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Curious about the name's translation

by boy-o, August 18, 2004

Messages: 13

Language: English

boy-o (User's profile) August 18, 2004, 3:41:53 PM

Everywhere I read, I see that the translation of the language name in English means "One who hopes." But after studying it for a while, this doesn't sound right regarding what the parts of the word actually translate to.

Esper--o = the idea of hope (hope as a noun)
-ant- = progrssively happening right now.
So...combined into Esper-ant-o, wouldn't a more correct translation be along the lines of "Continuous Hope?"

neitush (User's profile) August 19, 2004, 9:27:28 PM


esperanto - one that hope

it's like that "lernanto" is one that learn

boy-o (User's profile) August 20, 2004, 4:03:39 AM

I realize that thats what the translation is, but what i'm questioning is if this is a correct translation.  Because I was using the software course "Kurso de Esperanto" and in lesson ten it taught about participles, which are words used as adjectives, adverbs, or nouns to help specify a statement.  And these words have 'voices': Passive and Active. 

Passive voice uses the verb to explain what is happening to the direct object. ex:  La libro estas legata. ('The book is being read.' with 'the book' as the object and 'being read' as the action that is happening to it). 

Active voice talks about what the subject is doing. (in english, we do this by adding the 'ing' ending). ex: Mi estas leganta. ( 'I am reading the book.' with 'I' as the subject and 'reading' as what the subject is doing).

As you can probably see, to use the active voice in Esperanto, you add 'ant' to the end of the word for the present tense.  And this is where my question comes in.  Espero is the idea of hope (I don't just say 'hope' because hope isn't a tangible, physical thing.  The only way it can be a noun is as an idea).  And, if you were to put the Active Voice -ant- into hope, wouldn't that translate to something along the lines of "Continuous or Happening hope?"  (and i don't say 'hoping' because espero is the noun version of the root, and hoping refers to the verb 'to hope')

mikemintz (User's profile) August 23, 2004, 7:07:45 AM

As a general rule (from what I've learned), any word that ends in "anto" refers to a person that does something.  It would seem that it should be "antoulo," but I've always learned that "anto" itself works.  I don't know if that's true with the other 5 participles.  Maybe "reginto" means one who did rule, like eksregulo.

tiberius (User's profile) August 26, 2004, 10:56:44 PM

I find the idea of future participles as nouns sort of cool. For instance, Estonto is "one who will be" or "one who is about to be"

Or, like in the movie Sparticus, one could say, "Ni mortontoj salutas vin!" (We, who are about to die, salute you!)

Attaching the property of tense to a noun brings up some philosophical issues-- the idea of time and existance, but I digress.


What is my point, you ask? I don't know ridulo.gif

gcdude (User's profile) September 15, 2004, 12:37:03 AM

Rugxharulo (User's profile) September 30, 2004, 4:14:49 AM

I'm no expert in languages. (or anything, for that matter...) But I get the impression that language, most often, doesn't come in neat packages that can easily be translated into other languages. Just look at the Bible; even the same original can yield a multitude of unique translations, each as valid as the next.

Now, it's my understanding that the suffix 'ant' can be used either in reference to a person, or as a participle. The way to tell the difference would be to look at the context. Since "Doktoro Esperanto" is a name, and therefore lacks a context, then both "One who hopes" and "continuous hope" are equally valid translations. Having two meanings, in my opinion, adds richness to a language, not confusion.

So yes, I suppose "continuous hope" would be one way of translating "Esperanto". Thank you for posting your message; I hadn't realized the possibility of another translation to that word before.

Sincerely, Rugharulo.

Umlaŭto (User's profile) October 11, 2004, 2:41:33 AM

Francis (User's profile) January 25, 2005, 3:13:01 AM

The -anto suffix of "Esperanto" making it mean "one who hopes" might not be consistant with English, but is with what happens in Latin and many other languages. Not all langauges act the same.

mateno (User's profile) January 26, 2005, 7:23:21 PM

and, by the way, the Esperanto for "continueous hope" is "esperado"

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