By: Taylor Deville, Staff writer
Learning a new language at this age can be pretty intimidating—according to the critical period hypothesis, which analyzes the relationship between age and language acquisition, the brain becomes less receptive to new information as it ages, making it more challenging to learn new languages as an adult.
But Esperanto, an artificial language that’s a mix of the Romantic languages and has 2 million speakers worldwide, could help students to become fluent in other languages.
Towson’s Esperanto Society was created to do just that.
Sophomore International Studies major Etienne Eunson created Towson’s chapter with junior Spanish major Tucker Barnes in February. This is the first semester they’re active, and their first meeting will take place later this week.
The society will function like other campus language clubs—members will meet every week to learn the basics of Esperanto.
Eunson, who fluently speaks four languages (including French, Italian and Mandarin Chinese) and has studied more than a dozen languages, learned Esperanto within three to six months.
“It might take a bit longer for people who speak one language just because they’re not used to the learning process,” Eunson said. “But I think they would be able to learn it much quicker than if they were to learn Spanish or French. If they learn Esperanto to a fluent level, that in turn will help them learn other languages much more quickly.”
Eunson also hopes to show short films that incorporate Esperanto and help members gain “a higher sense of internationalism.” Eunson said he wants to work to “unify people regardless of their backgrounds.”
If you’re interested in attending the group’s meeting this week, contact Eunson at firstname.lastname@example.org.