INTRODUCTION TO THE LESSONS
Prototypes of the first five of a planned series of 20 lessons are now available online. These lessons are intended to help competent speakers of Esperanto teach others. (Call or text 780-904-0363 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange for a tutor or other help.) Without a tutor, proper pronunciation is challenge. Read the pronunciation notes before attempting these lessons without a tutor.
Each lesson will introduce about 30 Esperanto morphemes (vocabulary items with meaning – words, or pieces of words). Many students will learn the material in the first lesson in 30 minutes or less. Allowing an hour per lesson, means 20 similar lessons would require 20 hours. After 20 hours, students will have learned about 600 Esperanto morphemes. Studies have discovered 95% of spoken Esperanto can be understood after mastering fewer than 500 morphemes.
Because the world today is more interconnected than ever in history, the term global village is in many ways appropriate. However, unlike villages of the past, in our global village there are about 6000 different languages being spoken. A common language for the global village would be useful. Because English is already widespread and commonly used internationally, many people think that everyone should learn English. Hundreds of millions of people have already invested years of study and become fluent in English.
Esperanto was introduced more than 130 years ago as a proposed common second language for the world. Although it was introduced before the world became connected enough to be called a global village, it is ideally suited as a language for such a village. Two reasons why many people think that Esperanto would be a better choice than English are fairness and ease of learning.
English is the first language of about 5% of the world’s population. With English as the language of the global village, 95% of the world’s population will need to spend years learning the language of the privileged 5%. With Esperanto as the language for the global village, there would be no such privileged group. By spending the time required to become fluent in Esperanto, native speakers of English are reaching out to the vast majority of the world’s population who don’t speak English and demonstrating a willingness to meet them as equals on linguistic neutral ground.
One of the biggest arguments in favour of Esperanto is that it was carefully planned to be as easy as possible to learn. It is true that hundreds of millions of people, after years of study, have become fluent in English. It is also true that hundreds of millions more have invested years of study without becoming fluent. Instead of the years of study most people need to become fluent in English, Esperanto fluency can be achieved in weeks. Perhaps because English is learned slowly, few people have a true appreciation for the complexities of English. Still fewer understand how it is possible for a language to be so much easier to learn. By reading the detailed notes on the Complexities of English page, or just the highlights at the beginning of that page, students will get a better understanding of the difficulties of English and the relative simplicity of Esperanto.