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[EN/EO] Listen and Learn in Esperanto: How Dorothy Saved the Scarecrow (w/ Subtitles + Vocab Guide)

Listen and Learn with this excerpt from the book "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" by L. Frank Baum, translated by Donald Broadribb. You can turn on subtitles in English or Esperanto to read along, and you can also click here to read the entire book.

Kurioza - Beware of false friends! We can use "Curious" in English to mean different things, but in Esperanto we have two different words: "Scivolema" and "Kurioza." The former comes from "Scivoli" and makes use of the adjectival suffix "-ema" to describe somebody who has a yearning to know. Meanwhile, the latter -- "Kurioza" -- is a synonym for saying that something is a little bit strange, slightly odd, or remarkable.

Another pair of false friends you need to watch out for is "Ĝentila" and "Milda." The former, "Ĝentila," means polite and is best equated to ̈the English, "Gentile," which according to, traces back to the Latin word gentlis, meaning “of the same clan,” and at first the word was used to describe people belonging to distinguished families, who were seen as courteous and noble. The latter, "Milda," is like the English "Mild," and means to do something gently or carefully.

Amikema - Friendly. More specifically, this starts with the root for friend, "Amik-", and then adds the adjectival suffix ending "-ema." The suffix "-em" is used to describe a tendency toward the attached root, and when given the adjectival ending -a emphasizes that it's a lasting or usual inclination.

Palpebro - This is the word for "Eyelid!" From it, by way of the suffix "-um" we can form the verb "palpebrumi," which means "to blink or wink."

If you'll forgive me a terrible pun, I think it's time we had a stick-y conversation... What I mean to say is that just like in English, Esperanto has a few different words for sticks and things like them.

The first is "Branĉo" (Branch) which is used both literally and figuratively -- such as the branch of a tree, or the branch of an organiztaion. Next, you might find growing from the branch a "Vergo" which is like a switch or a thin, flexible branch. And finally, the very smallest growth you might find on a tree or coming up out of the ground, is a "Tigo", a stalk or a stem.

Beyond this rough anatomy of trees and growing things, you've got several other words that show up in stick-y conversations. A "Stango" is a general word for any sort of long, straight, stiff pole, rod, or stick. As we get more specific in the theme, you'll also find "Bastono" which is usually used to describe walking sticks, canes, or any other hand-held   stick used for supporting oneself, or pointing or hitting. 

In a more utilitarian sense, you'll find "Fosto" which is used to describe any sort of post, thick pole, or vertical supporting beam. Incidentally, when you turn a "Fosto" on its side to make a horizontal support (for example, in the foundation of a house) you'd call it a "Trabo." And finally, even though you could use a "Fosto" as a fence-post, you might also find a more specific word, "Paliso," meaning "stake", which comes from the Latin "Palus," and is found today in English when we say that something is "Beyond the pale." 

And finally, on the subject of fences, you'll see in this excerpt, "Barilo," from the verb "Bari", meaning to bar, block, or obstruct. Add on the "-ilo" suffix to make it a tool, and you've got a barrier or a fence!

Raŭka - Hoarse, husky, raspy

Are you bored yet? If so, you're in luck, because there are a couple different ways to say so. The first is the transitive verb "Tedi," which means to bore, bother or exhaust somebody with an uninteresting or dull subject, and naturally you can use it intransitively as "Tediĝi." 

"Ĉi tiu blogaĵo tedas min."

"Mi tediĝas de la blogaĵo."

Alternatively, you can express listlessness, boredom, or dissatisfaction with the intransitive verb, "Enui," which we imported from French into English as "ennui." Or, if you wanted to express that something is causing you to feel that way, you can use the transitive form of the verb, "Enuigi." 

"Mi enuas de la blogaĵo."

"La blogaĵo enuigas min."

Etendi - To reach, extend

Streĉi - To stretch, or pull tight

Oscedi - To yawn.

On another note, you'll see in the selected passage that the translator Mr. Broadribb used the expression, "kiam li estis sin streĉinte kaj oscedinte," giving the past active participle an adverb ending. While this isn't in the strictest sense wrong, it is dated, and you won't see this usage in modern Esperanto. Today, that sentence would have been written, "kiam li estis sin streĉinta kaj oscedinta."

Riverenci - To bow, or to give honor to somebody with a bow or curtsy.

Bedaŭro - Regret. In this reading, you'll also find the transitive verb, "Bedaŭrigi," which means literally, "To cause to feel regret." 

Perpleksa - Perplexed, taken aback

Perpleksigi - To perplex, confound

Pajlo - Straw, hay

In many ways, Esperanto is very different from English, but in some ways it's almost the same. For example, there's the word, "Cerbo," which means the organ of the brain. And then, we've also got "Cerbaĵo," literally meaning "Brain-stuff," but we would say in English, "Brains!"

Vundi - To wound

Grimpi - To climb

Do you smell that smell? Be aware that in Esperanto, "Smell" is two different words: "Flari" means to smell an odor with your nose, whereas "Odori" means to give off a smell:

• Do you smell that smell?

• Ĉu vi flaras tiun odoron?

• That smells like crap!

• Tio odoros je fekaĵo!

Boji - To bark