Esperanto Language Blog

The Less Common Pronoun Posted by on May 30, 2009 in Esperanto Language

You might never encounter the pronoun “ci” in your adventures as an Esperantist, unless you happen to be reading some old-fashioned literature. “Ci” is much like the antequated English word “thou” (which would make “cia” the equivalent of “thine,” and the accusative “cin” something like “thee”). I have no idea how you could work that into your everyday parlance. Perhaps if you were among a bunch of medieval era enthusiasts?

Anyhow, it’s worth knowing that “ci” exists. If you ever translate pieces of older literature, you may find yourself in need of it. Also, if you happen to be translating from a language that differentiates between formal and informal address in its pronouns (like Spanish, with its varied “tu” and “usted” forms), you might want to consider using “ci” to preserve the authenticity of the original address. Of course, “ci” follows all the rules of Esperanto grammar, so you would apply all the same rules to it that you do your other pronouns.

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  1. Guillermo Leonel Quevedo:

    En la PLENA VORTARO DE ESPERANTO, (eldono 1964 de Sennacieca Asocio Tutmonda, 67, Avenue Gambetta, Paris) verkita de l’Profesoro E. Grosjean-Maupin, Direktoro de la Sekcio “Komuna Vortaro” che la Esperantista Akademio, oni povas legi:
    *Ci. 1 Pronomo de la dua persono en ununombro, uzata por alparoli iun senceremonie. 2 Kelkfoje alparolante al Dio.

  2. Demetrio Rafael Prado-Gruñón:

    But the PVE is not Zamenhof. And the good doctor said only that “ci” is the ununombra formo, and even that any nuance of informality is because of influence from other languages (which means, of course, that **in Esperanto** there is no inherent quality of “ci” that means “informal”)