Saturday, December 5, 2009

just how many "speak Esperanto"?

D: from Wiki.

Native speakers
Main article: Native Esperanto speakers
Ethnologue relates estimates that there are 200 to 2000 native Esperanto speakers (denaskuloj), who have learned the language from birth from their Esperanto-speaking parents.[1] This usually happens when Esperanto is the chief or only common language in an international family, but sometimes occurs in a family of devoted Esperantists.

Every year, 1,500–3,000 Esperanto speakers meet for the World Congress of Esperanto (Universala Kongreso de Esperanto).[43]


the length of study time it takes Francophone high school students to obtain comparable 'standard' levels in Esperanto, English, German, and Italian.[24] The results were:
2000 hours studying German =
1500 hours studying English =
1000 hours studying Italian =
150 hours studying Esperanto.

Finnish linguist Jouko Lindstedt, an expert on native-born Esperanto speakers, presented the following scheme[39] to show the overall proportions of language capabilities within the Esperanto community:
1,000 have Esperanto as their native language.
10,000 speak it fluently.
100,000 can use it actively.
1,000,000 understand a large amount passively.
10,000,000 have studied it to some extent at some time.

D: I wonder if that holds up as a rule of thumb for various other languages.
The whole magntitude- pyramid.
D: I also wonder how other aux-langs stack up for time required to speak them.

I imagine ease-of-learning cannot be an afterthought in language design.
'Tis either a design priority from the beginning or does not happen.

I wonder if anybody has ever thought to compare various aux-langs in this regard.
Aside: A magnitude is a 10x shift.
Decibel means a doubling of sound for every 3 DBs.
A math-based naming convention could encapsulate any variant of such schemes.
For example, a tripling every 4 units of increase. Dunno why one would wish to, but one could.
I imagine a robust fraction naming system would be pivotal.

Well, so the question I pose is how does one promote one's language?
Most auxlangs never develop a significant following. Heck, I imagine many designers cannot themselves speak their own language fluently, LOL.
To summarize the success of earlier attempts:
1) expert professional backing
2) find a niche demographic that emotionally identifies with some purported theme of the language
3) right time, right place
4) an enthusiastic and motivated founder, often a highly charismatic speaker and writer.
5) gain support of various government (? and NGO ?) organizations.

Beyond that, I'd say the Internet is the key to promoting actual language acquisition.
Language lessons that are made by educators that understand teaching of language is key.
I am a literacy tutor of the Laubach school myself.

I wonder about use of a vanity press.
D: nice breakdown of costs.

I am still intrigued by the prospect of using Magnetic Poetry.

There are PDF-digital only sites that sell products.
I personally ordered Cyberpunk 2020 RPG from one. Called drive-thru I think.
No paper- no publishing and S&H costs.
D: DIY fridge magnet word set.
Maybe I'll get motivated enough this winter.
Esperanto really lends itself to this.
There are online virtual Magnetic Poetry sets.
I tried to contact the designer, but failed.
Any Espo-ist out there about to make a custom Esperanto version?
Cuz I'd wanna host something like that!

My roomie J is a talented linguist, a real polyglot.
He said he'd learn Esp-o just so I have somebody to practise with.
He speaks masterful English, tutors in French, gets by in German, and dabbles in Russian and Japanese, and some Chinese.
I'd be curious what his thoughts on Esp-o will be.

Aside; Kiph's Law.
Mod. Greek ("KEH"); Esperanto ("KIE")
Hmm. We say and - VcC.
Greeks say keh- CV. Esperanto says CVv. The small "V" denotes a compound vowel sound, albeit brief.
Hmm. I would have expected Kiph's Law to suggest that more languages would have very simple VC or CV forms of 'and'.
Like French- et.

From the point of view of Decimese, reducing 'and' to some math plus-variant concept is a good starting point.
Then we can 'trick out' the word with various consonant clusters 'n vowel diphthongs for nuance.

OK. So I have only one entry left this year. It'll be an overview of the closed-class English words, reduced to their component meanings. Together with a proposal of how to rebuild these meanings in Decimese.
It'll be my first vocabulary items.

LOL and finally I'll have something concrete enough to be criticized. I'll hafta learn to defend my own languge.
So far I've been all offense and no defense. It is easy to criticize, but much more difficult to produce quality work...


Hoss said...

Saluton Dino,

There's a "virtual fridge" for Esperanto magnetic poetry at

- Hoss

dino snider said...

That is awesome! Thanks Hoss.

dino snider said...

I find this somewhat misleading, regarding French speakers.
As a Latin-based Romance language, I'd expect Esp-o to be pretty obvious in lexical roots.
Now try a non-Romance language. I suspect the learning times would shift heavily.