In “Teach Yourself Esperanto,” Sam Alexander explains the benefits of learning an artificial language even though he doesn’t use it on a regular basis. Here’s a snippet:

I won?t try to BS you. The Esperanto itself will be useless. As soon as I got the benefits from studying it, I data dumped it. The only time I ever encountered it in ?real life? was when the King Of All Cosmos spoke it once in We Love Katamari However, the same thing goes for weights at the gym. Lifting a particular dumbbell is useless. You don?t do it because there?s an urgent need to rearrange dumbbells, you do it because it trains your muscles. Esperanto trains the multilingual part of you, the multilingual muscles of your brain. And it doesn?t take years to accomplish that. You could get the benefit within weeks, if you really devoted yourself.

Within a few weeks of learning my first leksiko vorto, I was able to shift my brain out of English Mode. As a native English speaker, my mind had been frozen in perpetual English Mode for the past couple decades. Even when I was studying freshman Spanish in community college, I was thinking about Spanish in English, the inner dialogue inside my head was Anglo. Suddenly, I was set free of all that, and I could shift my mind into ?Esperanto Mode?, as though I was a native speaker. And I can?t explain how happy that made me. You just have to experience it for yourself. You could experience it with ?Japanese Mode? or ?Russian Mode?, but it would take years of difficult study. Zamenhof?s artificial tongue will put your mind ?in orbit? very quickly, because it?s such a logical, regular, easy language.

When you switch your inner dialogue to another language? and it doesn?t really matter which language that is? it?s almost like going into a mystical trance. I believe that merely spending time in this altered state of mind will flex your linguistic muscles and prepare you for harder languages. It annihilates psychological barriers, self-beliefs like ?I can only speak English? or ?Adults can?t learn a second language?. It alters your very self-image from ?I am monolingual? to ?I am bilingual?, which new self-image gives you an incredible confidence boost when you go on to study Polish, Farsi, Korean, or whatever else your heart desires.

The ability to shift your brain out of a “frozen” native language mode and actually get an “inner dialogue” in an alternative language is a fantastic personal development practice. It can produce an indescribable happiness of a mystical trance as an altered state of consciousness, in Alexander’s experience. It can transform self-image. It can boost confidence. It can aid in learning of many other languages.

And if using a constructed language can help someone get there — help one to enter into a spiritual or quasi-spiritual awakening — faster and easier than a naturalistic language, then why not?

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