Is there a good word for the lines of a play? Like “I have to learn my lines for the play tomorrow”. I can’t find it in the dictionary.

  • 1
    The word ”repliko” would be worth investigating. According to PIV it can at least be related to theater, but neither it nor ReVo provides the definition we are looking for. I don’t have access to any hihj quality dictionary. The Swedish word is ”replik” and I thought the two might be related. Apr 14, 2019 at 9:03
  • I have been using “réplique” in French too, but a friend told me that it’s not the right word in French. It sounds like it has a more specific meaning that just any line in the play and the definition in PIV seems to match that.
    – Neil Roberts
    Apr 24, 2019 at 11:56

5 Answers 5


Simply frazoj should suffice. Their are many connotations with lines, but basically a line is (was) more or less a sentence is frazo.

  • Frazoj seems like a good proposition for the context (mi devas lerni miajn frazojn). However, I think more precisely (although I may be wrong…) a line in English could contain multiple sentences. If I say “this role only has 5 lines” we need to know exactly what a line is. I was thinking it is a section of text spoken continuously by one character before switching to the next character.
    – Neil Roberts
    Apr 24, 2019 at 11:53
  • @NeilRoberts yes I had a moment also the conviction that alineo (paragraph) would be a better match. The association I had was a piece of dialogue spoken on stage by one actor, after which another actor continues. However "the last line was a cue to exit the stage" and other such usages seem to target a single frazo more than konversaciparto/dialogero/interŝanĝo. Hmm, strofo would almost do. Could it be that line is just an inprecise notion for sentence(s)? (My English is not native!)
    – Joop Eggen
    Apr 24, 2019 at 14:35

I don't think that Esperanto expresses this idea with a single word corresponding to "lines", and the proposals adduced here so far don't sound natural to me.

If I had to express something like "I have to learn my lines for the play tomorrow", I'd say "Mi devas ankoraŭ lerni mian tekston por la teatraĵo morgaŭ".

Cf. the following quotes from the Tekstaro:

  • Kiel mi jam komentis, pluraj gramatikaj eraroj en la tradukoj bezonas korekton; sed tion facile povas fari sperta esperantisto en la tekstoj, antaŭ ol doni ilin al la aktoroj por lego/parkerigo.

  • Ni estis dek amatoraj aktoroj kaj duope studis tekstojn kiujn poste Serge registris sur diskon.

  • Tiel, en la mirinda Teatro Argentino de La Plata, aktoro deklamas tekstojn de Federico García Lorca kaj je tiuj vortoj

  • This seems like a nice suggestion for the phrase in the question. I wonder if a good word for a phrase like “my role has 5 lines” might be kvin teksteroj.
    – Neil Roberts
    Apr 29, 2019 at 8:33
  • I can only compare it to German: Here we don't dinstinguish between the lines as a single utterance and the text of an actor as w hole, both are "Text", but the former can be specified as "Textpartie", which roughly means "tektsero". Apr 29, 2019 at 10:48

The CEED gives “linio” in this context (Wells suggests “verso” as well). “Linio” is also supported by the PIV:

“Serio de vortoj, skribitaj aŭ presitaj laŭ difinita direkto: ĉiu paĝo enhavas tridek liniojn; la linioj de la ĉinaj libroj estas vertikalaj; legi inter la linioj”

So my vote would be for “linio”

  • 2
    That definition in PIV makes me think of a line in any text, ie, the series of words that forms one line without continuing on the next line even if it’s not a complete sentence. This doesn’t seem to capture the right meaning of “line” in a play. I think verso implies some sort of poetry and it would seem inappropriate if for example we were talking about a line in a script for a police drama.
    – Neil Roberts
    Apr 24, 2019 at 11:50

I think the most natural word would be parolo, although it is very general (it can mean "speech", "a speech", "a talk", etc). If the role is unimpressive you might say diro.

  • Mi devas lerni miajn parolojn por la morgaŭa prezentado.

  • Mi rolas kiel la tria servisto kaj mi havas unu diron.

If you want to emphasize that it's written down—"lines"—you could say teksto or recitaĵo.

  • Mi estas aktoro kaj mi devas studi mian tekston.

Like a lot of things in esperanto it matters more what you're actually talking about rather than the English way of saying it.

If you mean lines in the sense of the entire speaking part, frazojn seems the most correct. (possible exception below)

If you are counting the physical lines in the script which usually translates to a specific amount of time, then according to PIV linioj would be correct.

The other major possibility is that a part in a play is a collection of specific lines so liniaro might be a correct way of signifying it, though that might better express the script as a whole.

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