Previously, I may have mentioned the time I decided to get drunk and make a lot of internet promises. I was about a quarter of the way into a bottle of 99 Bananas (I know, I know…) when I came across a site that was gathering signatures from people that promised to learn it if the number of signatures ever exceeded ten million (blame Stephen Fry– I’m pretty sure he signed it too). I typed in my name and promptly forgot about it in the wake of the brain-wringing hangover and prayers for the merciful release of death that followed.
Years later, I hit my 33rd birthday, and I wanted to do something to improve myself. I don’t know if ten million people ever ended up signing that pledge, but here we are.
Fortunately, as an invented language that was pretty much designed to be easily intelligible to a wide variety of speakers, Esperanto isn’t terribly difficult to pick up. For an English speaker, with diligent study, it’s supposedly possible to achieve fluency in a matter of months. I imagine that it wouldn’t be too much different for a speaker of any Romance language, either.
There’s also a veritable buttload of ways to learn it for free, too. I’ve hit up a couple to help get me started:
- Duolingo says they can teach you in 5 minutes per day.
- This free email correspondence course from Esperanto USA.
- This other free Esperanto course.
- And MeetUp groups for Esperanto speakers.
I don’t have any illusions that this’ll be life-changing for me, but I love invented languages. Besides, if everyone in the world decided to take up an invented language that would let them better understand each other, wouldn’t it make this a nicer place to live?