1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Esperanto
  4. >
  5. "Li volas neniajn florojn."

"Li volas neniajn florojn."

Translation:He does not want any kind of flowers.

April 30, 2016



Nenia = no kind of? Nonesuch?


Am I correct in thinking 'he wants no kind of flower' and 'he doesn't want any kind of flower' are different?


Would you be willing to elucidate the difference? At the moment, to me, the difference seems to be mainly in the logical form: the first says what he wants, the other what he does not want; the first, no kind is what's wanted, while in the second, any (practically the same as 'every') is what's not wanted.
In meaning, I suppose they amount to the same thing. I think I agree with Salivanto after all, in that the difference is very subtle - a point of logical form. (I also think I've found myself in the unusual and embarrassing position of arguing about flowers! )


If there's a difference it's very subtle.


Sorry, but I beg to differ. "No kind" means none at all, though "He wants no flowers" was rejected; while "wants no such flowers" speaks of a particular kind of flowers, presumably identified in some context. The difference between a particular and a (negative) universal is not so subtle, at least not in any usage I've encountered.


I feel like you've misread my point -- which was that there's no significant difference between the following two sentences.

  • he wants no kind of flower
  • he doesn't want any kind of flower

This was in the context of translations for "Li volas neniajn florojn."

You are correct that from a practical point of view, either of these could be understood to mean "He doesn't want flowers (at all)" - but that's not really the point. From a practical point of view "Li volas neniajn florojn" could mean "Li volas neniujn florojn" - but between these two there is more than a subtle difference.

With neniajn, it's clear that the topic is the kind of flower. There is no kind of flower that he wants. It's not the amount that bothers him, it's the fact that there is no kind which is appealing - and we can't entice him further by offering more.

WIth neniujn, we're talking about the amount. He doesn't currently like flowers, but there's some hope we could change his mind by explaining that we have more than one kind.


I think that was a lot for me to digest, but I think you are right, and I thank you.


Why not "He does not want any flowers?" When I look up a couple of Esperanto dictionaries I find "nenia" translated in one both as "no" and as "no kind of", and (in another) "no (kind of)"


yeah, I am interested in this too. English is my second language, but I can't understand what is wrong with just saying "any" in that context... "does not want" makes up the context perfectly fine, imho...


It's not a question about what the English means. It's about what the Esperanto means. Neniajn florojn does not mean "any flowers" it means "any kind of flowers". He doesn't want roses. He doesn't want tulips. He doesn't want expensive flowers. He doesn't want affordable ones. He doesn't want ANY KIND of flowers.


What's the difference between volas and deziras?


Volition vs desire. "Volas" carries with it the feeling of intention. "Deziri" is more like wishing something were so.


Why this isn't " He wants any kind of flowers" ? Shouldn't "He does not want any kind of flowers" be "Li ne volas neniajn florojn" ?


"Li ne volas neniajn florojn" would mean, "He does not want no kinds of flowers". "Li volas neniajn florojn" means "He wants no kinds of flowers" or as we are more likely to say in English, "He doesn't want any kinds of flowers" (though the latter could be translated more accurately into Esperanto as "Li ne volas iajn florojn".)


If the context here was "He does not want any kind of flowers; they've got to be daffodils", would the Esperanto be different? It seems to me that the suggested English translation, "He does not want any kind of flowers", can be ambiguous in meaning.


Mi ne volas nur iajn (ajn) florojn.


English: loooooooong Esperanto: short (In this sentence)

Learn Esperanto in just 5 minutes a day. For free.