How Useful is Duolingo to Learn Esperanto?
There are lots of comments about the Duolingo Esperanto course on the net. Here is just one:
" The interface is cute. The app is simple to use. And the topics are seemingly well-structured and laid out. First impressions count for a lot, and here Duolingo scores highly.
There are 44 ‘Skills’ each containing 3 to 10 lessons. Each lesson takes just minutes to complete, which I think contributes to Duolingo’s popularity with our busy, busy modern lives.
When you first open the app, you only have the option to do the first lesson or two or test out the first 7 Skills, meaning both that there’s no chance of skipping ahead and a very rigid order of study has been decided for you.
I think I like this feature. If I’m using Memrise for example, it’s very easy to get distracted half way through a course by another that seems more useful or relevant. It definitely helps to keep your focus when you open the app or the website.
Each lesson then shows you a word to translate, sometimes with an image, sometimes individually, sometimes in a sentence, sometimes with audio, sometimes without. So there’s a little variety.
The lessons start with the obvious and necessary content and they’re not afraid to integrate grammar from the start, which I really like. For example, the first 7 Skills in Esperanto are Basics 1, Basics 2, Phrases, Accusative, Languages, Colours, and Plurals.
I have mixed feelings about the content of the lessons. I quite like the order, and, side note, I LOVE Esperanto verbs! Past and future in the same lesson?! Yes please.
But as you go on, some of the content seems slightly random for Esperanto. For example, when am I likely to need to order in a restaurant in Esperanto?
That said, I can see why it’s there. Who wants to be able to talk about nature or education in a language before they can ask for a coffee? I get it."
Duolingo Esperanto Word Lists
The author of the above comments provides on her site a free starter vocabulary. As a resource for those who finish the course click here for a complete list of the vocabulary used skill by skill in the current Duolingo Esperanto course.
the Irish Polyglot
Benny Lewis of Cavan does not describe himself as a linguist but he has learned to speak over a dozen languages in less than a dozen years. He tells us that his experience of learning languages at school did get him through the necessary examinations - barely, but he retained very little afterwards. He concluded languages were definitely not his thing.
What changed his life was a complete switch in approach. He describes this new approach in his book and details the techniques he developed to enable him to communicate with real people - right from starting a new language. Among the languages he has learnt he picked up Esperanto in 2008 and today revels in its supportive community on the net and across the planet. His tips are just as relevant to learning Esperanto.His tips on learning languages are every bit as relevant to acquiring Esperanto as any other language.
One of the best resources .. I've found is lernu.net. The forum and chatrooms will have other people to practise with, and the site has a detailed (and completely free) course to teach you the language.
In 2014 Benny launched a project to teach Lauren, his monoglot girl friend, Esperanto. He claimed that a foundation in Esperanto would help her tackle other languages later. He posted videos on YouTube of their progress. They included an episode in Hodges Figgis in Dublin. You can read Lauren's own blog after her first six weeks.