"Belaj knabinoj kantas en kafejoj."

Translation:Beautiful girls sing in cafés.

May 28, 2015

This discussion is locked.


There sure are a lot of sentences about females and cafes. :P


Sure, it's difficult to build sentences with very limited vocabulary, but team Esperanto did a great job so far =)


Is it the Esperanto language that lacks vocabulary?

Or is it just the Esperanto course that lacks vocabulary?


Neither. If you introduce only the words "girl", "boy", "man", "woman", "I", "am" and "a" in the first lesson of the first skill, then you can only create sentences with this vocabulary. This is how every course works and this is why we have a lot of sentences with this vocabulary. The sentences become more complex as the course proceeds.


That is very insightful! Thank you for your prompt reply! ^_^


They like to pretend half the sentences aren't about kissing and cafes... It's just the Esperanto course


It is US that lack vocabulary, as we've just started learning it


I'd think educators would meet in cafes frequently and I wouldn't be surprised if women are more interested in learning Esperanto than men.


Can you translate this as "Beautiful girls sing at cafes" too?

I'm thinking of French, where "en" means "at."


I just entered that and it was accepted, so yes.


I just thought of a question and I have an idea what the answer is, but I want to make sure. Knabino always refers to a female, prepubescent child, right? Can it ever be used to refer to a teenager or college student, or even adult women? In English people sometimes even use the word girl to refer to a woman in her 20s or even older. Obviously, Esperanto isn't English, but I know that other languages can sometimes use the words for girl or boy to refer to adults in certain contexts, for example, in Portuguese, "Só as meninas" (Just the girls) could be used when talking about a gathering of female friends (girl's night), even if they are all adults.


A similar question has been asked on Esperanto Language Stack Exchange: "How old is a "knabino"?". Some insightful answers may be found there.


  • Actual use is highly dependent on culture and thus varies widely.
  • It's a good idea to apply the same age rules to "knabo" and "knabino".
  • Some dictionary definitions imply "infano" and by extension "knabo" and "knabino" can only be up to ~12 years old.
  • A good guide might be to use "infano", "knabo" and "knabino" only up ~18 years old.
  • Some (allegedly even Zamenhof) use(d) these words about as liberally, as "boy" and "girl" are used in English.
  • Don't assume others are using the same age boundaries for these words. If in doubt, ask.


Why is it 'kafejoj' instead of 'kafejojn'?


Because it's part of the phrase "en kafejoj". The -n only occurs on the object of the sentence: the thing that the verb is acting upon. For example, "Belaj knabinoj kantas kantojn."-- "Beautiful girls sing songs." The songs are being sung, thus get the -n.


In German we use the dative case after most prepositions, and for some reason my brain doesn't wanna understand that Esperanto only has an accusative. So I often make this mistake and use '-n' after 'en'.


This question is old, but I'd like to add an aspect the other answer omitted:

With prepositions of location (such as en, sur, sub, apud, ...) Esperanto uses the nominative (=standard) case (= without -n) to indicate the place where something happens or is located, but allows to use the same preposition with accusative (= with -n) to indicate the direction or destination of an action or movement. This is being covered in another Duolingo lesson. See its Tips and Notes here.

So I think that

Belaj knabinoj kantas en kafejojn.

would be a correct sentence, but mean something like "Beautiful girls sing into cafés." ... Like, they may be standing at the entrances or windows and singing towards the interiors. 🙃


Like, they may be standing at the entrances or windows and singing towards the interiors. 🙃

Looks like I'm not the only one in whom the sentence with accusative invoked such a picture. In thread for the reverse sentence, are these two posts:


Why isn't, "Beautiful women sing in cafes" accepted?


knabinoj means girls. Women means virinoj


Oh, okay. Thank you!


I don't know why it didn't like: "Beautiful girls are singing in the cafes."


I don't know why it didn't like: "Beautiful girls are singing in the cafes."

Probably because of the definite article "the".

The rules of when to use the definite article "the" in English are quite similar to the ones of when to use the definite article "la" in Esperanto. So in ordinary sentences like this one, use "the" exactly in those cases (and only in those) where there's a corresponding "la".

The differences w.r.t. articles in English and Esperanto I'm aware of are these:

  • Esperanto has no indefinite article at all, while English has one in singular: "a" / "an"

    Mi vidas kafejon.


    I see a café.

  • Esperanto sometimes uses definite articles with possessives where English doesn't:

    Tiu domo estas mia.

    but also

    Tiu domo estas la mia.

    Both translate to "That house is mine." but I think the second (the sentence with the "la") might have the additional implication that either that is my only house; or that of several houses being considered, that one is the one that's mine (and the other considered ones aren't); while the sentence without the definite article makes no such implication.

  • English and Esperanto probably differ somewhat in what expressions for abstract concepts, generalizations, ideologies etc. do or do not get a definite article, or what it implies for them.


Oh dear, it seems I might not have been paying attention.

I'm all over the use of articles in English and Esperanto, but for some reason, I thought it didn't like the "are singing". I swear that I didn't put 'the' in the answer, but now I can't say for sure either way.

Anyway, it was interesting reading about definite articles with possessives. So I did get something out of your comment.


can you say 'nice girls sing in cafés.'?


No, because it's specifically about appearance.

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