I have always had a penchant for languages. Something about learning how to communicate in a language other than my own incites in me a reaction akin to the kind one feels after solving a puzzle – tremendous, addictive accomplishment. Not to mention the fact that language simply comes naturally to me, not to toot my own horn or anything. Some people are naturally good at mathematics; others can draw and paint beautifully without batting an eye. Everyone has their own “thing”. Mine, it just so happens, is languages.
In case you have not read any of my earlier posts, I’ve been independently studying Japanese for about three years now. At times, it’s been an uphill battle; there have been instances when I said to myself, “There’s no way I’ll ever be able to do this.” But I still continue to learn, because I love Japanese more than any other language I’ve ever studied (or “studied” – I’ve casually researched Korean, Mandarin, Cantonese and German, but nothing as serious as my study of Japanese).
So when I heard about Esperanto – a man-made language that was supposedly designed to be easy as possible to learn – I immediately took interest. As if by fate, my school library contained an old but very informative book called Esperanto: Learning and Using the International Language by David Richardson. From the very beginning, I was captivated by how uniform everything was in Esperanto. The nouns always end in -o, the adjectives always end in -a, and so on. Verbs are the same no matter who or what the subject of the sentence is. For anyone who longs to speak another language, it was a dream come true.
I think everyone should learn Esperanto. That’s right, everyone. When one sets out to learn a new language, it will take a long time for that person to become fluent enough to be able to communicate freely with it. Speaking with someone in that new language when you are only a learner can be very intimidating, especially when that person is a native speaker. However, with Esperanto, everyone is at the same level because virtually everyone speaks it as a second (or perhaps third or fourth) language. Free online courses like Lernu! make it accessible and easy for anyone to start learning as soon as possible. Esperanto can be used as a bridge between cultures as a universal second language for everyone.
Because really – who doesn’t dream about a world where everyone speaks the same language?