Monday, 23 March 2009

Starting off

Learning by yourself, especially a language, is quite hard. To begin with, you need to find the motivation/energy/time. Earlier this (academic) year I tried to teach myself Latin, or rather, refresh my school Latin from decades ago. I did manage to get some way into it, but it is not very satisfying when doing exercises that you need to self-correct. Often I had the impression I had come up with a valid paraphrase (but I wasn't sure), and I could also not tell what that sentence I erroneously wrote actually meant (if it meant anything at all!). But as soon as you involve a teacher you are restricted with time (as you need yet another regular slot in your busy schedule) and it also costs money (which you might not want to spend if it's just a for-fun-activity).

With Esperanto there is a correspondence course which works by email. You do exercises, send them by email to a tutor that has been assigned to you, and you get it back with comments. Brilliant. You also have a contact person now, and in my emails accompanying the exercises I can try out writing stuff in Esperanto. Pretty broken Esperanto, but at least it gives you a chance to practice.

In order to sign up, go to the site and follow the link. The pages look a bit old-fashioned, and I first wondered it it was still working, but shortly afterwards a got an email from a nice man living in Canada who told me I had not made any mistakes with my translations. How encouraging! I'm now looking forward to working my way through the ten lessons, and hopefully by the end I will be some way towards my goal. I'll keep you posted...

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