The Life of Esperanto

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Re: The Life of Esperanto

Postby formiko » Wed 03 Feb 2010 10:20 pm

I never studied Bulgarian, but my friend who's a photojournalist lived in Bulgaria for 1 year, and said Bulgarian was a breeze compared to his 2 years of university Russian.
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Re: The Life of Esperanto

Postby Talib » Thu 04 Feb 2010 1:52 am

Yeah, but that was after two years of Russian, wasn't it. I definitely find Portuguese straightforward after a few months of Spanish.
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Re: The Life of Esperanto

Postby formiko » Thu 04 Feb 2010 7:51 am

Talib wrote:Yeah, but that was after two years of Russian, wasn't it. I definitely find Portuguese straightforward after a few months of Spanish.


He FAILED Russian :)
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Re: The Life of Esperanto

Postby Talib » Thu 04 Feb 2010 8:01 pm

Be that as it may, studying a closely related language first, even if his knowledge was limited, helps a lot. It means all the fundamentals are in place and from there on in it's mainly a task of acquiring new vocabulary and grammar. This is why some schools have experimented with teaching Esperanto before introducing "harder" European languages like German and French.
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Re: The Life of Esperanto

Postby Dan_ad_nauseam » Fri 05 Feb 2010 3:16 am

Talib wrote:
linguoboy wrote:
Talib wrote:To Russian? Bulgarian and Macedonian are supposed to be considerably more analytic than other Slavic languages, or so I've heard.

Analytic isn't always easier. Russian has two simple tenses (non-past and past) and two compound ones (future and subjunctive), plus one aspectual distinction. Bulgarian has the same aspectual distinction carried out through nine tenses (simple and compound), two voices, and four moods. The fact that many of these are expressed analytically hardly makes them a breeze to master. Just ask any Russian learner of English!
Of course not (I mean, I'm learning Chinese, ffs) but generally, all things equal a more analytic grammar comes easier to English speakers.

Ps. I don't know how much you know about Russian but aren't the past and non-past the same thing as saying perfect vs. imperfect? Or is that my Arabic interfering?


My experience with Mandarin was that its isolating SVO structure was helpful when compared with English, but that there are a few syntactic differences that need to be kept in mind. The resultative construction, for example, can be tricky.
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Re: The Life of Esperanto

Postby Talib » Fri 05 Feb 2010 4:50 am

The problem is there's a lot more to learning a language than word order, however important that may be; and easy conjugation (or in Mandarin, none at all) doesn't mean much when you've got thousands of more or less arbitrary characters and just as many unfamiliar vocabulary items to memorize.
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Re: The Life of Esperanto

Postby Dan_ad_nauseam » Sat 06 Feb 2010 2:51 am

Talib wrote:The problem is there's a lot more to learning a language than word order, however important that may be; and easy conjugation (or in Mandarin, none at all) doesn't mean much when you've got thousands of more or less arbitrary characters and just as many unfamiliar vocabulary items to memorize.


Oh, I agree. Shifting from tense-orientation to aspect-orientation also took a little getting used to.
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Re: The Life of Esperanto

Postby formiko » Sat 06 Feb 2010 10:42 am

Dan_ad_nauseam wrote:Oh, I agree. Shifting from tense-orientation to aspect-orientation also took a little getting used to.

It's MUCH easier to learn Chinese without the characters first. That's the way they teach Chinese in schools in the US now.
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Re: The Life of Esperanto

Postby Talib » Sat 06 Feb 2010 6:47 pm

I prefer to learn the characters first, then get down to speaking. That way you'll be able to read and write spoken dialogue. But I suppose the other way around works for 900 million native speakers.
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Re: The Life of Esperanto

Postby Dan_ad_nauseam » Sat 06 Feb 2010 8:23 pm

formiko wrote:
Dan_ad_nauseam wrote:Oh, I agree. Shifting from tense-orientation to aspect-orientation also took a little getting used to.

It's MUCH easier to learn Chinese without the characters first. That's the way they teach Chinese in schools in the US now.


In the late 80s, we started with transliterations (although the book used Yale, so we ended up learning Yale and pinyin, and as an East Asian Studies major, I also had to learn Wade-Giles), and moved into learning characters at about a month in.
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