Why “mij” <> “ni”

“Esperanto is a very logical language, with complex words derived from simple roots in a highly regular way. Why, then, is it not possible to form plural pronouns by adding -j to the singular ones? It would make sense to say ‘mij’ instead of ‘ni’, use ‘vij’ for the plural ‘you’, or speak about a group of women as ‘ŝij’.”

Read more: https://jakubmarian.com/why-not-mij-vij-lij-instead-of-ni-vi-ili-in-esperanto/

Esperanto at a Glance

I created this piece based upon a copy of an old poster published by the British Esperanto Association. I used LibreOffice Draw to produce the piece. It can be easily customized for use by any Esperanto organization. I’d be happy to share it with anyone who would like a copy. A PDF version is also available.

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Please let me know what you think about this poster. I have a lot more of this sort of material in mind. I hope that you find it useful.

Oni lernas per siaj eraroj!

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I believe that one learns best from one’s mistakes. It is the small foibles that make language learning exciting, ĉu ne?

Yesterday was a very hot day here in North Georgia for this time of year: 92F/33C. I wrote a Tweet (in EO, of course) where I expressed my dislike of summer. I was in a hurry, so I didn’t take the time to proofread and check words against the vortaro, and I ended up writing, “Mi malŝatas sumeron.”

Someone pointed out that I was not using the correct word, so I checked and found that I misspelled the word. It should be SOMERO: Mi malŝatas someron.

Interestingly, SUMERO/SUMERIO means “Sumer/Sumeria.”

Despite the embarrassment of my mistake, I did learn from this experience. I now will remember how to spell SOMERO properly, and I learned the Esperanto name for an ancient civilization.

Yet another productive example of an error becoming a learning opportunity! Never be afraid of making mistakes!

Esperanto is Exceptional

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Studying the rules vs. studying the exceptions

Esperanto is exceptional, in that its grammar does not have any exceptions! Just think of the long litany of English verbs that are conjugated every-which-way-but-loose. Think of learning Spanish verb conjugation, which is comparably regular, but still there are a large number of verb conjugations that are irregular and must be memorized.

Esperanto is considered among the easiest languages to learn, taking an estimated 150 hours of study to reach proficiency. (Compare that to English, which requires around 1,500 hours.) It is because of Esperanto’s simple grammar, straightforward phonetics and familiarity of vocabulary (for speakers of European languages, anyway) that such a claim can be made.

This is why it is such a great idea to study Esperanto before learning another language. Cut your teeth with something easy to chew, then move on to tougher and more complicated prey. It is fun and easy to learn Esperanto. Do it today!

Handling Esperanto’s “Owies”

There is a small class of words in Esperanto that end in the suffix -AŬ. These words come up frequently, so it is a good idea to memorize them.

In the following video, Covering the Owies in Esperanto, Alex Miller presents some mnemonic devices to help you remember these words. Great video, Alex!

In a comment in the Duolingo Esperanto Learners group that included this video, Lee Miller, one of the admins and experts in the group, said this:

[R]emember that -aŭ isn’t a word ending. “Kontraŭ” is a complete word in itself, so word endings can be added. “Kontraŭe”, “kontraŭo”, “kontraŭi”, etc.

Excellent point, Lee!

Here is a list of all of the words that Alex discusses in his video, in alphabetical order:

ADIAŬ – goodbye

ALMENAŬ – at least

AMBAŬ – both

ANKAŬ – also, as well

ANKORAŬ – still, continues to be/exist

ANSTATAŬ – instead of

ANTAŬ – before (spatially)

ANTAŬ OL – before (temporally)

APENAŬ – hardly, not appropriately

– or

BALDAŬ – soon

ĈIRKAŬ – around

HIERAŬ – yesterday

HODIAŬ – today

KONTRAŬ – against, in opposition to

KVAZAŬ – as though

LAŬ – according to, along, by

MALGRAŬ – despite

MORGAŬ – tomorrow

NAŬ – the number nine (9)

PRESKAŬ – almost

Hitting the Wall

5914092322_aaeb6e34dc.jpgHave you hit a wall with your Esperanto studies? Are things just not “clicking” yet? Well, you’re not alone. Almost everyone – myself included – has had times like this. The key to getting around them is to try to do something different. Maybe you need to lay off of Duolingo for a couple of days and focus on a different resource? Maybe you just need to make a few tweaks in your study habits?

A member of the Duolingo Esperanto Learners group on Facebook posted this message:

I’m at a stagnant place in my learning, I’ve got to where I’m lazy because I can read and comprehend so much, I can speak relatively ok (very basic topics) and my “studying” consists of just using what I know and strengthening that. I’ve got to get out of that bubble and start making myself “uncomfortable” again with words I don’t know, and get this tree done.

Below is my response to him:

The best thing that you can do is start using Esperanto in some way every day – outside of doing Duolingo lessons. This may mean that you jot down some ideas in a journal, or maybe a short Facebook post or Twitter tweet. The reason I say this is because (a) this is what really made a difference for me and made Esperanto “click” in my head, and (b) trying to write something original is going to require thought and help from a good dictionary.

For example, what did you do today? What did you have for lunch? What do you plan to do this evening? This weekend? Even mundane things – and in fact, especially mundane things – will help you gain new vocabulary and look for where you have weaknesses.

The best way to retain a language is to use it. Here are a few more things that I do:

  • When in the grocery store, I try to think of the Esperanto names of the various products I see. If I come across something that I don’t know the name for, I look it up on my phone and make sure that I repeat the new word three times, then use it in a sentence. This way, you can really study anywhere. 
  • When watching television, I try to translate what I hear into Esperanto. I do this especially when watching a subtitled version of a Japanese anime. I am seeing words, and then in my head I am associating an Esperanto word with the English words. (In fact, I have picked up a little Japanese by watching these anime. Such a fascinating culture and language!) 
  • I write something in Esperanto every single day. Sometimes all that I have time for is a quick tweet, just 140 characters, but it counts. I also have my Facebook account, this group, my Tumblr blog, my Twitter account, my Google+ account and my own personal blog. I make use of all of these outlets to write, read and learn Esperanto. 
  • I joined Twitter. You would be pleasantly surprised at the sheer number of Esperantists from all over the world that use it. I have almost 250 followers on Twitter, and I follow over 500 others. The vast majority of these are Esperanto related. I have met so many wonderful people there, and it is really great engaging in conversation with them. I have friends literally on every single continent except for Antarctica. I have chatted with Esperantists from places like Nepal, Korea, Congo, Chile, etc., many of whom do not speak English, so Esperanto is the only way we have to communicate.

The key thing is to not give up. Hang in there, because it is so worth the investment of time and effort.

Write down new words that you learn, with their English translation. The physical act of writing helps to create an association in your mind. (It is different when typing.)

You may also want to start copying out some Esperanto sentences you see in Duolingo or other places. Writing things down like this helps you see patterns and pick up on grammar concepts.

Mental Health Terms in Esperanto

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I came across a post on Tumblr that has a list of mental health terms in Esperanto. May is Mental Health Awareness Month, so it seems appropriate to share this now. Many thanks to La Purpuro for compiling this list:

Mental Illness – Psika Malsano

  • ADHD – Atentomanka-Hiperaktiva Perturbo (AHP)
  • Anxiety – Anksio
  • Bipolar Disorder – Dupolusa Perturbo
  • Depression – Deprimo
  • Executive Dysfunction – Sinrega Misfunkcio
  • Intrusive Thoughts – Entrudaj Pensoj
  • OCD – Obsedema-Impulsiĝema Perturbo
  • PTSD – Posttraŭmata Streĉa Perturbo (PTSP)
  • Schizophrenia – Skizofrenio
  • Self-Isolation – Sinizoliĝo
  • Suicide – Sinmortigo

Treatment – Trakt(ad)o

  • Catharsis – Katarso
  • Grounding – Koncentriĝo
  • Hotline – (Telefona) Krizlineo
  • Medication – Medikamento
  • Mindfulness – Plenatenteco
  • Psychologist – Psikologo
  • Self-Care – Sinzorgo
  • Therapy – (Psiko)terapio

Check out more of La Purpuro’s Tumblr blog!

Librivox: Free Audiobooks in Esperanto

Did you know that Librivox has a collection of free audiobooks in Esperanto?

Capture.PNGLibrivox’s objective is simple:

To make all books in the public domain available, for free, in audio format on the internet.

Of course, there are books in other languages, including a large library of English-language texts.

Check out Librivox and download a free audiobook today. It is easy to load to your phone, tablet, laptop, etc. and take it with you to listen to during your commute, or for whenever you have time to listen.

In the comments section, be sure to let me know which audiobook(s) you like the best.

Here are some quick links to two of the more useful Esperanto audiobooks:

La Adventuroj de Alicio en Mirlando – The classic Lewis Carroll work, Alice in Wonderland is read in Esperanto.

Fabeloj – A short collection of five of Hans Christian Anderson’s stories.

If you’d like to volunteer to contribute to Librivox, visit this page.