– 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.
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.
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.
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.
Are you looking for a way to practice your spoken Esperanto?
The Praktiku Esperanton group might be a good place to check out, if you can make it to one of the G+ Hangouts. But, if you don’t have the time, or courage, for a group video-and-voice chat, perhaps video penpals is a better solution for you!
Video Pen Pals
I’ve begun a project where some friends and I send each other brief video messages via YouTube – similar to how you would send a small postcard. After someone receives a video message, then they can record their own in response, and the cycle continues!
The nice thing about video pen pal projects it that you can work at your own pace – you can script your response, or try to ad lib, and you can edit your video down before uploading.
For an example of how it works, you can check out my YouTube playlist, where I’m keeping track of my correspondence!