by Novico Dektri, March 31, 2007
Novico Dektri (User's profile) March 31, 2007, 1:37:27 AM
Essentially I've been studying Esperanto for some time now. I did quite well on the begginner's courses and master the basics fairly easily, and brought myself up to the point where I consider myself to be conversationaly fluent. Meaning that I can chat well enough in relaxed settings where nothing important is said, but the instant I have to translate anything that requires a word or a grammatical rule not normally found in light speech my knowledge falters.
A while back I decided to remedy the situation, and so I purchased as mass of Esperanto merchandise, including CD's, Gerda Malaperis the movie, and novels such as La Sxtona Urbo. And yet, even after months of intensive study, reading, listening, practicing Esperanto for one hour a day at least, usually much more, I failed the B level exam today. Not by much, but I did manage to fail it. But that isn't even what bothers me- the questions were easy enough- it was listening to the story fragment in Esperanto whcih stumped me. I could understand it perfectly, but I realized that if I was given the same block of text in English and was asked to translate it, my replication would not be anywhere near as eloquent as the original Esperanto version.
Its not for lack of effort that I can't seem to do this, and I can understand almost everything I read and hear perfectly. Its my own skills which seem to fall short of the standard.
Is there some sort of Esperanto boot camp or intensive training program on the net which could help? It's driving me isnane that I am putting so much effort into attaining relatively fluent Esperanto but that nothing sinks in. There has to be a way.
pastorant (User's profile) March 31, 2007, 2:23:50 AM
While I try to listen to Verda Radio and other audio esperanto, I find it hard to follow.
I know audio comprehension is the hardest thing, ESPECIALLY without much examples. Try learning Cherokee without hearing it spoken!
skkpharm (User's profile) March 31, 2007, 4:16:27 AM
I have same problems in speaking English, too.
Mendacapote (User's profile) March 31, 2007, 5:19:46 AM
Repeat whole phrases and expressions hundreds of times till they become “organic” (part of your brain). It isn’t enough to know them, they have to be in your mouth before you even think.
Lock yourself in your bedroom and think aloud in Esperanto about “EVERYTHING”. Anytime you find a “missing word” look for it in the Vortaro and create new ones (there is no problem in having your own “branded” words, as far as they are correct, meaningful and understandable)
Read a lot of good Esperanto literature (preferably original) and shamelessly “copy” the most brilliant expressions and learn them by heart.
Work on “family words” (bona, malbona, plibonigi, plibonigxi, malboneco, etc) and use each one of them in recreated situations. Don’t even think that the rules will help you to find the right word when needed. If you have never used them, they won’t just come to your mind in the critical moment!!!
Listen to well pronounced records of Radio programs ten or twenty times on a row. It’s definitely boring but you will discover expressions that were there and you didn’t notice the first 9 or 19 times…
Assume the “Esperanto mood” 24 hours a day. It means to feel, think, sweat, speak, read, dream, eat, etc, in Esperanto every minute. It sounds exaggerated, but once the language has become “organic” you won’t even notice you are in the “mood”. Think of fishes: they don’t know what being wet means…
Don’t worry if you don’t know how to say something in Esperanto or if there are issues or topics that you cannot discuss at ease. I’m a grown up man and there are topics I wouldn’t be able to talk about without hesitation in my own mother tongue!!! If you can explain the point with your own words you’ll be done.
Speak a LOT!!! I know a brazilian guy who speaks amazingly fluently and is a quite (self confessed) mediocre student. What’s his secret? He speaks 2 or 3 hours a day by Yahoo, Skype and other voice Internet messengers.
Why do I know all this if I’m not a good Esperanto speaker myself? Because that was the method used to intensely teach Russian to the Cuban students that were going to study in the former Soviet Union and it worked wonderfully well! My high school girlfriend (where the hell is she now?) learned to speak Russian in only 10 months and after that moved to Moscow to study Philosophy!!!
Tilino (User's profile) March 31, 2007, 7:53:51 PM
Also, Mendacapote, your high school girlfriend sounds like a very dedicated and intelligent person! Having studied Russian myself for the past several years, I admire her for what she did.
traevoli (User's profile) March 31, 2007, 8:19:47 PM
Novico Dektri:Is there some sort of Esperanto boot camp or intensive training programAn Esperanto boot camp, eh?
Have you thought of going to NASK this summer? It's going to be in San Diego this coming July. It'll be three weeks of *immersive* Esperanto. You'll eat meals with Esperantists (many of whom speak no English), take classes in Esperanto, go on recreational outings in Esperanto, etc, etc, etc.
I attended last year, and it was awesome!
erinja (User's profile) April 1, 2007, 3:40:19 PM
traevoli:Too bad Novico Dektri didn't get into this last year, he could have attended in Vermont, way closer to Canada than San Diego!Novico Dektri:Is there some sort of Esperanto boot camp or intensive training programHave you thought of going to NASK this summer? It's going to be in San Diego this coming July. It'll be three weeks of *immersive* Esperanto. You'll eat meals with Esperantists (many of whom speak no English), take classes in Esperanto, go on recreational outings in Esperanto, etc, etc, etc.
I attended last year, and it was awesome!
In addition, Novico Dektri - it's certainly no NASK 3-week boot camp - but I suggest you attend ARE in upstate New York this fall. It's 3 days of Esperanto-only, and that's sure to help out somewhat. Even if you don't have a car, you could probably get a ride with someone else coming down from Canada. Contact me if you're interested and want more information. I plan to come up from DC to attend, even though I'm no longer living in New England.
Auger (User's profile) April 12, 2007, 5:23:53 PM
(that is not my case ! )
Well, if I were in your situation I would do the following :
1. Concentrate my efforts on "Gerda malaperis !"
2. Translate it very carefully into my mother tongue. I would submit my works in this forum for suggestions and corrections.
3. Translate it back, little by little, into Eo, correct it a red pen in the hand, and study my awkwardnesses and errors.
4. Listen it again and again and again, repeat it again and again and again with and without the text.
5. In the end, *as a result*, I would know the book by heart (without having learnt it by heart).
6. At that time I think my abilities in speaking and writing would have increased a lot.
When a student, in the 70s, I used a very similar method in learning Modern Greek with the French teach-yourself method Assimil, and it worked fairley well.
But I didn't become a specialist of the tongue, far from that !
To master a language until one can use it as a precision tool needs years, maybe a life, of passionate work. Remember Pareto's rule of the 80-20% !
william (User's profile) May 4, 2007, 10:33:06 AM
Most of you are very lucky, living in places where acquiring learning materials in Esperanto is possible (though I assume with some difficulty). Here, the only Esperanto Asocio probably closed down long time ago (I tried emailing them, didn't work). So it's really hard for me to motivate myself, what with the lack of materials (lernu really helped me with that, but i have limited internet access).
And to answer your question, a guy from omniglot forums says"In my experience learning language I've learned to look at writing without attaching an English 'equivelant' to the morphemes, this was difficult and took years, but I reached a point where this was fairly natural and standard." ... Though I might have taken that out of context(he was speaking about learning Chinese characters/hanzi), you could still apply that to Esperanto so that you won't find yourself grasping for the equivalent words in English
Oh, and if any of you know of Esperantists from the Philippines, I would like to know. That would be of great help.