Friday, March 20, 2015

Follow Up On E-o

To learn the language years ago, I used the book Teach Yourself Esperanto, the only one of the Teach Yourself books I ever used that actually did what it purported to.   I used the old edition of it that has been superseded by a newer edition that is reportedly as good as the old one.   The companion dictionary by the well known linguist John Wells,  is pretty good as a first dictionary.

I also use a free program called Esperantilo (Esperanto tool) to type the language with the accents.  If you type the letter you want to accent with an "x" after it, the program puts an accent on the letter.  As the language doesn't use "x" it's no problem to use it for that.

Since the language is absolutely phonetic, pronounced according to the spelling of the words, once you know how to pronounce a word you'll never have to guess at the spelling.  Same for the grammar, which has no irregular verbs, grammatical genders, etc.  You can learn to fully conjugate every verb in about ten minutes of practice.  Far less time than you would take to learn one irregular verb in most national languages.

You can find lots of books online in pdf format on sites such as Project Gutenberg and elsewhere.  No one ever got rich from writing a book in Esperanto so there isn't that motive to not let them go into the public domain. There are also quite a few Youtubes in the language as well as podcasts, some of them very good and up to date.  Though I doubt it is the subject of enough ideological interest to draw the same kind of distorted "editing," my general skepticism of the Wikipedia project makes me a little reluctant to point out that there is quite a large Esperanto Wikipedia, some of the articles I've looked at contain useful information and links.  If nothing else, they can provide free reading material.

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