Benefits of Learning Esperanto
Ever wish there was one language meant for international communication that was easy and did not make you want to pull your hair out? Good news is that there is, the bad news is that it never really…officially became the international language.
When people ask me how many languages I speak I often forget to take into factor Esperanto, because I rarely use it (due to the fact my school is in the middle of nowhere). So I hesitate and say something odd like 3 ½. I started learning Esperanto about 2 years ago during my sophomore year of undergrad, and it was EXTREMELY easy. I was ploughing through this language like I do my corn chips. I needed to take a break from Japanese Studies and decided to take the Duolingo course on Esperanto and from that moment on I fell in love with the simplicity of it. I wouldn’t call it “pretty sounding” exactly, because it’s a mix of some 6 or so languages but by gosh is it simple!
Facts About Esperanto
- It is a conlang: Meaning it has no “real” established language family that it can cling to. Although it is constructed of about six different Indo-European languages, the end result cannot really be determined.
- However, despite it being a conlang it is the most widely used conlang in the world with somewhere between 2,000,000 to 3,500,000 speakers- yes you read that right. A conlang has grown to the point of having millions of speakers.
- Google Translate recognizes it as a language.
- It has no native country but there are native speakers: People around the world are beginning to be raised with Esperanto in their daily lives as a first language.
- There is a secret society for Esperantists (Nothing creepy…its just a really neat community that allows you to discuss world issues and even opens up travel opportunities.)
- There are also youth congress meetings where you can meet other Esperanto speakers
- Some colleges offer Esperanto as a second language requirement.
Pros of Esperanto
- Easiness: If I had to rank Esperanto on a scale from 1 – 10, one being the easiest and 10 being the most difficult, it would receive a rating of 3. There are 16 grammar rules in Esperanto: SIXTEEN! That is nothing people…NOTHING. Also since Esperanto is a conlang it has plenty of room for creativity. You can make your own words just by cramming two words together. If you were to ask me, I’d say this language has the simplest structure of them all. You can blaze through these rules in a week if you are studious and perfect them over the next few months.
- Confidence Booster: If you just need a pick me up in your studies, start studying Esperanto. You will feel like you are making substantial progress because of the ease of everything. Ever been in an MMORPG and you are stronger than everyone by 100 levels, so you just start shredding through the newbies – that’s Esperanto.
- It’s international: As stated earlier, Esperanto belongs to no specific nation, if you were to learn Esperanto you would have overcome hundreds of language barriers at once (provided you encounter someone from a different country than yours, whose first language isn’t comprehensible). Imagine that your first language is Dutch but you met someone from China who you want to communicate with for a cross-cultural exchange – Esperanto serves the purpose of a neutral international language so that neither party would have to struggle to learn it. I became decent at it in as little as three months, but I just became decent at Japanese after 3 ½ years, and during that time 5 months were spent in immersion.
- Hate: People outside of the Esperanto community cannot stand the fact that the language is succeeding as a conlang. If you are in any serious polyglot or language group and you happen to even mention Esperanto, there will be a flare of outrage. Moreover, people don’t approve of a cultureless language, which isn’t necessarily true but moreover a misguided assessment. Culture is obtained, not born; the culture of Esperanto was obtained by the goal of global communication on all scales. This, in turn, created a culture that is fostering, steward-like and community driven.
- While there are many opportunities to speak Esperanto, it may be hard to find speakers in everyday life. Yes, there are conferences and Congress meetings but the reality is that the speakers are scattered about the globe. But if you do bump into an Esperanto speaker, celebrate!
- ….Its just really a great language, nothing to really pick at like that to be honest….