"Ni iras al la parko."
Translation:We go to the park.
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It was indeed strange but we can think of it as a correct gramatical error and we won't forget hehe.
This sentence sounds way too much like "Irás al parque" (You will go to the park) to me.
iri (v.) to go - from Latin īre. However, this form is only preserved in the future tenses of French and Spanish: the present tenses of that verb in those languages were replaced by the latin verb vādō.
This is an almost completely Spanish sentence, at least when it comes to etymology. :) "Nosotros vamos al parque"
When I first saw the sentence I thought it meant in Spanish "You are neither going to the park" haha
Regarding pronunciation: the man says "iras al", the "s" before a vowel keeps the "s" sound just as expected, and doesn't change into a "z" like Portuguese, French and Spanish (some places).
But... He says "ala" instead of "al la", forming a "liaison" between those two "L", meaning an exception of the "bijective" or "one-to-one" correspondence between letters and sounds.
So, is his pronunciation "malbona"?
Yes. He is mispronuncing. Both L's must remain discrete. Nevertheless since too many people mixes both L's I advice you to keep this mispronuciation in mind, because you will hear it a lot.
whatabout "Ni iras la parkon."? Can the accusative be used to describe motion to somewhere?
Actually you can, but since almost nobody drops al in this case, it will look weird.
It's kept with "la parko" because it modifies "la parko," not "iras." You might be able to get away with it if you're writing a poem and you make that inversion to preserve the rhyme scheme, though, but I'm not an Esperanto poet.
How can you tell if someone is saying, "We are going to the park," or if they're saying, "We go to the park"? Or do you just have to guess based on context?
What is the difference in meaning? I thought both meant the same in English. Unless "We are going to the park" is future tense, but that is obviously not the case here.
Well you use, "We go to the park," to say that you go to that park in general but you'd use, "We are going to the park," if your were going to go in the (near) future or if you were on your way already. The meanings are similar but not the same.
"Obviously not the case"? Does Esperanto have different endings depending on tense?
From the tips and notes on "Basics 1": "All present tense verbs end in -as, [...]." Yes, the endings determine the tense. See for example http://esperanto.davidgsimpson.com/eo-verbforms.html for a list of possible conjugations.
You can use this tenses for both uses, and rely on context. Nevertheless there is a compound tense (which will come up later in this course) which is used when you want to say emphatically that you are going to a place in that very moment.
Mi estas iranta al parko
Jes. "Look, it's what I'm doing while we're talking: I'm going to the park!" is indeed "Mi irantas al la parko."
If you're not stressing it like that, it'll just be "Mi iras al la parko."
One means you're are going to do it now. The other means that you've done it many times in the past and that you are expecting to do it many times in the future or regularly, repetedly, often or continuously.
Because if it ended in -a then it would be an adjective. Esperanto is (conveniently) particular about spelling denoting part of speech.
So similar to the Spanish: "Ni irás al parque" - you're not even going to the park. But the idea is the oppositte. o-o