1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Esperanto
  4. >
  5. "Kiam vi dancas kune?"

"Kiam vi dancas kune?"

Translation:When do you dance together?

May 30, 2015



Is "vi" also plural?


Yup, just like in English.


And is it also the formal pronoun, as in English?


In esperanto there is no distinction in formality at all if I remember correctly


Actually, precisely as in English, there is a little known informal pronoun "ci" equivalent to "thou". It is mostly seen in poems and the Bible in both languages.


Actually "you" or "ye" are the formal ones:

"..., thou was later used to express intimacy, familiarity or even disrespect, while another pronoun, you, the oblique/objective form of ye, was used for formal circumstances" "The fact that early English translations of the Bible used the familiar form of the second person in no way indicates "disrespect" and is not surprising. The familiar form is used when speaking to God, ..."



Responding to Smalde here: That is mostly what I said. I don't see your contradiction.


According to Oxford Dictionaries (http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/thou), thee, thou, thine, etc. are all 2nd person singular. It didn't say anything about formal or informal. So... back to Esperanto... Was "ci" patterned after an informal usage as in Spanish, or a singular/plural distinction as in King James English?


@Tracy906994: According to my Webster's Third New International Dictionary and to a site about Shakespeare, we are both right on the "thou" vs "you" argument. And about the second part of your comment, Esperanto does not distinguish between singular and plural in either 2nd person pronoun unless you add a few extra words. It comes from a major characteristic in Indo-European languages in Europe derived from and influenced by Latin, which later evolved to convey differences in class and power in the Middle Ages apparently because of a plural's power to denote royalty and nobility (think the royal "we"), leading to informal and formal qualities of the two versions of the 2nd person pronoun, which is Esperanto took after with "ci" and "vi".

Webster: https://i.imgur.com/PCQl1hW.jpg

Shakespeare: http://www.shakespeareswords.com/thou-and-you

History: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T%E2%80%93V_distinction#History_and_usage


@Tracy906994: You are welcome. As a final note, I forget if this was in one of my links, but I remembered reading how it's ironic that nowadays "you" is for normal everyday interactions whereas "thou" is viewed as archaic, fancy, and maybe even posh, which completely switches around how "thou" was for informal use and "you" for formal use.


@Smalde: The same is true in Esperanto. "Ci" was originally an informal variant of singular "vi", but practically speaking now completely fallen into disuse.


If I remember correctly... in old English, thou was singular-you and "you" was specifically plural (or y'all, for the southerners). Is that the same thing "ci" versus "vi"?


@Tracy906994: Google's origin feature says "thou" is from "thu" and "you" is from "eow" and "ge" in Old English, but in Middle English, "thou" was the informal variant and "you" was the formal variant of referring to a person that you are directly speaking to (i.e. second-person point of view). "Ye" was the plural variant of "thou", and "you" has always been both singular and plural. The difference between "thou" and "you" is comparable to Spanish's "tú" and "usted".


MailmaSpy, thank you for the links. I found the Shakespearewords one especially fascinating with all the examples. I don't recall any of that when I studied Brit. Lit. in highschool. But any way you look at it, something is lost in our modern usage of "you." Thanks again for the clarification on the subject.


ACtually, "ci" is NOT an informal pronoun. Zamenhof himself said that that particular nuance was because of OUTSIDE influence of other languages. There is no nuance of informality or familiarity inherent in the word.


Omg, I am always confused in sentences with vi. I always translate vi as we...


The Danish word for "we" is literally spelled and pronounced "vi". Often gets me if I'm not concentrating properly!


oh god, my consoledences :D


Wow that was a hard one! Am I the only one who had to skip it?


Anyone else hear that dancas as if it was dansas? I don't hear any sts sound there. Just s.

As with many old folks, my high frequency hearing is gone. It plummets between 6 an 7 kHz. I also have tinnitus. Plus there's an audiobook of Gulliver's Travels wafting in from the other room, and the neighbors are doing the laundry, so I don't know if the t is not pronounced, or lost in recording, transmission and playback, or my hearing, or just too new at Esperanto.


I have difficulty at times distinguishing between the speaker's consonants. Since I am fairly early in this process, clarity is "tre grava" and even without tinnitus, loud neighbors, etc., I have trouble understanding the speaker in those "type what you hear" questions, especially the pronouns.


Can't it be "when you dance together"?


Actually, like spanish, it's the high tone at the end of the sentence what gives the "question" form. English just switch words (you are are you) or uses auxiliary verbs as do (Esperanto uses cxu as well but this is not the case).

So, again like Spanish, this could be either a question or an answer. For example (In esperanto/english/spanish so can spot the similarities):

As an answer

  • Mi ne sxatas kiam vi dancas kune (I don't like when you dance together / No me gusta cuando bailan juntos)

As a question

  • Kiam vi dancas kune? (When do you dance together? / Cuándo bailan juntos?)

  • Morgaux (Tomorrow / Mañana)

Disclaimer: I am not an Esperanto expert, I just tried to follow logic here, so correct me if I'm wrong.



In English, we would say when "do" you dance together -- I was looking for the "do" word too. Evidently it is understood in Esperanto.


Why isn't "dancas" in either the form of "danci" or "dancos" since nothing is happening in the present?


It actually is present. The sentence, converted to be a statement, would be "You dance together", which is quite present to me and most others.


In English it ceases to be present tense as soon as you use the word when, because in the present tense the answer will always be "Now". ;-)


The question doesnt make a lot of sence (as the answer would inevitably be: Just now, open your eyes man!) - it must be "dancis" or "dancos".


The answer would very likely be "every week-end", "in our weekly course", "at the end of the event", "after the next couple in the competition", "in the summer show"…

Noticed the English sentence is in the present simple (and Esperanto does not make a difference with present continuous)?

sfuspvwf npj

[deactivated user]

    Couldn't you say "You dance together when?"

    Learn Esperanto in just 5 minutes a day. For free.