Here is the link to the whole lyrics - english with esperanto translation. http://lyricstranslate.com/en/have-you-ever-seen-rain-%C4%89i-havas-vidi-la-pluvo.html Thank you for the earworm, roccarpi! :)
You can't exactly sing "tra la cirklo, rapide kaj malrapide" on a melody meant for seven syllables. The actual line is:
- Tra la cirklo, ĉiuj rapid'
It seems to me that the intended meaning is "all speeds" not "all quickly" -- but either way, it's not grammatical because the word "rapido" is not marked for plural.
Of course, that's not the biggest problem with the translation. Maybe someone could proofread it and post some corrections or suggestions for improvement. That way everybody could learn.
I would say that strictly speaking, “Ĉu vi iam alvenis matene?” is correctly translated by “Did you ever arrive in the morning”, as “iam” only refers to one (undetermined) time. To express “Did you sometimes arrive in the morning?”, I would more use “Ĉu vi kelkfoje/plurfoje alvenis matene?”, where “kelkfoje” or “plurfoje” more accurately express the fact that you want more than one point of time.
However, as the meaning of these two sentences are really closed to each others, I think it’s an acceptable translation in most contexts, even if strictly speaking, “ever” is better than “sometimes” here.
P.S.: Just note that English is not my native language, so I may be missing stuffs here.
Iam is not singular by definition. It means "sometime(s)" / "in some case(s)".
PMEG gets this wrong, unfortunately. PAG sets the record straight:
> La diferenco inter foje kaj iam estas, ke foje (unufoje) povas signi nur unufojan agon (daŭran aŭ momenton), dum iam estas uzebla ankaŭ ĉe ripeto. Oni do ne diru: foje mi ofte vizitis lin, sed iam mi ofte vizitis lin.
Yes, it does seem to contradict what I said (for reference, copied below).
I have to say that claire_resurgent's comment is a little baffling for me as well. First, I can't locate the PMEG reference. There is a reference in PIV, though:
- foje: En ia nedifinita tempo
It's puzzling how PAG can "set the record straight" if it came out BEFORE PMEG and before the current edition of PIV.
What claire_resurgent seems to be saying is that foje has to mean unufoje. This is simply not true. Fojo means "occasion" so foje can mean:
- on an occasion
- on occasion
The main contraction seems to be that the PAG reference does not mention that foje can mean kelkfoje as well as unufoje. A few fluent Esperanto speakers have questioned me on this, but when they check the literature, they always come back agreeing with my summary in this comment just a few lines above. Foje to mean "at times" is found in works by John Wells and Claude Piron, just to name a few that I found on a quick search just now.
I do agree with PAG's final conclusion though - so maybe it doesn't contradict:
- Oni do ne diru: foje mi ofte vizitis lin, sed iam mi ofte vizitis lin.
That is, you wouldn't say "on occasion I often visit him" or "on one occasion I visit him often" but you WOULD say "Sometimes I visit him often."
First - remember that there is a difference between sometime, sometimes, and some time.
- fojo - a time, occasion
- foje is ambiguous. It means both "on occasion" and "on an occasion".
If context doesn't make it clear then you can specify:
- unufoje - once, on one occasion
- kelkfoje - a few times, on a few occasions
Finally iam is different, and means "sometime", i.e. "at some unspecified time."
Links in this post:
I think one of the challenges with these exercises is lack of context. In a real conversation you would be more likely to have an understanding of which tense is most appropriate. A single sentence doesn't prepare us with the extra information we need to anticipate the tense.
I am quite surprised to read this question: to my ears, “i” and “a” are quite different and have few difficulties to tell one from each other. But well, I haven’t practised Esperanto in this website for some time, so voices might have changed since then.
However, I do agree that because of being the last syllable, they are not emphasised, and the final “s” is probably more recognisable here than the vowel. But as said donaldo_zouras, it would probably won’t cause problem in a real conversation: no shame should come to use the slow mode here ☺