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A German experiences NASK Posted by on May 26, 2014 in Interview, Uncategorized

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!

Lena helps film at NASK

Lena helps film at NASK

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.

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!

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About the Author: Chuck Smith

I was born in the US, but Esperanto has led me all over the world. I started teaching myself Esperanto on a whim in 2001, not knowing how it would change my life. The timing couldn’t have been better; around that same time I discovered Wikipedia in it’s very early stages and launched the Esperanto version. When I decided to backpack through Europe, I found Esperanto speakers to host me. These connections led me to the Esperanto Youth Organization in Rotterdam, where I worked for a year, using Esperanto as my primary language. Though in recent years I’ve moved on to other endeavors like iOS development, I remain deeply engrained in the Esperanto community, and love keeping you informed of the latest news. The best thing that came from learning Esperanto has been the opportunity to connect with fellow speakers around the globe, so feel free to join in the conversation with a comment! I am now the founder and CTO of the social app Amikumu.