Wednesday, 16 December 2015

German suddenly makes Esperanto make sense

As you know, I'm learning German and dabbling in Esperanto. Esperanto is primarily based on romance languages as far as the vocabulary goes, with a bit of English and German thrown in, and its cases are a bit like German. One thing that was bugging me about Esperanto was that when I learnt about subordinate clauses, there was always a comma after the main verb. Like this:
I hope, that I get something nice for Xmas. 
This is weird to me, as it's just not the way we do it in English and I can't help reading it with a strange Shatneresque style. But I have discovered that German does this (romance languages do not, at least in my experience), so it appears to be another aspect of Esperanto borrowed from German rather than the romance languages.


  1. Polish and Russian do it too (no doubt due to German cultural influence), and since Zamenhof was brough up in a multilingual environment, exposed to Polish, Yiddish and Russian already as a child (it's even hard to say which of them was his L1), the obligatory separation of subordinate clauses with a comma must have seemed natural to him.

    1. I shouldn't have implied only German does this, of course - thanks! It makes sense that he would do it this way.