I have read the interesting discussions e.g. in the comments here and concluded that there should be a glide between the wovels, rather than a glottal stop, since the ie occurs within a single root, as opposed to, for example, the ii in sciigo. Yet I have heard a clear /st͡siʔ'ent͡so/ on Duolingo. I suppose there is some leeway, that's alright. But trying my best at what was meant to be the canonical pronunciation makes me feel better than "it's OK if you keep saying either way". What would the books say about this word?

2 Answers 2


There is a small amount of lee way in Esperanto because the language should be universal. Esperanto does not have a glottal stop.

Each letter of the Esperanto alphabet has a fixed pronunciation, very little influenced by adjacent letters.


I struggle a bit with these types of words, so I say sit at the beginning but I try to soften the i sound as much as possible so that it flows nicely.

Scias --> sit-see-ass

Scienco --> sit-see-en-tso

In terms of two vowels beside each other, they should both make a distinct sound. Every vowel represents a syllable. No glottal stop is required. Just like you would say sa-lu-ton, you would also say sci-en-co

  • Interesting! I thought a glottal stop would be necessitated in words like praavo but now I read that it's perfectly appropriate as well to separate the sounds by other means (like pitch).
    – La Vo-o
    Nov 24, 2016 at 15:10
  • Nice trick for the SC cluster, by the way!
    – La Vo-o
    Nov 24, 2016 at 15:12
  • 3
    I disagree strongly with this answer and find it misleading. I have been contemplating in the last week making a YouTube video to answer this very question since wrong explanations are in circulation and seem to be increasing in frequency. "Sit see" is not a helpful way to look at this. Nov 24, 2016 at 15:21
  • @TomasoAlexander Is your comment directed to the vowel clusters or the SC or both? (Only the former was my question.)
    – La Vo-o
    Nov 24, 2016 at 15:31
  • Specifically to the idea that the T and the S sounds can be broken up when pronouncing the letter C. At this point I am not posting my own answer to the question because I decided earlier this week that a video is the best way to answer it and my video is not ready. If I can quickly find where I have explained this before, I may repost that here as an alternative till I can make the video. Nov 24, 2016 at 15:38

S-ci-en-co pronounce it how it's written. I hear so many people say it wrong and it's noticeable.

  • Can a single consonant really build a hole syllable?
    – zvavybir
    Jun 5, 2019 at 13:26

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