Talk:Propaedeutic value of Esperanto

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Possible copyright violation[edit]

It appears that a large part of this article was copied from International Language (known as Esperanto) Commission, Interministerial Decree April 29/October 5 1993. I don't see a copyright notice, and it was apparently published by an Italian government ministry, so maybe it's public domain or free to use; but we need to verify that. --Jim Henry 22:17, 3 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I have emailed the webmaster of, where I found the source document, asking for information. --Jim Henry | Talk 22:33, 4 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Got email on 6 March from Giorgio Pagano, the webmaster of, saying he would look into the copyright status of the source document. -- 00:05, 7 Mar 2005 (UTC) i.e. Jim Henry | Talk (having trouble logging in on this machine, maybe cookie setup problem)

Still no further word on whether the document is free to use. --Jim Henry | Talk 18:58, 17 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Another possible source[edit]

Chuck SMITH has a user subpage, User:Chuck_Smith/Pedagogical_evidence_for_Esperanto which we might can use as an additional source if we have to rewrite this article. --Jim Henry | Talk 18:58, 17 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Redundant entry?[edit]

I wonder if the entries on Girls' Middle School in Bishop Auckland (GB) and Bishop's Elementary School, Auckland (New Zealand) actually refer to the same study. Granted the countries and dates are different, but it seems more than odd that two schools associated with "Bishop" and "Auckland" should attract studies on the propedeutic value of Esperanto. I expect there's been some garbling here.


This article is far too long. I don't want to read about the results of every individual study on the use of Esperanto in schools; I just want a summary of the facts. This article reads more like a scientific literature review than an encyclopedia article, so I am adding a cleanup tag. —Psychonaut 01:32, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

This is just a personal opinion from me, but I'm honestly glad I got here /before/ the article was cleaned up, because a list of actual studies was exactly what I was looking for. I think there is real value in including a summary of the individual studies, especially for someone like me who was trying to use Wikipedia to drill down to some first-hand information. -Jackalgirl

Propaedeutic value of [insert other language here?][edit]

In discussing this issue with others, the question arose whether the factors cited are propaedeutic effects of Esperanto, or propaedeutic effects of learning any other language. That is, if you have a first language, then study a second language for a year, and then study a third language, perhaps the third language always goes easier than if you had never studied the second language.

Have people done these Propaedeutic studies with languages other than Esperanto? For example, compare these two groups:

  • English (native) ----> French (secondary language studied for 1 year) ----> Japanese (third language studied for 3 years)
  • English (native) ----> Esperanto (secondary language studied for 1 year) ----> Japanese (third language studied for 3 years)

Has this been done?

If so, it seems like this article should cite them.

If not, it seems like this article should explore that explanation as a possibility and note that these were NON-controlled studies on the axis of which language is taught first.

Garkbit 15:26, 8 September 2007 (UTC)

Don't know, but Esp. is one of very few languages you can learn in a year of US highschool-style coursework, so I would expect the effect to be greater. (I know a few months of Esp. helped my Japanese more than 6 years of Spanish, not that I'm suggesting we use testimonials) kwami 06:18, 9 September 2007 (UTC)
Studies would help, but it's a pretty uncontroversial fact that study of *any* language will make the study of the third easier. This is in no way a special power that Esperanto has--as far as this goes, it's just another language. (talk) 06:32, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
Yes, there is. Esperanto will give a far greater benefit, because you can pick it up so much faster. kwami (talk) 07:37, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

Of course: the more easy a first language is, the higher is the "propaedeutic factor". But there is another effect: The Esperanto grammar contains only the real important items for a language, leaves away all unnecessary complications. If you have fully understood these "few" items, you will find all these items again in the next language and will understand them there.

If you learn first one complex language and thereafter another complex one, you may have big problems to identify, which detail corresponds to which, so you have to learn and understand much from the beginning.--Hans W (talk) 20:56, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

Good point. Eo helped me immensely with Japanese, which is very unlike it in structure, whereas Spanish (another allegedly easy, but not nearly as easy) language was of very little use. kwami (talk) 21:07, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

Learning Esperanto may help with learning [insert Eastern language here?][edit]

I noticed that Kwamikagami said "...a few months of Esp. helped my Japanese more than 6 years of Spanish..."; and on that note, while reading this article, I was thinking: The studies mentioned here were only done on European/Germanic/Romance languages. (Perhaps I'm categorizing them too narrowly/broadly — I'm not a linguist and I didn't read the article in detail.) The studies seem to show that learning Esperanto would help with learning French, German, etc., but would it help with learning Japanese? What about Tamil, Swahili, or Korean? Have studies been done on any of these languages, and/or others like them? Unless there is information to be provided in this article on African/Asian languages, the article should really be saying that learning Esperanto may help with learning "certain" foreign languages (perhaps if they all belong to one category we could replace the word "certain" with the name of that category), rather than "foreign languages" in general. Saying that it may help with learning "foreign languages" is too vague, and also misleading, because the studies mentioned article have not been done on a wide enough variety of languages to allow the use of such a general term.
On the other hand, perhaps studies have been done on other various languages, and either none of our English Wikipedians know about it, or else no one has thought/known to provide that information? We should be on the look-out for studies done on the propaedeutic value of Esperanto on Asian/African languages, and put that information into this article. NoriMori (talk) 21:50, 27 January 2009 (UTC)

I thought there was an Australian study with Japanese, but I'm not familiar with it. But learning one foreign language helps with all, even though of course the effect is strongest with similar languages. Partly I think it's just learning how to learn a foreign language, like learning music: learning the flute will help with learning the guitar or piano, even if it helps a lot more with the oboe. That's why the recorder is so common in children's music classes: a really easy, cheap, & portable instrument that may not take the child anywhere itself, but which can lead to greater things. That's the idea behind propaedeutic Esperanto: an easy language as an introduction to and facilitator of other more practical languages. I doubt any controlled studies have been done, though. kwami (talk) 10:27, 12 February 2009 (UTC)

What it is[edit]

"Propaedeutic Esperanto is the theory"? If "Propaedeutic Esperanto" is "the theory," how are we to refer to Esperanto taught for a propaedeutic purpose? Frankly, I doubt that statement is true. But I object also to the use of the word "propaedeutic," not because it's inappropriately applied, but because it's rarely used. It doesn't appear among the scores of words related to teaching in Roget's Thesaurus, and according to the Random House Unabridged dictionary, it simply means "pertaining to or of the nature of preliminary instruction," "introductory to some art or science," or "a propaedeutic subject or study." ("Propaedeutics," construed as singular, means "the preliminary body of knowledge and rules necessary for the study of some art or science." - op. cit.) So why not "elementary," "beginners'," or "introductory"? As you may surmise from my usage, "propaedeutic purpose," I'd assumed it had something to do with instruction in one subject preparatory to learning other subjects, and perhaps it has, but in that case, why is the word so rare? "Didactic" and "pedagogical" are far more familiar words. The Encyclopaedia Britannica has its Propaedia (though you wouldn't know it existed from their website), which it calls "an outline of knowledge": nothing to do with education! If a course in Esperanto is intended to get one started in learning more Esperanto, perhaps it should be called "elementary Esperanto," and studying Esperanto for the sake of preparatory familiarization with learning new languages in general could quite clearly be called "didactic Esperanto." When studying a new language in the classroom, I've observed that, at the outset, the primary goal for most students is a remedial one: to overcome a common lack of familiarity with ordinary grammar. "Propaedeutic Esperanto" sounds like a variety of Esperanto. "Propaedeutic value of Esperanto" makes perfect sense to people familiar with the word. But the topic of this article is clearly the use of learning Esperanto as an exercise in linguistics. Though I've strayed from the point I wanted to make, I hope somebody will distinguish that from "the theory," and if there is a theory, tell us what it is. Unfree (talk) 04:26, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

"Propaedeutic" in this context is "A subject or study which forms an introduction to an art or science". "Didactic" would not be incorrect, but would be less felicitous: It would mean simply the value of Esperanto in teaching, not specifically its value as an introduction to further study, which is the point of the article. "Pedagogic" would be somewhat better, since it has the connotation of introductory teaching, but does not suggest that it is introductory to another subject. I agree that the opening line is poorly worded. kwami (talk) 07:09, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
How does it read now? kwami (talk) 07:42, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

A source[edit]

You can find here studies with cited sources, made in Italy and otherwhere; those studies are aviable in italian, english, esperanto, french and hungarian. --Iosko (talk) 10:56, 6 December 2008 (UTC)

More like an academic treatise[edit]

I think that this article should be summarized under a section of the same name in the Esperanto article, with some of the references brought over as well. What does everyone else think? Jchthys u.p. / cont.

May be a good move. Would we cut down the size of the article, or further summarize the studies? kwami (talk) 01:45, 24 February 2009 (UTC)
I guess both. Probably we would eliminate most of the text about the studies and reduce them to references, while integrating some of the other text with the Esperanto article. Jchthys u.p. / cont. —Preceding undated comment was added on 16:58, 24 February 2009 (UTC).
I say go for it. There isn't much here except specific results, which isn't what an encyclopedia is supposed to be covering. kwami (talk) 18:16, 24 February 2009 (UTC)
I brought in the references; now I think this article just needs to be deleted. Jchthys cont. 23:26, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

Source for "Even before the experiments conducted by Prof. Helmar Frank in Germany, similar research was conducted in Hungary by I. Szerdahelyi of the University of Science in Budapest.[citation needed]"[edit]

I'm very certain that the source is listed here, but i can't see which one is meant. I'm not proficient enough in EO to read the article and understand it fully. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Deleet (talkcontribs) 11:08, 5 June 2012 (UTC)

It might be in one of his publications on Eo language instruction, but is not covered in that article. — kwami (talk) 18:49, 5 June 2012 (UTC)

Bias check[edit]

Is this article incredibly biased, or have we determined that you absolutely should learn Esperanto before anything else? I understand so-called "fair and balanced" (or NPOV) writing try to portray two unequally-weighted points as even (for example, giving equal weight to arguments for and against genetic racial superiority simply because arguments exist on both sides), and we shouldn't emphasize weak evidence to make an article feel balanced; instead, we should point out any dissent, and how much support that dissent has. If its scientific support is weak, then the article shows that it takes a particular position not because of bias, but because current evidence suggests that position. --John Moser (talk) 02:14, 30 December 2015 (UTC)

It would be great to include all the studies showing that Esperanto isn't a useful first step to learning another language. Unfortunately, I don't think there are any. Akvadrako (talk) 12:54, 25 July 2017 (UTC)