Second-level Study Manual

Being Colloquial in Esperanto – A Reference Guide

David K Jordan

  If you have completed any course in Esperanto, initial or otherwise, you will find interesting material in this textbook.  The revised edition was published in 1999 by the Esperanto League of North America.  It is a second-level manual rather than a textbook.  So its title may be misleading.  It is intended to answer questions on grammar or syntax from students who have completed an introductory course and wish to pursue certain topics.  However given its nature every reader, novice or expert, is likely to be drawn into fascinating aspects of the language they had not originally intended to explore.

  Dr. Jordan presents more complete descriptions of Esperanto grammar than are normally found in introductory works offering copious examples with clear translations.  However he uses terms as familiar as possible to discuss grammar,  avoiding ones perhaps technically more precise.  The book consists of two parts.  The first part is the reference grammar itself.  It is not intended to be a linguistically innovative, complete, or entirely consistent descriptive study of Esperanto grammar.  For that turn to Bertilo Wennergren’s  Plena Manlibro de Esperanta Gramatiko.   Dr. Jordan does not treat all topics.  Instead he offers a general description of most of the grammar that a student might learn in an elementary course, but makes frequent reference to matters of style and usage not always explained.  The second part of the book marches alphabetically through what Dr. Jordan calls ‘potentially troublesome words’.  Here he expands particularly on points which often give English speakers trouble.  All examples are accompanied by more or less colloquial English translations.  Dr.Jordan asserts his examples are intended to be clear, above all, and after that to be memorable if possible, and amusing at least some of the time.

Being Colloquial in Esperanto is now available in electronic format.  The internet version differs from the book in that some print errors have been corrected and a few minor additions or modifications have been included. The paper version is still in print and available from suppliers such as the Esperanto Association of Britain.