: Lesson 0
The Esperanto word for it is ĝi.|1
This letter Ĝ is one of a few special letters in Esperanto. It represent the sound g in gist (or Jack). When people write in Esperanto, they usually informally write gx instead of ĝ if they don’t have ĝ on their keyboard. This is called the x-sistemo. You will be asked to write things down in this lesson, and you will be able to write them either in Esperanto letters or using the x-sistemo.
The Esperanto word for is is estas.|2
How would you write:
Well done, that was your first Esperanto sentence. Let's go on.
The Esperanto word for what is kio.|4
The word order is not very important in Esperanto, so you can just keep it the same as in English in most cases. How would you say:
The Esperanto word for a language is lingvo.|6
This comes from the same root the word linguistics comes from. How would you say:
The Esperanto word for that (in the phrase that is good) is tio.|8
Do you see the resemblance between the words kio and tio? This is because tio is that and kio is a kuestion word. It makes that into what (just like in English, except you have th instead of t and wh instead of k).
The Esperanto word for and is kaj.|9
This word is pretty cool because it comes from Ancient Greek. How would you say:
If you talk about Esperanto, you want to describe it as well. Let’s look at a few possibilities.
The Esperanto word for easy is facila.|11
You have the same root in the word facilitate except the c in facila is pronounced like ts in tsunami. Knowing that, how would you say:
As you’ll start seeing in this course, this is very true - Esperanto is easy. Let’s learn one more word:
The Esperanto word for good is bona.|14
You have this Latin root bon which means good in a number of words that come from French (such as bon appétit). How would you say:
Now, imagine that you wanted to negate all that. The opposite of easy is difficult.
If you want to get the opposite of some word in Esperanto, you add mal to the front of that word.|16
So, if facila is easy, can you guess what difficult would be?
Esperanto for difficult is malfacila.|17
Let's try using that, and also applying it to another word you learned:
The Esperanto word for not is ne.|20
It works just like in English except you always put it in front of the word that you are negating. So, if you want to say is not you say not is or ne estas. This way it is a lot more consistent than in English. You in English, you say: not me, not today, not blue but does not (should be not does, shouldn’t it?). In Esperanto it’s always ne (something).
How would you say:
Good going so far!
The Esperanto word for I is mi.|24
It is just like me in English so you shouldn’t have any problems remembering this word. If you want to say I am, you still say mi estas (or I is) because the word estas in Esperanto never changes in the way that it changes to I am, you are, and he is in English. Think of estas as the word can: you always say I can, you can, he can, we can, etc. and the word can never changes: in Esperanto, all words work in that way.
The Esperanto word for a human is homo.|25
It is the same as in Latin, therefore the similarity to English. How would you say:
You can add things to words in Esperanto to have them have different meanings in a similar in which you can make act into actor, teach into teacher or lingua into linguist. But, unlike in English, where you have or, er, ist and others suffixes, in Esperanto you always use ist for professions or hobbies.
The Esperanto ending which shows a profession or a hobby is ist.|27
So, if a language was lingvo, how do you think you would say a linguist?
Great! It goes the other way too. For example, the Esperanto word for a dentist is the same as in English, except it has o in the end (like all nouns in Esperanto do).
First, guess how you would say a dentist, and then try to work out how you would reach the word for a teeth from there.
As I said, ist could mean a profession or a hobby. If you speak Esperanto, your hobby is Esperanto, so you can add this ist to say an Esperanto speaker or a person who has Esperanto as their hobby, or, as a direct English loanword from Esperanto states, an Esperantist. How would you say:
Let's learn some more Esperanto:
Esperanto for work is laboro (think labour).|32
How would you say:
There is another ending that is very similar to ist:
The Esperanto ending an denotes an inhabitant or a member of a group.|34
This one is used to tell where you are from. For example:
Esperanto for America is Ameriko.|35
How would you say by adding an (also keep in mind that the word American will be spelled all lowercase in Esperanto):
Another example is Nederlando which means the Netherlands (in Esperanto you simply say Netherlands and not The Netherlands like you do in English). Say:
You don’t need to use this an if you don’t want to because you can get around it.
The Esperanto word for from is de.|39
So, you could say:
Some other relevant country names:
The Esperanto word for The United States of America is Usono.|41
France is Francujo.|42
Esperanto for you is vi.|45
Do you notice how all these words are so simple: mi (I), vi (you), ĝi (it). As an added bonus, the word vi is used both formally and informally, just like you in English.
Do you remember the words for good (bona) and easy (facila)?
These two words end in an a because they describe things (they are called adjectives). All adjectives in Esperanto end in an a (just like all nouns end in an o, as we previously saw).
But let's consider these words that end in an a. Another way to put it, is you could say think that a means related to or pertaining to. Thus bona means relating to goodness, pertaining to a group of good things], or simply put, good. And facila means relating to facility, pertaining to the group of easy things, or simply put - easy. Thus our a seems to indicate possession or pertinence.
Now, you have these words for vi, mi etc. What would happen if you added a to them?
For example, you take vi (which means you) and you add a and you get via which would mean related to you, pertaining to you or simply: your!
If you want to make words like mi, vi, ĝi, etc. possessive, you add a to them, to make them into mia, via, ĝia.|49
Guess how you would say:
The Esperanto word for a land is lando.|53
It also means country, of course. How would you say:
Do you still remember the word for what - kio? It was our kuestion word.
Esperanto for name is nomo.|57
If you don’t find nomo similar Enough to name already, simply think of nom de plume or nomenclature
So, how would you ask and answer:
Alright, you know that kio means what and it’s a kuestion word. You also know that tio means that. There is another kuestion word:
The Esperanto word for where is kie.|60
It’s easy to remember, if you think that, pronunciation-wise, you could write what as whot - which is kio, and you can write where - which is kie.
I bet you can use the kio - tio analogy to kie - ? and guess the word there. Try to guess and to apply it.
In theory, there is absolutely no difference in what word order you use but, in practice, regarding the way Esperanto is spoken, you are more likely to hear say kie vi estas instead of kie estas vi. Either version is fine, though.
You can also ask and answer the question where are you from. It would logically be from where are you, or, as you usually (although not obligatorily) say it, from where you are?:
Good progress so far!
Esperanto for she is ŝi.|66
This ŝ is another letter peculiar to Esperanto, although it makes the word ŝi sound very similar to the word she.
Esperanto for wants is volas.|67
You also know the word for work which is laboro. However, if you want to make work into to work, you have to take off its noun ending o and add an in infinitive ending i, since:
All to-words (they're called infinitives) end with i in Esperanto.|68
So, how would you say:
So, you know that all infinitives end with i. Volas means wants, so it’s not an infinitive yet. Rather, it's a present tense verb.
But it can be made into an infinitive by making it end with i. You just get rid of the present tense marker which is as and then put that i at the end. How do you say:
Doing the opposite, you could now say other things (remember the words labori, estas, which you will be changing the endings of):
If she wants to be a dentist, it’s probably her best interest to study to be a dentist:
Esperanto for to study is studi.|74
How would you say:
I hope you are getting the gist of it, and starting to play around with those endings. After all, that's the point of Esperanto.
Esperanto for to learn is lerni!|77
I’m not kidding you. It really is this, almost the same as in English. Try asking literally where you learn:
Alright. We have words for to work (labori), to study (studi), to learn (lerni), to be (esti). That's quite a few words already, and all of them are in one way or another related to words in English.
Let's talk about HOW we do things, and in the next lesson we will talk about WHAT we do exactly.
Esperanto for how is kiel.|79
Another kuestion word now, isn’t it? You can remember that kiel means how by imagining that, when you are asking how, you are asking how well or ki-well]- kiel (okay, maybe that's a bit of a stretch...).
You could ask literally how she works:
Imagine that you want to say that she works easily. You will remember the word for easy (as it is also related to facilitate) in Esperanto?
If you want to make easy into easily in English, you add ly. In Esperanto, you do something similar:
To make words into ly words ([adverbs) in Esperanto, you make them end with the adverb ending: e.|82
Here you see that e from kiel again. Guess how you would say:
Bona was good. Use the same manner to make it into well, and use it as well:
Here are two words that come respectively from French and Latin:
Esperanto for very is tre.|86
Esperanto for but is sed.|87
We can apply them immediately:
Great! If you knew how to make that sentence, that means you must have known quite a bit of Esperanto already. Finally, it’s useful to know this word:
Esperanto for to be doing or to be feeling is farti.|89
You could associate that word with farewell which could mean fartu well or do well i.e. good luck.
Use that how word and say literally how you are doing, plus answer that question (plus, remember, that fartas means to be doing already, thus you will not need the word for to be in that sentence):
The sentence kiel vi fartas is used in almost every Esperanto conversation, and now you know how to use it too. You also know how to tell how you do things. Let’s learn to tell what exactly you do now.
Look at any sentence.
For example, cat eats Bob.
Eats is the action. What comes before "eats" is a subject (an agent) and what comes after "eats" is the object. How do you know? Well, if you switch them you get Bob eats a cat - totally opposite meaning. There is a huge difference between the cat eating Bob and Bob eating the cat. There is a difference to Bob, anyway. (Note: this course does not endorse any form of violence against pets or people or any combination thereof).
So, again, who does the action is the subject and who the action is being done to is the object. If I hold the book, I am the holder so I am the subject, and the book is the thing that is being held so it is the object.
In English, you don’t mark the difference except with words like he and him. For example, you say He sees the dog and then you say The dog sees him. He is the subject form of the word he and him is the object form (otherwise called the accusative form) of the word he. If you stop using him and start using Tim, you get The dog sees Tim and Tim sees the dog, and there is again no difference (you don’t say timm or something to mark objectivity).
Well, in Esperanto you always mark objectivity: You add the accusative ending n to the word if it is an object of a sentence in Esperanto!
This is probably the most controversial concept in Esperanto among the Esperanto community. On the one hand, such marking does not exist in some big languages of the world, so beginner learners of Esperanto sometimes find the concept a bit difficult to grasp. On the other hand, having it frees up your hands in terms of word order, because you can say both homo manĝas pomon (a person is eating an apple) and pomon manĝas homo and the meaning is exactly the same, because the n marks the object.
Esperanto for to have is havi.|93
Again, I am not kidding. Almost the same as in English.
The word for it was ĝi. If you want to say I have it, have is the action. So you have I and it, and there is a difference between me having it and it having me. Thus it must be the object. You mark the object by adding n to it, so, how would you say:
As we said, just because you have this n marker, you can have a relatively free word order in Esperanto. You could say ĝin mi havas or mi ĝin havas or even havas ĝin mi and it’s clear what the object is and who is doing the action.
Do you still remember the word for that: tio?
Tio is the word when it’s not an object. If it is an object, it must get that n marker. How would you say:
If you wanted to ask somebody what she does, you would use the word for what, which is kio, but you would need to mark objectivity on the word kio as well. How would you say:
Esperanto for to speak is paroli.|98
This word has the same root as the English words parol or parole. How would you say:
If you wanted to say what you speak (which is, for example, Esperanto), you mark the word Esperanto because it is the object. Do it:
Let’s get back to studying, though. Imagine you study Physics:
Physics is fiziko in Esperanto.|102
How would you say:
Remember that ist? Say (and be very careful about whether you mark objectivity or not in the next phrase):
You might have one question: why is there no objectivity marking in the last phrase I am a physicist? Well, just look at it: you remove am because it is the action, and you are left with I and a physicist. You could say I am a physicist or a physicist am I, and, apart from the second phrase sounding weird, the meaning of the phrase does not change. That means that the sentence has no object, but two subjects instead. Thus, effectively, Esperanto does not mark objectivity with the word estas.
Yet, while phrases with estas have no object, most other verbs do, so don't forget to think about who the object is in a sentence. Try out a few phrases:
You can already say what you study (or work, want, have or learn).
The word for to say is diri.|108
The word for a greeting is saluto.|109
Think of a salute to remember it.
If you wanted to greet somebody, you could say I say a greeting to you] (to you - but we will skip the to you part). Say that:
Esperanto uses exactly this construction for greetings!
But if you said that phrase every time you were greeting somebody, you would quickly get bored and look for ways to shorten in. One of the easiest ways to shorten that sentence is to get rid of everything except the main point: a greeting (although the object marker remains). So:
The Esperanto word for hi is saluton.|111
The same works for all the other greetings. Look at good day.
Day is tago in Esperanto.|112
It comes from the German Tag, which also means day, and is related to the English word day.
How would you say:
You also cut the number of words there down. Guess how would you greet somebody:
Gratulon! (That's another greeting, coming from congratulations, and also meaning the same thing in Esperanto). You're doing well.
Let's learn a final one:
The word for thanks (as in gratitude) is danko.|116
So what is the word for thank you in Esperanto?
Once again: gratulon! We have already learned so many words, greetings, and grammar structures, including the accusative (which is probably the hardest Esperanto gets).
Let’s finally have a short conversation in Esperanto to consolidate our knowledge: