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  5. "Oni fosas per fosilo."

"Oni fosas per fosilo."

Translation:One digs with a spade.

July 30, 2015



False friend: the word for 'fossil' is 'fosilio'.


yep, that one caught me too! oh well, most of my misses are with English spelling errors.


I got caught by a misread. Maybe it's time this old fossil went to bed.


Do... oni povas fosi por fosilio per fosilo?


Honest question: Where, on this earth of ours, do people say "spade" instead of "shovel"?


More importantly - what is the distinction in Esperanto. I've reported this as an error. I maintain that "fosilo" is a generic digging tool. A shovel is "sxovelilo" and a spade is "sxpato." The specific definitions are in PIV.


In the UK you would use a spade to dig and a shovel to move a pile of earth. You might use a spade to shovel earth but you wouldn't use a shovel to dig.


I live in Chicago and although I am aware of the word spade, I would always use the word shovel. The context would make it obvious whether I was talking about a digging tool or a snow clearing tool.


Yes, I am am aware of the subtle differences. However, just like stated on the site you linked to, "many people use [them] interchangeably". As such, your link did not answer my question "Where?" as in "Where do people default to spade instead of shovel?" :)


Ah, as far as I remember at least in the UK people tend to talk about spades. Shovel sounds more American to me, but then again I have never lived in America.

Edit: There's a "call a spade a spade" joke lurking here...


I'm from the UK and automatically typed "spade" without thinking about it. It's definitely very commonly used here.


In the USA, a spade was often used in the garden. It is a specific type of shovel used for digging, rather than a snow shovel, etc.


So out of curiosity, I got my dictionary out to see of a trowel was a "Fosetilo". I was disappointed, that, no, trowel has it's own word "Trulo".

I wonder why Fosetilo wasn't used if the idea was as few root-words as possible.


I don't know the answer to your question, although if you search for fosileto, you'll find examples of it being used. I guess it's good to remember Esperanto isn't perfect, exceptionless or maximally efficient.

Anyway, I just wanted to point out that the word you're talking about would be fosileto rather than fosetilo. When you add an suffix at the end of a word, that qualifies the whole preceding word. So in this case, {[fosil]eto} = {little [tool for digging]} = "trowel, spadelet etc.", not {[foset]ilo} = {tool for [little digging]} = "some kind of tool for doing tiny digs".

Other examples would be "ladder": {[stupet]aro} = {collection of [little steps]}, not {[stupar]eto} = {little [collection of steps]} (= "tiny staircase") or "young woman, girl": {[junul]ino} = {female [person that's young]}, not {[junin]ulo} = {person that's [femaley young]} (= ???).

Keeping in mind the same principle when wordbuilding in Esperanto in the future will make things easier.


Thank you, and yes thank you for the correction too.

The upside of me being wrong about fosileto being a trowel is I will now never forget that Trulo means trowel. :)

... Not that I'm expecting to often need the word trowel when communicating in Esperanto.


The upside of me being wrong about fosileto being a trowel is I will now never forget that Trulo means trowel. :)

Mistakes you make are great ways of remembering things! I'm the same.

Not that I'm expecting to often need the word trowel when communicating in Esperanto.

Vi eble surpriziĝos!


cxu fosilo povus esti "shovel"?


Spades and shovels both dig; i just figured a spade would have been "fosileto" or something to that degree. (For those who have never had to dig with a shovel, you poor things ;)


I addressed this a bit in some of my earlier comments in this thread.


Kaj dankon pro tiu enrigardo


Why is fosilo also translated as "shovel"? Shovels are not for digging - and the word is ŝovelilo? Is this distinction not rigidly maintained in Esperanto?


"Shovels are not for digging" ... Huh? Since when?


Snow shovels, transfer shovels, and coal shovels are not for digging.


Very good question. Remember that the course is in beta and very few fluent speakers of Esperanto do a lot of digging at the Universala Kongreso. There are distinctins.


What is called a spade in America is called a shovel in the UK, so shovels are for digging in the UK. The first thing I would think of when hearing the word "spade" is the card suit, but maybe that's just me. I'm not sure about other countries.


In English, words change their meanings. Although I would certainly not use a shovel as a spade (to dig), I have used a spade as a shovel (to shovel) many times. That is probably how the confusion arises.

There are dialects in the UK where a spade (a digging tool) is referred to as a shovel but it certainly isn’t common in my area.

  • A shovel has a long handle and can be used to move a large amount of earth from a standing position.
  • A spade is a small hand tool used primarily to move soil for/in gardening purposes. It can also be used for masonry type of work.
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