This crazy new addiction

I continue to learn Esperanto. Esperanto is truly a ton of fun to learn and to speak. Learning Esperanto introduces you to language concepts such as cases in a structured and fun way. It also introduces you to suffixes and prefixes that may not be present in your native language.

So while I continue to improve Esperanto, I decided to begin learning German. Learning German now seems like a very doable thing. I joined Benny Lewis’ Speak in One Week project. I am amazed how much German one can learn in one week if one is motivated and one follows the advice generously given by Benny.

This is my fourth day in the project and I have successfully engaged a German native in a language exchange in iTalki.com. I hope to benefit from this exchange and to be able to help my partner with their Spanish.

In addition, I will seek German speakers locally, as there are many German speakers around here. In fact, last Saturday, I spoke a little German with the nice Mennonite ladies at the farmer’s market. While walking around the stalls, I heard at least two more people speaking German, so that could be a good place to find speaking partners as well.

Ich bin sehr aufgeregt!

 

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Talking to yourself: It’s not just for crazy people anymore.

I am now staring at the barrel of the 6 week Esperanto Challenge gun. I have only 3 weeks left. Yikes! So I have to find a way to improve my spoken Esperanto fast. The problem is, although Esperanto has up to two million speakers worldwide, there are none to be found in my area. So what is an aspiring Esperantista  to do? Talk to himself of course!

I know that what I should really do is get on Skype and find a willing victim…er…partner with whom to practice Esperanto. I just cannot seem to pull it off however. So the next best thing is to talk to myself. This is most efficient if you record yourself. Second to that is talking to yourself in the mirror. Take a subject. Any subject will do; lettuce, mice, red paint. It doesn’t matter. Chances are that whatever subject you choose will have you running to the dictionary to acquire the vocabulary necessary to talk about the subject. That is one part of the magic. The other of course, is to get your brain and your mouth to pronounce the words. I find that after repeating a paragraph ten to twenty times, my brain begins to get it.

So there you have it.Talking to yourself is a simple, always available technique to improve your foreign language skills.

Pli Esperanto

Karaj amikoj,

Mi estas tre feliĉa ĉar Esperanto estas pli facila ĉiu tago. Mi timis la akusativo sed nun, mi pensas mi ĝi lernos. Mi komencis explori informato pri la Gardanto De La Herbojo. La Gardanto De La Herbojo estas statuo en mia urbo. Ĝi estos la temo de mia prezento je kvar semajnoj. La tempon iras rapide kaj mi devas studi pli.

Ĝis!

Esperanto

Saluton!

On May the first, I began the 6 week Esperanto challenge. At the end of the six weeks, I must produce a five minute video presentation about any topic. The video will be judged and if I am found worthy, I win a paid one week vacation to any one of 4 or 5 places in the world where an Esperanto convention is being held.

Sweet!

I began this project with optimistic expectations. I began to accumulate vocab like crazy! This is easy because Esperanto is a constructed language and it was constructed from European languages two of which I speak  (Spanish and English if you must know).

Then I ran into the Akusativo or Accusative for those of you who ne parolas la lingvo internacia. It turns out that in Esperanto, there is the accusative case which requires you add a final ‘n’ to the direct object of a sentence. Whaaaaaaat??!! Darn it, grammar rears its ugly head!

So now I have to figure out the direct object in every sentence I utter. On the fly! Sigh! I suppose it is a small price to pay for learning a language with NO irregular verbs and with only 16 rules of grammar.

In spite of this, learning Esperanto has been a blast so far. Without having to worry about irregular verbs or any exceptions at all, I have been able to concentrate on actually speaking the darn thing. And although it is painful to hear me speak Esperanto right now, I can actually say quite a lot for having studied it only one week.

I am looking forward to a life-long affair with Esperanto.

On other matters, I really got to promote this blog. Right now, it’s relegated to the darkest corners of the Internet and no one is reading it. I haven’t promoted it because I felt I had nothing of interest to say yet since I haven’t really achieved fluency on any of the languages I’ve been studying. Maybe that’s just an excuse for my laziness.

Oh well. Ĝis!