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On the Acquisition of Esperanto1

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 November 2008

Dan Maxwell
Buro voor Systeemontwikkeling, Utrecht


The claim of Esperantists that their language is easier to learn than natural languages has seldom been subjected to an empirical test, and the few tests that have been carried out are not widely known outside the Esperanto community. After an introduction to the Esperanto movement and other experiments based on the teaching of Esperanto, the two “Five-country Experiments” carried out in the 1970s are described and evaluated here. The findings of these tests support the claim of Esperantists but could be challenged mainly because of the wide range of variable factors involved in language learning. These experiments are nevertheless valuable as an attempt to measure some of these variables in a very precise way.

Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1988

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