1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Esperanto
  4. >
  5. "Kiu estas ĉi tiu virino, kiu…

"Kiu estas ĉi tiu virino, kiu dormas ĉi tie?"

Translation:Who is this woman who sleeps here?

June 13, 2015



I ask myself that question every time...


Let me guess - you are a receptionist in a hotel or a motel, so when you come to work in mornings your ask who is that female guest who is sleeping here.


I'll also guess. You walked in to your boyfriend cheating on someone.


Kiel vi diras Goldilocks en Esperanto?


Laŭ Vikipedio kaj Glosbe, la traduko de Goldilocks estas Orbuklulino.


Is this sentence a subordinate clause, or is it two combined sentences? The English is ambiguous. Could it mean "This woman who sleeps here, who is she?" Or could it be "Who is this woman? Who is it who is sleeping here?"


It is a subordinate clause. Theoretically it could be two sentences, but I in this case I would write them separately: Kiu estas ĉi tiu virino? Kiu dormas ĉi tie?


So, is the Esperanto as ambiguous as the English?

In German it would be clear. In German the translation would be either: "Wer ist diese Frau, die hier schlaeft?" or "Wer ist diese Frau? Wer schlaeft hier?", but the two German sentences have slightly, but clearly different meanings (unlike the English).


The ambiguity is resolved by where the rising tone marking the question falls in the case of both English and Esperanto.


I don't know if it's accepted or not, but from what I could tell you could theoretically use ke instead of kiu the second time.

Kiu estas ĉi tiu virino, ke dormas ĉi tie?

Who is this woman that sleeps here?


No, this is definitely incorrect. Ke is a conjunction, not a pronoun.


Wanting to use ke as a relative pronoun is a common mistake of English and Romance-speaking beginners, because that (or que) in these languages have several meanings, but you can't use ke in this sentence because it just doesn't make sense.

If you want, you can read the PMEG pages about ke and relative clauses.


From what I understand Kiu, kio and kies can be used as descriptive clauses, describing a subject or object in the mainclause. Ke seems to have many uses, but it doesn't describe a single word. I guess I'll have to get better to understand the finer details of Ke, but for now I know enough to tell the difference.

Have a lingot, as thanks. :D


It would be incorrect for the translation, but would it be wrong grammatically and/or semantically?


It is grammatically wrong.


Do you happen to have any sources that describe why Ke can't be used in this fashion? Because I can't see why it would be wrong.


It is definitely very much correct as this is clearly a main clause and a subordinate clause, it makes perfect sense.

What is incorrect is using a pronoun where a conjunction is clearly called for.

Why people would want to use a pronoun in this context I'll never know.


Ke means "that", but it is conjunction "that", not relative pronoun "that" - and as usual, it is English that is ambiguous, not Esperanto (I seem to always point that out these days).

Ke can thus never function as a subject or object of a sentence, it just links two clauses together, and the second clause also needs its subject and predicate to be a complete sentence:

I see that you are sleeping here. (conj) Mi vidas, ke vi dormas ĉi tio.

I see you that sleep here. (pronoun) Mi vidas vin, kiu(j) dormas ĉi tio.


They are in fact to sentences, one into another. When "kiu" works as a subordinating conjunction it links the subordinate clause to the main one.


The subordinate clause is "kiu dormas cxi tie".


Ŝi estas la dormanta belulino.


Oh my, I had to listen to this many times to get it. And then...I laughed and understood the urgency in his rapid speech.


What is the first cxi doing in this sentence?

In other words, what would be different if we said "Kiu estas tiu virino, kiu dormas cxi tie?"


"Tiu virino" = "That woman"; "Ĉi tiu virino" = "This woman". In this case, it indicates proximity.


The first ĉi changes the meaning of tiu from that to this. The second ĉi changes the meaning of tie from there to here.

So, if you said "Kiu estas TIU virino [...]", it means "Who is THAT woman [...]". If you mean "Who is THIS woman [...]", you should say "Kiu estas ĈI TIU virino [...]".


Jesuus, dankon viro


"ĉi tiu" have the meaning of "this one"?


You have all been very helpful. Thank you so much


Ĝi estas demando grava!


The first "kiu" clearly sounds like each Esparanto chatacter is being pronounced and creates 2 syllables. Sounding like the 2 English words "key you" run together. The second "kiu" sounds like 1 syllable "ku" to me without the long "e" sound of the Esperanto "i". It may be there, but it is faint and slurred over. I use high quality ear buds. I have this trouble mostly with the male speakers. I also have trouble with hearing the difference between "p" and "b". As in "pov...." vs "bov...." with some of the male speakers. If the "p" or "b" sound is not pronounced hard or strong enough, it can be heard as the other character.

BTW I'm Caucasian. Born in Massachusetts, but grew up in North Carolina. The South Eastern United States has some dialects of US English that are lazy on the pronunciation and slur words together. Sometimes even adding characters where they don't belong. My mother grew up in South Carolina. She says "idear" for "idea" and "warter" for "water". Mispronunciation makes it hard for a beginner in any language.


The two "kiu"s in the sentence are pronounced completely differently. The first is pronounced as I expect like Ke-u. The second one is chopped into a single syllable sounding like qu. This might be common to short cut the proper and clear pronunciation for fluent speakers, native English (especially southern American), do this all the time. But for a komencanto en Esperanto it makes it more difficult than it should be. No disrespect to Southern Americans, I am one and also an Engineer (gene related poor language skills). We use to ask in college of friends: Jeet Jet. Which is the chopped down version of "Did you eat yet?". Evolution "did you" -> Jew; "you eat" -> Jeet; "Jew Jeet yet" -> Jeet Jet. The answer often was "No Jew". Or, no did you. But I would not use this on a beginning English learner. I've had problems with the Esperanto speakers not pronouncing each character correctly and completely. Sometimes slurring over parts of a word in many of the exercises. This slurred or common Esperanto should come later in the learning process.


I'm reading your comment and trying to guess what you're trying to say, but it's really difficult. The voice that I hear is saying both "kiu" the same way. The only difference is that the first "kiu" is starting a sentence so it may seem different but it's not. The rest of your comment I don't understand, the only thing that I understood is that you're an American Indian.


I wasn't ready for this long audio... I feel destroyed haha


Oh, it is just so wonderful when the same word means two different things in the same sentence. How could that ever be confusing?!


it took me like 20 replays to hear all of it, I can't make this sentence out for my life


Sometimes when there is a comment on the audio, I ask my family to listen to it. I just asked Logano (who is now a lot taller than when he was on YouTube) to listen. He apparently heard it just fine because he gave me the translation in English... but when I asked him what the Esperanto was, he suddenly seemed very puzzled.

My point is that it can take time to be able to understand a language.

P.S. If you don't know me or my family, never mind.


Is she there in the bed? Do you know her? Is she a stranger? Are you making a joke to her? Or are you asking someone else, and trying to figure out which of the twenty people you're trying to locate a bed for, has already been assigned to that bed?


The sentence could be a candidate for Esperanto's version of a novel in nine words. Urban legend has Ernest Hemingway writing an English language novel in six words (Google "hemingway's six word story") -- but since I live in the country, I'm happy with this as a "rural" legend.

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