bumping and scraping and smiling exchanges in Esperanto

farima_mt

Senior Member
persian
Hi every one,
(The visitor's chair in which I sat was placed at an angle to the door,which proximity,each time that I was there, led to much bumping and scraping and smiling exchanges in Esperanto.)
Could you help me to understand the highlighted part,please?
I can't see what "smiling exchanges in Esperanto" is for.
Thanks.
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    "Esperanto" is a language, Farima Mt. The people who are having "smiling exchanges in Esperanto" are grinning at each other and saying things in this language. If you're interested in reading more about "Esperanto" here's a link to a Wikipedia article on the topic: Esperanto.
     

    heypresto

    Senior Member
    English - England
    The writer would have to sit near a door where people coming and going through it would bump into him/her. Many apologies would be uttered, usually with a smile. I don't know why they should be speaking Esperanto. I suspect that should be clear from the context.

    Hope that helps . . .
     

    farima_mt

    Senior Member
    persian
    Could it mean that each time after being bumped or scraped,they exchanged smiles in an unspeakable language?
    As far as I know Esperanto is an international language,maybe here it refers to a language which every one can understand.
    What do you think?
    Am I right?
     

    gquixote

    Senior Member
    English
    Could it mean that each time after being bumped or scraped,they exchanged smiles in an unspeakable language?
    Am I right?
    No. The word exchanges means "small bits of conversation". So smiling exchanges means that, together with all the bumping and scraping, they talked amiably (smiling) amongst themselves in Esperanto.

    (Your use of unspeakable above is incorrect: This word usually has negative connotations and refers to a taboo. If something is "unspeakable" it is usually extremely intense - too intense for words.)
     

    gquixote

    Senior Member
    English
    Could it mean that each time after being bumped or scraped,they exchanged smiles in an unspeakable language?
    As far as I know Esperanto is an international language,maybe here it refers to a language which every one can understand.
    What do you think?
    Am I right?
    No. The language that can be understood by all here, is the universal "language" of friendliness, not the specific Esperanto language. Clearly not everyone understands Esperanto.
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    Since farima is offline now, I'll post the source. The reason we ask for this is to avoid copyright problems for WordReference and to help members find more context if they would like.

    Ingmar Bergman: interviews, by Ingmar Bergman, Raphael Shargel
     

    mplsray

    Senior Member
    Since farima is offline now, I'll post the source. The reason we ask for this is to avoid copyright problems for WordReference and to help members find more context if they would like.

    Ingmar Bergman: interviews, by Ingmar Bergman, Raphael Shargel
    I take the use of Esperanto in that book to mean "a language I didn't understand," similar to how Greek is treated in the English expression "It's Greek to me."

    Addition: The author of that particular interview of Bergman is James Baldwin, the American novelist and playwright.
     
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    farima_mt

    Senior Member
    persian
    Thanks everyone,you did help me a lot.
    Since I see you have the source now,why do you think he should use Esperanto here? assuming it means "a language I didn't understand"(as Mplsray said),because after bumping and scraping,some smiles would be normal and be understood by everyone as as apology or something,and if it means a universal language why Esperanto which obviously can't be understood by everyone(as gquixote said),it sounds more like a strange language than an international one,so why do you think he said Esperanto here?
    Thanks again.
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Thanks everyone,you did help me a lot.
    Since I see you have the source now,why do you think he should use Esperanto here? assuming it means "a language I didn't understand"(as Mplsray said),because after bumping and scraping,some smiles would be normal and be understood by everyone as as apology or something,and if it means a universal language why Esperanto which obviously can't be understood by everyone(as gquixote said),it sounds more like a strange language than an international one,so why do you think he said Esperanto here?
    Thanks again.
    You'd probably have to ask Raphael Shargel his reasons for using "Esperanto", Farima MT. Although I think the idea is probably correct that "Esperanto" here means "incomprehensible language", I can't be sure from reading it if that was Shargel's intention. Not knowing much about Bergman's daily routine, I might suppose that Bergman was part of some circle of Esperanto enthusiasts. The only way to confirm or eliminate that idea would be to read the whole book or some Bergman biography, which sounds like too much work. :)
     

    mplsray

    Senior Member
    You'd probably have to ask Raphael Shargel his reasons for using "Esperanto", Farima MT. Although I think the idea is probably correct that "Esperanto" here means "incomprehensible language", I can't be sure from reading it if that was Shargel's intention. Not knowing much about Bergman's daily routine, I might suppose that Bergman was part of some circle of Esperanto enthusiasts. The only way to confirm or eliminate that idea would be to read the whole book or some Bergman biography, which sounds like too much work. :)
    As I indicated in my post, the interview article in question was written by the playwright James Baldwin. I can find no other instance, in either that article or elsewhere on the Internet, in which he made any additional reference to Esperanto.

    Esperanto has on occasion been taken figuratively as a substitute for an unintelligible language, and this is not the only language constructed for international use which has received this treatment. Volapük, which preceded Esperanto, has been used in expressions referring to something being unintelligible in several languages, including Danish and even Esperanto, as pointed out in this Wikipedia article. Baldwin's use, however, is gentler than most such references, it seems to me, since I see the focus as being on his inability to understand what the visitors were saying, since I can't imagine that Baldwin is criticizing those visitors for using words which he does not understand.
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    As I indicated in my post, the interview article in question was written by the playwright James Baldwin. I can find no other instance, in either that article or elsewhere on the Internet, in which he made any additional reference to Esperanto.

    Esperanto has on occasion been taken figuratively as a substitute for an unintelligible language, and this is not the only language constructed for international use which has received this treatment. Volapük, which preceded Esperanto, has been used in expressions referring to something being unintelligible in several languages, including Danish and even Esperanto, as pointed out in this Wikipedia article. Baldwin's use, however, is gentler than most such references, it seems to me, since I see the focus as being on his inability to understand what the visitors were saying, since I can't imagine that Baldwin is criticizing those visitors for using words which he does not understand.
    Thanks for your time and effort, Ray. I always learn something when you choose to venture an opinion on a topic.

    Thanks for yours also, Copyright. You've put some effort into this one, and I a learned something from your effort. I always do. :)
     
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