House found to be haunted by ghostly badgers.

Today, you get a couple of words I’ve come up with!

Firstly, we have:

malinformadi = to keep uninformed

  • mal : prefix which reverses the meaning of a word
  • informi : to inform
  • -ad : a suffix which implies repeated or continual action (read more about ad)

Example sentence:

  • Kiel antaŭzorgo, la sciuroj malinformadas la melojn = As a precaution, the squirrels keep the badgers uninformed.

It’s very much an active thing to be doing. When you are “malinformi” you are doing the very opposite of informing. Not simply just “not informing”, you are actively putting someone in the dark. The “ad” bit in the full word, stresses the ongoing, repeated process.

Next up, we’ve got:

feliĉigaĵo = something that makes you happy

  • feliĉa : happy
  • -ig : suffix which means “to make/cause <root>” (read more about ig)
  • -aĵ : suffix which shows we’re talking about a concrete thing, which is somehow characterised by the word that comes in front of it. (read more about aĵ)

Example sentence:

  • Ĉiu serĉu la feliĉaĵojn = Each person should look for the things that make them happy

At risk of blowing my own trumpet, I thought those words lend themselves to quite neat sentences 🙂

Also, please do excuse the title… I found myself giving this post a very boring title and decided to spice it up with a little strange. In future, I might use slightly more odd titles, but also try to translate them into Esperanto, you know, for kicks. 😀

Title: Domo troviĝis hantata de fantomaj meloj

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Oh the possibilities

There’s a sneaky word that has the possibility of tripping you up when translating to Esperanto, especially coming from an English background!

However, instead of Esperanto being the playground bully waiting to trip up poor awkward English, Esperanto is once again helping us to be more concise.

Take a look at the suffix “-ebl”, here’s a post of mine on it.

Why talk about it again? Because this time, it’s about using it as fully fledged root word.

  • Ebla = possible

So here it is. How might you translate “possibility” into Esperanto? Here’s three possibilities:

  • Eblo = possibility
  • Eblaĵo = possibility
  • Ebleco = possibility

Other Esperanto words might set you up for trouble here:

  • Kulpa = guilty, culpable
  • Kulpo = blame, guilt
  • Kulpeco = culpability

Why does “eco” correspond to “-bility” (as with loads of other words too, I suspect), but we can get “possibility” from all three of those endings?

The answer is this. It’s quite helpful in a bunch of cases to think of Esperanto affixes to loosely correspond to common endings in English (at least when you’re starting out), like how “e” creates adverbs in Esperanto similarly to how “ly” creates them sometimes in English (rapida = quick; rapide = quickly), like how “-ness” or “-bility” in English are often similar to “-ec” in Esperanto. However, this is only a rule of thumb. One has to understand what you actually mean by adding “eco”.

In the case with “possibility”, we English use this word to cover the meaning of all three of those alternatives! It’s not like “blame” versus “culpability”.

“Eblaĵo” and “Ebleco” is where we really have to drive the difference:

  • “Eblaĵo” refers to a thing that is possible. “Aĵ” is a suffix, which usually denotes a concrete thing, so “eblaĵo” is “something which is possible, a possibility”.
    • Tio estas eblaĵo = That’s a possibility; that’s a possible-thing
    • La mondo estas plena de eblaĵoj = The world is full of possibilities/possible-things
  • “Ebleco” refers to the property of possible-ness: how possible something is. “Ec” is a suffix, which usually denotes a property or quality of something, not the something itself. You could therefore talk about the “ebleco” of an “eblaĵo”.
    • Tio havas fortan eblecon = That has a strong possibility (“tio” refers to an “eblaĵo”, and “ebleco” is talking about the level of possibility it has).
  • “Eblo” I think out of usage tends to refer to “eblaĵo”, but technically it is the generic noun form of “possible”, which can mean either “ebleco” or “eblaĵo”. So if you’re ever unsure, just use “eblo”.

Reading material on the subject from the PMEG: 1, 2

Chocolate born to chirp

A desire suddenly happened upon me to look up pleasant-sounding words with the letters “ĝ” and “ĉ” in them, which respectively are pronounced as “g” in “gem” and “ch” in “chin”.

So here are some that I’ve found, and enjoy the sound of:

  1. Ŝanĝiĝi = (Shan-JEE-jee) to change (not change something else. The subject of this verb is the thing that’s changing). E.g. nun ke li havas amanto, li ŝanĝiĝis = now that he has a lover, he has changed (he  changed, became changed). From “ŝanĝi” = “to change (something into something), plus “-iĝi” = “to become <root>”, so “ŝanĝiĝi” = “to become changed into something”.
  2. Naskiĝi = (Nask-EE-jee) to be born.
  3. Ĉokolado = (Cho-ko-LA-do) Chocolate.
  4. Ĉasaĵo =  (Cha-SA-zho, where “zh” is pronounced like “s” in “pleasure”) game, quarry (in a hunt). “Ĉasi” = “to chase/hunt”, and the suffix “-aĵ” means a concrete thing characterised by the root word. Therefore “Ĉasaĵo” is a thing that is chased/hunted, i.e. quarry.
  5. Ĉifi = (CHEE-fee) to crumble, crease (something).
  6. Ĉirpi = (CHEER-pee) to chirp.

In 1, I love the “jee-jee” bit, especially when you have the word in past tense “ŝanĝiĝis”, finishing with the “s” makes it sound very flowing to me.

In 2, I think I almost like the “nask” sound almost as much as “ĝ”!

3 sounds bumpy in a rhythmic way, it’s kinda fun to say over and over…

4 and 5 are generally quite pleasing to pronounce, but the “ĉir” in 6 is my favourite sound out of the three. There’s something much more pleasing about its sound than how “chir” would be pronounced in English (“chirp” sounds so bland in comparison).

Quality-ness

Today’s post is about the suffix “-ec” (which is pronounced “ets”, e.g. “boneco” is pronounced “bonetso”).

This post relies on knowing about the different kinds of roots in Esperanto (quality, object, and action roots). I’ve written a post about this.

This suffix makes words that are the quality of or state of being in the root word. It always shows an abstract concept/quality. This contrasts with the “-aĵ’ suffix, which always shows a concrete thing.

If the root that you attach the suffix to already has a quality-like meaning, like “bona” = “good” then the new word is the property or state of that word. So here, “good” (bona) becomes “goodness” (boneco), which is the property of something that is good. You can talk about the “goodness” of something.

How is this different from the noun form of “bona”, i.e. “bono”. The noun form alone is the concept itself of “good”.

When added to a non-quality root, “ec” adds the idea of the quality, property or state related to that root, what it is like to be that root.

  • homo = human, person
  • homeco = human-ness (the quality of being human)
  • ŝtono = stone
  • ŝtoneco = stoniness (the quality of being (hard) like stone)
  • vivi = to live
  • vivo = life
  • viveco = life-ness? The quality of being full of life.
  • unu = one
  • unueco = one-ness, the quality of being as one.

When a noun form has many different types of meaning, adding the “ec” suffix can serve to disambiguate, and select only the quality meaning:

  • belo = A beautiful thing, abstract idea of beauty, or beautifulness (the beauty quality of something)
  • beleco = Beautifulness

Which I think is cool, so you can be specific when you need to but vague when not. This sort of thing can be done with “-aĵ” and “-ad” too.

You can use “ec” with endings other than “o” too! With “a” or “e” (adjective or adverb respectively), the meaning is something like “of similar quality/type as <root>”

  • ŝtoneca koro = Heart as hard as stone (without feeling)

I particularly like this usage, it seems to have a simple elegance to it!

These examples are courtesy of the PMEG! The page also briefly mentions a couple more minor usages of “ec”, but these were my favourite bits 😛

Partying with Participles #5

Yet another participles post! Read the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th.

This time, I’m talking about using the noun ending “o” on the end of the participles.

  • Ami = to love
  • Amanta = loving
  • Amanto = one who is loving, one who loves (amanta persono)

So notice that with the noun ending, the participle usually describes a person characterised by the action of the participle.

You choose between active or passive participles depending on whether the person is doing the action or receiving it (respectively):

  • Amanto = one who is loving, one who loves (amanta persono)
  • Amato = one who is loved (amata persono)

Note that you don’t use the “-ul” suffix to make it about a person (timi=to fear, timulo = coward), it’s already about a person.

If you wanted to be talking about a thing, not a person, then it usually suffices to note bother with the participle and instead use the “aĵ” ending.

  • Amaĵo = loved thing

Though this could also mean a thing that loves. But since that’s a less likely interpretation, and context helps, you’re normally fine. Though conceivably you could add this ending onto the participles (amantaĵo = loving thing), if you really needed to be specific to stop people misunderstanding.

Also for those few who didn’t already know, doesn’t the ending of “Esperanto” look familiar? It should do.

  • esperi = to hope
  • esperanta = hoping
  • esperanto = one who is hoping, one who hopes (esperanta persono)

Bear in mind that “Esperanto” (with a capital letter) is now recognised as a noun referring to the language. If you want the old meaning, you have to use a non capital letter. For example, Esperanta means relating to Esperanto the language, as in Esperanta kurso (Esperanto course). An “esperanta kurso” is a course that is hoping…

This concludes the bulk of material about the participles! I’m sure they’ll crop up here and there again though! You’re welcome to ask about anything I’ve missed, and if it’s a substantial amount, I may form my answer in a post!

Thingy-majigs

Time to discuss uses of the suffix “aĵ”! By attaching this to a root, you make a word into a concrete thing (a definite instantiation) of the meaning of the root (Compare to the suffix “ec” which shows an abstract quality or state of the meaning of the root. Future post!)

The weird “ĵ” letter is pronounced like a french “j”. If you don’t know what this sounds like, then it’s also like the “s” in the English word “pleasure”.

I think it’s one of my favourite letters. I already loved “J”, but J with a circumflex above it? Splendid!

Okay. Your main use of “aĵ” is on quality-like roots (the ones that are naturally adjectives, see my post on the matter). Some examples are courtesy of PMEG, the main reference for this post.

  • bela = beautiful, belaĵo = a particularly beautiful thing, an instantiation of beauty
  • utila = useful, utilaĵo = a concrete thing which is useful
  • saĝa = wise, saĝaĵo = a concrete thing characterised by wisdom. Maybe a piece of wisdom (e.g. a saying)

See how a particular quality becomes an instantiation of that quality?

It can also be used on action-like roots (the ones that prefer being verbs). In this case the meaning is more varied. It can be a thing which is the result of the action, or does the action, or is used by the action, or is the object of the action, and more!

  • fari = to do/make, faraĵo = something that was done/made, is being done or made, or will be done/made.
  • desegni = to design/draw, desegnaĵo = something that was designed/drawn, a picture.
  • bruli = to burn, brulaĵo = something which burns
  • kovri = to cover, kovraĵo = something with which one covers
  • manĝi = to eat, manĝaĵo = something to eat, food.

Notice how with “fari”, “faraĵo” can be all sorts of variations on a theme (i.e. whether the thing was done, will be done, or is being done now). It is possible to be more specific using participles (adjectives made from verbs). More details in future posts but:

  • farataĵo = something that is being done/made
  • faritaĵo = something that was done/made
  • farotaĵo = something that will be done

Sometimes when you make a noun by using the “o” suffix, the new word can mean several things.

  • konstrui = to build/construct
  • konstruo = the action of building, manner of building, a built something (e.g. house)

If you wish to be more specific, “aĵ” can be your friend.

  • konstruaĵo = a built something

It reflects only the concrete manifestation meaning.

“Aĵ” can be used on all sorts of words to make an instantiation of something to do with the root.
I quite like one of the examples from PMEG:

  • mi = I
  • miaĵo = something that concerns me, or which belongs to me

It can even be used on words that are already concrete manifestations, like:

  • aŭto = car
  • aŭtaĵo = a car thing (thingy-majig!), some specific thing related to cars.

Another use you’ll find is on animal roots, in order to make the corresponding food:

  • porko = pig, porkaĵo = pork

And by itself as a noun “aĵo”, it means a concrete thing (of arbitrary type)!