"Adamo didn't know how to have fun."

Translation:Adamo ne sciis, kiel amuzi sin.

June 21, 2015

This discussion is locked.


Is there another way to say "adam didnt know how to have fun"? I feel like having fun isnt always the same as "amuzing yourself"


Adamo ne scipovis amuzi sin. Accepted


Is "kiel" necessary here?


Kiel vi dirus ĝin?


Judging from something posted above, it seems that if you were to use "scipovis" instead of "sciis" you can drop the kiel. You might say the idea of it is baked into the expression.

Li ne sciis kiel fari tion VS. Li ne scipovis fari tion

(I didn't bother to check the original expression; rather I improvised my own example on the fly. I believe it still holds up.)


Is "Adamo ne sciis kiel amuzi sin mem" acceptable, or is the the "mem" strictly redundant?


"Redundant" is the wrong here. I like Trey's word "unmotivated." There's no reason to add the mem. There is no overlap in meaning between sin and mem - and they're only confused because of how English works and the fact that English uses "self* for both contexts.

Mem is emphatic.

  • Dio mem ne povas fari tion. God himself can't do that.

Sin refers to something done to the subject (by the subject.)

  • Adamo regalis sin. Adam entertained himself.

I wrote a blog post about the difference and it turned into a three-part series. See links.


I think it’s acceptable Esperanto, but the mem seems unmotivated here. Makes me wonder what Duolingo’s various Romance language courses do with constructions like (a mí), me gusta… since the a mí stands in a similar place—in some sense redundant, but frequently said anyhow. (Maybe unintuitively, even perfectly fluent and idiomatic speech in all human languages have lots of redundancy—for example, that’s what things like number/gender agreement and correlative pronouns, antecedents and bound referents, and stress prosody are.)


Can "amuziĝi" be used here?


Adam didn't know how to become amused?


Amuziĝi does not become amused - any more than malfermiĝi means "become opened", renkontiĝi means "become met", or komenciĝi means "to become started."


Yes, depending how you write it—the shortest sentence accepted by Duolingo for this translation is Adamo ne scipovis amuziĝi.

FredCapp’s comment (“Adam didn’t know how to become amused”) is funny, but without the kiel, and instead with scipovi, it’s a pretty close translation of the English. Literally, “Adamo doesn’t know how to be amused/how to amuse himself.” Since have fun is an English idiom that doesn’t really track in most languages (in fact, a one-to-one synonym for the English concept of “fun” is lacking in most languages!)¹, amuziĝi and “have fun” are about as close as you’ll get. PIV says amuziĝi and amuzi sin are synonymous.

¹ By “most languages” I mean “the languages of most speakers in the world”—I have no idea how many Trans-New Guinea languages might have a word for “fun”! Also, there are quite a few languages that have borrowed the English word “fun”, since their own closest words meant “interesting”, “amusing”, “funny”, “entertaining”, but—not quite—“fun”.


This was accepted:

Adamo ne sciis kiel amuziĝi.



I got this wrong with the answer, "Adamo ne sciis, kiel amuzi lin", my thinking being that kiel began a new clause, and that therefore sin was not appropriate. Is my understanding of the circumstances where sin can replace lin therefore wrong, or isn't kiel beginning a new clause here?


The rule with si is slightly more complex than you'll get in your first exposure. It refers to the subject of the last expressed verb. (There are additional complications in the terms "last expressed" and even "verb" - but I'll skip over that for now.) So -- since sin is the object of amuzi - we have to stop and think -- who is doing the action amuzi?

I would say it's still Adamo, but regardless, whoever is doing it is amusing himself, not some random li.

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