2015-07-13

Saluton esperantistoj (Hello Esperantists)

Saluton esperantistoj!

Por pliigi mian lernadon kaj la utilo de tiuj mesaĝoj por komencantoj, por estonta mesaĝoj mi planas inkludi ambaŭ esperanto kaj angla. Kiel ĉiam, helpema kritiko estas bonvena. Ankaŭ, kiam mi scias ke mia esperanto estas ĝusta, mi povus krei kaj kunhavigi sonregistraĵo kiel mi vidis petoj en la Esperanto Duolingo Facebook paĝo por sonregistraĵo do homoj povas praktiki ekzerci aŭskulti esperanton anstataŭ nur legi ĝin.

Ĝisdatigo: Mi ankoraŭ laboras en Duolingo, sed malrapide kiel mi inkluzivis aliajn rimedojn de studo. Hieraŭ nokte mi finis la unuan "Speak Esperanto Like a Native" kurson en Memrise (kiu prenis min semajno) kaj mi nun laboras en parto du. Mi ankaŭ finis la tre mallonga "Esperanto Alphabet Like a Native" kurso. Mi vere ŝatas la kombino de Duolingo kaj Memrise kursoj.

Mi daŭras uzi Telegram, sed pli unu sur unu ol la grupo babilejoj. Kaj mi komencis ricevi bildkartojn kaj mesaĝoj en Lernu kiun mi respondis al ili. Mi intencas provi "Ana Pana" en Lernu morgaŭ kaj ankaŭ provi Lernu groupo babilejo. Kaj finfine hodiaŭ mi retpoŝtis la unua ekzerco por mia instruisto por la retpoŝto kurson mi studas. Kaj baldaŭ mi ricevos la unuan taskon pri la poŝta kurso mi ankaŭ faras. Bonvolu vidi la rimedo sekcio por rekomendoj.

Reflekto: Unu aferon mi trovis ke helpas inspiri min labori pli, estas havi iun rutine demandas min kiel mi faras. Katarzyna, mia nova amikino el pollando, estis kontrolanta kun mi preskaŭ ĉiutage (en Telegram) diskuti nian progreson kaj spertoj.

Estas agrable dividante kunhavigi niajn spertojn pri tiu vojaĝo. Se vi havas komentojn, bonvolu sendi ilin sube.

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Hello Esperantists!

To increase my learning and the usefulness of these posts for beginners, for future posts I plan to include both Esperanto and English. As always, constructive criticism is welcome. Also, once I know my Esperanto is correct, I may create and share a sound recording as I've seen requests on the Esperanto Duolingo Facebook page for recordings so people can practice hearing Esperanto instead of just reading it.

Update: I'm still working on Duolingo, but slowly as I've included other resources of study. Last night I finished the first Speak Esperanto Like a Native Course in Memrise (which took me a week) and I'm now working on part two. I also did the very short Esperanto Alphabet Like a Native course. I really like the combination of Duolingo's and Mermrise's courses.

I continue to use Telegram, but more one on one than in the group chats. And I've started to receive postcards and messages in Lernu which I've responded to. I intend to try Ana Pana in Lernu tomorrow and likewise try lernu's group chat. And, finally, today I emailed the first exercise to my tutor for the email course I'm taking. And any day I'll receive the first exercise for a postal course I'm also doing. Please see the resources section for recommendations.

Reflection: One thing I've found that helps inspire me to work harder, is having someone routinely ask me how I'm doing. Katarzyna, my new friend from Poland, has been checking in with me almost daily (via Telegram) to discuss our progress and experiences. 

It's nice sharing our experiences on this journey. If you have comments, please post them below.

2015-07-07

My First Esperanto Meeting

Last Sunday, I attended my first Esperanto Meeting: An Esperanto Conversation for Beginners by Esperanto-Toronto which I had learned about from their page at meetup.com.


It was scary even signing up as I had never before spoken to anyone using Esperanto and the last time I tried to chat with someone via text was in 2007 when I started using Lernu (but got busy with other things and didn't get very far). Fast forward to Duolingo launching Esperanto in beta just over a month ago. Now, I had reached the third checkpoint in Duolingo in time for the meeting, but that's very different from conversing in the language. 

Thoughts on my first meeting

Everyone was extremely kind and welcoming. I felt more like I was meeting comfortable friends than strangers and that's saying a lot considering I normally prefer one-on-one interactions to group ones.

It was fun when one of the members, Lunjo, hurt my brain just by asking simple questions, e.g., is your green tea hot. It's the kind of thing I can normally say, but understanding others' speech is very difficult so far. (But even in English, I often find difficulty differentiating between similar letters like m/n, b/p/b, etc., having to use context to tell what people are saying, context I lack when listening to Esperanto. Also background noise makes that more challenging.)

I'm also going to see about talking via lernu chat as well. And maybe pick up a lernu penpal. If you'd like to practice Esperanto with me, feel free to add me via lernu (JenniferatLernu) and/or Twitter (@jenesperanto). 

Even though I felt I couldn't speak or understand much Esperanto at my first meeting, there was still tremendous value in going and not just in the passive learning that took place. The suggestions on learning strategies and resources were phenomenal and the social aspect of having met new people is very motivating as well. I also learned that one member did his first meeting three weeks ago even though he hadn't studied Esperanto at all and he also felt he learned a lot -- so in short, meetings are useful for all skill levels.

In the future, perhaps I'll ask people to break up their sentences into like three word chunks so I can process a smaller part at a time, at least at first. Or I could just start writing down what they say as it was hard keeping even a simple sentence in my head. I think that's a me-thing though and also I wanted to try speaking naturally without a dictionary, etc. Maybe next time I'll bring some of the pdfs I've since received.

Since then, as per one member's (Ryan) advice, I downloaded the Telegram app and he added me to the torontanoj group. The group conversations move too fast for me to really take part and I've had more success just chatting with Ryan one-on-one, thanks to his patience while I looked up every third or so word. :) The group chat is still excellent for referring back to for reading comprehension though and of course I'll improve in time.

Why Learn Esperanto?

I can't think of a more fitting first post for my Esperanto journey than to describe why people, and specifically I, choose to learn Esperanto.

First, I really identify with the five traits of Esperanto on Lernu.net, especially the third and fourth ones.
  1. Esperanto is international
  2. Neutral
    • Not owned by any country or political system 
  3. Provides linguistic equality
    • There is often a power shift when someone speaks their mother tongue with someone who is speaking that language as a second language. Often, the first person can express their thoughts easier, more precisely, and sometimes dominate the conversation or talk circles around the other person such as during a disagreement. With Esperanto, both people are speaking Esperanto, a second language.
  4. Relatively easy
    • This is huge and part of the reason Esperanto is being taught in some schools. 
    • This is but just one example of what makes Esperanto easier to learn than other languages: Conjugating Verbs in French versus Esperanto 
  5. Esperanto is a living language
    • Like other languages, Esperanto evolves and has the richness and depth to be used to express our emotions and philosophies, for music and poetry, for business, etc. Some international companies have adopted Esperanto as their language of business.
Esperanto is regular and does't break rules, e.g., adjectives end in 'a', nouns end in 'o', etc. This regularity makes it easier to deepen one's understanding of grammar and that knowledge can then be applied learning difficult languages, with more ease.  Here is an excellent Ted Talk by Tim Morely about the effectiveness of Esperanto to prepare students for learning other languages. The Ted Talk likens this benefit of learning Esperanto similar to teaching children how to play a recorder rather than giving six year olds more difficult musical instruments. More than the tangible benefits though, I am studying Esperanto mainly due to the linguistic equality it provides, from the experiences I've had talking with people, and the enjoyment of learning about different cultures, often from people who don't know English.

Not everyone learns Esperanto due to these philosophies and reasons. As Esperanto is relatively easier to learn, it helps build confidence with languages. For the person or child learning their second language, Esperanto can help them get comfortable in just a few weeks to start using it. For instance, I felt I knew Esperanto better in just a few weeks of study than years of French study.