I was trying to translate this sentence to Esperanto:

Buying a present for him would be a nice gesture.

My attempt (feel free to correct it):

Âceti donacon al li estus agrabla gesto.

But looking at the meaning of gesto in Reta Vortaro, it seems that it doesn't have the meaning of "an act or a remark made as a sign of intention or attitude":

gesto: Ĉiu montra, esprima movo de la korpo, precipe de kapo, brako, mano.

Which word can be used to translate "gesture" in that context?

3 Answers 3


Although not included in the dictionary it seems that gesto can be used with that figurative sense according to Tekstaro (emphasis mine):

La atmosferon ne plu povis mildigi ĉarma gesto de novjorkaj SAT-anoj, kiuj organizis monkolekton por donaci “esperantistan traktoron” al la soveta agrikulturo.

Esperanto en Perspektivo, Ivo Lapenna, 1974

Kiel gesto de bona volo, Ruslando en aprilo 2014 nuligis 90 elcentojn de la nordkorea ŝuldo

Le Monde diplomatique en Esperanto, Philippe Pons, 2015

Another possibility: Âceti donacon al li estus agrabla faro / ago.


I think you attempt

Aĉeti donacon por li estus agrabla gesto.

is fine. At least in German Geste is used for the physical thing as well as figuratively. From English and German we also know the phrase nice move / feiner Zug what translates to agrabla movo or simply bela ago.

Aĉeti donacon por li estus bela/nobla/agrabla movo/ago.

Another possibility to say something similar would be:

Aĉeti donacon por li estus bonkoraĵo.

  • I agree with most of this, except your use of bonkoreco; bonkoreco is a quality of how bonkora something is. I think you want bonkoraĵo because aĉeti donacon por li is something that is characterized by bonkora. One can argue about the bonkoreco of aĉeti donacon por li depending on how good the gift is, but the action is a bonkoraĵo. Commented Nov 11, 2019 at 17:08
  • @Joffysloffy Are you sure about that? I would translate bonkoreco as something like kind-heartedness while -aĵo is a thing imo.
    – Olafant
    Commented Nov 11, 2019 at 17:53
  • Try not to think in translations. Even though bonkoreco can be translated to kindheartedness, it is only in the context of how kindhearted something is, not something that is kindhearted (i.e., bonkoraĵo). Note that the suffix -aĵ does not necessarily need to be an object, but can be any concretization of a concept. Just like amikaĵo can be an act of friendship, and not just some object related to friendship; whereas amikeco is the quality of being friends and expresses the degree of friendship or whether or not there is a friendship. Commented Nov 11, 2019 at 17:59
  • @Joffysloffy Yeah, I think you're right since bonkora is an adjective. -aĵo and -eco are still confusing for me. I thought about bonkoraĵo but then decided for bonkoreco. Thanks a lot for the clarification!
    – Olafant
    Commented Nov 11, 2019 at 18:25
  • You're welcome! I'm glad I made it clearer for you :). Especially in English there is a bunch of overlap when translating words ending in -aĵ and -ec. It also took me a while to properly comprehend the difference between the two. Commented Nov 11, 2019 at 18:50

I think gesto in the metaphorical, figurative sense should be most clear. Mind that the stem gest can be found in really many European languages, including slavic languages.

Zamenhof used trajto but that also has quite other meanings.

[Zamenhofa] Ago rimarkinda kiel ekzemplo: admirinda trajto de kuraĝo.

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.