Note: I have told how I learnt Esperanto quite a while ago on this site. None of these advice have changed and this page is just a concize summary of them. However, I have added a few new ideas here and there which I posted here. I recommend you to read the old article too, though. Moreover, check out this free introductory course to Esperanto that I made.
So, Esperanto is a cool little language which is relatively easy to learn and it opens doors for you to nice international meetings, a few thousand something Esperantists all over the world which are willing to host you for free when you visit their city and gives you some solid head-start learning Romance languages (especially in terms of vocabulary). But you probably know why you want to learn it already so let’s get down to business, shall we.
The best thing out there is Kurso de Esperanto. It’s a piece of software which teaches you basic Esperanto in 12 lessons. I suggest you take one a day. The course is free and comes in a fair amount of languages (including English, of course). To be fair, though, it uses some learning by rote and other stuff which is not totally cool. On the other hand, the lessons are pretty concise and right to the point and there is no useless stuff in the course. They also use songs which is fun. How to go about it: just take one lesson a day no excuse (I don’t care if you’re tired or if your hamster died, just do the lesson). For the prefixes and suffixes just do this: make flashcards with them along with their meanings and print it out. You can use your native language alright. During the first few weeks while you’re learning Esperanto, always carry those with you in your pocket or something. Try to remember them and look at them from time to time. Use them while speaking online. I know, this might seem like not the most exciting thing in the world but currently I know of no other course that would teach you those in a better way. And they are important! They form the basis of the grammar so you wanna make sure you remember them. Just a few weeks and you’ll be thanking yourself.
Talk on the Internet. Live speeking is the best but you can also find a penfriend or something. Just be active. There are also a lot of forums and stuff in Esperanto. In order for you to learn a language, you absolutely must practice it even if it’s just writing (because Esperanto is easy to pronounce anyway, so you can start with writing). The good news is, you’ll only need to do it for a couple of weeks before you’ll have enough knowledge. Just dedicate a couple of hours a day (okay, an hour will go too) to speaking/writing Esperanto and do it.
Read the book 13 Oktobro, 1582. It’s free. Download it, print it out and read it. It’s an awesome book consisting of short stories (I really liked it) and it’s made for beginners. If you talk a bit in Esperanto and you have done Kurso de Esperanto, the book should be pretty easy and fun for you. You might have some little difficulty in the beginning before getting used to the writer’s writing style but then you will be all good. After you have finished reading that, you can also add “Gerda Malaperis” to the roll (it’s a classic).
For all practical means and purposes, I guess that after you will have done these three things, you’ll be able to go to Esperanto meetings and be able to understand a lot.
So, that brings me to my last point: go to an Esperanto event! Come on, there are bigger events happening all over the place and unless you live in Alaska there should be a bunch of local events. You know you don’t have to but if you visit one, you’ll see how practical your knowledge really is and how you can speak Esperanto. You’ll be amazed. That’s how it is. Happened to me. Happens to everyone.
- Get Kurso de Esperanto and do one lesson a day no matter what.
- Get an IRC client or some tool to speak on the Internet and dedicate at least one hour a day to writing/speaking/corresponding in Esperanto.
- Read 13 Oktobro, 1582.
- Practice, go to Esperanto events, keep on using it on the Internet from time to time.
Most of this advice and the story how I learnt Esperanto can be found on a different site here.
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