The Master List of Resources for Learning Esperanto. Courses, grammars, exercises, vocabulary, pronunciation, lots of reading materials from easy readers to literature, ways to improve your writing, listening practise through podcasts, audiobooks and videos, and much more. Must bookmark!
I thought writing such a book about Esperanto wouldn’t be read much. There are fewer people interested in learning Esperanto (why learn Esperanto?), and those are more aware of free resources, aren’t they? However, then I saw that already more than 24000 people are waiting for the Duolingo Esperanto course to come out and I can’t just abandon them. So as a quick fix – less detailed than the books, but still very helpful – here’s as full a list of free Esperanto resources as I am aware of. If you find another resource that’s worth mentioning, please tell me and I’ll add it ASAP.
Index of resources:
- Courses, including communicative approach courses, grammar-based courses, direct-method courses and upper-beginner / intermediate-level courses
- Practise Reading, including easy readers, literature, news and subtitled videos
- Practise Writing
- Practise Listening, including podcasts and radio, audiobooks and videos in Esperanto
- Practise Speaking
Communicative Approach courses
The focus of the communicative approach is to learn to communicate above anything else. Some Esperanto courses featuring this approach are:
- Ana Pana and the continuation Ana Renkontas. Be sure to sign up for a free “lingvohelpanto” (tutor) to correct your exercises!
- Mi estas komencanto – if you download the mp3s, this is very similar to the Pimsleur method
- Kostenloser Esperanto Kurs – I personally learned Esperanto using this course; it’s very good, leads to a high level, but it’s only available in German
- Pasporto al la tuta mondo – video-based course; completely available on Youtube
In these courses, understanding grammar is the key. Great if grammar is your weakness (or your passion).
- Kurso de Esperanto – a software for learning Esperanto. Includes sound files and some self-correcting exercises
- Grammar of Esperanto – actually a course and not just a grammar. Very extensive, but assumes that you’re familiar with grammatical terms.
- The Esperanto Teacher – similar to the above in that it’s an extensive and old-style course, written for people who don’t know grammatical terms
- 10-lesson Pacujo course – also available with a free tutor to correct your exercises
With the direct method, the key idea is that you will “absorb” the language without referring back to English. Hence all instruction is in Esperanto. Rosetta Stone is an example of a direct-method language program.
- LiveMocha – free Rosetta Stone clone
- Mazi en Gondolando – video-based
- Universala Metodo – picture-based
- Bildoj kaj demandoj aka Pictures and Questions, quite basic
Upper-beginner and intermediate-level courses
These courses are best used after you already have an idea of the basics of Esperanto. However, if you’re an experienced language learner and want something to sink your teeth into, feel free to start with these.
- Jen nia IJK – great course to use before going to a meetup, contains a lot of useful phrases and colloquial Esperanto
- Gerda malaperis – an Esperanto course in the form of a detective novel
- Ana Renkontas – continuation of “Ana Pana”
- … and don’t forget you could also jump into the advanced lessons of extensive courses like the Grammar of Esperanto or The Esperanto Teacher at this point, or use the meaty bits of Kostenloser Esperanto Kurs even without knowing German
Detailed Grammar, another awesome Lernu resource.
Plena Manlibro de Esperanta Gramatiko, aka PMEG, is THE reference grammar for Esperanto speakers. It’s all in Esperanto.
How to Talk Dirty in Esperanto – you may laugh, but this NSFW page actually teaches you all Esperanto grammar.
La puzlo Esperanto – practising word construction in a puzzle form.
Esperanto for the Impatient Linguist – introduction to the affix system with lots of exercises for a few essential affixes.
Esperanto Affixes Exercise – very complete set of exercises for mastering the affixes – go over this from start to finish and you’ll speak much more fluently in Esperanto.
Vivo – look up words in several dictionaries at once. Includes Reta Vortaro, Wikipedia, Majstro, Komputeko, Lernu and Wiktionary among its sources.
Lernu Word of the Day – never let a day go by without learning a new word in Esperanto!
Anki deck for Esperanto – Anki is my favourite software for learning vocabulary, so of course I created a deck for Esperanto. It includes all the must-know basic Esperanto roots according to magazine Kontakto. For $10, you can also get a more extensive version with audio recordings of each entry and even more words.
Tatoeba for Esperanto – if you’re not sure how to use a word, you can find lots of example sentences at Tatoeba. (also for other languages)
Forvo – find recordings of any Esperanto word you can think of. (also for other languages)
Rhinospike – have fluent Esperanto speakers record any text you like. (also for other languages)
What better way to practise your pronunciation than to sing Esperanto karaoke? The files at Karaoke are rather basic compared to the amazing video karaoke Eobo organizes at Esperanto events, but they’re still good for practise.
Also check out the Practise Listening section.
The Lernu Library is a great place to start reading Esperanto because you can click on any word in order to see its translation. This means you can tackle any texts that interest you, even if they contain many unknown words. J.R.R. Tolkien famously learned Esperanto by spending 2 hours on grammar and then just reading a lot of texts.
Bliubliu also allows you to see translations while you read, though their recognition of Esperanto grammar is not quite as good. In return, they keep track of which words you already know and try to show you texts suitable to your level.
Facila Vento hosts many interesting texts in easy Esperanto, often also with audio recordings.
Gerda Malaperis or any of Claude Piron’s easy readers (the ones under the alias Johán Valano) are a great first book in Esperanto.
Fajron Sentas Mi Interne – Let me recommend this novel in particular to you; it’s quite easy and yet a famous novel originally written in Esperanto.
Project Gutenberg includes interesting classics in Esperanto, including translations of Grimm’s fairy tales, “Alice in Wonderland”, “Hamlet”, “The Wizard of Oz”, “Robinson Crusoe”, Mark Twain novellas, Charles Dickens’ stories, Ibsen’s dramas, as well as original Esperanto works by greats such as Edmond Privat and Kálmán Kalocsay.
Esperanto translations of German literature – Brecht, Büchner, Kafka, Rilke, etc.
Jack Vance in Esperanto – translations of this award-winning fantasy and science fiction author
Vojago – Travel stories and exotic cultures, easy reading in Esperanto
Esperanto CRI – Everyday news in Esperanto by the Chinese national radio
Le Monde diplomatique – Analysis of world news in Esperanto
Libera Folio – News from the Esperanto world
TED talks with Esperanto subtitles – a great way to learn something and practise Esperanto at the same time.
Verda Filmejo – when you next watch a movie, switch on Esperanto subtitles! You can find them here – recommendations of awesome foreign movies included!
Lingvohelpilo – automatic spellchecker and grammar checker for your Esperanto texts
Lang-8 – write a text and get corrections for free; it’s as simple as that. (also for other languages)
Lingva Konsultejo – ask for translation help.
Esperanto.com – social network especially for Esperanto speakers
Index of Facebook groups in Esperanto – if you always wanted to read/write about sports, Linux, language-learning, gardening, cycling, or
Babilejo – text-chat in Esperanto
Podcasts and Radio
Muzaiko – round-the-clock radio program in Esperanto. Caution: rapidly changing music styles.
Radio Verda – podcasts in Esperanto from Canada, in relatively slow Esperanto
Varsovia Vento – podcasts in Esperanto from Warsaw
Radio news in Esperanto – from the Chinese national radio
Chinese culture – podcasts with accompanying texts make for great listening practise
More radio stations in Esperanto – long list, not quite up-to-date
Elerno – a number of free audiobooks in Esperanto
Easy Esperanto Talk Videos – Recommended videos for learners because they feature slow and clear Esperanto, many of them videos of lectures.
Children’s stories told in Esperanto – Bookbox creates videos based on lesser-known children’s stories from around the world. These contain both narration and subtitles, so they are a good tool for listening practise: try to understand just by listening and use the subtitles if you don’t understand. The narrators change for each video, some are much better than others.
Archive of Farbskatol’ – Farbskatol’ was an interesting place to find new and often funny videos in Esperanto. Unfortunately they went under, but their content is now archived here.
Interviews with Esperanto singers and presentations of albums
List of Skype contacts – People from around the world who’d love to speak Esperanto with you
Skajpanoj – Post here to find more Skype contacts
Events – Find a big international meet-ups. For smaller, weekly meet-ups in your hometown, ask your national Esperanto association.
Several people have contacted me about finding Esperanto teachers, as there are none on iTalki. I’m ready to take on a few Esperanto students myself – I already teach Esperanto locally – and otherwise you’re certain to find Esperanto teachers by asking around on this Facebook group. Contact me.