Should "how are you named" be a possible correct answer? I got it wrong, but it seems to be a pretty literal translation that still gets the point across.
In English yes, but many countries use "How are you named" (which is this question translated) instead and so when those countries learn Esperanto they are likely to bring that way of asking the question over.
Just like how English Esperanto speakers tend to put words in orders that flow easily for us (Subject Verb Object) but others may use Object Verb Subject or Subject Object Verb. They are all correct in Esperanto.
"Nomiĝi" does not mean to BECOME named. Rather it means to have as a name.
It's the standard pattern with transitive verbs and -iĝ- - Vi nomas min Tomaso. - Mi nomiĝas Tomaso.
So, "kiel vi nomiĝis?" means "what was your name (in the past)?" or "what did people call you before?".
Notice that you said "being named" -- this implies the existence of a verb "to name someone".
- nomi = to name or to call (someone something)
- sin nomi = to name or call yourself (something)
- nomiĝi = to be called (something) (by someone)
Edit: John asked:
is the -iĝ ending basically reflexive, not "state change" as described in the ig/iĝ section, then?
I don't see this as mutually exclusive. Often the reflexive form and the iĝ form mean the same thing. In the cases where they differ, the reflexive form implies that the subject is causing the change, and the iĝ makes no such implication.
- Mi nomas min Tomaso - I call myself Tomaso, I declare that I should be called Tomaso.
- Mi nomiĝas Tomaso - It seems to go on around me that the name Tomaso is applied to me. I get called Tomaso
It may help if you don't think of it as the English "name" but more "nomination". It is what they are called not a personal object like English makes it out to be. In this it's like they are saying "Hey call me this because this is what I nominate as my label" Their name is probably Adam, but they're talking in Esperanto so they're naming themself Adamo.
but what if you wanted to be combative in esperanto.. how i imagine "what do you call yourself" in english would sound to someone..."What do You call Yourself?" kind of condescending? but i guess my question is answered...in esperanto it wouldnt come off combative..is there a version of this to use...for purely educational purposes. =)
I feel like "What do you call yourself?" isn't necessarily condescending. It sounds to me like they're acknowledging that the name on your birth certificate isn't always the name you go by, and I'll just let you tell me what you'd like to be called, regardless of your "real name."
However, it does depend on tone, as with anything. I feel like if you said something like, "Who are you?" or "What's your purpose here?" with a loud, harsh voice, it could come off as combative.