So as I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been teaching myself Esperanto using Duolingo. It’s quick and fairly easy, something I do every day for around 15 minutes at least.

I really really like Duolingo. It’s free to use, unless you opt in for the pro version. I never realized before that it was a sort of open source language school. So much of their content is free.

Yes, they are a private company. But they’re clearly doing good in the world.

I know that in the month or so I’ve been actively using it, I am definitely learning. I’m able to read and write on a very rudimentary level in Esprinto already.

I first got the app a couple of years ago to try to learn Spanish. An ex of mine was married to a man who mostly spoke Spanish. I thought it would be a good idea for me to learn it too. That went by the wayside, but I still had the app and my account when I got bit by this new bug .

So about that goofy post title. For the most part I find the way Duolingo teaches me to be really smart, and on the nose. Instead of drilling grammar rules into me, it teaches me words and simple phrases.

Every once in a while though the app really surprises me, in a couple of ways. Sometimes the example Frases it wants me to translate are really odd, or are wonderfully inclusive and progressive. Just recently I translated a bunch of sentences about Adam and his husband, and Sophia and her two boyfriends.

One of the ways it teaches you is by having you select potential words for a phrase out of a pool of choices. Whenever I do this is zero in quickly on what I think are the correct terms. Sometimes after I’m done I take a look at the words that are left in the pool.

More often than not what’s left over is completely ridiculous.

Just now, laying in bed, I was taking a lesson where the phrase was: La edzino de mia frato estas mia bofratino. That is, My brother’s wife is my sister-in-law.

What was left over? You guessed it: sweet beef money niece.

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Posted
AuthorMako Allen
CategoriesgratitudeNow

Who what now? That is, a secret language for us. That language is Esperanto. Esperanto is a constructed language, created about 100 years ago by a polish ophthalmologist, LL Zamenhof.

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The Esperanto flag

The language has 16 grammatical rules which I’m still learning, and a vocabulary which is based on many different European languages. I speak French, although it’s been a while, and that’s been really helpful in my learning. Esperanto’s rules never have exceptions. This makes learning the language really fast and really easy.

Part of what sparked my imagination about doing this is that this is a language that is both everywhere and nowhere. It doesn’t really belong to anybody. There are about 2 million people who speak it, as a hobby. They are scattered all over the world.

It occurred to me that this could work in my favor, in our favor. That is, that kinky people in general and age players in particular could get a lot of use out of this thing.

Having the ability to have a conversation that cannot be understood easily if overheard is damn useful. The only people who know this thing are those who make the effort to know it.

Plus, in the month or so that I’ve been learning it, several interesting things have happened to me.

Learning something useful and real for its own merit on my own time feels remarkably childlike to me. The time I spend every day in practice is a bit like having piano practice, or chores.

There are some Esperanto words which just sound little and are fun to say.

Here are a few fun sentences, see if you can figure them out:

Ĉu via vindotuko estas malseka?

Vi estas tre fia.

Mi pensas, ke iu bezonas frapadon sur la fundo.

Mi volas tuŝi vin en specialaj lokoj.

So fun! I’ve been taking a Duolingo course to learn it. And over on the Big Little Podcast slack I’ve started a channel for others who are learning it with me.

I’d love it if you’d join me!

Posted
AuthorMako Allen
CategoriesJust because