I'm not seeing where a reflexive would be necessary. One might say Mi rigardas ĉirkaŭ mi mem. But that would be, as you suggest, I look around myself. which might be, "I'm checking my clothes and the ground in the immediate area to see where my keys have gone." But "I look around me." sounds as if someone sits up, comes to a high point or otherwise has an awareness that looking about the whole area is a good thing. "I woke up and looked around me." Mi vekis kaj rigardis ĉirkaŭ mi. "At the mountain's peak I stood, and looked around me." Ĉe la monta pinto mi staris, kaj rigardis ĉirkaŭ mi. "I walked into the room, etc." Mi promenis en la ĉambron, ktp, y así sucesivamente.
Now, if it were in the second or third person…
Thank you. So, to be clear, jana.go's sentence would be grammatically correct and complete as "Mi rigardas cxirkauxe"? (Also, your "n" confuses me. I didn't realize adverbs took the accusative.)
(Edit: corrected my spelling, thanks to Renardo. Good catch! I suspect I was conflating my meager Spanish "cerca" with my meager Esperanto here.)
Esperanto adverbs denoting a location take the accusative when indicating a direction (I am not proposing translations but just explanations):
- Mi rigardas ĉirkaŭe ≈ I look around in my vicinity (ĉirkaŭe indicates where I am when I am looking around)
- Mi rigardas ĉirkaŭen ≈ I look around in all directions (ĉirkaŭen indicates where I am looking or what I am looking at)
A simpler example:
- Mi estas ekstere = I am outside
- Mi iras eksteren = I am going outside
It generally means something along the lines of I look at the things that are near to me in all directions but can mean things further away, or even things that are on your person - typically it is said if you have lost something, or find yourself somewhere new and strange and you are getting acquainted with your environment, but again that's not exclusive!
All direct objects of verbs end in -n, including pronouns. But not if it's the object of a preposition unless there's movement.
I love him: Mi amas lin.
He loves me: Li amas min.
I give the letter to him: Mi donas la leteron al li. (not al lin)
I jump on the table: Mi saltas sur la tablo. (I am standing on the table and jumping up and down.)
I jump onto the table: Mi saltas sur la tablon. (I am standing somewhere else, I jump and land on the table.)
Usually, the object pronouns end in ~n same as other nouns. That is one of the basic rules from Zamenhof. However, this sentence is an example of the Rule: All prepositions govern the nominative case.
Ĉirkaŭ is a preposition (yes, it is, don't argue with me) and when a (pro)noun follows a preposition (after a verb), unless direction needs to be specified, it falls back into the subjective (or nominative) form.
If it was ĉirkaŭ min I suspect that the subject would be spinning in circles, or something.
With all due respect, while I can hear it from both perspectives, if that were a blind example where I was supposed to transcribe based only off what I heard, I would expect a better reading than that. There have been a few other poor line-readings that forced me to answer with my best phonetic approximation, and that shouldn't be necessary in a beginner's course for a language that prides itself on regularity.
The real world (the voice chats, the YT videos, the Kongresoj) is for lazy individualized pronunciation, but this course should be reinforcing pronunciation that's not only uniform but caters to a beginner's ear.
I'd report it in the hopes of hearing something better, too.
I listened to this earlier, I recall, and I believe I too could hear it "from both perspectives" as well. People need to do what their good sense tells them to do (i.e. report a problem with this audio). For my part, even though I have a direct line to the person who recorded the sentence, I'm not going to ask him to do it again.
There are many reasons someone may have trouble catching what is said in these recordings - and I've written about that at length elsewhere.