Tiu Jaro, Mi Lernos Esperanton

Posted on Sunday, January 11, 2009

That's right, baby. This year I have resolved to learn Esperanto. Why, you ask. Why? Trust me, there are more reasons than you have time to read. The first, however, was that we had a dinner table discussion last month about obscure languages. My husband posited that he would rather learn Klingon than Esperanto because at least he could use Klingon to impress people at Star Trek conventions (although not to pick up chicks, I reminded him, as speaking Klingon in public is the next best thing to the joining the priesthood to ensure a lifetime of celibacy). While he considered that, my daughter wanted to know all about Esperanto. I couldn't tell her much, other than that it is an artificial language created in the late 1800's with the Utopian goal of being the official second language of everyone on Earth (so that we could all finally communicate on an equal footing). I also knew that it was created for ease of learning, with literally no irregular forms or arbitrary exceptions to grammatical rules. My daughter, currently enrolled in first year Japanese, recognized these attributes as being highly desirable (or "freaking cool" in the parlance of her peers). After dinner, she and I researched Esperanto quite a bit further and decided it was too freaking awesome to not at least attempt to learn. Dude. Why not? Seriously.

In other news (there's been news?), I placed an order today for Adobe Dreamweaver. And, if you recognize that as the premiere web design software on the market today, you'll know what that portends. Yes, I will be building my own website again in the near future. But here's the tragedy: My old domain name (XXXX panda.com) has been co-opted by a domain squatter and is no longer available. That means I'm going to have to come up with something new. And, as you may have noticed, I'm a bit Amish when it comes to embracing change. It's a good thing the software won't be arriving for a week or so because I'm going to need some time to think about this.

11 Response to "Tiu Jaro, Mi Lernos Esperanton"

Margaret Says:

I love the sound of Klingon though; I find it exciting!! I've been to seminars on Esperanto and it was a really good idea. (but didn't work in spite of that) I think there are still places where people do learn it because it's easy. Ashley's old boyfriend had an elvish name and wanted to learn elvish. She can still make me laugh insanely when she tells me his elvish name. How is your daughter enjoying Japanese?

Anonymous Says:

Knowing both Esperanto and Klingon, I'd have to say Esperanto is far more useful, but Klingon is more fun by itself.
There are maybe two million speakers of Esperanto, all around the world. Klingon has dozens of speakers, also all around the world.

And I suggest: "Tiun cxi jaron mi lernos Esperanton." (with accusative 'n' on the time phrase and 'cxi' to make it 'this' instead of 'that').

I wish your daughter complete success with Japanese.


Danger Panda Says:

Margaret, Esperanto yet lives. There are pockets around the world, in Europe especially, where it thrives. And, as you can see from the subsequent commenter, it may be easy, but it's still hard enough that I don't yet know what I'm doing! Baby steps though. I'm getting there.

Welcome and thanks for the input! What's your Esperanto experience? Do you have opportunities to use it? Or do you think (as so many people seem to) that it is merely a linguistic novelty? Do, tell more!

JoJo Says:

I've heard about Esperanto but never heard it spoken or seen it written. I tried to learn Boontling a few years back but it was too much to remember. And I didn't live in the Anderson Valley of CA where it originated so I had no opportunity to use it.

Miĉjo Says:

I speak Esperanto, but not Klingon. I find Esperanto to be great fun, but use it almost exclusively on the Internet, which has been a real boon to the language in recent years. Also, up until a few weeks ago, I had a coworker who, upon find out I spoke it, took to learning it, and after about 3 or 4 weeks, was conversational enough that we thenceforth spoke to each other only in Esperanto. I have since discovered another person at work who say's he's learning Esperanto, but I'm not sure yet at what level.

I notice you live in King County (I live on the Eastside). Not sure if you're aware, or interested, or if it's accessible to you, but the Seattle Esperanto Society meets monthly in NE Seattle. I went a couple of times, but dropped it because of travel time. An Esperanto discussion group also meets monthly in Tacoma (I've never been - too far). You can keep tabs on both of these and other Esperanto happenings in the greater Seattle area and possibly hook up with other Esperantists living near you by subscribing to the Yahoo! Group Seatlo.

Not specific to the Seattle area, but definitely to the U.S., is the buzz on Change.org around a competition for ideas to be passed along to Obama when he comes to office. One of the ideas is to consider making Esperanto a foreign-language option in U.S. schools. People from all over the U.S. and around the world have commented and cast their vote, and you can, too, if you wish.

Best of luck with your Esperanto!

Albert Says:

Wow, what a challenge!!! This year you are going to learn Esperanto!!
Once I thought that Esperanto would be the solution four language barriers, but here in Belgium it's not at all in use!
I admire it that you do the effort to help people in “their” language in your “own “country!
Here we have the problem that many French-speaking Belgium peoples do refuse to learn or to speak Dutch.
We Dutch speaking peoples mostly are able to manage themselves in French, and when we want to find a proper job ,we must be “bilingual”! That's not always the case for the French speaking!!

I wish you success with your study!!!

JenK Says:

How about www.iheartedtroyer.com?

By the way, you will be amused to hear that my old, ancient blog, THC, just got a hit from South Korea from the googled phrase "turkey v*lture."

Wonder how you say that in Esperanto.

Tonyo Says:

Francine, you should take a look at http://www.esperanto.be. There is a quite powerful Flemish Esperanto Association. And I myself have Flemish Esperantist friends!! Like Jacques or Paul.

Panda: Kuraĝon kaj antaŭen! (go ahead!) :-)

Paula Says:

Learning Esperanto is just cool. Period. :)

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