“A journey of a thousand miles (kilometers) begins with one step” – proverb, Tao Te Ching
I’ve always wanted to be bilingual.
It’s a bucket list kind of thing. Had 2 years of French in high school, but never quite made it past the three most important sentences in any language: J’ai faim. J’ai perdue, Ou sont la toilette pour la femme s’il vous plais (I’m lost, I’m hungry, where is the ladies room please?)
I also discovered that I do not like noun gender. The whole bilingual thing was not as interesting if it meant climbing over noun gender to get there. Then along comes Esperanto. It is a language that makes freaking sense: no exceptions, no irregular verbs, no friggen’ noun gender. The concept of Espranto, its raison d’etre if you will, speaks to why I want to be bilingual in the first place. It was designed from the ground up to be able to be communication for diverse, eccletic people anywhere, everywhere, no matter where you were from. Being bilingual seemed global. It was worldly. Speaking another language was urban and streetwise and cool, especially to a kid growing up in rural Appalachia where being different is a sort of cardinal sin. Any other language, natural or constructed, was a way to touch the world from inside the evangelical shoe box without anyone noticing. I mean, you had to have foreign language credits for college, right?
Fast forward 10 years. The kid from Appalachia started studying martial arts, and picked up a few words of Mandarin, at least enough to order my favorite take out, no noun gender required. Global and cool was mine! Those pesky full time jobs, though. They tend to get in the way of things, especially language lessons in the days before the internet. No fluency there.
Now we have TA-DAH….technology! Back to Esperanto (because noun gender). Still global, still cool, and FREE on DUOLINGO . The language name Esperanto is based on the word for hope, espero. The idea was to create an accessible second language any one can learn so everyone can communicate, with the hope of gaining understanding, conducting business and diplomacy all from an equal footing. The hope of Esperanto was to create a better world through communication. I hope to learn a bit of fluency before I croak. To that end, I’m also taking advice from a TED talk about language learning, do something fun in your new language. I’m combining hope with passion and writing Tarot posts in Esperanto.
Richard Delamare, “Evildea” of Youtube fame once mentioned in an episode that part of his inspiration for starting an esperanto YouTube channel was its uniqueness. How many Esperanto vlogs were there at the time? I wonder the same. Even now, I wonder how many people read Tarot online in Esperanto. I haven’t stumbled across any yet. But on the other hand, my skill level isn’t high enough to do a real dive into the Esperanto speaking internet. Even if there are a zillion of us, so what? There are a zillion English speaking Tarot readers and I still manage to contribute a little somethin’ somethin’ every now and then.
Mi estas komenkanto. I am a beginner. Mi faros multejn erarojn. I will make many mistakes. Mi foje faros Tarokajn lagelojn en Esperanto cxi tie. Sometimes, I will do Esperanto Tarot readings here. Gi estos amuza se nenio alia. It will be fun if nothing else.