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https://www.duolingo.com/JimDawdy

Let's discuss non-English usages/forms for Esperanto

Much of the difficulty in learning any foreign language is the need to not only learn the grammar and vocabulary, but how things are stated or phrased.

I propose we use this thread to list usages that differ between the two languages.

For example:
"By" is often replaced with "de" in Esperanto:
En: I read a book by William Auld.
Eo: Mi legis libron de William Auld.

Referring to age:
En: He is 3 years old.
Eo: Li aĝas 3 jarojn. (Literally "He ages/is aged 3 years")

Etc/ktp

13
2 years ago
1

18 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo
mizinamo
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Big one: English progressive tenses are not usually rendered with the progressive tense in Esperanto.

I am reading a book = Mi legas libron. (Many beginning students try things like "Mi estas legas libron" or "Mi estas legi libron", which are wrong... slightly more advanced ones might use "Mi estas leganta libron" which is not wrong but not common unless you really want to emphasise the on-going nature of the action.)


Number agreement is a bit different in the case where you have two adjectives modifying the same noun or two nouns modified by the same adjective.

If you have a grey cat and a black cat, then that would be "I have a grey and a black cat" in English but "Mi havas grizan kaj nigran katojn" in Esperanto: plural noun but singular adjectives. Plural noun because there are two cats, but singular adjectives because there is only one grey one and one black one.

Conversely, "His new house and garden" would be "Liaj novaj domo kaj ĝardeno" with plural adjectives (because he has two new things) but singular nouns (because there is only one house and one garden).


The construction "kiel eble plej X" for "as X as possible" is a bit unusual from an English point of view.


Time agreement is different in Esperanto and English in reported speech and other subordinate clauses.

"He said he was writing a letter" = Li diris, ke li skribas leteron. (Compare: "He said: 'I am writing a letter'." His exact quote uses the present tense, and Esperanto does so even in reported speech.)

11
Reply42 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII
BastouXII
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I'm curious now, do you know what ktp stands for? I'm asking because etc is standard in any language because it comes from the Latin et cetera desunt, which means "and the other things are missing". So what does ktp stand for?

1
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Luko.
Luko.
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kaj tiel plu, "and like that, more", or "and so on"

7
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII
BastouXII
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Thanks!

1
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo
mizinamo
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It may well be a word-for-word translation of German und so weiter (usw.)....

0
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Luko.
Luko.
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After I learn enough German, I'll tell you ;), but probably.

0
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/vikungen

We also have that in Norwegian:

og så videre (osv)

0
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CoiledSpring
CoiledSpring
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Or you can also translate « kaj tiel plu » with « etc … » (et cetera)

0
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII
BastouXII
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But you can never put both etc and an ellipsis (...) it's redundant as they mean the same.

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Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/eaburns
2
Reply12 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII
BastouXII
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Great resource! I'll bookmark that, thanks!

0
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JimDawdy

Here's one from "Being Colloquial in Esperanto" by David Jordan (http://pages.ucsd.edu/~dkjordan/eo/colloq/colloq042.html#sec4-3-1)- Note that instead of a participle, the infinitive is used:

<pre>Legi stultajn romanojn estas bone. = Reading stupid novels is good. Vidi stultajn filmojn estas pli bone. = Seeing stupid films is better. Labori dek horojn sinsekve ĉe la komputilo estas blindige. = Working ten hours together at the computer is blinding </pre>
1
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ffuentes_
ffuentes_
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It's like Spanish and probably other romance languages: LEER novelas estúpidas es bueno. VER películas estúpidas es mejor.

0
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo
mizinamo
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But the use of the adverb is not Spanish - you do not say "Leer novelas estúpidas es BIEN".

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Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/eaburns

Ĉu ambaŭ formoj ĝustas ene de ambaŭ lingvoj? "To read stupid novels is good" (though one would more likely say "It's good to read stupid novels.") "Legante stultajn romanojn estas bone."

0
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo
mizinamo
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"Legante stultajn romanojn estas bone" does not make sense.

What may be confusing you is that the English -ing form merges two forms that used to be distinct: the present participle and the gerund.

-ant- in Esperanto is only the present participle; but only the gerund makes sense here.

2
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/eaburns

To clarify, would it be correct if there was a subject? "Legante stultaj romanoj, li ridis."

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Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo
mizinamo
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Yes! That would make sense. (You'd still need the accusative: "Legante stultajn romanojn, li ridis".)

0
Reply2 years ago