I want to make sure that I am pronouncing -ej- properly. What is the correct way of pronouncing it?


ej represents e plus a short i-sound; it is like English ay in play

Wells, JC, Esperanto Dictionary

  • Okay. So "EJ" sounds like the word "grey", right?
    – Lumo5
    Jul 5 '17 at 8:39
  • Yes, in 'Standard British English'. In IPA it would be like [eI] (see phon.ucl.ac.uk/home/sampa/english.htm) Jul 5 '17 at 9:59
  • Isn't ⟨e⟩ pronounced short though, more as [ɛ] in the English bet /ˈbɛt/? So that would make ⟨ej⟩ [ɛi̯], closer to the Dutch ⟨ij⟩ and ⟨ei⟩ sounds, or the Italian ⟨ei⟩ in sei. I think pronouncing ⟨ej⟩ as [ei̯] is easily confused with ⟨e⟩, as many people (specifically native English speakers) tend to realize ⟨e⟩ as [ei̯] already, hence merging ⟨e⟩ and ⟨ej⟩. Jul 6 '17 at 11:39
  • No, it's the other way round. The [e] is the longer, closed sound. The Dutch "ij" would be [aI]. Also not it's [I] (capital 'i'), which is open and short as opposed to [i]. So lernejo would be [lerneIQ] (using the SAMPA scheme referred to above) Jul 6 '17 at 13:06
  • 1
    There is actually a range of acceptable E sounds. Readers of this thread might be interested to read the English and French sections of the Fundamento regarding the correct pronunciation of E in Esperanto. Jul 15 '17 at 12:03

Lumo5 - I suspect it's not a coincidence that I just made a video on this very topic where I explain and model the correct way to pronounce -ej-. I had already been working on it when you and I discussed this, and that's why I decided to bump that video up in priority and get it made.


To summarize, it's important to pronounce the J in EJ. Otherwise, you won't be able to distinguish piceo from picejo. Note also that the difference is the J, not the vocal quality. See the video for more details.

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