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"Ĉu esti ne esti, tio estas la demando."

Translation:To be or not to be, that is the question.

June 18, 2015



Ĉu ĝi estas pli nobla en la menso suferi la ŝtonĵetiloj kaj sagoj de neordinara fortuno...


Aŭ preni armilojn kontraŭ maro da mizeroj, kaj per kontraŭante fini ilin.


morti dormi, ne plu


Kaj per dormo, diri ni finas


While this sentence does match the English form, the actual phrase from Zamenhof's translation of Hamlet is "Ĉu esti aŭ ne esti,—tiel staras/ Nun la demando."


By his own admission, Zamenhof didn't speak English very well. I'd imagine that he was translating from a translation, so the Duolingo version is more accurate.


Yes, Zamenhof translated Hamlet from German. But contrary to the present exercise his translation preserves the pentametric rhythm. Obviously he had to make compromises for that:

Ĉu esti aŭ ne esti – tiel staras
nun la demando: ĉu pli noble estas
elporti ĉiujn batojn, ĉiujn sagojn
de la kolera sorto – aŭ sin armi
kontraŭ la tuta maro da mizero
kaj per la kontraŭstaro ilin fini?


That leads to an interesting question: what metre suits Esperanto most naturally? The English blank verse or iambic pentameter, the French alexandrine, something different?


It took me about a minute to undestand ! Quite hard ! But so fun !


Shouldn't it be: "tiu" estas la demando?


No, that would be closer to "which (one of those) is the question." Hamlet is saying, "To be or not to be?" THAT is the question.


2017-07-24 17:18 U.S. Eastern Time (ISO Date/Time)

I wondered this too. But early on in this thread it occurred to me why it was "tio" rather than "tiu". Using "tiu" would render the sentence as "Which is the question?" with the implication being "Which one of those two is the question?"

@Klinpo | Thanks for the question.

@stevenvarner | Thanks for the good explanation.


Shakespeare in Esperanto! Go Duolingo go!


Can someone explain why ĉu is needed here?


Because "To be, or not to be?" is a question!


I guess so, but it is still weird to me, because there is no question mark in the sentence in either english or esperanto (at least in the way duolingo wrote them)


I get what you're saying, but think of it this way: Horatio: Hey, Hamlet, what's that question you're obsessed with? Hamlet: My question involves the fundamental existential dilemma: "Under miserable conditions, should one continue to endure his life, or should one choose suicide?".
Horatio: In other words, "To be, or not to be?" - THAT is your question.


Regardless of being a question, "Ĉu" not only marks questions, but serves as "Whether." Although the word isn't present in the original English, the grammatical setup is the same, and Zamenhof chose to include it when translating.


Mi komprenas nun! Mi forgesis 'ĉu' antau = 'whether'. Dankon!


Vilhelmo Ŝekspiro en E-o.


En la originala Esperanto, certe.

Pli Bonas ol Klingono…

[deactivated user]

    No way around it, this is the best course on Duolingo.


    The fact that I laughed at this so quickly is awesome proof of how much I've learned!


    Maybe also: "ĉu esti aŭ ne esti, jen la demando!"


    Behold the question?
    Voila the question?
    Lookie here the question?
    Lacks something.


    Tio estas mojosa traduko.


    Whether 'tis nobler to achieve without goals,
    Or make tracks for the beach,
    Is much beyond the ken of mere wageslaves.

    Nun mi devas traduki tion

    [deactivated user]


      "tio estas la demando: ĉu vi estas pli nobla en la menso suferi La klingojn kaj sagojn de indigniga fortuno, Aŭ preni armilojn kontraŭ maro de problemoj kaj kontraŭstari ilin?.... And boldly go where no one has gone before...." or something like that. It was quite a few years ago that I had to do Shakespeare.... and I have felt better ever since.


      Now that you no longer "have to do Shakespeare" maybe you can go back and do Shakespeare for fun!


      Wait ... what's the question?


      Ĉu kokiĝi aŭ ne kokiĝi.


      Why wouldn't this be "Cxu estas aux ne estas"? Isn't "To be" in the present tense?


      Because it would then say: "Is or not is."
      - Estas = is.
      - Esti = to be. It's in the infinitive, which is neither past, present, or future, but can modify all of them.


      I translated it with an "is" at the beginning, why would this be wrong?


      Because the sentence translates to: To be or not to be, that is the question.

      Remember that ĉu is a marker for a question, or is used to mean whether. It does not mean is. And esti is the infinitive of (to) be. It can mean is, but only in certain circumstances.

      Refer to my response to Sage1029


      Best appreciated in the original Klingon.

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