pne: A picture of a plush toy, halfway between a duck and a platypus, with a green body and a yellow bill and feet. (Default)

So, about three years ago, I took an Esperanto exam at level B2, and figured that would be the highest level I would take; partly since certification in Esperanto is pretty pointless anyway and partly because I didn’t think I’d ever get to C1, as I thought that’s basically native-speaker level.

But this year, I decided (more or less on a whim) to apply for the C1-level test held during SES 2014 in Slovakia, which I attended. I figured that not enough people would apply and that the test would get cancelled like it did last year.

But no, when I got there, I found that the test was actually scheduled, so I got to sit it. The spoken part was via Google Hangout with two teachers in different parts of Europe; the written part was the next day in a big room with all the other participants. (I sat next to a nun who was sitting the B1 level, if I remember correctly.)

It did take me nearly all the time scheduled, which surprised me a little; especially the essay tasks. (Plus I had to come up with an opinion on Google Glass and its influence on society, a topic I hadn’t given all that much specific thought to before.) And I was glad that I had borrowed a [monolingual Esperanto] dictionary from my teacher, since I referred to it fairly often during the test and did not have to share one of the few shared ones.

I got the scores for my individual spoken portion during the SES week, but was told that complete scores would have to wait until September.

Fast forward till today: my scores are now available in a password-protected area on the ITK website.

And I did fairly well, if I do say so myself: 84/90 spoken, 76/80 written. I was a little surprised that my “written self-expression” scored better than my “reading understanding”, but whatever.

So, in a few more weeks I should have a little bound diploma telling me that I can officially speak Esperanto at a C1 level; who would have thought that a couple of years ago!


Detailed results below the cut )

pne: A picture of a plush toy, halfway between a duck and a platypus, with a green body and a yellow bill and feet. (Default)

So when signing up for SES 2012 in Nitra (an Esperanto meeting), the choices for “sex” were ina (female) and malina (opposite-of-female). I picked the latter.

Just now, looking through the Kauderwelsch guide to Slovak, I see that malina means “Himbeere” (raspberry).

This amuses me :)

Hm, now I wonder whether ina means anything in Slovak; it wouldn’t surprise me to learn that it means “different” (based on knowing the Polish word inny).

And indeed, iná (with a long final vowel) means “other, different”.

So I guess men are raspberries and women are “other”!

pne: A picture of a plush toy, halfway between a duck and a platypus, with a green body and a yellow bill and feet. (Default)

I remember at a meeting of the Hamburg Esperanto Society, someone mentioned that pronouncing “n” as a velar (rather than alveolar or dental) nasal before “g” or “k” was wrong; words such as “benko” should always be [benko] “ben-ko” and never [beŋko] “beng-ko”. And that this was supported by tapes that Zamenhof supposedly made and sent out for instruction.

Now I’m leafing through a book on “language answers” by Zamenhof in response to various questions, and found this as item 71 (translation on request):

Pri prononco en teorio kaj en praktiko.

Kiel en ĉiuj lingvoj, tiel ankaŭ en Esperanto la sono «j» ordinare moligas la konsonanton, kiu staras antaŭ ĝi; oni sekve ne devas miri, ke ekzemple en la vorto «panjo» la plimulto de la Esperantistoj elparolas la «nj» kiel unu molan sonon (simile al la franca «gn»). Tiel same oni ne miru, ke en praktiko oni ordinare antaŭ «g» aŭ «k» elparolas la sonon «n» naze, aŭ ke antaŭ vokalo oni elparolas la «i» ordinare kiel «ij». Batali kontraŭ tia natura emo en la elparolado ŝajnas al mi afero tute sencela kaj senbezona, ĉar tia elparolado (kiu estas iom pli eleganta, ol la elparolado pure teoria) donas nenian malkompreniĝon aŭ praktikan maloportunaĵon; sed rekomendi tian elparoladon (aŭ nomi ĝin «la sole ĝusta») ni ankaŭ ne devas, ĉar laŭ la teoria vidpunkto (kiu en Esperanto ofte povas esti ne severe observata, sed neniam povas esti rigardata kiel «erara») ni devas elparoli ĉiun sonon severe aparte; sekve se ni deziras paroli severe regule, ni devas elparoli «pan-jo» «san-go», «mi-a».

Respondo 56, Oficiala Gazeto, IV, 1911, p. 222

citita el: Doktoro L. L. Zamenhof, Lingvaj Respondoj: Konsiloj kaj Opinioj pri Esperanto, ed. G. Waringhien, 6a eldono, Esperantaj Francaj Eldonoj, 1962.

So it seems that not only is the velar pronunciation of “n” before “g” and “k” allowed, Zamenhof himself even considered it (at least at one point) as “more elegant” than the “purely theoretical” (in the sense, I believe, of “adhering to a pure reading of the theory”, not in the sense of “not occurring in practice”) pronunciation.

pne: A picture of a plush toy, halfway between a duck and a platypus, with a green body and a yellow bill and feet. (Default)

Today, I found out that in Esperanto, “ĝis la revido” means “up to the dream-child” („bis zum Traumkind“). A curiously idiomatical phrase for a farewell :)

Fun stuff!

pne: A picture of a plush toy, halfway between a duck and a platypus, with a green body and a yellow bill and feet. (Default)

The other day, while practising my Esperanto flashcards on Anki, I got a new word: bankalsono.

I didn’t recognise it, so I tried to parse it: bank'al'sono? Something about making a call to a bank? bankal'sono? A “Bankal sound”, whatever that might be?

Then I asked it to show me the answer: “Badehose” (swimming trunks).

Oh! It’s ban'kalsono!

Perhaps one should start using the apostrophes more often to separate the morphemes :)

Famous mis-segregations in German include Wach'stube vs. Wachs'tube; Blumento'pferde vs. Blumen'topf'erde; and be'in'halt'en vs. bein'halt'en. (Though in most cases, the alternate parse is merely humorous, or the entire pair might be a bit constructed.)

pne: A picture of a plush toy, halfway between a duck and a platypus, with a green body and a yellow bill and feet. (Default)

I went to the Hamburg Esperanto meeting again tonight.

Dominik gave a presentation about SES 2010 in Nitra, where he took part. (Apparently as part of a trip half-way across Europe and back, taking in a couple of other Esperanto meetups along the way!)

He talked about the morning classes, the afternoon activities, where it is, and basically explained how it was.

Sounded reasonably fun. And it’s not just young people, either!

Hm. Perhaps I will try to take part this year. Will have to see.

(Jutta, who sat next to me, also said she might try to attend, and Dominik is planning on being there, too.)

pne: A picture of a plush toy, halfway between a duck and a platypus, with a green body and a yellow bill and feet. (Default)

I went to a meeting of the Hamburg Esperanto Society on Thursday: my first Esperanto meeting.

Read the whole thing )

pne: A picture of a plush toy, halfway between a duck and a platypus, with a green body and a yellow bill and feet. (Default)

I love languages and wish I could learn ALL THE LANGUAGES!

Typically, I have one language at a time which fascinates me particularly and where I spend some time learning it (with more or less fervor); I buy books, look for web resources, and so on.

Then, at some point, another languages comes along which fascinates me similarly. And I don’t discard the previous language, but because I typically don’t have time to do even one language justice, I put it on the back burner (with all the others that are there already…). I might come back to it occasionally and am still interested in it, but I don’t spend nearly as much time on it actively.

Such “languages of the day/month/year” (I would guess that it’s typically around a year that a language survives before being supplanted; it depends on when another one strikes my fancy) have included, in the past, Niuean, Maltese, Romansh, and most recently Inuktitut.

I seem to have replaced Inuktitut with Esperanto, though. Oops.

I only noticed after I had bought a bunch of dictionaries and textbooks and started researching courses and meetings :)

All prompted, essentially, by a conversation with [profile] n_true at qepHom wa'maHDIch, wherein I noticed that I could actually hold a conversation, despite not having ever attempted this before.

Ah well. *rueful grin*

(And I wonder how far my infatuation with Inuktitut would have taken me, anyway, especially given that I haven’t been able to find information about a decent dictionary. Well, Spalding, I guess. Hm. Dangnabbit!)

Now I wonder whether I should make a new journal for my thoughts in and/or about Esperanto; I already have journals for Verdurian, Klingon, Lojban, Maltese, Romansh, and Inuktitut. (Er, not that any of them have more than one or two entries in them, and most have none… but they exist, and are theoretically for that purpose.)

Perhaps a new userpic, though.

pne: A picture of a plush toy, halfway between a duck and a platypus, with a green body and a yellow bill and feet. (Default)

So speaking with [livejournal.com profile] n_true made me consider going to an Esperanto meeting at some point to take part in a course and learn more and/or to have some opportunity to speak the language.

After all, I had found there that, despite never having spoken the language before, I was able to carry on a reasonable conversation with him, just based on what I had passively “assimilated” so far in reading here and there. (Eble mi ecx povas paroli esperanton pli bone ol la klingonan... versxajne pli rapide!)

So I had a look around esperantoland.org and eventoj.hu and picked out some likely-sounding venues. The following list is mostly for my own reference.

This is all just a pipe dream at the moment (especially given the costs), but who knows.

On the off-chance: is anyone on my friends list going to any of those conferences? Or have any stories to tell?


Perhaps it would make more sense to plan this sort of thing for 2013; after looking briefly at several sites, it would have been cheaper if I had applied before November.

Also, I think I’d need something more course-y; many of those meetings seem to be oriented towards fluent speakers with lots of mentions of prelegoj (Vorträge?) and discussion, which I don’t think I’d be up for yet.

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Philip Newton

June 2015

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