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On Wed, Jun 25, 2014 at 10:21 PM, Leo Moser <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> You ask:
>
> *Truly, all I want is to find any experimental evidence that Esperanto (or
> any other Euro-auxlang) is easy (or easier) than Euro-natlangs for non-IE
> speakers.*
>
>
>
> There has been research that relates to your interest. I have read
> articles on the subject in the past.
>
>
>
> Most studies have been done by esperantists and purport to show that
> Esperanto is to x-degree easier (for Japanese etc.) than languages like
> English, French, or German.
>
>
>
> I believe someone attempted to document the degree to which Ido was easier
> to learn than Esperanto (for Chinese, perhaps).
>
>
>
> But you and I agree (I think) that what one intends to do with the
> language is important. This can completely skew the statistical findings of
> any such studies, perhaps render them meaningless.
>
>
>
> Regards,                Leo
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> *From:* International Auxiliary Languages [mailto:
> [log in to unmask]] *On Behalf Of *Jeffrey Brown
> *Sent:* Wednesday, June 25, 2014 5:03 PM
>
> *To:* [log in to unmask]
> *Subject:* Re: How easy is Esperanto really?
>
>
>
> Leo,
>
> I didn't use "Indo-European" in the original post. I agree that the
> variability among IE languages is large. That's why I said "European"
> languages (which also vary, but less so than the entire IE family).
>
> "Ease of learning" is, as you say, relative. But hard evidence from
> comparative studies would be informative.
>
> And I also agree that what the learner intends to do with the new language
> has a bearing on the question. Does he/she want to: (1) Visit as a tourist
> and speak well enough to ask for directions? (2) Be able to find and rent
> an apartment and read a newspaper? (3) Attend a university and be able to
> understand the lectures? (4) Appreciate poetry in the language? (5) Speak
> as well as a native?
>
> My assumption in the original post was equivalent to #2. But regardless of
> the language being learned, one has to go through the lesser levels of
> competency before attaining the desired level of proficiency, so I don't
> think that the eventual level of proficiency is very important.
>
> Nevertheless, to return to my original statement, enthusiasm among
> speakers of an auxlang is not a substitute for scientific evidence. This is
> what is lacking.
>
>
>
>
>
> On Wed, Jun 25, 2014 at 4:38 PM, Leo Moser <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
> I agree with all that Risto says below.
>
> Do want to add some thoughts.
>
>
>
> “Ease of learning” will greatly depend on what is meant by learning. There
> are degrees and fields of many sorts in the learning process.
>
>
>
> *The issue of Indo-European vs. non-Indo-European is so often trivial.*
>
>
>
> There is great variance among Indo-European languages, even among those
> that are typically used for the raw material of IAL’s.
>
>
>
> Moreover, “learning” to read/write will depend on what one wishes to read
> or write. *Nobody ever learns everything.* Do you want to converse online
> without any major error or misunderstanding? Or without any reference to
> things like dictionaries or spellcheckers? Do you want to be able to
> write legal contracts? Novels? Do you want to be able to write learned
> articles that will be accepted in scientific journals?
>
>
>
> Grammar/syntax may play a role in ease, regardless of language group. If
> you speak a certain type of SOV language, you may find a similarly
> structured one easier, though it comes from the ends of the earth. The
> issue of Indo-European vs. non-Indo-European is not involved; Nepali is not
> structured like Norwegian.
>
>
>
> Spoken language has its variables and registers. Do you only want to speak
> well enough to go shopping, or to order at a restaurant? Or do you want to
> do important business during a conference call?
>
>
>
> Learning to speak will also depend on how well one wishes to be taken for
> a native speaker, and what sort of native speaker. A German agent
> parachuted into Britain during World War II would have to be very
> proficient, and in the right dialect.
>
>
>
> The issue of Indo-European vs. non-Indo-European has little meaning in
> respect to comparative pronunciation patterns. Danish and Dhivehi do not
> have the same phonemes.
>
>
>
> A speaker of Indonesian is likely to find Italian less difficult to
> pronounce than a Japanese would find Italian. An Italian is likely to  find
> Russian more difficult to pronounce than he/she would find Japanese.
> Japanese often have a great deal of trouble pronouncing Chinese, but find
> less trouble with Malay, or even many Indo-European languages.
>
>
>
> In my opinion, this adds up to the fact that the simple issue of
> Indo-European vs. non-Indo-European is not going to teach us much here.
>
>
>
> Regards to all,                Leo Moser
>
>
>
> *From:* International Auxiliary Languages [mailto:
> [log in to unmask]] *On Behalf Of *Risto Kupsala
> *Sent:* Wednesday, June 25, 2014 2:21 PM
>
>
> *To:* [log in to unmask]
> *Subject:* Re: How easy is Esperanto really?
>
>
>
> 25.6.2014 19:14, Jeffrey Brown wrote:
>
> Truly, all I want is to find any experimental evidence that Esperanto (or
> any other Euro-auxlang) is easy (or easier) than Euro-natlangs for non-IE
> speakers.
>
>
> Ease of learning a language depends on many things, including teacher,
> learning materials, learning environment, and learners themselves. All of
> these variables should be somehow controlled in a proper scientific
> experiment to compare two languages.
>
> Anecdotal evidence is interesting, but not valuable from the scientific
> point of view. Consider my testimony for example, maybe I found Esperanto
> difficult in some places because I didn't have a teacher or peer learners.
> I used a "teach yourself Esperanto" kind of book alone. It's a bad way to
> learn to speak any language.
>
> Ease is a subjective thing. However, in addition to subjective variables,
> ease also depends on some objective variables. One of them is simplicity of
> the target language. I believe it is fair to say that Esperanto is
> objectively simpler than any Euro-natlang. Therefore we can conclude that,
> all else being equal, it is easier to learn Esperanto, which is simple,
> than Euro-natlangs, which are complex.
>
> Unfortunately in reality all else is never equal. There are more and
> better teachers, books, video, audio, immersive environments etc for
> learning natlangs than Esperanto or any other constructed IALs. It is a
> huge disadvantage for conIALs.
>
> --Risto Kupsala
>
>
>