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Friday, December 14, 2018

Patro Nia: the Our Father in Esperanto

It is a sort of tradition to use the Our Father as a way to give an example of what a given language is like. That's why it's common to see translations of the Our Father into conlangs. These days that gives some people conniptions. But the Our Father is a simple thing to translate, and in addition is useful for religious persons. Why not learn it--- and pray it--- in a language you are learning?

Patro nia, kiu estas in la ĉielo,
Sanktigata estu via nomo.
Venu via regno.
Fariĝu via volo kiel en la ĉielo,
   tiel ankaŭ sur la tero.
Nian panon ĉiutagan donu al ni hodiaŭ
Kaj pardonu al ni niajn ŝuldojn,
   kiel ankaŭ ni pardonas al niaj ŝuldantoj.
Kaj ne konduku nin en tenton, sed liberigu nin de la malbono.
Amen.

How do you study this prayer? Line by line. For each line, look up any unknown words. Say the line to yourself over and over until you are familiar with it. The next day, learn the next line. When you are finished, practice reciting the lines together until you can recite them without forgetting the meaning of the individual words. At that point, you may add the Esperanto Patro Nia to your regular prayers. It is particularly good for praying for world mission (evangelization) and for the needs of those in distant lands. It can be prayed by those from differing faith-backgrounds. (The extra lines Protestants add can be found in an Esperanto Bible, Matthew 6:13. [Ĉar Via estas la regno kaj la potenco kaj la gloro eterne.]

To find the Bible in your native language, go to Jesus Army Multilingual Bible and select your language from the drop-down list of Bibles.

To type in Esperanto using the Esperanto special letters, use Typeit. (Or use the H-system, which is allowed by the Fundamentoj.)

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Biblio: JEĤEZKEL 17:23

Sur la alta monto de Izrael Mi ĝin plantos, kaj ĝi elkreskigos branĉojn kaj donos fruktojn kaj fariĝos belega cedro; kaj loĝos sub ĝi ĉiaspecaj birdoj, ĉiaspecaj flugiluloj nestos en la ombro de ĝiaj branĉoj. Jeĥezkel 17:23

This Scripture passage is from the Old Testament, so L. L. Zamenhof did the translation himself. The verses in Ezekiel deal with trees in a symbolic and spiritual sense. God is not literally planning on planting a tree someday.

'Plantos' is in the future tense, as are 'elkreskigos,' 'fariĝos,' 'loĝos,' and 'nestos.' Future tense verbs end in -os, past tense end in -is, and present tense end in -as. Can you change a phrase or sentence with a future tense verb into present tense? Into past tense?


In the mountain of the height of Israel will I plant it: and it shall bring forth boughs, and bear fruit, and be a goodly cedar: and under it shall dwell all fowl of every wing; in the shadow of the branches thereof shall they dwell. Ezekiel 17:23 KJV

It will be planted on the high mountain of Israel: it will put out branches and have fruit and be a fair cedar: under it all birds of every sort will make their living-place, resting in the shade of its branches. Ezekiel 17:23, Bible in Basic English.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Could Klingon replace Esperanto?

Sometimes people who don't much like Esperanto say that Klingon, a made-up language invented to add realism to some Star Trek movies, is more successful as an international language than Esperanto is.

But actually that's not true. It's just comforting for people who fear someday they will be forced to learn Esperanto. They would be equally fearful if they had to learn Volapük, Universalglot, or Klingon!

Star Trek fans may know a word or two of Klingon, but very few could actually put together a whole sentence in the language. And it would almost never be a sentence that is useful in the real world, unlike 'beam me up' or 'fire phasers.' 


  • Reason number 1 that Klingon will not succeed as an international language the way Esperanto has is that Klingon is intellectual property owned by the corporation that owns Star Trek. Or maybe the man hired to create Klingon has some claim on it as well. Esperanto, Volapük and other languages intended as international auxiliary languages are 'born' in the public domain. If you translate a Shakespeare play into Esperanto or Volapük, you could self-publish it without issues. If you translate it into Klingon, the owners of the Klingon language could stop  you publishing.
  • Reason number 2 is that there is no mechanism for coining new words in Klingon. That's why you can't translate the Bible into Klingon--- there are hundreds of words you'd need to translate the text that don't exist in Klingon yet, and there is no way to make a new word of Klingon by yourself.
  • Reason number 3 is that there are no shortwave radio broadcasts or podcasts in Klingon. At one point there were many on the shortwave bands, though most were mainly audible in Europe. Now that podcasts have replaced shortwave radio for so many of us, there are Esperanto podcasts. If someone wanted to start a Klingon podcast, he'd have to get permission from the language's owners.
  • Reason number 4 is that Klingon is a product of Star Trek, a phenomenon from the English-speaking world, and particularly from the United States. English-speakers from the United States don't particularly feel the need for an international auxiliary language. You are far less likely to find an Esperanto speaker in the United States than in Finland. And foreign Star Trek fans, even though they watch Trek movies and TV shows dubbed into their own language, are more likely to know some English than enough Klingon to be useful.
  • Reason number 5 is that there are no books in Klingon--- not even a Bible, a New Testament or a single Gospel. So the Klingon enthusiast has nothing to read to expand his language knowledge. There are many books in Esperanto--- I have a shelf on one of my bookcases just for Esperanto books, and I have my Esperanto dictionaries, both my Esperanto Bibles, and a few other Esperanto books on a different bookshelf. And I have never had much book-buying money!
  • Finally, reason number 6 is the ridicule factor. Star Trek is a 'silly' science fiction TV show. Star Trek fans get mocked. If a bunch of Star Trek fans decided to make Klingon into a workable international auxiliary language, they would be mocked far more than Esperantists are! Now, determined enough Trekkies might manage, anyway. But I think it would be very hard to get more Klingon speakers than there are Esperanto speakers--- or even Volapük speakers.
Now, there could be a deus ex machina event that could propel Klingon, with all its flaws, into use as a global international language. And it would be as useful as any other, or as English, French, Latin or Chinese have been in international use. But I honestly believe that the odds are against Klingon coming into that role.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Reading the Bible in Esperanto: Romans 1:1


If you read the Bible regularly or daily for religious reasons, there is no reason why you can’t try reading it in Esperanto. If you have had a few Esperanto lessons, you will probably recognize a few words of any given Bible passage. Unknown words you can always look up.
But where to start? There are a lot of books in the Bible, some more difficult than others. I suggest the book of Romans, which is a letter from Saint Paul to the Christians of the city of Rome. 

Paulo, servisto de Jesuo Kristo, apostolo vokita, apartigita al the evangelio de Dio,

This is verse 1, and the first thing you will note is that it is only the beginning of a sentence. Paul is starting off by introducing himself to the Christians of Rome. He has at this point not gone to Rome to visit these Christians himself. He gives his name, Paulo, and then gives his chief ‘title’ as a church leader: servisto de Jesuo Kristo. The word translated servisto is in the original Greek doulos, which means ‘slave.’ To the original audience of this letter, the word ‘slave’ meant the guy who empties your chamber pot and does other low, unappreciated work for you. Not a high status at all. But to be the slave of Jesus Christ is another thing altogether. Note: one title of the pope is ‘servant of the servants of God.’ Perhaps a reminder to popes not to glory in their status over other church leaders, but to regard themselves as the servant to the other ‘servants of God’.

Apostolo vokita: well, you can probably guess that apostolo means apostle. Vokita comes from the verb voki, which means ‘to call.’ The -ita ending means that it is past tense, and that someone other than Paul did the calling.  In the context of Paul’s life story, we can understand that the calling came from God. 

Apartigita: isn’t that a word and a half? There are three parts to this word: apart- which means separate, -ig- which means ‘make, render,’ and finally -ita, which we have met with above. In other words, Paul has been separated, or set apart, for the Gospel of God.

Evangelio means Gospel, and is related to the Greek word euaggelion, which means ‘good message.’ The Gospel is the Good News, and that is what Paul is set apart for.

You can not only read the rest of this chapter of Romans, but listen to or download an audio version of it, from this web page: 


Here is the Bible verse in English (KJV)
Romans 1:1
Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,

Saturday, June 30, 2018

How I first learned about Esperanto


I learned there was such a thing as Esperanto as a child. My mother was big on providing her children with books, and she got me/us a set of Golden Book encyclopedias. Since my younger brother had no interest in books, I claimed the set as mine and read all of the volumes. 

There was a little article on Esperanto. I don't remember much about it, except that it wasn't negative on Esperanto, and that the Esperanto word it gave as an example was 'birdo.' Perhaps I assumed that the rest of Esperanto was like that--- similar to English? 

Anyway, that little article was the beginning of a lifelong interest in Esperanto. In the early years, I had no idea how to get any more information on Esperanto or where to buy an Esperanto dictionary or textbook. In the pre-internet days, if YOUR local bookstore or library didn't carry something, it pretty much didn't exist.

Much later--- after I already had books in Esperanto--- I moved to my father's old hometown of Menominee, Michigan (USA.) In the library there was one very old (1950s) book about Esperanto which combined a textbook, dictionary and a small sample of articles in Esperanto. I kind of wish some of the earlier libraries in my life had books like that!


Memorizing things in Esperanto: 
This week I am memorizing a basic Christian prayer in Esperanto.

In la nomo de l' Patro kaj de l' Filo kaj de l' Sankta Spirito. Amen.

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. 

This is good for Esperanto beginners to memorize because it has simple words, and it's very short. It's not like memorizing the Apostles' Creed in Esperanto!  In you are not familiar with de l' --- it is short for 'de la' and is pronounced like 'del.' 

Friday, June 15, 2018

Ridante Lernu: LEE Chong-Yeong

"Ridante Lernu" estas lego-libro por komencantoj, kaj ghi estas tre amusa. La libro estas verkita de LEE Chong-Yeong. Publikita de Korea Esperanto Asocio, 2007.

After you have done some basic lessons in Esperanto, you might want to start reading easy Esperanto learning materials like this book, "Ridante Lernu." 

It contains 200 short texts in Esperanto which are useful to practice reading the language. Most of the texts are amusing jokes. 

I have not been keeping up with my Esperanto for the past few years, and when I tried to read a normal Esperanto book I found it a bit difficult. So I took this book down from my Esperanto shelf and started reading. It's funny and good practice to get back in the swing of using Esperanto.

I don't remember how I got this book. Maybe ELNA's book service? Or UEA? Anyway, it is probably available yet if you want a copy of your own.

Thursday, September 08, 2016

Esperantaj Blogoj: Razeno blogas Esperante (Nepal)

Bona esperanta blogo estas 'Razeno blogas Esperante.' La aŭtoro estas Razen Manandhar, el Katmando, Nepalo. 

Razeno diris:
"Bonvenon al mia blogejo. Per mia Esperanto-blogo, mi montras al la mondo ke nia internacia lingvo ja vivas hodiaŭ, kaj ĝi troviĝas ankaŭen Nepalo. Vi trovos artikoletojn pri Nepalo, tiea kulturo, socio kaj mia persona vivo. Kaj mi nepre donas mian personan opinion pri Esperanto-movado en mia lando."
 Angla traduko:
A good blog in Esperanto is 'Razeno blogas Esperante.' The author is Razen Manandhar from Kathmandu, Nepal.

Razeno says:
"Welcome to my blog. In my Esperanto-blog, I show to the world that our international language indeed lives today, and you can find it also in Nepal. You will find short articles about Nepal, its culture, society and my personal life. And I without fail give my personal opinion about the Esperanto-movement in my country.