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  5. "Ili parolas Esperanton kaj l…

"Ili parolas Esperanton kaj la anglan."

Translation:They speak Esperanto and English.

May 30, 2015



Why is English preceded by a definite article and Esperanto not?


Because literally no one answered your question, it's because the full phrase for any language is "the (country) language", in this case "The English language". It's shortened to just "the English".


So, it's because Esperanto has no home country? Which would make it the ONLY one? Or would Latin be like Esperanto, too?


Orginally, Esperanto was called "la internacia lingvo" (the International language), but people used the pseudonym of the author as the name of the language, which is why esperanto means "someone who hopes" and Esperanto with a capital is the name of the language.

Latin in Esperanto is either Latino or la latina lingvo


So is every language apart from "Esperanto" called "la (name of language"? For example Latin is never just "Latino", but "La latina"? Sorry if I misunderstood, but from what I read in the tips & notes, that's what I understood?


Correct. I think there's a few exceptions (like Esperanto) but generally la + (place name) + n is understood to be the language spoken in that place.


See the Tips & Notes


Where can I find Tips&Notes from Android app?


I don't believe the app version supports Tips & Notes. That's why I've switched to using the web version.


It must support, I think developers could not lieave it without explanation for Android users.


Well I know I never found any such information on the iPhone version. I always thought it was a weird design choice. I'd be happy to hear I am mistaken, but to my knowledge it just doesn't exist.


Yeah, the mobile app sadly, doesn't have the "Tips & Notes"... so I use the app for the lessons, and when I'm confused about the grammar, I check the website.

Hope my advice helps!


It's because in theory you could say "la Esperanta lingvo", but in practice this form is never used. The language has always been known as Esperanto. For other languages you have to include "la" but not for Esperanto. Hope that helps. So it's because Esperanto is unique :)


Why was "the English" marked as incorrect? And why is it used for English and not for esperanto?


I speak the English doesn't make much sense


Well, it does actually still make sense - the meaning of the sentence is arguably the same, whether or not the definite article is used.

However, as the lessons have gone on, it is clear that using the definite article before a language name (la angla, la franca, la germana, etc) is a feature of Esperanto.

And the definite article is not used for the Esperanto language unlike with other languages - instead the word Esperanto is capitalized (in Esperanto), whereas other language names are not.


I would point this out as one of the strange irregularities in an otherwise logical language, but it's really not the language's fault that it's irregular like that. Esperanto wasn't even supposed to be the name of the language, it's just the name Zamenhof used for the author, instead of his own name, when he published the first book about Esperanto. He wanted to remain anonymous, I think because he didn't want it to matter who came up with the language. People called it "Esperanto's Language", and it eventually just became "Esperanto". It's too late to make it consistent now, I guess. It's kind of ironic, though.


I haven't read that much about the beginnings of Esperanto, or how its name came about. The name for the language is pretty awesome though, no matter how it came about.


It's never too late to fix a mistake. And this is, at a very fundamental level, a horrible mistake.

Not because it's inconsistent (it is), but because it's arrogant and tone-deaf. There's nothing like saying "Your native language isn't good enough to deserve a capital letter, only my language deserves it" to annoy people...and it doesn't take much annoyance to get the casual learner to drop learning.

And, what's worse, the people who have knee-jerk reactions to things like this are the people who most need to have their horizons expanded.

Now, there's not a lot DuoLingo can do about issues like this. The owl's job is to teach a language, warts and all. And, when learning a language, you should learn the warts. But, once you've mastered a language, then you can decide for yourself whether you still want the wart or if you'll work around it.


It's never too late to fix a mistake.

Heh. Would there were more Esperantists who thought like this. Most of them acknowledge the mistakes and say we can't do anything about them, because that would put a crack in the language. If we fixed every mistake we came across, that would just fracture the Esperanto user base into a bunch of different pieces, which would defeat the goal of a worldwide language before it had even really begun. I know where they're coming from. My goal is for Esperanto to be the penultimate language. Once everyone knows Esperanto, and it's accepted as the international auxiliary language, then it can be reformed, officially, by professionals. And the changes would be such that it would cease to be Esperanto. My hope is it'll resemble Ido to a large degree, because Ido was created by a committee, some of whom were linguists, most of whom were scientists, as a reformation of Esperanto to better suit the most people, and the scientific community. Unfortunately, it tore the community apart.

It might happen like that in the future, but I hope not. This is assuming of course that English doesn't become the de facto international language, which it very well might.


The reason for this difference is mentioned in the notes. Natural languages use an article and aren't capitalized because they're adjectives, i.e. "la angla" is short for "la angla lingvo"; planned and dead languages usually end in '-o' and don't use an article - my guess is this irregularity was caused by, as Wilcynic mentioned, people starting to call Zamehof's language "Esperanto".

Kinda strange, but the distinction is interesting.


Thank you for actually answering this question instead of giving the whole "Go look it up" thing people tend to do. :)


In those people's defense, there are threads that have the same question asked and answered over and over and over again. Sometimes people just need to be observant.


Thank you for actually answering the question.


I guess I will have to go online and find this notes area. It sounds like a lot of my questions might be answered there.


Excellent observation! I didn't notice that...


So, when using adjectives substantively, does one always leave them in adjectival form? Would anglo then be an Englishman? This sounds an odd feature of Esperanto that makes adjectives less versatile, rather than more. Why would one not simply use a nominal ending on the adjective to make it a substantive?


Now you have exactly hit upon the real reason. "anglo" is an Englishman which is why it cannot be the name of the language. This is what happens when there are many nouns that can be made from an adjective, then you may have to specify which noun is involved: "La angla lingvo" but then the word for language became dropped so "La angla" is the language. With dead or constructed languages, you don't have a country that has citizens to be talked about so the main noun "Esperanto" or "Latino" can be used for the language.


In that case, how does Esperanto handle language names that aren't used as nationality descriptors? For example, Yiddish appears to become jida.




Yiddish is a live language not a dead one. It grows and changes with the people who use it unlike the dead languages and the constructed languages. They set up the cut off as being for constructed and dead languages, so it slips through the cracks of their system, I suppose. There are other languages like that I am sure. So, my theory does not stand the test of time and there are people who speak Esperanto and they call them "esperantistoj", so they could have worked out a different system that was the same for all languages, but they didn't. Do you think that they simply don't consider dead or constructed languages to be actual languages to be used with the word "lingvo"? or Do they set dead languages and constructed languages apart because they are not supposed to change? I think the origin of Esperanto being capitalized has to do with the first book "Dr. Esperanto's International Language" . People started calling the language Esperanto from the pseudonym of Zamenhof.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/language http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unua_Libro http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Esperanto_grammar http://reta-vortaro.de/revo/


What's the difference between "parolas" and "diras"?


Paroli = Speak, and Diri = Say


Why is "anglan" not capitalized?


Languages aren't capitalized, only Esperanto to distinguish it from the word hope :)


Not exactly, Latin is also capitalized out of respect for dead languages. Constructed languages are also capitalized, because they are not considered living languages. They are set up and expected not to change. I wonder what would happen if one of the constructed languages became used everywhere and started to stray from its construction to grow and change and become alive?

[deactivated user]

    Are not all noun root languages capitalized?


    Greek is not capitalized in this dictionary. Although it was a root language, it has continued to change and be used: la lingua greca. https://www.duolingo.com/skill/eo/Languages

    http://reta-vortaro.de/revo/ (Click on top left tab marked Lingvoj)

    http://www.gutenberg.org/files/16967/16967-h/16967-h.htm#letterL You are right that this dictionary also shows "Greek" as "Greko". http://www.gutenberg.org/files/16967/16967-h/16967-h.htm#letterG Perhaps with the Capital letter and the -o ending, the word differentiates Ancient Greek from Modern Greek which would be "la lingua greca"?


    Ah, I see. Thank you :)


    Mi pensas, ke ili parolas pri ni.


    Why is 'Esperanton' capitalized and not 'anglan'?


    It's just the linguistic choice of the creators of Esperanto as far as I know. Esperanto and dead languages like Latin are capitalized. Otherwise you refer to them as "the english [language]" or "the french [language]" etc.


    On second thought. I have some reasoning for it. It MAY be because the word "angla" is used as an adjective. I know in German, they don't capitalize adjectives that refer to languages or regions, because they're not really proper nouns, they're just adjectives.


    "La angla" isn't capitalized, as you guessed, because it's an adjective - it's short for "La angla lingvo".


    La anglan is briefed from "la anglan linvo". Whether is capital letters or not, I dunno.


    It is not capitalized, no. Also, lingvon*


    why can't the order be switched


    thoght la means "the" ?


    It does, since "la anglan" is short for "la anglan lingvon", or "the english language"


    okay thank you Mr.


    Could "Angla" mean English as well then?


    i dont understand this sentence could someone explain please


    Why is "anglan" not capitalized...?


    Gotta say, i think "la anglan" is very difficult to hear in this exercise. There is no need to ad difference words on to eachother in esperanto pronounciation since that's exactly what made the other European languages hard to learn.

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