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[EN/EO] Listen and Learn in Esperanto: "La Nevenkebla Ĝeno"


The story "La Nevenkebla Ĝeno" was selected from the book "Kruko kaj Baniko en Bervalo" by Louis Beaucaire. Turn on subtitles in the video, or click here to download the book and read along! I've included a list of some words and phrases from the text that you might not understand right away.

Invitite: Probably you don't need help to recognize the transitive verb "invit/i", but I bring it up to highlight its usage. This word comes from the verb root invit- (to invite), -it- (past passive participle ending), and -e (ending to show an adverb.) You might think that in this situation we should use the adjectival ending -a to describe Kruko himself, but this would create a different meaning to the sentence. For example, consider the sentence, "Ŝi vojaĝas sol-" (She travels alone.) Would you give the root sol- (alone) the adverb ending -e or the adjective ending -a? If you were to give it the adjective ending -a, you're creating a condition in which the action the happens (She travels when she is alone), but if you give it the adverb ending -e you're describing the action (Only she travels, "by herself she travels.") So in this sentence, if we were to say "invitita", then what we're actually saying is that Kruko sleeps on the sofa when he's invited by his friend (and presumably sleeps somewhere else in the house when he's not invited by his friend.)

Lakso: This word is a direct translation for the English diarrhea but I present it here because it's not used exactly the same way. In the selected text it shows, "... subita lakso ne lasas al li tempon ..." (literally: "... a sudden diarrhea doesn't leave him time ..." In English, we'd say, "a sudden case of diarrhea," or "a sudden bout of diarrhea," but in Esperanto the extras aren't necessary. Incidentally, this word is easy to remember because comes from the Latin "lax" meaning "loose, slack," and is easy to remember from the name of medicines called "laxative."

Stop: Clearly, this is an English cognate that will be easily recognized, but given that probably none of us are familiar with the conventions of sending and receiving telegrams, here's a little bit of history courtesy of NBC News: Telegrams reached their peak popularity in the 1920s and 1930s when it was cheaper to send a telegram than to place a long-distance telephone call. People would save money by using the word “stop” instead of periods to end sentences because punctuation was extra while the four character word was free.