Well, the SES (Somera Esperanto-studado) meeting is winding down now. Today is the last day, and then I leave tomorrow morning to take the train back to Bratislava. After that I’m taking the train up to Berlin, and I’ll be starting back working on Swedish full-time before I arrive in Sweden.
I feel like I’ve made tremendous Esperanto progress this week. “La Hobito” has gone from hard-to-read to easy/moderate. I get everything in the story now, although I’m still fishing out lots of interesting and obscure vocabulary. I’ve made a lot more sentence-based Anki cards from it this week, and I’ll continue reviewing the cards as they come up.
I also bought a comic book called “Diabolik”, which is translated from Italian, and another book called “La Burgo Kondamnita” (apparently written in Russian by Arkadij and Boris Strugackij in 1992, and translated to Esperanto in 2009). $40 to order this sucker on the American Esperanto Association website, but I bought it for €7 here at the libroservo. 🙂
So, I think I now have enough lengthy Esperanto content to really make some huge improvements through reading. “La Burgo Kondamnita” is about twice as long as the Hobbit, so there’s lots there. I’ll slowly work through them piece by piece over the next while, until later this year when I can take some time to go through them in detail. August and September will be too full of intensive Swedish study, I think, so I’ll just be doing incremental Esperanto work and review in that time.
This week has been very helpful for my speaking, since I’ve had all sorts of crazy opportunities to speak to people. I had lots of trouble at the beginning of the week, but it’s much easier now. I still wouldn’t quite say that I’m at “basic fluency” yet, since there are several things that still trip me up, and some important things still seem to be missing somehow, but overall I’m able to have some somewhat satisfying conversations, and functionally get my meaning across.
I can really feel the difference between my Esperanto and German skills now, since my German is based on such a huge amount of foundation from TV and reading, and Esperanto has been mostly just acquiring the basic vocabulary but not doing so much in-depth reading to fully acquire the language. So really, my Esperanto is more based on calculation of various rules, plus whatever I’ve heard from others this week. It doesn’t feel like a personal part of me quite yet, but I hope to change that through reading.
It was really interesting to see so many people here start with almost zero Esperanto (or just horribly low speaking skills at least), and progress over the course of a week into conversant members of the Esperanto community. We talked and laughed together, had some beers and some good times…almost all of it in Esperanto, with ever increasing amounts towards the end of the week.
I’m very glad I came, and that I had such an opportunity which is usually so far removed from Canadians due to the distances involved. Now that I’ve had the relatively comfortable experience of being in a meeting of beginner Esperantists, I’m eager to jump into one of the yearly congresses…perhaps next year when it comes to Copenhagen in the summer.
That’s about it for now. I’m spending a few more days on Esperanto studying, and then I’ll be adding in more and more emphasis on Swedish to prepare myself for the shock I’ll receive in Sweden where absolutely nobody speaks English! (just kidding ;). Seriously though, a strong basis in Swedish will be required in order to prevent all those English-crazed Swedes from switching over all the time. My scheduled two months there is barely enough time for me to get started learning the language, so I have to have as much of a head start as I can.