There are many different systems for the levels of education around the world. Usually, it is possible to follow the system of the country where the language spoken is the native one. I could say for example "I'm studying at the Swedish equivalent of high scool", or if I'm lazy I could just say "high school". For reasons known to you all, this isn't possible in Esperanto.

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but education usually begins with vartejo and ends with universitato. The problem is what comes in between. I have seen all these words: bazlernejo, mezlernejo, liceo, gimnazio, altlernejo, duagrada lernejo, unuagrada lernejo. What is the order of them? Which ones should I use to be understood?

  • Help with tags and English grammar would be appreciated. Commented Oct 16, 2016 at 8:55

2 Answers 2


La instrua sistemo plej varias de lando al lando kaj efektive oni uzas diversajn vortojn depende de la loko. Universitata studento en Rumanio senprobleme diras, ke „li iras al la lernejo” dum tiu sama frazo en Belgio mirigus la aŭskultanton.

Mi evitus vortojn kiel liceo kaj gimnazio ĉar ili havas malsamajn signifojn en diversaj landoj. Aliflanke la cititaj vortoj bazlernejo, mezlernejo kaj altlernejo ja estas sufiĉe universalaj kaj ĉie kompreneblaj.

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    Kompreneble la evitindeco de "liceo" kaj "gimnazio" rilatas nur al komunikado, en kiu oni ne povas antaŭsupozi, ke la aŭskultanto konas la priparolatan eduksistemon. Se oni ial scias, ke la aŭskultanto ja konas la sistemon kaj povas verŝajne diveni, al kiuj institucioj en la sistemo oni egaligas la Esperantajn "lieco" kaj/aŭ "gimnazio", tiuj vortoj ne nepre estas evitindaj. Commented Oct 18, 2016 at 10:36
  • Mi samopinias kun vi, Marcos! Commented Oct 18, 2016 at 14:56

This answer is from a North-American perspective.

When speaking Esperanto, especially with Europeans, I think of the progression a little like this.

  • vartejo (eventuale antaŭ-lernejo)
  • infanĝardeno
  • bazlernejo (includes American "middle school.")
  • mezlernejo (American High School)
    • gimanzio is my second choice for this, while liceo should be avoided for "High School."
  • altlernejo for any "higher education"
  • universitato for college/university studies or an actual university.

On this last point, in the US "college" is fairly common. These are smaller than what europeans think of as a "university" but in the US they're seen as "higher education" on the same level.

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    I would not say that "vartejo" necessarily comes before "infanĝardeno". The main difference between the two words is that "vartejo" can also be used for a place where children go after school if the parents are working. So even a primary school child can go to a "vartejo" in the afternoon, whereas "infanĝardeno" cannot be used for such an after-school center. For me "antaŭlernejo" implies that it is the last step in the respective educational system before children enter primary school. For a college that doesn't qualifiy as a university, I would use "altlernejo". Commented Oct 18, 2016 at 10:33

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