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Esperanto interjections?

by wsprague, September 3, 2006

Messages: 5

Language: English

wsprague (User's profile) September 3, 2006, 3:49:20 PM

Are there any interjections (like "darn" or "wow") in Esperanto, either officially in the language or just traditionally used by speakers/writers?

I ask for two reasons--one, it is just interesting. But also, it would be nice to have a more regular system than those stupid "emoticons" that we all (including myself) use in emails.

(BTW, I promise to start posting bilingually next time, even though I will probably sound kind of dumb at first.)

super-griek (User's profile) September 3, 2006, 7:43:39 PM

This is quite a difficult question to me, because I don't know many Esperanto-interjections, and I don't know many English ones, either. But I will do my very best.

Curse words: damne, fek, diable

Ve tiuj homoj! Oh those poor people (in the Dutch language, we use 'wee' as 've' is used in Esperanto, and in Latin, you also use 've').

Fi! This is used when something bad is being done (you could, for example, say this to a dog who is puking on the carpet).

Ek! This you could say to a horse you want to get starting to move.

Ho, ha: like 'oh' and 'ah'

Aŭ: this you can say when you are being hurt.

But, then again, I am not an expert: I propose someone else could make it clearer...

erinja (User's profile) September 4, 2006, 3:24:18 PM

But, then again, I am not an expert: I propose someone else could make it clearer...
If you check out the lernu! word-learning section, there is a vocabulary list of interjections, so you can learn a bunch of them there. They are pretty well established.

However - interjections like the English "Ow!" of pain, often get said in the national language, since when something hurts you, you react to it so fast, you use the word you have been using for your whole life. So depending on who you're with, you might hear something like "aŭ!", "aj!", "aj-ja!", or "aj-jo!"

For things with a little more forethought, people will use the Esperanto more often in speech - Fi! to the bad dog, "Fek!" when someone's really upset that something's going badly (I yelled it out myself in the middle of moving out of my apartment last week, when I dropped and broke my milk frother).

The most common interjection, by far, is "nu". It doesn't have a very good English translation (although if anyone here is Jewish, you might have a good idea of what it means and when it's used). The Eo-Eo dictionary here translates it as "A pause to cause someone to think" or "settle down!". translates it as "An interjection serving to encourage someone or to let them know about something following 'nu, iru rapide; nu, aŭskultu la finon; nu, ĉu vi estas preta?' ", or second definition "A conjunction serving to introduce a new fact and especially the second preposition of the syllogism: 'ĉiuj homoj devas morti, nu, Sokrato estas homo, do Sokrato devas morti; nu, ni devas konstti, ke malgraŭ niaj klopodoj la propono estis malakceptita' "

It often gets translated as "well" in English but "well" doesn't quite get across the nuances.

"Nu" has been with us since Zamenhof's day; it is a "fundamenta" word (from the original word list he published).

But long story short - look at the word list of interjections to learn them. Though spending time with Esperanto speakers and paying attention to what they say is the best way to learn which of the interjections on the list are commonly used and which aren't.

bentpenspinner (User's profile) September 12, 2006, 2:08:35 PM

I thought that "nu" was like saying "well" I'm using a textbook from the 80's though.

erinja (User's profile) September 12, 2006, 4:38:56 PM

bentpenspinner:I thought that "nu" was like saying "well" I'm using a textbook from the 80's though.
It is like saying "well", but it is also used in some cases where I would never say "well" in English.

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