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  5. "Mi volas manĝi alie."

"Mi volas manĝi alie."

Translation:I want to eat differently.

August 11, 2015



With Latin "inter alia" meaning 'among other things,' and Latin "et al.," or, in full, "et alii," meaning 'among others,' it is clear that the root "ali-" means 'other.' So, the most natural English translation of the Esperanto sentence "Mi volas manĝi alie," would be 'I want to eat otherwise,' which is a perfectly good sentence in English, though it may sound stilted to anyone other than a lawyer (or someone previously cursed enough to learn law). I accidentally had my mouse stop over the word "alie" above, and even it gave one of the translations as "otherwise." So, I am no longer concerned about the translation being marked as incorrect since our hardworking creators do know that "otherwise" is a proper translation.


You may also come across Esperantists who use alie for "elsewhere, somewhere else", as if ali- were a series of correlatives (matching tie "there", kie "where" etc.).

This is, of course, incorrect; alie has the general adjective ending, not a specifically directional one, since ali- is not one of the correlatives.

Still, if you want to be extremely clear, you can use alimaniere, which means "differently, otherwise" no matter which "dialect" of Esperanto you speak (and aliloke unambiguously means "elsewhere, somewhere else).

Oddly enough, the only ali- quasi-correlatives that see much use are alie "elsewhere" and aliel "in a different manner"; no one who uses those seems to do the logical step and say aliu libro (matching tiu libro, kiu libro, ĉiu libro) - instead, they say the correct alia libro.


Dankon! Mi devas doni lingoton por tio!


Tio bone klarigas ion pri kio mi demandis min foje - dankon!


I think the most common of those unofficial words I see is alies.


if aliel is "in a different manner", why isn't it used in this Duolingo sentence?


It is not an official word. Some feel that ali- should have been among the correlatives, but using it as such causes problems and confusion in many instances.


Bertilo has said that he thinks that people only do this because "alia" happens to have an -i at the end of its stem; if the word had been "altera", for example, people would probably not try to form "alterel".

It could be a useful addition, but then, so could its opposite "sama" -- to be able to say "samel" or "samiel" for "in the same manner". Yet nobody says this, so the need for such correlatives is apparently not particularly pressing.


Interesting hypothesis. Bertilo might have a point there. A friend once wished me to have "fiom da diboĉado" on my birthday, and that wouldn't be possible if fi- ended with anything other than "i".


@traevoli: I love that expression! Even if it's incorrect, it's a fun way to say it. :D


I know! I'll eat with my feet!


Ĉu vi volas manĝi kun alia parto? Mi ne komprenas.

Ĉu ozmoze?

Ĉu alia … truo?


Neither do I. What does this sentence mean exactly?


It means "in another way", e.g. with chopstick, out using your hands, or with the food blended and then using a straw... In real life hardly anyone uses alie – we usually say alimaniere. That's also less confusing. :)


From some of the comments above about ali- being treated as a correlative, I'd almost want to say that this sentence might be translated as "I want to eat someplace else."


The reason they included this sentence is precisely to teach you that this is not a possible translation. Alie cannot mean "someplace else".


Ah, I was unclear. I wasn't saying that it should be someplace else, but that I can see how someone unused to the term might think that it is. My apologies for any confusion.


That is what some speakers mean when they say "alie", but it shouldn't be translated that way because it's wrong :)

A bit like how "Li kuŝis sur la lito" shouldn't be translated as "He laid on the bed", perhaps, even if many people say that.


It means someone who took English as a fifth language wrote this sentence.


Ne nun Waje, atendu ĝis ili manĝas.

(Starts exploring how to say "spit take" in Esperanto.)


I don't understand what this sentence is supposed to mean. It's very confusing, because it doesn't sound like something anyone would naturally say.


It's more natural to say "alimaniere", but "alie" Is not wrong. Imagine you go to a Chinese restaurants with your friends, and they all eat with fork and knife. You could say the sentence above and demand chopsticks. That would be a normal, natural context for this sentence.


Interesting. I was referring to the English translation when noting that the sentence sounded unnatural -- it was a little tough for me. I was convinced I had it wrong, because that didn't sound like a normal thing to say. I can imagine a conceivable context for it, but only ones where there are far more natural alternatives (like "I would prefer to eat with chopsticks" for your example).


Could "alie" mean "somewhere else"? I read everything in the discussion, but I still don't understand. =/


Simple answer: no.

Complex answer: absolutely not. It means "otherwise."


Uh... Alright. Thank you, I guess.


Some people use it like that, because the stem-final vowel -i- makes the word look temptingly like a correlative/table word.

But that's not standard Esperanto, and even those who use the pseudo-correlative alie for "somewhere else" are usually not consistent about making ali- be a table word; I don't think I've ever heard Ĉu vi havas *aliun libron?, for example.


Though I did use it as a correlative when I was trying to show that a certain character in my web comic was less than well educated. And that's about the only such usage I can imagine for such a translation. Besides, how would one translate aliom? Another amount? Not much call for that.


Hnm... Yeah, I understand the point. But I think that it is something that maybe Esperantists will use in the future, because it still kinda makes sense, doesn't it? And, I dunno, languages change. Like you said, it is very tempting to use the word like that. Maybe such usage could become more common, and one day we will see "ali-" as a table word. Who knows? Anyways, sorry if I am daydreaming here. I happen to be a Linguistics student, haha! Thanks for the reply! =)


I generally let the future take care of itself. Less stress on my blood pressure.

Alio = something else? (it's current meaning)
Alia = some other kind of thing? (instead of the current other?)
Alie = Somewhere else? (currently otherwise)
Alies = Someone else's? (perhaps arguably useful? But what about ies?)
Aliu = Something specific else? (a verb form, not normally used)
Aliom = another amount? (unorthodox, and mostly useless)
Alial = Another reason? (for me to stop now)
Yeah, if someone was persistent enough it could work, but I suspect that the better educated among us would have conniptions. At the very least.


Well, ok. Let us clarify a couple of things here:

(1) Even "the better educated among us" use non-standard language all the time in their daily lives. In fact, "standard English", "standard Spanish", "standard Portuguese" etc. are just concepts. There is not a single individual who speaks "standard language". There are people who speak varieties closer to the standard, and people who speak varieties that differ further from it. But standard? No one.

(2) You may argue that I only mentioned natural languages, while Esperanto is an artificial language. But here's the thing: all languages change. Let me say that again: All. Languages. Change. The only languages that do not change are the ones we call "dead languages", i. e., languages that are no longer spoken, such as Latin or Aramaic. And they do not change anymore precisely because they are no longer spoken. All "living" languages change. So, if we, as Esperantists, have this dream of seeing Esperanto spreading around the world and becoming more and more broadly spoken (and if you don't want to see that, why on Earth are you studying this language?), then we MUST be willing to accept changes in the language.

(3) In fact, I strongly recommend that you educate yourself better in the matter of language change, linguistic varieties and linguistic prejudice. It is a very interesting topic, I'm sure you're gonna like it. I can even recommed you a couple of authors to read. I'd be happy to. It might change your point of view about linking language pattern to degree of education or to "intelligence level" (as the way you spoke kind of suggested you do).

(4) It is important to clarify, too, that I never said that it WILL happen that "ali-" will become a table word — I said it COULD happen. I was talking about hypothesis. We, Linguistic scientists, can never tell you what is going to happen in the future of a language. Languages are unpredictable. All we can do is create hypothesis based on current linguistic data, on certain linguistic patterns and on the history of language(s). Then, we have to wait and see. And believe me, sometimes the most "unlikely" things happen in the linguistic field. We, linguistics, cannot tell you why. We only watch what happens (or happened, or is happening) and describe it.

(5) And last but not least... You should try and be nicer, sir. I mean, why speak in such an arrogant tone, when talking to someone who is only trying to learn? I did forgive you on the first time, but come on! We are talking about the language of peace here! What is the point of learning a language like Esperanto, if you are not going to learn (and practice) its philosophy and its culture as well? Please, learn this: Never look down on people, unless you are going to help them up.

That being said, I rest my case. And I wish you a great week ahead, sir. Bonan nokton.

P.S.: Oh, btw! I am taking a degree in Linguistics. I graduate next year. P.P.S.: I am Brazilian, I speak English as a foreign language, so let me apologize at once for any "non-standard" linguistic form I used. =P


I know that ALL languages change, however, Zamenhof gave us La Fundamento which is, per him, to be the foundation of what Esperanto is, and the correlatives are part of that fundamento.

This is not to say that people WON'T change them, but any well educated Esperanto speaker will always have that reference to which to turn back to.

Otherwise, as I said, I will let the future take care of itself.


I'm sure this conversation is far from your mind considering it was 7 months ago but I do have a small something to add.

All natural languages have only descriptive grammar which is to say grammars in which we observe and attempt to describe, then use that description to teach.

Esperanto on the other hand has a prescriptive grammar which is to say it was designed and that design is used to teach the language.

Languages change by natural processes, and Esperanto has a degree of pressure applied in this regard however part of learning Esperanto is learning not to change it. If we don't learn this then Esperanto would end up needing new descriptive grammars for all the variations and it would not fare well for its original design. Consider if it ever succeeds as a lingua franca and what has happened to English. English is different in different parts of the world. For instance, often times an American speaker cannot understand an Indian speaker due to the extreme morph of phonetics between the two groups.

I am making no points, just providing content to consider.


Thanks, Stephie! I appreciate it. =) I will stand with my opinion that all languages change, whether we like it or not, but I totally understand what you mean. You are right in pointing out the difference between descriptive and prescriptive grammar, too. Thank you for your contribution to the discussion.


I have a "teach yourself Esperanto" book from 1959 that I was reading, before I came across Duolingo, and I think (I'm still komencanto) that the Esperato there is quite a bit different from modern Esperanto (using duolingo as a guide).

To be honest, I was pretty angry about this. I love the English language for many reasons but I also dislike many things about it, one being the speed of change. There are so many new words to learn all the time, especially in the realm of internet-based political correctness where "coloured people" (once a perfectly acceptable phrase but now considered by many to have racist connotations) has been replaced by BAME (black and minority ethnic), POC (people of colour), and many many more. If you don't keep up then you are at risk of sounding stupid at best or, at worst, even causing offense.

Wasn't Esperanto supposed to solve this problem? Wasn't it supposed to be a language that you could speak with anybody from any country with any background, old, young, man, woman, and be completely understood?

I really appreciate the fact that Esperanto is a living language, but I think it may be at risk of turning into an elite club, rather than the global language it was supposed to be. So make changes if you wish, but think to yourself "would someone with a 1959 Esperanto book understand this?" because if the answer is "no" then you are excluding some speakers from your conversation, you are being exclusive rather than inclusive, you are kontraŭ the spirit of Esperanto. Of course words like komputilo have to be added, this is simply inescapable. The problem is really if you start to change the meanings of existing words. The Esperanto speaking community should especially, I think, resist any change which says "this word we have now decided is OFFENSIVE, please use this new word instead". This happens all the time in English and all it does is introduce new cultural barriers (especially between old and young). Esperanto should be about removing barriers.

If we could use a magic telephone to speak to Zamenhof, I hope we would understand each other fine (staying away from topics related to computers etc.), and I hope that Zam would cause no offense by the occasional obsolete use of "-in-".

Of course, it seems that languages change by themselves, but in fact it is the speakers that change them. If someone decides tomorrow that "virino" is now a sexist and derogatory word, please use this new word for "woman", it is our duty to the spirit of Esperanto to refuse. Even if every other esperantist on Duolingo except for us adopts the new word, we should still use "virino", because we don't want to exclude any speakers who haven't kept up with the changes. We want to be open to la tuta mondo. Unfortunately, if every other esperantist in the world adopts the change, we will have to give in, or else cause offense constantly. But while the conservative "virino" users are still in good numbers, we should stand our ground and put forth our arguments.

Unlike national languages Esperanto is not a language for its own speakers to communicate with one another; it is a language for everyone (even those who not yet learned it), its purpose is not merely communication, it is friendship, inclusiveness and internationalism. We should consider these points before adopting changes, however reasonable they may seem.


Do you have any specific perceived changes in mind, that seem different from what you learned from the 1959 book? Don't forget that Esperanto, despite being invented, is a living language, not a dead theory. So far, even 1900 Esperanto is still the same language and will be understood just as well (though it might sound a bit stilted), and I suppose also vice versa, at least if we're talking about standard Esperanto.


No big things, just those that make make conversation seem stilted (like "plaĉas al mi" all the time, no sign of Duolingo's favourite "mi ŝatas"). I'm just commenting on the speculations that Esperanto may change, new table words etc..

It may be a living language (as all esperantists are so proud to point out) but that doesn't mean it should be treated as we treat a national language. I think that, before adopting a new way of saying something, or changing the meaning of a word, any true esperantist should think twice. Unlike a national language, Esperanto was created with a specific (and very admirable) goal in mind, and (in my opinion) we should stay true to that goal. If esperanto becomes a living language to the massive extent that English has done, it runs the risk of becoming as complex, irregular and confusing as English. Esperantists in one community may alter the language differently to those in another community, as the same English word can actually mean something different in America than it does in England, than in Scotland, than in Australia. New words or manners of speaking are created in one place that do not travel to another, words that are acceptable in China may develop offensive connotations in Algeria, and may mean something completely different in Swaziland.

If Esperanto, somehow, one day became the global Lingua Franca that Zamenhof envisioned, it will not retain its position for long if it evolves at the pace of a natural language. It will split up, like Latin split into French, Italian etc. or will absorb so many new words and mannerisms that, like English, it is no longer "mere play" to learn, and (as is the case with English) native speakers (because there are native esperantists) will have the advantage.

For example, why did we make the switch to Francio from Francujo? This defies the whole point of the affix system that was supposed to make everything so regular and logical. Okay, you can argue that it is still acceptable to say Francujo, but that just means that an extra burden has been placed on the learner. If a thousand or ten thousand more things such as this happen, Esperanto will be no easier, and no more international, than English - so what will be the point?


This English sentence is so unnatural, although it seems just as unnatural in Esperanto.

Seems far more fitting to describe what you mean such as "I would rather shove my face into my food and slurp it up" however I imagine the sentence is only trying to illustrate the usage of the word "alie"


I want to eat otherwise - is not English. Sorry.

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