"The baby says a word to her."
Translation:La bebo diras vorton al ŝi.
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I think the confusion might arise for English speakers because we use the same word, her, both as an adjective form of a pronoun ("That is her book" - "Tiu estas šia" libro") and as the pronoun itself ("He gave the book to her" li donis la libron al ši").
"Her" is the only pronoun in English which is the same in its adjectival and its noun forms, so perhaps an example using a different pronoun might help explain what I mean. In English, we can say, "That is my book", but it is wrong to say, "He gave the book to my." And we can say, "That is their house," but not "We sold the house to their."
I tried to add "una" into the sentence for better understanding/meaning. Duolingo says I'm wrong also. Maybe it's due to my native English, but adding "una" make soooooo much sense for adding clarity to the sentence. Otherwise, who knows, maybe the baby said the word "vorton" to his mother/father. Like "Word up dad. Wassup." In all seriousness, though, can someone explain why it would be wrong to add "una" for clarity?
According to the Duolingo Learners Facebook Group: "Una isn't a word in Esperanto. There just isn't a word for the indefinite article in Eo. I would put "vorton" in quotation marks if I wanted to denote that that was actually what the baby said." "I know it sounds off to us English speakers, but indefinite articles are always implied in Esperanto before a noun. "La bebo diras vorton..." literally means "The baby says a word..." Don't over think it! If you want to say "The baby says one word..." you could use "unu". You probably were thinking of " unua" when you came up with "una". "Unua" means "first" (sort of like the adjective-version of "one")."
I've just now decided that maybe I should not worry quite so much about the "why". For now, I think I will just follow the lessons and concentrate on useage. No sense in sweating the small stuff just yet. Once I have a broader experience base, then I can worry about the technical details. "Ne zorgu, estu feliĉa."
Yes there is. It's a bit like the difference between the English words "say" and "speak". "Diras", like "say" is about the words that come out of our mouths, whereas "parolas" is more akin to "speak", referring to the actual action of producing the sounds that make words. It follows that "diras" requires an object, usually the words spoken. For instance, "Li diras, 'Mi estas tre alta'", or "Li diras, ke li estas tre alta". "Parolas" doesn't require an object. For instance, "Li multe parolas" and "Li porolos post dudek minutoj".
Unu(a) in Esperanto only means "one" as in the actual number, its not actually interchangeable with "a" in most languages that aren't English. Esperanto implies indefinite articles so "vorto" is "a word", "la vorto" is "the word". "unua vorto" imo would mean something like "a single word" so you're adding emphasis that wasn't there.