Sunday, 22 March 2009

Learning Esperanto

I'm currently teaching a final year module called "Language in the Information Society", where I cover aspects of modern society from a linguistic point of view, eg encryption, information retrieval, machine translation, knowledge representation, and last week, artificial/planned languages.

Years ago I tried learning Esperanto, but then gave up (can't remember why). Part of the problem I guess is the lack of a direct need if there's nobody around to talk to. Though apparently the Internet has been a very positive force with regard to giving Esperanto a vital boost: communication never was easier than in these days of email and skype.

My main interest in the past was in the linguistic features–as a computational linguist by trade I was fascinated by the supposed regularities of the language; building a morphological analyser should really be a piece of cake. But then I never had the time to do so. Now the seminar of planned languages re-kindled my interest, and I have decided to start again. In this blog I will try to keep track of my progress, and hopefully inspire other people to give it a try as well.

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