Welcome to the new blog.
So, you’ve decided to learn Esperanto. Or maybe you’re curious about Esperanto and why someone might learn it. Maybe you’ve been learning Esperanto for a while and need help getting your Esperanto to “the next level.” Regardless of where you are on this spectrum, I am here to help you be the best Esperanto speaker you can be.
So, what is this blog about? Let’s start with the basics.
What is Esperanto?
Esperanto is an invented language, originally published in 1887. In the century or so that has followed, it’s become the common language of the Esperanto community – a diverse and varied group of people living here and there around the world. Esperanto was designed to be neutral and easy to learn, and while individual Esperanto speakers may have their own reasons for learning the language, Esperanto tends to attract people who like the idea of a “neutral, international language.” In other words, Esperanto speakers tend to be interested in languages, culture, and international friendship.
While Esperanto was “designed to be easy to learn”, all language learning takes effort. If Esperanto is your “first second language”, you will find in many cases that it’s different from English. In other words, aspects of learning Esperanto are hard. Quite often, these “hard” aspects for English speaking learners are easy for speakers of other languages. Esperanto is all about meeting people half way
Who is Tomaso and why should I read his blog?
I (Tomaso) discovered Esperanto in my youth and have been speaking it daily for a quarter of a century. In 1998 I became a tutor in “FEC” the Free 10-lesson Esperanto Course by email (which I now administer – more on that later.) I’ve been invited to speak and teach at NASK (the North American Summer Esperanto Institute), and at other Esperanto events. I was on contract with Transparent Language to write their Esperanto blog. Finally, I’ve spent countless hours on Duolingo (where I was known as “Salivanto”) answering learner questions there.
In the process of all this, I’ve learned what new Esperanto learners need help with, and come up with ways to explain things clearly.
I’m an experienced language learner, not only of Esperanto, but other languages as well, so I know what you’re going through.
You may also know me from my YouTube channel Esperanto Variety Show, which contains material in and about Esperanto for beginning learners and intermediate Esperantists as well. Even some fluent speakers have told me that they enjoy my videos and learn from them.
What is this blog all about?
As I said above, it’s to help you be the best Esperanto speaker you can be. While this blog has been a long time coming, the immediate motivation to start it was Duolingo’s decision to close the forums in March 2022. In my time on Duolingo, I’ve posted close to 30,000 comments – mostly in response to questions from learners just like you. Before the forum was shut down, I collected literally hundreds of pages of posts and conversations – and I’m going to go through them and repost the best questions and best answers on this blog. Of course, combining and updating them for clarity.
I’m also answering new questions from learners (see below) and for sure this blog will take shape as we go forward. So while some of the early posts in this blog will have a Duolingo focus, the information shared will be useful for all learners of Esperanto, regardless of your level or the material you’re using.
For starters, though, the next post is going to be about “When to use the -n ending”. This was a highly referenced post by Duolingo user “RuthKC” who in turn cited “a very helpful member” on Facebook. It’s archived here and there around the web (now that the Duolingo forum has been closed), but based on learner reactions, I’ve long thought an updated version was warranted, and this blog is a good opportunity to do so.
The -n ending is basic “Esperanto lesson 1” material, but there are many nuances that need to be considered, so be sure to check out the next post.
How can we keep in touch?
I want to hear from you, so please do leave comments here on the blog if you have a question, to let me know it helped you, or if you just want to say “Saluton.” If you can write in Esperanto, even better. (Eble iu eĉ respondos en Esperanto!)
The best way to stay informed on the latest information for learning Esperanto is to subscribe to my free mailing list.
Subscribers receive an email (about once per week) with a short text in Esperanto, a tip or short grammatical tidbit (about Esperanto in English) plus news about other things that I’m working on or that are now available such as YouTube videos, new blog posts, books, courses, online lessons, and so on.
Ĝis la venonta fojo kaj bonan lernadon.