Esperanto Language Blog

Don’t Fear the Suffix Posted by on May 21, 2009 in Esperanto Language

A pretty useful suffix to remember in Esperanto is “fobio.” On its own, it simply means “phobia.” It’s a little bit different than “timo,” which means “fear” (or “timi,” to fear) in that it denotes a more severe frightened response to a particular thing, and usually connotes irrationality. The difference is somewhat difficult to express in English, though, since we often use fear and phobia interchangeably.

It would be worth your time to remember -fobio, because it lets you describe specific phobias. All you need to do is tack a descriptive root in front of it, and suddenly you can explain perfectly what the phobia entails. It also allows you to be a bit less scientific in your explanations than what you might encounter in English. For example, the technical term for “fear of heights” in English is “batophobia,” which the average listener probably wouldn’t understand. In Esperanto, you can say “altfobio” (height-fear), and you’ll be understood.

Also, you can say “grandvortfobio” to express a fear of long words, rather than the technical English equivalent:

(Ready? This is kind of ridiculous. And mean-spirited, considering what it means.)


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  1. RTR:

    Is there an easy way to type the accented characters?

  2. Lex:

    I’m not too sure how to directly type an accented character in a web browser. Usually, if I need to type one, I copy my Esperanto text from what I typed using the program Esperantilo. There is a link to the program contained in my earlier entry, “Typing Accented Characters.”

    In Esperantilo, you can configure it so that whenever you type “ux,” “gx,” etc., the program will automatically place the accent over the proper letter. In most English-language word processors, you can also use the “Insert -> Special Characters” command to place accented letters in your text.

    Bonan sxancon!

  3. Lochjo:

    Try EK:

    this is for windows. It lets you type with “x” (or “h”) system, and replaces the letters as you type, like this:
    gx -> ĝ
    Ĝi estas tre agrabla maniero tajpi tekstojn, ĉu en word, ĉu en iu ajn retumilo.


  4. Toño:

    Yes, try “Ek”, which is quite easy.
    Another possibility for the Net is Konvertilo: