The Life of Esperanto

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Re: The Life of Esperanto

Postby formiko » Sat 05 Sep 2009 6:06 pm

Many people have met through Esperanto {Edz-peranto}
So the only common language the couple has is Esperanto, so their children speak Esperanto.
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Re: The Life of Esperanto

Postby Declan » Sat 05 Sep 2009 10:03 pm

sokuban wrote:Now lots of people teach English to their children instead of their native language because they believe English is more important and believe that children who learn English as a first language instead of a native language have resulting better English and therefore more opportunities in the world.. (I was one of these children T_T)
Really? Or were you raised trilingual? And can I ask where do you live and how your parents are fluent in English?
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Re: The Life of Esperanto

Postby sokuban » Sun 06 Sep 2009 1:52 pm

formiko wrote:Many people have met through Esperanto {Edz-peranto}
So the only common language the couple has is Esperanto, so their children speak Esperanto.


Ah, I guess that makes sense. I didn't think of that. >_<

I still think they should learn their parents' native languages, but that would be hard and they'd be stuck speaking Esperanto/whatever the language of the land is.

Yea, about that... Esperanto isn't a language of the land anywhere, so that means that one of the parents wouldn't be able to talk to most people outside. Would be a tough life. (Though I know lots of people around here who don't know English and live their lives fine.)

Declan wrote:]Really? Or were you raised trilingual? And can I ask where do you live and how your parents are fluent in English?


Well, I'm born in Canada, and I was raised mainly in English. (Well, English from my dad and the land, and Malay from my mom, but Malay only from my mom didn't last long. My dad didn't understand Malay either.)

My parents are from Sri Lanka. It was a British colony. My dad's family was one of the families that spoke English at home for some reason. (He learnt English as his first language because his parents thought it was better for him.) My dad is trilingual though, because he learnt Singalese/Tamil at school and from neighbours.

(My mom's family was a Malay family and they all spoke Malay.)
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Re: The Life of Esperanto

Postby formiko » Sun 06 Sep 2009 2:22 pm

You're forgetting that children learn languages EXTREMELY easily. I've seen children under 5 easily speak 3 languages. My friends from Germany have a daughter who is 6. They speak German at home, but since he's American, she also speaks English, and the mother also speaks French, so she can converse in French rather well. She can code switch easily. My eldest daughter learned both Burmese and Tibetan before she was 10. (I was in both Burma and Tibet when she was around 7 or 8.To talk with the other children she had to learn. She practically learned Tibetan in 2 days. (There's really not much 8 yr old girls talk about!) I was in Burma for 4 months, and she learned a lot more than I did. My son learned Yoruba when I was in Nigeria. (Well, they both learned it). They no longer speak any of them any more, but children are linguistic sponges. I've seen research where as a child gets older than 5, the window for language learning decreases year by year. So teaching kids at 14 to learn Spanish in the US is shooting yourself in the foot. The window of opportunity closed long ago.
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Re: The Life of Esperanto

Postby dtp883 » Mon 07 Sep 2009 2:09 am

Woah Woah Woah, you can also learn Japanese, French, German, and Mandarin in many areas. But yeah starting at 14 seems kind of late. It might also be teenagers' unwilling to be in school as most people who enjoy education have no problem with foreign language learning. The age is also an unresearched claim; my friend that moved to Georgia was behind because they started foreign language in 4th grade and my friend that moved here from New Jersey is ahead because they started in 6th grade.
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Re: The Life of Esperanto

Postby sokuban » Tue 08 Sep 2009 12:52 am

Hmm, I know that already, and of course I'd advocate teaching a native language over English (Note the T_T at the end of that sentence.)

Heck, I said my dad was trilingual because he grew up with those three languages.

But my dad's Tamil is worse than his English. He told me a story about his school there. He was the first year to have education in Tamil. (People one year older learnt all their courses in English, but from his year onwards people were forced to learn in their native language.)

While he was Tamil, his native language was essentially English, and this posed a little problem. Most of the kids in his classroom were more comfortable with English - even the teachers. Textbooks/lesson plans/tests were in Tamil by requirement, but the rest of the learning was done in English because that was easier for everyone. They were essentially learning in English, but they had to write in Tamil for their tests.

Though that isn't a fair comparison, because in an English speaking world, you can pretty much teach any language to a young kid and they'll learn English fine when they grow up and go to school - my dad's case was different because it wasn't a full Tamil environment. Here in Canada there are tons of kids who can barely speak their native language (only use it at home) and are fluent in English.

I don't know about Esperanto much, but I got the impression that it was supposed to be easier to learn. English and Tamil on the other hand are pretty hard languages.

But do those kids really know all those languages? Chances are they either have a very limited vocabulary, and they are going to forget it when they grow up from disuse. It is definitely possible to be perfectly fluent in many languages as a child, but I don't think simple exposure does it.
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Re: The Life of Esperanto

Postby Sobekhotep » Tue 08 Sep 2009 3:39 am

formiko wrote:I've seen research where as a child gets older than 5, the window for language learning decreases year by year. So teaching kids at 14 to learn Spanish in the US is shooting yourself in the foot. The window of opportunity closed long ago.

I've heard that theory over & over but I'm skeptical. I think the real reason why young children are good at learning languages is because they're not afraid of making mistakes and errors. Adults tend to be so scared of making a mistake that they don't want to practice and work at learning a language.
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Re: The Life of Esperanto

Postby formiko » Tue 08 Sep 2009 6:51 am

Sobekhotep wrote:I've heard that theory over & over but I'm skeptical. I think the real reason why young children are good at learning languages is because they're not afraid of making mistakes and errors. Adults tend to be so scared of making a mistake that they don't want to practice and work at learning a language.

I can see what you're saying, but I'm not 100% sure about either side to be honest. If more countries started teaching a foreign language at 5 or 6, they would see a huge increase in bi- and trilinguals.
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Re: The Life of Esperanto

Postby sokuban » Tue 08 Sep 2009 3:46 pm

formiko wrote:
Sobekhotep wrote:I've heard that theory over & over but I'm skeptical. I think the real reason why young children are good at learning languages is because they're not afraid of making mistakes and errors. Adults tend to be so scared of making a mistake that they don't want to practice and work at learning a language.

I can see what you're saying, but I'm not 100% sure about either side to be honest. If more countries started teaching a foreign language at 5 or 6, they would see a huge increase in bi- and trilinguals.


Not really. My country teaches French starting at 6, and by 18 barely anyone can converse in French fine.

The whole "language classes" just won't work for people who don't want to learn the language. The only way to force someone to learn a language is to force them to need to use it, or to put them in an environment where it is used a lot. Like French immersion.
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Re: The Life of Esperanto

Postby Declan » Tue 08 Sep 2009 11:50 pm

formiko wrote:I can see what you're saying, but I'm not 100% sure about either side to be honest. If more countries started teaching a foreign language at 5 or 6, they would see a huge increase in bi- and trilinguals.

Teach them a language they are interested in any time and you will have a huge increase in bi- and trilinguals. In Ireland, we start learning Irish from Junior Infants, at about 4, and by Leaving Cert., about 14 years later, a lot cannot converse at all. We learn Irish for 14 years and a modern European language for 5 or 6, yet I'd hazard a guess that the number of trilinguals in Ireland is very small.

Sokuban hit the nail on the head, people have to need to use the language to be forced to learn it. Children learn languages quickly because they don't devote time to it, they spend all day every day learning the language they need in their everyday life. Irish immersion, much like French immersion schools in Canada, work to a point (my aunt learned everything in school through Irish, but instead of improving her Irish, she simply didn't learn anything in any subject because she had no interest), but without opportunities to use the language are still a waste of time.
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