Archive for the ‘Lessons’ Category

Lesson Five

One late evening on Sige, an inlanlu tahori approaches a human working in a garden.

English Translation
Inlanlu: “Look up at the sky.”
Human: “The sunset is very pretty, but the red clouds are even prettier.”
I: “A thunderstorm speeds towards us.”
H: “Hm? I hadn’t noticed.”
I: “Do you know where your child is?”
H: “Oh! No. I must find him.”
I: “Be quick.”

Literal Translation
“Respect, up-wards at sky you-look.”
“Beauty sunset has, but beauty-more plural-cloud red-colored have.”
“To this-place storm-water goes-quick.”
“Question? I-no-notice-pasttense.”
“Where child belongingto-you is you-know?”
“Oh! No. It-male find I-must.”
“Stern, you-find-quick.”

Uhjayi Conversation
“Jodh shiksha sag zuhr dunadri.”
“Dasku najhku fari fam daskuyad hakhizku rhystho fari.”
“Sag zidach hychkukihn zyriles.”
“Na? Unuryimrivut.”
“Dachna zen adu huri dudari?”
“O! Su. Kuhchu luhsri unjhiri.”
“Nog duluhsriles.”

Audio: Introduction

Audio: Lesson Five

~ Uhjayi commonly uses social indicators to convey the speaker’s intention at the beginning of a sentence. (In complicated conversations with several participants, the social indicators preface their subjects.) In the past lessons, you’ve seen the difference in the human’s usual greeting (jodh yidh) and the inlanlu’s greeting (lih shehth). Jodh indicates respect between equals or strangers, while lih indicates friendliness; nog, as seen here, indicates a stern or commanding attitude, often used when giving urgent orders or when a superior speaks to someone under its command. Note: Jodh and lih are the indicators; yidh (“peace”) and shehth (“welcome”) are conceptual roots that complete the greetings. Lih shehth in particular is often used to set someone at ease and reassure them that the speaker is not only peaceable, but amiable as well.
~ -tho is a modifier that attaches to colors; it roughly means “-colored.” Colors are not modifiers that attach to their objects; they stand alone with -tho.
~ Shiksha is “upwards,” and shik-ku would be “the above.” Up, down, left, right, behind, ahead, etc are all modified by -sha, just like east, west, north, and south. (Remember, you only need hyphens in Uhjayi to separate two vowels or two similar-sounding or identical consonants.)
~ The word for “storm,” hychku, is modified by a suffix indicating whether it’s a thunderstorm or rainstorm (-kihn, “water”), a sandstorm, a snowstorm, a duststorm, etc.
~ This conversation is another good example of cultural differences and harmless ignorance. A human passing by might make small-talk about the weather before moving on and think nothing of it; tahori don’t so much make small-talk as point out important observations that probably require some kind of action or awareness. The human assumes the tahori is just chatting, while the tahori is trying to convey that bad weather is coming, so the human should find his son before it hits. This fits with the tahori use of “how are you?” to discern intentions, rather than verbally state that which is already knowable or known. Tahori rarely say pointless things.

Extra Credit
~ Based on all lessons so far, how would you greet a tahori whom you’d seen but never met? How would you greet a friend? Hint: each answer has two words, not just one.
~ If hychkukihn zyriles is “storm-water goes-quick,” how would you say “the storm had gone” (storm-water goes-pasttense)? Referring to Lesson 3, how would you say “the storm will go”?
~ How would you tell someone in a commanding manner to look upwards quickly? Hint: you don’t need to say “at sky” (sag zuhr).

Lesson Four

On Alasa Ka, the tahori home world, one inlanlu leader approaches another to discuss a proposed contest of territory. They are very formal.

English Translation
Dakaya: “Hello. I acknowledge your power.”
Kada: “I acknowledge your power. My name is Kada.”
Dakaya: “My name is Dakaya. I have twenty-one warriors.”
Kada: “I have thirty-four warriors. Do you accept my challenge for this land?”
Dakaya: “No. I cede this land to you.”

Literal Translation
“Very-respect, strength belongingto-you I-know.”
“Strength belongingto-you I-know. Kada me you-name.”
“Me you-name Dakaya. Plural-fight-person one-score one I-have.
“Plural-fight-person three-tens four I-have. For this-territory-part you I-challenge. What you-respond?”
“Peace, this-territory-part to you I-surrender.”

Uhjayi Conversation
“Syjodh jhedh adu undari.”
“Jhedh adu undari. Kada unku dugodri.”
“Unku dugodri Dakaya. Hazechsho aduv ad unfari.”
“Hazechsho yfov uhsh unfari. Es zirinkufyth duku unkhiri. Omna duvadri?”
“Yidh zirinkufyth sag duku unthuhthri.”

Audio: Introduction

Audio: Lesson Four

~ The tahori numbering system, although base ten, uses tens and twenties as different units. In the conversation above, you see 21 as “one twenty and one” and 34 as “three tens and four.” Likewise, 45 would be “two twenties and five” and 77 would be “seven tens and seven.” You won’t see 75 as “three twenties, one ten, and five.” (All of this applies to hundreds as well. Tahori do not count into the thousands.) Numbers come after the noun to which they refer and always start with a vowel: aduv above is [ad][uv] (“one twenty”) and yfov is [yf][ov]. Also, keep in mind that “and” is never present in numbers; I use it here only in English to clarify.
~ Godri is the verb “to name” or “to label.” Tahori don’t give their names casually, and many will give a word or a shortened name that others may call them, hence the phrase “you can call me ___” as seen above. Godku is “word (for)” or “name (of)”.
~ Ha- is the standard pluralizer . It’s a prefix, while the other two common pluralization modifiers (shuh, “few” and shudh, “lots” or “plenty”) are stand-alone modifiers that follow their objects. If shuh or shudh is present, ha- is not used.
~ -sho is a modifier roughly meaning -er, as in “fighter,” “runner,” “hunter,” etc. It does not literally translate to “person” (that’s nen). -sug is -sho’s partner, loosely equivalent to -ee (“employee,” “trainee,” et~; -sho is an active person (one who acts), while -sug is a passive person (one who is acted upon).
~ Word order beyond the basic OSV (object subject verb) structure is fairly loose. Important modifiers preface their objects, while modifying terms usually follow their objects; this tendency applies to structure, as well. One who is important will say “Joe me you-name,” while one who is being respectful will say “me Joe you-name,” and one who is being humble, modest, or submissive will can “me you-name Joe.” Similarly, other parts of the above conversation could be “to you this-territory-part I-surrender,” “this-territory-part to you I-surrender,” or “this-territory-part I-surrender to you,” depending on the importance the speaker places on “to you” versus “surrender” as the verb and “this-territory-part” as the prize.

Extra Credit
~ Based on this and previous lessons, what is the word for “to”? (As in “to you” or “to me.”) What about the modifier for “belonging to”? Hint: it’s only one letter.
~ Based on the conversation and the first note, how would you say 13? Hint: always say “one ten” or “one twenty,” never just “ten” or “twenty.”
~ Remembering that giku means “song” and giri means “sing,” how would you say “singer”? If unlomri is “I give,” how would you say “recipient” (give-ee)? Hint: you’ll only need the roots.

Lesson Three

On Sige, a human approaches an inlanlu tahori who is in her hamin skin. This time, the human is a little more aware of the tahori meaning of “how are you?”.

English Translation
Human: “Hello.”
Inlanlu: “Hello. How are you?”
H: “I’m curious. Do you know where Kyiere is?”
I: “Is that the nearby town?”
H: “Yes. I’m lost.”
I: “Go east for a few hours. You’ll find it.”
H: “Thank you very much.”

Literal Translation
“Respectful greetings.”
“Friendly greetings. You-what-feel?”
“Respect, I-curious-feel. Where Kyiere-is you-know?”
“That town-nearby is?”
“Yes. I-lost.”
“Friendly, east-wards you-go for day-part-small. There you-are-futuretense.”
“Gratitude lots to you I-give.”

Uhjayi Conversation
“Jodh yidh.”
“Lih shehth. Du-omnara?”
“Jodh unjehnra. Dachna Kyiere huri dudari?”
“Choku kholkudhid huri na?”
“Ki. Unvykri.”
“Lih yihs-sha duzyri es tihchfythkit. Dach-cho duhurivo.”
“Rujhku shudh sag duku unlomri.”

Audio: Introduction

Audio: Lesson Three

Special Pronunciation
Kyiere is a human name, not pronounced as one would in Uhjayi. kee-AIR-ay

~ Verb tense is attached to the end of the verb, after the -ri. Duhuri means “you are,” while duhurivo means “you will be.” -vo does not literally mean “will” – it is merely an indicator of future tense.
~ When a noun instead of a pronoun is the subject, it is not directly attached to the verb. Dugiri is “you sing” – nenam giri is “woman sings.”
~ Yihs-sha is a compound word: yihs is “east” and -sha is a modifier indicating direction, roughly equivalent to saying “eastwards” in English. When talking about “the east,” one would say yihsku. Remember, the hyphen is only used to ensure the speaker pronounces both S and SH sounds.
~ Notice the difference in Lesson 1‘s fythkukit (“a little bit”) and today’s tihchfythkit (“a small part of the day”). Fyth, “part,” is a modifier to “day” instead of its own noun, so -ku is not present in tihchfythkit. Some roots, like tihch (“day”), do not need -ku as a modifier if they can only be used as nouns.
~ Tahori don’t have concepts of minutes and hours; they have small/large day-parts and moments. Saying a small day-part could be anywhere from an hour to four hours, roughly.

Extra Credit
~ Thyl is the root for “west.” How would you say “westwards” and “the west”? Hint: you won’t need a hyphen.
~ Based off the first and second notes above, how would you say “you will sing”?
~ Based off the fourth note above, what is the root that means “small” or “little”? If that root is always a suffix and “khol” is the root indicating a settlement, how would you say “a small town”? Hint: you’ll need -ku in there. Look at the conversation for help.

Lesson Two

On Sige, a human approaches an inlanlu tahori who is in her hamin skin.

English Translation
Human: “Hello.”
Inlanlu: “Hello. How are you?”
H: “I’m okay, thank you. And you?”
I: “I’m well. Are you from Sige?”
H: “Yes, I’m Sigian.”
I: “You speak Uhjayi well.”
H: “That’s kind of you. Thank you.”

Literal Translation
“Respectful greetings.”
“Friendly greetings. You-what-feel?”
“Respect, I-calm-feel. Yourself?”
“I-good-feel. Sige you-reside?”
“Yes, Sige-resident I-am.”
“Uhjayi you-speak-well.”
“Kindness to me you-give. To you gratitude.”

Uhjayi Conversation
“Jodh yidh.”
“Lih shehth. Du-omnara?”
“Jodh unmajhra. Duku na?”
“Unlidra. Sige duravri na?”
“Ki, Sigerav unhuri.”
“Uhjayi duyurite.”
“Yasku sag unku dulomri. Sag duku rujhku.”

Audio: Introduction

Audio: Lesson Two

Special Pronunciation
Sige is one of the few names pronounced the same in vocan as Uhjayi. SEE-gay

~ In referring to feelings, -ra is used to modify the emotion root (majh, “neutral” or “calm”) to mean “feel ___”. It’s not a standard -ri verb; you can say “I feel happy” as unlidra without any -ri.
~ Un means “I” when attached to a verb as its pronoun, but when a pronoun like un or du (“you”) stands alone with no modifiers, -ku is added. It’s similar to saying “you” versus “yourself”.
~ Notice that “Du-omnara?” did not end with na. In this case, na is part of omna, the word for “what.” Query words like what, which, who, and similar include -na, so any question phrased with these words does not need to end with na.
~ Asking “how are you” (“what do you feel?” when taken literally) is an easy way to determine the other person’s reason for initiating conversation. It’s not often used as humans use it, since tahori can gauge each other’s moods and well-being fairly accurately without words. (In this conversation, the human didn’t realize the tahori’s point in asking, answering her in a human fashion and leading into a short, somewhat pointless conversation.)
~ Written Uhjayi doesn’t use any form of hyphen. When writing Uhjayi in the English alphabet, hyphens are used to clarify separate vowels and cases of identical consonants being together. For example, dach-cho is not written as dachcho so that the speaker pronounces both CH sounds; likewise, du-omnara is not written duomnara to ensure the speaker pronounces both U and O separately. (You’ll see dach-cho in the next lesson.) Also, a word like guh-om will use a hyphen, since UH is considered a single vowel; this will help you distinguish H as part of a vowel from H as a consonant (as seen in kiham).

Extra Credit
~ Practice identifying -ra and -ri in the conversation. Make sure to distinguish them from one another. You never need to -ri a -ra.
~ If duyuri is “you speak,” what is the modifier indicating “well” or “good”? Refer to the conversation.
~ If yasku is “kindness” and “I feel ___” is phrased as un___ra, how would you say “I feel kindly”? Hint: lidku is “happiness.”

Lesson One

On Sige, a human approaches an inlanlu tahori who is in his hamin (humanoid) skin.

English Translation
Human: “Excuse me. Do you understand vocan?”
Inlanlu: “No, I don’t understand. Do you understand Uhjayi?”
H: “Yes, a little.”
I: “Are you from Sige?”
H: “Yes, I am Sigian.”

Literal Translation
“With-respect, you-payattention. Vocan you-understand?”
“No, I-no-understand. Uhjayi you-understand?”
“Yes, part-small.”
“Sige you-reside?”
“Yes, Sige-resident I-am.”

Uhjayi Conversation
“Jodh dukihchri. Vocan dumulri na?”
“Su, unurmulri. Uhjayi dumulri na?”
“Ki, fythkukit.”
“Sige duravri na?”
“Ki, Sigerav unhuri.”

Audio: Introduction

Audio: Lesson One

Special Pronunciation
Sige is one of the few names pronounced the same in vocan as Uhjayi. SEE-gay
Vocan is not an Uhjayi word, but the name of the human language. VO-kuhn

~ Uhjayi is a language of roots and modifiers. The most important two roots are -ku, which makes a root into a noun, and -ri, which makes a root into a verb (present tense is assumed; it’s an infinitive if no pronoun is attached). Both -ri and -ku are always directly attached to the roots they modify; any descriptor modifiers come before the main root or after the -ri/-ku.
~ Uhjayi’s structure is OSV – object subject verb. The subject, if a pronoun, is directly attached to the verb. “You sing” is dugiri; du is “you,” gi is the root of “sing/song,” and -ri makes gi into a verb.
~ Uhjayi roots can be a single vowel, a consonant-vowel pair, or a consonant-vowel-consonant syllable. Any vowel paired with an H (IH, EH, UH) is considered a single vowel. Similarly, any consonant paired with H (CH, DH, JH, KH, RH, SH, TH) is considered a single consonant; H is only its own consonant when it stands alone, and it never ends a root. For example, guh is a consonant-vowel root, while hes is a consonant-vowel-consonant root, and ih is a single-vowel root. Only pronounce H when it stands alone.
~ Ur- is a prefix that negates a verb. In the conversation above, unurmulri means “I don’t understand” or “I-no-understand.” Ur- always comes between the pronoun (un) and the verb (mulri), since it modifies the verb and not the subject.
~ Na is a question indicator and comes at the end of a query, unless it is included in a word used earlier in the sentence. Na can also be used alone as “huh?” or “eh?” in casual conversation. If you can only say one thing in Uhjayi, na is a good choice to indicate your confusion if a tahori speaks to you.

Extra Credit
~ Practice identifying -ri and -ku in the conversation.
~ How would you say “yes” and “no”?
~ If gi is the root and giri is “sing,” how would you say “song” in Uhjayi? (Hint: look at the first note above.)