"Kiel domaĝe!"

Translation:What a pity!

June 7, 2015



Quel dommage !

October 2, 2015


I'm a bit confused about this grammatically. I'd expect "What a pity" to be "Kio domagxo!" and this sentence to be more like "How pitiful [-ly verbed]!" Anyone have an explanation for what's going on here and when you use which construct?

June 7, 2015


Translated, as literally as I can, the phrase becomes something like "How concernedly/sadly/fearfully etc." Domaĝi is one of those words with no direct translation into a specific set of English words. it also has meanings like "leave no stone unturned," "to not boggle," "Wish to keep intact," "Fear for," and so on. But it does not mean damage. With the -e ending it means (approximately) Bedaŭrinde. This is a difficult word to fully comprehend.

If the sentence had been Estas domaĝe (ke, pri) the generally accepted translation would be "It is a pity (or I am sorry) that/about." We are also allowed by Zamenhof to use "Kia domaĝo."

it is also said in Esperanto: "Post domaĝo venas saĝo."

September 28, 2015


While that was very interesting, FredCapp, it does not seem to really answer the question before it.

September 29, 2015


Perhaps not, but I'm a strong believer in trying to understand the underpinnings of a language, and this particular word has a lot of those. That we generally use domaĝe to only mean "pity" is, indeed, domaĝa.

September 29, 2015


Words in all languages generally have a fixed meaning. Their use in many contexts in which another language has many words is confusing; and careful examination typically shows a complex, abstract concept can fit many diverse situations with the same meaning, even if it appears completely different.

Languages evolve complexities such as metaphor or homonyms (including words spelled and spoken the same but not related). At the same time, abstract terms convey a set of feelings and emotions which, for the most part, we ignore in favor of an implicit understanding. These abstractions are lost when given a list of translations; they become understood when communicating for a long time in a language, thanks to context and plain empathy.

Many of the things you say have a connotation of recognized damage. The last thing you said is, in an abstract sense, "After [some unfortunate thing] comes wisdom", which is a crude description of the human facility of hindsight, foresight, and learning: those things which we find upsetting, unsettling, unfortunate, or otherwise derogatory to our ideal lead us to reflect on how to prevent such tragedy. The same sense of loss and misfortune is what your mind renders as damage and destruction, and is the imperative in the effort to preserve a thing from such damage. A large number of things can be viewed and discussed as related or as a form of this abstract ideal.

Abstracts are impossible to explain sufficiently. They are only "difficult to fully comprehend" because they reflect a sense that repeats in situations, but which we haven't created large and complex descriptive words for because we took the optimal route of creating A WORD that connects to that meaning. Look at the stupid crap you get when someone tries to explain "family"--people can only explain the condition which gives rise to what they sense as "family", but they can't explain what family is at all.

September 14, 2016


This makes me wonder how the word could be used as a double entendre.

July 31, 2016


If you figure it out, I'm interested in hearing/reading the results.

August 2, 2016


"Kio domagxo" is ungrammatical, "Kia domagxo" would be better.

February 4, 2016


And "kiel domagxe" (how unfortunate) would be better still. :-)

April 16, 2016


Yeah, maybe it's an indirect translation.

June 10, 2015


In Esperanto this expression sounds a lot like the French equivalent.

July 7, 2015


My guess is that's intentional.

August 3, 2015


Duolingo accepts "What a shame" here. I immediately thought of Deus Ex.

September 2, 2016


"Kia domaĝe!” feels more appropriate?

July 1, 2015


I think "kia" has a similar function for nouns, like "kiel" has for adjectives and adverbs. It kind of makes sense when you think of "kia" as meaning something like "what kind of"; "what kind of a pity" works if you use "pity" as a noun, but "domaĝe" is not a noun. Difficult to translate example though... probably clearer with another word:

Kiel alta! = How high!

Kia alteco! = What (kind of) altitude!

July 1, 2015


"Kia domaĝe!” is accepted.

July 1, 2015


It shouldn't be.

Words ending in -a (whether adjectives or correlatives) describe nouns. Adverbs can be used as expletives by themselves, or they modify verbs or words ending in -a. So, in your example, "domaĝe" is actually describing "kia", but "kia" is lacking a noun.

If you absolutely want to use "kia" you'd need to say: "Kia domaĝo!"

August 21, 2015


Could is be a distinction in meaning?

Kia domaĝo! = What a pity! (in regards to the outcome)

Kiel domaĝe! = What a pity! (in regards to the means by which it happened)

October 31, 2018


I don't think so. Translated, as literally as I can, I would say that

Kia domaĝo! ~ What [kind/sort of] a pity!

Kiel domaĝe! ~ How pitifully!

In any case, this thread made it evident that the phrase Kiel domaĝe! doesn't have a perfect translation into English.

November 2, 2018


If you say "kia", then it needs to be "domaĝo".

November 7, 2018



November 7, 2018


There's a sentence that uses "Kia domaĝo" in this skill.

September 3, 2015


See the tail end of my note, above.

September 28, 2015


Ĉu ne estas domaĝe

April 6, 2017


Kiel domaĝe estas vaste uzata diraĵo, mi jesas

August 2, 2017


"Kiel domaĝe" estas vaste uzata diraĵo, mi jesas

August 2, 2017


I think that it, literally, means "how pitying", or something like that. The hebrew חבל (too bad) is the first thing that came to my mind.

October 17, 2015


To me it seems more like 'how shameful'

February 28, 2017
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