Why is Esperanto useful?

October 18th, 2007

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Each year, our globe seems to get smaller. Ships carry a thousand items between countries. Jets carry passengers across oceans and around the world. Satellites bring us live television coverage from Europe and Asia. Every year, Canadians in every walk of life communicate more and more with people of other countries.

One barrier remains…As a result of this tremendous increase in contacts with the outside world, Canadians are realising that there is still a major barrier to international communication — the language barrier!

Canadians have long heard the cliche that “Wherever you go, people speak English.” In fact, at most ten percent of the world speaks English! Often, in other countries, only the people in the best hotels of the largest cities can use English, and even they are often not very fluent.

Anyone who has visited a foreign country and struggled with the language barriers understands this. Canadians are at last discovering what the rest of the world has long known: there is a real need for an international language.

Fortunately there is such a language. Its name is Esperanto. It was created by Dr. Ludwig L. Zamenhof, a Polish physician, who published it in 1887. Since then, Esperanto has been learned by millions. Of the many projects and proposals for an international language over the centuries, Esperanto is the only one that has stood the test of time and is being spoken today. It is in daily use by many thousands of people all over the world, and the number is growing constantly. Many international meetings are held in Esperanto. Books and magazines are published by the thousands to meet the demands of an international public. Some of the largest international firms put on special advertising campaigns in Esperanto. Hotels, restaurants and tourist resorts compete for the patronage of the Esperanto-speaking traveller.

Esperanto’s impressive success as the language of international communication is due to three basic advantages. it is easy to learn. It is politically neutral. And it has many practical uses.

Esperanto is easy…the international language is much easier to learn than any other language. In fact, it can be learned in about a quarter of the time needed to learn a national language! The spelling is easy: each letter has exactly one sound. The pronunciation is easy, and the accent is always on the next to last syllable. The grammar is easy: there are only sixteen rules, with no exceptions. (That means, for example, that there are no irregular verbs.) The vocabulary is easy, too: many international words are used, such as telefono (telephone), biologio (biology), and matematiko (mathematics). Esperanto gives a very “natural” impression in spoken or written use; and, because of its high ratio of vowels to consonants, it is often said to resemble Spanish or Italian.

Esperanto also uses prefixes, suffixes, and interchangeable endings to reduce the number of words to be learned. For example, in English we make the words friendly, unfriendly, and friendship from the root word friend. Esperanto carries this idea much further, making the vocabulary easier to learn.

In short, Esperanto has been rationally constructed for ease of learning. This has made it especially popular with busy men and women who cannot spend years learning a foreign language, which would be useful in only a small part of the world. Because of these features, Esperanto is attractive as an introduction to other foreign language studies. In the Hawaiian schools, for example, the study of Esperanto is a basic part of that state’s innovative English program.

Esperanto is neutral…The second major reason for Esperanto’s success is that it is neutral. It belongs to no one country. Many people in America and England say that English is already spoken so widely and is such an “important” language in the world that it should be officially adopted by all nations as the international language. This view is very unpopular in many countries.

This attitude is not merely because English is one of the most difficult languages to learn. The new nations of Africa and Asia are very reluctant to accept English (or any major language) for international communication because of the political overtones. For example, the countries of the Soviet bloc would not want to use English as an official international language, just as we would be reluctant to accept Russian in that role (as some Soviet publicists have actually suggested).

The Western nations have also shown their sensitivity to questions of linguistic equality. Quebec has rejected English as its official language; the Common Market nations insist on using all their languages in Brussels; the UN spends tens of millions of dollars every year translating into five official languages and into fifteen for UNESCO!

Esperanto is not the property of any one nation, group of nations, or social class. It belongs to everyone. It has no political or historical implications to hinder its acceptance. Every person who uses Esperanto is on an equal linguistic footing with all other Esperantists.

Esperanto’s popularity in smaller nations and in Asian countries, such as Japan, is largely due to this neutrality. This promotes a spirit of friendship and brotherhood among Esperantists which is quite impressive to everyone who sees it in use.

Why is Esperanto useful? Lernu Esperanto

How to chat with native Spanish speakers

October 10th, 2007

Spanish is one of those languages that you never regret learning because of the enormous literature of not only Spain, but also South American countries where Spanish is still a dominant language. Again, Spain is a great place to live in, be it for your job or as a tourist. These definitely make learning Spanish worthwhile. Besides taking classes or teaching the language to you, chat en espanol can indeed be a great method.


As we all know, fluency with a language comes through reading books, watching movies. However, this is limited to the fluency in understanding. Chatting in the language that you are trying to learn can be indeed of great help for learners, especially with a language as Spanish that in which finding people to chat with are never difficult to find. You do not have the time to watch movies in Spanish or read books- how can you learn. Again, chat en espanol comes as a boon. You get two advantages if you attempt learning Spanish if you know English. One is that the script is the same- well, almost!

The second is that the pronunciation is quite similar to English, in fact, there are a few common words meaning the same in Spanish and English. Conversing in Spanish is a great way to learn the language. However, if you do not have the opportunity to reside in Spain, you can get hold of a few chat friends online and text chat with them. You could also use voice chat facilities if your messenger supports them. Chatting with Spanish people, will not only help you learn or improve your skills with the language but also give you a decent idea of knowing the culture that is unique to Spain? With democracy the world over, Spain still maintains its lineage of monarchy. Besides, Spain has been the seat of various thought processes, philosophies and theories, which give you an intellectual insight.

The Spanish cuisine is also one of the most mouth watering in the world and you can know about all these and many more things as the Spanish lifestyle, the festivities, celebrations and priorities that they hold in their lives. All these come in a simple platter once you show in the chat room that you are interested in Spain- its heritage and culture. Chan en espanol saves a lot of your money and time as well because you do not have to attend extra classes for learning the language. You do not either have to sit and search and read about the Spanish lifestyle over the internet. Chatting is a medium that is more simplified and can be retained by the brain. Besides, it gives very simple and realistic details that most literature over the internet fails to note. Besides, you always have the online advantage of time flexibility and can chat as per your convenience. The chat rooms are always swarming with people and it should not be very difficult to find yourself a perfect teacher.

The Dutch language

October 6th, 2007

Many people probably don’t know that the tiny country of the Netherlands’ official language, which is Dutch is spoken by nearly 23 million people. The majority of the Dutch speaking people live in Belgium and the Netherlands. Given this fact, the Dutch language ranks among one of Europe’s most popular.

About five centuries ago Dutch was not yet really standardised. During that time people spoke many different dialects. Due to the difficult communication, the beginning of the Dutch standardisation took place.

When the Dutch languages’ standardisation was completed, it became less difficult to identify the differences between standard Dutch and its related dialects. However, developments with regards to the Dutch language were significant during the 19th and 20th century. Due to influences from main spoken languages such as English, French and German, standard Dutch language is continuesly changing and modernising.
One of the Dutch language’s most remarkable change over the past century is the pronunciation. The voiceless pronunciation of certain syllables and letters have now become a part of the standard language and is a rare feature that was mostly heard in certain North Holland province’s dialects. The voiceless pronunciations that are most significant include: ‘Z’ as ‘S’, ‘G’ as ‘X’, and ‘V’ as ‘F’ . This recent trend indicates the desire for a more logical spelling and make the Dutch language sound much more phonological. The result is that each special sound is made clear by just one letter or that there’s only one particular way with regards to a grapheme.

The pronouncement of three diphthongs also changed. These diphthongs include; ou, ei, and ui. The recent changes for these are now moving towards aau, aai, and ou. This difference was first noticed among upper middle class, well-educated and middle-aged females. The majority of these women can be found in the world of politics, academia, literature, and arts.

Eventually these langual changes became also common among women from other social statussus. Today, even the male population has embraced this change in language, as well as teenagers with various backgrounds.

In a large area of the country these changes can be heard, particularly among women of Moroccan and Turkish descent.

The Dutch language

About Lingva Prismo

October 5th, 2007

About Lingva Prismo

Lingva Prismo’s aim is to show the colour and diversity of the world’s languages. Through this site we are contributing to the preservation of this cultural richness while entertaining you at the same time. It was created by the work group Esperanto@Interreto with strong support from the European Youth Foundation (for the European part), the Nordic Cultural Foundation (with special attention to the Nordic regions), the department for youth affairs of the Swedish State (special attention to the Baltic region) and the Esperantic Studies Foundation (special attention to interlinguism and global matters). The project is coordinated by Hesselbom Berlin GmbH.


Esperanto is…

October 5th, 2007

Esperanto is…

Esperanto is a language introduced in 1887 by Dr. L.L. Zamenhof after years of development. He proposed Esperanto as a second language that would allow people who speak different native languages to communicate, yet at the same time retain their own languages and cultural identities. Esperanto doesn’t replace anyone’s language but simply serves as a common second language. Esperanto can be learned in much less time than any other language. (Some say that it is four times easier). Esperanto is politically unbiased.

Although there aren’t a lot of people who speak Esperanto in any one place, there are some almost everywhere. There are over a hundred periodicals regularly published in Esperanto. There are thousands of books in Esperanto, both translated and original works. There are millions of webpages.

People who speak Esperanto are internationally minded, concerned about social justice and peace, and are helping to preserve linguistic diversity. Meetings and conventions in America, Europe, and Asia provide a fun opportunity to travel and meet new people from around the world.

Esperanto doesn’t replace anyone’s language but simply serves as a common second language.
Esperanto can be learned in much less time than any other language.
Esperanto is politically unbiased, helping to preserve minority languages and cultures.
Esperanto provides an opportunity to travel and meet new friends from around the world.
Esperanto is fun to learn and fun to speak!

Welcome to Lernu!

October 1st, 2007

Welcome to Lernu!

Lernu.net is a multilingual website which aims to inform internet users about Esperanto and help them to learn it, easily and free of charge, more at Lernu.net

Esperanto: The International Language
History of Esperanto


Esperanto and the dream of Ludwig Zamenhof. As the 19th century turned to the 20th, he dreamed of a language that was spoken, read and written by everyone in the world: a single language. The result was a book called Lingvo Internacia and the birth of Esperanto.

Popular with intellectuals at first, the movement lost steam for awhile. There has been, the past several years though, a renewed interest in Esperanto. It has been helped along with the advent of the internet. There are, for example, numerous Esperanto Organizations:

Worldwide Organisation of Young Esperantists: www.tejo.org
Universal Esperanto Association: www.uea.org
Esperantic Studies Foundation: www.esperantic.org
Esperanto@Interreto: www.ikso.net
Esperanto Information
Additional information about Experanto can be found at:

Links to Esperanto pages in other languages: www.esperanto.net
Panorama of Esperanto pages: www.esperanto-panorama.net
Complete calendar of Esperanto events: www.eventoj.hu
For and about linguistic equality: www.lingvo.org
Internet Information Centre: www.ikso.net/ric
Service for teachers and students of Esperanto: www.edukado.net
There are many other websites about Esperanto and dictionaries to be found as well.

Tips for learning travel Spanish

September 13th, 2007

If you’re like most people who are speaking a foreign language, you don’t want to sound like an idiot. Making mistakes is a natural part of learning any language (even the one you grew up with), but chances are you don’t want to make some of the easily avoidable mistakes that might make you sound less intelligent than you are.
Here, then, are 10 common mistakes that English speakers commonly make when they are learning Spanish. They aren’t necessarily the most common errors, but they are ones that should studiously be avoided if you hope to get beyond a beginner’s level.

1. Assuming that Spanish words that look like English words mean the same thing: Words that have the same or similar form in both languages are known as cognates. Since Spanish and English share a large vocabulary derived from Latin, more often than not words that are alike in both languages have similar meanings.

But there are plenty of exceptions, and it wouldn’t be a bad idea to study these lists of false cognates and partial cognates. You’ll find, for example, that embarazada usually means “pregnant” rather than “embarrassed,” and that a violador usually is a rapist, not someone who merely committed a traffic infraction.

2. Using pronouns unnecessarily: With very few exceptions, English sentences require a subject. But in Spanish, that frequently isn’t true. Where it would be understood by the context, the subject of a sentence (which in English is often would be a pronoun) can and usually should be omitted. It usually wouldn’t be grammatically incorrect to include the pronoun, but use of the pronoun can sound clunky or give it unnecessary attention.

3. Not learning how to use prepositions properly: Prepositions can be notoriously challenging. It can be helpful to think about the purpose of the prepositions as you learn them, rather than their translations. This will help you avoid mistakes such as pienso acerca de ti for “I’m thinking about you” instead of pienso en ti.

4. Always following English sentence order: You can usually follow English sentence order (except for putting most adjectives after the nouns they modify) and be understood. But as you’re learning the language, pay attention to the many times where the subject is placed after the verb. Changing the word order can sometimes subtly change the meaning of a sentence, and your use of the language can be enriched as you learn to different word orders. Also, some English constructions, such as placing a preposition at the end of the sentences, definitively should not be imitated in Spanish.

5. Translating idioms word for word: Both languages have their share of idioms, phrases whose meanings cannot readily be determined from the meanings of the individual words. Some idioms translate exactly (for example, bajo control means “under control”), but many don’t. For example, en el acto is an idiom meaning “on the spot.” Translate them word for word and you’ll end up with en el sitio and “in the act,” both of which are incorrect.

6. Not learning when to use articles (un, una, el, la, los, las): Foreigners learning English often have a hard time knowing when to use or not use “a,” “an” and “the,” and it’s the same for English speakers trying to learn Spanish.

7. Not learning the subjunctive mood: In English, we seldom make a distinction when verbs are in the subjunctive mood. But the subjunctive can’t be avoided in Spanish if you wish to do more than state simple facts and ask simple questions.

8. Ignoring proper pronunciation: Spanish pronunciation isn’t all that difficult to learn, and you should make an effort to imitate native speakers whenever possible. The most common mistakes of beginners include making the l of fútbol sound like the “ll” in “football,” making the b and v sound different from each other (the sounds are identical in Spanish), and failing to trill the r.

9. Assuming that the textbook (or this site) is always correct: Even educated people don’t always talk according to the rules. Although Spanish according to the rules will almost always be understood, it can lack the texture and sincerity of Spanish as it really is spoken. Once you feel comfortable using the language, feel free to imitate the Spanish you hear in real life.

10. Being afraid to make mistakes: Mistakes are inevitable with learning, and the worst mistake you could make would be to be fearful of using what you know. Remember that no matter how many mistakes you make, wherever you go in the Spanish-speaking world your sincere attempts to learn the language will almost always be appreciated