Why learn Ido? – João Xavier Santos

Rachel Wil Sha Singh

I’ve started learning Ido after discovering the Wikipedia in Ido language – https://io.wikipedia.org – and also the Wiktionary in Ido – https://io.wiktionary.org . The reasons were a sum of three factors:

– First, I’ve seen that the language has a simple grammar; it’s vocabulary is not too much difficult to understand (many people who speak or know English, Spanish and/or French recognizes the meaning of many of its words); it is written with no special diacriticals (Esperanto, for example, uses the circumflex signal ^ over certain letters, such as c and j to represent other sounds, but keyboards in general do not permit writing a circumflex over consonants). So, a language easy to learn, read, and write.

– Second, I’m an amateur programmer, who developed simple programs which allowed me to write simple tables of contents in order to place them in Wikipedian articles. And I’ve developed “macros” in Word and OpenOffice Basic which can find and replace words or expressions wrongly written by the correct forms, rapidly and automatically (of course the “macro” functions if the mispell is the same each time the word appears in the text, or in many texts). So, I could develop skills on programming and learn Ido language altogether.

– Third, I also like Human Sciences, specially History (including some biographies) and Geography, and I like to translate materials between the languages that I know: Portuguese (my native language), English, Spanish, and… Ido. I like to read, for example, about the geographical features of a country and then translate those informations to another language (of course, if the original text is reasonably good). So, I practice Ido language and, at the same time, I study geography and exercise the abillities of gathering the ideas in order to write a text that must be clearly comprehensible.

Three factors altogether.

And why not trying to learn other constructed languages at the same time? Because there would be a risk for me to mix the grammars and vocabularies and miswrite the texts. To avoid this I prefer to learn and use languages one at a time.

— João Xavier Santos

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Why learn Ido? – Ciencisto

Rachel Wil Sha Singh

I am a native French speaker. I started learning English at the age of 10, Spanish about three years later and some Swedish a few years ago. I am now 17.

I like learning languages and using them with people of other cultures and nationalities. In fact, I originally wanted to learn Esperanto as a hobby and also as a support for Zamenhof’s dream of a global second language. Therefore, I read a few Esperanto samples and listened to others on YouTube. However, I ended up really, really disliking the use of -j and -n everywhere; it felt very unnatural and ugly to me, and that affected my perception of the whole language. I also found out that Esperanto was spoiled with flaws reminiscent of Zamenhof’s cultural and historical background, such as default masculine, diacritics and the suspicious use of the mal- root.

Consequently, I dug a little deeper in the information about constructed languages, and I found out that Esperanto was not the only popular project. I compared texts written in Esperanto, Ido, Interlingua, Novial, et al., and that is when I fell in love with Ido. Not only did it seem simple and elegant, but it also seemed to me like the ideal Italian stereotype I had — and have — in mind. I always wanted to learn Italian, so for me it was a compelling — albeit obviously wrong — detail.

Yet as I actually learned the language and met the online community, Ido grew on me. It is certainly not perfect, but I can feel that it is well made and the contemporary community is really nice. It may not have thousands of speakers — and may not be Italian — but meeting one single interesting person and having constructive and captivating discussions with that one single person is enough for me. It would have taken me years of experience to have such discussions in Italian. After less than a year of learning, you can have one in Ido.


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Why learn Ido? – Marcus Trawick

Rachel Wil Sha Singh

I learn Ido because I love it’s precision compared to Esperanto. I also love it’s euphony. I first learned Esperanto when I was young in the 70’s. I became fluent in it several years ago and became familiar with certain aspects of Esperanto that seem to be either less of a problem or non-existent in Ido I believe that Esperanto and Ido both will surge in popularity one day as more people around the globe develop a sense of lingual fairness and get away from the notion that the world’s lingua franca must be a national language. Ido rides on the coat-tails of Esperanto’s successs. Ido will always be there as a more refined, more precise and ( according to taste) more euphonious alternative.

Marcus Trawick

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Why learn Ido? – ComradeBecca

Rachel Wil Sha Singh

I think I started learning it when I was mad about an argument I had gotten in or maybe just read with some homophobes in Esperanto. I have realized since then that conflicts are part of life, and Esperanto continues to be way more of a passion for me than Ido, but I continue learning Ido because if I have a skill, however useless, it’s worth retaining it.

— ComradeBecca

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Parolu Esperanton Kiel Vi Deziras Paroli

Rachel Wil Sha Singh

Mi vidis tiun ĉi fadenon hodiaŭ, kaj mi vidis iun, kiun mi ofte spertas rete.


Ofte, Esperantistoj deziras priparoli Esperanton, kaj malofte, Esperantistoj parolas pri iuj ajn aferoj.  Pro tio, Esperantistoj senĉese disputas pri la parolado de la lingvo, kaj insultas unu la alian, ĉar persono A ne parolas same kiel persono B.

Fek al tio. Ĉu la “-iĉ” sufikso plaĉas al vi? Uzu ĝin. Ĉu vi ne volas voĉparoli “duŝi” aŭ “ŝati”? Ne uzu ilin.

Kaj, se, vi estas komforta pri uzado de la vorto “duŝi”, uzu ĝin, sed kial insulti aliulojn?

Tiu ĉi ankaŭ estas problemo kiam oni bezonas uzi pronomojn, kiu ne estas “ŝi”, “li”, aŭ “ĝi”.  La plej komunuzaj alternativaj promonoj, kiujn mi vidas, estas “ri”, “gi”, kaj “ŝli”.

Se oni ĝenas vin, pro tio ke vi uzas alternativan pronomon, fajfu al tiu. Uzu la pronomon, kiun vi preferas. Ni nur povas ŝanĝi la kulturon per kiel ni uzas la lingvon.

Se oni volas uzi alternativan pronomon kaj tio malplaĉas al vi – diru nenion. Tio ne estas via afero, ne gravas al vi. Ne ne ne, ne “defendu” Esperanton – ĝi ne bezonas vian defendon. Ĝi vivas kaj vivos, tamen se vi forpelas aliulojn, kiu ne konsentas kun vi, eble VI mortigos la lingvon vi mem!

Estu bonkora.

Language Selection in Video Games

Rachel Wil Sha Singh


I like supporting multiple languages in my video game projects. Usually, I’m focused on English and Esperanto, since that’s what I speak, but there’s no reason other languages can’t be supported.

Usually on websites, I see flags used to represent language options – as an English speaker, the flag is usually either the U.S. flag or the Union Jack. Seeing either doesn’t really bug me; extra “u”s and “s”es where us Americans have “z”s. But, I can only speak for how I feel about this individually, for myself.

For other languages and countries, I have no idea how representing a language with a specific flag might come across. To support Portuguese, if I’m hiring someone from Brazil, do we use their flag? What country for Spanish? Or Arabic? Or Mandarin?

With a website, who cares if you have a list of text to select from, with the language’s name being written in the target language. With a game, how do we make a language select screen beautiful without cute flag icons? I do see flags used quite often in video games, like if you pick up a game from Europe, but honestly it might not be appropriate.

There is a good article on Flags are not Languages with ideas for how to present language options.The best option at the moment seems to just be to list out the languages with text.languageselect

Languages, Text Parsers, and Video Games

Rachel Wil Sha Singh

I can speak English and Esperanto. I’ve started learning a handful of other languages, though I tend to have a hard time sticking with one. Oddly, sticking with Esperanto is easy, perhaps because I already have communities I’m part of, and uses for it, while with other languages – say, Korean – I really only get to use it at the nearby Korean grocery store.

But, I’ve decided to start learning Chinese. I decided that a couple of weeks ago, but so far I haven’t done much studying yet, just skimming pieces here and there. Do I start with reading on grammar? Do I start by studying Pinyin? Do I start by learning the building blocks of the writing system? Hm.

I’m a bit restless when it comes to sticking with a single textbook, and I want to start using the language as soon as I can, so then – do I memorize phrases and investigate how words are put together?

I began compiling a list of the verbs, nouns, and adjectives I find myself using the most in Esperanto. It’s hard to really quantify what English I use in my day-to-day life because it’s so engrained, but that’s one of the good things about being familiar with Esperanto – I have more of an explicit idea of what I’ve learned over the past three years, so it could perhaps be a blueprint of what I would need to learn for another language.

Building this list of words and common ways I end up combining them actually reminds me of writing a text parser for a text adventure (or something like the old King’s Quest games).  Actually – wouldn’t it be kind of fun to learn some basics of language through mixing and matching verbs and nouns together to interact with a virtual environment? (OK, maybe it appeals to me because I grew up with Sierra adventures…)

Though a problem with this method of “learning the patterns and extrapolating from there” would be more difficult for an irregular language, when you can’t always be sure that it will be something like “Verb-command-form [the] noun”

On a similar note – games can be a great way to give a controlled, somewhat immersive experience. If designed properly, a whole game could be in the target language, while not overwhelming the player with more nuanced parts of grammar.

If I pick up a new multiplayer game, for example, I pretty much always want to play Single Player first to get a feel for the maps, weapons, gameplay, etc. Similarly, I am going to be pretty shy when it comes to actually practicing a new language, I want a “safe sandbox” to practice in first.

And, with respect to old Sierra and LucasArts games, I know that I, personally, have heard a number of non-native-English speakers say that those games were a big part of how they learned English.

So, what might be a good way to apply language learning in a game medium? What games have done this, and done a decent job? Hmmm…

Donated Books, Magazines, and Newsletters in and about Esperanto

Rachel Wil Sha Singh

Just this past December, I had decided to make a group on Facebook for Esperantists in Kansas and Missouri. I knew there were at least five of us in Kansas – Two in Wichita, three in Kansas City. I made it mostly as a way for us to get to know each other and keep in touch.

For Z-Day 2014, Andy and I decided that we should have a get-together at a local restaurant & pub, The Green Room. So, we proceeded to send out messages on Lernu, and the existing circle of us five brought in any others we knew about. I’m a member of Esperanto-USA, so I went through the little directory book and sent out messages inviting anyone interested to stop in.

And now, we’re going to start having regular monthly meetings. Wow.

Tim Wand, an Esperantist that I found out of the directory book, has been in the movado for a while, and has some interesting stories to tell about the history here in the U.S.A. He has also donated quite a few old books to the club, which originally belonged to a Mr. Runser, who passed away perhaps a decade ago.

I only began learning Esperanto in 2012, so I’m not completely sure what the best thing I can do with these books is, but I’m hoping to go through them and, for anything that is in the public domain, make scans and publish online somewhere.

I took pictures of the collection tonight, and I’m posting them up; perhaps it will pique somebody’s interest, and they’ll have a suggestion for me.

*edit* I scanned the covers of all the books, and they can be viewed on the Library page.