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  5. "Kiel vi nomiĝas?"

"Kiel vi nomiĝas?"

Translation:What is your name?

July 11, 2015



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.


You are technically true, but I'd doubt that anyone would say "how are you named" in English.


At least for me, translating literally helps me get the feel of the language, or else I will tend to translate directly from English.


We aren't learning english. The english translations would be of more value if they were arranged in esperanto fashion instead of english.


What is your quest?

  • 1928

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Mi ne scias . . .


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Is this basically like the Spanish "¿Cómo te llamas?"


It is. According to Wiktionary, llamarse and similar words elsewhere (s'appeler, chiamarsi etc) have influenced the coinage of this word: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/nomi%C4%9Di


For "What is your name" shouldn't the translation be "Kio estas via nomo?" Kiel is what way or how.


What is the full sentence you're looking at?

"Kio estas via nomo" is generally accepted as good Esperanto.


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.


To take this a step further, would "Kiel vi nomiĝis?" work if you wanted the story behind someone's name?



"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?".


Sounds like Russian "Как Вас зовут?", which is literally "How are you called?"


I was just about to mention that. Wonder what the etymology (or equivalent) would be for this sort of thing.


For example it could be in difference between "Immediately say to me your very personal name" and "Please could you tell me how others can call you when it is really necessary"


it is very common in other languages to ask "how are you called?"/what do you call yourself?" rather than "what is your name?"


It's as common as in Spanish: "¿Cómo te llamas?"

Which is the most common and natural way to ask someone's name, as far as I'm concerned :)


It's funny that this sentence is almost at the end of the course, since it is normally the first thing they teach you in standard language classes.


They gave it to you earlier in a different form, iirc.



Kio estas via nomo


i didnt put it but is "what do you call yourself" a correct interpretation?


It's closer to "what are you called" (which is accepted). If you specifically wanted to say "What do you call yourself", one would ask "Kiel vi nomas vin?"


That's the literal word-for-word translation. That's what people in other languages say literally, like in Spanish. However, it won't be accepted as an English translation, since that's not what English speakers ask when they want to know someone's name.


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.


via respondo sonoras vere en mia kapo(your answer rings true in my head?! =))


Nomiĝas indicates a state change. I don't see how this makes sense.


-igx- removes one of the agents:

Mi nomas vin John. Vi nomigxas John.


Li turniĝas dekstran - he turns right.

Li nomiĝas Adamo - he makes himself named Adam??


You have the same pattern or removing one of the agents.

  • Mi turnas vin dekstren.
  • Vi turnigxas dekstren.

BTW, there's also "li nomas sin Adamo."

Edit: in this thread, "dekstran" is almost certainly a typo for "dekstren." I've corrected it in my own post.


I thought being named was an external factor, not a state someone applies upon themselves. Confused.


Notice that you said "being named" -- this implies the existence of a verb "to name someone".

In Esperanto:

  • 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


is the -iĝ ending basically reflexive, not "state change" as described in the ig/iĝ section, then?


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.


Vi turniĝas dekstren = You turn to the right


I had assumed he'd just made a typo. Looks like I copy-pasted it in my reply. I'll correct it.


Very much alike Hebrew: איך קוראים לך? (How are you called (by people/them)) only in Hebrew it's the active participle.


Kiel vi nomiĝas? = Wie heißt du? = 你叫什么?


I think that "Kiel vi nomiĝas?" = "How is your name", but Duo doesn´t agree...


Duo is correct here.


Nomigxas isn't "name" though. The ig means it's a change so it's "named" and so more correctly "How are you named"


Similarly in French, is this the more common way to say "What's your name?" like the French, "Comment tu t'appelle ?" (literally: How do you call yourself?) and the unnatural way, "C'est quoi ton nom ?" (literally: What's your name?)

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