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In English Oops! is an interjection used to signal that one has (usually to one's own surprise) done something wrong, or that something one was doing didn't succeed as intended.

In German Ups! (pronounced almost the same, albeit often a bit shorter) is used mostly the same way.

Does Esperanto have an interjection with the same or similar purpose? (To signify surprize, Ho! can be used, but I consider that more equivalent to English/German Oh!, which is much more generic than Oops! and doesn't necessarily imply any mistake or mishap.)

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I think “Ups!” would work fine. I cannot attest the comprehension of the expression outside of Europe, or English speaking countries, but it does have an entry in ReVo with a few citations of usage and there is, albeit just one, appearance in Tekstaro:

“Ups!” ŝi ekkriis, kaj falis en liajn brakojn. Ŝia kalkanumo ĵus fiksiĝis en truon inter du ŝtonplatoj, kaj restis tie firme tenata, tiel ke ŝia piedo, reflekse daŭrigante la antaŭeniron, ŝiris la tro malfortikan ŝu-materialon, kaŭzante perdon de ekvilibro, kaj ŝin stumble faligante ĝuste kiam Bob Sulavi troviĝis apud ŝi.

—Ĉu li venis trakosme?


By the way, in Dutch we also say Oeps! pronounced just like Ups!.

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  • Hmm ... I wonder why this doesn't show up in in simpla vortaro, which is AFAIK based on ReVo. (Maybe it's not synced up?) – das-g Jul 4 '19 at 9:32
  • Yea, that is very weird! I've tweeted the creator here, but no response so far. – Joffysloffy Jul 4 '19 at 21:20
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I've heard "ops" being used in Esperanto by Lithuanian and Polish speakers, and I now use it myself in Esperanto, when I might say "oops" in English. I also use "hopla" in Esperanto. I don't think that is just German influence on me (I'm half-German) because I have heard it in Esperanto contexts too, but don't remember the language backgrounds of people I've heard using it. "Hopla" can be an expression of success as well as of failure, unlike "ops", which is only appropriate for some sort of failure.

"Ops" appears to be used by Slovenians in Slovenian, so maybe it's fairly generally comprehensible: https://vizita.si/clanek/novice/faith-kaj-pa-je-to.html

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I've heard "hupla" on a couple of occasions. One was when a cake nearly fell on the floor, but was saved. I've heard "hopla" too in a similar context, but I can't say I've seen either form in writing.

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