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  5. "Ĉu vi parolas la italan, la …

"Ĉu vi parolas la italan, la francan, la hispanan la germanan?"

Translation:Do you speak Italian, French, Spanish or German?

May 29, 2015



Has Esperanto any rules regarding Oxford commas? Or can I use them as I like?


I have heard that one can use Oxford commas if one wishes to.


What are Oxford commas?

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Also known as serial commas. If you have three or more items, it's the comma you use before "and".

Mirepoix is onions, carrots, and celery.


Example without Oxford comma:

"I love Sofia, my wife and my sister."

(This implies that Sofia is both my wife and my sister O_O ).

Example with Oxford comma:

"I love Sofia, my wife, and my sister."

(This explicitly shows that I love 3 different people)


Tre amuza! Dankon! Mi tre ŝatas Ayn Rand.


But I don't want your drama, if you really wanna, leave out that Oxford comma!


According to Esperantist J.F. Conroy, Esperanto doesn't dictate punctuation.

(Occasionally, you'll see comma-usage that's closer to German than English. What you use is fine as long as you're understood.)


Sajnas, ke vi malpravas. That's an example of a sentence in Esperanto where the comma is required. Moreover, it's an situation where Esperanto uses a comma somewhat differently to English.


For real. In what other language course is "just being understood" the standard?


Seeing as the word order is rather flexible in Esperanto and it's not similar enough to English, if you construct the sentence with an English word order then it just depends on meaning.


Does Esperanto make any intonational distinguishing between 'do you speak A or B (ie. do you speak one of these, or something else?)' and 'do you speak A or B (ie. which of these do you speak?)'

In English I guess they'd be set apart by stress, so in the first sentence 'speak' would be the primary focus, whereas in the second, 'A' would be more prominent, but I'm curious as to whether Esperanto has any similar features


No, there are absolutely no rules about stress in Esperanto. So yes, this can be an ambiguous question.


If you say "ĉu li parolas aŭ la francan aŭ la germanan" then you are asking if he speaks any of the languages, without the first "aŭ" it may be asking which one of them he speaks.

Is this correct?


Do you mean is Esperanto a stress based language?


He or she is asking if there's a particular way to indicate the difference between an inclusive or and an exclusive or


Yes, ^^this, basically =) I'm assuming there's some sort of intonational difference (eg. upward inflection at the end like most Germanic languages) but I'm not sure. The speaker here seems to use a falling tone - is that typical for interrogative phrases?


According to my experience, there is no real difference being made. So the falling tone on the last word is either particular to the speaker who made the recording, or just particular to this phrase here. Actually Esperanto doesn't have any particular rules on intonation.


I would like to mention that "exclusive or" is often called "xor".


Wouldn't your first sentence begin with "ĉu"?


Both would take ĉu.


Argh, beat me to it!


Plus English and Norwegian. :-) 14Sep19


This is impossible to type on timed practice.


Mi parolas anglan kaj germanan! :D


Ambaŭ mi! (Sed mi /lernas/ la germanan)


Since ĉu denotes a yes or no question, this sentence is asking if you speak any of the above languages, no?


That's a logical conclusion. But for some reason also multiple-choice question in Esperanto are used with ĉu, e.g.: "Ĉu vi volas trinki teon aŭ kafon?", or "Ĉu via infano estos knabo aŭ knabino?" - it can be understood as a truncation of "Ĉu vi volas trinki teon aŭ ĉu vi volas trinki kafon?". So indeed you can answer that first question with "Teon!", "Kafon!", or simply with "Jes!" ;)


Ah, I see, none of my resources have discussed such a use case as of yet, but that makes a lot of sense. Thank you.


Yes, I only realized it as we were designing this course!


"Ĉu" actually comes from the Polish "czy". Similarly it can be used as an interrogative particle (If questions) as well as "whether" / "or" / "or not" statements.


Polish uses 'czy' for alternative questions, as in: 'czy' do you want coffee, 'czy' (or) tea? (Which of these?) For an inclusive or in questions you would use czy... albo / lub ... (any of these) In Esperanto you would use ĉu... aŭ... in both cases, according to the PMEG


It's exactly the same in English. I might ask "Would you like tea or coffee?" At a formal, grammatical level, this is a yes/no question, but "yes" is a bit of a dick answer. A normal person would reply with one of "no", "tea", "coffee" or "either".


Mi parolas la swedan, la anglan, la ĉinan kaj la francan!


Mi parolas...la anglas...kaj iomete Esperanton?


Watch out "-as" ending is for verbs in present tense. "la anglan"


Good luck with making it "multe"!


Why! I speak all 4 and more, thanks for asking! :)


How does esperanto differentiate between "do you speak" and "are you speaking"?


It doesn't. Usually. It's just Ĉu vi parolas...

If you really have to stretch that it's an ongoing speaking act, you can say Ĉu vi estas parolanta..., but hardly anyone ever uses that.


Do you have to say "la italan" or is italan enough?


You need the article, because it's a short form of «la itala lingvo» ("the Italian language").


Please correct me if I am wrong. According to my limited knowledge ofEsperanto, 'Cxu' makes a question a 'yes-no type', right? If that is the case, is 'au' an English equivalent of inclusive 'or'?

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"Cxu" can mark a yes-no question or a multiple-choice question. As far as I know, "au" works exactly like the English "or".


"Ĉu" actually comes from the Polish "czy". Similarly it can be used as an interrogative particle (If questions) as well as "whether" / "or" / "or not" statements.


Mi parolas la hispanan, la portugalan kaj la anglan!


How do you say "non of them" ...?



neni- is the negative correlative prefix (none)

-u is the individual correlative suffix (you, one, a thing)

Kiu is is who/which. iu is some, neniu is none. All the questions have quantitative answers all using the same base grammatical objects.


Shouldn't that be neniun? It's short for mi parolas neniun el ili, which suggests it should be neniun, in the same way that we say dankon, which is short for something like mi donas al vi dankon, rather than just danko.


mi parolas la angla


Tiu estas referenco al la reĝo Karlo V.


Can this be translated as both

'Do you speak...(A, B, C, or D)?' or 'Are you speaking...(A, B, C, or D)?'

...or is it just one of those?


Yes, it can be translated in both ways.


What do they mean here? Do you speak one of these, which one do you speak, or others? Does it expect you to speak one of these?


Mi parolas la francan kaj la hispanan iomete


Regarding the ambiguity resulting from the possible translations "Do you speak [ever]..." versus "Are you speaking [now]...":

Perhaps it would be more understandable to ask "Can you speak...", "Ĉu vi povas paroli..."; Or "Are you able to speak...", "Ĉu vi kapablas paroli..."

Ĉu ne?


You're right they're ambiguous. Much of the time it'll be clear from context which sense is intended. But if you think it might not be clear, you can certainly rephrase the question in the ways you suggest.


I don't speak any of them(-_-メ)


I mean i speak the smallest amount of spanish possible and know one or two words in french and tried to tame German three years ago and listen to Italian opera music occasionally so i know a lil of all of them :D all great languages as well, very useful!!!

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