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Esperanto in a week

by Alkanadi, September 7, 2016

Messages: 15

Language: English

lagtendisto (User's profile) September 11, 2016, 10:17:07 AM

NoordZee:When anyone 'boasts' that he can learn Esperanto in a week, month or some other incredibly short time, I feel vaguely annoyed.
I feel the same. In my opinion, the more hype is packed into some afero, the faster it will go out of audiences its awareness.

I think these "Learn language xyz in ... weeks" aim to be some kind of "sportive provocation" and should be understood this way.

Similar promotion style of "E-o in ... weeks": Benny its video blog.

MarcDiaz (User's profile) September 11, 2016, 9:19:55 PM

Actually, if the statement is formulated in this sort of impersonal way "Esperanto can be learnt in 10 days" I don't think there is an intention of boasting by the writer. The speaker might want to boast if he said he learnt it himself in 10 days, i.e., if the sentence was "I learnt Esperanto in 10 days".

To me, the real intention of the writer of a sentence like "Esperanto can be learnt in 10 days" is to make the learning of Esperanto sound attractive to their readers by giving the impression it is simple and probably getting people interested in their website, course, whatever. Therefore, I do not feel so annoyed when I read this sort of statement.

To me, it does not sound like a sportive provocation either. A sporting provocation would go more along the lines of "I learnt Esperanto in 10 days. Are you as smart as me? If so, prove that you can do it too".

"Esperanto can be learnt in 10 days" sounds to me like someone's estimation of how long it takes to learn this language. It is quite a neutral statement with no apparent intention behind it.

Said this, and also like I said in my previous post, this statement might be true or not, regardless of the writer's intention. First, one has to define what really learning a language means, then one has to bear in mind all the factors which influence the time it takes to learn another language. And then, one also has to keep in mind that everyone has got their own circumstances in life, abilities and so on. This last point is what led me to say that it is virtually impossible to predict with a high degree of accuracy the time it will take to a certain person to reach a certain level in a certain language, let alone to make such a general statement that includes every person on this Earth, like the sentence we are analysing does "Esperanto can be learnt in 10 days". The use of the passive voice hides the subject of the active sentence, but it leads us to think about a general subject, humankind. In other words, everybody. And like I said before, statements which refer to everybody are usually a generalisation and, therefore, false.

Does anyone agree with my views on this subject?

Gatton (User's profile) September 12, 2016, 2:15:27 AM

Esperanto can be learned in about a week up to a month

I have been learning Esperanto for more than 2 years and I am still struggling.
You and me both buddy. I forget what year I joined this site but for years I had a blurb in my profile that said "xxxx is the year I become fluent!" and every year I had to go and update the year so eventually I just deleted it altogether. I am enjoying doing Duolingo however. Are you on there? If so friend me. I am also Gatton on there. Bonan ŝancon!

NoordZee (User's profile) September 12, 2016, 2:21:16 AM

Marc, your last paragraph makes eminent sense to me. I also agree with the notion that there is a profound difference between the use of the passive or active voice. Your sample sentence about "Esperanto can be learned in 10 days" is indeed in the passive voice and a generalisation. It is an 'appeal' to the mass. Politicians often make false statements even in the active voice such as: "All Australians will agree with me that......" How would they know how many Australians will indeed agree with them? So, the same applies to some extent to "Esperanto can be learned in 10 days". This statement would indeed need some qualifying. Personally, I consider these types of statements off-putting and are bound to trigger observations and even worries as those by Alkanadi. By the way, I admire your knowledge of various European languages.

morico (User's profile) October 4, 2016, 9:13:12 PM

Tolstoï knew 12 languages like Zamenhof and he was reading Esperanto (Eo) in few hours with the Gramatik in 16 rules and a dictionnary.
But one month is already very good. Good luck.
Esperanto is about ten times easier than the big languages.

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