What is the correct way to say “i am sleepy” in esperanto?

Google translate insists - erroneously - on “Mi dormas” (I am sleeping / I sleep), but that’s not what i’m looking for. A person that is sleepy doesn’t sleep.

up vote 17 down vote accepted

The esperanto affix -em- indicates a tendendy or inclination toward whatever the root refers to. So, "sleepy" can be expressed as dormema (as an adjective). So, Mi estas dormema.

You can find a list of affixes in Esperanto at Word-Building with Esperanto Affixes.

Also see dormema on Wiktionary.

  • Aha, of course! I’ll have to brush up on my affixes. – user428 Oct 9 at 21:11

Sleepy means “a little bit tired”, so another option could be laceta.

I'm under the impression that, at least in Europe, the preferred form is 'dormavida'.

  • I think -avida as a suffix means that you have a long-term tendency towards the root (like manĝavida could mean greedy). This is also one of the meanings of -em. In this case in English sleepy is only a temporary inclination to sleep (ie, a bit tired) so I don’t think dormavida makes sense. Maybe a better translation of dormavida would be something like sleepyhead. – Neil Roberts Nov 5 at 14:31
  • Compound words in Esperanto often have an adaptive meaning. For example, ‘vortaro’ is not just a set of words, but a DICTIONARY, and ‘arbaro’ is not just a set of trees, but a FOREST, and so on. Also, it seems to me that ‘dormema’ is more likely to describe a ‘sleepyhead’ (using the sense that you yourself acknowledge) than would ‘dormavida’, with ‘dormavida’ being, by adaptation, more suitable for focusing on the ‘momentary life-situation’ (to use the terminology of Kurt Lewin). – EulerSpoiler Nov 6 at 17:25

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