When writing for example months, weekdays, names of languages and nationalities, is one supposed to use a capital letter? Also, when it comes to titles, which words should have a capital? Only the initial word? All of them? Are there exceptions, for example "la" or "kaj"?

I am slightly confused because my native language does not follow the same rules as goes for English. About Esperanto: my textbook says one thing and the usage I've seen from esperantists another. Are there rules for this, or may one simply write as one wishes?

1 Answer 1


The chapter in PMEG on capitalization starts out with:

Pri majuskloj (grandaj literoj, ĉefliteroj) kaj minuskloj (malgrandaj literoj) ne ekzistas devigaj reguloj en Esperanto. Majusklado povas helpi al klareco, sed estas cetere sufiĉe malgrava afero.

"About uppercase (capital letters) and lowercase (small letters) there aren't obligatory rules in Esperanto. Capitalizing can help with clarity, but is otherwise a rather insignificant matter."

This chapter goes on to say that one does capitalize all proper names, and if a name consists of multiple words, one usually capitalizes each one.

However, if a word is derived from a name, one often retains the capital letter, but can also make it lowercase.

Zamenhof considered the names of months as proper names, and thus capitalized them, but nowadays they are often uncapitalized. Weekdays, on the other hand, are not considered proper names, and are almost always uncapitalized. Names of holidays (Kristnasko, Pasko, Advento) are generally capitalized.

Names of countries are capitalized, but words for ethnicities or nationalities, whether derived from the country name (kanadano, meksikano, brazilano), or having the country name derived from them (ruso, polo, arabo), can be written either way. Same with language names derived from names for lands or peoples. Languages with proper names (Esperanto, Volapuko, Sanskrito), however, are supposed to be capitalized, though some people do write them in lowercase.

I don't see anything about titles in PMEG, but as with the other cases, there seems to be a lot of leeway.

  • 1
    PMEG deals with 'titoloj' in paragraph 9.1.6, largely confirming the above - usage varies, but lower case is most often found for words like 'sinjor(in)o / dokto(in)o' etc. Aug 30, 2016 at 9:03
  • Oh, yeah, there is a section on those kind of titles; I should have mentioned that; thank you for your comment! But it seems the poster of the question was referring to titles like Little House on the Prairie and such; whether you would capitalize all words, or just the main words (no articles, prepositions, etc), or just the first word.
    – kristan
    Aug 30, 2016 at 17:44
  • Plena Manlibro De Esperanta Gramatiko kt. Plena Manlibro de Esperanta Gramatiko kt. Plena manlibro de esperanta gramatiko
    – kristan
    Aug 30, 2016 at 17:45
  • Yes, I was asking about those titels (of books etc.). Aug 31, 2016 at 19:16

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.