Benny & Lauren’s plane, train & automobile travels: Week 3 of Esperanto learning

Hello and welcome to Bruges! We have had a very active week of travel to get here, but let me let Lauren tell you all about that in Esperanto! So don’t forget to click the YouTube captions to understand her. Over to you, Lauren! Lauren [voiceover in Esperanto]: This week was a very interesting week for Benny and me, because we had to travel across 6 cities and 4 countries, and 4 different languages (5 if you count Esperanto!) We drove a lot, took ferries, planes and trains, but during all of this, I was still able to study Esperanto, which was very important, because this week is the middle point in my Esperanto project! The first part of our journey was from Benny’s home town in Cavan, into Dublin, where we had to catch a ferry to our next destination. And because we would have no Internet access, Benny gave me a gift so I could continue studying while we were over the ocean. Benny [in Esperanto]: Oh, you already know. Ta-da! So, the first is a dictionary –a dictionary with pictures– and the second is “Poŝamiko,” which is a very interesting book about how Esperanto works, with illustrations, etc. So, Lauren, now you can study. Lauren [in English]: That’s, “I’m now going to study?” Okay. [Voiceover] We then had to drive our car onto the ferry for a 3 hour trip into Wales. We found a secluded/private spot on board where we could practice talking in Esperanto, and I did my best to embrace Benny’s speak-like-Tarzan philosophy. Lauren [in Esperanto]: Do you think that I’m beautiful? Benny [in Esperanto]: No. [Lauren laughs.] I know that you are beautiful. [In English] This table is very important because you know the endings, you know the beginnings, and they have all of these different things to work with. Lauren [in English]: Okay. Benny: With that in mind, how would you say– Lauren: Oh, God… This is why I don’t like the picture method, because I need to attach it to something I know. The pictures are so… Benny: I know, sorry. Lauren: I don’t know what a question mark means. Benny: It means these are all questions. [Both laugh.] Benny: Like “who, what, when, where”… You know, questions. I think the question mark is a pretty good visual representation. [In Esperanto] How many elephants are on the boat? Lauren: How do I say, “There are no…” Benny: “Estas…” there are. Lauren [in Esperanto]: There is no… Benny [in Esperanto]: No… Lauren: No amount… “neniom.” Benny [in English]: “Neniom.” No number. Lauren [in Esperanto]: I don’t like is… [in English] No. [In Esperanto] This. This? This exercise. Benny [in Esperanto]: No? Lauren: No, because… because makes… because it makes my… Benny: Head. Lauren: …head opposite. [Benny laughs.] Lauren [in English]: Don’t laugh at me! I’m talking like Tarzan, like you said. [Voiceover] We drove off the boat and continued driving to Manchester, England where we had to catch a RyanAir flight to Charleroi in Belgium. While in the airport with some Internet access, I had the chance to read my latest letter from my pen-pal on Lernu! I even studied while we were on the plane into Belgium! Since I had to study with no Internet, I continued practicing with my pocket phrase book. Lauren [in Esperanto]: Fire. Pain. [In English] It’s like “hurts,” right? Benny [in English]: Pain. Lauren: Pain. So, “to hurt” would be “dolori.” So, earlier when I was trying to say that your exercise made my head hurt, I should have said, “Via ekzercizo faras mia kapo dolora.” [sic] Benny: The “-ig-” at the end of a word means “to cause this to somebody else.” “Dolorigas.” Lauren: “Dolorigas.” Lauren [in Esperanto]: Your exercises hurt me… my head. Benny [in Esperanto]: Oh no! [Voiceover] After we spent the night in Charleroi, we took the train to Brussels for the day, and on the way there, I talked about one of my favorite movies in Esperanto. Benny [in Esperanto]: Can you tell me the story of the film “In Bruges”? Lauren [in English]: Can I tell you the history of the film? Benny [in English]: Story. Lauren: Can I tell you the story of the film? [in Esperanto] In the film… there are two… [In English] How do you say…? How do you say, “How do you say?” Benny [in English]: “How” is “kiel.” Lauren: “Kiel.” Benny: And then you don’t say “you,” but “one” in general. “Kiel oni diras.” Lauren [in Esperanto]: How do you say “hitmen” in Esperanto? Benny: Oh… Lauren: So, in the film there are two hitmen, who [in English] must… Benny: “Devas.” Lauren [in Esperanto]: …who must… escape? Escape. Benny [in Esperanto]: Who is in the film? Lauren: Colin Farrell is in the film. [Voiceover] We had a lovely stay in Brussels, but then we voyaged once again into Bruges where I am right now, and where I wrote and translated this script by myself! Now we plan to take a small break to enjoy Bruges, but then we’ll voyage again to Amsterdam, where we’ll be for two full weeks, and where I will begin the second half of my Esperanto project, so that I’ll be ready to socialize in Esperanto at the polyglot gathering in Berlin in June. Thank you for your encouragement!


  1. Benny Lewis May 23, 2014 at 3:00 pm

    Reminder to all advanced Esperanto speakers: Lauren wrote this script herself. I'm amazed at how well she did! I only had a very quick glance to add in some 'n's, but there will still be some mistakes. Please keep in mind that this script is the result of someone who has been learning the language for just 3 weeks!

    Hope you enjoy it 🙂

  2. Jared Price May 23, 2014 at 3:13 pm

    This has to be the most encouraging language learning series for me! Thank you Lauren for letting us share in your adventure and good job teaching Benny 🙂

  3. StillRooney May 23, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    Impressive progress Lauren! Mi lernas ankaŭ, vi inspiris min komenci Esperanton 🙂 Dankon!

  4. msfanatic5 May 23, 2014 at 6:02 pm

    You guys are so cute! Seeing her progress with Esperanto has been very encouraging, especially because it's her first foreign language. I look forward to seeing more!

  5. lauriejk92 May 23, 2014 at 6:37 pm

    Félicitation pour votre progrès en espéranto mais surtout pour avoir survécu une nuit chez les Carolos 😀 Bonne continuation !

  6. Vladko Languages May 23, 2014 at 7:10 pm

    Benny, mi sxatas la via visagxo, kiam Lauren diris, ke viaj eksercoj dolorigxis la sxian kapon =)

  7. Kyle Radon May 23, 2014 at 7:41 pm

    I am a 16 year old South African and am following Lauren's example by learning Esperanto as my third language (I already speak English and Afrikaans). I'm only in the middle of my first week but Lauren's progress is really inspiring and encouraging so thanks a lot to Benny and Lauren for allowing us to follow your progress! I wish you luck with your Esperanto challenge, Lauren!

  8. Sammy Keyes May 23, 2014 at 9:12 pm

    Lauren -"I don't know what a question mark means." Benny -"It means these are all questions." You'd think that would be easy to figure out. Lol. But I've probably had moments like that too.

  9. Nick Alsop May 23, 2014 at 9:23 pm

    che bella! 

  10. james westbrook May 23, 2014 at 9:29 pm

    So did she do only one hour a day of studying and speaking? Or did she study for an hour and supplement it with casual speaking throughout the day? Thanks

  11. Regis de Castro Gotardi May 24, 2014 at 12:54 am

    Nedankinde, Lauren!
    Mi atendas la kvaran film(et)on =)

  12. Dominik Doherty May 24, 2014 at 3:06 am

    Tio bone Lauren ĝia pli progreso tiam mi have farita do fora (I am a beginner in esperanto so please forgive any mistakes I made)

  13. Nipajim May 24, 2014 at 7:01 am

    Poor girl , ha ha  Very good Lauren, Benny doesn't allow much time for slacking, does he ? 

  14. Robert Nielsen May 24, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    That's fantastic work, great job Lauren! I watched with the Esperanto subtitles and was pleased that I could follow it. Thanks for these videos, they're great encouragement for learners like myself!

  15. Henriette Vanechop May 25, 2014 at 9:32 am

    Mirinde,  wonderful,

  16. Kat D May 26, 2014 at 2:31 am

    Tre bona Lauren! Vi parolas bele!

  17. Ruslan Kokorin May 26, 2014 at 10:14 am

    Lauren is making very good progress indeed. Looking forward to talking to her again in Berlin in 3 weeks time.

  18. Vagabund92 May 27, 2014 at 1:40 am

    I wonder if they go to Amsterdam to get some… kanabo 😀

  19. Da Coda May 28, 2014 at 11:26 am

    Bonega! Keep up the fantastic work! 😀

  20. BeaverOwl May 29, 2014 at 2:03 am

    Saluton lauren! Vi faris tre bone. Mi eklernis esperanton ekde du montanon, kaj vi parolas pli bonan ol min!!!

  21. Andreo PEETERMANS May 29, 2014 at 7:39 am


  22. Solferino2408 June 1, 2014 at 7:16 am

    She has improved tremendously since the previous video! It was amazing to hear her speaking with ease with so many different new words! With just 3 weeks under her belt, if she can reach this level at this point, I'm sure she'll be of a really good level by the time she's in Berlin. What was great was that you didn't teach her directly, but let her explore the language on her own and just provided guidance – she'll be able to find what works for her and find a motivation to learn! Great teacher, great student. Looking forward to seeing you both at the gathering in Berlin!

  23. Leterportisto1 June 22, 2014 at 4:56 am

    Mi gratulas vin pro via lernado. Mi nur komprenas vin en esperanto. Bonan lernado!!

  24. Alexander King July 14, 2014 at 5:42 am

    @Benny Lewis
    Is it alright if I show these videos in my Esperanto study group? I think it'll encourage the participants to see the progress she made in so little time.

  25. Alexander King July 14, 2014 at 5:42 am

    @Benny Lewis
    Is it alright if I show these videos in my Esperanto study group? I think it'll encourage the participants to see the progress she made in so little time.

  26. emaltman July 30, 2014 at 3:11 am

    I think it's humorous that this prickly pear spent so many articles saying what a piece of shit country the US is, then goes and gets an American girlfriend.

  27. Israel Lai February 28, 2015 at 6:23 am

    "Do you think that I'm beautiful?"
    "No. I know you are beautiful."
    OMG that's one of the best and sweetest compliments I've heard in a while.

  28. Nathan Binns April 26, 2015 at 12:58 pm

    I find this series WAY more useful for learning Esperanto than anything like 'Pasporto al la Tuta Mondo', because it's natural Esperanto at a beginners level (because Lauren herself is a beginner of course), and not unbearably cheesy or artificial.

  29. Vincent Oostelbos May 29, 2015 at 5:02 pm

    Kiel do oni diras "hitman" en Esperanto?

  30. BR34NY June 27, 2015 at 5:12 pm

    Irishmen in Bruges, last time I saw that on film things got very serious and very funny simultaneously.

  31. pokemon3335 August 24, 2015 at 3:34 am

    when benny looks at the camera his face looks like he is like hell yeah i am a real teacher now!

  32. ppk89 March 4, 2016 at 11:15 pm

    she looks so sad when he gave her the bilolibro

  33. Kian April 6, 2016 at 9:25 pm

    Hola ben, sé que hablas español pq te vi en un video tuyo hablando e español asi que bueno solo quiero que sepas que me has inspirado mucho a aprender esperanto y que eres un ejemplo a seguir gracias !

  34. Em-ji Greener May 18, 2019 at 2:00 pm

    I'm so fond of this video series, thanks Lauren and Benny for sharing its a great motivator 🙂 Dankon multe, Bonan Tagon vi ankau 🙂

  35. Lee Nobody October 27, 2019 at 8:19 am

    Wow she is ALWAYS tired…

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