"La komencanto estas krokodilo."

Translation:The beginner is a crocodile.

May 28, 2015

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Krokodili (to crocodile) means to speak your own native language where Esperanto would be appropriate. There is also aligatori, (to alligator) which is to speak a language which is not your native language rather than Esperanto. There is also an overarching term, serpenti (to snake), which means people are both krokodilas and aligatoras.

E.g. An Englishman and a German both meet at an Esperanto conference and rather talk in Esperanto, they both use English instead. So they both would serpentas, but the English speaker would krokodilas and the German speaker would aligatoras.


So... a krokodilo, an aligatoro, and a serpento walk into a bar...


Is there a term where one would use Esperanto where their native/another language would be more appropriate? A reverse crocodile?


According to the Esperanto Wikipedia-page on reptiliumi, gaviali seems to fit the bill:

Gaviali estas Esperanta idiotismo kun la signifo "paroli Esperanton, kiam alia lingvo pli taŭgus" aŭ kun la signifo "uzi Esperanton por ke ĉeestantaj ne-Esperantistoj ne komprenu nin".

To gaviali is "to speak Esperanto, when an other language would be more appropriate" (either because you just met another Esperantist, and despite being accompanied by other/-s who don't understand Esperanto, you switch to Esperanto, or because you and someone who understands Esperanto wants to say something that you hope no-one else will understand).


An option for that would be malkrokodili: “to speak in Esperanto among non-Esperanto speakers” (which makes perfect sense to me) according to this reference: http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/krokodili


I've never heard of serpenti for this before...

On the other hand, thinks such as kajmani and lacerti aren't realy fixed, either -- I think everyone agrees on what krokodili means and most people on aligatori but beyond that it can get rather vague.

For example, some make a distinction between "speaking a language which is neither Esperanto nor the native language of either speaker" and "speaking your listener's native language which is not your own native language nor Esperanto" while others lump both under aligatori.


Ne krokodilu!


Sed malkrokodilu libere.

[deactivated user]


    Sed krokodiloj krokodilas en tre laŭvorta senco...


    that's what i was gonna say!


    HAHAHA! Mi ne parolas esperanton, cxar mi kutime krokodilu kaj parolas alian lingvon.


    ĉar mi kutime krokodilas


    Thanks for that, course creators: it makes me feel at home just like when I'm learning Dutch: there I'm turtles and bananas, here I'm a crocodile - perfection :)


    Thanks for that language note :)


    Is it a derogatory term?


    I think it's most often used derogatorily, yes - to reprimand people who speak non-Esperanto languages at Esperanto events.

    On the one hand, many people come to such events to practise Esperanto, something they don't get the opportunity to do that often perhaps, and so want to spend as much time speaking and listening to Esperanto as possible; and they want to encourage new learners to speak and practise as much as they can.

    But on the other hand, celebrating language diversity could mean allowing any language, not looking down on someone for choosing not to speak Esperanto.


    So, using the information from this article, the sentence means "The beginner is a crocodile", where "crocodile" can be an insult to someone who is not speaking Esperanto?


    I think that it actually says that this person may be insulting everybody else by not speaking the common language of all (Esperanto), not vice versa.


    Pardon, ik ben een appel.


    Nee, je bent een banaan!


    Ahahahah... They'll never know :)


    Lol. I get this joke. I remember reading about this on some online discussion. The slang verb "krokodili" means "to speak a non-Esperanto language in the presence of another esperantist" which pretty much means reverting to English when you could instead use Esperanto.


    Why would it mean "reverting to English"? You may use any other language different than Esperanto.


    I bet the even the beginner crocodile understands the accusative case better than me....


    My mnemonic is that accusative is when the subject accuses the [direct] object: La subjekto kulpigas la objekton.

    The boy hits the ball. The cat catches the mouse. The soprano sings the song. Subject, verb, direct object.

    In Esperanto, the subject always ends in -o, and the direct object ends in -on. La knabo frapas la pilkon. La kato kaptas la muson. La soprano kantas la kanton.

    The exception is when the verb is "estas." That's because then the subject and the object are the same thing. The subject isn't doing anything to the object.

    La kato estas tigro. Duo estas strigo.

    Then there are fancier sentences: subject, verb, direct object, preposition, indirect object: The boy throws the ball to the dog. La knabo ĵetas la pilkon al la hundo.

    The subject gets an -o. The direct object gets an -on. The indirect object (the noun with a preposition in front of it -- "to the dog", "al la hundo") gets an -o.



    Great explanation. And I like how you worked Duo estas strigo (my favorite Esperanto sentence) into the explanation.


    Accusative case is really quite simple. When a noun is the direct object of a verb, it is in the accusative case. This simply marks that it is being acted upon by the verb. "Mi donas pomon al vi" = "I gave an apple to you." Here pomo becomes pomon because it is the thing being acted upon by doni. Esperanto also uses the accusative case to mark the destination of a motion verb, although I'm not sure why. I think you can simply use "al" in such a case to circumvent the accusative.

    The advantage of marking the accusative is that it frees up word order. This is why you can say e.g. "Al vi donas mi pomon," because the cases of mi and pomon are clearly marked.


    It might be beneficial to new learners if there were some grammar note about krokodili. This could probably be confusing.


    You probably never visited the Dutch course! Over there, sentences like "Ik ben een banaan" (I am a banana) and "Jij bent een schildpad" (You are a turtle) abound, and that to me makes the course feel much lighter and fun. That said, that's precisely what the comment boards are for - for people to come stumble onto things and ask others for help and learning something through that process.


    La bovino ne manĝas infantojn.


    There are such sentences in different courses (maybe even in most/all of them). Although, I clearly remember only "Yo soy un pingüino." ("I am a penguin" in Spanish) and "Ho un coltello nello stivale." ("I have a knife in the boot" in Italian), I am pretty sure there were some similarly ridiculous ones in the German and French courses, too. :)


    The Portuguese course is real big on talking about how tight people's clothes are. Also contains the alarmingly enthusiastic sentence "We're making knives!!!"


    The French course has a green elephant in almost every lesson. It's probably got its own Twitter.


    I kind of want to learn dutch now :)


    Classic Duolingo joke....


    I feel like a crocodile. '-'


    That is what a krokodilo is....Esperanto culture. THIS IS THE BEST SENTENCE so far. Clue in the newbies as to what it means though.


    Let's all crocodile together, then.


    Highly relevant source on the subject: https://youtu.be/kZwhNFOn4ik


    Ni ne estas krokodilo... jes?


    Ni ne estas krokodiloj. (plural)


    Certe jes, mi estas krokodilo.


    Mi ne estas krokodilo :(


    Can someone explain me the difference between "the beginner is a crocodile" and "the crocodile is a beginner" ?? I thought they meant the same (spanish speaker here xD)


    Do....la komencanto estas furrio?


    Who comes up with these sentences?! LMAO

    [deactivated user]

      At least I don't have to fear one crocodile in this world. We can both speak Esperanto.


      I learned that a crocodile is someone that is all mouth and no ears. Talks but does not listen.


      If only I knew how to say "I'm terrified of screwing up, so I'll stick to English until I get better, thanks." XD

      (I'm just teasing, but you can feel free and actually translate if you wanna)


      I am not a crocodile .-.


      mi estas sendube krokodilo.


      I put "the novice is a crocodile" - should this also be correct?


      Haha, if I hadn't have clicked on discussion, I wouldn't have found out that this is Esperanto slang. Duolingo should mark words/phrases that are slang.


      Mi estas krokodilo xD

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