Esperanto Summer School – Monday 29th and Wednesday 31st July 2019
How much Esperanto can I Learn in ten hours?
Leaders: Chris and John Murray
The Esperanto Summer School this year is based on old well-thumbed Teach Yourself books. Not the new one just published. Not on Duolingo Esperanto.
The challenge is how much Esperanto can you acquaint yourself with in the time available. You are invited to commit to two whole days, Monday July 29 and Wednesday July 31 starting each day at 09:30 and continuing to 16:30 but with frequent breaks. You will need the Tuesday in between to recover from the first day. A third day can be arranged in August if anyone would like to add a bit more!
Everyone who has ever tried to learn another language will immediately realise that you cannot learn much of a language in two or even three days. Not even one with no irregular verbs, no irregular plurals, not even one with (for English speakers) quite a number of familiar looking words. Not even one with a very powerful way of building new words from a limited number of starter words. Admittedly Esperanto has two full cases, which speakers joke about misusing. English has four but most speakers do not know that.
Learning a language is not like reading a novel. You will remember a fair bit of a novel’s plot for some time, but of course you will quickly forget details and eventually even the main plot. Learning a language is more like learning off a very long epic poem, one with many cycles, with the aim of performing it from memory – after a gap of some months!
No, it is much harder than that.
You will forget 95% of what you learn straight after. A second time round maybe 85% will be forgotten straight after. A third time only 75% will be lost – if you stick at it.
So what is the point of two or three days just acquainting yourself with some Esperanto?
Well, you might like what you find.
Alternatively you might realise learning a language, even one as relatively easy as Esperanto, even one with the ideals which lie behind Esperanto, is not for you.
But you should have had fun – whatever.