Learn the World's Easiest Language* and Make Friends Worldwide
*According to me and some other people I know.
What is Esperanto? You may have heard of it on this NPR podcast or in this movie on Netflix or maybe even on Duolingo. You also might think it's only for nerds. (Learning and speaking Esperanto is a fairly nerdy hobby, so yeah, that's fine to categorize it like that.) Esperanto is a con-lang, which means it was created rather than developed over time culturally. L.L. Zamenhof, a Polish doctor, developed Esperanto in 1887 as an easy-to-learn second language for the world.
What can you do with Esperanto? Back in the day, many people believed Esperanto could be a second language for the world to speak, which would ultimately bring peace and love and rainbows to the world. That's obviously a lofty and unattainable goal. Realistically, now you can use it if you simply love learning languages, or want to make friends worldwide. There are several international Esperanto events yearly, such as Landa Kongreso and NASK in the States. At these events, Esperanto speakers join together for lectures, concerts, meals, classes, and to socialize. Many of these speakers have known each other for decades, brought together by Esperanto, and use these annual events to catch up. Beginners are always welcome.
Where can you learn Esperanto? Start with Duolingo to learn the basics. This book was recently published, and is an excellent comprehensive Esperanto resource. You can also find local events, virtual or in-person, at Radaro.org. Most speakers are very friendly and willing to help a komencanto (beginner) learn the language.
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