Esperanto challenge

Esperanto challenge


Brian Powers is the administrator and creator of Languages Around the Globe, an online community of language enthusiasts. Brian writes and maintains the LATG blog at and its associate social media. He lives in Ithaca, New York and holds a BA in Cultural Anthropology from Franklin Pierce University.

[Brian Powers estas la administranto kaj kreinto de Lingvoj Ĉirkaŭ la Mondo (Languages Around the Globe, LATG), interreta komunumo de lingvemuloj. Brian skribas en la LATG-blogo ĉe kaj ties rilataj socimediaĵoj kaj ilin tenadas. Li vivas en Itako, Novjorkio kaj akiris bakalaŭrecon de Kultura Antropologio ĉe la Franklin-Pierce-Universitato.]

Languages Around the Globe; Esperanto Experiment

In the year or so since becoming involved in the online language enthusiast community my awareness of certain languages has increased exponentially across the board, but one of the more intriguing languages that I've had the pleasure to discuss and learn about has been Esperanto. I had been trying to create community building projects or experiments for a while without any great ideas when I came across an article by polyglot Benny Lewis about how spending only two weeks of Esperanto managed to significantly impact his understanding of other European languages and was sufficient to bring him into a fascinating new community of individuals around the world. We're all attracted to the idea of more gain for less work, and that's exactly what grabbed my attention about Esperanto. Creating a community experiment would be perfect.

And so the LATG Esperanto Experiment was born. The goal of this project is to determine first hand whether spending three weeks studying Esperanto will be enough to impact future language learning projects, particularly among adults outside of a classroom setting. To do this adequately we're looking for a wide variety of individuals from different linguistic backgrounds, with different future language goals, and who may or may not have prior knowledge of Esperanto.

The experiment seemed to be an instant hit with over 100 individuals expressing interest in participating within the first few days. A survey requesting basic demographic information was sent to our respondents. No specific requirements are asked of participants beyond putting forth a modicum of effort towards progressing in the allotted time frame. Many participants have stated that they plan to keep blogs or diaries of their experiences and their methods throughout the Esperanto phase as well as for the following several months.[]{#anchor}

We expect results to vary, likely based heavily on available resources and personal motivation among participants. Some folks are interested in pursuing Romance languages such as Spanish or French following the first 21 day study period. We do have participants interested in pursuing Chinese and other languages that fall outside the Indo-European language family from which Esperanto was primarily based. Some claim that Esperanto may better equip learners for European languages, and less for others. So it will be interesting to see how this plays out for our non-European learners. Some of our volunteers already have some knowledge of Esperanto.

We're still interested in finding additional participants interested in the self-study of Esperanto and encourage anyone interested in participating to check out our website at With a hard work we're looking forward to joining what promises to be a fantastic global community.

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