Esperanto on the Children's Machine?

   
   
   
   
   

Some days I really feel for the One Laptop Per Child project leadership. Outside of Nicholas Negroponte's inability to pick a name and stick with it, the feel-good cause of children's education attracts all sorts of crazies.

Crazies that are attracted to the light, hoping to attach their long lost pet project to a star, hoping that this time their crackpot brilliant ideas are picked up by the cool kids, their tireless efforts validated as their idea influences global activities.

This week's OLPC crazies are the pro-Esperanto crowd.

Esperanto is a constructed language that was created 120 years ago as an easy to learn, international auxiliary language to facilitate international communication. While it claims a 2 million user following worldwide, it's mainly spoken by serious language geeks and is not the official language of any country or ethnic group.

It is the cause célèbre of the obscure intellectual set, brought out every few years as a solution to tribalism, warfare, world strife, plagues, droughts, and planetary misalignment. Now it's on the OLPC Wiki:

Because the OLPC is a communications tool and an education tool, some people feel that it would be good to use the OLPC to learn Esperanto and then to deliver learning materials in Esperanto. In addition, children in different countries would be able to communicate with one another.
While this line of reasoning has its merits, there are major problems with pushing Esperanto onto the CM1 2B1 XO Children's Machine users. The main problem is English. Or as a rebuttal on the OLPC Wiki Esperanto Talk page says:
  • Most or all of the world's practical learning is already cast in the major existing languages (sorry, Swahili; sorry, Tagalong). The key to mastering this learning is to learn English first. Esperanto just will never become the repository for knowledge that English is already.
  • New knowledge is published in English almost exclusively. Esperanto will be nothing more than yet another way to point to new ideas already expressed in English.
  • English already serves as a language of common understanding the world over. Esperanto's job is already taken. Let's not short-change the world's children in this educational project. The first step in their education will be to learn English.
Another problem with Esperanto on the $100 $208 laptop is one of content control. OLPC will not be handing over a fully baked student laptop to each country government - the governments will be mixing and matching software packages for their own educational systems. So while there may be basic software on each $100 CM1 2B1 XO laptop, and common themes, it's the Education Ministries that will decide what language software is on each laptop.

And I doubt any Education Ministry will be looking to add Esperanto. As the best comment on the OLPC Wiki says:

Esperanto, a waste of space. Why don't we include Klingon tutorials as well? That would be just as useful for communicating with the rest of the world.
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36 Comments

It is unfortunate that you oppose a language that encourages international relations. I have used it for five years now including two years as my primary language (travelling and working for Esperanto organizations) and have had many very interesting cultural experiences through it which I doubt I could've had only with English. The Esperanto Wikipedia is the 15th largest language in the Wikipedia project with 60,000+ articles. The idea behind Esperanto is that it's easier to learn than other languages. Through Esperanto, these kids could acquire a second language must faster and be able to start using learning materials faster than if you taught them a language like English which would take years to learn.

Mi ne komprenis kion estas tiu. Mi ne scias anglan...
Ezkistas esperanta versio cu?

I would echo the statements by Chuck Smith and amplify them by saying that there is a literature and scholarly dialog that describes the problems associated with using English (or any national language) as an international language. To dismiss them all using the pejorative "crazies" illustrates only your own ignorance.

There are plenty of people who thought linux was just "crazies" too. There are plenty of people who think OLPC is a run by a bunch of crazies. In terms of total numbers, there are probably more people who think Esperanto is a good idea than who think OLPC is a good idea. It's just that the supporters of OLPC are rich and influential.

Just out of curiosity, how many languages have you learned to fluency?

2 million? Out of what, like 7 billion, now?

Any kid that wastes their time learning esperanto over ANY other language will seriously regret it. An international language needs more than 2 million speakers to matter.

In all my travels, I have never, ever met anyone who speaks esperanto. Ever.

چرا به زبان فارسی این مطلب را ننوشته اید
Excusez moi mais qui a dit que l'anglais est la langue internationnalle je ne le comprends pas!

While I accept what Chuck Smith and Steven Brewer say above -- Esperanto has enough speakers to be a valuable tool today, and is an order of magnitude easier than English for foreign language students to master -- I can't see it being a major component of the OLPC machine, at least initially. The machine needs to be immediately useful, and learning Esperanto takes time. Having said that, it takes a whole load more time for kids to learn English.

Educational material, particularly for younger children, absolutely *has* to be in a language that they are very comfortable with, preferably their mother tongue. This presents something of a dilemma -- is it better to use software that's:
(a) in English -- cheap, readily available, but very difficult for non-English speaking children to use effectively;
(b) in the local language -- far more use to the children, but also more costly and time-consuming to prepare, with potentially hundreds of languages needed;
(c) in Esperanto -- needs translating, but only once, and children pick the language up and get to a proficient level far far quicker than they do in English.

As a long term aim, then, rather like the Indigenous Dialogues project which saw tribesmen from across the world sharing experience and advice using Esperanto and the internet, it could be a useful long-term strategy, but if I were the OLPC managers, I wouldn't bet the launch of my project on it.

As an English language teacher for twenty years in the United States and abroad, I confirm that Esperanto would take one fifth of the time needed to gain high-school equivalency. It is my personal opinion that could mean as much as 8 years of saving learning time in favor of Esperanto. I further admire the peace-loving history and present of the Esperanto Movement and recommend it to your readers. I have regularly traveled in 30 countries using Esperanto as my main language. Brasilia/New York/Fort Lauderdale

Although I have neither the qualifications of an English teacher nor of a linguist, I can serve as a testament to the power of Esperanto.
English is spoken by a large percent of the world- infinitely mroe than Esperanto. Mandarin is spoken by an even larger amount of people- a gargantuan amount, although I forget the actual statistics. But a world language? Highly unlikely. If I were to teleport at random to a myriad of different countriest and spoke in English to passers-by, I would certianly only make my self understood a fraction of the time. So not only is English not a world language, but it will shortly be dethroned. Latin, french, spanish- all these served a a lingua franca for short periods of time, but they have always been dethroned. Always. English is no different. How long before some stuck up bigot critisizes Esperanto saying that Mandarin or Cantonese has already taken its place? Not long, I expect. Before July, I was completely monolingual- the classic example of a native English speaker. But after finding Esperanto I was introduced to a truly amazing experience which superceded the boundaries of nation or numbers. I have been studing for less than five months, and yet I have had my first conversation in a language other than English. Unweildy and impracticle as it may seem, I have honest faith that if everyone in the world were to study Esperanto, even for a short time, it would solve communication difficulties almost overnight.

Calling Esperanto a waste of time is spoken purely out of ignorance. What you were trying to say, in all your eloquence and wisdom, was that it is not amoung the languages of popular opinion. And how long until English falls to a similiar fate? Not long, I expect. Esperanto will never be accepted, I believe, but those who critisize it are those who ahve no sense of idealism- a very imporant trait.

Klingon? Klingon has a piddly little lexicon, and is designed to be DIFFICULT to learn. It is the polar opposite of the Esperanto language, with all its expressiveness simplicity of learnign. Comparing Klingon to Esperanto is like comparing a decomposing bi-plane to a high-speed jet. Esperanto may not be the future, but it damn-well should be.


Karaj gesamideanoj, ne auxskultu tiujn, kiuj volas malhelpi la celon de la movado, aux kiuj ne kredas ke Esperanto estas utila. Nur memoru ke ni estas apartaj. Tio gravas. Esperanto meritas la konsideron de cxiuj en la tuta mondo. Esperanto venkos. Kaj pardonon pro mia malflueco. Gxis.

Yes, my father is right: Internet gives an incredible chance to express authority opinion about facts one never studied. A comment reads

> Any kid that wastes their time
> learning esperanto over ANY other
> language will seriously regret it.

I could suggest to its author: to check your point
of view, try
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propaedeutic_value_of_Esperanto

If that kid decides *never* use Esperanto itself (but he will, as it's simple and a rich experience that worths a lot), just learning that language seems to offer a better start to learning ethnical languages. It worked that way for me. So I don't regret it at all as my English, French, German and Russian skills were increased only after I have found and learnt Esperanto (in a few months). Before that, I looked at most for Spanish, because it is close to my mother tongue, Portuguese.

Travelling through 18 countries in 3 continents,
in more than 100 cities I visited Esperanto clubs and meetings. For this I have experienced also much of the local culture. Most of the colleagues in my workplace, which travelled more, couldn't say the same.

english is "hard to learn" because the usual language methods favor a minority of grammar geeks (who grow up to be language teachers).. for the majority, there are easier and more effective methods to learn languages:

http://wiki.laptop.org/go/talk:language_methods

Al mi nur interesas ke mia gepatra lingvo estas la portugala kaj Esperanton mi uzas kiel dua lingvo por komunikado internaciskala, ĉar mi taksas ĝin tre utila por tio.

If you explain the world language problems to a child, and then explain what Esperanto is, that child will immediately see the simplicity of the solution. It takes an adult to acquire the cynicism and arrogance to describe this solution as a "waste of space." It takes an unusually dense adult to fail to recognize how very remarkable it is that a language created just 120 years ago now has speakers in every corner of the world and its own literature.

Wow, this is so good, that i'll hav to quote it:
"""
If you explain the world language problems to a child, and then explain what Esperanto is, that child will immediately see the simplicity of the solution. It takes an adult to acquire the cynicism and arrogance to describe this solution as a "waste of space."
"""

Congrats, man, that's soooo true! And it made me laugh (or should i write lef? :-P)

All I can say is that this insensitivity, intolerance, and ignorance disappoints me to the extreme. Clearly you have not bothered to take any time finding out what the Esperanto movement really is about, or why we want to contribute to the OLPC project. The other pro-Esperantists on this page have said the rest quite effectively, I think. To any skeptical readers who are more open-minded than this article-writer, I invite you to look into some of Claude Piron's articles on Esperanto.

As an ex-Esperanto-speaking-child grown into an Esperanto-speaking adult, I take exception to the terminology ("crazies", "crackpots", etc.) used in this debate. Esperanto has been the greatest gift of my childhood. It has changed my life. It has given me a taste for languages and helped me learn a few. I studied Chinese because at 15, I corresponded in Esperanto with a young Chinese who introduced me to his culture. And I had a number of pen pals on every continent. As a young adult, I was for a few years a UN translator, translating from Chinese, English, Russian and Spanish into French. I would never have had this extremely enriching experience were it not for Esperanto and the opening up of the world it meant to me. Later, I've traveled all over the world for professional reasons. Most everywhere I had in Esperanto contacts with local people to which English didn't give me access. Many of these contacts were deep, many were fun, many were moving. I'll never master English well enough to enjoy similar relationships, and I'll never feel as comfortable using it as I have felt all through my life with Esperanto.

I feel disappointed about your rejection. What's the point of depriving children of such a marvel ON NO BASIS WHATSOEVER? I can only imagine that children who receive a laptop will be as thrilled as I was if they can correspond with people in all kinds of countries. But how will they do so without a common language? Esperanto is at least twenty times more cost effective than English; it affords many more possibilities of communication while demanding much, much less time and effort. Not to mention the pleasure of never feeling inferior in international settings, a serious contrast with what happens when the language is English.

I feel dejected when I see you throwing away a project before opening the file and doing a modicum of research. I wonder, how will you treat the children who'll receive the laptops if you don't respect the child I was and who continues to marvel at and be thankful towards Esperanto?

Since the image of Esperanto – seriously at variance with reality – is the same in many quarters, I beg you, for the sake of objectivity, to have a look at my article "An interesting case of bona fide prejudice – Eight linguists answer questions about Esperanto" http://claudepiron.free.fr/articlesenanglais/linguistsanswer.htm You may begin to see the subject from a different light.

While I think I'm entitled to some kind of apology, I won't ask for it. I'll be content just expressing my disappointment.

Claude Piron

I love how all these comments prove my earlier statement: Esperanto "is the cause célèbre of the obscure intellectual set, brought out every few years as a solution to tribalism, warfare, world strife, plagues, droughts, and planetary misalignment."

For all the love I have for geeking out - and Esperanto is language nerds getting their geek on - back in this amazing place I like to call "reality" Esperanto is but a footnote in language.

A footnote because to those in the developing world, who need an education today for a good job tomorrow, their own local language is priority, then the major language of that region or nation in which they live, and then a global trading language - none of which are Esperanto.

Esperanto might be easy, might be fun, and someday cool, but it has no practical value, and no place on the basic configuration of the OLPC.
http://www.olpcnews.com/software/applications/

It seems you haven't read Claude Piron's post. You can't say it has "no practical use", when he gave you real life examples of practical use. You can't argue with facts. They don't care and won't change because of your opinion.

There are people who like to follow. There are others who like to lead. You prefer the "status quo" of language problems. Others prefer to find better solutions.

Even if Esperanto had been invented yesterday, if lots of children started to learn it with the OLPC project, Esperanto would be very useful, because they would be able to communicate among them!

Wayan- you are amazingly arrogant, which I realize is an ad hominem argument, but stunningly true nonetheless.

The reason Esperanto is "but a footnote in languages" is because of bigots such as yourself who can't see that value in it. The success of an venture depends on people, and unfortunatly not a sufficient amount of people care to stick heads out of the noxious fume cloud that is ignorance and attempt to look closer at real value.

I think its worth everyone bearing in mind that you are directing your ire at the wrong people. Wayan and I have absolutely no say in what happens with these little green laptops and the developers, though they may read us, neither comment here, nor act upon what is discussed here. We are _not_ a part of OLPC.

Moreover, a cursory glance at the OLPC's wiki will tell you that OLPC's developers do not dictate laptop content. Even if they did, I see no reason why they should bow to the pressure of a small group of people who wish to see their niche interest go global through its inclusion in OLPC's product.

Esperanto activists should be promoting their cause by lobbying ministries of education and/or bodies such as the African Union, the European Union or other areas where nation states sit together to discuss things. Attempting to piggy back someone else's hard work does little to endear me to your cause.

I think what most people are reacting to are not the statements about the OLPC itself but Wayan's choices to refer to the Esperanto community as "crazies", to refer to our language as "a waste of space", and to equate us with Klingon speakers. Wayan didn't personally say those last things, but he valued and emphasized those comments over others. I believe those statements represent stereotypical misconceptions about the Esperanto community and you probably wouldn't tolerate similar statements made about ethnic groups or nationalities.

Steven Brewer wrote:

>[...] you probably wouldn't tolerate similar
>statements made about ethnic groups or
>nationalities.

And herein lies the Esperanto community's problem; Esperanto is neither ethnically nor nationally linked in a way most (all?) other languages are. Perhaps more importantly - unlike some "revived" languages - it never has been, either.

I understand that Esperanto speakers wish to expand their numbers, I just don't think lobbying a group that can't necessarily help - the OLPC developers - is the best way to go about it. Why not give your MEP a call instead?

Dear Wayan,

I was curious, when you didn't answer my question about how many languages you'd learned to fluency, so I surfed around a bit and I see you've learned several languages to some extent, and Russian to fluency. So you have some sense for how difficult it is to always be at a disadvantage when you have to operate in a second language -- for me, it was that experience that was ultimately most persuasive to me regarding the need for Esperanto. Robert Phillipson has written about this a good bit (here's just one book):

http://www.amazon.com/English-Only-Europe-Challenging-Language-Policy/dp/0415288061/

He argues that a system that lets some of us (the richest ones) operate in our native language and makes everyone else (the poorer ones) use a second language, will systematically disadvantage them and contribute to their subjugation.

Francois Grin has recently received a lot of attention for an economics study he did in Europe which calculated how much less expensive it would be if Europe adopted Esperanto (as one of several options): http://cisad.adc.education.fr/hcee/documents/rapport_Grin.pdf He concluded that more than 17 billion euros could be saved annually (in terms of wasted effort in language learning, translation, etc) if Esperanto were adopted. (Sorry -- there's no english translation, to my knowledge).

These people are not "crazies". Nor are they part of some "obscure intellectual set". I deplore your use of these pejorative terms.

I also wanted to invite you to participate in Esperanto Day. I'm trying to organize a one-day blogfest for people to post bilingually in their native language and in Esperanto about language problems from their home, region, or country: http://esperanto-usa.org/esperanto-tago/

We have people that could help you translate your posting and would welcome your participation, regardless of what you might choose to say.

I have very little respect now for Wayan's opinion or his manner of expressing it; however I realize that I should probably thank him for spurring and gathering such an intense reaction from indignant Esperantists. Now this article has enough testimonies attached to it that I would recommend it to any beginning Esperantists to read!

And by the way, David, I would challenge your statement that a lack of ethnic or national linkage is a "problem" to Esperanto. Many of us consider it one of Esperanto's greatest advantages, and makes us feel that much more "patriotism" for it, if that word can be used.

In the above comments, there is one beginning with "For all the love I have for geeking out - and Esperanto is language nerds getting their geek on -- ". What does "geeking out" mean? What does "geek" mean? I don't understand that sentence. I've just checked in my English dictionary, the word is not mentioned there. So I'm at a loss.
For me, this is evidence that it is impossible to have a serious international discussion in English. It's a language you never master if you don't live in a country where it is spoken.
And it gives the native speaker the superiority feeling of the guy who can look down on all those poor barbarians that don't understand him or her. To think of the tens of thousands of hours I've devoted to studying and practicing English, to end up feeling like an illiterate!
I'm glad my global-scale communication is in Esperanto.
And I feel compassion for the poor children who, having received a laptop, wont' be able to use it for messages crossing borders for lack of an easy, manageable common language.

If anyone here doubts the validity of the earlier comment about how much the EU could save if Esperanto were adopted, here is an English article concerning the matter.

http://en.nitobe.info/ar/kampanjoj/grin-letero.php

Students who study Esperanto one hour a day for two semesters acquire the skills to learn any other language two years faster than otherwise. It is a propaedeutic, or preparatory language. It is a symbiotic language, designed to support and enhance one's home language as well as promote second and third languages. It serves as a neutral ground between languages/cultures.

Oh, it's a bit infuriating to see Wayan's spiteful comments.

The fact is that children learn languages very easily. There would be very little overhead for them to learn Esperanto. You could pick any easy language (such as Latino Sine Flexione), but Esperanto certainly has the benefit of being well established and it has already moved somewhat away from (what it's seemingly incredibly fervent critics call) Euro-centrism.

To call Esperanto (or any other language or piece of culture) a "footnote" shows a profoundly disrespectful attitude towards other ways of experiencing the world. In this wonderful place we call "reality", people have different cultures, which they happen to value.

Have you ever seen how people can struggle with English? I live in South Africa and I see this every day. We are practically bathed in English. Our government uses English. Most tertiary institutions use English. It's freakin' everywhere. You can't go about your daily life without using English in most parts of the country. And yet, the level of English is so low that I have to explain what a native speaker considers to be "easy" words, to adults.

And if you only knew how many people resent having to speak English over here.

Esperantists are an easy target. Everyone likes to laugh at the poor little idealist.

Which is kind of funny for this "results-oriented"ism of the West. It took me all of 1 1/2 weeks to start writing my first blog entry in Esperanto. Now, after 3 1/2 weeks, I feel quite comfortable having IRC conversations.

Now I put a lot of effort in French, and it took me at least 2 years before I could even think about getting on a French IRC channel. And I always feel inferior.

English is similarly difficult. But hey, here in "reality", we want those who feel inferior to feel that way, right? Otherwise we wouldn't continue insisting that English is a world language.

Get real.

David,

I don't think anyone could give a damn about endearing you to anything. People here are upset because someone is trumpeting bigoted statements to the world.

Esperanto has no "problem" by not being linked to a particular group. It's not meant to be.

Now, onto your statement: "Attempting to piggy back someone else's hard work".

All I can say is "huh?". How is desiring easy communication "piggy backing"? What is anyone getting out of this, except having more people understand each other. Please explain.

You and Wayan are being defensive because you are rightly being attacked for what you said.

Either you can say "okay, sorry guys, we shouldn't have posted that" or you can continue this bizarre attempt at further trying to paint other people in a negative light.

I think you're confusing "dismissive" with "defensive" there Wynand, for David and I both agree with the OLPC Wiki:

"Esperanto, a waste of space. Why don't we include Klingon tutorials as well? That would be just as useful for communicating with the rest of the world."

Apologies for trolling.

Yes, I know that my two previous posts are extremely emotionally charged.

It's not even that Esperanto matters that much to me - I haven't even been at it for a month.

It frustrates me that people whose ideas could in no way harm the world (remember that Esperanto is not meant to displace any languages - in fact, the ethos of the Esperanto culture is that diversity should be appreciated) are being insulted. We're not talking about good intentions paving the way to hell here - such intentions normally involve interfering with the way people live (unless one considers simpler communication to be interference).

Consider Nicolas Negroponte. I was stupefied when I saw criticisms of his project. I recall somebody bemoaning the fact that the money should rather be going towards libraries. But Nicolas has a thing for laptops and not libraries. The alternative would be to have nothing at all, unless those bemoaning the allocation of money can ramp up their PR.

There will always be critics. Some people criticize Bono. I know he's a pain in the arse, but the guy actually does something, while many critics just sit back and criticise.

Now I'm not trying to equate Wayan nor David with such critics. So, dear reader, please do not misconstrue that.

Esperantists, Lojbanists, Interlinguists and so forth are not trying to further some religious cult. We're not asking anybody to abandon anything they believe nor stand for.

People who promote an international language, be it Esperanto, be it Lojban, or be it Interlingua, want to augment what people know.

In maths, a standardized system of notation is seen as desirable, because it eases communication of mathematical ideas. To the best of my knowledge (and I've done a fair bit of maths), mathematicians consider this to be a good thing.

If it's good for maths, why would it be bad for the general case?

If anybody manages to get any easy international language project woven into the OLPC project, I would be all for it. It would actually allow kids from all over to augment how they use their laptops, because those in Nigeria would be able to communicate with those in Cambodia etc.

English is tough stuff. Mother tongue speakers frequently make mistakes (and believe me, Kwazulu-Natal is called the last British outpost for a reason).

Hi Wayan,

I did mean to say "defensive".

As for the Wiki, I can imagine that plenty of people hostile to anything could post there and I wish you and David wouldn't agree with the statements about Esperanto.

The continual barbs which attempt to equate Esperanto with Klingon are not necessary.

I'm not being dismissive towards those who enjoy using Klingon. If you read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Klingon_language, you will see that its designer tried to teach his child Klingon. But since the language lacked even basic words, such as the word for "table", the child rejected it.

There are at least in the region of 1000-2000 mother tongue Esperanto speakers.

Now finally, if I look at the size of translations on my PC, I can hardly see why including Esperanto would be such a "waste of space".

Come on guys. You shouldn't be slagging off people like us. Surely you must understand why you upset people with such posts?

Personally, I find Esperanto on the XO as a waste of energy because it is diverting efforts from what users want & need.

If you ask children and their parents in the developing world, they first want to know the language of their own group or culture, then the language of those outside their group they want to communicate with - usually decision makers in the capitol who may speak another local language or a ex-colonial language.

Never do they say "ooo! Esperanto!"

This is not to slag Esperanto as a language itself, for like Klingon, it has its own purpose and fan base, but to slag the idea that imposing a third (or fourth) language with no -local- value would benefit OLPC's target group.

Still equating Klingon with Esperanto, I see. :)

I'm sure that if Esperanto were to be considered, there would be plenty of willing volunteer helpers, so I don't see to much of diversion for the developers of the OLPC project.

Living in South Africa, I beg to differ that an easy language like Esperanto would have no local value. I've started learning Zulu to help me communicate in one of the most English parts of South Africa. South Africa is not the only African country with many language groups who, in general, understand each others' languages badly.

You are right that people will not initially perceive it as having any local value. But it's not as if anyone wants it to impinge on the kids' time and nobody would be able to argue with the value of communication when cross-cultural communication starts.

**

But this is evading the real issue. The real issue is that people were upset by you equating those in favour of international languages with crazies. The tone of the article was unnecessary and I still haven't seen an apology.

I know you think it's funny to equate Klingon with Esperanto. Just realise that not everybody knows enough about languages to realise that it's meant to be humorous.

And to reiterate an argument made above: Esperanto helps people to learn English (and other languages) - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propaedeutic_value_of_Esperanto.

I studies engligh all my life, but i never travel to other land out brazil. i have to undestand but i don't must speek. in fact, i don't like many stuff in us and uk. but i have to learn the language. realy, i don't speek what i wrote above. many many others countrys have the engligh like the 2 language. i undestand this. but don't push. esperanto is more simple for us, latim-american, spanish, itailian etc. esperanto is internacional: jes(yes) ne(no) thks(dankon) and so on. only 16 rules, phonetic etc. The people who are in panic with esperanto, only speek one language, of course. don't be afraid, think in esperanto like one more way to comunication with others, esperanto its not a virus or stuff like that. sorry for the bad writting... lyndon tavares.

I wonder if you've ever actually studied another language seriously, considering you seem to think English is an easy language. It's not, especially for literacy.

Germanic languages tend to delay children's ability to read, because of the consonent clusters. Now, English is even worse than other Germanic languages, because English is by no means a strictly phoenetic language. English has letters, says they represent a sound, and then says them completely differently, as if a punchline to a joke.

"Moth" and "mother" should sound something alike. But they don't, now do they?

The plural of "mouse" is "mice." The plural of "louse" is "lice." But the plural of house? Houses.

I/We/You/They dance. He/She/It dances. I/W/Y/T paint. H/S/I paints. Yet, I am, you/we/they are, and he/she/it is.

English is not about patterns. It's about maddening and endless memorization, and making schoolchildren, even the native speakers, cry, because they can't make sense of it.

Esperanto is the Euro to the national languages' national currencies. Esperanto is the metric to your English measurement system. Esperanto is the base ten number system, and the base ten currency system, too.


@ lyndon: Mi komprenas ke vi ne parolas la anglan denaske. Estas okeja. Sed, bonvolu, donu al ni la esperantan tradukon, cxar la samideanoj komprenos gxin pli facile ol la anglan. :) Bone fartu!

Sen dube!

Mi parolis ke mi lernas anglan lingvon ek eto. Sed, mi neniam vojagxis eksterlande Brazilon. En mia laboro mi devas kompreni. Sed, mi ne bezonas paroli. Vere, mi ne jxustas multaj da aferoj en Usono aux Britio. Mi lernas anglan gramatikon. Mi ne scius bone paroli iu ajn ke mi autaux skribis en angla lingvo. En Multaj landoj la angla Lingvo estas la dua. Mi komprenas tion. Sed, estas stranga afero. Esperanto estas tre simpla al ni Brazilanoj. Nur 16 reguloj. Certe kiun nur parolas anglion lingvon timas tion. Esperato ne estas viruso. Esperanto estas ilo por unuigi la homaron.

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