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Useful Phrases to Help You Get by with… Esperanto?

Saluton! Dum longa tempo mi ne vidis vin! Kiel vi?

If you have been even the slightest bit interested in our recent peek at the language that is Esperanto, perhaps you will have dabbled enough to recognise the above sentence as Hello! Long time no see! How are you?

Or maybe you haven’t. Maybe you have read our articles and have had your interest piqued, but haven’t done a single thing about it yet. That’s okay, no judgement; it takes time to delve into the murky waters of any new language after all. But we promise: Esperanto is a good one: let us show you how by teaching you a few useful phrases, see if we can’t whet your appetite for a little more…

Five, six, seven, eight…

Thank you, Steps, it’s a bit early in the day for a mockery of a hoedown, but if we are going to start anywhere then you are right; perhaps we can learn a few numbers. So here are your basics, one through ten:

One - unu

Two - du

Three - tri

Four - kvar

Five - kvin

Six - ses

Seven - sep

Eight - ok

Nine - naŭ

Ten - dek

And for all mathematicians out there who are indignant about the exclusion of the all important zero, that would be nulo.

Greetings, Earthlings…


GIF via Giphy

If Esperanto really does become the language of the Earth and future generations of aliens come to visit, perhaps we should send a few basic Esperanto phrases up in another Arecibo-style message so they know what to say to us when they land. In case you want some of those phrases for yourself to be prepared for alien invasion/visitation:

Hello - Halo (because maybe they’ll call us first, right?)

Welcome - Bonvenon

Where are you from? De kie vi estas? (followed by insane gesturing at the stars above, no doubt)

Pleased to meet you - Mi ĝojas, ke mi povas konatiĝi kun vi/ Agrablas renkonti vin/ Estas plezuro renkonti vin

Good morning/ afternoon/ evening/ night - Bonan matenon/ posttagmezon/ vesperon/ nokton
Goodbye - Ĝis poste/ Ĝis (la) revido/ Ĝis la/ Ĝis/ Adiaŭ

Cheers! Good Health! - Je via sano!/ Toston!/ Sanon!

Bon voyage - Bonan vojaĝon! (not that we are anxious for you to leave again, dear alien visitor…)

Please speak more slowly - Parolu pli malrapide mi petas malrapidiĝu
Please say that again -Ĉu vi povus ripeti mi petas?
Please write it down - Bonvolu ĝin skribi!

Where is...? - Kie estas?
Where is the bathroom? - Kie estas la necesejo?
Do you speak Esperanto? - Ĉu vi parolas Esperanton?

On a night out…

If aliens are a bit far-fetched for you as a reason to learn a language, today really isn’t the day for us to be the Mulder to your Scully. Unfortunately. But how about we give you some useful lingo for if and when you decide to attend the World Esperanto Congress, and want to go out for the night after?

GIF via Hulu

Where do you live? - Kie vi loĝas?

What’s your profession? - Kio estas via profesio?

What time is it? - Kioma estas la horo?/ Kioma horo estas?

What are we up to? - Kion ni faras?

Give me more details - Bonvolu doni pli da detaloj
Let’s talk - Ni parolu
Let’s dance - Ni dancu

I like you - Mi ŝatas vin

You look hot! - Vi belegas!

You are sexy - Vi estas tre alloga
Can I kiss you? - Ĉu mi rajtas kisi vin?

I want you (desire) - Mi volas vin

Give it to me - Donu ĝin al mi

I’ve got something for you - Mi havas ion por vi

Your turn - Via vico

Wait a minute… - Atendu momenton...

I have to go now - Mi devas foriri nun
You are stupid - Vi estas stulta
You are pathetic - Vi estas kompatinda

You lied to me - Vi mensogis al mi
Tell me the truth! - Diru la veron!
Don’t make me laugh (ironic) - Ne ridigu min

How could you do it to me? - Kiel vi povas fari tion al mi?
I’ve got a headache - Mi havas kapdoloron

Go away! - Lasu min trankvile!
Leave me alone! - Lasu min trankvile!
Fire! - Fajron!

Help! - Helpon!

...Well. That evening out certainly escalated… how about we move on to some more, uh, office-friendly, day to day phrases to round things off?

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Getting by...


Photo via Pixabay

Fine/OK - Bone 

Thank you - Dankon
Yes - Jes
No - Ne

Get well soon - Resaniĝon!

Don’t do that - Ne faru tion
Believe me - Kredu min
Are you OK? - Ĉu vi bonstatas?

Let me think… - Lasu min pensi...
How much is it? - Kiom ĝi kostas?

How do you say... in Esperanto? - Kiel oni diras... en Esperanto?
Would you like...? - Ĉu vi volas...?
I would like… - Mi volas...
I am looking for… - Mi serĉas...
I am hungry - Mi malsatas
I am thirsty - Mi soifas
I am lost - Mi estas perdita
I am sick - Mi estas malsana
I need help - Mi bezonas helpon
Where am I? - Kie mi estas?

We think you will agree: Esperanto is a colourful language with what appears to be a lot of similarities to some of the languages we already know.

Thank you for accompanying us on this language journey: we wish you luck on your next one!