News: Google Tributes LL Zamenhof, creator of the the Esperanto language

Interesting stuff on this guy. Take a look:


If we want to start a lively forum we should start a debate on Esperanto. I am not really keen on Esperanto but I think that if someone I knew, or liked communicating with, was a keen Esperantist, I would quickly develop an interest. I hope we can offer Esperanto here at LingQ one day. I am sure we have Esperantists hiding in the weeds here.

A much more politically correct response to Esperanto than before… I understand the reasons though, I was afraid someone might have wanted to assassinate you after the last conversation…

In the spirit of a lively debate…

As a Chinese, I am miffed by the fact that Esperanto, a supposedly international language, has totally ignored the needs of Asians. It is not really a world language, only just a pan-European language. I have read that Asians who have never learned another European language in fact find Esperanto very difficult to learn. Esperantists may argue that the de facto world language English is also a European language. This is a different situation. That English has become a global language is a quirk of history. No one could have imagined that the language of a small island country would one day dominate the world. That is how things have turned out, and so we just accept the fact. Who knows, maybe 30 years from now we will all be speaking Chinese. Or perhaps Arabic will become our Lingua Franca. Or Russian. Or Spanish. Whatever. On the other hand, Esperanto was designed from the ground up to be an international language. Some idealist European linguists cobble together a language based on their own languages and tell the rest of the world this is the language they should speak. I for one don’t have any enthusiasm for such a language.

I agree with you Cantotango. In fact I have railed against Esperanto on my blog. However, if some people I liked were keen on it, I am not sure I couldn’t get interested. But I agree that as a world language it does not stand much of a chance.

One reason I tried Esperanto (twice) and quit, was not because of it having a European-centric vocabulary, but because it was boring.

It’s easy but doesn’t have any soul.

I know a man who learned Esperanto, now he isn’t happy he spent time for it. There are no native speakers, no culture- the language is almost unusable

Well, not quite sure about that. There’s an article in the Spanish library which talks about a world-wide social net of Esperantists. Berta knows quite a bit about Esperanto and, I believe, she finds it fun to do.

That’s ultimately what it’s about. Fun.

I can’t have fun with Esperanto, just like I can’t have fun with calculus or dancing.

Other people can. Gotta love the diversity.

Oh! Cantotango is right that the vocabulary is almost all european and that’s a shame, but the “grammar” or how the vocabulary is built up that’s chinese.

I can’t believe that you say that chinese people find esperanto more dificult than english. That just can’t be. You have to learn just a root and with the prefixes, sufixes…etc you come up with almost 10 diferent words. So you have to learn 10 times as less vocabulary as in english. And that’s just an example. You also don’t have any irregularities so once you learn a rule (and there are just a few) you don’t waste time… etc

That’s funny because the chinese international radio has a program of 1 hour everyday!!! I thought chinese liked esperanto a lot :frowning:

“There are no native speakers”---------> Yes there are, but just a few of course, the rest learned it as grownups. But that’s one of the good things about esperanto. You don’t have to feel ashamed of your accent, everyone has their accent, their touch to esperanto, and that’s ok.

“no culture”------> sure there is a culture. We have music, books, jokes… and you have the whole world to travel to and meet esperantist and share their culture.

“the language is almost unusable” ---------> you wouldn’t believe that every where you go, every country you can find people who speak esperanto. And there is a service where esperantist offer their home for free to anyone who goes to their country and speak esperanto (it’s called Pasporta Servo). On the internet you can talk and chat with people from all over the world.

The is a wikipedia in esperanto with more than 220.000 entries, it’s the number 21 in importance. There is also a google in esperanto.

Just like Sanne said, for me is actually is fun, and believe it or not the language is very rich, you can express yourself in deepness. Sure it has a soul YLearner, don’t say that!!!

And for me it sure sounds nice to hear to :slight_smile:

And yet, dear proponents of Esperanto- it is an artificial language wich has not reached noteworthy level of acceptance in the world. For most people it is more valuable to spend time learning a natural language, wich exists as official language in some countries.

Sorry for typos…

YLearner said:

"It’s easy but doesn’t have any soul. "
Exactly my thoughts. If I cared a lot of about numbers, I might be keen to add it to my “repertoire”, but it’s just plain boring. I’m not sure I could get much pleasure out of a language that deliberately poses so few challenges.

Actually, I am planning on learning Esperanto just because I find it fascinating! I don’t know why but I just do. Of course, I just want to learn it because I occasionally would like to do some writing in the language, read a bit, and if possible, speak it just for the fun of it. Also, for being a created language, it has done very well for being recognized though.

One thing I dislike about Esperanto is the way the different sides bicker. Some people feel the need to bash it constantly while the Esperantists will go on about how great it is without acknowledging that the other side may have valid points and they don’t have to be interested in it. It isn’t a very practical language. Whether or not you can get anything out of it really depends. In learning Esperanto, you’re getting in on a niche community. Of course, this is great for people that take full advantage of it, where as others might not find it so easy to or may not want to. Steve mentioned that a key reason he isn’t interested is because of the lack of culture. It does have its own culture, sure, but not in the same way that other countries do. Therefore, the culture of Esperanto is a different kind of interest from say, the culture of China.

I’m having fun learning it, but that doesn’t mean that it’s practical or that other people should learn it. My approach is very different compared to my second language and that’s part of why it’s interesting. For me. I don’t like it for the same reasons some others do and I don’t think we need “sides” on the subject of Esperanto the way there seems to be.

But to each his own. Some people like debating, I’m sure.

Yes many people like to discuss and debate. I am one of them. I find it stimulates the mind. We have to either find arguments to support our positions or to refute the positions of others, or we have to reassess our positions. I find that all three happen.