Today marked a return to course material in Esperanto. For a week or so now I’ve been indulging various linguistic whims concerning Esperanto. Browsing the forums at Lernu.net, getting knee-deep in various issues of the language that are probably far beyond me at the moment, but it was certainly interesting!

But as I said, today I returned to the Esperanto learning material I was working with, from where I left off. In doing so, I came across the prefix “ek-“.

Alone as a word, it means something like “let’s go!” or “let’s start!”.

However, when you put it at the beginning of a word, it gives the feeling of a ephemerality, or suddenly starting:

  • dormi = to sleep; ekdormi = to fall asleep
  • vidi = to see; ekvidi = to catch sight of
  • aŭdi = to hear; ekaŭdi = to get wind of
  • flugi = to fly; ekflugi = to take flight
  • brili = to shine; ekbrili = to flash
  • kanti = to sing; ekkanti = to burst into song
  • rigardi = to look at; ekrigardi = to glance at
  • bati = to hit; ekbati = to lash out
  • ridi = to laugh; ekridi = to burst out laughing
  • rigardo = a look; ekrigardo = glance
Seems to make some awesome meanings that you need entirely new words or phrases for in English, and it seems to naturally imply them without much thinking required. Quite an interesting little word! I’m having fun making a few slightly less innocent words with it…

3 thoughts on “Ek!

  1. I love “ek” because it shoves the cumbersome verb “to begin” into one syllable! French’s “commencer de” doesn’t stand a chance!


  2. This is what I like about Esperanto. It forces the learner to make these types of connections and understand how they came to be. As a native English speaker, I hadn’t made these connections from the list. I treated them as related, but separate phrases — and some I wouldn’t have even paired.


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