Read the text on the yellow background several times, out loud.  Try to memorize the verses, they'll stick in your memory, help you painlessly learn vocabulary, and serve as examples for your own use of Esperanto.

 

 Land, state, president,

Plank, cabinet, element,

Test, picture, mosaic,

Word, film, march-music.

 

Pronunciation:
 

lahnd, shtat, prezident
bret, shrahnk, element, 
test, build, mo-zah-eek, 
vohrt, film, marsh-moo-zeek .

In writing and pronouncing Esperanto, remember:

Each letter represents one sound!

Listen to the lessons in Real Audio, and pause the sound at any time!  Click here to download the Real Audio files (or here to listen directly).  Here is a summary of the Esperanto text in the first part of this course, so you can conveniently read along while listening.

There are 5 vowels in Esperanto: a, e, i, o, u   --   pronounced "ah", "eh", "ee", "oh", "oo".  (A memory phrase for vowels is "Pa, let me go, too!").  They should not be drawn out too long, and there is no glide at the end as is common in English words.  Each syllable contains exactly one vowel.
The consonants in the above words are pronounced fairly closely to the English letters.   However n does not change its pronunciation when it precedes k or g (which is always hard as in gold, never soft as in germ), and an s with ^ is sh as in show.   All letters should be pronounced separately.


Form, norm (standard), automatic device,

Breast, basket, apparatus,

Ship, fish, industry,

Steel, kernel, energy.

 

There are two semi-vowels in Esperanto, which do not form separate syllables:  They follow another vowel in its syllable, forming a diphthong.  Thus aj is pronounced "ah-ee" (shorten the "ee"), rather like the English words I and eye, oj ("o" + short "ee") as in toy, as ow ("a" + short "oo") in now, etc.

All nouns in Esperanto end with -o. This can be dropped if necessary, the omission marked by an apostrophe (for example in poetry).

The accent in Esperanto is always on the next-to-last syllable, counting any omitted final -o's. Words can be combined to form compound words.  (The o ending can optionally be left out in the middle of such words.)  The main accent in compound words is always on the next-to-last syllable.


Account, echo, photo, leap (cf. somersault),

Wheel, autobus, stop,

Soldier at the front, comrade,

Cup, tea, chocolate.

 

         c with ^ is pronounced as ch as in church, h with ^ is ch as in Bach.
An s is always pronounced as in hiss (voiceless), never as z. A lightly rolled r is preferred.


Cheek, kiss, skin-contact,

Journalist, theme, fact,

Sport, rank, champion,

Festivity, dance, chinese lantern.

 

J with ^ is prounounced as a voiced zh as in pleasure, or journal in French.
C is always pronounced as ts: caro = tsar


Institute, professor,

Act (of a play), scene, stage manager,

Bank, money in a savings account,

Esperanto, language, bridge.

 

G with ^ represents a "soft" g, pronounced as in George, gem, or John.
Note: n + g and n + k should be pronounced separately! (ban-ko, lin-gvo)
en korbo means in a basket, en taso is in a cup
The indefinite article a, an is not translated.


an interview in (a) radio

a foreign land in Asia

a (long-) duration visa in a passport

in a discussion a clear word

 

Adjectives end with -a.


thick foam in a glass

tea in the coffee-cup

the soloist in a concert

the oasis in a desert

 

The definite article (the) is la, and it is invariant.


The climate is mild,

a warm day in April,

the salad is fresh,

a crocodile is full (satisfied, satiated).

 

The verb in present tense takes the ending  -as
Word order in Esperanto is quite free.


Two tourists in a hotel

drink, dance during the festival/party.

Three ghosts in a castle

float in the white clothing.

 

In plural the noun takes the ending -j.


Southern lands are warm,

Nature is green.

Red cheeks are charming,

the figure is beautiful.

 

Attributive adjectives also take the ending -j for the plural, matching the noun to which they refer.


The student sends a card

to an address of a friend.

A female student studies Art

during vacation, in practice.

 

A noun used as the direct object takes the ending -n.
Al = to, towards. De = from, of. De is used to show possession.
The suffix -ino can be used to make any word feminine, for example: knabo = boy, knabino = girl.


A long strike causes a crisis,

Share exchange-rates only fall.

A boss makes an analysis

of an extreme conjuncture/situation.

 

Compare: kurso = course (of study), kurzo = exchange rate (of currency, stocks, etc.)
The letters x, y, q, w do not occur in Esperanto. X is replaced by ks or kz, qu by kv.


A guest drinks red wine,

(There) is a good atmosphere.

A boy kisses a girl

In the park during the evening.

 

An adjective that refers to the direct object likewise takes the ending -n.
Some words in English sentences are empty of meaning and remain untranslated, such as the word there above.  (Note: however in cases where the word there refers to a specific place it will be translated.)  Similarly the impersonal it in sentences such as "It is raining", "It is hot" are not translated.


A lamp  hangs from the ceiling,

gives light during the evening.

A king sits on the throne

because of a very important affair of state.

 

Dum = during, while, sur = on, pro = because of, owing to.


If you would like to learn more, click on continue.


© 1997, 2001 Anton Oberndorfer, Gunskirchen, Österreich; translated by Ken Caviness, Collegedale, Tennesse, USA.
This Esperanto Course can be freely used for the study of Esperanto.
All rights reserved, particularly rights of commercial usage.