When writing Esperanto, sometimes it becomes necessary to type special letters not included in the English alphabet. I would welcome an automatic conversion from x-transscription to the original Esperanto-alphabet as this would certainly help newcomers to participate and also avoids a mess of different transscription system. I suppose, that it would be possible to add some javascript to the site to do this. Is this desireable? Is this possible?

  • 1
    Very good idea. It need to protect a few true x's, e.g., in luxury. They could be input as xx. Aug 26, 2016 at 15:35
  • On StackOverflow, we can mark code snippets with these ` ` and then it it becomes colored. Same thing can be done here - marking text in Esperanto, and Esperanto marked text will be converted from x-transcription. Aug 26, 2016 at 16:48
  • 2
    Please, don't mark as code something that is not code.
    – apaderno
    Aug 26, 2016 at 20:13
  • I think marking it as code would be appropriate, since on this site the language is the code we are dealing with. Of course, if a post is entirely in Esperanto, it would look strange to have it formatted as code. But having an English explanation a special highlight for Esperanto as code would increase readability.
    – mondano
    Aug 27, 2016 at 6:38
  • @mondano It doesn't increase readability, in the same way excessively using bold for highlighting words doesn't. Plus, Esperanto words written as code don't get colored, since Esperanto is not a programming language.
    – apaderno
    Aug 31, 2016 at 10:55
  • @YotamSalmon No, putting code in `` doesn't colorize words; if that worked, it would work for programming languages, not other languages.
    – apaderno
    Aug 31, 2016 at 11:06
  • @kiamlaluno You misunderstood me. My point was that the `` is used to colorize code snippets. It can be used in the Esperanto website to mark text in esperanto. It would take no more than 10 lines of Javascript from the SE team to make accented letters inside ``s to be fixed. Aug 31, 2016 at 19:46
  • @YotamSalmon I understood you, but code inside `` is not colorized. It's the code beginning with 4 spaces that is colorized.
    – apaderno
    Aug 31, 2016 at 19:58
  • 1
    I think it would be best to do this as a button just above the editor that you can press to filter the whole text just once. That way it could be applied later by someone editing the text, and it wouldn't automatically be done so it wouldn't mess up posts in English. I don't think doing it in the presentation layer is a good idea because we really want the actual source text to have the hats too.
    – Neil Roberts Mod
    Sep 9, 2016 at 14:33

4 Answers 4


I don't think we should automatically convert the X-system. The Esperanto Wikipedia recently disabled this feature because of the problems it caused. The problems here will only be bigger, because there will be more text here in English, which sometimes use the letter X.


First, I doubt it will be implemented. I am not aware that Stack Exchange is doing something like this for any other language. A comparable feature might be useful to other languages as well, and this might justify the effort on the side of Stack Exchange. However, from a technical point of view this means doing things the wrong way. Normally it's the responsibility of the operating system to handle keyboards and other input methods. The specific conditions that make it useful to detract from that only exist for Esperanto. Therefore it would ultimately be an expensive feature just for one site. So long as it is still in closed beta and it's not at all clear whether it will satisfy the general demands on activity (and can do so in the long run!), this question is really premature.

So far most questions and answers are in English, not Esperanto. I am not very optimistic that this will change when we reach the public beta stage. Even when entering a question in Esperanto with only a few words or a citation in English it would be very annoying when you have to correct words such as aĆ­iliary - which is currently what you get when you set lernu.net's dictionary to "English -> Esperanto" and type in auxiliary. (To get the expected result, you must type auxxiliary or switch off the 'x' method.) So this feature would at least require a button for switching it off quickly.

All in all, I think this real problem should better be addressed on the user's side. This question prompted me to finally do this for myself. As a Firefox user I immediately found the Transliterator add-on, which solves the problem nicely. Presumably, similar plugins exist for the other major browsers.

Hints for Firefox users:

The 'Transliterator' plugin does the job. The Esperanto-specific Firefox add-ons don't - they only change the display of existing content that is 'x' method encoded. After a quick installation that didn't even require a restart, plus configuring Transliterator for Esperanto (I believe the default was Russian), I can now activate the 'x' method by pressing F2. I just did so, which made the input field for this answer get a blue border and activated the 'x' method. The 'xx' escape doesn't work, so to type auxiliary, I must either deactivate the Transliterator plugin by pressing F2, or type something like auu[Backspace]xiliary to separate the keystrokes u and x.

By the way, this add-on also makes it easier for users to clean up other users' 'x' encoded texts. Just select the text you want to convert and press Ctrl-Shift-Q. For me this doesn't work because in my browser, this combination is already taken by a different plugin and I did not allow Transliterator to override it.


Is it possible at all to display the characters with diacritics on each page, either in a footer, below a text input box, or in a side bar? Then you can easily copy and paste them, which is what I usually do.


I don't think this should be an automatic process - however it might be a good way to introduce users to editing and cleaning up posts, wherever they see the x- or h-systems used.

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