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Thomas

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Posts posted by Thomas


  1. Quote

    1.     What is your first language? (i.e. ‘native’ language, mother tongue - if it is a language other than Esperanto)

    English.

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    2.     What other languages do you speak?

    I did French to A-level (age 18) and German as part of my degree. I wouldn't say that I can speak either of them, but I can watch German TV and get almost every word, and I can communicate in German if I have to, but always painfully aware of how many mistakes I am making.

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    3.     When did you learn Esperanto?

    I started when I was about 15, but only really made a serious effort when I turned 18 and joined JEB (the young-adult wing of EAB).

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    4.     Why did you learn Esperanto? (this can be any reason)

    I was interested in the idea of a constructed language and how that might work. But mostly because I don't really have the patience to learn all the hundreds of little rules and endings and so on that you need to really master another language. I can remember a time in my first year of uni where I got back an essay I'd written in German that was covered in red ink with all my little mistakes - although the meaning was clear, a good proportion of the endings and articles were wrong. On the very same day, I'd asked @Tim to help me with something I'd written in Esperanto, and his response was something along the lines of "you made one mistake here, and this part could be worded more eloquently, but otherwise it's pretty much perfect".

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    5.     When do you use Esperanto? (e.g. in everyday situations, or on special occasions only?)

    I have a good collection of Esperanto music, which includes some of my favourite albums - so they get listened to a lot, and I go to a local meetup once a month. I have a few friends that I chat to online in Esperanto sometimes. Otherwise, not a huge amount.

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    6.     How fluent are you in Esperanto? (as fluent as in your first language?)

    My knowledge is pretty good, but I often stumble over my words when I speak - nothing that wouldn't be fixed by a few weeks' regular practise. I don't have the feeling of being self conscious about making mistakes in every single sentence like I do in German.

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    7.     What role can Esperanto play in today’s world? (e.g. as an international language, or as a 'neutral' language)

    It's mostly a niche hobby, and is likely to stay that way. The main incentives that people have to learn a foreign language (economic, romantic, etc) don't really apply to Esperanto, so it's really only people with an interest in languages for their own sake who learn it.

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    8.     What do you think of the claim that the only real international language is English, instead of Esperanto?

    Esperanto is an international language, by multiple definitions. English is also an international language, by some (but not all) of the same definitions and by some other definitions too.

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    1 What do you think is unique about Esperanto when compared to other languages? 

    That it is a successful general-purpose constructed language. By successful I don't mean that it achieved whatever lofty goals its early speakers may have had for it, but that it has a sizeable community. Something like Pandunia doesn't really have a community beyond its own official groups. The only other constructed language that I might consider "successful" by that definition is toki pona, but that isn't a "fully-fledged" general-purpose language in the same way.

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    2 Do you consider Esperanto as part of your identity? (In what sense)

    No. It's just a hobby: something I do, not something I am.

    • Like 1

  2. One possibility could be to have it as an option - I don't know how easy or otherwise Invision makes this, but if there was an extra toggle switch below the editor (next to "Correct my mistakes") for "Replace Xs", that could work nicely. The funny behaviour is probably a reasonable trade-off for the functionality if it can be enabled or disabled.

    • Like 1

  3. My personal solution to this problem is that I type using the Colemak layout anyway, and that has the ability to type almost any accented letter you like built right in. But learning an entirely new layout just to type in Esperanto is perhaps a bit of an extreme solution.

    Instead, here are four more realistic options:

    1. Apparently there is a setting in recent versions called "Adding Esperanto circumflexes (supersigno)", although I have not tested this and couldn't say how it works.
    2. The Esperanto-specific layout, which replaces non-Esperanto letters with Esperanto letters, as mentioned by @kashtanulo above.
    3. The US-International layout. This is the standard US keyboard layout (which is basically the same as the UK layout, except that @ and " are swapped, and a few other punctuation characters are moved around), but it also has "dead keys" for typing international characters. To type a hat, you press shift+6, which doesn't produce any output until you then press the letter you want to add the hat to (to get a ^ character, I believe you have to press shift+6 twice, but I may be wrong on that). So shift+6 then C produces Ĉ. Ŭ is altgr+shift+9 then U. Apparently this version of the US-International layout is Linux-specific, and the Windows version doesn't have Esperanto characters (although not having a Windows machine I can't confirm that).
    4. In the keyboard preferences you can select a "compose key". This can be enabled on any layout, so you don't even have to learn the differences between a UK and US keyboard to make it work. You can select what you want your compose key to be - the right Windows key is a popular choice, given that it has basically no use in Linux. To type Ĉ, you press compose+shift+6, then C (so same as for US-International, but with compose added), and similar for the other hatted letters. To type Ŭ, you press compose+U, then U.
    I think the fourth option is probably the most sensible, as it doesn't make any changes to the keyboard in normal use. You still have a standard UK layout that works exactly as normal, unless you hold the compose key.
     
    Hope that makes sense - let me know if you need any further details. :)
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