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.
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 ☺