Sunday, 23 November 2008

Starting to learn Esperanto

I had heard about Esperanto in the past but did not take the time to investigate it. A couple of days ago I stumbled across it again and this time I decided to see what it had to offer. As I have started this blog, you would be right to assume that Esperanto (or Eo for short) has impressed me.

Like a lot of people, I have studied various languages at one time or another, both at school and in my spare time. English is my mother tongue and I have found this to be a handicap when trying to learn other languages. This is because my ability to speak an alternative to English tends to be significantly worse than the ability of others to speak English. I spent several months working in Belgium and despite my initial determination to improve my spoken French and perhaps acquire some Flemish, I ended up speaking English almost all of the time.

There were generally two types of conversational situation that would take place. The first would be when I was trying to speak in French and it became obvious to all parties that my mastery of the spoken word had not reached a functional level. At such times either people decided to speak English or my contribution to the conversation rapidly diminished before disappearing entirely.

The second type of situation was when I spoke to people who were keen to practise their English. As soon as they became aware that I am a native English speaker they would seize upon the opportunity and I really wasn't in a position to insist upon any viable alternative.

I hope that my study of Eo will allow me to communicate with many more people on a more equitable footing and in this blog I hope to document my experiences.

A valuable Eo resource that I am using for learning is lernu! It's a fabulous site, full of invaluable information for the Eo komencanto (beginner). I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Please feel free to share your Eo experiences and thoughts. Write in English or Eo as you wish. You can try to communicate with me in other languages, however, my ability to understand you may be minimal.

Ĝis poste!

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