 2011, 12:50 PM
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I'm not sure what you mean by "cases." I have seen that term used a lot recently but the only cases that I know about are uppercase and lowercase and something tells me that's not what you're talking about, ha ha.
And you're right! "Case" is a linguistics term for a particular grammatical phenomenon that some languages use. It refers to using inflection (that is, some type of modification of the form of nouns) to encode the grammatical function of nouns within an utterance, rather than relying on word order or on the use of function words such as prepositions.

Modern English evolved from earlier Germanic languages that used case as a core feature of their grammars, but modern English has lost most of these features. What remains now is the possessive suffix that we spell using an apostrophe as in man, man's, men, men's or in girl, girl's, girls, and girls', and in the different personal pronouns (I/me, you/you, he/him, she/her, it/it, we/us, they/them).

Similarly, Latin also used case as a core feature of its grammars, and most of its modern descendents retain only variation of personal pronouns as the only remnant of that system with the grammar of the language.
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