As far as I know, the words' roots in Esperanto come from non-constructed languages (this is what Wikipedia says about it).

As I speak English, Russian and some French and know a bit of Latin, I very often can guess the meaning of words because they resemble their English/Russian/French/Latin equivalents (or at least relatives).

The problem is with the verb farti (to be / to feel), especially in sentences like Kiel vi fartas? (How are you doing? / How do you do?). Mi pardonpetas, but I can't sorta unhook 'farti' in Esperanto from 'to fart' in English.

As for the similarities in other languages I know, the only one can be found in French, but it's not so similar, to my mind:

faire (fr., to do) <-> farti (esp.)

I'm constantly thinking of the wrong translation when encountering 'farti' in texts, so the questions are: where does 'farti' come from?

  • 2
    I always thought maybe it comes from the same root as “to fare” in English. So “kiel vi fartas” could be thought of as being like “how do you fare”. I don't have any references to back this up though so it's just speculation.
    – Neil Roberts
    Aug 23, 2016 at 19:17
  • There is edz which seems an invented term, but the German (Wohl)fahrt could be the source somehow (gaan [nl], gehen/Fahrt [de] all express "go").
    – Joop Eggen
    Sep 28, 2016 at 7:48

3 Answers 3


Wiktionary seems to confirm my suspicion that farti is derived from German fahren or English fare. More likely the former, as German fahren does include the t in some of its forms.


In the dictionary Konciza Etimologia Vortaro by André Cherpillod is:

farti. G Wohlfahrt «bonfarto, bonstato» ← Fahrt «veturado» ← HE por «trairi».

fari. I fare, Oc far, F faire ← L făcĕre ← HE dhe, dha «meti». (...)

The abbreviations are G: germana (German), HE: hindeŭropa (Indo-European), I: itala (Italian), Oc: okcitana (Occitan), F: franca (French), L: latina (Latin).

Note that "to be" is not a good translation for "farti". The dictionary of Lernu translates farti as "to fare, to be doing, to feel". In the PIV is "Esti en tia aŭ alia sanstato".

The German word Wohlfahrt is in Wiktionary too, as shown by Hans Adler. The same origins of the word fari are pointed by Luke Marlin.


French speaker here, faire is not the translation of farti but of fari.

For farti, see the answer of Hans Adler

For the sake of completeness, I'll leave here the part of my old answer about the root of fari.

A quick lookup on Wiktionary for faire shows that the root is the latin facere, which means "(the action of) doing, making, creating". It therefore seems to me that facere might be a suitable root for fari.

  • 1
    I think the French word "faire" is more closely related to the Esperanto word "fari" which in English both translate as "to do/ to make" Aug 23, 2016 at 19:20
  • @KyleBailey I don't know fari, but what I can add is that in French, how are you doing cannot be translated with the verb faire which almost exclusively the act of doing Aug 23, 2016 at 19:22
  • 1
    Yes, fari and farti are different. "Kiel vi fartas?" Is used like "Comment allez vous?" Aug 23, 2016 at 19:25
  • I knew farti, but didn't know fari. After looking up the exact definitions, it seems I was wrong, I left some information about the mistake, not sure if useful. Aug 23, 2016 at 19:40
  • No problem. It's difficult to explain something about three different languages on an online forum. No doubt many have confused fari and farti! Aug 23, 2016 at 19:42

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