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Esperanto for Beginners

Introduction

What is Esperanto?

Esperanto is a language, but not one like most other languages. It is an artificially constructed language, but this fact makes Esperanto even more interesting to learn. Esperanto was constructed at the end of the 19th century by Ludwig L. Zamenhof from Poland. In his hometown, there were serious problems caused by miscommunication. There were many people from many different countries, and so many different languages being spoken caused confusion and racism. Zamenhof found a solution to this problem. For most of his life, he worked at constructing the Esperanto language, an easy and logical language meant to become the international language, the language that people would speak when they couldn't speak each other's language.

The history of Esperanto

After it's construction, the Esperanto language rapidly became popular and spread all over the world. Several conventions were organized and many people visited, but then the world was hit with the two world wars. In the 2nd world war, as well as in Stalin's Soviet Union, Esperantist were prosecuted. Nevertheless, the language survived and it's still being spoken by about 3 million people worldwide. Yearly conventions are still being organized and many Esperantists come and visit them. The Esperanto language has also officially been recognized by UNESCO. There are quite a few books written in Esperanto, original works as well as translations. "Asterix & Obelix" can be found in Esperanto, as well as the Bible, the Koran, Hamlet, and so on...

Why learn Esperanto?

As you have read, Esperanto is still alive. There are many books available and there are two million speakers worldwide. The language still can solve the problems it was designed for, so we'd like to encourage as many people as possible to learn this wonderful language. The language is extremely easy, but still very complete, and by learning Esperanto you can also learn to understand other languages better and easier because Esperanto forms a solid base. It breaks language barriers and it's a neutral language, not belonging to a nation, culture or religion.

About this course

This course will teach you Esperanto in 21 lessons. All basic aspects will be covered and after finishing this course you'll already be able to speak much Esperanto! You'll even amaze yourself!
This course is a translation of it's Dutch equivalent by Wil van Ganswijk but has been adapted to English and also has some additions. Also, lots of thanks go to her for helping out with this course! For those interested: the original dutch version can be found at http://www.xs4all.nl/~wvganswk. If you speak Dutch better than English, then we recommend that course instead.

Part One - The Basics

Lesson 1: Pronunciation

The Vowels

There are five different vowels in Esperanto: a, e, i, o and u. They are pronounced as described below:

The A, at the end of a syllable, is pronounced long and open. There is no real English equivalent of the sound but it can be compared with "aardvark" and "Afrikaans" or the French word "voila" or the Spanish word "verdad".

la = the
 la patro  the father
 la kapo  the head
 la tablo  the table
 la nazo  the nose
 la knabo  the boy
 la strato  the street
 la mano  the hand

But when an A appears in the middle of a syllable, it is pronounced shortly as the A in "bath", only slightly shorter.

 la planko  the floor
 la arbo  the tree
 la parto  the part
 la lampo  the lamp
 la parko  the park

The E is pronounced like the E in "gem".

 la festo  the party
 la besto  the animal / the beast
 la stelo  the star
 la azeno  the donkey
 la orelo  the ear
 la somero  the summer

The I is pronounced like EA in "meat".

 la filo  the son
 la amiko  the friend
 mi  I (1st person singular pronoun)
 la libro  the book
 la lito  the bed
 ni  we (1st person plural pronoun)
 la birdo  the bird
 la piro  the pear
 li  he (3rd person singular pronoun)

The O is pronounced like in the word "port", but slightly shorter.

 la floro  the flower
 la onklo  the uncle
 la rozo  the rose
 la pomo  the apple
 la domo  the house
 la tondro  the thunder

The U is pronounced like OU in "would", or like the double O in "moon". Note that the sound is NOT the same as in the English words "up" and "cut".

 la muro  the wall
 la frukto  the fruit
 la urbo  the city
 la suno  the sun
 unu  one
 du  two
 la hundo  the dog
 nun  now

Important rules regarding pronunciation
The accent/stress of the word is always on the syllable before the last syllable.

 la azeno  the donkey
 la infano  the child
 la tulipo  the tulip
 la sinjoro  the lord / mister / sir
 la letero  the letter
 la kolombo  the pigeon
 la familio  the family
 la folio  the leave
 la leono  the lion
 la lernanto  the student
 la najbaro  the neigbour
 Esperanto  Esperanto

Each character is pronounced seperately, the following words illustrate the pronunciation in syllables.

 la boato  la bo-a-to the boat
 la biero  la bi-e-ro the beer
 la piedo  la pi-e-do the foot
 la heroo  la he-ro-o the hero

Note: When a word ends in IO, IA, IE or IU then the accent/stress lies on the I. As in: familio, historio, and also kie (where).

The Consonants

The characters b, d, f, h, k, l, m, n, p, s, g, t en z have the same pronunciation as in English. They are also pronounced the same irregardless of where they appear in the sentence. A little exception is the "r". It is pronounced harder than in English: more like the "r" in other languages, such as French (regarder) and Spanish (señor). This r is pronounced without starting with your tongue in the back of your throat and therefore is more vibrating.

Nouns

Names of persons, animals, things, concepts, materials, etc. such as man, dog, chair, warmth, milk - are nouns. A noun can be recognized because it's always possible to put a definite article (the) and/or an indefinite article (a, an) in front of it. In Esperanto, all nouns end in -O. The definite article is always LA. (Note that there's no such concept as noun gender in Esperanto). The indefinite article is never translated. Instead, it's just omitted (a house = letero). The plural version of a noun is created by adding a -J to the noun.

 the house  la domo
 the houses  la domoj
 a tulip  tulipo
 tulips  tulipoj

Vocabulary

Each lesson will come with a list of words. It is highly recommended that you learn these lists as they appear.


Vocabulary

 sed  but
 mi  I
 li  he
 ni  we
 kaj  and
 sur  on
 de  of
 kio  what
 tio  that
 en  in
 la tero  the earth
 la floro  the flower
 sidi  to sit
 esti  to be
 fali  to fall
 brili  to shine
 mi estas  I am
 li estas  he is
 ni estas  we are
 mi falas  I fall
 li falas  he falls
 ni falas  we fall

Exercises

Each of our lessons also comes with exercises that test the grammar and vocabulary discussed in the lesson It is wise to try to do all exercises as well as possible and also to check the answers afterwards.

Exercise A: Translate to English:
1) La knabo estas en la domo
2) Pomoj kaj piroj estas fruktoj
3) La boato estas de la infano
4) Kio estas tio?
5) Tio estas floro
6) Li estas amiko de sinjoro Bakker
7) La infanoj estas en la urbo
8) La suno brilas
9) Ni sidas en la boato kaj li sidas sur la planko
10) Malibu estas parto de la urbo Los Angeles

Exercise B: Translate to Esperanto:
1) The father of the child
2) A tulip is a flower
3) The streets of the city
4) Roses and tulips are flowers
5) The birds are on the house
6) The books are on the table
7) The friends are in the house
8) The houses are in the cities
9) I am in the house
10) That is a tulip
11) But that is a rose
12) The sun shines in the summer
13) The nose of the boy
14) The appel is a fruit
15) In the house are two tables
16) Lewenborg is a part of the city
17) The child is in the bed
18) The dog is a friend of the boy
19) A pigeon is in the house
20) Pigeons are birds

Solutions

After you've done the exercises you can check whether your answer is correct using the following solutions:

Solution of Exercise A:
Here are the solutions so you can verify your answers:
1) The boy is in the house
2) Apples and pears are fruits
3) The boat belongs to the child (literally: the boat is of the child)
4) Who is that?
5) That is a flower
6) He is a friend of Mr. Bakker
7) The children are in the city
8) The sun shines
9) We sit on the boat and he sits on the floor
10) Malibu is a part of the city Los Angeles

Solution of Exercise B:
1) La patro de la infano
2) Tulipo estas floro
3) La stratoj de la urbo
4) Rozaj kaj tulipoj estas floroj
5) La birdoj estas sur la domo
6) La libroj estas sur la tablo
7) La amikoj estas en la domo
8) La domoj en la urboj
9) Mi estas en la domo
10) Tio estas tulipo
11) Sed tio estas rozo
12) En la somero brilas la suno
13) La nazo de la knabo
14) La pomo estas frukto
15) En la domo estas du tabloj
16) Lewenborg estas parto de la urbo
17) La infano estas en la lito
18) La hundo estas amiko de la knabo
19) En la domo estas kolombo
20) Kolomboj estas birdoj


Lesson 2: Pronunciation, cont.

The Consonants

In the previous lesson, we've seen that most consonants are pronounced like in English. However, there are a few consonants which have a different pronunciation:

The C is pronounced like TS, as in in "cats".

la paco the peace
 la celo  the goal
 la placo  the square (as in Times Square, New York)

The V is pronounced almost as in English, only a bit softer and closer to the W. Note that the Esperanto languages does not have a W character.

 la vango  the cheek
 la vetero  the weather
 la viro  the man
 la divano  the divan (a couch)
 la vazo  the vase
 la avo  the grandfather
 la vino  the wine
 la vivo  the life

Adjectives

In lesson one, we've seen what a noun is. These nouns can have certain properties, such as: the long man, the black sheep, the big love, the cold weather. These words are called "adjectives". An adjective describes a property of a noun. In Esperanto all adjectives end in -A:

 bela  beautiful
 bona  good
 granda  big
 fremda  strange
 forta  strong

Attention! The adjective has to agree with the noun in number. This means that when the noun is plural, the adjective also has to be made plural. This happens by adding a -J.

 la bona viro  the good man
 la bela infano  the beautiful child
 la bonaj viroj  the good men
 la belaj infanoj  the beatiful children

Vocabulary

 nigra  black
 varma  warm
 griza  grey
 longa  long
 pala  pale
 dika  thick
 bruna  brown
 mola  soft
 verda  green
 blinda  blind
 blua  blue
 juna  young
 tuta  all/entire
 sana  healhty
 kia  how/what kind of
 kontenta  satisfied
 la tago  the day
 la cigaro  the cigar
 la glaso  the glass
 la fingro  the finger
 la angulo  the angle
 la gazeto  the newspaper

Prefixes & Suffixes

The Esperanto language uses a number of prefixes and suffixes to give certain words another meaning. One of these suffixes is -IN. When you put it behind a noun (first drop the -O, then add the suffix, then add an -O again because it's a noun), it indicates that it's the feminine form of the word. In other words: it forms the female equivalent of persons and animals.

 la patro  the father
 la patrino  the mother
 la frato  the brother
 la fratino  the sister
 la azeno  the donkey
 la azenino  the female donkey
 la heroo  the hero
 la heroino  the heroine
 la viro  the man
 la virino  the woman

The prefix MAL- is used to express the opposite of a word. Just paste it in front of the word.

 Kontenta  happy/satisfied
 malkontenta  unhappy/dissatisfied
 bona  good
 malbona  bad
 la amo  the love
 la malamo  the hatred
 la amiko  the friend
 la malamiko  the enemy
 longa  long
 mallonga  short

Verbs

The verb in a sentence indicates what's happening. For example: The man walks. What is the man doing? He is walking. The verb "walk" indicates what is the action of the sentence. A verb has a distinct property. It indicates when something is happening (I walk, I walked, I will walk). A verb that does not indicate when something happens is called the infinitive verb, and in English is preceded by "to" (to walk, to swim, to fly, to eat). An infinitive verb in Esperanto always ends in "i". When you remove the i, you have the stem of the verb, and using that stem you can later form all the tenses.

 to sing  kanti
 to fall  fali
 to sleep  dormi
 to walk  promeni
 to sit  sidi
 to stand  stari
 to go  iri
 to be  esti
 to have  havi
 to play  ludi
 to read  legi

Now we can put the verb in a certain tense, meaning that we can add a little ending to the stem that will indicate in when the action is taking place. When something is happening in the present, it is called the present tense (I walk, you sleep, we eat). In Esperanto, the present tense is formed by adding "as" to the stem of the verb, irregardless of who is the subject of the action.

Examples:

 to sing  kanti
 I sing  mi kantas
 We sing  ni kantas
 You sing  vi kantas
 He sings  li kantas
 She sing  sxi kantas
 They sing  ili kantas
 the children sing  la infanoj kantas
 the city is beautiful  la urbo estas bela
 the cities are beautiful  la urboj estas belaj
 the street is long  la strato estas longa
 the streets are long  la stratoj estas longaj

Exercises

Exercise A: Translate to English:
1) Ni promenas en la parko.
2) La infano sidas sur la planko.
3) La glasoj staras sur la tablo kaj la tablo staras sur la planko en la domo.
4) La malgrandaj infanoj iras al (=to) la granda urbo.
5) La pala virino estas malsana.
6) La belaj floroj estas en grandaj vazoj, sed la malbelaj rozoj estas sur la strato.
7) La suno brilas kaj la vetero estas bela.
8) En la granda urbo la viroj, la virinoj kaj la infanoj estas kontentaj.
9) La bela birdo kantas.
10) La birdo kaj la azeno estas grizaj.

Exercise B: Translate to Esperanto:
1) The brown bird sits in the beautiful tree and sings.
2) The child plays in the house.
3) A small child sits on the floor.
4) The donkey and the female donkey are gray.
5) The big green bird is healthy.
6) The weather is cold.
7) The life is good.
8) The young, blind woman is satisfied but the old gray man is dissatisfied.
9) In a big city are many (=multaj) small and big houses, streets and squares.

Solutions

Solution for Exercise A:
1) We walk in the park
2) The child sits on the floor
3) The glasses stand on the table and the table stands on the floor in the house
4) The small children go to the great city
5) The pale woman is sick
6) The beautiful flower are in big vases, but the ugly roses are on the street.
7) The sun shines and the weather is beautiful
8) In the big city the men, the women and the children are satisfied/happy
9) The beautiful bird sings
10) The bird and the donkey are gray

Solution for Exercise B:
1) La bruna birdo sidas en la bela arbo kaj kantas.
2) La infano ludas en la domo.
3) Malgranda infano sidas sur la planko.
4) La azeno kaj la azenino estas grizaj.
5) La dika verda birdo estas sana.
6) La vetero estas malvarma.
7) La vivo estas bela.
8) La juna, blinda virino estas kontenta, sed la maljuna griza viro estas malkontenta.
9) En granda urbo estas multaj malgrandaj kaj grandaj domoj, stratoj kaj placoj.

Some Expressions

 Good day  Bonan tagon
 Good morning  Bonan matenon
 Good evening  Bonan vesperon
 Good night  Bonan nokton
 Please  Mi petas/Bonvolu
 Thanks  Mi dankas/Dankon
 Thank you very much  Koran dankon

Lesson 3: Special Characters

Special Characters

In this lesson we'll introduce the last characters of the Esperanto language. These characters don't appear in English so their form and pronunciation will have to be memorized. But first, let's take a look at the Esperanto alphabet:

La Alfabeto
Aa Bb Cc Ĉĉ Dd Ee Ff Gg
Ĝĝ Hh Ĥĥ Ii Jj Ĵĵ Kk Ll
Mm Nn Oo Pp Rr Ss Ŝŝ Tt
Uu Ǔǔ Vv Zz

You probably already spotted the special characters. The C,G,S,J and H can also appear with a circumflex in Esperanto and the U can have a breve. These letters don't appear in English and most also don't appear in other languages.

Computers, unfortunately, can have problems displaying these characters correctly. The special characters are sometimes substituted according to a commonly used substitution system. In the substituted version, CX, GX, SX, JX, HX and UX might be used instead of the special characters. Many Esperanto internet sites use this substitution system, but there are also others. Zamenhof himself suggested that CH, GH, SH, JH, HH and UH should be used and some other people prefer ^C, ^G, ^S, ^J,^H and U*.

Pronunciation: Special Characters

ĉ is pronounced like ch in "reach"

 la ĉambro  the room
 la ĉagreno  the sorrow
 la ĉerizo  the cherry
 la ĉokolado  the chocolate
 la ĉapelo  the hat
 la ĉapo  tha cap
 la ĉielo  the sky
 la voĉo  the voice

ĝ is pronounced as the g in "gentleman"

 la etaĝo  the floor (as in 2nd floor, 3rd floor, etc..)
 la ĝardeno  the garden
 la fromaĝo  the cheese
 la ĝojo  the joy
 la vizaĝo  the face

ĥ is pronounced hard in the throat as in the Scottish word "loch" or the Spanish name "Juan".

 la eĥo  the echo
 la ĥaoso  the chaos

ĵ is pronounced as in the French words "bonjour" and "jamais".

 ĵaluza  jealous
 ĵeti  to throw
 la ĵurnalo  the newspaper

ŝ is pronounced as in "shelf" and "sheep".

 la ŝafo  the sheep
 la ŝtono  the stone
 la tapiŝo  the carpet
 la buŝo  the mouth
 la poŝo  the pocket
 la ŝranko  the cupboard/the bookcase/the cabinet

The last special character known in Esperanto is the ǔ character (an u with a 'bowl' on top. Note that it's not the same 'circumflex' character that appears on the other special characters). This character appears in so-called diphtongues, meaning it appears with another vowel and together they form a sound. The ǔ only appears in combination with a or e. So, you get the two diphtongues aǔ en eǔ. The first one is pronounced like ow in "vowel". The latter is somewhat more difficult to explain because the sound isn't heard in English. It's pronounced like ew, where the e sounds more like the A in the word "bad".

 aǔdi  to hear
 Eǔropo  Europe
 morgaǔ  tomorrow
 neǔtrala  neutral
 ankaǔ  also
 ĵaǔdo  Thursday

Attention! It is vital that you don't forget the half circle on top of the U or use one of the subsitutes with X or *. If you forget it and just write a plain U, then the pronunciation would be very different!

This concludes the pronunciation of all Esperanto characters. Note that the characters Q,W,X and Y do not exist in Esperanto.

Verbs
In the previous lesson we've learned the infinitive form of a verb and the conjugation of the present tense. But an action can also occur in the past or the future, and so now we'll teach you the other tenses. The ending of the verb shows in what tense it is, and in Esperanto the ending is always the same, irregardless of who is the subject of the action. This means that all persons (I, you, he, she, we, you, they) use one and the same conjugation of the verb. Isn't that easy?
Here are the endings for the most important tenses:
Present tense: -as
Past tense: -is
Future tense: -os

And now some example to illustrate the use of these endings:

Present tense samples (things that happen right now):

 mi falas  I fall
 vi falas  you fall (singular)
 li falas  he falls
 ŝi falas  she falls
 ni falas  we fall
 vi falas  you fall (plural)
 ili falas  they fall

Past tense samples (things that happened in the past):

 mi falis  I fell
 ŝi falis  She fell
 ni falis  We fell
and so on...

Future tense samples (things that will happen in the future):

 mi falos  I will fall
 ŝi falos  She will fall
 ni falos  We will fall
etc...

Practice these tenses with other verbs too so you can learn the endings. It's all quite easy!


Vocabulary

 Kuŝi  to lay
 la skatolo  the box
 la tagoj  the days
 paroli  to speak
 kiu?  who?
 Dimanĉo  sunday
 flugi  to fly
 tri  three
 lundo  monday
 labori  to work
 kvar  four
 mardo  tuesday
 la salono  the hall/room
 objekto  object
 merkredo  wednesday
 la maro  the sea
 inter  between
 ĵaŭdo  thursday
 la homo  the human/man
 nova  new
 vendredo  friday
 la plafono  the ceiling
 flava  yellow
 sabato  saturday
 la nomo  the name
 kun  with
 la semajno  the week
 la kato  the cat
 ruĝa  red
 apud  besides/next to

And mind your pronunciation! The accent is always put on the syllable before the last one!

Exercises

Exercise A: Translate to English:
1) Ŝi falis en la ĝardeno.
2) Kvar kolomboj flugis, sed du kolomboj sidis en la domo.
3) La libroj estis sur la tablo.
4) En la poŝo de knabo estas multaj objektoj.
5) Morgaǔ iros la knabinoj al la urbo.
6) La malgranda knabo sidas sur la tablo en la ĉambro kaj ludas.
7) La nomoj de la tagoj de la semajno estas: lundo, mardo, merkredo, ĵaǔdo, vendredo, sabato, dimanĉo.
8) Kiu estas vi?
9) Mi estas sinjoro K.
10) Mi loĝas en malgranda urbo kun mia (=my) frato.
11) Ankaǔ mia fratino loĝis en nia (=our) urbo, sed nun ŝi loĝas en Londono.
12) La griza ĉapelo falis.
13) La gazeto estas interesa (=interesting).
14) Multaj homoj devas (=to must/to have to) labori.
15) Mi legis.

Exercise B: Translate to Esperanto:
1) What was that?
2) Who are you?
3) We will read.
4) The child is young and healthy, but the grandfather is old and ill.
5) Who will sleep in the new bed?
6) That was the echo.
7) The big dog is the enemy of the small cat.
8) Mister K. will speak tomorrow.
9) The voice of the mother was beautiful.

Solutions

Solution for Exercise A:
1) She fell in the garden.
2) Four pigeons flew, but two pigeons sat in the house.
3) The books were on the table.
4) In the bag the boy has many things.
5) Tomorrow the girls will go to the city.
6) The small boys sits on the table in the room and plays.
7) The names of the days of the week are: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday.
8) Who are you?
9) I am mister K.
10) I live in a small city with my brother.
11) My sister lived in our city too, but now she lives in London.
12) The gray hat fell.
13) The newspaper is interesting.
14) Many humans/people have to work.
15) I read.

Solution for Exercise B:
1) Kio estis tio?
2) Kiu estas vi?
3) Ni legos.
4) La infano estas juna kaj sana, sed la avo estas maljuna kaj malsana.
5) Kiu dormos en la nova lito?
6) Tio estis la eĥo.
7) La granda hundo estas la malamiko de la malgranda kato.
8) Sinjoro K. parolos morgaǔ.
9) La voĉo de la patrino estis bela.


Lesson 4: Suffixes, Adverbs

Suffixes

In lesson two we've seen the suffix -IN and the prefix MAL-. In this lesson, we'll get to learn two other suffixes. The suffix -ET diminishes something and indicates that something is small, tiny or weak.

 knabo  A boy
 knabeto  A little boy
 hundo  A dog
 hundeto  A little dog
 ridi  to laugh
 rideti  to smile
 dormi  to sleep
 dormeti  to doze
 varma  warm
 varmeta  lukewarm
 malvarma  cold
 malvarmeta  cool

Now the next suffix, the suffix -EG, amplifies something and indicates that something is big or strong.

 varma  warm
 varmega  hot
 riĉa  rich
 riĉega  very rich
 maljuna  old
 maljunega  very old
 pluvo  rain
 pluvego  a lot of rain
 vento  wind
 ventego  storm
 bela  beautiful
 belega  splendid

The Adverb

In the first lesson we covered the noun (names of persons, object, conditions etc..) and in the 2nd lesson we covered the adjective (things that describe a property of a noun). In this lesson, we'll talk about the adverb. An adverb can be compared to an adjective but instead of describing a noun it describes a verb. In other words, it tells "how" something happens. An example: "The little boy runs quickly". Here we see "little" as an adjective, saying something about "boy", but we also see the word "quickly" saying something about the verb "runs". How does the boy run? The boys runs quickly. "quickly" is called the adverb in this sentence because it tells us something about a verb.

Grammar rules in Esperanto:
1. All nouns end in -O or -OJ if they're plural
2. All adjectives end in -A or -AJ if the noun is plural
3. All adverbs end in -E

Examples:

 The big man writes beautifully.  (to write = skribi): La granda (adj.) viro (noun) skribas (verb) bele (adv.)
 The boys cry loudly.  La knaboj (noun) laǔte (adv.) ploras (verb)
---(note that the adverb appears before the verb here, but that's just a matter of choice, it could also be put after the verb)
 The child sleeps well.  La infano dormas bone

Vocabulary

 la fenestro  the window
 la fiŝo  the fish
 la mateno  the morning
 la forno  the stove
 la vintro  the winter
 la vespero  the evening
 la ŝuo  the shoe
 kvin  five
 ankau  also
 veni  to come
 legi  to read
 komforta  comfortable
 kara  kind/dear
 jes  yes
 ne  no/not/none
 antaŭ  in front of/before
 hodiau  today
 malantaŭ  behind/after
 hieraŭ  yesterday

(Note that ho-di-aǔ gets stress on the -i and hi-e-raǔ on the e)

Interrogative Sentences

Interrogative sentences usually begin with an interrogative pronoun:

 Who are you?  Kiu estas vi?
 Who is in the room?  Kiu estas en la ĉambro?
 What is that?  Kio estas tio?

But there are also sentences that don't start with an interrogative pronoun: Is the sun shining? Is he healthy? Is the girl pretty? We can identify those sentences as interrogative sentences because of the use of the question mark (?) and the special word order. In Esperanto the word order is more flexible and therefore doesn't directly show you it is an interrogative sentence, but there is a solution. In Esperanto, a sentence that doesn't start with an interrogative pronoun gets the word Ĉu to indicate it's a question. It could be translated as "Is it true that..." or "Do/Does", but it doesn't have to be translated. It only indicates that the sentence is an interrogative sentence, a question. Note that the word order doesn't change as it does in English:

 He is sick  Li estas malsana
 Is he sick?  Ĉu li estas malsana?
 My son is happy  Mia filo estas kontenta
 Is my son happy?  Ĉu mia filo estas kontenta?

Exercises

Exercise A: Translate to English:
1) Ĉu miaj ŝuoj estas en la ĉambro?
2) Ne, viaj (=your) ŝuoj estas en la koridoro (=corridor).
3) Mia avo estas maljunega.
4) Ĉu ankaǔ via avo estas maljunega?
5) Ĉu "Fenixo" estas gazeto?
6) La knabino ridis laǔte, sed la knabo ploris mallaǔte.
7) Morgaǔ ankaǔ la knabo ridos.
8) Ĉu la maro estas varma?
9) Ne, la akvo (=water) estas malvarmega.
10) En la domo estas forno.

Exercise B: Translate to Esperanto:
1) Is my father happy?
2) Is the street long?
3) No, the street is short.
4) Do I write splendidly? No, you write ugly
5) The boy reads badly.
6) But my sister reads well.
7) Do the children sit in the room?
8) Were you in the sea yesterday?
9) Yes, I was in the cold water.

Solutions

Solution for Exercise A:
1) Are my shoes in the room?
2) No, your shoes are in the corridor.
3) My grandfather is very old.
4) Is your grandfather also very old?
5) Is "Fenixo" a newspaper?
6) The girl laught loudly, but the boy cried softly.
7) The boy will laugh tomorrow, too.
8) Is the sea warm?
9) No the water is very cold.
10) In the house is a stove.

Solution for Exercise B:
1) Ĉu mia patro estas kontenta?
2) Ĉu la strato estas longa?
3) Ne, la stato estas mallonga
4) Ĉu vi skribas belege? Ne, vi skribas malbele.
(Note that the adverb may also appear before the verb as in: Ne, vi malbele skribas... This applies to all sentences)
5) La knabo legas malbone.
6) Sed mia fratino legas bone.
7) Ĉu la infanoj sidas en la ĉambro?
8) Ĉu hieraǔ vi estis en la maro? (Hieraǔ can also appear on other places in the sentence)
9) Jes, mi estis en la akvo malvarma.

How to Say

 Good night (when going to bed)  Dormu bone
 Thanks, you too.  Dankon, same
 You're right  Vi pravas/Prave
 Excuse me/Sorry   Pardonu
 Excuse me/Sorry  (Mi petas) pardonon.

Lesson 5: Information about Esperanto

In this lesson we won't teach you any new material. Instead, we'll tell something about the Esperanto language itself. At the end of this lesson you'll find some repetition exercises. Browse through the previous lessons and then try to do the repetition exercises. It's a good idea to read out loud so you can practice your pronunciation. Note that words ending with IO are stressed on the I, because that is the syllable before the last syllable!

In June 1887, an eye-doctor named Dr. Ludwig L. Zamenhof from Warsaw (Poland), published a book that introduced the language that was designed by him. He called the language "Internacia Lingvo" while he himself used the nickname "D-ro Esperanto". "D-ro" is an abbreviation for "doktoro" and "Esperanto" means "he who is hoping". It was only a short matter of time until his nickname became equivalent with the name of the language, hence the language is now called "Esperanto"

In 1905, the first Esperanto-World-Congress took place in Boulogne-sur-Mer, France. It was a touching event for Zamenhof and the hundreds of participants from different parts of the world. People immediately understood each other when speaking Esperanto, there was no need of time and money consuming translators!

Every year, Esperantists from all over the world hold big meetings and congresses. Over 2000 people visit these events every year to discuss a huge variety of topics. Such events lasts for about a week, and there are excursions, parties, movies, theater, lectures, and so on.. The participants feel they're part of one big family. If one visits such an event, one truly knows what it means to say: "I am an Esperantist"

At those events, there is no Italian person, no Irish person, no Polish person, nor a Dutch, Turkish, South-American, Icelandic, Chinese, Russian, Norwegian, Scottish, Japanese, Bulgarian, Belgian or Finnish person, but everyone is an Esperantist and can communicate with every other person!

In 1959, it was 100 years ago since the birth of Dr. Zamenhof. To honour him, the congress took place in Warsaw. Such a big event also took place in 1987, when the 100th birthday of the first publication in Esperanto was celebrated. Over 6000 people visited the meeting that year.

Esperanto is the only international language that's still alive. It has survived more than 100 years of use by hundreds of thousands of people all over the world in daily and cultural life. It has also survived two world wars and prosecution by Hitler and Stalin.

Some years ago people asked the United Nations to discuss the language-problem. Over 17 million people from various countries acknowledged the value of the Esperanto language as international language by handing in their signature.

In 1954, a very important meeting of the UNESCO took place in Montevideo, Uruguay. Esperanto was recognized as an international language with great cultural value for all of humanity. De U.E.A (Universala Esperanto-Asocio) was added by the UNESCO to a list of organization with a so-called “consultative status”.

Over ten thousand books are published in the Esperanto language. Among those are original publications as well as translations. New ones are published daily. In the Netherlands, an Esperanto translation was released of the famous "Diary of Anne Frank". Also, famous books such as "Eric in the Land of the Insects ", by Godfried Bomas have been translated. Even the Bible has it's Esperanto version, as well as various novels, poems, scientific books, art books, religious books, politics related books, travel books, and comic books, such as the Flintstones.

Esperanto shows are being broadcast weekly from Italy, Beijing (China) and Warsaw (Poland). Many foreign cities also publish brochures and other tourist information in Esperanto, and when one wants to travel, one can write a letter to the "Esperanto-consul" in the city of destination. There, one can obtain information about meeting other Esperantists. They will show you the city and their surroundings, like others have never seen before. You'll meet new people, but no strangers, because they all speak your language: Esperanto.

In order to establish international cooperation and friendship, it's necessary for us to get to know other countries and for them to get to know us. It used to be only a minor group of people who were able to dedicate years to study a foreign language. But now in the 20th and 21st century, everyone gets to learn foreign languages. Everyone assists in establishing international friendships by writing or talking with foreign people. Especially Esperantists from all over the world love to write with each other, and in this modern age, e-mail is of course very popular and convenient. Usually this can result in visits and holidays together with the other people.

Exercises

Repetition Exercise A: Translate to English:
1) La kvar amikoj estis hieraǔ en mia komforta domo
2) Mia domo estas en nova longa strato
3) Viaj amikoj estas miaj amikoj
4) Ĉu miaj amikoj estas ankaǔ viaj amikoj?
5) Malantaǔ la fenestro staris la filineto de najbaro
6) Mi ne povas (to be able to/to can) veni ĉar (because) mia fileto estas malsana
7) Ĉu la infanoj ludas?
8) Ne, la infanoj ne ludas, ĉar ili devas lerni
9) La kato ludas en la ĝardeno
10) Ĉu vi fumas (to smoke)?

Repetition Exercise B: Translate to Esperanto:
1) Monday, Wednesday and Sunday are the names of days
2) In the room are the children, they play and read
3) My sister doesn't play, she (ŝi) sleeps
4) Is your mother ill?
5) Yesterday the weather was ugly, but today the weather is splendid
6) Our fifth (kvina) lesson (leciono) is a repetition (ripeto)
7) Do you also go to the convention (kunveno)?
8) Yes, we are also going and the people will be satisfied

Solutions

Solution for Repetition Exercise A:
1) The four friends were in my comfortable home yesterday
2) My home is in a new long street
3) Your friends are my friends
4) Are my friends also your friends?
5) The daughter of a neighbour stood behind the window
6) Mi ne povas (to be able to/to can) veni ĉar (because) mia fileto estas malsana
7) Do the children play?
8) No, the children don't play, because they must learn/study
9) The cat plays in the garden
10) Do you smoke?

Solution for Repetition Exercise B:
1) Lundo, Merkredo kaj Dimanĉo estas la nomoj de la tagoj
2) En la ĉambro estas la infanoj, ili ludas kaj legas
3) Mi fratino ne ludas, ŝi dormas
4) Ĉu via patrino estas malsana?
5) Hieraǔ la vetero estis malbona, sed hodiaǔ la vetero estas belega
6) Nia kvina leciono estas ripeto
7) Ĉu ankaǔ vi iras a la kunveno?
8) Jes, ni ankaǔ iras kaj la homoj estos kontentaj

How to Say

 See you tomorrow  Ĝis morgaǔ
 How do you do?  Kiel vi fartas?
 Very good, thank you  Dankon, tre bone
 Bon appetit  Bonan apetiton

End Of Part One

This is the end of part one. You can continue with part II of this course or find a lot of information on Esperanto grammar on the UniLang site. And now you know the basics you will probably manage to learn more with our other aids.

Continue to part II

Thanks for your interest in this course! If you discovered any mistakes or you just want to say something then please let us know . We do need feedback!

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