"Ni iru supren laŭ la ŝtuparo."

Translation:Let's go upstairs.

September 4, 2015

This discussion is locked.


"Let's go up, according to the staircase"

OK, Zamenhof


Like English prepositions are any better :)

"He waited for the bus". for = because of, for the benefit of? Not here!

"I'm going to come on Tuesday." on = on top of? How can you be atop a day?

"Dinner will be ready in ten minutes." in = inside? How can you crawl inside a minute, let alone ten of them at once? And why isn't it "after ten minutes" since it's not ready inside the period of ten minutes but only at the end of that period?

Metaphorical prepositions don't make sense, and are notoriously difficult to translate because different languages often have different metaphors. (For example, in German, you wait "onto" someone rather than "for" them, and you are afraid "before" someone rather than afraid "of" them.)


I am on a bus
I am in a plane (for some reason I can't tell between in and on) I am on a train
I am on a boat
I am in a car
I am in a house
I am in university
I am on a bike
I am in a canoe
I am on a chair


Most of those make a certain amount of sense given the spatial relationships involved; it's just "on a bus, on a train" that need explanation, in my opinion. (Also, I'd say "I am at university." -- and "I am in an armchair".)


I think when I thought of the university one, I thought of the general "I am enrolled in university". But yeah, being physically located on campus I would say "I am at university" too. Really should be what I put up there, sorry.


Esperanto has a general purpose preposition for when you don't know which more specific one to use.... it is "je."


Still, "per la ŝtuparo" would seem to make more sense to me than "laŭ."


In esposch's defence, Esperanto's spatial prepositions and constructions follow a very strictly logical patern and usage, so "laŭ" is VERY weird here. And given that Esperanto was consciously designed, Dr.Z could have borrowed a separate word.


It makes sense really. You go above or up according to the direction and way provided by the stairs! Though "per la ŝtuparo" does seem to make more sense to me.


"Per la ŝtuparo" is a perfectly good way of saying it, too.


It is more like "along the stairs". It is just a correct sentence, not a standard way of saying going upstars, but, I suppose, a way of teaching that "laŭ" can be used to indicate a route, as well, as, for example "according to someone".


Exactly. If you can walk up, down, or along a street... why not along a flight of stairs?


What about "Ni iru supren ŝtupare"?


I like that: "let's go up stairily!" :)


Jes, that is a good sentence, perfectly natural.



This begs the question, how would you say "He is upstairs"?


probably "li estas supra, laux la sxtuparo"


why use laŭ when you could use per?


Because the stairs are a route, not a tool. (Meaning 2 of http://www.dictionary.com/browse/by , "over the surface of, through the medium of, along, or using as a route")

It's more similar to "he came here by the back way" than to "he came here by car".


So how would you say upstairs as an adjective? For example, "Use the upstairs bathroom."


You would usually just say just supre (up, over) as it usually does not matter if the person got there by stairs, by lift or any other way, just that they are on the the upper floor.


So, "uzu la supran banejon".


This is an interesting thread. We're given the model:

  • "Ni iru supren laŭ la ŝtuparo."

The purpose of which, almost certainly, is so that people can learn the expression laŭ la ŝtuparo - and so many people submit their own wild guesses about why this expression is wrong. It's not wrong. It's the very thing you're here to learn.

For the record, while it's difficult to say that per la ŝtuparo is actually wrong, it's not common - and it's certainly not a "perfectly good way of saying it" - as has been suggested here.

Similarly, ŝtupare is not "perfectly natural."


I support your main point fully. The course teaches the correct and useful “laŭ la ŝtuparo" and it's funny how the idea about there being a problem with that expression has taken over this thread. I also confess to inadvertently contributing to this confusion, though surely "Ni iru supren" or "Ni iru al la supra etaĝo" would be a much more common way of expressing the idea of going upstairs. ("up the stairs" might be a more literal translation into English of the above phrase). For the understanding of "laŭ" it is useful to teach this phrase.

I still do agree with myself that "per la ŝtuparo" and "ŝtupare" are perfectly natural. Using those expressions presupposes that one wants to say something about going up the staircase, not just about the place situated upstairs, like one does in the example taught ("laŭ la ŝtuparo"), too. I didn't mean to say that these are common expressions. What I meant to convey is that Esperanto is a productive language supporting creative expression within the bounds of its internal logic. These two expressions feel perfectly good and natural to me as a fluent speaker of 30 years. Think of the following situation: "Ni iru supren ŝtupare, ne lifte". With "per la ŝtuparo" similarly one could contrast with "per la lifto”. The staircase can be perceived as a tool, as well, and as a route.

In any case, thank you for your clarification. I hope it helps people feel confident with the validity of “laŭ la ŝtuparo".


I still do agree with myself that "per la ŝtuparo" and "ŝtupare" are perfectly natural.

I invite you to look for usages of those expressions in already published works. I think Zamenhof said per la ŝtuparo once, but routinely said laŭ. Other than that, I have been unable to find examples of either.

I would agree that they are perhaps "not actually wrong" and maybe even "somewhat natural" - but not "perfectly natural."


As others have pointed out, a more normal Esperanto translation for "Let's go upstairs" would be "Ni iru supren." I was given the longer Esperanto version, "Ni iru supren laŭ la ŝtuparo," and had to arrange given English words to translate it. I would have said something like "Let's go up this stairway" but there weren't enough words to insist on the method of reaching the upper level. The real point is: the idiomatic usage of the English word "upstairs" simply means "upper floor," without any insistence on a staircase. The problem here was caused by the English idiom, not any Esperanto difficulty. :-)


So long compared to the English sentence.


In daily life, you'd probably just say, "Ni iru supren" or "Ni supreniru" (Let's go up) and leave off the part "along the stairs".


Thanks for the clarifications. Indeed, the sentences you give are shorter and more suitable for daily life situations.

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