Thursday, July 7, 2011

Made-Up Names to the Ekstrema!

Back in the 1880s, L.L. Zamenhof believed that different languages led to division & misunderstanding amongst peoples. He sought to fix that by creating an easy-to-learn, culturally-neutral language to be used in the international community. Nearly 120 years later, Esperanto has over 2 million speakers in 115 countries. It is easily the most common constructed language (sorry, Klingon!), and is used in some schools to prepare students for other foreign language acquisition.
Esperanto baby names are formed by either re-forming a name from another language, or by simply using an Esperanto word. All nouns end in 'o' adjectives in 'a', and verbs in 'i'. Since Esperanto is a created language with no gendered words, any of these words could theoretically be used for either gender.

  • Aglo (AH-gloh)--"eagle"
  • Alaŭdo (ah-LOUD-oh)--"lark"
  • Amika (ah-MEE-kah)--"friendly"
  • Ĉiela (chee-EL-ah)--"heavenly"
  • Fiera (fee-EHR-ah)--"proud"
  • Koralo (koh-RAH-loh)--"coral"
  • Katida (kah-TEE-dah)--"kittenish"
  • Merita (mer-EE-tah)--"worthy"
  • Miela (mee-EL-ah)--"honey-like"
  • Pipra (PEEP-rah)--"spicy"
  • Rava (RAH-vah)--"ravishing"
  • Valora (vahl-OR-ah)--"valuable"

Many names already have established Esperanto equivalents, but if yours doesn't, here's how it goes:
  • Esperanto has one sound for every letter and vice-versa.
  • There are 5 vowels: A ("father"), E ("get"), I ("ski"), O ("cope"), and U ("glue"). There's a good deal of flexibility.
  • C is always soft ("cite"), never hard ("cut").
  • Soft 'ch' ("church") will become Ĉ.
  • Hard 'ch' ("Zachary") and 'c' ("cut") will become K. 
  • G is always hard ("get"), never soft ("giant").
  • J or soft G ("giant") will become Ĝ.
  • Qu will become Kv.
  • S is always soft ("soft"), never hard ("laser").
  • Sh will become Ŝ.
  • W will either become V, or Ŭ if part of a diphthong (e.g. aw, ow, ew).
  • X will become KS.
  • Y will become J.
  • It may be easier to transcribe the original Latin form or a Romance language form (French, Italian, Spanish, etc).
Here are the top 10 boys' and girls' names from 2010 in Esperanto.

  • Ajdeno
  • Ĝajdeno
  • Ĝajkobo
  • Kajdeno
  • Itano
  • Ĝaksono
  • Mikelo
  • Aleksandro
  • Viliemo or Viljemo
  • Noa
  • Sofia
  • Izabela or Ezabela
  • Olevia or Alevia
  • Kloi
  • Ema
  • Emeli
  • Abegajlo (or -a)
  • Madesano (or -a)
  • Ajva
  • Adesano (or -a)

If you're interested in learning more about Esperanto (or just learning it), visit lernu!

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