A German experiences NASK

Posted on 26. May, 2014 by in Interview, Uncategorized

Lena helps film at NASK

Lena helps film at NASK

Last week, I interviewed Fábio Montiero about his participation in NASK and the awesome video he made about it. This week, I’m here with Lena, a German who attended the intermediate course at NASK last year! In case you missed last week’s interview, NASK is the Nordamerika Somera Kursaro where people interested in learning Esperanto get together to improve their Esperanto at an American university!

Why did you attend NASK? Were you living in America at the time or did you fly over from Germany specifically for this course?

I actually went to the US for about three months and decided to spend some vacation time there as well. So, I figured it would be nice to finally learn enough Esperanto to communicate. Therefore, I looked up programs that were near me and found NASK in Raleigh, NC. Since I have never really spoken Esperanto before, I started with the post-beginners course, but during the first day I realized that this was too easy and switched to the intermediate course.

What was it like learning there? How did it compare to your usual university courses?

It was awesome. We had 3 hours of class every morning after breakfast. And I really liked going to class, since we always had interesting topics, and Derek, our instructor, always had very good ideas. For me, grammar is not very easy, but Derek’s explanations were really good.

I think there is a big difference between NASK and regular University courses. NASK is total immersion. We tried to speak only Esperanto, which worked surprisingly well. The Esperanto community is also very motivating. Esperanto speakers have a certain and unique mindset, which creates a wonderful learning environment. I think this makes all the difference to other courses.

YouTube Preview Image

What was the most interesting experience you had there?

The participants and the feeling of belonging and acceptance. I never found such a big, heterogeneous group of people which are that interesting and interested. This was the most wonderful experience and I was really sad to go back to my normal life.

What would you tell people who are considering going to NASK this summer?

NASK participants in North Carolina

NASK participants in North Carolina

Try to speak only Esperanto; it is the best way to practice! And get the English-Esperanto-English Dictionary (2010 Edition) by John Wells.

Here you can find more information about NASK this year, which will be taking place in British Columbia on June 29-July 8!

Globeto films at NASK

Posted on 21. May, 2014 by in Events, Interview, NASK

Fábio Montejro at NASK

Fábio Montejro at NASK

Today I’m with Fábio Monteiro, the Brazilian who made the cool videos about NASK! What is NASK you say? It stands for the Nordamerika Somera Kursaro where people interested in learning Esperanto get together to improve their Esperanto at an American university! A few years ago, I interviewed Ellen Eddy about their new format. This year, I want to interview a few of last year’s participants to get a different perspective on the event.

So, Fábio, why did you decide to attend NASK?

Pasintjare mi simple decidis lasi ĉion en Brazilo kaj vojaĝi dum kelkaj monatoj. Mia itinero konsistis el Usono, Meksiko kaj Kubo. Pro tio ke mi estas Esperantisto nature mi profitis la okazon por partopreni je kelkaj E-eventoj. Tiel mi elektis NASK-on kiel unua vojaĝ-celo, ĉar mi ja multe aŭdadis pri la kvalito kaj valoro de la kurso, krome la dato kaj la loko perfekte enmetiĝis en mia itinero.

Last year I just decided to leave everything in Brazil and travel for a few months. My itinerary consisted of the USA, Mexico and Cuba. Because I’m an Esperanto speaker, of course I took advantage of the opportunity to participate in some Esperanto events. That’s how I chose NASK as my first destination, because I did indeed hear a lot about the quality and value of the course. The date and location perfectly fit into my travel itinenary.

What did you learn there? What course did you take?

Mi partoprenis en la supera kurso gvidita de la ĉiliano José Antonio Vergara. Fakte en tiu nivelo ni ne multe lernis pri la lingvo mem, ĉar tio supozeble ne estas plu bezonata, anstataŭe ni pli diskutis pri la historio, evoluo kaj nuntempa situacio de la Esperanta movado. Mi tre profitis la debatojn!

I participated in the advanced course led by the Chilean, José Antonio Vergara. In fact, in that level we don’t learn much about the language itself, because that isn’t really needed anymore, but instead we talk about the history, evolution and current situation of the Esperanto movement. I really profited from the debates!

How did you end up making the video there?

Unu el la celoj de mia vojaĝo estis filme kaj fote registri ĉion kio estis interesa por posta muntado de raportaĵoj. Tial krom la lecionoj mi ankaŭ okupiĝis pri filmado kaj intervjuoj. La filmetoj pri NASK estas nur la unuaj rezultoj de tiu vojaĝo. Tamen mia malmola disko esta plenplena da filmoj en Esperanto kiu devos aperi en la venontaj monatoj.

One of the goals of my trip was to film and take pictures of everything interesting to later edit it into video reports. So, besides the lessons, that’s why I was also busy with filming and interviews. The short films about NASK are only the first results of my travels. However, my hard drive is packed with Esperanto films, which should appear in the coming months.

YouTube Preview Image

Mi multe bedaŭras ke nuntempe mi ne havas sufiĉe da tempo por munti novajn filmojn ĉar mi ĵus akiris novan postenon kaj laboras plentempe. Tial mia laboro por Esperanto bedaŭrinde denove fariĝis flanka kaj libertempa. Krome kelkaj homoj ne scias tion sed muntado de filmoj laŭ iom prefesia nivelo vere postulas multe da tempo…

I’m very disappointed that I now don’t have enough time to edit new movies, because I just started a new job and work full-time. That’s why my work for Esperanto, unfortunately, now moved back to my free time. In addition, some people don’t realize it, but editing films at a professional level really takes a lot of time…

Could you tell us a little more about your work for Globeto?

Fábio filming Globeto at NASK

Fábio filming Globeto at NASK

Temas pri rubriko ĉe mia “YouTube”-a paĝo, kie mi enmetas nur filmetojn en Esperanto aŭ pri Esperanto. Globeto ne estas oficiala, movada, ŝtata aŭ ligita al ia specifa Esperanta entrepreno. Ĝi estas simpla projekto, tute sendependa kaj iom privata, ĉar ĝi estas farita de sola Esperanta ĵurnalisto. Tiel mi esperas kontribui la Esperantan kulturon, la disvastigadon de nia lingvo, kaj la lernadon de novaj esperantistoj, kiuj volas lerni Esperanton per pli nuntempaj kaj amuzaj metodoj. Ĉiuj viaj legantoj estas invitataj spekti ĝin ĉe la kanalo de Globeto!

Globeto is a section of my YouTube page where I only upload short films in Esperanto or about Esperanto. It is not official, of the movement, state or related in any way to a specific Esperanto enterprise. It’s a simple project, completely independent and somewhat private, because it’s done by a single Esperanto reporter. That’s how I hope to contribute to Esperanto culture, spreading our language and helping new Esperanto speakers who want to learn Esperanto using more current and fun methods. All of your readers are invited to watch it at la kanalo de Globeto!

Here you can find more information about NASK this year, which will be taking place in British Columbia on June 29-July 8!

Lauren’s 6-week mission to learn Esperanto

Posted on 19. May, 2014 by in Interview, Uncategorized

Benny and Lauren in Okinawa (Japan)

Benny and Lauren in Okinawa (Japan)

Today we’ll be talking with Lauren, who just started to learn Esperanto in Ireland. But, what makes this different from anyone else? Well, some of you may know Benny Lewis, the blogger of Fluent in Three Months (FI3M) who often challenges himself to learn a language in a short time and then blogs and talks about his progress on his YouTube channel. In the Esperanto world, he’s most known for his blog post Just 2 weeks learning Esperanto can get you months ahead in your target language. For his most recent mission, he decided not to learn a new language, but rather to coach his monolingual girlfriend to learn Esperanto in 6 weeks. She’ll then speak Esperanto with others at the Polyglot Gathering in Berlin! So, on to the show…

Lauren, why did you choose to learn Esperanto? How did this mission come to be?

When I first started dating Benny, the first question anyone who knew him would ask me was “How many languages do you speak?” So for a while, I went through a stubborn phase of not wanting to learn a new language because I was annoyed at the assumption that dating a polyglot meant that I should be a polyglot as well.

But we’ve been together for around a year now, and I’ve gotten over that phase. :) So, Benny’s always known that there’s one language–I won’t say which–that I’m very keen to learn, and he had discussed the idea of running a +1 Challenge on the blog this summer, (and he probably will!) where he’d invite readers, other polyglots, some of the other FI3M team members, and me to all take on a new 3 month challenge together. We thought this would help a lot with my motivation to get through my first project.

But then, Judith Meyer messaged Benny to say that she was running a 6-week Esperanto challenge with the summer as the end-point, and Benny thought that this would be a perfect opportunity to ease me into language learning and give me a boost for my summer project. Also, Esperanto is one of Benny’s favorite languages, and he was very excited by the idea of me being able to speak it. So even though I personally wouldn’t have picked Esperanto as my first new language, the idea of being able to speak one of his favorite languages with him gives me great motivation :)

That sounds great! I think you’ll enjoy having a secret language together… well, except at polyglot meetings. In any case, I want to applaud your courage. Starting to learn a language can already be intimidating, but how does it feel showcasing the whole learning process in front of all of Benny’s subscribers?

Well, thank you. :) Honestly, I don’t think about the subscribers during the week while I’m practicing. Benny sets up the camera, and I study like it’s just him and I in the room. At first it felt weird to practice the language with him listening in the room–and he’s ALWAYS in the room since we travel together in short-term accommodations!–but that passed quickly. You just get over it. My worries aren’t that I won’t progress in the language or that I’ll fail–Benny and so many other Esperanto speakers have a lot of confidence that 6 weeks is plenty of time to get to a conversational stage in the language, and I have faith in their expertise.

The only thing that really makes me nervous is every week, I fear that the video update will be so terribly boring! After all, it’s usually just compilations of me talking to myself to my computer or complaining to Benny about memorizing verbs! But so far, the response has been so positive, and we’ve gotten several very touching emails from people who’ve said this project has inspired them to keep on with their own projects. I did not expect that, and it has really moved me and made me feel more courageous to keep going despite how boring I fear the videos may be.

YouTube Preview Image

Well, I may not be able to speak for everyone, but I find them really interesting at least! In the first video [above], I even saw you chatting online in Esperanto. I remember when I was starting to learn Esperanto, I spent quite a lot of time in chatrooms, being corrected and improving. What was your experience like the first time you chatted in Esperanto online? Was that in the lernu.net chatroom?

Yes, I have used the lernu chat room exactly once, sort of by accident. More often, I’ve been sending messages back and forth privately on lernu as well. I like that better for now, because I need a lot of time to think about what I want to say and how to say it. But at the end of my first week when I wrote out my introductory phrase for the video (“Mi komencis lerni tiu semajno”), and I wanted to ask for a correction, I logged onto the chatroom. I learned how to say “Is this phrase good?” (“Ĉu tiu frazo estas bona?”) and then pasted my phrase in. I got an immediate correction, which amazed me, and you can actually see this moment in the first video.

What you don’t see is after that, when the very friendly chat room people tried to talk with me more by asking where I was from and so on… and then I kind of freaked out. I had no idea how to form sentences at this point, and I was terrified. But I have to say, they were very patient with me even though I took forever looking up the words I needed to type out my answer. And then I chickened out and said I had to go (in Esperanto), and they wished me a very kind goodbye. I haven’t used the chatroom again yet, because I’m enjoying sending private messages with my exchange partner. Having said that, I absolutely will be using it to push my level up [maybe] in a week or two when I’ve fixed my current problem remembering verbs. :D

YouTube Preview Image

I’d say you’re pretty fortunate to have a language coach with so much language learning experience as Benny. But, as we’re all aware, the ability to learn and to teach are quite different skills as I’ve been learning lately as I’ve been getting back into Esperanto teaching. Has Benny already done a lot of language coaching or is this new for him as well?

Well, I may be a little biased, but Benny really is an amazing language coach. I am very lucky to have his guidance. He knows exactly what to say when I’m feeling deflated and how to keep my spirits up and keep me moving forward. But that comes with his experience. He’s been working as a language coach in addition to the blog for a while now, helping other individual learners like me and businesses. Because he’s been learning languages for so long (an entire decade) and documenting the “hacks” that work, as well as those that don’t, he has such a good understanding of what learners need at different stages of this process. He’s been so patient with me, and very stern about making me an independent learner in my own right. He kind of teaches me how to teach myself, if that makes sense, and he really stresses the importance of keeping it fun, which helps a lot.

It looks like you’ll keep learning and having fun with it. Thank you so much for your answers and I’m already looking forward to see your progress on next week’s blog post. Bonŝancon! [Good luck!]

Dankon pro via kuraĝigo! [Thanks for your encouragement!]