Radioclare wrote:1. What is a negative learning experience you want to share? What language?
Back when I was a student, I had a thing for a guy who lived in another country. This was around 2002 so we weren't constantly connected to the internet and we used to exchange postal letters. I wrote him a letter in which I asked him a question to try and ascertain the strength of his feelings for me. I was trying to decide whether this relationship was worth pursuing or whether I should date someone else, who I found much less interesting but who was at least in the same country
Anyway, for reasons I never fully understood, he replied and answered my question... in Esperanto. He had been learning Esperanto for a year or so at this point and was very enthusiastic about it. His enthusiasm had prompted me to buy a copy of TY Esperanto and I think I'd read the first four chapters. No more than that. I definitely didn't speak Esperanto and it wasn't a language we ever communicated in. Men
I didn't have an Esperanto dictionary and there was no Google Translate, so I decided to ask for a translation on an Esperanto message board. Yahoo groups were very popular with the Esperanto community back then. It was only a single sentence that I needed translating, so I figured it would be a pretty easy task for someone who spoke the language. It was a complete shock to me when, rather than receiving a straight forward reply, my innocuous translation request sparked a long and involved debate on the message board about whether what I had written qualified as a "sentence". I think perhaps what I'd typed was missing a capital letter or a full stop. I also think at least one person replied to complain about how I either had or hadn't typed the 'supersignoj' (accented characters in Esperanto - ĉ ĝ, etc). The responses were completely disproportionate to whatever the issue was.
2. How did you process the experience?
Although a couple of people did ultimately respond in a normal way and translate the sentence for me, I was horrified and mortified by the whole experience. It left me with the impression that Esperantists were all very strange and exceptionally rude. I never wanted to interact with any of them again. I vowed that I would never learn Esperanto.
3. What was the outcome? Were you able to continue on your TL, or did you choose to move on?
I eventually did learn Esperanto in 2006/2007, have been on the board of my national Esperanto association since 2009 and am engaged to someone who's written an Esperanto textbook. So life doesn't always turn out how you expect
Am I the only one wondering what he wrote?