A compendium of Esperanto sounds

Note that of the 28 letters in the Esperanto alphabet, six have supersigns. Five of these have a circumflex above them; these are shown here by Cx, Gx, Hx, Jx and Sx. One has a brev above it; this is shown here by Ux.

The following are examples of the sounds in Esperanto. These are .AU files sampled at 8 kHz sampling rate -- hence the relatively poor quality, particularly in sibilant sounds (frequencies above 4 kHz will be garbled).

There are six diphthongs in Esperanto. These are formed by a vowel followed by a semivowel ('j' or 'ux'), not by two vowels together, which are to be clearly pronounced as two separate vowels. Americans should have little trouble with these, since what we call 'long vowels' in this country are often diphthongs similar to some of those in Esperanto. Here are examples of the six diphthongs:

Remember that the accent in every Esperanto word (of more than one vowel) falls on the next-to-last vowel. Now try to follow the following passage (304K) from En Cxinio Batalanta by "Verda Majo" (HASEGAWA Teru)

Por ni esperantistoj nacianeco estas ne absoluta. Gxi signifas sole malsamon de lingvo, kutimo, kulturo, hauxtkoloro kaj tiel plu. Ni rigardas nin kiel fratojn de unu granda familio 'homaro'. Ni tion ne teorias, sed sentas. Ekstere ni estas ligitaj de unu sama lingvo, kaj interne de unu sama sento. Ni ankaux amegas nian propran patrion. Tamen tiu cxi amo ne estas tia, kia ne povas kunstari kun amo kaj estimo al aliaj nacioj.

(For us Esperantists nationality is not absolute. It means only a difference of language, custom, culture, skin color and so forth. We look at ourselves as brothers in one great family 'mankind'. For us this is not a theory but a feeling. Externally we are linked by the same language, and internally by the same feeling. We also love our own country. But this love is not such as cannot stand together with love and respect for other nations.)

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