Started conversation Oct 22, 2006
I learned Esperanto when I was thirteen. Now I'm sixty-five. So I've had ample opportunity to use Esperanto many times, and now with some much Internet stuff in Esperanto, not a day passes without my having some contact via Esperanto with the rest of the world.
Radio Polonia has a particularly excellent program in Esperanto. It can be heard on shortwave, but much better reception can be had on your computer. If you're curious to hear what Esperanto sounds like, google Radio Polonia, and hear the language as it's spoken in Poland, where Esperanto was created.
http://radioarkivo.org/ is a website which lists all the radio transmissions in Esperanto that can be heard on the Internet.
Posted Nov 18, 2006
My story is similar to yours, Allan. I taught myself Esperanto at the age of 14 or 15. It was a great help to me at school with learning French, German and Latin, and later on Spanish and Greek. Because of it, I was led into a career with languages. I'm now 71 and use Esperanto every day, especially since I've finally got around to joining the world of computers.
Like you, I am a regular listener to the Esperanto programs of Radio Polonia, and also of Radio China International, RAI/Italy and Radio Vaticana. It never ceases to amaze me how little the average person knows about Esperanto - and what they do know is usually not accurate, even though Google can clear up a lot of misunderstandings. Strange too that objections to Esperanto never seem to concern the seven principles of the Prague Manifesto http://www.lingvo.org/xx/2/3
Esperanto opened up a window on the world for me, and through it I have made contacts and acquaintances around the world. I keep reading about the dire straits of modern languages in UK schools - you'd think that more teachers would be aware of the British project Springboard to Languages
which is trying to do something about the situation, and to introduce more UK pupils to other languages.
A good site for general info to start with is this one http://esperanto.memlink.ca in Canada. Please take a few minutes to investigate - it could change your life for the better, as it has mine!