Should we learn Esperanto first? / Cxu ni devus unue lerni Esperanton?

[English translation below]

Paroladoj TED-aj ofte estas strangaj kaj ekscitaj, kaj tio cxi pri Esperanto kiel ponto lingva ne estis escepto!

Post miaj aliaj artikoloj pri Esperanto, intereson esprimis multaj, cxu Esperanto vere estas tiel uzebla.

Bedaurinde, mia respondo honesta estas, ke mi ne scias! Sed se mi devus decidi, mi jesus.

Mi ne scias, cxar mi ne lernis Esperanton unue. Mi faris interreta kurso de Esperanto antau kvindek jaroj, sed jam parolis Germanan, Hispanan, kaj iomete Francan. Do mi ne povas diri, se plejbone estas antaue lerni Esperanton. La plejbona gvido estas sperto persona, kaj tiun sperton ne havas mi!

Mi ja povas diri, ke eblas, ke estas avantagxo antaue lerni Esperanton kiel ponto lingva. Lau mi, tio estas ne kial multaj diras. Esperanto gxenerale estas ja simpla, sed kiel mi pasinte diris, la bono lingva de gxi estas, ke gxi ne estas tro facila. Por la mankoj kaj neperfektoj de la lingvo, igxas defio perfekte lerni gxin.

Mi ne volas diri, ke mi multe scias pri la instruado de infanoj. Aliaj povas pri tio paroli plu. Sed mi povas kredi, ke infanoj en la lernejo preferas lerni Esperanton ol Francan au Hispanan, cxar estas pli facila rapide antaueniri en Esperanto ol en aliaj lingvoj pli strukture kompleksaj. Infanoj komence povus multe diri, kaj poste lerni pri akusativo kaj subjunktivo (avantagxo kiam ili volos poste lerni Germanan au Hispanan). Por infanoj, do, mi estas preskau certa, ke plejbone estas unue lerni Esperanton, kaj do mi sxatas, ke tio okazis en iuj lernejoj Anglujaj.

Por plenkreskuloj, mi simple ne scias. Mi supozas, ke ne samas por cxiu individuo. Se oni havas motivon (ekzemple, ke oni volas rapide lerni plurajn aliajn lingvojn), tio versxajne estus bona ideo. Se oni nur volas lerni unu lingvo aparta, mi ne scias, se indus la tempo.

La plej grava estas, ke lingvolernado onin amuzas! Do, se helpas Esperanto, penu lerni gxin! 

TED talks are often odd and exciting, and this one on Esperanto as a linguistic bridge was no exception!

After my other pieces on Esperanto, some have expressed an interest in whether Esperanto really is of use in this way.

Unfortunately, my honest answer is I do not know! But if I had to call it, I would suggest it is.

I do not know, because I did not learn Esperanto first. I did an online course in Esperanto 15 years ago, but already spoke German, Spanish and a little French. So I cannot say, if it is best to learn Esperanto first. The best guide is personal experience, and I don’t have that experience!

But I can say that is it possible that it is an advantage to learn Esperanto beforehand as a language bridge. For me, this is not for the reason many state. Esperanto in general is indeed simple, but as I have said previously, the good thing linguistically is that it is not too easy. Because of its linguistic omissions and imperfections, it becomes a challenge to learn it perfectly.

I do not want to say that I have much knowledge about children’s education. Others can go on to talk about that. But I can believe that children at school prefer to learn Esperanto to French or Spanish, because it is easier to get somewhere in Esperanto than in other more structurally complex languages. Children would be able to say a lot to start with, and then learn about the accusative and the subjunctive (an advantage when they go to learn German or Spanish later). For children, therefore, I am almost certain that it is best to learn Esperanto first, and thus it is good to hear that this has happened in some schools in England.

For adults, I simply do not know. I suppose that it is not the same for every individual. If you have the motivation (for example, because you want to learn several languages quickly), it could be a good idea. But if you only want to learn a particular language, I do not know if it is worth the time.

The most important thing is that language learning is fun! So, if Esperanto helps, make the effort to learn it!

 

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2 thoughts on “Should we learn Esperanto first? / Cxu ni devus unue lerni Esperanton?

  1. irvdel says:

    Short Esperanto courses in primary schools would be a great idea for its propedeutic value (a “linguistic recorder”), to see children of all abilities succeed and grow in self-confidence, and also, there’d be no issue about getting enough fluent teachers and teaching assistants. Parent buy in might need some work, but it would help if there was a network of foreign primary schools taking the same bold step. Best around the beginning of KS2 I image, leaving earlier for focusing on the mother tongue, and leaving later for all that AQE work.

    An interesting read is “Esperanto as a starter language for child second-language learners in the primary school” (ISBN 978-0-902756-35-9). http://www.esperantoresearch.org.uk/sites/default/files/site/files/esperanto_as_a_starter_language.pdf

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