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.

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Goethe-Verlag: Book2 en Esperanto --- free audio course

Homoj el multaj landoj kaj lingvoj povas lerni Esperanton kun senpaga aŭda kurso, Book2. La 'Goethe-Verlag' el Germanujo havas aŭdajn kursojn por lerni 50 lingvo. Jen estas la ret-adreso:

En la 'Book2' retpaĝo, elektu vian naskiĝintan lingvon. Poste, elektu 'Esperanto' el la listo de lingvoj. Vi povas lerni en la retpaĝo, aŭ elŝuti la aŭda kurso. Vi ankaŭ povas aĉeti la libron por la kurso. Estas 10 Usonajn dolarojn.

People from many countries and languages can learn Esperanto with a free audio course, Book2. The 'Goethe-Verlag' from Germany has audio courses for learning 50 languages. Here is the internet address:

On the 'Book2' web page, select your native language out of the languages listed. Next, pick 'Esperanto' from the list of languages that you can learn. You can learn the lessons from the web page, or download the audio lessons. You can also buy the book for the course. It costs 10 US dollars on

Since I learned the basics of Esperanto in the 1980s, I don't use the course to learn Esperanto. But when I downloaded a Serbian language course from the page, I chose Esperanto as my native language--- so I am refreshing my Esperanto while learning Serbian.

Book2 is my go-to page when I get interested in a new language. I can study the lessons to see if I am interested in the language. 

Book2 is also a great source of homeschooling lessons. I personally would recommend Esperanto as a foreign language for homeschooling. Esperanto is about 10 times easier to learn than other languages, and so the young child quickly experiences success at the language. Later the child might choose another language to learn for his second foreign language--- using Book2 as a first textbook. 

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Esperanto lesson: En la komenco

This is an Esperanto lesson using the text of the Bible as reading material. You don't need to own an Esperanto Bible, Esperanto dictionary, or Esperanto textbook to get started.

To start let us take a look at the very first verse of the Bible, which along with the rest of the non-Deuterocanonical Old Testament was translated by the creator of Esperanto, L. L. Zamenhof.

En la komenco Dio kreis la ĉielon kaj la teron. Genezo 1:1
Here are some things to notice:

1. Nouns. There are four nouns in this verse: komenco, Dio,  ĉielon, teron. You will notice that two end in -o. This shows that they are nouns. The second two end in -on. The -o shows they are nouns, and the -n shows that they are in the accusative case. This is a fancy way of saying that those nouns are on the receiving end of the action of a verb. What verb? Kreis, which means 'created.' What is being created? La ĉielon kaj la teron--- the heaven and the earth.

2. Subject of the sentence. Who is the subject of the sentence? Dio--- God. God is the one doing the creating. So the noun 'God' is in the nominative case. Which is another way of saying that it's God doing the action of the verb kreis.

3. Verb. The verb kreis is in the past tense. The past tense of a verb is marked by the ending -is. The infinitive of the verb kreis is 'krei.' Krei means 'to create.' In English we show the infinitive of a verb with the word 'to.' In Esperanto we show it by the ending -i.

4. En la komenco. The word 'komenco', which means beginning, is not the subject of the sentence. The 'komenco' is not creating anything. But it is not being created, either. In the phrase 'en la komenco', you do not need to add -n because it is not the direct object of the verb--- it's not receiving the action of the verb 'created' so it is not in the accusative case.

5. For extra practice, you might want to copy the Esperanto text above into a notebook. Also copy the verse in English translation--- or whichever language you speak well. Look up any Esperanto words you don't know well in an online Esperanto dictionary.

Do you understand?

Kiu kreis la ĉielon?
Dio kreis la ĉielon.

Kiu kreis la teron?
Dio kreis la teron.

Ĉu la komenco kreis Dion?
Ne, la komenco ne kreis Dion.

Next time:
The next two verses of the first chapter of Genesis.

2   Kaj la tero estis senforma kaj dezerta, kaj mallumo estis super la abismo; kaj la spirito de Dio ŝvebis super la akvo.
3   Kaj Dio diris: Estu lumo; kaj fariĝis lumo.

Jesus Army Multilingual Bible, Esperanto:  

Monday, September 05, 2016

Using the Bible to learn Esperanto

Oni povas uzi la Biblion por lerni Esperanto. La retejo Jesus Army Multilingual Bible enhavas la Biblion en Esperanto kaj angla kaj multe da alia lingvoj.
L. L. Zamenhof, creator of the Esperanto language, himself translated the Old Testament of the Bible into Esperanto. And from that time on, the Bible has been a textbook for Esperanto students of many linguistic backgrounds. [Vikipedio (Esperanto Wikipedia): L. L. Zamenhof]

Why is this so? The Bible, from Genesis through Revelation, is conveniently divided up into chapters and verses. And the Bible is available in hundreds of languages around the world. There are many Bible sites which allow you to compare Bible translations in various languages. My favorite is the Jesus Army Multilingual Bible.

The Jesus Army site has the Esperanto Bible (except for the Deuterocanonical books which are missing from many Protestant Bibles.) Let's look up a random verse in the Esperanto Bible, John 6:35: "Jesuo diris al ili: Mi estas la pano de vivo; kiu venas al mi, tiu neniam malsatos, kaj kiu kredas al mi, tiu neniam soifos."

Look at the page for John chapter 6 in the Jesus Army site.  On the right side of the page are links to many other Bible translations in English, and many in other languages. Let's click on the King James Version--- that will take us to John chapter 6 in the King James. Here is the verse in English: "And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst."

Now, using an English-Esperanto dictionary or an appropriate web page, you can study the Esperanto version word-for-word. If you are an absolute beginner to Esperanto, start with the part of the Bible verse in boldface. It contains the most basic of Esperanto verbs, estas. It's the present tense of the verb 'to be' and means am, is, or are.

It contains the first person pronoun, mi which means 'I'. And two basic verbs, pano and vivo--- bread and life.

But what if there is a person who wants to learn Esperanto but doesn't speak English, or not very well. Let's say an African who speaks Xhosa. There is a Xhosa Bible on the Jesus Army page. Here is John 6:35 in Xhosa: "Wathi ke uYesu kubo, Isonka sobomi esi ndim; lowo uzayo kum, akasayi kulamba; lowo ukholwayo kum, akasayi kunxanwa naphakade."

There is a great deal of material in the Bible for the beginning Esperanto student to study. You will not run out of things to learn for years. And many of the great minds of history such as Isaac Newton and Copernicus have believed that the Bible has good and worthy content that does the reader good.

Permission to translate this article into other languages is freely given so long as you post a link back to this article, and make a comment on this blog post giving a link to where you have put up your translation. 

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Esperanto language study:

I am going to be starting a study of some basic learn-Esperanto text on this blog. I will be using a textbook that is in the public domain, likely The Esperanto Teacher by Helen Fryer, which is available as a free ebook.