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ARRRGH! I'm dying!

by Novico Dektri, May 24, 2006

Messages: 7

Language: English

Novico Dektri (User's profile) May 25, 2006, 10:18:01 PM

Seriously, I'm trying to learn speranto and I'm getting slaughtered. I aside from all the courses I'm taking here, I mailed KEA saying I would like to take their corresspondence course (I have a book that says that KEA has a special deal with it and allows you to take a free correspondance course) but they haven't so much as sent a single letter back even though I live very close to their headquarters. Its been two weeks, nearly three, since I mailed them.

My two main problems in Esperanto? Word order and present tense. I'm been trying to 'rewire' my brain, so to speak, to understand Esperanto word order but no matter how hard I try it seems comepletely nonsensical to me.

Also, present tense is bothering me. La vortaro says that "learning" is "lernado", yet "studying" appears to have no translation. Is it "studado"?

I know that "Mi parolas Esperanton" is "I speak Esperanto."

What is "I am speaking Esperanto."? -  "Mi parolado Esperanton."?

Oh yeah, I am so confused. I would be so grateful for some help.

Multajn dankojn, samideanoj.


boy-o (User's profile) June 9, 2006, 2:09:46 AM

Your problems with the present tense are you are too caught up in the way english works. English is big on helping verbs, thus "I am learning" means "I am in the process of learning" and also "I learn." But in many other languages, esperanto including, helping verbs don't play as big a role. So when you are trying to speak, and you want to say "I am (enter verb)ing" just conjugate the verb normaly using the -as ending. In esperanto, spanish, german, french and many other languages, their equivalent of the -ing ending is used strictly to explain something they are in the process of doing, and not just expressing they are doing it generally. The -ing ending and the esperanto -anto and -ado equivalent aren't the present tense. They are endings used to form the present participle.

I am learning esperanto = Mi lernas esperanton. (I learn esperanto)

I am writing a paper = Mi skribas dokumenton. (I write [a] paper).

I am sleeping = Mi dormas (I sleep)

So as you are learning esperanto, try to start relegating present participles to actions that are currently-as-you-speak-in the-process-of happening. When you speak generally, use the present tense -as ending.

As for the course, I would stop by their headquaters and ask what's up.


Talking Pie (User's profile) June 10, 2006, 8:52:55 PM

Good advice.

I have to ask, though (Novico Dektri): what about the Esperanto word order is causing you difficulty? It's relatively identical to that of English.

kavaliro (User's profile) June 12, 2006, 2:19:16 PM

Word order won't be a problem for you, once you understand how to handle words that end in -n. Keep in mind that you can diagram an esperanto sentence the same way you could an English sentence. The subject lacks the -n, the object has it. There will also be participial phrases, but those are fairly easy to pick out of a sentence, as they have the same structure as in English, such as "In the house," or "At work." In most cases there's no -n ending in participial phrases. If you do see a -n word in a participial phrase, that just means that there's movement toward (whatever). For instance, if I say "Li iras hejmen," I'm saying He is somewhere else besides home, and he's going home. If I say "Li iras hejme," I'm saying he's home, and he's going(around/through his home) I could say, "Li iras al hejmo," but I wouldn't say "Li iras al hejmon," because the "al" already denotes movement, so an -n ending would be redundant and possibly confusing. I hope that helps.

bananaclaw (User's profile) June 12, 2006, 7:21:40 PM

"in the house"
"at work"
"al hejmo"

don't you mean 'prepositional' phrase?

wouldn't a participial phrase be like these, used as an adjective clause?

"sent in the mail"
"gone fishing"
"sendado posxte"

I say this because the first three start with a preposition and the second three start with a participle.

Sorry if that's wrong mi ne estas la plej bona esperantisto!


RiotNrrd (User's profile) June 13, 2006, 2:19:06 AM

The -n ending can drive beginners crazy. Here's a rule of thumb that I use (don't know if it works in ALL cases, but it seems to do the trick generally).

If the noun comes after a preposition, it doesn't get an -n unless there's movement towards it. Assuming no movement, -n will NOT appear after words like pri, de, ĉe, je, en, sur, apud, sub, el, and so on.

The -n ending NEVER comes after estas. "Mi vidas knabon" (I see a boy), but "Mi estas knabo" (I am a boy).

You can apply these rules almost mechanically, without having to even think about them, and as far as I can tell you'll get it right.

The word order is mostly like English, so when you are composing a sentence you can pretty much just put it in the same order as you would in English. There are a few exceptions to this, mostly having to do with possessives - You can't say "My cats tail", for example; you have to say "The tail of my cat" (both are correct English word orders as well, actually, but only the second order will work in Esperanto because Esperanto doesn't have a possessive).

The only place that word order trips me up is when the subject-object is reversed, with an -n on the first noun. "Knabon vidas la kato" (while it means "The cat sees the boy", it is maybe better translated by "The boy is seen by the cat"). This word order sometimes takes me by surprise and I have to think for a moment before I can work out who is doing what to whom. In this case, the -n ending tells you that the cat is the one that is seeing and that the boy is the one being seen. But it's easy to miss the -n and rely solely on the word order to tell you what's going on - because that's how we do it in English - which would make you think that the boy is seeing the cat (which, while it might also be true, isn't what the sentence is telling us).

The fact that adjectives can come after the noun doesn't always sound right to English ears, but in fact English used to do this as well. We don't do it so much anymore, but if you read any Shakespeare you'll see it occur in lots of places. "I saw a lady fair" is quite understandable, but has a kind of medieval quality to it. Go to a rennaissance faire, and you'll hear that kind of word order relatively frequently.

Hope this helps!

100% cotton (User's profile) June 27, 2006, 1:53:53 AM

i was wondering about m=numbers. i was looking over the study plan but there dodn't seem to be a section for them help?

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