Turn around – de temp’ al temp’ mi disrompiĝas!

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It’s all about word versatility this evenin’. We turn a simple word into whole bag of tricks. So don’t turn back, nor avert your eyes. The word of interest is:

Turni : To Turn (pronounced TOOR-nee)

This word specifically means that the subject is turning something. As in “I turned the hands of the clock”, or even “I turned the clock into a watch”. But never “I turned around” or “I turned into a badger”. The difference with those last ones, is that they are implying that the turning is happening to the subject of the verb, the thing doing the action. But Esperanto has a different word for that.

Therefore, if I said the broken phrase “Mi turnis en melon” for “I turned into a badger”, an Esperantist would ask you “You turned what into a badger?” Your sentence is incomplete!

First, lets take the dictionary dive:

Turnilo: winch / crank / tool for turning

Using the suffix “-il” for specifying a tool for performing an action, we can arrive at “a tool for turning”, which is quite versatile in itself; we can tack any noun at the front to get “a tool for turning [noun]”:

  • ŝraŭbturnilo: screwdriver
  • diskturnilo: disk unit / drive / turn table

Deturni: to turn away / to avert

Deturnu viajn okulojn! = Avert your eyes! Here we use the word for “from”. So instead of just turning a thing, we’re turning it from something else. Whenever you get a nice strong action word like this, you can make fun use of “sen” = “without” to describe things that proceed without that action. Here the “a” ending makes an adjective, for describing nouns:

  • sendeturna: without turning away / unflinchingly.  “la sendeturna okulo” = “The unaverting / unflinching eye”.

Returni: to turn back

The “re” prefix means repetition, or going back. So putting the “re” infront of “turni” will usually mean turning something back the other way, or in the opposite direction.

Turniĝi: to turn (around) / rotate / gyrate / revolve (toor-NEE-jee)

Here’s that sneaky “iĝ” suffix again. It means literally “to become [turned]”. Our root here is “turn”. So this is like putting the turning action back on the subject. Remember how we couldn’t use “turni” to have the subject talk about itself turning, it must always be turning something else? Well we can with the suffix: I turned into a badger = Mi turniĝis en melon. While it might be hard at first to deal with Esperanto’s strict nature about who is the subject of a verb, it actually means the sense of words very easy to interpret and reason over for word building when you get the hang of it.

Elturniĝi: to manoeuvre / wangle / contrive

Woah. How did we get that? Looks like a flippin’ Elvish name! So we start with the basic “turniĝi” and add to it the ever useful “el” meaning “out of”. So it’s literally like turning yourself out of a difficult situation! And whenever you’ve got yourself a cool verb like that, you can always make a word to describe someone with that quality:

Elturniĝema: elusive, resourceful, slippery, wily

The “em” suffix (and the adjective “a” ending here) describes something that has the tendency, inclination, or disposition for a given action. So something/someone that is “elturniĝema” is one who tends to be able to wangle and manoeuvre!

A lot of the above can be mix ‘n’ matched, many things that work for “turni” (turning something) work for “turniĝi” (being turned)!

Kapturno: dizziness, giddiness, swimming (in head), vertigo

Using the noun ending “o”, a “turno” is just “a turn(ing)”. When we combine with “kapo” = “head”, we have a head-turning. Which is used to refer to when it feels like your head keeps turning you strangely when you’re a bit dizzy!

And now for some extra fun outside of the safety of a dictionary:

Diskturnisto: DJ

Using the “ist” suffix, which is like English “er” in “Shoemaker”, “Writer”, “Runner”, or “ist” in “Novelist”, “Florist”, “Tourist”, we can define someone who is professionally occupied with turning disks 😀

Neturnita: Unturned / Yet to turn

One might used this to describe someone bitten by a zombie but not yet dead… 😛

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Badgers proven to be more evil than squirrels.

I met some lovely Esperantists today! It was quite a shock being greeting in Esperanto for the first time! My brain was slightly confused, despite how much I’d prepared by listening to Esperanto radio. And I definitely need to practice speaking more, not for pronunciation, but for actually coming up with sentences on the spot!

I came up with 2 words I liked this week!

1. Plendema = fussy

  • plendi = to complain
  • -em = a suffix which means “tendency to <root>”. See previous posts.

2. Korloko = soft spot (as in “I have a soft spot for a good curry”).

  • koro = heart
  • loko = location
  • So it’s like saying “There’s a place in my heart for….”

And also a phrase that I kinda like:

  • Ni rekafu baldaŭ! = We should go for a coffee again soon!

Neat huh? 😀

All poetical

I’ve been at the word building again… I recently agreed to start a symphonic metal band, and have a new found addiction to writing lyrics. So it was only a matter of time before the idea of writing Esperanto lyrics crept into my brain! Especially since the singer has already said she’d be up for singing it!

I’m currently working on a few themes, and some possible imagery and poetic language I could use. And during the process I’ve come up with all sorts of constructed words, so I thought I’d share a few!

I’ll put each in a phrase for ease of understanding.

  • Ekstermensigu ĉion alian! = Put everything else out of your mind!
    • Ekster = outside
    • Menso = mind
    • -ig is a suffix meaning “to make/cause <root>” (see previous posts)
  • Ŝiaj kruelaj agoj senamigis sin = Her cruel actions, rendered her without love.
    • Sen = without
    • Amo = love
    • -ig (as above)
  • Ne donu al ŝi vian amon, ŝi estas korvundema = Don’t give her your love, she is likely to break your heart.
    • koro = heart
    • vundi = wound/hurt
    • -em is a suffix means “has a tendency to <root>” (see previous post)

So it’s like “hurtful” but for the heart!

A tendency towards momentary inclinations

The handy little suffix “-em”!

In short, it can give the meaning of a tendency or inclination toward the root, either a lasting disposition or a momentary inclination, depending on the context.

It’s normally used on, and is most naturally interpreted with, action roots (see previous post on root types). Sometime soon, I may treat you to some examples with which the root class theory has to be re-interpreted, but for now, don’t worry, on with the suffix!

It can show a lasting disposition, be it unwanted or favourable:

  • plori = to cry/weep; plorema = tending to cry; plorema viro = a man that tends to cry, has a nature which leads to him crying often
  • erari = to error; erarema = error-prone
  • venki = to win/conquer; venkema = tending to win

When added to a non-action root, it often tends to take up the action interpretation of the root:

  • pura = clean (quality root)
  • puri = to be clean (action interpretation)
  • purema = cleanly/tending to be (or wanting to be) clean

Sometimes, the non-action interpretation is the more obvious than usual, like the below PMEG example:

  • muziko = music (object root)
  • muzikema = musically-inclined, liking music (notice we’re liking an object, not tending to an action related to music)

The alternative interpretation consistent with considering the action root form, would be something like “ema muziki” = “tending to make music”.

The PMEG encourages the consistent usage. So use “muzikema” to mean “tending to make music”, and using something like “muzik-ama” (music + love = music-loving) to mean “liking/loving music”.

If used in context with words like “subite” (suddenly), or “senti” (to feel), the “em” word is more likely to be interpreted as a momentary inclination, like in this PMEG example:

  • Subite li fariĝis terure dormema = Suddenly he became terribly sleepy (momentarily inclined to sleep)

A natural use of tendency is to show capability; if someone has a tendency to do something, then they are obviously capable of said thing.

  • inventi = to invent
  • inventema = able to invent (tendency toward inventing)

Here’s the PMEG page on this topic, with even more examples.