Friday, July 25, 2008
mia filino kaj mi lernas esperanto
I just completed the second lesson in the free 10-lesson correspondence course. It's a simple but serviceable enough language that I can see why some Esperantists can be so pushy and dogmatic about making it into the international lingua franca. With only two lessons under my belt, I already can count to just shy of one million, I can speak in three tenses, and I'm even able to share some basic information about myself.
This is further than I got with two years of Spanish in high school, and about where I stood with Creole after six months of living in Haiti. It really is easy to learn. Evangeline is able to catch all the weird sentences I throw at her, like "Miaj amikoj estas grandaj insektoj" (My friends are big insects), and translate them into English with only a little difficulty. If we keep on pace, I think by the end of the year she and I will be able to have largely private conversations out in public.
That, incidentally, holds a lot of appeal for her as well. She wants to see if she can convince two of her best friends to learn the language so they can have a secret language at school.
Still, the ease of learning it aside, I can't see the language becoming more than a curiosity, a bit more established and enduring than Klingon, but not gaining the presence its strongest proponents would like. Even though it would be easy to adopt it as a lingua franca, particularly some place like in the European Union, I can't see any international government making the effort to do so.
Lacking the support of a nation, a multinational corporation such as Deutsche Bank, or even a sufficiently large group, its status as an "artificial language" deprives it of the necessary gravitas to be taken seriously.
Maybe if someone like George Soros -- the wealthy-as-all-hell financier is a native speaker of the language -- or some other well-placed and prominent Esperantist, were to back such an effort, it would come to something. But I'm not aware of anyone pushing such an effort at any level of government.
For those of us who do speak it, or at least who are learning to, it remains a great way to communicate with people from other countries whose native languages we may never learn. (And really, how many other languages can one person learn in a lifetime? This is my second second language, and I'm also working on Spanish.)
In addition to some Internet groups and some literature written in or translated into Esperanto, there's also the International Passport Service, or whatever its proper name is, which matches interested Esperanto speakers traveling aboard with potential hosts in the country they're visiting, who also speak Esperanto. I may have to try that some day, if I ever get to Lesson 10.
In the meantime, there's a group of Esperanto speakers that meets just outside Nova Bastille. We'll have to check that out sometime.
But, if anyone is still reading:
Mi havas tri fratojn.
Mia bela edzino kaj mi amas niajn belajn filinojn.
Mi ne havas filon.
Evangeline kaj Rachel faris bonan limonadon kun akvo, lemon juice kaj sukero.
Evangeline amas ŝian patron, ŝian patrinon, kaj ŝian fratinon.
Mi estis instruisto.
Mi estas filo, frato, edzo kaj patro.
Mi ne estas limonado; mi trinkas ĝin.
Mi ne trinkas kafon.
Mi faras panon.
Ishtar kaj Hannah estas ŝiaj amikoj. Ili kaptis birdojn kaj fiŝojn. (Not really.)
Sanaj knabinoj estas belaj knabinoj.
Ŝia patro portis Evangeline.
Mi amas malvarman limonadon kaj malvarman lakton.
Evangeline, ŝia fratino kaj mi lernas Esperanton!
Mi amas miajn filinojn, mian edzinon, mi patro kaj patrino, kaj miajn fratojn.