"Li volis instrui la francan."
Translation:He wanted to teach French.
26 CommentsThis discussion is locked.
Part of the problem is that it takes a while to "hear" a language. The other part of the problem is that the Esperanto course does not have the slow speed button. That being said, I find Esperanto much easier to "hear" than other languages. It took me years to hear the Spanish "b" sound in words that began with "v". Now I wonder why I didn't hear it.
As I'm aware of the problem of hearing differences between sounds that are allophones in one's native language (like multiple English vowels, which for someone speaking a language with smaller vowel inventory are indistinguishable, or Spanish /β/, /ð/ and /ɣ/, which, being similar to /b/, /d/ and /ɡ/, can be indistinguishable for someone whose language doesn't have them), I don't think it's it.
Here it's quite possible an audio problem, where the beginning of the file (turning the microphone on or something) results in an additional /ə/ sound (?) which can lead to misinterpreting the phrase as beginning with “ili”. Or maybe it's just an additional throat opening sound?
[β~β̞], [ð~ð̞] and [ɣ~ɰ] are no phonemes in Spanish. They're but allophones of /b/, /d/ and /g/: exchanging them won't alter comprehension, although I get your point.
As for the audio, I think I hear a glottal stop at the beginning, which usually occurs before vowels in English, hence a possible confusion between the two words...
Pretty much. La francan is short for la francan lingvon, the French language. When a nationality is used as an adjective like this, the fact that it's referring to a language is understood, and therefore the actual word lingvo(n) is usually dropped.
If I understand correctly (and if I'm wrong, someone will be along to set me straight) the reason "Esperanto" itself doesn't follow this rule is twofold:
Unlike (for example) France, Germany and China, there's no Esperanto country for there to be such a thing as la esperanta lingvo. [sic]
The name itself was taken from Zamenhof's self-chosen nickname (Doktoro Esperanto, Doctor One-who-hopes); his intended name for it was la universala lingvo, the universal language.