Most excellent (thankyou) I like a little bit of everything, and that is a very interesting site...I will find it useful. Great stuff.
O.k. I can't stop myself. Allow me to make a 7-minute introduction.
Esperanto is a very regular language. Everything that's difficult has to be done easier
I mean, everything!
- All letters are pronounced the same way everytime you meet them, not as in English (or Danish for that matter). The sounds are not exactly the same as in English, but for now that'll work, except perhaps for the letter c (it's pronuced like ts, like the sound in pizza (piTSZa)). There are also some letters that doesn't exist in English, but let's wait a bit with them.
- nouns doesn't have gender. It's like English, but unlike German, Danish, Spanish, Latin etc.
- All verbs act the same ways, always. No exceptions. Actually not just that, but all words work like this
If a word ends with -o you know it's a noun (biciklo - a bicycle, domo - a house, danco - a dance)
If a word ends with -oj it's a noun but in plural (bicikloj - bicycles, domoj - houses, dancoj)
If a word ends with -i it's a verb in infinitive (like e.g. bicikli - to bike, danci - to dance)
If a word ends with -as it's a verb in present tense (mi biciklas - I bike, mi dancas - I dance. But it works for everyone, so I bike is mi biciklas, you bikes are vi biciklas (see same word, not as in English where you sometimes need as 's and sometimes not. Even worse in languages like Spanish etc.) But Esperanto is easy)
If a word ends with -is it's a verb in past tense (mi bicklis - I biked)
If a word ends with -os it's a verb in future tense (we don't have that in English, we will have to have an extra word to denote futere, like: I will
bike - Mi biciklos)
It a word ends with -a it's an adjective like red, blue, good, warm etc.
If a word ends with -e it's an adverb
Even a verb like esti (to be) is regular. So I am = mi estas. You are = vi estas, he is = li estas. I was = mi estis etc.
And it's always like that. And what's more, you can always make the word to the wordclasses where it makes sense.
That's easy right.
To get to know the words faster, there's also prefixes and suffixes.
mal- means the opposite. Again, it does everytime the opposite makes sense. So e.g. dekstra means left, so maldekstra is right, varma is warm, malvarma is cold etc.
Viro is man, so what is malviro? Yeah, what should it be. Animal, woman, child, robot? So you can't say malviro.
But bona means good, so what is malbona? Bad of course
nova means new, malnova is old.
juna is young, maljuna is old (but in a different sense than malnova)
To make a word female you'll add -in- in the end (just before the o). So if a cat is kato, and female cat (what's that even called in English anyway?) is katino. Same thing with a brother = frato, a sister = fratino. A father = patro, a mother = patrino. A son = filo, a daugther = filino.
If you have both genders, you'll use the prefix bo-
bopatroj (the j as you remember means plural) = parents, bofiloj = children
If you have a collection of something you'll use the suffix -ar-
So hundo = dog, hundino = bitch, hunaro = pack (of dogs)
Also vorto = word, vortaro = dictionary (a collection of words)
arbo = tree, arbaro = forrest
And there are losts of word pre- and suffixes.
Can you see why learning Esperanto could be much easier than learning other languages?
It's said that you can learn Esperanto 5-10 times faster than a national language. I don't know if that's true, but I know that I lived in Moldova for 5½ month, trying to learn Moldovan. And though I had a private teacher (it's cheap there) I never learned to say more than simple sentences.
But 1½ years ago I started to learn Esperanto. And half a year ago I was traveling 'in Esperanto'. Meeting other people from different countries, just speaking Esperanto. And it worked. In just one year. That truely is amazing, and believe me, it's not because I have a natural talent for languages.
I don't need a signature to promote myself.