Why “mij” <> “ni”

“Esperanto is a very logical language, with complex words derived from simple roots in a highly regular way. Why, then, is it not possible to form plural pronouns by adding -j to the singular ones? It would make sense to say ‘mij’ instead of ‘ni’, use ‘vij’ for the plural ‘you’, or speak about a group of women as ‘ŝij’.”

Read more: https://jakubmarian.com/why-not-mij-vij-lij-instead-of-ni-vi-ili-in-esperanto/

Esperanto at a Glance

I created this piece based upon a copy of an old poster published by the British Esperanto Association. I used LibreOffice Draw to produce the piece. It can be easily customized for use by any Esperanto organization. I’d be happy to share it with anyone who would like a copy. A PDF version is also available.

Esperanto at a Glance - ESMA.jpg

Please let me know what you think about this poster. I have a lot more of this sort of material in mind. I hope that you find it useful.

Oni lernas per siaj eraroj!


I believe that one learns best from one’s mistakes. It is the small foibles that make language learning exciting, ĉu ne?

Yesterday was a very hot day here in North Georgia for this time of year: 92F/33C. I wrote a Tweet (in EO, of course) where I expressed my dislike of summer. I was in a hurry, so I didn’t take the time to proofread and check words against the vortaro, and I ended up writing, “Mi malŝatas sumeron.”

Someone pointed out that I was not using the correct word, so I checked and found that I misspelled the word. It should be SOMERO: Mi malŝatas someron.

Interestingly, SUMERO/SUMERIO means “Sumer/Sumeria.”

Despite the embarrassment of my mistake, I did learn from this experience. I now will remember how to spell SOMERO properly, and I learned the Esperanto name for an ancient civilization.

Yet another productive example of an error becoming a learning opportunity! Never be afraid of making mistakes!

Esperanto is Exceptional

Studying the rules vs. studying the exceptions

Esperanto is exceptional, in that its grammar does not have any exceptions! Just think of the long litany of English verbs that are conjugated every-which-way-but-loose. Think of learning Spanish verb conjugation, which is comparably regular, but still there are a large number of verb conjugations that are irregular and must be memorized.

Esperanto is considered among the easiest languages to learn, taking an estimated 150 hours of study to reach proficiency. (Compare that to English, which requires around 1,500 hours.) It is because of Esperanto’s simple grammar, straightforward phonetics and familiarity of vocabulary (for speakers of European languages, anyway) that such a claim can be made.

This is why it is such a great idea to study Esperanto before learning another language. Cut your teeth with something easy to chew, then move on to tougher and more complicated prey. It is fun and easy to learn Esperanto. Do it today!

Handling Esperanto’s “Owies”

There is a small class of words in Esperanto that end in the suffix -AŬ. These words come up frequently, so it is a good idea to memorize them.

In the following video, Covering the Owies in Esperanto, Alex Miller presents some mnemonic devices to help you remember these words. Great video, Alex!

In a comment in the Duolingo Esperanto Learners group that included this video, Lee Miller, one of the admins and experts in the group, said this:

[R]emember that -aŭ isn’t a word ending. “Kontraŭ” is a complete word in itself, so word endings can be added. “Kontraŭe”, “kontraŭo”, “kontraŭi”, etc.

Excellent point, Lee!

Here is a list of all of the words that Alex discusses in his video, in alphabetical order:

ADIAŬ – goodbye

ALMENAŬ – at least

AMBAŬ – both

ANKAŬ – also, as well

ANKORAŬ – still, continues to be/exist

ANSTATAŬ – instead of

ANTAŬ – before (spatially)

ANTAŬ OL – before (temporally)

APENAŬ – hardly, not appropriately

– or

BALDAŬ – soon

ĈIRKAŬ – around

HIERAŬ – yesterday

HODIAŬ – today

KONTRAŬ – against, in opposition to

KVAZAŬ – as though

LAŬ – according to, along, by

MALGRAŬ – despite

MORGAŬ – tomorrow

NAŬ – the number nine (9)

PRESKAŬ – almost