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https://www.duolingo.com/ClaesJohannson

my father's beer in Esperanto

I'm using the example from https://www.duolingo.com/skill/eo/Possessives

The example translates it as: biero de mia patro I'm wondering if these have the same meaning:

patra mia biero

patrmia biero

patrmibiero

2 years ago

10 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo
mizinamo
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It's not simply biero de mia patro but la biero de mia patro. (Without la, it would be something like "some beer of my father's" rather than "my father's beer", which is definite.)

patrmia would be a kind of mia rather than a kind of patra so I think that's the wrong place to start.

miapatra might work for "my father's" but I think it's an odd and, likely, confusing word. (Though something like nialande for "in our country" seems fine to me.) miapatra biera: a my-father kind of beer.

Going further to miapatrabiero (with -a- for better pronounceability over miapatrbiero) would be even more confusing, I think.

Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.... or as it said on a sign I once saw, "what's clear is correct". Better stick to things that are clearer :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ClaesJohannson

Thanks for the answer!

My first language (Indonesian) do not require definite article and to the best of my memory, Esperanto lets people drop definite article as well.

I was thinking in English term:

My father's beer

and beer of my father

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo
mizinamo
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"my father's beer" would be "the beer of my father" in English with definite article as well :)

As far as I know, dropping definite articles in Esperanto is permissible for learners but is not described as being permissible in the "full" language - i.e. it's only a step while learning.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ClaesJohannson

Ah I see, not as flexible as I want...

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/zerozeroone
zerozeroone
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My takes on what you said (which you should take with a grain of salt):
patra mia bieroMy father-ish beer. A beer that I possess, which is a kind my father would drink.

patrmia bieroMy, while I am being a father, beer. Says nothing about my father, but rather about my own fatherhood. Maybe...

patrmibiero — Um...a beer that is, umm, like me being a father?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ClaesJohannson

I can clearly see how confusing this is...

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/themuffpiston

although you could literally say that something like "miapatra" means "my father's", realize that NOBODY will understand. The whole point of EO is the lack of multiple ways to say something, aka less memorization. If it's boring to you, that there are few ways to say the same message, learn a harder language. But yeah, you need to say "la biero de mia patro" along with most possession sentences.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ClaesJohannson

I thought the point of EO, with free word order and all, is to let people communicate in the most natural way with respect to their mother tongue? Which means that there will be multiple way to say the same thing.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DuoNem
DuoNem
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Hej Claes, your questions are fascinating! It's so much fun to play with the language in order to learn it. How do you think Esperanto compares to your native Indonesian? I'm preparing a talk on the subject of Swedish, Esperanto and Indonesian.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ClaesJohannson

Different languages have different grammatical features (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grammatical_category). The most common example would be Romance and non-Romance (Spanish, French Italian) languages (like English). In those Romance Languages, sentences would change depending on the "gender" of the nouns (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romance_languages#Gender). In that sense, Spanish has an "extra feature" compared to English.

Compared to English, or most European languages, Indonesian is very simple. Indonesian does not have "tense" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tenseless_language). Without context, the audience has no idea if the event described takes place in the past or future. For example:

Saya beri kamu kunci

Mi doni al vi sxlosilo(j)n

I give you key(s)

In that example, I use the word doni instead of donas because Indonesian is tenseless. Most verbs in simple sentences will take the infinitive form. In a sense, I am a little bit disappointed with Esperanto because it doesn't have a "tenseless tense". I really hope using verb in bare infinitive will be allowed. Because Indonesian is tenseless, we have no idea if "I" is giving the key now or later in the future or sometime in the past.

Another feature is singular-plural divide (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grammatical_number). It is also unknown if "I" give one key or more. I would also prefer that when I say sxlosilon in Esperanto, I could mean one or many, instead of a definite one. This way, I could still "think in Indonesian grammar" when I speak Esperanto.

I supposed this is not merely an Indonesian thing as many major language, such as Chinese, doesn't have tenses built in the grammar as well.

as a side note, due to the lack of those features, Indonesians are a very imprecise in their communication. When precision is required, it has to be presented through the context, which makes formal discussions and writings look somewhat convoluted. This is purely my opinion. As an example, in this post, I wrote about the "context" first, talking about grammatical features first, and then deliver my point. To a foreigner, Indonesians like to beat around the bush, but that is partly due to the inherent impreciseness of their native language although there is also a cultural factor there.

Besides those two and other issues (non-latin alphabet, Indonesian alphabet is 100% latin; gender asymmetry, Indonesian has a nice gender symmetry), Esperanto is really awesome. The flexibility, affixes and word building system would make me able to express more things in more ways. I found this to be intriguing https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Native_Esperanto_speakers#Word_derivation.

Both Indonesian and Esperanto use affixes: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inflection. I don't think this is a good thing as most learner of Indonesian as a second language struggle most with affixes. Partly because Indonesian affixes are not always regular (the same affix don't always mean the same thing and it could add or delete letters), thankfully, Esperanto is regular. Here are some examples for the root word lengkap = complete:

lengkap adj. = complete; comprehensive; all-inclusive; plenary; full; exhaustive

lengkapan [lengkap+an] n. = an item that completes something; an installation

lengkapi [lengkap+i] v. = to supply; equip; provision; complete; furnish

berlengkap [ber+lengkap] v. = being complete; to be comprehensive

berlengkapkan [ber+lengkap+an] v. = cause to be complete; cause to be comprehensive

berpelengkap [ber+pe+lengkap] v. = having a complementary or completing thing

dilengkapi [di+lengkap+i] v. = completed; supplied; equipped; furnished

diperlengkapi [di+per+lengkap+i] v. = completed; supplied; equipped; provisioned

kelengkapan [ke+lengkap+an] n. = completeness; comprehensiveness; the condition of being fully equipped

melengkapi [me+lengkap+i] v. = to supply; equip; provision; complete; furnish

melengkapkan [me+lengkap+kan] v. = to supply; equip; provision; complete

memperlengkap [mem+per+lengkap] v. = to supply; equip; provision; complete; outfit

memperlengkapi [mem+per+lengkap+i] v. = to complete; supply; equip; provision

pelengkap [pe+lengkap] n. = a complementary thing; that which is used to make something complete

perlengkapan [per+lengkap+an] n. = accessories; equipment; supplies; provisions; hardware; gear

perlengkapi [per+lengkap+i] v. = to complete; supply; equip; provision selengkap [se+lengkap] adv. = as complete as

selengkap-lengkapnya [se+lengkap-lengkap+nya] adv. = as complete as possible; completely

selengkapnya [se+lengkap+nya] adv. = in detail; completely

terlengkap [ter+lengkap] adj. = most complete http://indodic.com/affixeng.html

I think Esperanto is awesome that if I want to read something in Swedish, I would not look for the English translation but rather an Esperanto translation if one is available as it will have a better capacity to preserve the original structure and nuance.

Oh and there is also an issue of about agreement https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agreement_(linguistics). Due to lack of tense and "singular/plural" feature in Indonesian, we don't have agreement. For me personally, this is the most taxing feature of English and Esperanto, may be it is obvious from all the mistakes in this post. I would be very grateful if Esperanto doesn't force agreement but to merely allow it to improve clarity.

I'm sorry I don't know much, or anything at all, about Swedish so I cannot comment more on that.

2 years ago